Andreessen Horowitz Investment Fund General Partner Chris Dixon wrote a column about the most promising technologies that are in the development stage today, but in the future will change the world and improve the living conditions of mankind. The editors of vc.ru publish an adapted translation of the material.
“In 1820, human life expectancy was less than 35 years, 94% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, and only 20% of the population could read and write,” writes venture capital investor Chris Dixon. – Today, life expectancy is 70 years, only 10% of the planet lives in poverty, and 80% of people are considered literate. This was made possible by the development of technology, which began in the industrial age and continues today, in the information age.”
Today, the author is sure, there are 11 main technologies that will change the world in the future and improve the living conditions of mankind.
1. Self-driving cars
“Even current self-driving cars are safer than human-driven vehicles in most situations. In the next three to five years, they will become even more reliable and massive,” Dixon writes.
Just as the advent of the automobile changed the face of the world in the twentieth century, the advent of self-driving vehicles will do so in the twenty-first century. In most cities, parking spaces take up about 20-30% of the space, and cars usually spend only five percent of the time in traffic.
“Self-driving cars will be in motion almost all the time, and all you need to call them is a mobile application. The number of parking lots will decrease as a result of the fact that people will no longer need to own a car. The interaction of cars will lead to a reduction in traffic jams and accidents, and drivers will be able to usefully spend time on the road, devoting it to work, reading, entertainment or communication in social networks, ”writes Dixon.
2. Clean energy
Attempts to reverse climate change through energy savings have not worked. “Fortunately,” Dixon writes, “scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs have been hard at work developing new sources of clean energy and have been able to make their use convenient and cost-effective.”
Thanks to the development of technology and manufacturing, the cost of solar panels has decreased by 99.5% compared to their cost in 1977.
Over the past decade, wind farms have accounted for a third of all new energy facilities in the country,” Dixon said.
This is used by those companies that foresee the future. For example, India has a program to convert airports to solar energy.
Tesla makes affordable electric vehicles and installs electric charging stations around the world.
3. Virtual and augmented reality
“It’s only recently that processors have been powerful enough to make virtual and augmented reality accessible and compelling. And Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are allocating billions of dollars to develop these technologies,” writes Dixon.
Or for medical procedures, such as the treatment of phobic disorders or the rehabilitation of victims of paralysis. “Sci-fi fans have dreamed of virtual and augmented reality for decades. And in the next few years it will become a familiar part of our lives,” Dixon is sure.
4. Drones and flying cars
GPS was originally a military technology, but today it is used to order taxis, get coordinates from map services, and find Pokémon. “Drones also have a military background, but today they are increasingly being used for many consumer and commercial purposes,” Dixon writes.
Amazon and Google are using drones to deliver goods, and the startup Zipline is using it to deliver medicines to remote settlements cut off from the mainland.
TF-X flying car concept by Terrafugia
“In the future,” Dixon said, “thanks to advanced materials, batteries and software, flying cars will become much more accessible and convenient than today’s airplanes and helicopters.”
5. Artificial intelligence
Over the past ten years, the development of artificial intelligence has proceeded at a rapid pace, thanks to the emergence of new algorithms, improving the ability to collect and process information.
Artificial intelligence can be applied in any field, the venture investor reports: “For example, in the fine arts: the user selects a photo, and the neural network processes it in the style of this or that artist. Google has created a data center power management system based on artificial intelligence, which allows the corporation to save hundreds of millions of dollars.”
However, many worry that these technologies will lead to the replacement of human labor by machines, and, as a result, to a reduction in jobs. “Meanwhile, on the example of computers, we have already seen that this is not the case,” says Dixon. – Of course, many professions have ceased to exist, for example, a type designer. But in its place came a new profession – a graphic designer, the demand for which turned out to be higher.
Moreover, the author is sure, it is much easier to talk about what works will be replaced than to imagine what will appear for the first time: “Today, millions of people develop applications, control drones and promote content on social networks. But even a decade ago, these professions did not exist, and hardly anyone could have thought that this is how you can earn a living.