Smart power: In international relations, the term smart power refers to the combination of hard and soft power strategies. It is defined by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as “an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military, but also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand American influence and establish legitimacy of American action.
It is smart because it achieves the desired outcome with the minimum amount of effort and utilizes every available resource. It focuses on the desired political effect.
Intelligent products: Products increasingly rely on technology that thinks for the user. Some examples are social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), smart phones, software, weapons systems, and home automation systems.
Social networking now includes functions that match peoples’ networks and interests and suggest friends or connections. This decreases the amount of time that a user needs to search for users similar to themselves. Smart phones include voice recognition software and question-answer functions like the popular Siri function of the iPhone 4S. Software often reminds users to complete tasks like upgrading software or checks to ensure a user intended to take a certain action.
Weapons systems enable troops to save time by identifying friendly and hostile forces and automatically alerting allied troops of nearby threats. In the home automation sector, technologies such as the Nest thermostat learns the patterns of its users and automatically adjusts the temperature of the home in accordance with previous trends.