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Author Topic: Food for thought?  (Read 3558 times)

Nemo

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Food for thought?
« on: September 16, 2016, 10:43:27 am »

This (American) email arrived with me this morning and I thought it worth sharing. Makes you think!
 ...

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

        Welcome to the Exponential Age.
         
        Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
         
        Mind you, 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 are becoming 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 have jobs. You can get legal advice (more or less basic stuff) from IBM Watson 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 diagnose cancer, 4 time 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.
         
        Automatic cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete automobile industry will start to be disrupted. You don'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 be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver's license 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 space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000km, with autopilot driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.

        Most car companies might become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will try the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; they 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 business is bound to change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

        Electric cars will become mainstream until 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electricity, which will become incredibly cheap and clean.

        Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact. Last year, more solar energy stations were installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar energy will drop so much that all coal companies will be defunct by 2025.

        With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. 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 pharma companies building a medical device (called the 'Tricorder' from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and your breath into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers 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 medicine, nearly for free.
         
        3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a 3D 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 already 3D printed 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, ask yourself - in the future, do you 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 for 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 small time frame.
         
        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 days 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. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as 'Alternative protein source' (as most people still reject the idea of eating insects).
         
        There is an app called 'Moodies', which can already tell in which mood you are. Until 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed, if they are speaking the truth or not.
         
        Bitcoin might become mainstream this year and might even become the default reserve currency.
        Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, most humans will own a smartphone or a device that has access to world class education/information. Every child can use Khans Academy and other tools for learning art, engineering, design, languages, science, music, mathematics, etc.
        Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So we might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.

        And this is just what we know of today's science and technology.
        Imagine what the future holds?
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richald

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 11:34:21 am »

Fascinating (and not a little scary!)

Worth passing onto some of my friends.


Richard
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Brian60

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 02:03:56 pm »

Having passed 60 a few months back, I feel as a techie nerd I was born 30 years too early {:-{ Some of what is mentioned is blind faith, but a lot of it makes sense. As he says many jobs will go because of robotics - so why will kids need a smartphone to teach them skills such as engineering? I don't for one moment think that the world wide automotive industry is going to stand to one side and collapse because of electric cars - they fight better than that.

derekwarner

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 02:34:24 pm »

 ;)... Brian60......we need to remember

1. the earliest Trig. tables were scribed in rock ~~180BC...I learnt to use them about 2140 years later in ~~1960
2. slide rules became popular in science in the mid 50's, but we didn't get to use them until the mid 60's
3. hand held scientific calculators became popular in the early 70's.....& we could use them in our engineering studies immediately

So we see a dramatic acceptance of technology in a much shorter time period as society progressed........todays smartphones may be cute {-), but really only have access to sets of software tables which provide instant answers to tasks that we spent hours calculating with the trig tables or the slide rule, or our primitive Casio brand calculator

These new smart people designing education consider the increase in technology or computing ability allows the human mind to be expanded further without subjecting students to menial tasks

The downside to this is todays students produce results which may appear to be mind-bogglingly sound, however they have no understanding if the decimal place is correct or 5 places out %%

Derek
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plastic

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 03:05:03 pm »

Sorry, but I don't buy any of those 'facts' about the future.

They seem to be written by media-studies students who don't actually understand how things work or that Star Trek technology is not factual.

As long as oil is cheap, cars will use it - it's a well known and proven technology - hybrids & electrics are about 10% of the market and will remain so for the forseeable because there is no 2nd hand market yet and ultimate life-cycle costs aren't known.
Cars also have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years so things won't happen so fast.

3d printers are all hype - great for architects & model makers, not so good for real engineering yet - many more years of development needed -  looking at shoes - there are probably 20 different materials in a training shoe - a 3d printed one is going to be too much of a compromise to be worth doing - especially when Nike can get the 3rd world to knock them out for 50p a pair.

Personalised medicine has been the buzzword of every pharma company for the last 30 years - but with unaffordable healthcare/medicine/operations, you will just die knowing exactly what killed you.

Farmers will not end up as managers - they will end up as minimum wage slaves to the company that leases the robots to them and the GM-crop company that leases the seed rights to them per season and they will have to tender to rent the IP from Monsanto.

Cynical or realist?
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Nemo

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 03:07:09 pm »

The critical word to remember when thinking about this explanation is 'EXPONENTIAL' - everything seems to be telescoping in a shorter time frame. Scary is a good word. One thing us Grandad's don't have too much to worry about - but our Grandchildren even?
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 05:35:15 pm »

"everything seems to be telescoping in a shorter time frame"

Applies to the frequency with which birthdays now come round.

Colin
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ballastanksian

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 10:55:39 pm »

The key phrase that I read was fewer Nurses, lawyers etc etc etc. So unless we introduce laws preventing conception of new generations of humans, there will be more and more unemployed and unemployable people looking for something to do because they will not be earning and so will not be able to move to the country or take that automatic car into town for what ever reason soon to be made redundant anyway!

