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Digital Utopia Digital Dystopia

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By 2020, several key building blocks of the future tech universe have been firmly established. Significant progress in areas such as quantum computing, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and immersive reality have been made, enabling a clearer understanding of how tech will develop in the next 10-20 years.

By 2030, emerging robotics and AI will have made remarkable progress in changing the face of current industries and processes. Most fast food outlets will run mainly on robotic labour, with human labour representing only a small fraction of total spend. AI will be able to support, and eventually supplant, at least 90% of current effort implemented by service professionals such as accounting, consulting, or law.

And by 2040, we will feel comfortable enough with this technology that it will be widely adapted. Our cities, homes and workplaces will be transformed through technology and predictive analytics. Self-driving vehicles will reduce congestion and pollution. Robots will remove the need for widespread human labour. Most processes, such as financial management, will be fully automated and managed by intelligent agents, removing the need for mundane tasks like queuing at a bank or going to a supermarket for groceries.

Advances in gene therapies and biological – mechatronic interfaces will rapidly transform medical technology and health outcomes. These have the potential to not only significantly expand human lifespan, but also improve human health.

At the same time, it is clear that as a society and as a government / economic policy, we are far behind the curve in understanding how these will affect our educational systems, employment and the very idea of human potential.

Comparatively few citizens will be able to adapt successfully to gainful employment (or entrepreneurship) in the future tech society. This means that families and citizens today need to start making decisions for how they will live 20 years from now. These decisions affect their own educational and investment choices, as well as the very nature of our society.

Philip Ammerman will discuss the future trends in tech and how these will affect companies, families and governments in 2030 and 2040.

By 2020, several key building blocks of the future tech universe have been firmly established. Significant progress in areas such as quantum computing, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and immersive reality have been made, enabling a clearer understanding of how tech will develop in the next 10-20 years.

By 2030, emerging robotics and AI will have made remarkable progress in changing the face of current industries and processes. Most fast food outlets will run mainly on robotic labour, with human labour representing only a small fraction of total spend. AI will be able to support, and eventually supplant, at least 90% of current effort implemented by service professionals such as accounting, consulting, or law.

And by 2040, we will feel comfortable enough with this technology that it will be widely adapted. Our cities, homes and workplaces will be transformed through technology and predictive analytics. Self-driving vehicles will reduce congestion and pollution. Robots will remove the need for widespread human labour. Most processes, such as financial management, will be fully automated and managed by intelligent agents, removing the need for mundane tasks like queuing at a bank or going to a supermarket for groceries.

Advances in gene therapies and biological – mechatronic interfaces will rapidly transform medical technology and health outcomes. These have the potential to not only significantly expand human lifespan, but also improve human health.

At the same time, it is clear that as a society and as a government / economic policy, we are far behind the curve in understanding how these will affect our educational systems, employment and the very idea of human potential.

Comparatively few citizens will be able to adapt successfully to gainful employment (or entrepreneurship) in the future tech society. This means that families and citizens today need to start making decisions for how they will live 20 years from now. These decisions affect their own educational and investment choices, as well as the very nature of our society.

Philip Ammerman will discuss the future trends in tech and how these will affect companies, families and governments in 2030 and 2040.

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Digital Utopia Digital Dystopia

