Technologies of the future: how they will transform human life in the next few years
Will we see drones on the streets, tourists in space, and a 3D bioprinter in every hospital in the next few years? In a column for Forbes, Pavel Cherkashin, founder and managing partner of Mindrock Capital, discusses how future technologies will enable a human to go beyond narrow reality.
No long-term forecast of how any particular technology will perform is accurate, and this is supported by Gartner’s annual Hype Cycle and other analytical reports. We’ve waited a long time for drones, smart cities, quantum computers and space tourism flights. They are actively developing but have not yet come to life as analysts expected. And this year has shown that even the most accurate forecasts can be subject to unexpected changes due to unaccounted for factors.
For now, it’s important not to focus on predicting whether we’ll see drones on the streets, tourists in space, and a 3D bioprinter in every hospital in the years to come, but rather why humans will be put at the heart of technology Development. .
For what? Masculine?
It is only now that technologies have matured enough to take on the task of increasing efficiency not from conditional machines, but from people. According to the United Nations, the Human Potential Index has increased by an average of 0.6% per year over the past five years, and that is very little. Suddenly it became clear that with a growing population and such a high level of education and medicine, even if there is good technological growth and enough capital in the market, it is practically impossible to maintain GDP growth.
In addition, questions have accumulated around human life: they concern not only medicine and education, but also ecology, food production for a growing population, space exploration for the future needs of mankind, privacy, data and all major societal changes.
People fear violations of freedoms, manipulation and lack of demand, technology replacing humans, and deliberate restriction of access to goods. But real innovation allows you to go beyond narrow reality, even if there are mistakes and difficulties along the way. How did it happen?
Availability of Technologies
Technological advances have focused on improving accessibility. All conspiracy theories that, for example, cutting-edge medicine will only be available to the rich are fantasies. If technology costs can be reduced, they will. If a new market can be entered, they will enter it.
Manufacturer Luminar has grown into a multi-billion dollar company by developing lidar for drones that costs 10 times less and sees better. Subsequently, all major car manufacturers began to cooperate with the company. Thanks to him, it was possible to accelerate the development and bring closer to the mass acceptance of drones, which promise greater safety for humans.
Another example comes from medicine. 3D printing has already reduced the cost of transplants a dozen times: the cost of a kidney transplant in the US is $330,000 and that of a bioprinter is $10,000, while the cost of a printer is also gradually falling and the quality increases . . In medicine we would like to see significant advances, but in this area there are difficulties in collecting data for analysis, legal and ethical obstacles. The merging of man and technology and lightning-fast error correction like in the novel Neuromancer may not yet exist, but the idea of artificially created whole organs and human-controlled personalized medicine IA is exciting and hopeful at the same time. In addition, lower prices allow the development of entire industries such as medicine or commercial space exploration. Now any startup can launch a satellite and connect their company to space, creating new businesses, ideas and industry competition.
Available, already invented technologies will continue to assert themselves and thus find new applications of their own and be accessible to more and more people. Also, by 2021, low-cost internet isn’t as widespread around the world as it looks (but we think Starlink will solve the problem) – what about regulating government-corporate relations using artificial intelligence (like the already well-known Project FiscalNote), they say they do this in many countries around the world) and other really new technologies.
Virgin Galactic sold the first suborbital flights for $250,000 15 years ago, when neither the flights themselves nor those prices were unthinkable, but the company promises to send tourists to space next year. Obviously, with the development of technology and mass interest, not only will the price of these flights decrease, but real space tourism will also become possible.
The internet, and technology in general, offers more equal opportunities than ever before in business and education. You can be free in your city and work with the best companies in the world, you can have a physical disability and still be an entrepreneur and invest in your great idea of a guitar for the disabled, you can make lots of money while still in school creating on demand. Content on TikTok or YouTube and you can learn almost everything for free.
There are many other options. People want to learn and adapt to the new reality. In the first few months of the pandemic, the EdTech industry took off as nobody expected in 2019: the number of users of the online learning platform Udemy increased by 425% and Coursera by 520%. Each technology means new industries (dozens of new industries and directions await us only in space) and applications (which is only worth the potential of artificial intelligence, which already has dozens of applications).
Technology already offers us jobs and opportunities for intellectual development. The number of information workers, i.e. all those who make money from intellectual activities, is growing rapidly worldwide and reached one billion people a year ago, while in 2012 it was four times lower, which is due to automation. Robotization and introduction of artificial intelligence.
As an investor, I rely heavily on artificial intelligence and its further spread in various economic sectors. In the near future, it will make even more remarkable advances in health and biomedical research, security, leisure, trade and citizens’ relations with the state, education, production and logistics of the distribution of goods, ecology and moderation content and in the fight against counterfeiting.
In addition, AI can transform a human being: provide new information where the human brain can no longer analyze information and see the connections between data and events, even in relation to the brain itself and the human body. It will also stimulate intellectual development: people will engage in really complex intellectual activities and decisions, and work with much more complex systems and data. In such a complex company, specialists with different profiles interact, and artificial intelligence helps to predict the impact of various events and solve problems.
Restriction of Freedoms
Technology isn’t ready to manipulate the human will, and probably won’t be any time soon, no matter how much we fear the futurists and the documentary The Social Dilemma. For example, if we plan to manipulate the distribution of certain content on social networks or use artificial intelligence to keep the user in the application, then the problem can be solved by deleting the application or enabling critical thinking.
Companies that collect data are also receiving increasing calls for more transparency about what data they collect, how they store it, how they use it, and how the algorithms work. Think of the history of Facebook. Laws that protect data and grant the right to be forgotten (i.e. the complete removal of information about an individual from a resource), such as the European GDPR, are likely to be finalized alongside country and tier requests by more. popular.
Of course, nobody like China wants total surveillance, even under the plausible pretense of improving security. The social rating system also raises questions. We also don’t want technologies that could affect people’s freedom to fall into the wrong hands. There are some bad examples, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be adapted in the future. History knows both the tightening of the screws and the blossoming of liberties and the working on mistakes.