Published: Jan 2005
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COMPUTERS PLAY IMPORTANT roles in data acquisition in laboratory and field environments, data processing and analysis, data searching and data presentation in understandable and useful formats. The rapid development of accessible computing power since the 1980s has led to the use of computers and direct or indirect applications of machine intelligence in every sphere of science and engineering. As a modern science philosopher has written, “The emergence of machine intelligence during the second half of the twentieth century is the most important development in the evolution of this planet since the origin of life two to three thousand million years ago”. Computers also assist engineers to transform data into usable and relevant information. The connectivity of computers to the outside world through the Internet and the Web has opened up tremendous channels of communication that never existed before.
Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario