The Navy is just beginning to grapple with the implications of the fourth industrial revolution, in which a digital world enables smart, learning machines teamed with manned platforms. But the world is already entering a fifth one, enabled by advances in material and genetic sciences, that will accelerate today’s trends while introducing living, bioengineered machines. These could form the backbone of a future autonomous fleet. But making that possible will require tremendous gains in genetic engineering, artificial intelligence (AI), and quantum computing—what Lars Jaeger calls “the mighty trio” in his book The Second Quantum Revolution (Springer Nature, 2018).
Sources for Sadler:
Sam Kriegman, Douglas Blackiston, Michael Levin and Josh Bongard, “A Scalable Pipeline for Designing Reconfigurable Organisms,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, no. 4, 13 January 2020. Amy Nordrum, “China Demonstrates Quantum Encryption by Hosting a Video Call,” IEEE Spectrum, 3 October 2017. Edwin Cartlidge, “Quantum Sensors: A Revolution in the Offing?” Optics & Photonics News, September 2019.