NYT informs me that scientists at Mars and IBM Labs are using large scale computing tools to sequence the cocoa genome – to arrive at the best crops that can deliver the best chocolate. As a life-long chocoholic, I say “Hallelujah”!
This sort of “mundane” use of computation and technology is often overlooked. One often hears people evaluate endeavors like the human genome project by asking whether or not it has cured cancer… similarly, is AI or humanoid robotics feasible/worthwhile based on whether or not we can achieve all of the best human traits in a single machine, today. In fact, the way science and technology really develops and manages to impact our lives is through many many smaller contributions that go unnoticed by the majority – that do eventually accumulate into a meaningful pattern.