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From the New York Times bestselling authors of Abundance and Bold comes a practical playbook for technological convergence in our modern era. In their book Abundance, bestselling authors and futurists Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler tackled grand global challenges, such as poverty, hunger, and energy. Then, in Bold, they chronicled the use of exponential technologies that From the New York Times bestselling authors of Abundance and Bold comes a practical playbook for technological convergence in our modern era. In their book Abundance, bestselling authors and futurists Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler tackled grand global challenges, such as poverty, hunger, and energy. Then, in Bold, they chronicled the use of exponential technologies that allowed the emergence of powerful new entrepreneurs. Now the bestselling authors are back with The Future Is Faster Than You Think, a blueprint for how our world will change in response to the next ten years of rapid technological disruption. Technology is accelerating far more quickly than anyone could have imagined. During the next decade, we will experience more upheaval and create more wealth than we have in the past hundred years. In this gripping and insightful roadmap to our near future, Diamandis and Kotler investigate how wave after wave of exponentially accelerating technologies will impact both our daily lives and society as a whole. What happens as AI, robotics, virtual reality, digital biology, and sensors crash into 3D printing, blockchain, and global gigabit networks? How will these convergences transform today’s legacy industries? What will happen to the way we raise our kids, govern our nations, and care for our planet? Diamandis, a space-entrepreneur-turned-innovation-pioneer, and Kotler, bestselling author and peak performance expert, probe the science of technological convergence and how it will reinvent every part of our lives—transportation, retail, advertising, education, health, entertainment, food, and finance—taking humanity into uncharted territories and reimagining the world as we know it. As indispensable as it is gripping, The Future Is Faster Than You Think provides a prescient look at our impending future.


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From the New York Times bestselling authors of Abundance and Bold comes a practical playbook for technological convergence in our modern era. In their book Abundance, bestselling authors and futurists Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler tackled grand global challenges, such as poverty, hunger, and energy. Then, in Bold, they chronicled the use of exponential technologies that From the New York Times bestselling authors of Abundance and Bold comes a practical playbook for technological convergence in our modern era. In their book Abundance, bestselling authors and futurists Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler tackled grand global challenges, such as poverty, hunger, and energy. Then, in Bold, they chronicled the use of exponential technologies that allowed the emergence of powerful new entrepreneurs. Now the bestselling authors are back with The Future Is Faster Than You Think, a blueprint for how our world will change in response to the next ten years of rapid technological disruption. Technology is accelerating far more quickly than anyone could have imagined. During the next decade, we will experience more upheaval and create more wealth than we have in the past hundred years. In this gripping and insightful roadmap to our near future, Diamandis and Kotler investigate how wave after wave of exponentially accelerating technologies will impact both our daily lives and society as a whole. What happens as AI, robotics, virtual reality, digital biology, and sensors crash into 3D printing, blockchain, and global gigabit networks? How will these convergences transform today’s legacy industries? What will happen to the way we raise our kids, govern our nations, and care for our planet? Diamandis, a space-entrepreneur-turned-innovation-pioneer, and Kotler, bestselling author and peak performance expert, probe the science of technological convergence and how it will reinvent every part of our lives—transportation, retail, advertising, education, health, entertainment, food, and finance—taking humanity into uncharted territories and reimagining the world as we know it. As indispensable as it is gripping, The Future Is Faster Than You Think provides a prescient look at our impending future.

30 review for The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Srivastava

    A comprehensive summary of technologies that seem promising right now. But hypes up them instead of discussing them objectively. Some descriptions in the book seemed to be more marketing speak (like calling Google's AutoML an AI-that-creates-AIs) than a rigorous evaluation. The book also gives a very high level overview of tech – without going into any detail. If you're someone who is already familiar with the tech world, you may not get much out of this. Would recommend this for anyone who is loo A comprehensive summary of technologies that seem promising right now. But hypes up them instead of discussing them objectively. Some descriptions in the book seemed to be more marketing speak (like calling Google's AutoML an AI-that-creates-AIs) than a rigorous evaluation. The book also gives a very high level overview of tech – without going into any detail. If you're someone who is already familiar with the tech world, you may not get much out of this. Would recommend this for anyone who is looking for opportunities in emerging technologies, and doesn't yet have a concrete understanding of what is possible. But would not recommend it to people who are regular listeners of tech podcasts or readers of similar books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    If you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you begin now. The future is so fast that if you haven’t read this book, you’re already pretty far behind. These authors are not going to identify anything that could go wrong with the technologies of the future. If you have read their last two books, you will know by now, they are interested in looking at the potential progressing technologies bring to society, but they are not at all interested in troubleshooting the potential problems that will acco If you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you begin now. The future is so fast that if you haven’t read this book, you’re already pretty far behind. These authors are not going to identify anything that could go wrong with the technologies of the future. If you have read their last two books, you will know by now, they are interested in looking at the potential progressing technologies bring to society, but they are not at all interested in troubleshooting the potential problems that will accompany many of those technologies. As long as you are not expecting a critical but exciting view of the future, then I highly recommend this book. It brings all the excitement without weighing itself down by potential issues with future technology. I mean, I for one and eagerly awaiting zooming along in my flying Uber car that can reach speeds of more than 150 mph, fit for passengers, cost 44 cents a mile to Operate, have multiple rotors so that if one rotor fails I can remain in the air and not crash, and charge in seven minutes flat. But, I, like Elon Musk, do worry that until flying cars are truly ready for primetime, there might be a lot of issues that could potentially harm passengers below. I think Musk might have used the example of a hubcap falling off? Idk, maybe I am misquoting him. I don't worry so much about that because I assume cars will be made in a way that pieces can't just come flying off.  If you are looking for a book that introduces mind blowing future tech and also introduces concerns we should anticipate, I recommend Yuval Noah Harari's 21 lessons for the 21st Century.  Diamandis and Kotler always deliver an excitement filled journey into the future. Their books fill me with anticipation and awe. Always a joy to read. 

