The death of an empire

Every year I follow the Davos parade of clowns, mainly enjoying the fact the leaders of the world gather together to solve Devin problems while making the lives of everyone in Davos miserable. This year, one specific thing count my attention – the list of global threats:

– The weather
– Failing to define the legislation to tackle the weather challenges
– Natural disasters
– Mega data hacks
– Cyber attacks
– Man-made disasters
– Immigration without control or legislation
– The crash of the ecological systems
– Water crisis
– Bubbles in the economy

I read this list over and over again yet the only thing I could think of is that my toothbrush is a much more significant threat than any of these. See, I recently traveled to the US and wanted to pick up a new toothbrush. As I travel a lot, I was looking for a mobile, simple to charge toothbrush. I was thrilled when I came across Oral-B connected toothbrush. It had everything. I was electric, I can charge it’s battery using my mobile phone charger, $199, the case of the toothbrush could act as a phone charger, the reviews are great, and it was connected. Wow. I immediately placed an order. I also decided to pre-educate myself and search for some videos on the device. It all sounded simple.

1. Make sure your toothbrush is charged
2. Start the Bluetooth on your phone and connect it to the toothbrush
3. Place the phone holder on the mirror in the bathroom (wait, what?)
4. Give the app permission to access your camera
5. Make sure your face is in the circle of the app
6. Brush

I canceled my order and bought an old fashion manual toothbrush.

In a world when we strive to connect everything, we often forget the purpose of the things we connected and introduce undesired frictions that become the main selling point of the device. I don’t argue with the market value of connected devices, but I do argue that there is a difference between the Internet of things to things of the Internet and that value should be based on use, not on the production.

Digital development is not about doing something new but improving things until a point where it will redefine society, and it’s at that point when the negative of the economy will become irrelevant and will be replaced by a new set of rules that are anchored in the codification of value interactions.

There is an old chart that shows the penetration of new technologies and how long it took the telephone, radio, TV, the Internet, Facebook, and angry birds to rich to 50 million users. It’s not the speed that bothers me, the comparison is not a real one as it’s more a question of infrastructure than anything else. What intrigues me most is that we, and by we, I mean companies and governments don’t have the tools to understand what is angry birds and how it will impact the economy in 35 days.

The challenges we have are not from technology or the speed it’s spreading but from our inability to cope with the changes that technology is imposing on individuals and society and if there is something I learned from history is that whenever we don’t understand something, we fight it. For example – Google has been fined nearly $57 million by French regulators for violating Europe’s strict new data-privacy rules. It’s not that I have a great love for Google and their use of my data but being honest the entire GDPR legislative process, even so like that road to hell, was paved with good intention, it still ends up in hell. Another example – Unhappy Arizona residents slashing Waymo tires, derailing self-driving cars. Maybe that we need to rethink our societal ground and educational infrastructures before we deploy technologies that obviously require a new set of rules?

When elevators were first introduced, they used to have an operator to regulate the speed, to make sure they stop parallel to the floor. To be a companion to the passenger, ensuring their safety and to project trust – after all an elevator was at that time a sophisticated piece to technology and we needed a “human” mechanism to secure the value they can bring. While elevators technology didn’t change (much) throughout the years and as they are confined to a physical space we rarely need humans to help us operate and movement of going up or down. But what about virtual spaces, where things are continually changing fast? Where the learning curve, adaptation and most important, interfaces that enable us to regularly repurpose interactions and outcomes. When the gap between the potential impacted value and the economy is broader them ever, and legislation, frameworks, and infrastructures are so behind that it feels like chasing a virus that is constantly mutating and reiterating it’s synergies with the host – until the host becomes a secondary product of the ecology of existence.

For the past few years, we see a significant shift in human interaction, one the starts define our language, our communication, the exchange of knowledge and our wellbeing; and it all happens outside the set of rule and legislation that ware created to capture and monetize our human capital. Snap, FB, Instagram, and a few other “communication apps” took center stage in designing the definition of values, triggering our instant gratification needs, enabling us to send money, share feelings, shop for goods and services while more traditional tools like emails are left behind.

