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Optical networks continue to play an essential role in scaling network capacity at a dramatically reduced unit bandwidth cost, and the next generation of technology will continue this trend. Automation of optical networks has reduced operations costs and enabled customer control of high-bandwidth services. We anticipate application-driven control of optical networks to appear in the near future. This paper looks to emerging technologies, both at the physical layer and network control layer, with a goal of assessing their impact on next-generation optical network architectures. We look forward to orders of magnitude improvement both to the capacity and complexity of intelligent optical networks.