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The Exponential Age

JAG Engineering LLC


This came to me via e-mail. I am sure little of this is 100% correct. But just think if just 50% are 50% correct.


The Exponential Age? 

Just a few things for us all to ponder, especially the younger ones amongst us. 

Did you think back in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again?       

In 1998 Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 % photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and, most people  won't see it coming.  

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore's law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen  again with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and  electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.  Welcome to the  4th Industrial Revolution.  Welcome to the Exponential Age.                      

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.         

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the  world.                  

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.                    

Artificial  Intelligence:  Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years  earlier than expected.                      

In the US , young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM's Watson you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds. With 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.                                 

So if you study law, stop  immediately. There will be 90 % less lawyers in the future. Only specialists will remain.             

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer,  which is 4 times more accurate than human nurses.            

Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030 computers will become more intelligent than humans. (NEVER says Albert)        

Autonomous cars: In 2018  the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020 the complete industry will  start to be disrupted. You won't want to own a car anymore.  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 only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while being driven.                             

Our kids will never need to get a  driver's licence and will never own a car.                  

It will change the cities,  because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.                            

1.2  million people die each  year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles  ( 100,000  km), with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save  a   million  lives each  year.                      

Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies like Tesla, Apple, Google will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on  wheels.                                 

Many engineers from  Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla.                            

Insurance  companies  will have massive trouble  because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.                           

Real Estate will change.  Because if you can work while you commute, people  will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighbourhood.                                  

Electric cars will become  mainstream about 2020.  Cities will be less noisy  because all new cars will run on electricity.                          

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.                          

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil.  Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last.  Technology will take care of that strategy.                              

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water.   Desalination of salt water now only needs 2k Wh per cubic meter at 0.25 cents). We don't have  scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.                   

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the " Tricorder " from Star Trek) that works  with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample  and you simply  breath into it.                            

It then analyses 54 bio-markers  that will identify nearly  any   disease.  It will be cheap, so in a  few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye medical  establishments.              

3 D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D  printer came down from  $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it  became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing  shoes.              

Some spare airplane parts  are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the  need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.                            

At the end of this year, new  smartphones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print  your perfect shoe at home.                             

In China they have already 3D printed and built a complete 6 storey office building.  By 2027 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.                                     

Business  Opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, first ask yourself, "In the future, do I think we will have that?" If the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea.  And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

Work:   70-80 % of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot  of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new  jobs in such a short time.  This will require a rethink on wealth distribution.

Agriculture: There will be a $100  agricultural robot in the future.  Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their  fields. 

Aeroponics: Will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30 % of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows.  Imagine if we don't need that space  anymore.

The Times They Are A Changing!


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Only a complete idiot would believe all of that, but if even a small part is true, it will mean massive change. I'm rather glad I will not live long enough to have to deal with most of it. I'm really a much more 19th century man than 21st or 22nd century man.


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That thought also occurred to me. We are doing everything we can do to extend life. But can you imagine living for 200+ years and having the changes to everything continue at an accelerating rate? Will the last 50 years of your 200 be a misery where everything you learned and come accustom to is no longer?

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