  1. 1. DIGITAL UTOPIA DIGITAL DYSTOPIA IMAGINING OUR TECH FUTURE 31 MARCH 2021
  2. 2. | 2 © Numenor, 2021 THESIS By 2030, technology will reach a tipping point where we, as humans, will have to consciously choose a predominantly human existence over a predominantly virtual / tech existence. By 2040, the choice of a virtual / tech existance will dominate human choice, changing the very meaning of what it means to be human. We believe that in the near future, online interactions and the wider digital ecosystem will be more attractive to consumers and citizens than the real one. PEOPLE WILL PREFER TO LIVE ONLINE
  3. 3. | 3 © Numenor, 2021 WHY? Because modern 4K LED screens are already making the screen world more attractive than the real world, to the naked eye. 8K screens are already on the market. Because augmented and later immersive and virtual reality are already disrupting key B2B sectors and will shortly begin B2C sectors. Because gamification and social media already cause dopamine and serotonin reactions online, resulting in short-term and long-term biochemical impacts. We demand, and get, instant gratification & self-validation online
  4. 4. | 4 © Numenor, 2021 THE REAL WORLD NOW DISTURBS US Standing in line at the bank Speaking to a travel agent to order a ticket Explaining to a taxi driver or food delivery man where you live Real world interactions are now disturbing and unnecessary in sectors that have already been disrupted
  5. 5. | 5 © Numenor, 2021 CLEAR SOCIAL RESULTS People can no longer read: they scan. They have difficulty writing. They cannot process complex sentences or reasoning. People can no longer think critically: they follow the online crowd. Fake news and electoral manipulation are now standard. Society has become polarised. Prolonged social media use results in depression and negative self-image. This is not a net positive: there are many negative effects of living in an online wold.
  6. 6. | 6 © Numenor, 2021 THE MATRIX (1999): WHAT WE FEAR
  7. 7. | 7 © Numenor, 2021 THE MATRIX: WHAT IT REALLY LOOKS LIKE
  8. 8. | 8 © Numenor, 2021 "More human than human" is our motto. Bladerunner (1982)
  9. 9. | 9 © Numenor, 2021 A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Asimov (1942) – iRobot (2004)
  10. 10. | 10 © Numenor, 2021 Mr. Marks, by mandate of the District of Columbia Precrime Division, I'm placing you under arrest for the future murder of Sarah Marks and Donald Dubin that was to take place today, April 22 at 0800 hours and four minutes. Minority Report (2002)
  11. 11. | 11 © Numenor, 2021 https://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/Social_Credit_System https://nhglobalpartners.c om/china-social-credit- system-explained/ https://jpia.princeton.edu/ news/social-credit- system-not-just-another- chinese-idiosyncrasy
  12. 12. | 12 © Numenor, 2021 Being human totally sucks most of the time. Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable. Ready Player One (2018)
  13. 13. | 13 © Numenor, 2021 TECH STRANDS Labour Industrial Revolution > Mass Production > Mass Automation > RPA > Collaborative Robots > Robotic Self-Assembly > Robotic Ascendancy Data Data Capture > From Server to Cloud > Data Mining > IoT > Machine Learning > Artificial Intelligence > Web 3.0 Medicine Generalised > Personalised > Genetic Splicing & Therapy > Implants > Cyborgs Entertainment Broadcast Media > 2-D Online Media > 2-D Gaming > > Immersive VR / AI
  14. 14. | 14 © Numenor, 2021 1. ENTERTAINMENT THESIS We believe that by 2030, it will be difficult to differentiate between reality and an immersive gaming environment. The difference is that the immersive gaming environment will be better: • More comfortable • Ability to fully control environment • Ability to fully imagine environment • Ability to re-create self • Ability to self-validate Together with purely human-software interface as well as social gaming (clans), there may be little to attract large segments of the affluent population to the ”real world”.
  15. 15. | 15 © Numenor, 2021 ENTERTAINMENT NOW From 8K screens+ To partial immersive reality using limited sensor inputs
  16. 16. | 16 © Numenor, 2021 ENTERTAINMENT FUTURE To Full Immersive / Virtual Reality: Facial & Voice Recognition; Augmented & VR; Haptic Controls & Feedback; Gesture Recognition; AI Rendering & Scenarios
  17. 17. | 17 © Numenor, 2021 ENTERTAINMENT & ADDICTION: HOW IT WORKS https://sitn.hms.harva rd.edu/flash/2018/dop amine-smartphones- battle-time/
  18. 18. | 18 © Numenor, 2021 ENTERTAINMENT & ADDICTION https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media- addiction/ https://americanaddictioncenters.org/video-gaming-addiction Entertainment is already addictive: future tech will make thousands of times more addictive
  19. 19. | 19 © Numenor, 2021 ENTERTAINMENT THESIS: REGULATION (WILL FAIL) The natural response of families and governments will be to attempt to regulate gaming. If we regulate crack cocaine, why not regulate something similarly as biochemically addictive? https://www.lexology.com/libr ary/detail.aspx?g=117a58f4- 8809-493e-8836- dc78a3539a1d
  20. 20. | 20 © Numenor, 2021 ENTERTAINMENT THESIS: EDUCATION (WILL FAIL) It has become fashionable to talk about the gamification of education, or using gamification to nudge learning outcomes. I believe it is more appropriate to talk about the looming failure of education. Can we really educate well-rounded citizens in an age of instant gratification and unchecked immorality? Can we educate future minds given that the biology of these minds has changed? https://edtechreview.in/trends- insights/insights/2293-gamification-of- education