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt Birchler

    Reads almost like a parody of what the world would be like if every single pie-in-the-sky proclamation from tech execs came true in the next 5-10 years.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sri Shivananda

    This is a crash course on all the technological developments that are on the horizon. it includes the innovations in agriculture, commerce, education, entertainment, finance, food, real estate, retail, transportation, and its implications on economies, communities, and humanity as a whole. I recommend it to any who is trying to catch up with the breadth of transformations in technologies that are creating an acceleration towards exponential disruption.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Petr Kalis

    I should just dust off my review for Kevin Kelly's The Inevitable, same situation here. I just don't understand for whom the book is for. If you follow technology blogs for a while, you read everything in this book previously somewhere, usually in better form. Reading was an ordeal, it reads like marketing pamphlets for C-level guys to allow them BS on next posh tech party about the "newest bestest buzzword". It brings a drop of positivity, not all doom and gloom like you have in regular newspape I should just dust off my review for Kevin Kelly's The Inevitable, same situation here. I just don't understand for whom the book is for. If you follow technology blogs for a while, you read everything in this book previously somewhere, usually in better form. Reading was an ordeal, it reads like marketing pamphlets for C-level guys to allow them BS on next posh tech party about the "newest bestest buzzword". It brings a drop of positivity, not all doom and gloom like you have in regular newspaper, but book serves it in boring pattern "HEADLINE, HEADLINE...blah, blah, blah..HEADLINE..blah, in 5 years we will all have automatic flying cars and we will be living in VR worlds...blah..HEADLINE". It feels like how I would write finishing thesis on future technology. You know, the kind of thesis that only your reviewer will read, it will be sitting somewhere in dark corner of a library, collecting dust. The kind of thesis that you really dont want to write, but you have to, so you procrastinate a lot and then you collect a bunch of citations from bunch of articles, glue them with a duct tape and continue with your life looking for something more important. Didn't enjoy it too much, maybe I will just go through included comprehensive list of notes (thumb up for that) to read something more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cary Giese

    Should we continue to embrace development of new technology because we can or should we be careful to understand the implications before we do? That is the thesis examined by this book. “Disruptive innovation,” as the author describes it, or “creative destruction” as it’s called by capitalism, will have to be accommodated somehow. In both cases the assumption is that innovation and/or economic progress is worth the price. That is yet to be seen! The convergence of AI, 3D printing, cultured meats, Should we continue to embrace development of new technology because we can or should we be careful to understand the implications before we do? That is the thesis examined by this book. “Disruptive innovation,” as the author describes it, or “creative destruction” as it’s called by capitalism, will have to be accommodated somehow. In both cases the assumption is that innovation and/or economic progress is worth the price. That is yet to be seen! The convergence of AI, 3D printing, cultured meats, nanotechnology, virtual/augmented reality, biotechnology and blockchain, will dramatically alter our ways of living or working. Organizations doing manufacturing, retailing, insuring, financing, selling real estate, communicating, entertaining, agriculture, educating, and governing will have to reinvent their systems. Technology affecting change: Manufacturing—AI, 3D printing, nanotechnology (eliminates jobs, will it reduce costs?) Retailing, Entertaining, Communicating—virtual reality, augmented reality, fiber optics, 5G. (Not local, will it be less responsive to customers?) Financing—Blockchain, virtual banks (see State Farm offer, again distance, not personal) Insuring—AI segmentation, driverless cars, sales through media. (Companies avoiding risks) Real estate—virtual reality home based sales via media (again distance from clients) Agriculture—3D printing of vegetables, vertical crops, monitor of H2O and plant nutrients. More efficient. (Good, closer to consumers) Medicine—body sensors, nanoscopic agents in the body, robotic surgery, gene therapy, gene modification, robotic genes. (Repression of aging, healthier people, costly) Education—multimedia lessons, virtual/augmented reality lessons. (Centralized, uniform lessons, vulnerable to propaganda) Climate-tree planting drones, floating cities, cultured meat grown from stem cells, battery sharing. (Finally accepting the problem, too late?) Governing-rapid election decisions through electronic means, Note: per the author, he believes that separation of powers and checks and balances may be too slow to be responsive???? (A threat to checks on leaders) Further, great migrations will be destabilizing: based on climate changes, urbanization, travel into space, and evolution by human direction (less natural selection, a threat to the idea of god) As described every aspect of our lives will change rapidly. The question is, will stress and uncertainty caused by the changes be offset by benefits or not? Will we be able to manage the transition???? From page 236 of the book: “We are going to experience a hundred years of technological progress over the next ten years. However, “many of the most powerful technologies we’ll have at our disposal-artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology, are only starting to come online. So, the threats we face might be dire, but the solutions we already possess will continue to increase in power” (offer hope??) This is a terrifying book, it promises wonders but questions if we can handle it. What policies should govern this transition? That is my question! Read the book yourself to really understand the story told!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martin Talks

