Just in Case it Matters to You
Weekly Report 17-01
WHAT DO 2017 AND THE NEAR FUTURE, HOLD IN STORE?
FOR WORK CULTURE: Gradually Artificial Intelligence will transform the essence of human culture, and have major adverse impact on jobs. As AI systems “teach us to trust machine intelligence over the human variety… and learn from experience, AI will replace accountants, lawyers, bankers, insurance adjusters, doctors, scientific researchers and creative professionals. Intelligence and advanced training will no longer mean job stability.” Robots will very soon be “creeping into many other areas of our lives – serving as busboys or waiters, in environmental detection & modeling, health care, policing, national defense and education… When they can easily outthink and outperform us, a sort of learned helplessness is likely to set in and the idea of ‘work’ may cease to hold meaning… gradually transforming the essence of human culture.” [NEW YORK TIMES – Dec 7, 16]
FOR JOB OPPORTUNITY: Hottest categories for the next eight years, based on statistical growth forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are mostly in providing medical care to seniors (occupational & physical therapy, nursing, audiology, optometry, genetic counsellors, even ambulance drivers), wind turbine technicians, commercial divers, and personal financial advisors. Predictive intuition suggests that jobs will also be plentiful in new fields created by technology: ‘BOT’ designers, programmers, scriptwriters & handlers; support staff & technicians to service Drones, hydroponic & aeroponic food production, 3D printing (particularly in synthetic-tissue engineering related to replacement of human organs); virtual-fashion design for digital jewelry, clothing & accessories; and so forth. [THE ECONOMIST –WORLD IN 2017]
FOR PERSONAL PRIVACY: The “potential for privacy violation or security breaches is massive” as the ‘Internet of Things’ will soon completely transform supply chain management. Accenture projects that over the next four years, some 212 billion sensors will connect 50 billion devices to one another. Some 44% of business execs – especially those responsible for high-value or time-sensitive goods – are already using sensors and automatic identification technologies embedded in products and assets to control performance & output and to deter theft, in real time. But hackers will always be one step ahead. [CFO MAGAZINE – Dec 16]
FOR IMMIGRATION CONTROL: Eleven years ago, some 1.7 million people snuck over the southern border, of which only a third were captured. Last year the number was down to 400,000, of which over half were apprehended. Most made an ‘asylum’ request (many legitimately trying to “escape horrific drug-gang violence and social chaos” in South America) which got them months in ‘holding centers’ which Border Patrol view as “jailer work and sometimes babysitting,” after which they were given a court date and released. But most never showed up and became part of the estimated 11 million illegal alien population. Next steps appear to be: (1) A crack- down on 40% of that population who simply stayed when their visas expired; (2) Some 1,300 miles of Wall already span known crossing points in four states, but much are simply barbed-wire fences which “can be quickly snipped through with $10 bolt cutters.” Trump wants 1000 miles of new Wall up to 55’ high, to cover all but the portion “essentially impassable because of mountains and vicious rivers;” (3) Border Patrol officials want drones, cameras and sensors for a Virtual Wall to protect migration. [THE WEEK – Dec 16, 16]
FOR CONSUMER CONVENIENCE: Amazon actually began Drone Delivery last month in the UK for a handful of customers, with drones loaded in a fulfillment center, rolled out on rails, then autonomously taking off, landing and delivering the product within 30 minutes. The service plans to accept orders seven days a week, but only during daylight hours and subject to weather at the time of order. Since “urban deliveries are far more difficult than flying to large backyards in the countryside,” and extensive FAA safety tests are expected, it will be a while before service is available in America. [TECHCRUNCH.COM – Dec 14, 16] But it’s positively coming. Google successfully tested drone delivery of Chipotle burritos to students at Virginia Tech in September and is now in process of building an online marketplace for $6 drone deliveries of Domino’s pizza. [BUSINESS INSIDER.COM – Dec 6, 16]
FOR HUMANITY: Transformation is coming. “The rate of human evolution is accelerating as we transition from the slow and random process of ‘Darwinian Natural Selection’ to a hyper-accelerated and precisely directed period of evolution by intelligent direction.” Within 6 to 8 years, the forecast is for some eight billion people on the planet being connected online through the Cloud, combined with Artificial Intelligence and emergence of brain-computer interface, resulting in a high likelihood that “a new global consciousness will emerge – leading to a new organism; the Meta-Intelligence.” [PETER DIAMANDIS – Dec 18, 16]
WHAT WILL THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?