The implications of PACE for Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The PACE project has a diverse range of impacts on ICT. These have to do with integration of real world dynamical systems and self-organization in the process of computation, rather than with insights into how to improve symbolic computation.
Actually there is an increasing and large need for this in ICT. Although this technology may finally also result in more advanced general purpose computers, this is a fair way off and certainly not the main ICT impact of PACE.
The most demanding information processing tasks concern dealing with the complexities of microscopic systems. If we could intervene in a programmable way with sufficient bandwidth to guide microscopic dynamically processes in which advanced materials are developed, then whole new generations of devices and ICT applications in manufacturing, health, the environment, and IT technology will result.
The bandwidth problem means that it is imperative to utilize the self-organization properties of natural systems : rather than for example to try to direct the placement of every single atom or molecule in a complex construction process. A certain level of autonomous dynamics is essential to keep up with and utilize the power of natural information processing in dynamical systems.
So the key question arises: what is the best level to be controlling physical systems that show self-organization? In PACe we investigate a range of sub-cellular levels in connection with the cellular level to also address the question as to how autonomous self-organizing systems can be programmed at all. the following sections address this range of issues: