What does the future hold? With TZM and #LonFut


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Talk given by David Wood to joint meeting of The Zeitgeist Movement London and the London Futurists, 23rd April 2013

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What does the future hold? With TZM and #LonFut

  1. 1. 1#LonFut – London FuturistsWhat does the future hold?David Wood, Catalyst & Futurist, Delta Wisdom, @dw2http://dw2blog.com/London Futurists, www.meetup.com/London-FuturistsSlideshare.NET / DeltaWisdom : DW_LFandTZM_Future
  2. 2. 2#LonFut – London FuturistsFour overlapping trajectories20102020Humanity+Humanity 1.0http://humanityplus.org/
  3. 3. 3#LonFut – London FuturistsFirst Nokia “mobile phone”Nokia Mobira Senator (1982)Weighed about 21 poundsDesigned for use in cars1980s McKinsey forecast for AT&T0.9 million mobile US subscribers by 2000Actual figure: 109 millionWorldwide 1 billion by 2002, 2B by 2005, 7B by 2012...Hard to predict the effects of sustained tech growth!Devices increasingly numerous, lighter, and more usefulwww.xtimeline.com/evt/view.aspx?id=25921www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/22/AR2008022202283_2.htmlTrajectory 1: Technology
  4. 4. 1993http://i.imgur.com/nuUGHaY.jpg
  5. 5. 19932013http://i.imgur.com/nuUGHaY.jpg
  6. 6. 6#LonFut – London FuturistsImprovement in energy efficiency of computers:Computations per kWh, 1950-2010Source:Jonathan Koomey,Consulting Professor, StanfordTechnology Review,9 Apr 201210^3 to 10^1540 doublings over 60 yearshttp://www.technologyreview.com/news/427444/the-computing-trend-that-will-change-everything/18 months average doublingIn line with “Moore’s Law”
  7. 7. 7#LonFut – London Futurists(Gordon) Moore’s Law: 1965www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/events/moores_law_40th/
  8. 8. 8#LonFut – London FuturistsThe next five years (2013-2018)?18 months 18 months 18 months +6x 2x 2x 2x 21/3Computing technology x 10Faster… Cheaper… Smaller…
  9. 9. 9#LonFut – London FuturistsTrajectory 1: Technology“Books will soon be obsolete in schools”“It is possible to teach every branch of humanknowledge with the motion picture”“Our school system will be completely changedinside of ten years”July 1913, The New York Dramatic MirrorThomas Alva Edisonhttp://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/02/15/books-obsolete/http://edison.rutgers.edu/taephren.htm
  10. 10. 10#LonFut – London FuturistsTrajectory 1: Technology“Our school system will be completely changedinside of ten years”Book: The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan• First YouTube video uploaded: 2006• Year founded: 2008• Videos: ~4070• Videos watched: 250M+• Unique visitors in March 2013: 5.3M• Exercises completed: 1B+ (>2M per day)• Number of employees: 38A not-for-profit with the goal of…providing a free world-class educationfor anyone anywherehttps://www.khanacademy.org/about
  11. 11. 11#LonFut – London FuturistsProgress by combination• Technologies enabling You Tube explosion– Proliferation of Internet users– Fast Internet access– Ubiquitous cameras (including in smartphones)– Cheap storage and fast processingMichell Zappa: http://envisioningtech.com/• Over 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month• Over 4 billion hours of video watched each month• People watch one billion views a day on YouTube mobile• 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute• In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views– or around 140 views for every person on Earthwww.youtube.com/t/press_statistics
  12. 12. 12#LonFut – London FuturistsWhen technology creates impacthttp://joyreactor.com/post/300138Bill Gates introduces Tablet PC.No one cares.Steve Jobs introduces the iPad.The world pisses itself like anexcited dog.Steve Ballmer introduces Surface.People accuse them of stealingthe idea from Apple.
