To an increasing degree, information technology is becoming so embedded in everyday applications that it is becoming nearly invisible, hence easy to take for granted. Cellular telephones, which have become so common over the past few years, depend on highly sophisticated computing and communication technology. Advanced processors and algorithms are integral to medical diagnostic devices such as CAT scanners. Embedded microprocessors are essential components in compact disc players, video cameras, automobiles, and microwave ovens. Consumers are protected against possible fradulent use of credit cards by systems that infer information about personal usage patterns.
The development of the National Information Infrastructure, so much in the news lately, has really just begun. With proper investment, the NII holds the promise of greatly amplifying the already enormous impacts of information technology. It will extend to rural America the benefits that urban dwellers take for granted in areas such as health care, libraries, government information, cultural resources, and entertainment. It will enhance the way scientists and engineers perform the research that is so important to our nation as a whole. It will revolutionize manufacturing and commerce, and transform education.
Retaining America's leadership in information technology is vital to the nation -- to our security, to our economic competitiveness, to our employment, and to the health and well-being of our citizenry.