We have today more original streaming shows on TV then basic cable broadcast shows yet when the CEO of Netflix was asked about Netflix biggest threats it was a bit unexpected when he named Fortnight and not HBO of the new Disney venture for example. One of Netflix biggest jump in usage was during 4 hours downtime of Pornhub and talking about Pornhub, the most significant impact of the US s government shutdown was a massive increase in traffic to adult sites starting with Ponrhub.

The new upcoming forms of “gig” and “share” even so a bit confusing will demand companies and governments to rethink their taxation, pricing, and experiences offering if they want to partake in the future to come.

Side note: The Sharing economy is about the assets. The gig economy is about the occupation – you share physical artifacts, your gig your time. You can’t do two things in your house at the same time while a song can be played multiple time simultaneously in many places. What happens when artifacts become digital? It’s the whole idea behind industry 4.0 – creativity and productivity are not bound to a physical location or physical governance model.

When automation takes center stage in our productivity and efficiency models, and algorithmic intelligence will extend out cognitive functions beyond our bodies, we will need an environment that is capable of catering to all our needs in real-time and multiple locations (at the same time). Look at Amazon prime, Prime now, Uber and Uber eat (and other) they deliver experiences in minutes from the click of an app. The app economy eventually will fade away in favor of automation and predictive intelligence, and that will open a whole new world of values of demand.

Einstein said: “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.” Now we see our physical universe expanding into digital dimensions and while we can’t really “touch digital” it enables us to redefine everything we knew about productivity and efficiency.

The experience of “access-ship” vs. “ownership” will be a turning point for the so far undisrupted physical goods market. While companies like WeWork and Airbnb made significant money in this area, they needed to rely on an old infrastructure – physical, static location to grow their business. Maybe there is a place for a dynamic market model where the assets themselves can be placed in a various location and can be repurposed to address the growing demand for personal experiences.

From autonomous food carts that can open new possibilities for consumption on demand to the delivery of products directly into one’s fridge. From new interfaces that rely on body language rather than touch to the ability of technology not only to respond to human voice but to also initiate a conversation. Faced expression controlled wheelchairs, wiring three brains together to complete tasks in digital spaces, discovering the power on algorithms to personalize the narratives in virtual areas. To edit human DNA to perfect the evolutionary process. These are not science fiction anymore, this is the world in 2019. We can use technology to give parelized people the ability to walk and talk or to merely escape the misery of loneliness and marry holograms.

The set of rules which we build our world upon, the same set of rules that lead governments to state that “a human should always sit behind the steering wheel of an autonomous car” or “let’s tax porn to build the wall.” is dated all the way back to the Roman empire. Ignoring the fact we are technologically obese and live in a world where We know how to operate everything yet we don’t know how anything works is not an option anymore. Maybe it’s time to rethink our thinking, to understand that we shouldn’t compete against technology in same fields that human blood was shed but compete with technology and pave new roads, ones that enable us to “explore new horizons and boldly go where no one has gone before.”

About innovation and governments

1. Innovation is an ecosystem, not a job title.

It seems the point here is that you can’t go it alone. And innovation isn’t conceived on command. Change comes from the bottom, up or from the outside-in – not the top, down.

2. Innovation without creativity and invention equals what you have now.

Are you allowing for real creativity and invention in your government? If you internally smirked before you said, yes – you take our point. Admit that you’re merely fast-following (at best) if there isn’t room for creativity and invention in your shop at present. (Also, maybe freshen-up the resume)

3. Focusing on increasing your core earning model – and forgetting how to entice and defend it – will never give you the tools and know-how to expand the pie of your business model.

So this is the end destroying the means. If you focus on how profitable your business is today, your business will not be profitable tomorrow.