  13. 13. 13#LonFut – London FuturistsPredicting iPad convergence(?)27 January, 2010“8 Things That Suck About the iPad”http://gizmodo.com/5458382/8-things-that-suck-about-the-ipad1. Big, Ugly Bezel2. No Multitasking3. No Cameras4. Touch Keyboard5. No HDMI Out6. The Name “iPad”7. No Flash8. Adapters, Adapters, Adapters(“…You need an adapter for USB for god’s sake”)9. It’s Not Widescreen10. Doesn’t Support T-Mobile 3G(“it uses microSIMs that literally no one else uses”)11. A Closed App Ecosystem.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/iPadhttp://dw2blog.com/2010/01/28/the-ipad-more-for-less/
  14. 14. 14#LonFut – London FuturistsCherishing iPad convergenceApple Now Most Valuable Company in History 23 October, 2012“Apple sold their 100 millionthiPad two weeks ago”“We sold more iPads in the Junequarter than any PC maker sold oftheir entire line-up”Market-cap > $620 billion>4 years to sell 100M iPhones<3 years to sell 100M iPadswww.engadget.com/2012/10/23/apple-ipad-mini-liveblog/www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2012/08/21/apple-now-most-valuable-company-in-history/
  15. 15. 15#LonFut – London FuturistsWhen technology creates impactLaggards,scepticsCustomers wanttechnology andfeaturesCustomers wantcomplete solutions, reliability,and convenienceEarlyadopters,visionariesInnovators,technologyenthusiastsTHECHASMEarlymajorityLatemajorityCan accept poorusabilityWon’t accept poorusabilityReady to walk asolitary pathRequire socialvalidationGeoffrey Moore: Crossing the ChasmEverett Rogers: The Diffusion of Innovations
  16. 16. 16#LonFut – London FuturistsUnexpected leadershipPurchased by Facebook in April 2012With 13 employeesAnd 100 million registered usersFor approx $1 billion in cash and stockLaunched in October 2010SociableUsable
  17. 17. 17#LonFut – London FuturistsWhen technology creates impact• Affordable – no barrier to purchase• Usable – no barrier to understanding• Reliable – no frustrations from crashes / failures• Fashionable (within the right peer group)• Utility – delivers true value• Pain of adoption << Benefits of continued usage• Don’t just think technology – think applications• Don’t just think platform – think ecosystem• It can take a long time for a supportive ecosystem toemerge
  18. 18. 18#LonFut – London FuturistsKindle books vs. physical bookswww.theverge.com/2012/9/6/3298533/amazon-kindle-event-september-6th-video-watchE-books leapfrogphysical books at Amazon1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
  19. 19. 19#LonFut – London FuturistsProgress by combination• Technologies enabling Kindle explosion– Cheap storage– Low energy screens– High-speed “Whisper net” wireless distribution– Huge catalog of books available to purchaseMichell Zappa: http://envisioningtech.com/+ Innovative business model
  20. 20. 22#LonFut – London FuturistsInformation in our glasseswww.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/sergey-brin-google-glasses_n_1408488.html
  21. 21. 23#LonFut – London FuturistsSmart belt improves your posturehttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324235104578241801065110288.html“We watch your back”“The LUMOback sensor sends gentle vibrationswhen you slouch backwards with your lowerback, reminding you to sit or stand up straight”“Using the latest BT technology,LUMOback tracks your movementswirelessly and gives you feedbackthrough an iPhone, iPod, or iPad app”
  22. 22. 24#LonFut – London FuturistsSmart fork vibrates if you eat too quicklyhttp://www.hapilabs.com/products-hapifork.asp
  23. 23. 25#LonFut – London Futurists“Basis” health-monitoring watch• 3D Accelerometer – detects even the smallest movement• Optical Blood Flow Sensor – detects heart rate• Body Temperature Monitor – skin surface temperature• Ambient Temp Monitor – boost accuracy of caloric calculations• Galvanic Skin Response – the intensity of skin’s moisture outputwww.dcrainmaker.com/2011/11/walking-down-street-where-blue-dot-on.htmlwww.mybasis.com
  24. 24. 26#LonFut – London FuturistsDigital pills that tell doctors when they’re swallowed• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an ingestible sensor that can bepackaged inside a pill – potentially costing just 1 cent per pill (once mass volume is reached)• When it reaches the stomach, it sends a signal to a patch that the patient wears on the skin• That patch records the time when the medication and its sensor were ingested, and transmits thatinformation (along with some other health stats like heart rate) to a smartphone app• The patient can then share his records with doctors, family members, or anyone else whos helpinghim monitor his medication compliance• “About half of all people don’t take medications like they’re supposed to… This device could be asolution…, so that doctors can know when to rev up a patient’s medication adherence” - Eric Topolhttp://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/07/digital-pills-make-their-way-to-market.htmlhttp://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/devices/a-medical-sensor-you-can-swallow“The ingestible sensor is composed of materials from your dietand has no battery and no antenna. It’s powered by you”http://proteusdigitalhealth.com/
