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AUG 31, 2017

Exponential Thinking: Controversies and Predictions via Singularity University

By Dr. Jorge Calvo

GLOBIS Deputy Dean Jorge Calvo presents some of his inspiration triggered at the Singularity University Global Summit, held in mid-August, “which could be applied to all sectors and areas of society in continuous revolution.” Here, in Part 2, he shares his exponential controversies and predictions. Click here for Part 1. 

Picking up where we left off, exploring the new concepts within the new exponential thinking paradigm leads us to a number of….

Exponential Controversies:

13. Don’t worry about future artificial intelligence challenges. Worry about human stupidity. Humans develop AI and write policy. AI (Watson) is 90% accurate in making treatment decisions in Early Stage Lung Cancer, professionals 50%. Self-driving cars are now safer than their human drivers. And the more data they gather, the greater their precision in decision-making.

14. Artificial intelligence eats data: AI and machine learning can’t make decisions without having built up enormous amounts of data. We humans can make decisions, albeit sometimes rash ones.

15. AI won’t enslave humans, as we don’t have just one or two AIs in the world. Today, we have billions.

16. The aim of AI and robots… is to perform a function better than humans, not to be or think like humans. Airplanes fly but don’t imitate birds’ wing movements.

17. There are 2.6 million robots in operation, almost 70% in the automotive, electronics and metal industries. Worried about job loss? No need to becountries with the highest robot/employee ratios have the lowest unemployment rates (Korea, Japan, and Germany). The developed countries with highest unemployment rates have the lowest robot/employee ratios (Greece and Spain).

This Summit (and column!) wouldn’t be complete without a few…

Exponential Predictions:

18. In 10 years’ time, it’s predicted that 40% of the Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist. Companies that don’t like change will hate the future.

19. By 2025, it’s expected that almost 100% of the global population will be connected to the Internet – that means 5 billion new minds interacting.

20. The revised prediction for IoT devices connected by 2020: 500 billion!

21. The cost of solar energy continues to fall, from $2.07 per watt in Japan to just $0.65 per watt in India. As solar energy reaches parity with fossil fuels and falls even lower in price, the cost of energy will drop close to zero, leading to greater democratization as increasing numbers of people gain access to it. We are rapidly entering an age in which sustainable energy is accessible and affordable around the planet. Those countries with the greatest capacity to generate solar energy are usually the poorest, so for them, it represents a great opportunity to generate much-needed wealth.

And perhaps there is nothing better to finish this article about the Singularity University Global Summit 2017 than a quotation from Diamandis: “When I think about creating abundance, it’s not about creating a life of luxury for everybody on this planet; it’s about creating a life of possibility. It is about taking that which was scarce and making it abundant.”

Click here to access to the Summit livestream recorded (sign-in required).

Photo by Jorge Calvo