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I like the content and format of this paper for the most part, although it tends to get a little long in terms of presenting the content in an explopitable manner. I would like to porvide some feedback in genral terms for your consideration.
Although it may possibly fall outside the scope of your paper which seems to focus on force on force operations, I would include the potential for conflict beyond the Flashpoints and Fault Lines on pg 6. The future will be contested in multiple dimensions, not purely military or political. I see the potential for mega-city failure as perhaps more strategically significant/prominent than state failure, and more aligned with national interests than many of the conflics we are presently pursuing. Further, there are other potentials for surprise conflict due to: climate change, water scarcity, famine, and global pandemic which could all result in mass migration and increased friction and conflict throughout teh world, but impacting all nations and thier interests.
The era of contested equality could also be identified as the augmented age; a time when people, objects, systems, even software have augmented capabilities.
The description of convergence aligns with Adm Cebrowski's (the net centric warfare originator) premise of third stage technologies (first stage is invention based on need eg. Navigation, second on improvements eg. GPS, third on synergistic interactions and novel applications eg. precision farming, precision weapons, dynamic bridge/building motion dampening supports etc) - the emergence of new and disruptive capabilities. The third stage does not rely on R&D but instead on creativity, invention, experimentation, discovery and entrepreneurism. In this regard then, I foresee significant disruptions from:
- software defined 'anything': software capabilities are in parallel with Moore's Law but lag the computing and memory innovations by a couple of generations. This gap is closing and software capabilities are increasing exponentially - the potential will be disruptive.
- ubiquitous super-computing: what are the implications of five year olds playing and growing up with such powerful capabilities? Your paper states "nearly every person on Earth has access to a connected, mobile device" - what if that device was a supercomputer with AI?
- voice-in/voice-out computing (including digital assistants): even the illiterate have the ability to communicate, interact and learn. Imagine a future where anyone in the world has the ability to do or try anything, learn anything, make anything - completely unrestricted by levels of education, income, location or status. (Google offers their AI engine to anyone for download and creative application development).
- ubiquitous sensing: the ability to find, identify, track, and engage through individual and collaborative/collective efforts
- hyperspecialization on-demand: crowdsourced and funded specialised abilities available to anyone, many free or via micropayments.
- Graphene: the ability to mass manufacture graphene will be disruptive to many applications; it is not a rare earth material but offers similar potential
On pg 9 your paper describes employment impacts of technology and suggests there will be widespread unemployment as industries disappear. That is one scenario, however throughout history, each 'age' has experienced similar challenges, albeit at a slower pace, with the end result that each subsequent generation has seen new job creation usurp the former generation time and again. I anticipate disruption and instability, but ingenuity will result in different jobs - many we cannot conceive of now. Even in the face of widespread unemployment, many stable countries exist with high unemployment today, without being conflict centres.