    This is a useful book if you want to gain fluency and an update on a range of emerging technologies and aren't already up-to-date. It is well-informed and well-researched as the authors are well connected in these industries. Its relentless optimism about technology does grate a bit after a while as we all know that there needs to be a balance between the benefits and downsides/risks. It is also rather US focused so looks at technology with a silicon valley lens. Take it with a large pinch of sa This is a useful book if you want to gain fluency and an update on a range of emerging technologies and aren't already up-to-date. It is well-informed and well-researched as the authors are well connected in these industries. Its relentless optimism about technology does grate a bit after a while as we all know that there needs to be a balance between the benefits and downsides/risks. It is also rather US focused so looks at technology with a silicon valley lens. Take it with a large pinch of salt, but overall I found it a useful round-up of the technologies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nyan

    "If you oxygenate one of the moon's big volcanoes, you can fly with human powered wings because gravity is low enough." If you want to read about what the most brilliant humans have been up to, and their ideas, this is the book for you.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andres Sanchez

    Found this book to be a great window into how tech could be changing our world in the coming years, although some things might feel a little far fetched, I remember reading "bold" a few years ago and having the same feeling. Author explains some of the innovation trends that we should expect in the coming years. These innovations are fueled by the convergence of several independent technologies. They are labeled as exponential tech, which goes through 6 phases ending in demonetization, dematerial Found this book to be a great window into how tech could be changing our world in the coming years, although some things might feel a little far fetched, I remember reading "bold" a few years ago and having the same feeling. Author explains some of the innovation trends that we should expect in the coming years. These innovations are fueled by the convergence of several independent technologies. They are labeled as exponential tech, which goes through 6 phases ending in demonetization, dematerialization and democratization. These independent technologies are: AI, smart networks, sensors, robotics, VR, 3D printing, materials science and quantum computing. I made some quick notes on points I want to review in more detail: In transportation he points to the following breakthroughs: EVTL, autonomous cars, hyperloop, rocket inter-continental travel. Essentially this will change how we move, where we live and our daily routines. Quantum computing will enable faster computing and modeling of natures quantum processes. Solar energy and biotech will enter the disruptive phase soon. Some consequences I found appealing: we will live longer lifespan, there will be more people contributing globally through democratizing connectivity, cognitive enhancement is coming. Fueled by the convergence of thec, there will be massive changes in retail, entertainment, advertisement, education, healthcare, insurance, finance, RE, food. He discusses major issues to be found in the next 100 years and what is being done relating to: water scarcity, emissions, climate change, human unemployment. To address these issues we will need to change our vision, prevention methods and governance models. We will face five major migrations due to: climate, urbanization, VR, space and meta intelligence.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Benny

    The book gives as high level summary to several emerging technologies that will reshape our world in the next decades. If it had gone into details on some of the more interesting topics, it would've felt less like a marketing pamphlet for Abundance 360 and Singularity University, where are both run by the author.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    These two authors live and work in Silicon Valley and it shows in this book. They don't just talk about the developments that are in the news, that everyone knows about. They share the very latest, cutting edge stuff. In fact, I did this book via audio and at the end of each chapter they added a recording of a conversation between the authors talking about the new stuff that developed in the 9 months since they sent the manuscript to the publisher. They were concerned about how things had changed These two authors live and work in Silicon Valley and it shows in this book. They don't just talk about the developments that are in the news, that everyone knows about. They share the very latest, cutting edge stuff. In fact, I did this book via audio and at the end of each chapter they added a recording of a conversation between the authors talking about the new stuff that developed in the 9 months since they sent the manuscript to the publisher. They were concerned about how things had changed in 9 months and didn't want to misrepresent the details. That's how much this book is on the edge of change. The future is MUCH faster than you're probably thinking. There's huge change coming, from your doctor (robot surgeons and AI diagnosis) to your drive to work (flying cars are very close--testing them right now!) to how you think and learn (controlling machines with your mind is already happening)--the world is going to be very different in the next 5-10 years. This isn't far future. This isn't predictions. This books tells you what's already happening and just hasn't made it to your neighborhood yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nizami

    I had high expectations for the book based on reviews. But looks like the book has been written for those who don’t follow technological changes. The book touches issues from the surface and does not go deeper. Most of what the author mentions can be found reading news. The book is ill researched ( few % numbers mentioned here and there) and contain ton of authors opinions and views - which is always optimistic. In 1960s it was expected there would be flying cars in few decades. Technology does I had high expectations for the book based on reviews. But looks like the book has been written for those who don’t follow technological changes. The book touches issues from the surface and does not go deeper. Most of what the author mentions can be found reading news. The book is ill researched ( few % numbers mentioned here and there) and contain ton of authors opinions and views - which is always optimistic. In 1960s it was expected there would be flying cars in few decades. Technology does not happen as humans expect. Despite that the author gives its forecasts most of the time. If you have intermediate knowledge of tech changes, read news occasionally, i would recommend to save time and skip the book. For the rest of community, it is good read

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I think this is an excellent book albeit perhaps a little optimistic. But maybe not. The author covers so many aspects of the economy, healthcare, engineering, computing, transportation...It is really a great read and an excellent contrast to the typical calamity-reporting media who would have you believe the world is ending any minute. We as Earthlings have so many things to look forward to and this book covers so many of the with concrete examples. The book itself contains very few specific re I think this is an excellent book albeit perhaps a little optimistic. But maybe not. The author covers so many aspects of the economy, healthcare, engineering, computing, transportation...It is really a great read and an excellent contrast to the typical calamity-reporting media who would have you believe the world is ending any minute. We as Earthlings have so many things to look forward to and this book covers so many of the with concrete examples. The book itself contains very few specific references, however, everything that I checked while reading the book checked out.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eimantas Nejus

