Architects have been around for a long, long time. (Though he was by no means the first, the oldest I can think of is Imhotep.) Historically, Architects (big-A) were seen as a kind of devine conduit, able to bridge the gap between a vision and physical reality. As Master Builders, keepers of the sacred art of construction, they received the patronage of the aristocracy, the ruling class, and the religious leaders (often all the same people). They also held the awe and respect of the general populace.
Fast forward to today. Partly because of an increasingly litigious environment, and partly because of an explosion in the sheer amount of knowledge that goes into building something, architects (small-a now) have been largely relegated to building designers. Where Architects of old would produce and supervise just about everything from the design to the construction, today architects work with engineers, contractors, interior designers, construction managers, and dozens of consultants to develop design ideas into built projects. Despite a rather dramatic loss of responsibility, architects still enjoy a fairly high place in society. IIRC, a 1998 (or so) survey revealed that architects were the fourth-most respected occupation in the United States (I think after doctors, teachers, and maybe police).
From ancient times to today, the role of the architect has ultimately come down to that of coordinator. Sure, they design stuff, but 90% of people in an architecture office never design anything, and the remaining 10% [the "designers"] typically spend 90% of their time on notably non-design tasks like meetings, paperwork, site visits, etc. But these days, coordination (and basic production) is really the name of the game. See my recent comment about the joys of just one aspect of the project I'm working on... What makes architects such great coordinators is that they tend to know a little bit about almost everything (a remnant from times when architects like Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson were also scientists, inventors and philosophers).
The previous paragraph notwithstanding, some architects are talented designers. Not all of them, not even most of them -- of those 10% of the profession who are designers, maybe half fall into the "talented" category. (The others tend to be "lucky" =) So what makes someone a talented designer? Probably a lot of what makes a talented programmer: the ability to take an amorphous set of goals and requirements and transform them into a final product that causes the client to say, "Wow, that's exactly what I wanted."
Architects and technology have had a tenuous relationship at best. The basic tools of an architect remained pretty much unchanged until the advent of computer aided drafting and design (CADD) in the 1970s and 1980s. But it has taken over twenty years for the majority of architecture firms to adopt CADD -- and even then, it is almost exclusively in a production (drafting) capacity. The technology of drafting has changed little from the times of dragging an ink-ladened quill across a sheet of parchment; today architects merely drag a cursor across a computer screen instead. Design still tends to occur through sketches drawn by hand on scraps of paper, which are then input into the computer and printed back out to be worked over by hand again.
Slowly -- very slowly, too slowly IMHO -- some architects are beginning to adopt more computer-centric design methods. To think that a profession that has barely changed its methods in 4000 years will suddenly undergo some kind of dramatic transformation in the span of a decade is more than a bit optimisitc. However, the fact that little has changed in those four millennia harkens to something important: architecture remains a constant in the ever-changing world. The basic concepts behind architecture -- shelter from the elements, aesthetically pleasing manipulation of forms and light, effecient arrangement of programmatic functions -- have not changed. More importantly, they can be "easily" translated from the physical realm to the digital: protection from potentially harmful outside influences, an interface that is pleasant and easy to use, a straightforward arrangement of information/whatever.
Physical, "real-world" architecture is not going to disappear. If anything, there will be more and more of it as population centers continue to expand. At the same time, however, the digital world -- our "cyber-future" -- will also continue to grow. Just as architects will have to eventually move from 2D drafting to true 3D design, people will eventually move from a 2D "point-and-grunt" information interface to a 3D environment. When will this happen? What will it be like? Anything you imagine today will likely be hopelessly outdated even in the near future... Could people even 100 years ago really comprehend the level of technology we have today? Why do we expect technology 100 years from now to be any less alien? But I digress...
Why would you want an architect designing such a 3D environment? Because they have been designing 3D environments for 4000 years! While laying the groundwork for a digital architecture firm, I came across a wonderful thesis paper about the future of digital architecture. In summary, it described the myriad possibilities the freedom of the digital world can offer (just think -- no gravity!), but ultimately decided that a full-scale abandoment of "traditional" spatial relationships (up, down, forward, back, etc.) goes too far against natural intuition. This does not mean the future of the digital realm lies in some kind of crude metaphor based on traditional architecture; rather, it will built upon a foundation of traditional spatial thinking. (This kind of makes sense when you think about it. Even 2D environments function best when they stick to traditional spatial relationships, like forward and back, rather than inventing a new paradigm.)
None of this should be taken to imply that architects should or will be the exclusive designers of future digital worlds. What a bleak future that would be! It may be cliche, but variety is the spice of life. Given that most of the traditional barriers of entry into the building design professions (namely safety and liability) do not apply to the digital realm, there is no good reason not to expect folks of many different backgrounds to join in the creation of the "cyber-future."
Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.