  21. 21. | 21 © Numenor, 2021 Religion … is the opium of the masses.
  22. 22. | 22 © Numenor, 2021 2. LABOUR - ROBOTICS - DATA THESIS We believe that by 2030, over 50% of labour professions seen today in industrialised economies will have been replaced by a mix of robots (or wider automation) and AI. In most cases, the capability already exists, but neither regulatory systems nor human society are ready to accept it. By 2040, we will be at the level where human society will have accepted robotic replacement even in many advanced professions.
  23. 23. | 23 © Numenor, 2021 2. LABOUR ROBOTS THAT SERVE COBOTS
  24. 24. | 24 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS THAT DANCE https://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=fn3KWM 1kuAw
  25. 25. | 25 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS AT BASEBALL https://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=FHkVNLI 9qFk
  26. 26. | 26 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS THAT COOK https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonald s-tests-robot-fryers-and-voice- activated-drive-throughs-11561060920
  27. 27. | 27 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS THAT DELIVER https://www.bbc.com/ne ws/technology- 51409031
  28. 28. | 28 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS THAT KILL https://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=uXGj1kZ nFEg
  29. 29. | 29 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS THAT KILL https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201130-turkey-azerbaijan-drone- success-should-worry-europe-says-european-council-analyst/
  30. 30. | 30 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS THAT THINK https://www.wired.com/2016/03/googles -ai-wins-fifth-final-game-go-genius-lee- sedol/?redirectURL=https%3A%2F%2F www.wired.com%2F2016%2F03%2Fgo ogles-ai-wins-fifth-final-game-go-genius- lee-sedol%2F
  31. 31. | 31 © Numenor, 2021 ROBOTS, AI & HUMAN LABOUR By 2030 1. Most agrifood value chain professions will have been replaced by IoT, robots and big data. This extends from automated crop planting and harvesting to flipping burgers at McDonald’s. 2. 90% of the lower value-added work of accountants, lawyers, consultants, architects and software developers will have been replaced by AI. 3. 50% of lower-value work in careers such as nursing, elderly care, transport or military will have been replaced by robots. By 2040 1. Robots and AI will increasingly take over advanced professions on the basis of higher accuracy and better cost / outcome ratios. For example, we predict that the first legal trials will be done by AI and settled within 5 minutes. Only if plaintiff or defendant demand a human judge or jury will that option be provided-at extra cost. 2. Most elderly care, nursing and medical functions will be covered by personal robots, including operations. 3. Most wars will be fought by robots.
  32. 32. | 32 © Numenor, 2021 3. HEALTH: THESIS By 2030 – 2050, we will have developed the ability to: 1. Increase standard human life to 130-150 years of age through a variety of interventions 2. Self-select “positive” genetic traits (while also curing genetic diseases); 3. Provide preventative “treatment” of diseases based on statistical analysis and genetic mapping, as well as preventative immunotherapy through engineering super-immune cells; 4. Provide continual health monitoring using wearables and implants; 5. Provide replacement body parts and organ systems using printed and engineered parts.
  33. 33. | 33 © Numenor, 2021 GENE THERAPY We are already using gene therapy on a limited basis to: • Replace missing or defective genes; • Deliver genes that speed the destruction of cancer cells; • Supply genes that cause cancer cells to revert back to normal cells; • Deliver bacterial or viral genes as a form of vaccination; • Provide genes that promote or impede the growth of new tissue; and; • Deliver genes that stimulate the healing of damaged tissue. This technology is growing rapidly and we can now envision: • 100% genetically-personalised therapies; (BioNTech, one of the COVID vaccine partners, is heavily invested here); • Preventive treatments based on a statistical estimates of diseases expressing themselves (i.e. without symptoms); • Genetically engineering immune cells, and deploying them.
  34. 34. | 34 © Numenor, 2021 GENE THERAPY Over the next 20-30 years, we will push the boundaries of gene therapy in ways which: a. Massively test the limits of regulatory protection; b. Increase the remit of therapies as well as their effectiveness; c. Move from critical and life-threatening treatments to increasingly optional treatments. http://www.crisprtx.com/gene-editing/crispr-cas9
  35. 35. | 35 © Numenor, 2021 https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-chinese-scientist-broke-the-rules-to-create-the-first-gene-edited-babies-11557506697
  36. 36. | 36 © Numenor, 2021 FROM WEARABLES TO IMPLANTS Apart from pacemakers, our present technology is mainly measurement- based and is wearable. Implants will inlcude micro-dosimeters enabling dosages to be automatically regulated Nanomolecules will continually circulate in our circulatory system, providing real-time measurements and in some cases repair Medical technology (such as stents) will become “smart”, providing for on-board measurement and alarms Computer-brain interfaces may extend beyond damage repair to provide super-critical data functioning