    This book touches many topics of our life which will be transformed in nearby future. It is written in a style where new topic starts with a few examples of what is already achieved and might be unknown to the reader and then, based on ongoing research, makes predictions for what is expected in that field in the next 5 - 10 years. This approach is very immersive and it doesn't feel like some far fetched utopia, it feels more like something you will see and feel after a couple of Christmases. Of c This book touches many topics of our life which will be transformed in nearby future. It is written in a style where new topic starts with a few examples of what is already achieved and might be unknown to the reader and then, based on ongoing research, makes predictions for what is expected in that field in the next 5 - 10 years. This approach is very immersive and it doesn't feel like some far fetched utopia, it feels more like something you will see and feel after a couple of Christmases. Of course, depending on your involvement in the future tech/stuff news, your experience reading this book might vary from having your mind blown to reading a collection of old news. For me it was 50/50 I'd say, but the 50% I did not know about was fascinating, topics about Insurance, Real Estate, Financing, Forest Fire prevention, to name a few - were especially eye opening and already making paradigm shifts in my mind and understanding of how our society will be functioning in near future.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Taulant Elshani

    Science and technology are making rapid progress and consequently our lives will change radically in a reasonable future. Conventional lifestyles will give way to completely new models of living. Flying cars, nanotechnology, biotechnology, longevity, 3D printing, unconventional ways of producing meat, radical changes in governance, entertainment industry, shopping and even the colonization of other planets within the solar system will be the technologies and enterprises that will dominate our liv Science and technology are making rapid progress and consequently our lives will change radically in a reasonable future. Conventional lifestyles will give way to completely new models of living. Flying cars, nanotechnology, biotechnology, longevity, 3D printing, unconventional ways of producing meat, radical changes in governance, entertainment industry, shopping and even the colonization of other planets within the solar system will be the technologies and enterprises that will dominate our lives in the decades to come. The Future is Faster Than You Think brings a complete picture of the radical transformation of our lives through epoch-making scientific discoveries and technological applicability. The list of references that the authors cite is also long and arouses our curiosity to research even more about scientists, events, technology and companies from around the world. I think that this book should be read by all those who are curious about what our future will look like. But in particular the book should be read by CEOs, political advisors as well as decision makers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Abersold

    The future may be faster than we think, but is it the future we want? I rated this book 4/5 because it was an enjoyable read and because it was thought-provoking. However, I have some concerns about how some of the technologies were presented, whether they considered unintended consequences, and whether some of these technologies are even desirable. I have no doubt that the basic thesis of this book is true - technology is expanding at an ever increasing rate, and some things may be here sooner th The future may be faster than we think, but is it the future we want? I rated this book 4/5 because it was an enjoyable read and because it was thought-provoking. However, I have some concerns about how some of the technologies were presented, whether they considered unintended consequences, and whether some of these technologies are even desirable. I have no doubt that the basic thesis of this book is true - technology is expanding at an ever increasing rate, and some things may be here sooner than we expected. Some of these technologies are genuinely exciting. Imagine if we could produce all the food we want for a fraction of the resources and cost. Or if flying cars really do become a thing. Or if we really can re-grow forests of coral in the oceans. On the other hand, are we really going to want to wear a VR headset or a special set of glasses all the time so that we can be constantly connected? Is it really a good thing for people to be able to live far away from where they work because the computer drives the car now? How much personal information do we want to give away to all these tech companies that want to sell us things? If driverless cars really do make parking lots obsolete, won't that cause cities to increase their density, thus making driverless cars less efficient? These are the things I wondered when reading the book. Some of the book is exciting, but a lot of it seems like techno-utopian hype. A heavily AI and VR-driven future seems pretty anti-social to me, and I don't think there's ever going to be a suitable substitute for real person-to-person interaction. But all things considered, the book was at least entertaining and thought-provoking, so I give it a good score for that reason.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Firas

    4.5 Stars Overall this book was really interesting to read and gave great insight for what the future holds. I feel like the next decade is really optimistic for a lot of the stuff in here but who knows? Also the second half of part 2 and part 3 were quite a bit of a slog to get through compared to part 1 but an interesting read nonetheless

  18. 5 out of 5

    VannTile

    This book actually makes you feel the acceleration of the acceleration. Why? Because when everything seemed like in a "close future", you could feel the basis of the changes that were to come, as the ground was all around us, but when the changes are predicted all to be (well, maybe not space travel) in the next 5-10 years, disrupting the fabric of all aspects of society, then you actually start to chill expecting this wild ride.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Parker

    Alright, I'm officially hyped for space colonization. Could've done with less time dedicated to the future of tailored clothing. And remember, kids: to be anti-immigration is to be anti-accelerated innovation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    James

    This next installment in the Exponential Technology series, which includes Abundance and Bold, stands quite confidently on its own. The Future is Faster Than You Think is a dizzying, yet ultimately hopeful, tour de force of what is already possible with technology, and what is on and over the horizon. Peter and Steven do an admirable job of not only curating the vast field of emerging technologies, but also in showing how these technologies are converging with one another to create novel and a This next installment in the Exponential Technology series, which includes Abundance and Bold, stands quite confidently on its own. The Future is Faster Than You Think is a dizzying, yet ultimately hopeful, tour de force of what is already possible with technology, and what is on and over the horizon. Peter and Steven do an admirable job of not only curating the vast field of emerging technologies, but also in showing how these technologies are converging with one another to create novel and accelerated offerings. With converging technologies in every area of human life, from agriculture, to transportation, to healthcare, to you-name-it, the future is not only going to be faster than you think, it is going to be better than you think.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lucian

    Our biggest problems, are our biggest opportunities

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abin

    Mind-blowing!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Yk Chia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The author really knows his stuff about emerging tech and for me is scary and exciting how the future could be. For a moment I tot I was reading a Sci FI book because it was so advanced. The Future Is Faster Than You Think - Peter H. Diamandis (Highlight: 122; Note: 2) ─────────────── ◆ Chapter One: Convergence ▪ Before the end of the next decade, this transportation revolution will impact some of the most intimate aspects of our lives. Where we choose to live and work, how much free time we have, h The author really knows his stuff about emerging tech and for me is scary and exciting how the future could be. For a moment I tot I was reading a Sci FI book because it was so advanced. The Future Is Faster Than You Think - Peter H. Diamandis (Highlight: 122; Note: 2) ─────────────── ◆ Chapter One: Convergence ▪ Before the end of the next decade, this transportation revolution will impact some of the most intimate aspects of our lives. Where we choose to live and work, how much free time we have, how we spend that time. It will change how cities look and feel, the size of the “local” dating pool, the demographics of the “local” school district— the list goes on and on (Flying cars Autonomous cars Hyperloop) ▪ How would this transportation transformation change your life? Start small. Consider your day. What errands will you run? What stores will you visit ▪ Not only are a dozen exponential technologies beginning to converge, their impact is unleashing a series of secondary forces. These forces range from our increasing access to information, money, and tools, to our considerable uptick in productive time and life expectancy. These forces are another tsunami of change, accelerating our acceleration, amping up the speed and scale of the coming disruption ▪ Every time a technology goes exponential, we find an internet-sized opportunity tucked inside. Think about the internet itself. While it seemingly decimated industries—music, media, retail, travel, and taxis—a study by McKinsey Global Research found the net created 2.6 new jobs for each one it extinguished ▪ AlphaGo Zero, meanwhile, required zero data. Instead, it relies on “reinforcement learning”—it learns by playing itself ◆ Chapter Three: The Turbo-Boost: Exponential Technologies Part II ▪ children. 3-D printing is an incredible tool for fighting poverty. It’s up to us to use it ▪ In N-of-1 medicine, every treatment you receive has been specifically designed for you—your genome, transcriptome, proteome, microbiome, and all the rest. It’s a level of preventative care not seen before. You’ll know the foods, supplements, and exercise regimen that are perfect for you. You’ll understand which microbes inhabit your gut, and what diet keeps them healthy and fit ◆ Chapter Four: The Acceleration of Acceleration ▪ There’s a pattern here, as “saved time” turns out to be one of the major benefits of technology (If your solution can help someone save time, then it definetely adds value) ▪ bitcoin and blockchain undercut existing “trusted third party” financial models, and crowdfunding and ICOs upend the traditional ways capital is raised ▪ These models also lean on staff-on-demand, which provides a company with the agility needed to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Sure, this once meant call centers in India, but today it’s everything from micro-task laborers behind Amazon’s Mechanical Turk on the low end to Kaggle’s data scientist-on-demand service on the high end ▪ essentially baiting the customer with free access to a cool service (like Facebook) and then making money off the data gathered about that customer ▪ The Inevitable ▪ In other words, take any existing tool, and add a layer of smartness. So cell phones became smartphones and stereo speakers became smart speakers and cars become autonomous cars ▪ At the convergence of blockchain and AI sits a radically new kind of company—one with no employees, no bosses, and nonstop production ▪ The next iteration of this idea is the Transformation Economy, where you’re not just paying for an experience, you’re paying to have your life transformed ◆ Chapter Five: The Future of Shopping ▪ They out-demonetized and out-democratized Sears. They built their stores on cheaper land, paid cheaper wages, and sold cheaper goods. But most importantly, they saw the exponential writing on the wall ▪ retail is nestled at the convergence of communications, energy, and transportation breakthroughs, it’s a canary in a coal mine, ground zero for Rifkin’s “next major economic paradigm shift ▪ Over the next ten years, 3-D printing will reshape retail ▪ The End of the Supply Chain ▪ consumers preferring eco-friendly products and retailers looking to minimize materials cost, the exactitude of 3-D printing is a ready-made solution ▪ This doesn’t just mean an end to the spare parts business, it also means a new level of longevity for the products we purchase ▪ Yet, for everything from fashion to furniture, customer-designed will replace designer-designed as standard operating procedure ▪ With Alexa placing our orders, 3-D printers manufacturing those orders, and drones delivering the results to your doorstep, why, in the not too distant future, would anyone go anywhere to go shopping ▪ the experience economy is a new kind of disruptive business model satisfying a new kind of need ▪ Consider the Westfield shopping center group’s ten-year vision for the future of retail, “Destination 2028.” Replete with hanging sensory gardens, smart changing rooms, and mindfulness workshops, Westfield’s proposed shopping center will be a “hyper-connected micro-city” with an incredible amount of personalization ▪ This upgraded experience economy might mean these malls have a chance of staying in business ▪ If successful, retail will become a convergent industry, where time spent at the mall pays multiple dividends. Shopping becomes healthcare becomes entertainment becomes education and so forth. Or, as we’ll see in the next section, our malls become a memory, as shopping itself becomes another task outsourced to your AI ◆ Chapter Seven: The Future of Entertainment ▪ In June of 2016, the extremely eerie short film Sunspring was released online, the end result of a neural net–powered AI being fed hundreds of sci-fi film scripts and allowed to take a crack at writing one of its own ▪ Two months later, Twentieth Century Fox debuted the trailer for the upcoming thriller Morgan, also created with the help of an AI—this time, IBM’s Watson. To pull this off, Watson “watched” trailers for a hundred horror movies, then conducted visual, audio, and composition analysis to understand what humans deemed scary. By applying this same kind of analysis to Morgan, the AI identified the film’s critical moments. Although a human was needed to arrange those moments into a coherent order, Watson reduced the amount of time it takes to make a trailer from ten days to one ▪ Movies aren’t the only format entering the machine age. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed Scheherazade, an AI that creates Choose Your Own Adventure–style stories for video games. While current AI-driven video games start out with a fixed number of datasets, thus a fixed number of possible storylines, Scheherazade enables unlimited plot points. It’s literally an infinite adventure machine—only, it’s not all about the algorithms. Scheherazade has help, human help. Content creation is done via collaboration between an AI and the crowd ▪ Passive media means information flows in only one direction ▪ Active is the opposite. It means the information flows both ways, and finally, the user gets to have their say ▪ Enter MashUp Machine, an AI-driven platform for participatory storytelling. By blending machine intelligence with crowd intelligence, this app creates interactive animated movies. And it’s a two-way street. As users customize content, the AI learns the ins-and-outs of their storytelling styles, allowing it to make suggestions and help the process along ▪ Soon, AI won’t just scan content for relevant topics and sticky memes to produce more content. Instead, it’ll digest entire novels, consume entire films, and—by inputting enough storytelling—know how to distinguish diamonds from dung ▪ Deepfake version 1.0 used AI-driven frame-by-frame image transfers that required multiple sensors and cameras. To pull off these dance fakes, all you need is your smartphone’s camera ▪ In 2018, Robbins teamed up with Lifekind, a company that specializes in creating AI “personas” of real people ▪ Not only is content becoming more active than ever before, those activities are blending human and machine intelligence to expand the entertainment industry into wild new terrain ▪ Light Field Lab ▪ Most of this technology is already here, found under the label of “affective computing,” or the science of teaching machines to understand and simulate human emotion. It’s a tale of convergence, a new field sitting at the intersection of cognitive psychology, computer science, and neurophysiology, combined with accelerating technologies like AI, robotics, and sensors ▪ Affectiva, a startup created by Rosalind Picard, the head of MIT’s Affective Computing Group, is an emotional recognition platform used by both the gaming and the marketing industry. The technology tells a customer service chatbot if a user’s confused or frustrated, provides advertisers with a way to test the emotional effectiveness of their ads, and gives gaming companies a means to adjust play in real time ▪ In the thriller game Nevermind, Affectiva’s tech hunts anxiety via facial expressions and biofeedback. When the system discovers the user is scared, the game doubles down—adding challenging tasks and surreal content to up the thrill factor ◆ Chapter Eight: The Future of Education ▪ In 2012, Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of MIT’s Media Lab, dropped off a bunch of solar charging systems and a pile of Motorola Xoom tablets in a pair of remote Ethiopian villages. The tablets were preloaded with basic learning games, movies, books, and the like, then sealed inside of boxes. Rather than being handed to the adults, the sealed boxes were given directly to children. These kids could neither read nor write. They had never seen this kind of technology before. Nobody was given instructions. Negroponte’s question was simple: What happens next ▪ Children, armed only with a laptop loaded with educational apps and games, could teach themselves to read and write while also learning how to navigate the internet ▪ Years earlier, to advance this cause, he’d founded the nonprofit One Laptop per Child, with the goal of building a $100 tablet computer that could be put into the hands of children in need. Still, questions remained: Was a cheap tablet sufficient to solve this problem? How much teaching and direction would kids actually need? Could children teach themselves simply by playing with the apps and games ▪ thought the kids would play with the boxes,” Negroponte told the MIT Review. “Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, [but also] found the on-off switch… [and] powered it up. Within five days, they were using forty-seven apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked [the] Android [operating system ▪ Negroponte’s Ethiopia experiment went further ▪ In 2017, the XPRIZE decided to take things to the next level, launching the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE ▪ aimed at the 263 million children in the world without access to school ▪ Android-based software that would allow a child to quickly self-educate with nothing more than a tablet—that is, learn the basics of reading and writing ▪ Nearly two hundred delivered software, and out of this pool, five finalists were selected and each received a million dollars for their software to be loaded onto some five thousand Pixel C tablets donated by Google ▪ Both had created software that, in an hour a day, produced an education equivalent to what those children would have received attending a Tanzanian school on a full-time basis ▪ s available for free on GitHub ◆ Chapter Nine: The Future of Healthcare ▪ Find an article in a journal about pulmonary hypertension, backtrack the terminology to a college textbook, backtrack the key ideas to a more general high school textbook, and repeat ▪ On the technological front, every step in the medical treatment train is being reinvented. On the front end, the convergence of sensors, networks, and AI is upending medical diagnostics. In the middle, robotics and 3-D printing are changing the nature of medical procedures. On the back end, AI, genomics, and quantum computing are transforming medicines themselves ▪ Concurrently, as a result of these convergences, two major paradigm shifts are under way. The first is the shift from sick care to healthcare, from a system that is retrospective, reactive, and generic, to