  25. 25. 27#LonFut – London FuturistsTrajectory 1: Technology“The best solution is to get rid of doctors andteachers and let your computers do the work,24/7 and with consistent quality”“Machines will replace 80 percent of doctors”Vinod KhoslaSun Microsystems co-founderrenowned Silicon Valley investor“Do We Need Doctors Or Algorithms?”http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-09/04/doctors-replaced-with-machineshttp://techcrunch.com/2012/01/10/doctors-or-algorithms/
  26. 26. 28#LonFut – London FuturistsBasis for radically improving healthcare• Miniature sensors• Imaging & scanning• 3D manufacturing• Personalised genomics• Synthetic biology• Electronic medical records• Ubiquitous smartphones• Communications facilities• Next gen social networks• Huge computing power• Expert decision systems• Online medical traininghttp://CreativeDestructionOfMedicine.com/“Technology super-convergence”http://atlanticmeetspacific.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/eric-topol-at-the-altantic-meets-the-pacific/Eric Topol MD
  27. 27. 29#LonFut – London FuturistsThe Carlson curves (Rob Carlson)Rob Carlson, June 2011: www.synthesis.ccCost perBase of DNASequencing(Reading)& Synthesis(Writing)
  28. 28. 30#LonFut – London FuturistsBreakthrough technologies of next 5-10 yrs1. Wearable computers (Google Glass and more)2. Ubiquitous sensors (health, environ): Internet of Things3. Ultra-strong materials – carbon nanotubes, graphene...4. Synthetic biology (programming carbon, not silicon)5. Stem cell therapies – replacement organs, rejuvenation6. Smart drugs – boost concentration, memory7. 3D printing and 3D scanning – mass personalisation8. Driverless cars – example of connected automation9. Intelligent robots – manufacturing, home help…
  29. 29. 31#LonFut – London FuturistsNBIC Technology mega-convergenceAtoms GenesNeurons BitsBio-TechNano-TechICTCogno-TechS^ ?http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/Report/NBIC_report.pdfBreakthrough technologies of next 15-30 yrs
  30. 30. 32#LonFut – London FuturistsThe Singularity (S^)• We can no longer predict what happens next• Computers / robots more intelligent than humans– More generally intelligent than humans• They can create even better computers / robots• => Rapid, recursive, self-improvement cycle…• Super-intelligent systems could solve many existingdeep human problems (disease, death, economics…)• But first we have to get there… (perhaps 15-30 years)• Surviving the next 15-30 years will be ultra-critical– Surviving the next 10 years will be hard enoughS^ ?
  31. 31. 33#LonFut – London FuturistsFour overlapping trajectories20102020Humanity+Humanity 1.0http://humanityplus.org/
  32. 32. 34#LonFut – London FuturistsTrajectory 2: Crisis• Poverty?– 1970, more than 1/3 of developing world lived on < $1/day– Today, this is down to 5%: shrunk by factor of 7– 1970, almost 1/2 the planet lived on < $1000 / year– Today, only 1/5 live on < $ 1000 / year• Malnutrition?– 1970, c. 25% of world population were malnourished– 2007, c. 13% of world population were malnourished• These are still important issues…– But the crises I have in mind have a different natureRamez Naam: The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite PlanetRamezNaam
  33. 33. 35#LonFut – London FuturistsTrajectory 2: Crisis“In Europe the epoch of conquest is over…It is as certain as anything in politics that thefrontiers of our national states are finally drawn.My own belief is that there will be no more waramong the six powers”War between the great powers has become aneconomic impossibility because of “the delicateinterdependence of international finance”1910: The Great Illusion, Norman Angell, British journalistSpring 1914: Henry Noel Brailsford, British member of theinternational commission reporting on the Balkan Warshttp://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-ascent-of-money-by-niall-ferguson-980013.htmlhttp://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1933/angell-bio.htmlhttp://www.marxists.org/history/archive/brailsford/index.htm
  34. 34. 36#LonFut – London FuturistsThe underlying causes of crises• Connections that no-one fully understands– Innovations that no-one fully understands• Unfounded over-confidence• Systems that are pumped up & take on a life of their own– Via positive feedback cycles (“reflexivity”)“It is hard for us, and without being flippant, toeven see a scenario within any kind of realm ofreason that would see us losing $1 in any of those[credit default swaps] transactions”Joe Cassano, AIG Chief Financial Officer,Wall Street investor conference call, August 2007http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7210007&page=1#.UW6RDrVwqSphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
  35. 35. 37#LonFut – London FuturistsThe underlying causes of crises“In the run-up to the 2008 crisis, our ability to makegood decisions was simply overwhelmed becausethings were allowed to evolve in too complexa manner through financial innovation…”Ha Joon Chang, Reader in the Political Economy of Development,Cambridge Univ, “23 things they don’t teach you about capitalism”http://www.amazon.co.uk/Things-They-Dont-About-Capitalism/dp/0141047976http://www.devstudies.cam.ac.uk/people/academic/hajoon.html“Even financial experts themselves did not fullyunderstand them… the top decision-makers of thefinancial firms certainly did not grasp much of whattheir businesses were doing. Nor could the regulatoryauthorities fully figure out what was going on.”“We are now seeing a flood of confessions…”
