Unique challenges = Exciting times.
Our world, abruptly and repeatedly transformed by technology and information, is the perfect place to get motion sickness and paralysis by analysis. While some trends resurface and others emerge, standard advice and directives seem to contradict each other in the times we are living.
However, if there ever was a thrilling time to be alive, that is undoubtedly today. The same reasons that make our world so confusing are the ones that are propelling us forward at tremendous speed. Our generation, and the upcoming ones, are not only the most connected; they’re also the ones with the best education, the access to the most resources, and the most vigorous entrepreneurial spirit ever to exist.
In fact, we might be living in a historical turning point.
When the curve goes upwards.
The explosion of innovation of the past decade can be, without a doubt, traced back to the invention and adoption of the Internet on a global scale. This singular event, over a span of a couple of decades, has forever changed the fields of transportation, marketing, customer services, retail, and Finance, among many others. It has also made our species realise the existence of exponential curves of technological growth. And, perhaps most importantly, it has sparked the interest in new fields that could emulate –or even surpass — the Internet’s growth, forever changing paradigms, along with our lives.
Some of these technologies are:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A still underdeveloped field of significant importance; it revolves around the creation of virtual processes that can replace human intelligence and can improve upon themselves. AI can be subdivided into (machine) visual perception, speech recognition, language translation, neural networking, and many other fields that apply across a vast spectrum of industries and activities.
Decentralised Ledger Technologies (DLTs) and the blockchain
Famously behind the economical wonder Bitcoin –and several, but not all other cryptocurrencies, — the blockchain is an example of the application of DLTs. DLTs are, in short, a network of computers that, together, maintain a shared, time-stamped, immutable, and cryptographically secure ledger of transactions. This network allows users to create decentralised platforms and interact under sets of fair rules, real consensus, and, perhaps more importantly, rewards. The unique system of DLTs has helped reinvent and set the financial and monetary systems of the world on the way for disruption; simultaneously creating new ways to understand our mechanisms to trade with and store value.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things, perhaps the most widely adopted (due to its consumer-friendly and convenient nature) of these technologies, encompasses all physical devices embedded with sensors and interconnected software. It is present on ‘smart’ devices, which range from phones to surveillance cameras and microwaves, and is projected to span across fifty billion devices by 2020. These devices can collect data, provide seamless integrations to facilitate everyday life, and alternate as communication tools, therefore resulting in a natural continuation of the Internet’s job and mission.
Apart from revisiting and improving upon the Internet’s unique connectivity and scaling capacities, these technologies –among others, such as robotics and nanotechnology — have something in common: They’re all projected to grow exponentially.
Exponential growth: A mix of uniqueness and intercombination.
In the tech world, it’s well known that innovation tends to work in exponential patterns. This means that, while linear growth (which the human mind is better suited for understanding) is expected to have its ups and downs and move predictively; when a point of true innovation is reached, technology tends to build up slowly and then skyrocket. Patterns of exponential growth can be seen all over History in technologies ranging from the wheel to Gutenberg’s print and digital cameras, and are precisely what’s expected to occur when IoT, the blockchain, or AI are running at full speed.
As exciting as the perspective of seeing these technologies succeed is, however, a second (and perhaps more exciting) innovation explosion occurs when you combine them: For example, combining AI and IoT can create driverless cars that are also the safest in the world. Blockchain plus AI will allow people to get paid for watching ads that are perfectly tailored to their unique preferences. IoT plus the Blockchain will enable us to transact with each other seamlessly, maybe even by just thinking of it using microchips installed in our brains. And all three of them can combine to create terminals that just need your face in order to safely enter high-security buildings! The opportunities are nearly endless.
So, what stands between an innovation utopia and our current stage?
If you got as far as this paragraph, you’re probably as excited as we are about technologic development and the future. Perhaps, you would also like to know how we can get to our destination faster.
It’s important to remember that the Internet was invented just nearly 30 years ago and that, ever since, the world has completely and utterly changed. One could, then, argue that technology is already developing faster than ever, and be right about it.
And, while knowing where and how to set our expectations to understand the future is vital, a second, equally important factor is capital. Without proper support and understanding, developments invariably die off or get delayed. That’s why we believe it’s everyone’s mission to educate the public and promote new developments and advances, as well as their potential reach. In the right hands, at the right time, the disposition and capital to invest in groundbreaking technology can change everything, forever. And those who take a chance on the future, invariably, get rewarded.