Hello and welcome to the Dr. Nilda Foresight Strategy Show today we have with us a very amazing person. He is going to be talking to us about technology and how technology will change our future. He is a futurist and welcome Thomas. How are you?
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on.
I’m really excited to have you because a lot of the things that you talk about, you talk about technology and honestly technology AI is something that so many people interested in. Not only interested in a little worried about because it’s taken on such a force in such a short time. Ai has really changed our world and the way we do everything from banking to education, everything. So we would like to know a little bit more about your perspective and how would you describe this future and how will this actually change our lives?
Yeah, that’s a great question. The artificial intelligence is starting to touch us on lots of different ways, but we’re just scratching the surface, so to speak. Now, one of the things I remind people all the time is that the cars that we drive today have actually been in development for a 120 years. And so when we have a new technology, it takes a long time to work our way through the crappy stages before we get to the really good stuff. And with artificial intelligence we’re going to have several crappy stages to kind of worked through before we get to the really good stuff. A lot of people have it in their heads that it’s us versus them. It’s Ai versus the humans or robots versus humans when it’s actually going to be more about us with them and so how we use this technology. So I think Ai enhanced humans are going to become better artists. I think they’re going to be better writers. I think they’re going to be up to do a lot more things and accomplish much more in day than any time in all history. 20 years from now the average person can probably accomplish 10 times as much in their lifetime than they can today.
Well, I was talking to one of my clients the other day and we were talking about Ai because again, there’s a lot of people that are embracing it and there’s a lot of people that are actually nervous about. And I think there are probably more people who are nervous about it than not. So we were talking about it. They were saying these machines and these robots, they’re so intelligent. And my point to them was yes, they are intelligent, but they’re taking from our intelligence. So it’s what we put in to that machine that’s going to be what’s going to spit out. So it’s not like it has a personality of its own intelligence that intelligence has a lot to do with us, which means that’s where we should be. Understand the future and be able to perfect what we know, would you agree?
Yeah. We have to train it on what to do, how to understand things. So let’s say you have a cleaning robot that’s gonna clean your house and it comes across a piece of paper. How does it know if that’s a valuable piece of paper or if it’s just trash, like a dollar bill? It could be a birth certificate, it could be something important or it could just be a page turn out of a magazine that should be thrown away. So how does the robot know whether or not that’s valuable? It’s the same as if you’re cleaning the walls. Do you use spray water on this? Somebody has to teach it not to do that. And so all of these things are going to require human training, so to speak, but then the bad part is the human biases tend to go along with it then. And , so as we’re training, we’re teaching this robot what’s important in our house. I mean we don’t realize this, but we’ve placed an emotional value on everything around her house. The couch has this much value of the lamp has this much value and I like this chair better than that table. And so as we go along we place different levels of importance on it and those things will become important to kind of teach the box and stuff that are around us.
I love that perspective because this is exactly how I teach it, we have a membership site where we have these little lessons because it’s in these little pockets of knowledge that we’re actually training people. And we do a lot of this with giving them actual examples. And I think this is an excellent point, but here’s another question. You talk about micro industries and how that’s going to change the nature of work. Let’s talk about that. Those micro industries.
Yeah. I wrote a paper recently on how we’re going to have 100,000 micro industries creep into our lives over the next couple of decades. Now. Every new industry starts as a micro industry. It’s usually just one business or two businesses that pop up and they started very small and then some of them will catch on and they’ll turn into major industries. Other ones will just kind of fizzle out. One example that I use is the shoe industry, and most of us can relate to the shoe industry. The three things that we come into contact with in the physical world, most with is the shoes we walk in, the chairs we sit in, and the beds we sleep in. So I think we’re, we’re going to have this never ending stream of reinventing these things to make them better. We’re always in search of have this never ending quest for the ultimate bed, the ultimate chair or the ultimate shoe. So right now the shoe market for the world, if every years, 21 billion pairs of shoes, roughly three pairs of shoes for every person on the planet. Now the projections are that within five years, five percent will become smart shoes. That means that within five years we’re going to be selling a billion pair of smart shoes every year.