4. Engaging in iterative change ensures you follow the pack as opposed to reap the rewards of being a market leader.

Hat-tip to lesson #2, but as far as we are concerned this goes beyond never receiving the glory. In essence, we deserve what we get out of this industrial revolution if we don’t indeed disrupt ourselves.

5. You can never look into tomorrow using yesterdays eyes.

In a way, this sums up lesson #1 through lesson #4. Fear is the spawn of ignorance. If you only consider what has happened – or worse, what is happening – you can’t help us with tomorrow. Learn from the past, be present at the moment and let that insight allow you to think differently about the future.

The Devil’s lair

In the meadow, One would imagine that songs of innocents should triumph yet in this story the killer wins. Awakened before dawn, he walked between the soldiers. their bodies he slew to feed the ground. Molded dreams of conquered future shattered to pieces. Carried on the wings of butterflies, deep into the devil’s lair. To stand trial against the emptiness of wishes.

Infinite possibilities

“We’re free, yet we’re bound. In the invisible universe, we’re the masters of the nothing. The knowledge of the unknown is hidden. Though our eyes are open, we’re blind to the sounds behind the curtain of our heart.
(if) We experience our freedom by justifying logic; indeed it’s nothing but ignorance thought that we can experience the freedom of others. It’s our eyes that create our image in the eyes of others. The only way to win true freedom is to spin around our emotions. They are in control!”

It’s said: The possibilities are infinite, so as changes.

Madness gold

The clock inside my soul is counting backward
To the time I was, no more
Beside the emptiness, I lay naked from guilt
Yearning for the blunt blade to relive my memories from their umbilical cord
For it is the sweet awareness of my bloody tick I am the nothing but a madness gold

The Circular Economic Ecologies and the age of technological ignorance and hypocrisy.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I was always driven by my dreams. Be that the case, when I sat to write this piece, I realized that for the past few years it wasn’t my dreams that shaped my perceptions but frustrations. We tend to think about frustrations in a negative context, yet I try to let it define the outcome of my everyday activates after all frustrations are born out of bad experiences and frictions, and if I am aware of that I can do something about it.

When talking to people, I tend to quote the New York Times from 1920 “a rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere.” Just 25 years later that feat was accomplished. The ensuing 50 years brought incremental achievements. It wasn’t that we didn’t succeed in soundly shuttering that prediction but did need to wait for Elon to say “screw it” to understand that leaving the earth’s atmosphere is but a small piece in the puzzle of building a sustainable civilization.

Listening to Carl Sagan talking about the Voyager, I can’t but think why whenever we refer to NASA, the first relation is to the moon landing. I do not, even for a second underestimate the magnitude of the impact of Neil Armstrong’s “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” statement had on humanity. Yet I do feel we capitalized on that as a one-off PR stunt, and from a technology point of view, the moon landing was nothing, but incremental modifications NASA made to rockets so they can land a man on the moon.

The Voyager on the other hand, also sent a manmade object to space, yet the objective was not technological by nature but philosophical – what are we going to do about aliens once we encounter them? How do we push forward to explore the universe while- without refueling- maintaining and still capturing data from an object that continuously increases its distance from earth?

ONLY WHEN WE CONFRONT THE UNKNOWN WE EXCEL BEYOND IMAGINATION

The amount of collaboration needed to pull off the Voyager was unprecedented at that time- and I will argue that even today, that collaboration is unique. The results are amazing. The Voyager left our solar system and continues to explore space. And while my $1K smartphone losses its reception every time I go into a basement, the Voyager is still sending images back to earth.

The Voyager project was never about technology, it was about exploring the unknown, and I believe that only when we confront the unknown- we excel beyond imagination.

What are the fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves when facing yet another unknown? Not in space, but the changing technology is going to enforce on us?

The hidden change.

Humanity is facing an unprecedented change in its perception of reality and in the narratives that defined its existence. Much as past extinctions that pushed the reset button for the entire planet- thus enabling rejuvenation and new creation- humanity is but a touch away from such a reset.