  37. 37. | 37 © Numenor, 2021 BRAINGATE PROGRAMME https://www.braingate.org
  38. 38. | 38 © Numenor, 2021 NEURALINK START-UP https://neuralink.com
  39. 39. | 39 © Numenor, 2021 NEURALINK https://www.braingate.org https://www.bbc.com/n ews/world-us-canada- 53956683
  40. 40. | 40 © Numenor, 2021 UTOPIA 2040
  41. 41. | 41 © Numenor, 2021 WHY UTOPIA? We will expand the human lifespan We will eradicate preventable diseases We can engineer new food crops to feed a hungry planet We will have the most advanced technology ever We can use robots to take care of our most poor and vulnerable We can harness technology to drive societal advances We can end the drudge of human labour We could save our environment – and our planet
  42. 42. | 42 © Numenor, 2021 THE STAR-TREK FUTURE
  43. 43. | 43 © Numenor, 2021 DYSTOPIA 2040
  44. 44. | 44 © Numenor, 2021 WHY DYSTOPIA? Because technological gains are not spread uniformly across the planet or any single country. Gains are concentrated at the top (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc) and society has grown increasingly unequal. Because at least 50% of employment will be replaced by automation and AI. These jobs will never be replaced. And this occurs while world population rises from 7.8 billion in 2021 to 9.7 billion in 2050. National governments are unable to mediate between economic growth and innovation on the one hand, and inequality and poverty on the other. They cannot regulate most financial sectors today: there is no sign they are aware of what the future is bringing. The rich will grow not only richer, but tinkering with the human genome will change the very definition of what it means to be human.
  45. 45. | 45 © Numenor, 2021 THE BLADE RUNNER FUTURE
  46. 46. | 46 © Numenor, 2021 EMERGING QUESTIONS China is rolling out a national social credit system. This integrates continual monitoring of individual activity, and generates a social credit score. This is simultaneously a means of control, and reward. Other governments have outsourced credit scoring to the private sector. Where does this end? The current macro consensus is that low taxes and low government are needed to attract investment. Yet since 1980, countries as diverse as the United States, Greece and Cyprus have seen steadily rising debt and deficits, as well as stable or variable poverty levels. What would be needed to make a government fit for purpose in 2030? In 2040? Experiments with Universal Basic Income are essentially being heralded as a means of dealing with tech-driven unemployment. Can this be afforded? Can a society afford to have 30-50% of its population on similar schemes? Does anyone really believe that the current (and future) tech markets constitute examples of functioning competition? How does one deal with tech monopolies?
  47. 47. | 47 © Numenor, 2021 EMERGING QUESTIONS (2) Our macroeconomic systems, and especially our pension systems, have been engineered for 8-10 working people to every retiree and a life expectancy below 70. What happens when we have 2 workers for every retiree, an average life expectancy of 90, and an employment rate at 50% of the total population? Democracy is vulnerable to fake news and unscrupulous politicians. Politics is perhaps the only profession where one can openly lie without consequence. At which point must the democratic franchise be restricted to prequalified voters? If such a solution is not available, how else can we prevent the recurring disasters democratic elections have been bringing? What happens if wars are no longer fought by humans? Who wins? What happens if more and more rich families genetically engineer their children? What happens more and more rich families live superhumanly longer lives?
  48. 48. | 48 © Numenor, 2021 PHILIP AMMERMAN Philip studied at Princeton University, Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labour Relations, and Oxford University, Said Business School. He began his career with Kienbaum and Partner in New York and Dusseldorf in 1991, working on large-scale strategic organisational development projects. In September 1995, he co-founded Navigator with two partners. Since then, he has implemented over 280 projects in 45 countries. Since 1995, Navigator has advised companies and governments on digital transformation, investment-led growth and restructuring. Over € 6 billion in completed investment projects have been delivered. Since 2010, Philip has led the Navigator Entrepreneurship Charter, a commitment to support 1 start-up or social entrepreneur between 2010 and 2020. In this capacity, Philip acts as an early-stage angel investor and business mentor. This commitment has been extended to 2030. In February 2018, Philip was appointed as Team Coordinator for Greece for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD), and implemented 2 international advisory projects for innovative firms in Greece. Philip acts as regional portfolio manager for Brookstreet Equity Partners, a private equity fund investing in innovative Greek enterprises. http://www.brookstreetequity.com/ He is a non-executive Board Member for Redfin Capital, an asset management firm. He is an evaluator for the European Commission’s Horizon programme, and advises a range of private equity, venture capital and investment banks world wide. Contact Information Email: info@navigator-consulting.com www.navigator-consulting.com LinkedIn: philipammerman

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