Okay. Will those be heels? Because I love my heels. If they could engineer a heel that’s super comfortable. I’m all in. I don’t care what it costs.
But if we take shoes as an example and we turn them into smart shoes at the consumer electronics show in January, there was a company selling smart shoes for people that were a fall risk. So if they fall over, then they had sent out an alert for somebody to help them back up again. And I think that they were going to start having these hyper individualized shoes that get created. Then these shoes will be very niche specific. So we’ll create specific shoes for people that play lacrosse, for people that are mountain climbers, for people that are amputees, people that are lefthanded, people at play organ. And you see going down the line. We started seeing all of these really niche shoes that are out there. So let’s take for example, you happen to like going out, jogging at night. So when you go out jogging at night your shoe recognizes that it’s dark out. So automatically summons a drone to fly overhead with lights that are shining a light on the path in front of you. Then it also has a payment system built into it because if you’ve already set this up and it’ll start charging you $20 an hour to rent that drone to fly over your path. So it pays for that however long you’re out. And then when you go back in the house then it disappears. You can have the same type of drone that when you walk out in, , in the rain it knows that it’s wet out. And all of a sudden an umbrella drone starts flying over your head and protects you from the rain, also charging you $20 an hour or something like that. So that’s the type of world that we’re moving into where it’s not just our shoes or clothes, everything’s gonna start communicating with each other.
That’s fabulous. And I love that idea. I just think it’s awesome even alerting you, because I live in a very rural area, so going out at night, as a matter of fact, I have a neighbor that has a tendency of going out at four in the morning. Then something I have to run out at four in the morning because I have to take my mom to work and there’s certain things that I have to do and I’ll be out there and I’m like, what on earth is she doing? It’s dark out here. And so my pet peeve is, she needs to be careful. I’m worried for her. And so, having a smart shoe that could, not only alert her that there’s a car coming, it could alert her that if their animals and that’s the biggie. So sometimes they have in our area we have bears and we have animals that can attack because they were afraid not because there would attack your typically because at night they come out. So that’s my concern for her because the car lights she can see, but the animal she can’t. So that’s an excellent use of a smart shoe. So with that said, what are the other things when you talk about chairs, I know that there has been a huge change in the beds and the chairs that we use. What do you see in the future for that?
So a lot of the emerging technology that we have right now is the tools of creation, so to speak. Chris Anderson, the former managing editor of Wired magazine, he said that, “when the tools of production becomes available to everybody, everybody becomes a producer” and so it becomes very easy for us to use things like a 3D printer to print the parts, to test things out, to try things and work on things. So invariably people will figure out how to design chairs have very likely we’re going to scan the body of the person and we’ll design a chair that perfectly fits, that body we’ll probably start designing beds that are, they’re constantly moving constantly in motion that rock people sleep that change all the pressure points. And so the amount of creativity that’s going to go into this I think it’s going to be staggering because I think we’re going to just come up with so many ingenious new ideas and new things make it to the marketplace that just would have never had a chance 20 years ago.
One of the interviews that we did with Tracy Hazzard. A few months back. She does 3D printing and they create things from 3D printing and she was saying the change and the people that are coming to her with these genius ideas and of course they’re the ones that create it, in a 3D print. They create the mock and then from there of course they send it to get them made, but the idea that you can have an idea of something and you can bring it to someone who can actually create that for you and you have that mock is a great place to start. So that’s fabulous. 3D printing has allowed us to be able to see things before they actually even happen. It’s amazing. And then perfecting it. That’s awesome.
So let’s say you’re an artist and you’re trying to sculpt something or you’re trying to make something and this image of what you’re trying to do shows up visually in front of you. So then you have a pattern that overlays what you’re trying to do and so you have a guide so to speak. So that makes it makes it easier, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of what you’re trying to do. And so as an artist then you can be much faster about how you’re doing things because you’re not just working off a blank canvas all the time. It can give you an edge over other artists so to speak.