Since the invention of the axe, technology was always the force that paved the way for better and smarter social constructs. From Watt’s steam engine in 1775, sewage systems, elevators, and shipping containers- to screens, smartphones, processing power, and machine learning- it is technology which helps us to push the barriers and build our world. It’s the one function that never stops, it continually changes itself, reinvents and defines new horizons- most, unfortunately, are now beyond our ability to understand.

The industrial revolution wasn’t just a buzzword, it was the compounding accumulative impact of humanity’s maturity and acceptance that met with technology on the same field of understanding and mutual benefits – values. Yes, it bolstered urbanization, innovation, and creativity for many years, yet it is fast approaching a critical peak and is about to leave us facing the unknown, naked from knowledge.

THE IDEAS OF OUR FUTURE ARE NOW ANCHORED IN CODE.

For the past few years, a new breed of technologies is stepping into our arena. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, genomics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, terotechnology- adjustable reality and the codification of value interactions enable us to reexamine and repurpose every aspect of our existence. From our digital-selves to the cities we live in- from mobility, energy, and communication to new financial models- the ideas of our future are now anchored in code.

The future always required strategic, patient thinking and to be honest, before the 50’s, these were qualities we possessed. Most books, art or movies written and produced had a holistic view of things. They describe a point in time where the world was dominated and powered by technological gadgets, body enhancements, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, flying cars, cities in the clouds or underwater but most important they investigated the impact of these ideas of society.

WE OUTSOURCED OUR POTENTIAL INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY AND STARTED TO BUILD TECHNOLOGY FOR THE SAKE OF TECHNOLOGY

Sometime around 1983 – 1984 computation power shifted humanity’s focus from imagining to engineering. Suddenly we had machines that could do the things we always did but better and faster and we became addicted to them. We enslaved our minds. We outsourced our potential innovation and creativity and started to build technology for the sake of technology.

We replaced our strategic vision with a tactical search for answers, we have surrounded ourselves with buzzwords like “the 4th industrial revolution,” “IoT,” “smart cities” and more- all while forgetting that technology was meant to be nothing but a means to an end.

Focusing on the means, we are now left behind and unable to see the end. It’s time to rethink life by imagining the potentials and the desired impacts not only from a technological point of view but also incorporating ethics, morality, trust, and education into this equation.

The stupid intelligence

Without a point of reference that is anchored in past experiences, it’s hard to tell the future.

Hawking dismissed the ideas that the existence of the universe can be attributed to a single point in which everything that happened before is meaningless. Yet I cannot ignore the fact that we did evolve from that point of the big bang and we do not carry the heritage of things that existed before that peak.

Throughout the years we have struggled to understand intelligence. Although organic and inorganic matters are both made from the same building blocks we call atoms- we still cannot breathe life to silicon. Maybe, intelligence is the narrative that manifests itself via the bonds and reciprocal relationships in the creation of a self-contained universe. Perhaps it is not a stand-alone “brain” but the fact that that brain is derived from the complexity and context that pushed that brain into existence. We have created beautiful technologies but as we cannot break our “anchored in historical chains” perspectives while searching for life on other planets, we cannot “build” intelligence by merely copying existence into a code, so we are left with machines that operate in the realm of life yet are not alive.

It was not long ago that innovation boomed from the ideas of individualism, self-interest, logic, reputation, and honesty. And by all accounts, life was good. It seemed that we have found the formula for economic growth. But a strange thing happened. Alan Greenspan, in the aftermath of the collapse, said: “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.”

The bigger mistake was that even so- all data showed almost no growth in productivity, the government sided with the 0’s and 1’s that continued to push numbers to new, unimaginable heights. We assumed that the “room can speak Chinese,” we were dazzled by the output. We had a perfect “distance economy,” and we missed the fact that John Searle’s “Chinese room” experiment (this is the moment where you open a browser and Google John Searle’s “Chinese room”) showcased the simulation of intelligence rather than possession of intelligence.

