By Ricardo Amorim and EIC
A New Year is time for drawing a balance of the year that ended, time to get stronger and prepare for the years to come. In my case I usually try to expand this personal exercise to what is happening in the World. In the World? How so?
The World, and consequently our lives, change much faster than we realize. When I started to work, less than 25 years ago, there was one single computer for the whole department where I worked. Internet and cellphones did not exist. Social networks and apps? No way! Can you imagine what life – or work – were like? A little different from today? Quite…And 25 years from now things won’t be less different. They will probably be even more different. The pace of change has accelerated, which enhances the importance of understanding change and preparing for it.
With that in mind, every turn of a year into the next I ask myself what are the five new novelties or trends which developed significantly and most attracted my attention. Let’s see what they are this year:
1. Robotics and artificial intelligence – will entirely change the labour market in the coming decades. Anything that can be automated will be. People will keep functions that require creativity and relationship. The buzz word in the next decade will probably be “singularity”, the nerd jargon for when artificial will surpass human intelligence, which will usher in huge possibilities and risk;
2. Virtual reality – I can still not visualize all the implications, but it will clearly revolutionize entertainment and education, and will significantly impact tourism and communication;
3. Cheaper health monitoring and care – will extend life expectancy, many young people today will live beyond 100 years of age, and besides radically changing the health sector this will impact : – the work market (people will have to work to an older age), – governments (retirement costs will be higher and therefore retirement will have to take place a lot later), – the tourism market (the average age of travellers will increase a lot);
4. Changes in social networks – for the time being there is more discussion than change. Though they also bring lots of good things in the current format, the vast majority of social networks stimulate confrontation, rumours, catch phrases, shallowness and exhibitionism. As a result many social networks polarize society. I don’t know exactly what format they’ll take, but networks will come about which will stimulate the discussion of ideas, learning and cooperation aiming at improving life conditions for all – as Linkedin already does for professionals – and they’ll be very successful. One initial step could be a button for “I learned something new” instead of “Like”;
5. Self-driving cars – in less than a decade they’ll fill our roads, and maybe in another decade they’ll revolutionize travel, when they are all connected to each other, reducing time in transport and freeing time to read or watch vídeos for people who used to drive. They’ll also radically reduce the need for infrastructure, and the demand for vehicles – if people don’t drive, shared economy will gain another impulse. We’ll have less traffic jams and no need for professional drivers. Taxi drivers who are now fighting Uber so hard have no idea what is coming their way…
As for you, what are the five novelties that appeared or gained critical mass in 2015 which most attracted your attention?
Ricardo Amorim is a host in Manhattan Connection on Globonews, CEO of RICAM Consultoria, the most influential Brazilian on LinkedIn, the only Brazilian on the Speakers Corner list of best and most important world lecturers and the most influential economist of Brazil according to Forbes Magazine.
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