It would be easy enough to follow the old adage “Keep Calm and Carry On”, but whilst normality is some way off yet, calmness has given way to uneasiness, happiness to sadness, more to less. There may well be less of many things in the months and years ahead. Less freedom, less foreign travel, less ‘globalisation’, which may well now demand more stringent health checks for travellers rather than a swipe of a mobile ‘phone at check-in. Less choice, as the supply side shrinks, the tourism and hospitality businesses struggle to survive. But vacuums tend to be filled – garden centres now deliver, supermarkets deliver, milk comes in glass bottles delivered to your door, newspapers come on line. Commercial opportunities for monopolies such as postal services abound.
What has been heartening is the intelligence being applied – both human and artificial. Necessity is the mother of invention, but also of innovation: with thousands of schools now facing prolonged closure across the world, indefinite home-schooling has become mandatory, and for this demand artificial intelligence hand-in-hand with neuroscience has been raising standards in reading writing and maths in schools for some time; now this is available for pupils and parents until such time as schools re-open, and the experience of AI will have been seen at first hand. The social purpose is invaluable, the improvements to education incalculable.
The human intelligence being applied with great urgency in the field of medical research in parallel with AI have a common denominator – microelectronics. Within the electronics industry the battle against this unseen enemy that has now affected every country in the world is being fought in support of the front line who will, inevitably, conquer. But we shall see many changes to our landscape once the smoke has cleared.
At EIPC we wish all our members to stay safe and secure, and we hope that we shall be able to meet up again before too long.