Let us examine this for a moment. Throughout history, the success of intelligence systems depended on the idea that situations should be driven by their potentials and values are determined via the beneficial reciprocal relationships between the actors that make the system. In Searle’s demonstration- the wished outcome- the connections between the actors, was mechanical and without any reciprocal value.

In the model of the economy, we took this yet one step further- we placed a singular actor to define the inputs, outputs and the value creation mechanisms. At each point of action, there was a different view on the model.

It was not the model itself that failed, it was the way we implemented it.

Awakening – The divided world

The most significant risk we have as a society is not from the unknown, but for the known to fall apart.

For the first time in history (at least the one we can trace back to the big bang) natural evolution had peaked it’s potential- there is no place to go from a biology point of view. Yes, we might be a bit faster and jump a bit higher, but we have reached a point where our organic structure just cannot evolve anymore. Even with genetic modifications- sooner or later- we will hit a limit. It is not only our organic structure that is facing evolutionary ends; our mental abilities are also severely limited. This is also translated from the narratives in which we created the reality around us- from geopolitics and global C-Suites- we managed the world with a limited understanding of the challenges ahead and thereby under-utilize our evolutionary potential in almost every area.

The fundamental building blocks of society can be folded into three domains, mobility, energy, and communication. Traditionally, they always operated with degrees of freedom. Yet, they never applied that to the reciprocal relationships between each other. Today, and because of technological development, these connections can manifest themselves via the codification of the logistic systems that carry the societal interaction models- yet instead of letting this natural process evolve itself- we are confining it to the limited information input/output model of yesteryears society and are therefore leaving ourselves with output patterns from our halcyon days.

When the sovereign knows less about the needs of a free market than the players that must compete in that market- the value creation is twisted by bias. The role of the sovereign is to create a set of societal APIs’ that will define its own operating boundaries and at the same time will be open, so the market can repurpose itself to its own benefits.

Time to change

It is hard to write about changes without talking about politics and leadership. It is said that if you do not accept change yourself, you will be rendered irrelevant and eventually perish.

Change is one of the most laborious processes to swallow- as individuals and moreover as a society that flourishes on the idea that what exists is right and shouldn’t be changed. Thought fixation defines the reciprocal relationships between the various examples that we use to measure success- but they also make us forget that by doing so, we build a wall around our creativity and innovation.

Some may disagree, but facts point to the notion that for the past ten years the global economy as a whole and Silicon Valley, in particular, presented a slow yet constant decreased ability to innovate. Most companies (excluding some well-documented examples) have reached their “golden age,” or in other words, they got old, less observant, full of bloated ego but more importantly-they became fragile. They are stuck in the loop of thought fixation and to ease the pain, they have surrounded themselves with rings and rings of regulations that are anchored in paper-based politics.

The ideas that our knowledge and values are inductive yet must be shaped by the deductive nature of reality- so they can deliver value- is a great way to look at businesses, society and politics operating together. It is not about what was, nor about what will be, but what is.

“Looking into the future, you cannot predict which groups will survive, it’s well known that many advanced groups eventually fade away.” Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, 1859

We live in an unfortunate reality where many leaders have dismissed their responsibility for the future and lost their appetite to think big. These heroes without vision are busy analyzing and planning, while others are building for immortality. Powered by siloed vision- they are fragmenting our reality and creating a new circle of ideological wars.

In the current claimant of blind leadership, we have to distance ourselves from the contradictions that the political situation is placing in front of us and look at change as an opportunity to use our collective mind.

Not to continue on the same path of “things we know that we know” but disconnect from the laziness and fear and build an infrastructure for new business models, new definitions of innovation and most importantly create a mindset, that will encourage the next change.

We need to believe that the best solutions to a problem are not hitting it with everything we have, but by viewing it from all possible angles. If something does not work for its intended purpose, it might work for something completely different — that is the meaning of change.

 

Can we rethink the narrative of a city?

Short interview before keynote about the future of cities.

