I’ve been talking lately about the two main tipping points in human history: from hunter-gatherer to agriculture, and agriculture to our industrial society. That second tipping point beginning about 1760 ushered in three revolutions. The First Industrial Revolution saw the rise of iron and textile industries and the mechanization of production through the use of water and the steam engine. This second tipping point saw a reduction in physical labor and a shift in where new forms of labor were required. The Second Industrial Revolution started in 1870, riding advances such as electricity, telephone and the internal combustion engine to drive rapid industrialization and globalization. A massive disruption followed, as established sectors were eliminated and new ones emerged.
I had the pleasure of doing a video interview with Kevin Benedict today, where we discussed a number of topics, including the recent book Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future. Kevin is from the The Center of Digital Intelligence. Our wide ranging discussion can be viewed here.
Our exponential world puts increasing pressure on our capacity to innovate and the speed and quality of idea flow. This dynamic coupled with the speed at which automation is likely to occur brings our right brain characteristics front and center. Creativity, imagination, big picture vision, emotional and social intelligence, empathy, and other human characteristics are critical to navigating in this emerging future. As automation accelerates, these human traits become even more critical. In a recent report by Citi on Technology at Work, the authors point to our propensity for social interaction, communication, and empathy being something machines can never replace.
In the last three years, I have written about the emerging Mobility Ecosystem and its Disruptive Potential. In 2016, we witnessed the acceleration of this future scenario and the movement from science fiction to something that feels very real. Here is a great infographic that looks broadly at the autonomous car market, the many financial, practical and scientific challenges involved in the development of these vehicles, and these other topics:
- The history of autonomous cars
- The challenges involved in engineering the coveted autonomous car
- How DARPA have been involved in testing driverless cars
- The advent of Google X
- The science behind autonomous vehicles
- What the future holds for the autonomous car market
- Which car brands have driving patents for autonomous vehicles
- The projected launch date for driverless card (for test or commercial purpose)
- Projected market penetration of autonomous cars in the UK
- SAE levels explained
“I am blown away by how palpable the feeling of exponential change has become. I’m also certain that 99.999% of humanity doesn’t understand or appreciate the ramifications of what is coming”
On Wednesday January 4th, I participated in a Game Changers radio program focused on predictions for 2017. The program, hosted by Bonnie D. Graham, included 15 other guests in an hour long show made up of four segments. A rebroadcast can be found here.
The airwaves are filled with talk of exponential technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Renewable Energy and more. In addition, societal factors that influence or are influenced by technology are getting more attention. So what’s the buzz?
An article on Blockchain uses eight visuals to describe The Future of Blockchain and provides a Financial Services adoption timeline. The adoption scenario predicts that Blockchain will move past the Innovators phase in 2016 and reach 13.5 percent of early adopters within financial services. The tipping point is then expected to happen in 2018, as the early majority begins to see benefits realized by early adopters, and new models emerge. The growth phase lasts until 2025 when Blockchain goes main stream within financial services. This visual from the article captures the adoption cycle.
A separate piece by Mckinsey focuses on Blockchain in Insurance. A key take away from this report is that Blockchain is yet another example of an ecosystem growing beyond traditional industry.
In a recent post, I focused on a series of emerging shifts and the transformation pillars that enable a re-imagined future. In this post, I will dive into one of those pillars: next generation productivity. According to Wikipedia, productivity is an average measure of the efficiency of production. It can be expressed as the ratio of output to inputs used in the production process. In a recent Citi Report, they describe the significant slowing of labor productivity growth, which drives a focus on next generation gains. But In spite of technological progress and innovation, measured productivity growth is low by historical comparison. They cite these growth statistics across advanced economies.