Exactly. My niece is a graphic artist and she does all of our graphic arts and she was telling me that where they spend a lot of time, you know, once a logo was made is trying to find the right configuration of colors and she says, I could absolutely see where Ai can just take that over and do that for her because she says I will be a lot more productive because I’ll spend a lot less time actually finding the right colors. She says it’s so tedious and people don’t see that. They see a logo, they see the colors and they’re like, oh my God, I love that, but don’t realize what it takes. So she says, Ai will just take that right off my table. I wouldn’t even have to worry about that and I could continue creating the logos. And continue to being creative in the areas where I’m not so much most proficient, but definitely wish she enjoys most. Right.
You could have a logo that the colors actually change into the color and set resonate with the viewer the most. Its the same with music and songs, they can have lyrics change to our relatives, our kids, we can have little reference points to different people around us. And so suddenly it becomes very personalized and in that that type of thing becomes very possible in the near future. So I think yeah, kind of the AI generated music, the Ai generated art, but it’s working with humans to do that. I think that’s where we become far more efficient and productive along the way.
And it’s efficiency because that’s the possibility that Ai gives us that ability to be a lot more efficient. It cuts that time in half or even less, you know? So that’s awesome. Yeah. So we’ve talked about artificial intelligence and how it changes our life. Let’s talk a little bit about how it changes the economy.
Okay. Well, I mean, when people become more efficient, they can do more things. Come about at this from a roundabout angle. But artificial intelligence is going to be the basis for all the driverless cars you have to teach these cars how to drive right on the road. I think that driverless technologies will be the most disruptive technology in all history. I think it’s gonna be more disruptive than the invention of the wheel. The invention of electricity or the invention of the car itself, largely because we have more people on the planet right now, like just a things happen much quicker nowadays since. So this one will start effecting so many more people. And so if you think about a driverless technology, how does that start affecting our lives? Well, it touches us in ways that we hadn’t expected because you eliminate lots of driving positions. Somebody who’s going to own these fleets of cars that we can summon when we need them, we jumped in the car and we take off whenever we need one. Somebody has to own them, somebody also has to clean them, somebody has to maintain them. And so there’s a lot of work at least that’s surrounding it. So we need these of this ground crew of support for whether it’s flying drones or driverless cars, all of this stuff starts changing the job landscape and that affects our income streams. That affects the business world. It affects who gets the money and who doesn’t get the money. And so it’s a great change agent, if you will.
Right Okay. Fantastic. So AI is basically I say this all the time, it changes our lives and in every aspect of our lives. So the changes that we’ve seen so far, which were quite fascinated by or just really a drop in the bucket to all the possibilities that Ai is going to have in our lives. Is that accurate?
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Because it will absolutely touched every aspect of our lives and it’s not just our city, every person on planet earth, is going to be affected by these technologies. Whether it’s sensor technology or Ai or 3D printing or driverless technology or drones. These things go out and they really touched the lives of so many people. And sometimes for good, sometimes for the bad, but there’s always people that take this technology that’s developed with the best of intentions and they figure out how to use it in the wrong way.
Absolutely. But that’s with everything. We can’t throw away the baby with the bath water it’s important that were careful. And don’t judge it negatively from the onset because it has that possibility because honestly, everything has a possibility. So I want you to give me, what do you envision as the top two or maybe three disruptive innovation technologies that are going to change our lives in the next five to 10 years?
I think driverless technology is going to be one of the most disruptive, I think artificial intelligence. I think 3D printing, all of these I think are going to have just a massive, huge effect on us. And then the cryptocurrency, blockchain technology that’s going to force us to think about the financial world and a lot different ways as well. So that we want to talk about these things. It opens up a giant can of worms.
Yeah, I bet it does. Again, Ai is a wonderful thing. Technology is amazing and it really does have this power to change our lives and that’s awesome. But we want to also aware of the fact that we can actually use it because we always think of technology as something that somebody else has to use. Whereas I think it’s coming closer and closer to people that have these ideas and these inventions with something like 3D printing, going to people like my friend Tracy Hazzard and bringing them the idea and working with them together to develop it. Whereas before I think it took so much more to get things done. I think technology is actually giving you that opportunity for the lay person to be able to have access to it and to be able to use it and I think that’s the beauty of it. I think that’s the fascinating that things don’t have to stay in our head that we can actually bring it to fruition. I mean whether it becomes the next big thing or not, that’s not the point, but to have the potential of working with it and doing it is to me is fascinating. Would you agree?
