With only a couple of hundred different types of information processing centers in the brain, five main senses, and an assortment of movable parts, humans have had to turn to many other venues to figure out what is going on in the world, what to do about it and then carry it out. As we take credit for all of the problem solving, civilization building, increased longevity, and the ever increasing knowledge base, we should look closely at the mechanisms of action that have gotten us so far. As far as today's scientific data gathering and analysis is concerned, humans can't do it, we haven't done it, and we pretend that we are doing it. Human brains and linear tools started us off, but that was a long time ago.
Today machines and computers have the capability to acquire information that is trillions of times too small or too large for us to see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. Machines and computers can also take that information and analyze it trillions of times faster than our brain. Machines and computers can do this constantly for the cost of electricity. Machines filter out trillions of bits of incorrect and irrelevant information and create massive data bases of correct information. Machines and computers evolve twice their capabilities every year.
Sensors, actuators, and software have just recently become radically cheap, ubiquitous, and the main reason disruptive technology in the form of instant, autonomous, inexpensive, personalized products and services are shutting down businesses and accelerating abundance for the consumer. The individual’s life goals and society’s approach to the grand challenges have become unprecedented expectations that will be accomplished in a phenomenally short time. Knowing what these new goals are and what the motivation to accomplish those goals are become critical elements that each organization should know in order to alter their business plan and mission statement. If you think your business plan should remain the same, then you need to look at the law of accelerating returns, and stop thinking that accelerating intelligence is accomplished with human intelligence. Look at the all-important elbow of the curve in our “Estimating the Speed of Technological Advancement” charts.
Know your machines and computer systems. Computers and machines have become intuitive, autonomous, and self-sustaining. Governments, companies, organizations and small teams are working on the next steps which include self-aware robots, ubiquitous embedded sensors, machine independence, and merging human technology with human intelligence. Efforts to create self-aware nonbiological and artificial general intelligence forms that may exist online as an avatar, a machine, a robot, or a cybernetic individual are underway.
The speed of technological advancement is becoming so fast and is getting so much faster as the weeks go by, that you need to understand what is going on now, or things may become too difficult to comprehend, or act on.
Suffice it to say that the changes in everything will be coming so fast that you will not be able to keep up.
This is personal, this is business.
The Smaller the Better, Faster, and Cheaper
The ability of humans to evolve rapidly is dependent on technological evolution. That also means that today business is dependent on technological evolution as it changes every month. Biotech and nanotech also have the capability to evolve rapidly because they both produce exponentially. This means quick experiments that lead to quick results that lead to fast changes. Stem cells will grow exponentially in a culture (bioreactors); nano technology can create trillions of nano shells in minutes. Synthetic biology uses e-coli to rapidly grow products in a culture. The cost of the cells, chemicals, and bacteria, along with the cultures and bioreactors are much cheaper than the cost of building entire factories that produce inferior products. The same thing is true of using software to quickly change or personalize product production with 3D printers. Creating new genomes and producing them with DNA printers is also a very fast way to make huge changes. There is even a DNA laser printer to print out genomes very rapidly. DNA origami is another way to fabricate technology biologically. Mass production of carbon nanotubes is leading to strong, light, and smart materials.
Get a broad view of the new technologies, decide which ones you need to incorporate, create a roadmap that takes advantage of the new paradigms and systems as they are slated to come out, reach out to new partners or new solutions, and then create your future. Contact The Emerging Future to request an appointment, a group presentation, ask a question, or visit our blog.