Are you scared or excited? (Part 2) | Inquirer Opinion
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Are you scared or excited? (Part 2)

/ 05:20 AM January 24, 2019

Moving along from last week, here’s the rest of the article I mentioned about what the future holds for us:

“Forget the book ‘Future Shock,’ welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


“Software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries in the next five to 10 years. Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world! Ask any taxi driver if they saw that coming. AirBnB is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties. Ask Hilton Hotels if they saw that coming.

“Artificial intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year [2018], a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.


“In the USA, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice (so far right now, the basic stuff) within seconds, with 90-percent accuracy compared with 70-percent accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90 percent fewer lawyers in the future (what a thought!); only omniscient specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses [diagnose] cancer, it’s four times more accurate than human nurses.

“Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans [something the government should use as it develops its national ID system]. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

“Autonomous cars: In 2018, the first self-driving cars were already here. In the next two years, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore as you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you will only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. This will change our cities, because we will need 90-95 percent fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.

“Some 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide, including from distracted or drunk driving. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles; with autonomous driving, that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles. That will save a million lives-plus worldwide each year. Most traditional car companies will doubtless become bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. Look at what Volvo is doing right now; no more internal combustion engines in their vehicles starting this year, with the 2019 models using all electric or hybrid only, with the intent of phasing out hybrid models. Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla, and so they should be. Look at all the companies offering all electric vehicles. That was unheard of only a few years ago. Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the costs will become cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

“Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move farther away to live in a more beautiful or affordable neighborhood. Electric cars will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Cities will have much cleaner air as well. (Can we start in Los Angeles, please?)

“Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean. Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact. And it’s just getting ramped up. Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue—technology will take care of that strategy.

“Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies [that] will build a medical device (called the ‘Tricorder’ from ‘Star Trek’) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, and your blood sample when you [breathe] into it. It then analyzes 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease. There are dozens of phone apps out there right now for health purposes.


“Welcome to tomorrow. So there you have it, a future rushing upon us at breakneck speed.”

Are you scared or excited? Will you adapt?

E-mail: [email protected]

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TAGS: artificial intelligence, Fourth Industrial Revolution, information technology, Like It Is, Peter Wallace
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