Some of the biggest challenges to get the user interface so that it’s easy for people to use to bring it down to the first time user level so that it’s just, so stupid simple that anybody can do it. If you can do that, I mean if you can take the complexity of life and move it down so that anybody can do it then you’ve got a massive, huge business or an industry that you’ve just read it just because she made it easy and a lot of the new technology as suffering from bad user interface so that. So we have to work our way through that to get to the good stuff.
So how would you say, because of course I have a thousand ideas here. How would you say that foresight to be incorporated into Ai? How do we use Ai to our advantage and it helping businesses and companies and even individuals, how do we use that?
Well one of the easiest interface examples is that of the car we know we can get into a car, we can use a steering wheel and the gas pedal and a brake and that’s all we need to know about driving their car. But with, with Ai, we don’t have the same physical things that we can just grab on to. And so we have to do these mental calculations of how does this work and how do we interface with it, and so it somehow has to recognize us, it has to understand us, and I think that’s what we get to in the future here and in the world of education. I think the world of education becomes a system where we have Ai enhance teacher bots. Then the teacher bot then starts to learn who we are. It learns are our idiosyncrasies, our proclivities that learns our key reference points, the topics that we’re interested in. It learns when we’re functional when we’re nonfunctional when our brain is alive and well and in a relaxation mode so it knows everything about us. And then it will learn what skills that we have, what skills were proficient in and will understand what we’re lacking and it will be able to teach us the things that were lacking and bring us up to the suite so it’ll know when things are working, when they’re not working, and when we’ve mastered a new skill. So that’s where I think the world of education shifts dramatically around these Ai teacher bots and I think that’s far off in the future.
So here are my takeaways, my take away is that technology will change the way our future functions, our daily functioning, Ai is going to be involved in all of that. And also, my other takeaway is that 3D printing is going to be available to a lot more people and that they’re going to have the ability to be able to use it, to create their ideas and to facilitate their lives to make it easier and we’re going to be able to have a lot more hands on with robots. We’re going to have a lot of input into what this robot can do for us. So those are, my takeaways and I think that’s fascinating. Thank you so much Tom, because this was awesome. I think this was a great interview and I really enjoy you simplifying a very complex, very complex topic because Ai just seems like ahh. I hear so many people that are so afraid of it, “it’s going to take over, the world is going to take over our lives”. This is my conversation on a regular basis with so many of my clients and people that read our magazine and, come on the show, they’re like, this is going to be terrible. Like we’re not going to have jobs, but if we think back, I mean they used to in the street lamps use oil until the electricity came. So this is an evolution and this is life. But understanding that we have the power to manage it. So that’s been my biggest takeaway. So do you have any closing points?
So the one key thing to remember is that we’re not broadening, we’re not automating jobs out of existence. We’re automating tasks out of existence. So it’s not that the entire job goes away, it’s just parts of the job. And so the job itself, then we’ll get redefined and so naturally we can do a lot of these jobs with fewer people in the future. But all of this is shifting and changing this will move forward.
Right? And the more efficient you become, then the better the chance that you’ll keep your job because you’ll be the person that actually creates that change. Okay. So thank you so much to my audience, I say thank you so much for being here with another amazing futurist. And today we talked about technology. If you want to have more information about technology, please go to our magazine. We have topics every month. We have a different topic and we have covered Ai, so I would love for you to read up on it. Until then, I’ll see you guys next week with another futurist and more information on how to simplify your life with futuring. Until then, I’ll see you. Bye.
Over the past decade, Futurist Thomas Frey has built an enormous following around the world based on his ability to develop accurate visions of the future and describe the opportunities ahead. Having started seventeen businesses himself and assisting on the development of hundreds more, the understanding he brings to his audiences is a rare blend of reality-based thinking coupled with a clear-headed visualization of the world ahead. Before launching the DaVinci Institute, Tom spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer where he received over 270 awards, more than any other IBM engineer. He is also a past member of the Triple Nine Society (High I.Q. society over 99.9 percentile).
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