one that is prospective, proactive, and personalized ▪ All of these developments point toward a future of always-on health monitoring and cheap, easy diagnostics ▪ The technical term for this shift is “mobile health,” a field predicted to become a $102 billion market by 2022 ▪ First, as people age, their supply of stem cells rapidly diminishes, a process known as “stem cell exhaustion ▪ Second, the placenta doesn’t just contain stem cells, but also houses immunological cells such as natural killer cells and T-cells, both of which are critical in the body’s natural ability to fight cancer—as long as they recognize the danger ▪ There are over a hundred million births per year, and 99 percent of those placentas are thrown away. Saving this supply gives us the potential to manufacture these medicines cheaply and at scale ▪ generative adversarial networks (or GANs ▪ By pitting two neural nets against one another (adversarial), the system can start with minimal instructions and produce novel outcomes (generative ▪ Researchers had been using GANs to do things like design new objects or create one-of-a-kind, fake human faces ▪ He figured GANs would allow researchers to verbally describe drug attributes: “The compound should inhibit protein X at concentration Y with minimal side effects in humans,” and then the AI could construct the molecule from scratch ▪ They created an AI that mines enormous datasets to determine the most likely distance between a protein’s base pairs and the angles of their chemical bonds—aka, the basics of protein folding. They called it AlphaFold ◆ Chapter Ten: The Future of Longevity ▪ Unity Biotechnology is one of the most interesting of these ▪ Finally, there’s Samumed, maybe the most watched of today’s longevity companies. Backed by a $12 billion valuation, this San Diego–based biotech is focusing on the Wnt signaling pathways, which, like the name sounds, are one way the body sends messages. In this case, those messages govern a group of genes that both aid the growth of a developing fetus and seem to play a heavy role in aging ▪ Transfuse younger animals with blood from older ones and the clock spins forward, accelerating decrepitude, amplifying aging ◆ Chapter Eleven: The Future of Insurance, Finance, and Real Estate ▪ Yet, driven by forces very similar to those that originally helped sculpt Lloyd’s—an upsurge in information and collaboration—the insurance industry is again about to be completely transformed ▪ to use social media to find other ultra-healthy folks, share data, and self-insure? All it takes is a few people raising their digital hand and saying, “Hey, look at my genes, see how much I exercise, check out my Oura ring data, my Apple Watch data. If anyone else is healthy like me, let’s come together and do this ▪ In the insurance game, when the lowest risk clients opt out, the statistics stop working. With the ultra-healthy gone from the pool, the risk curve shifts dramatically. To cover costs, either everyone’s rate increases or the insurance company goes bankrupt. But if everyone’s rate goes up, then everyone goes elsewhere for insurance, and, once again, the insurance company goes bankrupt ▪ Introducing decentralized, peer-to-peer insurance, or what’s become known as “crowdsurance.” Crowdsurance eliminates the middleman. Instead of an insurance company, there’s a technology stack—an app connected to a database connected to an AI-bot. The stack oversees a network made up of people who pay premiums and file claims which the network then approves ▪ Since borrowing money is one of the largest problems faced by the unbanked, their initial pilot project idea was microfinance. A micro-loan for a cow, motorbike, or sewing machine—that is, the startup costs for a small business—is often the start of the end of the cycle of poverty. By giving people a way to withdraw and repay their loan via cell phone minutes, the Department suspected they might jump-start entrepreneurship in countries that needed it most ▪ Over the next decade, 4 billion people, the rising billions, will gain access to the internet. Since all of them will need basic banking services, the opportunity is massive. But thanks to converging technology, the downstream result of Nick Hughes’s long shot is that nearly everyone but banks will end up capitalizing on it ▪ With AI, huge groups of people can come together, share financial information, and pool risk, becoming the peer-to-peer market now known as “crowdlending.” Prosper, Funding Circle, and LendingTree are three examples in a market expected to grow from $26.16 billion in 2015 to $897.85 billion by 2024 ▪ Economists often point out that two of the main factors that drive economic growth are the availability of money—the stockpiles we can draw upon—and the velocity of money, or the speed and ease with which we can move that money around. Both of these factors are being amplified by exponential technologies. The result is acceleration, a profound shift in who owns ◆ Chapter Thirteen: Threats and Solutions ▪ By 2025, according to the UN, half the globe will be water stressed ▪ turn this tide, Kamen designed the Slingshot, a vapor compression distillation system powered by a Stirling engine—or, a water purifier the size of a mini-fridge capable of running off any combustible fuel, including dried cow dung. Using less electricity than required to power a hair dryer, the Slingshot can purify water from any source: polluted groundwater, saltwater, sewage, urine, take your pick. One machine provides clean drinking water for three hundred people a day ▪ Kamen had just made a handshake deal with Coca-Cola. The inventor agreed to build the soft drink behemoth a better soda fountain, and in return, Coke agreed to use their global distribution network to get the Slingshot into water-starved countries ▪ remote, low-income communities with safe drinking water, internet access, nonperishables (like mosquito repellant), first-aid supplies, and, of course, Coca-Cola products for sale. By 2017, there were 150 Ekocenters operating in eight countries ▪ we’re going to bring renewables to scale, we’ll need to store energy ▪ Enter the Gigafactory—Tesla’s attempt to double global lithium-ion battery production ▪ Drone Reforestation ▪ Enter BioCarbon Engineering, a British company founded by ex-NASA employees that has developed AI-guided tree-planting drones ▪ Reef Restoration ▪ Aquaculture Reinvention ▪ Neuralink has a plan for a two-gigabit-per-second wireless connection from the brain to the cloud and wants to begin human trials by the end of 2021

