I recently explored more on the role cognitive science has been expected to play when I was preparing for one of the presentations that I could use to introduce the basic concept of cognitive science to the students in China.
In fact, the “C” in NBIC stands for cognitive science. At the tail of the 20th century, the NSF and DOC in the United States funded a group of scientists to research on a prediction for the technological development in the coming century. NBIC was the answer they had found behind a six hundred and eighty pages report; they stand for, respectively, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology, and Cognitive Science. I find one of the theories embedded in the report that attempt to predict how the Big Four converge more or less applicable to the tendency we have been witnessing so far in the field of technology. The theory proposes that Cognitive Science would be the guide for innovations; once people could properly comprehend the four levels of thinking of “it” (how, why, when, and where), nanotech will be applied to produce “it”, biotech will take care of the implementation of the product, and finally the info tech will facilitate the process of manipulation. That “it” was meant to refer to any possible new technology. And I think those subjects can be flexible too. Any two or three of them could cooperate to enhance the efficacy of the processing.
Therefore, Cognitive Science seems to be much broader than I thought it could be as a subject, and thus potentially takes greater responsibility for the development of technology soon.