1. How do you see smart cities in 2030?

Since I was a kid, every story about the future included flying cars, robots, automation and incredible landscapes. There was also the more apocalyptic, dystopian, Nineteen Eighty-Four type of future possibilities. In both cases, it was a future where beautiful technologies dominated and stood at the center of society. Here we are today, realizing that it is not so simple to predict the future. Yes, we have the technologies to build that dream (for good or bad), yet the biggest challenge is not technology for technology but our imagination or the lack of it, our ability to understand the new narratives and rethink our infrastructure to be able to carry society into the future.

Cities are the cradle of civilization yet for the past (more than few) years we let nations dictated the decision-making process of the urban “want’ and “needs.” 30 years from now most of the world population will live in urban areas, and we have but a small window of opportunities to stop and rethink the stories of the future, to redesign technologies to be invisible and transparent, to build new digital infrastructure and interaction interfaces.

I do not see smart cities in the future; I see learning cities, rejuvenation cities. Cities that act as an inorganic extension of the organic society that defines its existence. I see cities that govern by new economic models and further decision-making processes, ones that are anchored in code rather 18th-century laws. I see cities that hide technology and uses it to augment the city intelligence rather than outsource it. I see virtual landscapes that enable new productivity models, new materials that will allow a self-sustained utilization of energy and value generated from below zero environmental impact. I see a city that knows that the most significant assets we have as humans are our creativity and curiosity and a such knows how to harness these qualities to feed its potentials.

2. Can you give us an example where technology made a huge positive impact on the functionality of cities?

The steam engine

3. In which field we can make the most significant progress in your opinion? Is that traffic, science, technology in service of people or something else?

There is a difference between what we can do and what we should do. We should rethink our infrastructure. We should rethink the narratives of ethics, morality, and trust; so they can transcend the physical into the digital. We should rebuild our education systems. To do all of that, to step into the unknown, we have technology and science.

Autonomous Mobility Ecology

Retake on old thoughts.

Today 3.7 billion people live in urban areas and that number will double by 2050, but cities and industrial companies (such as the automotive players) still operate under the 17th to 18th-century mindset. Most of our eco-social constructs have expired and our urban, medical, educational, transportation systems serve the limited information input/output model of yesteryear’s society.

To be able to survive tomorrow, we have to step back and take a holistic approach. It is essential to recognize that this gap is not due to a lack of technology. Like in several other industries, technology has progressed leaps and bounds in the automotive domain as well. However, the supporting ecosystem has been lackadaisical at best. While electric vehicles are ready to go, charging infrastructure is lacking; in spite of 5G is at our doorstep, seamless connectivity is lacking. A zero-emission electric vehicle running in semi-autonomous mode on the current outdated infrastructure will not deliver wholesome value to the consumer.

The glory numbers that the automotive industry enjoyed over the last century are steadily evaporating. We need to understand that a terminology change from transportation to mobility cannot be a mere cosmetic exercise; rather the need of the hour is to get a 360-degree perspective where we can visualize mobility at the intersection of transport, energy, and communication.

There are several discussions in the automotive industry (and a lot of misunderstanding) regarding the definition of an autonomous vehicle. A car, unlike other consumer devices, has multiple channels through which experience can be delivered. Unfortunately today it’s a rather passive environment. The emotional attachment to the car is more consumer-driven than product driven. Imagining ‘autonomous drive’ as ‘yet another car accessory’ will not address the philosophical complexities that can potentially make autonomous vehicles as a key component of the first general intelligent ecosystem.

A ‘Car’ is probably the most immersive environment available. A consumer cannot sit inside his/her iPhone or Android phone; or inside a laptop or tablet, but one can sit inside a car and ‘experience’ its features. Unfortunately, today the customer gets nothing in return. There is no connection between the consumer’s existence and the metal, a mildly interactive box that is designed to take you from point A to point B. However, it will not be long before we realize that we as consumers are not observing information, but are becoming a part of it, i.e. we, as humans are sensory data that serve a bigger model of what reality is.