  36. 36. 38#LonFut – London FuturistsThe underlying causes of crises“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interestsof organisations, specifically banks and others, weresuch that they were best capable of protecting theirown shareholders and their equity in the firms”– Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve chairmanhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/24/economics-creditcrunch-federal-reserve-greenspan“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest oflending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity(myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief”– Henry Paulsen, US treasury secretaryhttp://www.fxtimes.com/glossary/alan-greenspan/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7631431.stm
  37. 37. 39#LonFut – London FuturistsThe background to a crisis• Connections that no-one fully understands– Innovations that no-one fully understands• Unfounded over-confidence• Systems that are pumped up & take on a life of their own– Via positive feedback cycles (“reflexivity”)TechnologicalprogressGreaterconsumptionGreaterconnectivityRaisedexpectationsEnvironmentaldamageResourceshortagesGreateruncertainty
  38. 38. 40#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #1• 1914-1918: World War 1: 17 million people killed– ~10 million military personnel and ~7 million civilians• 1918-1920: “Spanish Flu”– 50 million people killed (~100 million by some estimates)– Deliberately under-reported at the time in the media– “The greatest medical holocaust in history”• “Killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years”• “More in a year than the Black Death killed in a century”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemichttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualtiesWar between the great powers has become aneconomic impossibility because of “the delicateinterdependence of international finance”1910: The Great Illusion, Norman Angell, British journalist
  39. 39. 41#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #1• Causes of global pandemic– Increased travel; Increased inter-connectivity– Society had been weakened by ravages of world war• Spread of swine flu (H1N1), 2009-2012– Number of deaths: 18,000+ (some estimates are 300,000)– First reported: 17 March 2009, Mexico– 3 months later, there were reports in 74 different countries– Less lethal (fatality rate c. 0.03%) than the 1918 variant (2.5%+)• Risks of new diseases “going viral”– Society’s over-use of antibiotics – new diseases evolve rapidly– Irrational avoidance of vaccinations / weak information sharing– New pathogens created – accidentally or intentionally?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_flu_pandemic
  40. 40. 42#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #2• Risks of financial contagion “going viral”– Financial innovation with unintended side-effects• Savers not able to withdraw their savings from banks– Crisis in confidence in banking system• Debts increase but monetary holdings shrink• Whole countries become bankrupt– Cannot sustain “austerity measures”– Relationships of trust break down• Potential of rapidly changing “winners and losers”– Highly volatile situation -> temptations to adventurism• Compounded by decline in availability of key resources– Peak Oil, clean water, rare minerals… -> risks of conflictIan Goldin: Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about ithttp://blog.fxcc.com/contagion-dont-talk-to-anyone-dont-touch-anything/
  41. 41. 43#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #3• Risks of climate changes “going viral”– Unintended side-effects of human emission of excess CO2– Positive virtual circles -> Reach unexpected “tipping point”?http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions
  42. 42. 44#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #3• Risks of climate changes “going viral”– Unintended side-effects of human emission of excess CO2– Positive virtual circles -> Reach unexpected “tipping point”?• Less ice on the planet means less incoming sunlight isreflected to space– Larger areas of water absorb more of the sunlight, increasingocean temperature further -> release dissolved CO2 -> …• Higher tundra temperatures -> melt permafrost– Release vast amounts of trapped greenhouse gases (methane)– As (some think) in Permian extinction event, when 96% of allmarine species became extinct about 250 million years ago• Higher atmospheric temperatures can change majorocean or atmospheric currents -> rapid local freezing!Ian Goldin: Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about itwww.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/25/frozen-spring-arctic-sea-ice-loss
