I went to the NTT R&D forum 2010. I met with several very interesting people, and encountered exciting lines of research.
It is interesting how the progress of time sometimes brings about a dramatic contextual shift in society. The mobile phone network, originally constructed as a infrastructure for voice communications is now rapidly becoming an infrastructure for information other than voice.
The key word is "out of the box" experience. When a user buys a device, he or she does not have to enter a contract with a carrier explicitly. The financial arrangements are taken care of behind the scene. When a consumer buys music, text, video while online, a small portion of the money would go to the carrier, without the consumer noticing it. This is convenient for all the parties
concerned. And it gets rid of transportation in the physical domain, reducing carbon dioxide emission, and reducing garbage.
I gave a one hour speech in which I discussed the significance of emergent contingency. The information network that we are constructing is all about the nurturing of interesting contingency structure in which the human brains can learn, interact, and explore. I am convinced that we are living in a very exciting era. The only limit is the imagination.