You'll talk about this tomorrow • Changes of Tomorrow

The big questions we are going to have to debate tomorrow and in the next 10 years.

Photo by travelnow.or.crylater on Unsplash

We are living in an era of unprecedented progress in _ _ _ _ _ , and we are learning tons about _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ .

A privileged time to be alive indeed! I can't think of a single industry or scientific field where this sentence would fit to describe it.

As we accomplish so much at incredible speed, we find ourselves using old paradigms and mental models to make sense of this new world we are creating.

Today we want to review some of the main themes, the big questions we are going to have to debate in the next 10 years. Some of them might be resolved in one year or two, and some perhaps will never be. But it will be up to us to define how we deal with this fascinating emerging issues that will define our and probably our kids' generation.

What's changing: Thursday, July 12th, 2018

  • What is a human? As machines get closer and closer to reaching human parity in speech, vision, and reading, how can we create the legal and moral grounds that set clearly the division between humans and machines? If there will be any.

  • East vs West. Who will lead and dominate AI, quantum supercomputers, autonomous cars, the city 4.0 and entrepreneurship? Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu vs Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple

  • Machines. The web 3.0 is mostly about humans interacting with other humans and with machines. But the web 4.0 looks more and more like machines dealing with machines. A smart ecosystem where big data, personalization, and AI would help machines know us so well that we won't have to be part of the daily routine of running our lives.  

  • Educating vs Learning. The education system is in big need of disruption. But perhaps we could start with a small shift in our understanding of what the process of becoming a capable and independent human really is all about: Learning. The type of learning when we have access, desire, and purpose. Just like in school.

  • Sports vs eSports. What is a sport? How far can we go in pursuing human excellence? The incredible emergence of esports, gene modification and a new set of game celebrities are breaking away from the traditional understanding of sports. Who will be our kids' role models?  

  • Ethics. In the age of transparency, DNA testing, and machine-human collaboration, what is fairness, privacy and inclusiveness? From what computers can do, what computers should do. What are companies accountable for? Who will lead the debate and definition of these terms and our future? China? The US? Europe?

  • Centralization vs Decentralization. We are just starting to play with the idea of decentralization and we are far from reaching the full potential of blockchain. But the next 10 years will see a totally new ecosystem arise where the middleman will be completely unnecessary, even a burden. We won't need Uber, Airbnb or Amazon. Ultimate collaboration and trust will define the world.

Mental energizer

... the American Middle Child is now an endangered species. As the ideal number of children per family has shrunk to two, the middle child, in a very real sense, is disappearing. (...)

And the more you learn about the skills of classic middle children --- peacemakers, risk takers, level headed loyalists with expansive friend groups --- the more middle children seem essential to our survival. Salmon cites "independence and resilience" as "characteristics I'd hate to see disappear in a future population of only small families --- especially at a time when our world so needs these particular skills."

From "The extinction of the Middle Child" by Adam Sternbergh on The Cut

Food for thought

Excited vs Nervous.

I often do a little experiment: When I find myself feeling nervous I tell myself: This is so exciting!

From "Nervous vs Excited" video by Simon Sinek on youtube.

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This week's exploration of possible futures was curated with curiosity by Iñaki Escudero, Future Activist.