  43. 43. 45#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #4• Risks of human extremism “going viral”• “Moore’s Law of Mad Scientists”– Eliezer Yudkowsky– “The minimum IQ required to destroy the world drops by onepoint every 18 months” (or, perhaps, by more than one point)• Variants: The minimum IQ drops, that is required to:– Devise and deploy a weapon that wipes out a major city– Poison the water table for a region– Paralyse the whole Internet (and with it, much of modern life)– Unleash a devastating plague…• Angry, irrational people can unleash terrible carnage– Not necessarily fully intentionally– Their actions can trigger worse reactionshttp://selenite.livejournal.com/105973.html
  44. 44. 47#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises we should fear: #5• Risks of unexpectedly powerful consequences of newtechnology• New software often has unexpected bugs– Whole financial trading system could be thrown into jeopardy• Nanotech pollutants – like asbestos?• First atomic bomb might set whole atmosphere on fire• First hydrogen bomb test, 1st March 1954, Bikini Atoll– Explosive yield was expected to be from 4 to 6 Megatons– Was 15 Megatons, two and a half times the expected maximum– Physics error by the designers at Los Alamos National Lab– Wrongly considered the lithium-7 isotope to be inert in bomb– The crew in a nearby Japanese fishing boat became ill in thewake of direct contact with the fallout. One of the crew diedhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Bravo
  45. 45. 48#LonFut – London FuturistsCrises and responses1. Global pandemics2. Financial system collapse3. Runaway climate change4. Fundamentalist terrorism5. Runaway technologySurveillanceRegulationCoordinationClean energy Abundance ReversibilityIncentives HumilityEducation Complexity, Connectivity,Over-confidenceResearchAnders Sandberg: Assessing major risks: what should we worry about: Sat 27th April
  46. 46. 49#LonFut – London FuturistsFour overlapping trajectories20102020Humanity+Humanity 1.0http://humanityplus.org/
  47. 47. 51#LonFut – London FuturistsTrajectory 3: CollaborationBetter collaboration can emerge from better technology• Online community• Wikipedia• Khan Academy• Less Wrong– Eliezer Yudkowsky• The Asteroids Club– Jonathan Haidt• Deliberator.com…So far, none ofthese tools is idealOnline tools, personal enhancersWe must keep looking
  48. 48. 52#LonFut – London FuturistsCollaboration via moral bio-enhancement• “Artificial moral enhancement is nowessential if humanity is to avoid catastrophe”– Prof Julian Savulescu, Oxford University– Prof Ingmar Persson, University of Gothenburg• We are facing two major threats:– climate change and increasingly scarce natural resources– war, using immensely powerful weapons• Our Natural Moral Psychology – insufficient to meet these challenges• We can directly affect the biological or physiological bases of humanmotivation (complementing, not replacing, traditional moral education, e.g. NVC)– by using external devices that affect the brain or the learning process– or through smart drugs (“nootropics”) and/or electromagnetic stimulation– or through genetic selection or re-engineeringhttp://philosophynow.org/issues/91/Moral_Enhancement
  49. 49. 53#LonFut – London FuturistsFour overlapping trajectories20102020Humanity+Humanity 1.0http://humanityplus.org/
  50. 50. 54#LonFut – London FuturistsHumanity+ vs. Humanity-Humanity enhanced• Abundance mentality• Sharing motive central• Golden age in near future• Embrace progress• Use our power wisely• Aim is “better than well”• Expect personal vitality• Inspirational approachHumanity constrained• Scarcity mentality• Profit motive central• Look back to “golden age”• Fear progress• Avoid “playing God”• Aim to be “well”• Expect personal decay• Defeatist approach
  51. 51. 55#LonFut – London FuturistsThe Humanity+ vision• Humanity is on the brink of a momentous leap forwardsin evolution– If we are wise and strong, we can make that leap• This evolutionary transformation takes advantage ofrapidly improving technology– Technology that arises from positive virtuous cycles andunprecedented interdisciplinary convergence– This technology will grant us awesome powers: the power tocapture ample energy from the Sun, the atom, and beyond; thepower to synthesise new materials to rejuvenate ourenvironment and fuel our societies; the power to realise anunparalleled abundance of health, security, vigour, vitality,creativity, knowledge, and experiencehttp://dw2blog.com/2013/02/04/responding-to-the-call-for-a-new-humanity-manifesto/
  52. 52. 56#LonFut – London FuturistsWhat does the future hold?David Wood, Catalyst & Futurist, Delta Wisdom, @dw2http://dw2blog.com/London Futurists, www.meetup.com/London-FuturistsSlideshare.NET / DeltaWisdom : DW_LFandTZM_Future
  53. 53. 57#LonFut – London FuturistsRecommended further readinghttp://www.singularityweblog.com/ http://hplusmagazine.com/http://transhumanity.net/
  54. 54. 58#LonFut – London FuturistsRecommended further readingMark Stevenson Joel Garreau James Hughes
  55. 55. 59#LonFut – London FuturistsRecommended further reading
  56. 56. 60#LonFut – London FuturistsFor more informationhttp://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/events/108603742/