Update January 22nd: I am adding a book just released to this short list – Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
I’m often asked for book recommendations that aid with future thinking exercises. A good source in 2018 for this type of exercise is Fast Future Publishing, whose goal is to profile the latest thinking of established and emerging futurists, foresight researchers and future thinkers from around the world, and to make that thinking accessible to the widest possible audience. Their innovative publishing model bypasses most traditional publishing channels and accelerates time to market. Two books that I’d recommend for early 2018 are described below, and a new book due out in the spring is also included.
Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity
The first book in the Fast Future series explores critical emerging issues arising from the rapid pace of development in artificial intelligence (AI). The authors argue for a forward looking and conscious approach to the development and deployment of AI to ensure that it genuinely serves humanity’s best interest. Through a series of articles they present a compelling case to get beyond the genuine stupidity of narrow, short-term, and alarmist thinking and look at AI from a long-term holistic perspective. The reality is that AI will impact current sectors and jobs—and hopefully enable new ones. A smart approach requires us to think about and experiment with strategies for adopting and absorbing the impacts of AI—encompassing education systems, re-skilling the workforce, unemployment and guaranteed basic incomes, robot taxes, job creation, encouraging new ventures, research and development to enable tomorrow’s industries, and dealing with the mental health impacts. The book explores the potential impacts on sectors ranging from healthcare and automotive to legal and education. The implications for business itself are also examined from leadership and HR to sales and business ethics.
The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business
The second book in the Fast Future series, The Future Reinvented, explores how our notions of the future are themselves being reinvented. The authors challenge us to reimagine how life, society, key industries, and the conduct of business could be transformed by a combination of radical technological, scientific, social, and economic developments shaping the decade ahead. The Future Reinvented offers unique snapshots of different aspects of a future in which the very tenets of reality are undergoing deep and vital transformations. The book is organized into three sections covering transformations in life and society, industries, and business, and presents holistic future scenarios that encourage strategic thinking about what lies beyond the hype.
Using a futurist perspective, The Future Reinvented offers glimpses of the future across a range of business sectors such as legal, automotive, and sales as well as in different areas of everyday life including retirement, education, and health. Readers are presented with vivid imagery which brings to life a number of different possible futures. These include workplace scenarios of people performing side by side with artificial intelligence or robotic colleagues; humans obtaining physical enhancements to become smarter, stronger, or more psychologically resilient; and strategies for how we might live in a “post-jobs world.” The book provides a powerful foundation for futures thinking and scenario planning in both a personal and organizational context. The authors identify early warning signals and signposts of critical emerging changes and developments on the horizon that could shape the next future.
Available Early Spring:
50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years Every year
On March 1st, citizens across the planet celebrate World Future Day and explore the possibilities of changes on the horizon. Fast Future is taking this opportunity of World Future Day 2018 to explore scenarios for the next 50 years by publishing 50 perspectives on possible futures from 50 different future thinkers around the world. The book is designed to have the broadest possible scope.