A new era of convergence
Up until recently, much of technology-driven innovation was generated from the convergence of at least somewhat related technologies or applications: for example, silcon-based wireless electronics and processors, robotics and lasers for high-tech manufacturing, surgical robots, PET scanners, miniaturization of optical sensors and avionic control systems enabling increasing use of aerial drones.
Today we are seeing convergence occurring across widely disparate technologies: molecular biologics, genomics, implants, nanotech, advanced electronics, optics, new polymers and other exotic materials, even the early stages of quantum computing.
We are alresady seeing the initial glimmerings of artificial "consciousness" -- at least in the form of autonomic situational awareness. We are on the verge of being able to "print" replacement tissues and organs, cure previously untreatable diseases with radical new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. And many scientists believe that we are on the brink of taking control over the evolution of our own species.
Brave new world indeed ...