The future we’ve dreamed of already exists. It’s just not evenly distributed. Over the past few years, I’ve covered many Singularity University conferences and met nearly 14 billionaires and leaders with potential to change the world as we know it. I’ve gotten a chance to pick their brains and gained insight into the future of humanity and it’s truly mind boggling how much our society is predicted to change in the next decade.
Based on the information acquired, in my opinion, many industries will be completely disrupted by 2030 as technology continues to grow exponentially and topple some industries.
1. Solar Power and Electric Cars: The first industry to be toppled by the year 2030 will be the coal, oil and natural gas industry. As Mr. Tony Seba says “fossil fuels will go the way of the horse and buggy as solar power, electric cars, and battery storage will change the energy landscape.” Over the past 30 years, solar power has been increasing exponentially in adoption while costs are plummeting consistently. Combine this with the Tesla superchargers that have made driving an electric Tesla free forever and the Tesla battery packs which store power in the hands of billions, and the fossil fuel industry serving transportation may be eliminated.
2. Healthcare: The next major transformation is in healthcare. Peter Diamandis of Singularity University and the Xprize says that new models with dematerialize and demonetize today’s bureaucratic models of care and delivery. An example is Dr. Phil’s company Doctor On Demand, which makes the physician to patient contact as easy as a video chat via a smartphone. [Check out my exclusive interview with Dr. Phil discussing the impact of quality telemedicine on billions of people.]
3. Full Immersion Virtual Reality: Google Glass was just the start of augmented reality. In fact, I had the opportunity to demonstrate Google Glass on TV in India as well as discuss its wearable computing capabilities and its potential impacts on industries. However, let’s forget augmented reality for a second and consider the Google Magic leap, the Oculus Rift which Facebook acquired and the newly released Microsoft Hololens. As we combine these technologies, we will constantly live in a world of augmented reality, allowing us to continuously acquire information that we want. Additionally, we can live in virtual worlds using only Oculus or its successor technologies. I mean, imagine how the real estate industry will be disrupted by virtual neighborhood walk-throughs in real time using surrogate robots. Imagine taking a vacation during lunch break to the most exotic country and going surfboarding on the beach from the comfort of your home. Imagine the full immersion virtual reality to consist of photorealistic graphics and haptic feedback. Will physical travel really be necessary in the future?
4. Artificial intelligence: IBM Watson and Siri were only the start. The more I speak with the best AI experts, whether that’s Walter O’Brien, the real life Scorpion, Ray Kurzweil or Dr. Neil Jacobstein at Singularity University, I always feel more optimistic about how fast the AI revolution is coming. We truly aren’t that far off from JARVIS (from Iron man) becoming a reality. Companies like Vicarious which seems to have the most billionaires backing it or Deepmind acquired by Google are building next generation AI systems. I don’t see why, by the end of the next decade, we won’t have AI that can pass the Turing Test, and better yet perform the work of a doctor or financial planner. Yes, AI will take your job but it will also make your life easier as we will have access to the best answers and information anytime and anywhere.
5. Robots: Yes, robots will steal your job but you should not worry. Rather embrace the fact that robots will do all our manual labor and repetitive tasks. The costs of goods will fall dramatically. Robots will fight our wars, drive our cars and do dangerous and mind numbing tasks. Robots will grow our food and manufacture many of the products we require. Yes, you will have a personal servant so why should you be worried? There is a reason Google has acquired more than half a dozen robotics companies like Boston Dynamics. Google wants to build robots for every task and humanoids to take our place in dangerous jobs. I say embrace it.
So what’s the bottom line? Today, we are living at the inception of the revolution that will put you out of the current jobs available but make your life much better. We are at the very early stages of an exponential growth curve in all the above fields.
So be prepared. The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.
About the Author:
Nitish Kannan is a futurist, author and gadget junkie. He is also the CEO and Founder of www.circlepluspay.com, the first bitcoin and credit card combined point of sale app available in 18 countries, as well as a writer at www.hplusmagazine.com.