Un controlled, this could become a serious socio-economic time bomb.

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BrianB6

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2016, 02:15:45 am »

I would rather go to a hospital with a human nurse than a robot.  O0
Service industries will probably last a while yet although the Russian police have just tried to arrest a robot but it did not compute "Put your hands behind your back"  :police:
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Brian60

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2016, 08:08:33 am »

The key phrase that I read was fewer Nurses, lawyers etc etc etc. So unless we introduce laws preventing conception of new generations of humans, there will be more and more unemployed and unemployable people looking for something to do because they will not be earning and so will not be able to move to the country or take that automatic car into town for what ever reason soon to be made redundant anyway!

Un controlled, this could become a serious socio-economic time bomb.

Isn't this why mother nature allowed humans to invent the concept of war? In other words a self regulating cull of mankind to avoid overpopulation of her planet. With fewer jobs and more people wondering what life is for, nature will probably take back her planet and start over :embarrassed: :embarrassed:

unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2016, 01:49:40 pm »

In an ideal world, not run by big business out for a quick buck, all this may come to pass. However, back in the seventies, it was claimed we would all have much more free time, I don't know about you, but I feel I am working my backside off, with little sign of the robot overlords reducing the work load. so, back to the SciFi channel then O0
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markjames68

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2016, 08:07:12 pm »

Sorry, but I don't buy any of those 'facts' about the future.

They seem to be written by media-studies students who don't actually understand how things work or that Star Trek technology is not factual.

As long as oil is cheap, cars will use it - it's a well known and proven technology - hybrids & electrics are about 10% of the market and will remain so for the forseeable because there is no 2nd hand market yet and ultimate life-cycle costs aren't known.
Cars also have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years so things won't happen so fast.

3d printers are all hype - great for architects & model makers, not so good for real engineering yet - many more years of development needed -  looking at shoes - there are probably 20 different materials in a training shoe - a 3d printed one is going to be too much of a compromise to be worth doing - especially when Nike can get the 3rd world to knock them out for 50p a pair.

Personalised medicine has been the buzzword of every pharma company for the last 30 years - but with unaffordable healthcare/medicine/operations, you will just die knowing exactly what killed you.

Farmers will not end up as managers - they will end up as minimum wage slaves to the company that leases the robots to them and the GM-crop company that leases the seed rights to them per season and they will have to tender to rent the IP from Monsanto.

Cynical or realist?
You are correct for the most part and i do agree with you about them not understanding certain aspects of what will have an effect on the future, However,
You are wrong about 3d printers being hype, completely, they already have 3 d printed parts on Tornados and it is only going to increase in feasability and useabilty, even within the human body,  and as an interesting aside, star trek technology does become facual as time progresses, ( taking into acount Einstiens theory), my iphone does far more than Kirks commuicator ever did, and as in Star Trek 4 the voyage home when they used Transparent Aluminum, we as a race, not we as in my company, have just started manufactring transparent Aluminium..
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plastic

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2016, 08:26:19 pm »

3d printers are only used for ultra-expensive, low volume, cost-no-object items - or single-item toy parts.
There is no reason to bother using them for anything else as other technologies will always be cheaper & faster for volume production.
I still stand behind my original comment about them being novelty items for general manufacturing.

With the cheap end of the market, Once you've spent weeks tying to get them to work and you've printed all the test items on the disk and spent hours trying to clean up the clogged print head and cursed at the crap material quality and massive Lego-like pixel-steps on the blobby finished items, it gets put at the back of the garage.
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NFMike

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 02:50:55 pm »

As said, a lot of that is just thinking aloud.
Interestingly the bit about 3D printing says 10% by 2027 ... so 90% will still be not 3D printed.

One other aspect not really accounted for is that this immense pace of progress is largely in small, short lived devices, like phones and computers. Larger things - cars, trains, power stations and indeed houses - have much longer lifetimes, so it will take that much longer for new technology to become the norm in those places. The Victoria line in London has had automatic trains for 50 years, but they are still not ubiquitous, or even common, outside a few transit lines.

TailUK

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 03:47:16 pm »

3d printers are only used for ultra-expensive, low volume, cost-no-object items - or single-item toy parts.
There is no reason to bother using them for anything else as other technologies will always be cheaper & faster for volume production.
I still stand behind my original comment about them being novelty items for general manufacturing.

With the cheap end of the market, Once you've spent weeks tying to get them to work and you've printed all the test items on the disk and spent hours trying to clean up the clogged print head and cursed at the crap material quality and massive Lego-like pixel-steps on the blobby finished items, it gets put at the back of the garage.

