The future of technology

What’s your take on this?

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years - and most people don’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 time more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous Cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. We can transform former parking space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies may become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; they are completely terrified of Tesla.

Insurance Companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Electric cars won’t become mainstream until 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electric. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Health: There will be companies that will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breathe into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large number of spare parts they used to have in the past.

At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.

Business Opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields. Agroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several startups that will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you are. Until 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they are telling the truth and when not.

Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the default reserve currency.

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. Until 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.

Robert M. Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP
World Chairman-International Medical Commission
Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board-A4M
Founder & Chairman-International Sports Hall of Fame
Co-Founder & Chairman-World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
President Emeritus-National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
Chairman-U.S. Sports Academy’s Board of Visitors

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ideology often is killed And devoured by its brother-greed.

most of these new ideas you say will actualize in the future were thought of eons ago


Nice article but the guy makes it sound like technology will finally eliminate all inequality. I’m willing to bet that even with these advances, classism will always exist.

I don’t think this is really true. I will Google it later. The pattern recognition ability of the brain is extraordinary.

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Kenya watu hawapendi technology, labourers wataanza kulia ati hawana kazi blah blah. Huko Kericho walikua wanataka kuleta machines za kupluck majani and guys demonstrated even Atwoli (Cotu) supported them

Scientists are killed every hour tomslow down these discoveries. But I believe, these ideas will see the day!! And acoordin to Einsten, with this technos, future new borns will grow to be idiots!!

The world today leans more on the capitalistic environment.Most if not all of these tech companies need a lot of political blessings for their ideas to see light of the day.Now capitalists,do just that.Capitalise.They need masses for them to amass wealth and where will they get the masses if tech has already disrupted everything and cash flow is restricted to the few tech gurus and inventors who reck in millions of $ but don’t have social life whatsoever?

Man will remain man. There are a reason personal cars remain on the road. People must have their personal space, especially the upper classes.
And nobody is about to beat the brain at its work in the next several millenia. We dont even know how the bran works up to now. Recognition abilities of the brain cannot yet be matched. A computer can probably remember a billion faces accurately but that does not beat the brain at its work. the kind of coordinated multitasking and resolution of the brain is just beyond computers for now. If it could surpass computers, then there would be robot capable to the level of human intelligence. We do not have any capable of sheep intelligence yet.

Secondly, people think that technology is growing fastest in all history. This is largely misguided. the problem is that people think than technology is actually electronics. It isn’t. Between 1881 and and 1905, man dumped the horse and and could fly. We still havent thought of a superior alternative design to daimler’s straight inline four gasoline engine or made any complete change to the wright brothers’ aerofoil design. We still use the incandescent bulb from 1800s and we have trouble finding a replacement of equal quality lighting. despite all the hype of energy savers, the rich still use the incandescent and important installations such as flood lights and car beams still use it.
how is that comparable to the change from landlines to mobile phones? Railways have the centuries old rail and sleeper design even today. Who can question tesla’s monumental invention of the generator and the transformer? Those are the true revolutions.

Thirdly, Africans and other third world countries are accessing telephony in the twenty first century and they think the ideas are new. they are from the 1870s and wireless tech is equally old. what is happening now is that information is more accessible and methods refined.

in other fields, we probably are also asleep. Discovery of penicillin, polio vaccine, and such is much more revolutionary than today’s improvements.


Sounds like man won’t need to think or do anything. Technology will be the maid, the aide and the side dish! How active will man be? With not much to do, procreation will be one of the pastime activities.
Will technology really beat the brain? I doubt that. Robots and AI will have a difficult time trying to replicate our moods, feelings and everything hormones do. The mind is just simply perfect and infinitely sophisticated and products of man will continue to be great BUT I doubt these products will surpass the brain’s intelligence.

thats futuristic

Artificial Intelligence is where everything is at. Discovery of cures, recognizing human behavioral patterns, planning economies e.t.c. May be the reason we take tech for granted is because it has become so ubiquitous that it’s like air. For example computers made sequencing the genome faster. We already have enough knowledge to make informed decisions we just can’t see the patterns. A.I can do that as easily as you can identify shapes.I have noticed that every decade we get on the path of A.I discover something new but don’t find the right techniques to make A.I possible but still the doors that the research opens are unimaginable.

You say that the railways and the landlines were true revolutions but you fail to consider what revolution we are in now. We are more connected, information is easily available, all other revolutions were about making things faster , cars got you somewhere faster than horses, telephones sent a message faster than telegrams, the industrial revolution made production faster. But faster doesn’t mean better or more efficient. Humanity has burnt through a lot of resources to grow to the point we have. Some scientists say we are at the point of no return. What we need is a better way to distribute resources. Humans are generally bad at making large decisions such as where resources need to go but A.I can. Big data can give us insights into worlds we hadn’t even thought possible. We don’t need faster production we need efficient production, less wastage, and insight on how to use technology to do this.

May be Uber isn’t a very good company but it sheds some light on what could be. We could be more efficient and have less cars on roads and use less energy. Tesla’s powerwall may not be the future of solar powered homes but it does provide a glimpse into what smart grids could help in planning for power consumption. We could store just what we need based on the patterns of the electricity we consume. Knowing exactly how much should go to who and at what time is not something to take lightly.

And that is just power what about human resources. Right now a majority of people are just doing busy work, they aren’t giving much to the companies they work for. Most of us know that work is where you go to waste time. But what if all the mundane work was taken out. What if you didn’t have to keep on reconciling the days accounts or whatever soul crushing work you hate doing? What if we could channel that brain to something you should be doing. What if we didn’t need to hire so many people to waste their days?

Your argument about daimler’s straight inline four gasoline engine sounds like someone asking for a faster horse and not thinking about cars. Don’t think about what is, think about what could be. Why do I need a faster car in a city that is congested?May be think about how we can stop people from moving to the cities by planning economies better and allowing remote working to be easy. Why do I need a faster plane when I can do what I need at home? We need efficiency. We’ve been trying to scale vertically by, throwing speed and brute force at our problems, instead of horizontally by spreading out and taking advantage of the fact that we don’t use something every single minute of our lives.

So I do believe that we are in a new age, an information age that will lead to more efficient use of technology. Where we will see a healthier world where we don’t waste because we know how much we need. One last point I’d like to add is that knowledge and scientific discovery builds upon itself. It can’t be planned for like how we think. Most of what we have we got by accident, trial and error, repeated failure and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Tomorrow’s great technology may be an accident or even may be will be used for something other than its intended purpose. Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace did not make the analytical machine expecting that it would be part of the path to connecting people across the world. The internet wasn’t planned to be used for commerce let alone money transfer. Nothing is definite and thinking that you have figured out what is happening in technology is crazy.

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The same was said about chess and go. You are using the knowledge you have now to speculate about discoveries that could be mad in the future. Deep learning and neural networks isn’t if else statements or algorithms. It’s mimicking how our brain works. It will improve but not as fast as expected. The brain is just a neural net.