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bradley Hughes

    I really like the way Diamandis pulls together multiple technologies to discuss their convergence. His broad strokes are a welcome set of guideposts to what is possible!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nasse

    A frustrating experience. While the super rich acquire immortality on Mars, things continue to improve down on earth. Social, moral and ethical progress need more attention than this. While technology apparently is democratizing consumer goods, democracy it self is getting de-democratized. How can technology help in reverting this progress? The answer is at least not in this book. The elite charade of changing the world.. That being said, there is still a lot of exciting technology in this book. A A frustrating experience. While the super rich acquire immortality on Mars, things continue to improve down on earth. Social, moral and ethical progress need more attention than this. While technology apparently is democratizing consumer goods, democracy it self is getting de-democratized. How can technology help in reverting this progress? The answer is at least not in this book. The elite charade of changing the world.. That being said, there is still a lot of exciting technology in this book. A good introduction to where the ever accelerating technological development is taking us.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This book is amazing. I had no idea of the many advances being made on so many scientific fronts. I like how the authors presented the material. It is very readable and easy to understand. Some of the new AI technology seems very invasive to this senior citizen. There will be ethical issues to be dealt with, I am sure. If you want to know what the latest discoveries are and how they are being developed, this is the book for you.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vlad

    Pollyannaish as usual. I read this to get a sense for big leaps that may be around the corner. Useful, even if deluded overall in terms of refusal to reckon with the facts of irreversible environmental devastation.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bert Hopkins

    Excellent book! " Diamandis and Kotler investigate how wave after wave of exponentially accelerating technologies will impact both our daily lives and society as a whole. What happens as AI, robotics, virtual reality, digital biology, and sensors crash into 3D printing, blockchain, and global gigabit networks? How will these convergences transform today’s legacy industries? What will happen to the way we raise our kids, govern our nations, and care for our planet?" I am not as pessimistic as the a Excellent book! " Diamandis and Kotler investigate how wave after wave of exponentially accelerating technologies will impact both our daily lives and society as a whole. What happens as AI, robotics, virtual reality, digital biology, and sensors crash into 3D printing, blockchain, and global gigabit networks? How will these convergences transform today’s legacy industries? What will happen to the way we raise our kids, govern our nations, and care for our planet?" I am not as pessimistic as the authors. Although, we need to have China and India start reducing their pollution now!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janne

    "Our biggest problems, are our biggest opportunities." Are you interested in what we could do? Read this book. Are you interested in what we are doing? Read this book. Flow, optimal state of mind. Collective flow, optimal states of minds.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sachetta

    Overall, I enjoyed this book and Diamandis’ look into the massive changes that exponential technologies will soon create in our lives and the world. He talks about everything from retail to VR to health care to clean energy, and for the most part, keeps it positive, despite the inherent spookiness of said subjects. If you’ve read or heard of Yuval Noah Harari’s book “Homo Deus,” think of this one as its optimistic cousin. Instead of countless gloom and doom scenarios however, Diamandis keeps the Overall, I enjoyed this book and Diamandis’ look into the massive changes that exponential technologies will soon create in our lives and the world. He talks about everything from retail to VR to health care to clean energy, and for the most part, keeps it positive, despite the inherent spookiness of said subjects. If you’ve read or heard of Yuval Noah Harari’s book “Homo Deus,” think of this one as its optimistic cousin. Instead of countless gloom and doom scenarios however, Diamandis keeps the “Abundance” narrative going, showing readers how rapidly-scaling, merging technologies will soon create a wonderful, prosperous future. That is, if we’re able to implement them correctly, in time. Like in Harari’s work, potential doomsday scenarios are the scary part of a book like this one, as powerful technologies could always backfire. For example, AI could breed a mind of its own and turn on humanity in quest for power. Or, before we get to our clean energy future, we could potentially make the planet uninhabitable. Luckily, Diamandis doesn’t make these frightening scenarios a core part of his narrative. Yes, he mentions them, but he doesn’t focus on them all too much; his view on a tech-driven future is an optimistic one. And, to be honest, I found that refreshing. There’s a lot of gloom and doom in the media these days. We don’t need more of it. The reason I don’t give this one five stars is I just couldn’t wrap my head around the last section of the book (where Diamandis talks about forming a single human consciousness through neural networks / all humans uploading our minds to the internet). Diamandis states that such a consciousness / platform will help humans experience more meaning and pleasure than anything in the real world. I think I disagree. Technology-spurred isolation and the departure from the natural world have had a large, negative impact on our collective mental health. Thus, I’m not sure I buy into the idea that watching super-realistic VR porn or tapping into people’s brains on the web would necessarily improve any of that. So, with all of that said, if I had to give my take on the book, it would be this: it’s well-written, interesting, and relatively optimistic, but since it deals with a wide range of spooky topics, tread lightly. I don’t think you’ll feel as bad coming out of it as you would if you were to read “Homo Deus,” but I’m not sure you’ll exactly be grinning from ear to ear after it either. -Brian Sachetta Author of “Get Out of Your Head: A Toolkit for Living with and Overcoming Anxiety”

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