What is the Exponential Age? Simply put, the Exponential Age refers to a dynamic of internet, knowledge and information technology coupled with massive and quick developments rendering current technologies obsolete.
Most of everything present in today’s world will cease to exist as we know it. The Exponential Age is already upon us and we are racing towards it with all haste. In year 1998, Kodak sold 85% of all photo paper around the world. It had 170,000 employees worldwide however, within a few years, the company went bankrupt. Same fate will be met by a lot of companies operating globally today. There was no way for Kodak to know that in the early 2000s, no one will be taking pictures on paper film again. Everything went digital. But digital cameras were around since 1975 of course, it was their dawn and they were disappointing. It was an exponential technology, a sad piece of equipment for a rather long time before it became superior to everything else in the same league in a matter of a few years. We are living in the Exponential Age because we have several such technologies all around us that are bound to render the traditional stuff that we are so familiar with obsolete. Artificial Intelligence, Health, Electric Vehicles, Unmanned Vehicles, 3D Printing, Agriculture and even Jobs, all are exponential technologies.
The Exponential Age is set to be the 4th Industrial Revolution for the better or worse, we will soon know. Following are a few components of the Exponential Age as listed above.
Computers are becoming increasing better at understanding the dynamics of this world and human kind. We have super computers that can now beat the greatest chess players in the world. Without even knowing, AI is replacing the core of every piece of technology we own. In the United States, lawyers are already having difficulty finding jobs because of IBM Watson. It is a cognitive system with endless possibilities. People use it to seek legal advice, and it’s quick with an accuracy of 90% compared to 70% accuracy when humans are consulted. At hospitals, IBM Watson is helping doctors diagnose cancer with four times more accuracy than that of humans. Facebook employs a sophisticated AI that can recognize faces better than humans can. In the next two decades, computers are set to become more intelligent than humans.
Unmanned and Electric Vehicles
Self-driving cars are already making waves around the world. Google has been in this business for quite some time and have had major successes. Now, Tesla and Apple have joined as well. In 2018, self-driving cars will be introduced to the public in certain parts of the world. Two years later, the dynamic of the auto industry will shift rapidly. Any company that fails to incorporate AI into their business models will meet the same fate as Kodak. Most of the people will not own a car, or a driver. Driving licenses and schools will become obsolete. Many jobs will be destroyed. At the same time, many lives will be saved, pollution will reduce, and traffic congestion will reduce etc. Most car companies will go bankrupt, insurance companies will meet heavy losses because, less or no accidents doesn’t really spell big money for insurance. At the same time, Real Estate industry will change. People will be able to be productive while travelling so they would prefer living farther away in a much beautiful neighborhood.
Electric Vehicles will become mainstream till 2020. Our cities will become cleaner, greener, and less noisy.
Teleheatlh and Telemedicine are upcoming concepts but they are massive part of the exponential age. Tools and instruments are under development that will change the traditional visits to the doctor. In a few years, everyone in this world will have access to world-class medicine, perhaps even for free.
3D Printer, when first introduced to the world, costed around $18,000. Within the next ten years, the printers got faster and the price came down to $400. These days, even shoe companies are using these printers to print out the shoe. Spare parts for airplanes are already made with 3D printers. Space Stations now have 3D Printers instead of a plethora of spare parts that they carried to space. In the near future, your smartphone will be able to perform 3D scans. The possibilities are endless. For instance, you will be able to scan your feet and print out the perfect shoe. China, a country that is rather interesting when it comes to such developments, already has a 6-storey office building completely 3D printed. By 2027, it is estimated that 10% of everything around us will be 3D printed.
As if finding work isn’t already a major headache for the young population today, it is estimated that 70-80% jobs will disappear in the next 20 years – thanks to IT and internet. There will be newer jobs of course, but no one can say if they will be enough.
Whatever we learn in our schools and universities, becomes basically pointless in the next decade. Most people estimate it takes three years for everything we learn to become obsolete. You will find different figures depending on the source. Moreover, education is becoming cheap to the point of being free, thanks to the internet and online academies one can access via cellphones. By 2020, it is estimated that 70% of the global population will own smartphones.
We are inching closer towards cheap agricultural robots able to work faster than traditional famers. We will need much less water and fertilizer, for healthier crops.
These may be the major industries set to be affected by the Exponential Age. There are other smaller, more interesting, things that this age is set to bring. Currency will become obsolete, we already have Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that does not exist physically.
Here is what you need to consider especially if you are budding entrepreneur and exploring new ventures. Remember that we are entering the Exponential Age and as such, any business idea or thought you may have, must comply with everything this age is set to bring. The Exponential Age is a reality and in order for you to survive in the new world, it is always better to stick to the industries mentioned above or otherwise, create an entirely new one.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.