Work, companies, all products that you buy or sell. Everything will change. Let’s have a look at how this revolution will evolve.
Everything will be changed by artificial intelligence. In the USA, young lawyers won’t find work anymore. Due to IBM Watson, you will be able to get legal advice within a few seconds (so far only for more or less simple cases) with a precision of 90% compared to 70% of a human legal adviser. So if you have just started to study law, you should prepare for what is coming. In the future there might be 90 % less lawyers, only specialized lawyers will survive.
Watson is already four times better at diagnosing cancer than traditional doctors. And Facebook owns a face recognition software that works much better than any human being.
Autonomous cars are on the rise. Sometime around 2020, the whole industry will be turned upside down. You won’t own a car anymore, you will call one with your phone and it will come to your location and drive you to your destination. You won’t have to park the car, but only pay the distance you drove, and while being transported you can work. Our children will never have to obtain a driver’s license nor own a car. We will transform parking spaces into parks.
Every year, 1.2 million people die due to car accidents worldwide, that equals one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km). With autonomous cars, there will only be one accident every 6 million miles (10 million km). That way, one million lives will be saved every year.
This will be the road to ruin for most car producers. Traditional companies that follow an innovative approach will try to develop a better car, whereas the technology giants (Tesla, Apple, Google) will have a revolutionary approach and offer a computer on wheels.
Insurance companies will have big problems, because fewer accidents mean that the insurance premiums will drop.
Companies will build a medical device (named after Star Trek's medical Tricorder) which works with your smartphone; it analyzes your retina, your blood and your respiration.
Afterwards, 54 biomarkers are checked that can identify nearly any disease. In a few years, everybody worldwide will have access to physical check-ups of equal standard and low costs. There will be dramatically fewer medical facilities.
The price of the cheapest 3D printer dropped from US $18,000 to US $400 in 10 years. At the same time, it became 100 times faster. All top shoe brands have already introduced printing shoes in 3D.
Highly automated airports are already printing airplane spare parts today. Space stations also have a 3D printer, which makes it unnecessary to transport lots of spare parts up to space.
Soon, also smartphones will be able to digitize 3D objects. You could scan your feet and print your perfect shoes at home. In China, they printed and built a complete 6 stories high office building. In somewhat more than a decade, 10 % of all manufactured products will be printed.
If you are thinking about entering a niche market, you should ask yourself: “Do you think this will exist in the future?”. If yes, how can you make it happen earlier? In case this doesn’t work with your phone, just forget about it. Every idea developed for success in the 20th century is condemned to fail in the 21st century.
70 - 80% of today’s jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be new jobs, but it’s not clear if they will be available in such short time.
In the the past year, more solar plants were built than fossil-fueled power plants. The large energy companies desperately try to limit access to the power grid to avoid competition from domestic solar plants, but this can’t continue. The technology will take care of this situation.
With cheap electricity comes cheap and plenty of water. Desalinating water only requires 2 kWh for 1 cubic meter. Most places don’t lack water, but drinkable water. Imagine everybody could access an unlimited amount of cheap and clean water.
Aeroponics needs very little water for growing plants. And the agricultural revolution won’t stop there: there will be an agricultural robot for only US $100 in the near future. Farmers in Third World countries could manage their fields instead of working on them themselves every day.
Today, it is possible to grow a veal in a petri dish and soon this will be much more economic than breeding them naturally. At the moment, 30% of agricultural land is used to breed cows. Imagine we won’t be needing this space anymore. Some startups are working to launch protein made from insects on the market, which is much cheaper and contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as “alternative protein source”, since most people cannot imagine to eat insects.
There is an app that can evaluate your emotional state very precisely. Until 2020, there will be apps that can tell if you are lying based on your facial expressions. A resource that could be used at hearings, in politics or business negotiations.
Bitcoin could be a generally accepted currency…. worldwide!
Every year, life expectancy increases by three months. Four years ago, we lived 79 years and now 80 years on average. In 2036, this number will multiply to one year of extra life expectancy per year. This means, we all could live long, probably over 100 years.
In Africa and Asia, you can buy a smartphone for US $10. In the next decade, 70% of all people will have a smartphone. This will increase the overall access to education worldwide. Every child will be able to attend the Khan academy and learn everything they teach at school in the Western world. Soon, Khan will be available in Arabic, Swahili and Chinese.
* all points are drawn from a post made by the CEO of 17 Minute Languages, Udo Gollub, after participating at the Singularity University Global Summit.
Rogério Godinho is a journalist, writer and speaker. He worked as an editor for many Brazilian communication media companies. He is author of the books “Tente outra vez“, “O filho da crise“ and “Nunca na solidão“. This article was originally posted on Linkedin on July 6, 2017.
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