The computational power that currently drives these autonomous systems is impressive and as such holds some interesting applications. While we are more than a few years away from developing bio-mechanical pods (where the system connects to the pilot or travelers via a synaptic interface and instantly shares the same experiences), we can already now experience the cognitive outsourcing effects that technology is bringing. We trust technology around us to ‘host’ functions that we, as humans, once mastered. We are surrounding ourselves with sensors, algorithms and touch points that help drive our intentions faster and with fewer frictions (read ‘modern app-based’ utilities built into our mobiles and wearables) yet when we step into a car we are ‘forced to use’ a set of predefined, hard-coded interfaces that ultimately have no connection to us.

Here are some rules that we believe will govern the autonomous mobility systems of the future:

  1. An autonomous car should not have its own general intelligence within a silo. It must be a node within a collective decision-making ecology where buildings and roads are part of a common AI.
  2. The design and development process for an autonomous mobility experience (including software and hardware) starts with understanding data that will be generated/consumed /transferred by the ecosystem consisting of customers, network, energy, and the technology players.
  3. For the autonomous cars to function as per definition, it is essential that the road owners maintain it as per the specific standards. In essence, the road is the LINGUISTIC INFRASTRUCTURE for the apt functioning of the mobility system. The overall safety responsibility in the autonomous ecosystem will be a shared one to minimize and eradicate accidents.
  4. Personal customer experience WITHIN the autonomous vehicle is governed by the Customer wishes, based on the products and services the OEM and Third Party Partners (Layered Reality & Entertainment partners) provide. The external interaction will be governed by the CITY and the ROAD.
  5. Fully autonomous cars, when achieved in this ecology, will only be used by new models of the economy rather than individual ownership.
  6. GDPR and other privacy regulations will play a key role in shaping the customer experience as there will arise a need for a new information architecture, one that creates the balance between personal data and the ownership of that personal data in order to generate tangible value.

A new narrative is emerging, one that enables us to break the barriers of one-dimensional interactions and dramatically change our perceptions of identity, ownership, and society. In this context, Facebook became the world largest media hub, and while it does not create any content, it allows people to consume as much as media as they can without owning it. People do not buy CD’s; they pay to access music on Spotify. All of Alibaba, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, and Amazon are operating under the access-based economic model. We are moving from a world of ownership to one of ‘access-ship’, and in that case, people do not need ‘cars’ in the traditional manner. They need practical solutions that fit their digital flow i.e. they need a touch-point.

The time is ripe to take responsibility for the fields of potential that lie beyond the digital obvious. We need to cease the silo-thinking mindset in terms of software, hardware, human, technology and commence on the path to become the machine before the machine becomes us.

Written by –

  • Aric Dromi, Futurologist
  • Anand Sethuraman, Mobility Expert

The future or so

When we think about the future, what is it we imagine to ourselves? A world dominated by self-driving cars, machines working 27-7 in factories that once used to accommodate humans. Do we imagine a world where algorithms take control of most of our cognitive functions, doctors are nothing, but lines of code and a new model of governance, an inorganic one, controls the world.

Maybe the future shouldn’t be about technology for technology, perhaps there is a need to stop and rethink the fundamental building blocks of society. Digital transformation is not about “coping” our current way of doing things into code but using code to redesign our current way of doing things. Maybe the future is not about technology that can replace us but about a horizontal plane of potential where humans and technology partner to define the next stage of evolution. Ethic, morality, trust, and education, maybe. These are the cornerstone of our future and not merely technology just for technology.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang goes digital

Suddenly, a strange noise appeared from nowhere, rambling the air and hissing the sky. The ground started shaking; trees waved from side to side. From my place as God of the universe, I could see some people started running without any sense of direction, and some just stood still. A bright light penetrated the chaos, sailing through the dust, clearing the way to our blockchain powered Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She entered the street with confidence that one can only tribute to her latest software update, the one she immediately downloaded from the zombify BMW as soon as the chaos started. She stopped next to the 7-11, and with a proud voice, she whispered: “what is all that drama about?”