Technology is a beautiful thing. It has already altered our perception of reality and will; if leveraged correctly, disrupt our existence. Add the impact of social changes to the mix along with our use of technology to observe ourselves, and you get a paradigm shift in social interaction.
We are entering the era of digital augmentation — The enhancement of virtual presence through the use of digital content.
Augmented Empathy, Freedom, Well-being, Intelligence, Education, Governance, Creativity, Economics, Politics
The current generation of C-Suites (excluding few) including politicians are managing the world with a limited understanding and thereby under-utilizing the potentials of digital technology in almost every area. We live in an “expired social construct” — most of our eco-social constructs we have surrounded ourselves with (urban, medical, education, transportation and more) serve the limited information input/output model of yesteryears society, and are therefore leaving us with output patterns from days gone by. This includes the here and now and not considering the impact of the “things we don’t know that we don’t know” — the upcoming technologies that we can’t even imagine. We are led by blind people who are blind to our blindness — we are forced to sleep the biggest change humanity ever experienced. Where the discussion has currently landed on threats of personal integrity on a global scale by states that have only sporadic interest in the data generated, rather than a vision for implementation for the betterment of society as a whole. We are leaving the progress in the hands of a select few economically driven corporations.
Some facts — More than half of the world population live in cities. 3.7 billion people live in urban areas today, and that number will double by 2050. By 2030 the majority of urbanization will occur in the developing world.
So what does this mean? First of all, currently, we’re fucked! But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
In Areas such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, genomics, biotechnology, neurotechnology, adjustable reality and the codification (of value interactions) will let us re-imagine every aspect of our life. We will be able to design spaces that are not governed by a fixed physical architecture but dynamically adjusting to the wishes of the users. We can build cities that focus on experience slightly on productivity. And the visual elements of the town will be personalized experience (Graffiti/ Street art/ Architecture and Advertisement will no longer necessarily be a social experience, but can be personalized to include or exclude based on your preferences.)
Let’s look at transportation. While current infrastructure is there to accommodate the need to move everyone from point A to B, the new dawn of telepresence technologies will bring us as close as possible to teleportation — once we can fully immerse ourselves, we can manifest our existence and interact with others in this digital playground. We will experience without travel. Or travel without moving.
Transportation will shift and re-invent itself as Service Defined Mobility.
Cars in their current model will become irrelevant. Robotic cars, This is not a question of if; but a question of when — will diminish the notion of ownership.
Cities that focus of experiences can remove frictions to build a mobility infrastructure that is focused on digital with accommodation the physical — yes the city should own and maximise productivity by eliminating the need for people to travel and designing a physical system to answer people choices to travel. Accommodating the flow of goods into a city, will; much like with the arrival of the train more than 100 years ago, change with the advent of automated transportation (Trucks and lorries). And people transport will much like the trams and underground trains be altered by automated on-demand transportation.
The traditional industries will not provide answers to the cities needs, cities will have to demand products and solutions accommodating their altered infrastructure. Most likely they will design this infrastructure in tandem with understanding and utilize data provided by tech industry based on digital footprints of mobility.
An interesting philosophical point of view, in the next few (relative) years, most of the world population will live in urban areas. Technology will give us the possibility to travel without moving. Most labor will be automated, ai assisted and predictive, thereby eliminating the need for most employment.
If we don’t have to go anywhere, and we only do cause we can choose to go somewhere. — Is there any reason to leave home?
If we come to the point of this question, is there any reason to live in the city?