I certainly agree with a lot of what you have said about the cheaper end of the 3D printer market. Machines similar to Maker-Bot are a waste of space.  However where our opinions differ is with the middle ground printers.  The really super duper high end printer are employed for the sorts of jobs you have discussed  (although I'm not sure how happy I would be at 35,000 feet above the Atlantic in a plane that had 3D printed parts)
 Where 3D printing is coming into it's own is in the hands of companies like Shapeways.  Their business model is genius.  They allow the customer to design the required parts (which fulfils the customers wants) and then makes the parts for him at a resonable price because the machines are not stood idle waiting on the next job.  The quality is good because they use good machines and quality material. They can then offer the customer the chance to sell his parts to other customers without needed to accumulate a inventory of parts because they are made to order. 
This a great example of how to use these developing technologies.
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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2016, 07:59:15 pm »

Frightening isn't it - they'll be building Voiced Controlled model steam launches next!

Ian
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2016, 09:18:20 pm »

With once through steam generators....

Colin
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derekwarner

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2016, 10:40:02 pm »

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2016, 11:51:42 pm »

... or even the emperor's new clothes?

flashtwo

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2016, 07:37:00 am »

Hi,

On the theme of predicting the future, look up a short story "A Logic Called Joe". If you can read the story first and then find out when it was first published - you'll be amazed!

Ian.

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Brian60

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2016, 08:06:08 pm »

I watched on National Geographic two days a go a program on AI (artificial intelligence) this is still in its relative infancy timewise, yet the pace it is advancing is frightening.

There was an english engineer with a robot- they always have big eyes and childlike features so as not to frighten people. However what this particular thing could do by reasoning much like the human brain spells potential trouble.

It learns like a child by deductive reasoning and rote of of commands. The guy placed a cube in front of it and repeated several times to the robot that it was a cube. Once it replied he added a box, repeated several times that it was a box. Again the robot answered. He then commanded it to put the cube in the box - it did so, he asked it where the cube was, the robot replied inside the box.

He then took out the cube and put them side by side and added a childs tractor, he asked the robot to pick out the tractor, after a few seconds it pointed out the tractor!

The amazing/ worrying thing is, the robot had never seen any of these objects before. It learned and does learn just the same as a 3 year old child would. As the engineer said, the next 10 years and AI will be at the learning level of an 8 year old. 5 years further on and it will have the ability of a teenager.

Then we are into the realms of machines knowing more than humans.

plastic

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2016, 08:17:19 pm »

AI is totally in its infancy - and all the hype about it's learning capability is mostly BS. Programmers don't really understand brains and so it's just another trick to get through the Turing test and fool a human. The rest of the hype is them trying to secure next-year's funding.

What AI can do is spot patterns in large amounts of data (Watson) so it can deduce things that are 'bigger' than humans can juggle in their heads. This is being looked at for faster manipulation of stock markets to try to get an edge over the opposition. Still garbage in, garbage out though.

There's also a problem with classic robots - they end up far too heavy and power hungry to be really useful. That's why people like Honda make miniature human-style robots to be able to move 10' without flattening the batteries.
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ballastanksian

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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2016, 12:48:17 pm »

I watched on National Geographic two days a go a program on AI (artificial intelligence) this is still in its relative infancy timewise, yet the pace it is advancing is frightening.

There was an english engineer with a robot- they always have big eyes and childlike features so as not to frighten people. However what this particular thing could do by reasoning much like the human brain spells potential trouble.

It learns like a child by deductive reasoning and rote of of commands. The guy placed a cube in front of it and repeated several times to the robot that it was a cube. Once it replied he added a box, repeated several times that it was a box. Again the robot answered. He then commanded it to put the cube in the box - it did so, he asked it where the cube was, the robot replied inside the box.

He then took out the cube and put them side by side and added a childs tractor, he asked the robot to pick out the tractor, after a few seconds it pointed out the tractor!

The amazing/ worrying thing is, the robot had never seen any of these objects before. It learned and does learn just the same as a 3 year old child would. As the engineer said, the next 10 years and AI will be at the learning level of an 8 year old. 5 years further on and it will have the ability of a teenager.

Then we are into the realms of machines knowing more than humans.

On a humerous note, once they get as intelligent as a teenager, AI evolution will end as all these robots stay in their charge cubicles moping  :-)

Hopefully (on a serious note) laws and treatise will be put in place to prevent robots being used for violent purposes.
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Re: Food for thought?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2016, 06:05:12 pm »


  I sympathise with your hope for only peaceful uses though I fear the opposite is more likely for throughout human history any technical advance has always been used someway for warfare, and semi autonomous machines will do so as well, modern weapon carrying drones can be left to their own devices for hours on end if need be and the human operator initiates the firing action, though I dare say it would be possible for various sensors on board to do the same.
  Take a look at Boston Dynamics 'Big Dog' and other machines, easy to imagine a heavily armed one programmed to loiter for days on end waiting for an advancing force and not needing to eat/keep warm/sleep!

                        Trevor
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