By Don A. Holbrook
Today everyone is so immersed in technology, and it is so interwoven into our lives that most of us can barely remember the pre-technology existence of our parents (the Greatest Generation). Our children at least those of boomers and generation X and beyond have known nothing of such an existence. It sounds like quaint nostalgia to them. Technology is the very fabric of the current generation’s humanity.
Let’s look at what is emerging faster than we can write this article.
First the driving factor is the continuation of the exponential leaps in computing power. When you couple speed with instant information and the robust cloud storage technology it creates the rapid growth of wearable devices, our cars, and components and of course our communication devices capabilities. The further new advances in disbursed widespread WIFI that moves and follows us as we physically move about linked with us as the consumer is the next huge advance. Why? Because if you can see where people go and frequent you can serve them things that interest them and cause them to be tempted to spend their monies. We are a a very instant gratification-oriented society.
With this increase we now will have smarter devices and more dependence on those devices. Everything will be connected, from our blenders, coffee makers, and vacuums to our security systems, cars and of course banking or financial wealth accounts, including crypto currencies.
What is the infrastructure behind all of this…it is a powerful combination of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning (those helpers you believe you are speaking to in customer service aren’t human), and virtual reality or extended reality devices are supporting us daily already. The new computers will be a trillion times faster than yesterday’s supercomputers. This allows us to solve problems that were incalculable before. Deep Data is the backbone of everything. This will lead to sentient computing. Within the next five years robots that appear and look like humans that are capable of conversing and acting human will walk among us. Now this has many ripples that could be both a blessing and a curse. These robots could for many be far better customized, loyal, and more comfortable companions that actual real humans. Now that is a quagmire to consider. Depopulation through human choice of non-human companions. It sounds like a Orwellian future or West World television series, but the truth is they are nearly ready now.
Consider this problem and how you feel about sentient computing; “I think therefore I am, and if so, what rights do I have?” This is our perplexing new world of Quantum gateway that might cause pause for thought.
Science has always been suspected by the general population for meddling with our humanity, and that suspicion has not dissipated in this post-Covid era. Genomics, human implants, and gene splicing along with predictive analysis of future illnesses are well hatched and developed now. The vaccination debate for re-opening the planet has created even more distrust about genomics and improving our life span and quality of life. A huge percentage of the general populace believes the Covid Virus was created as a tool for population control, by way of conforming to government mandates. Nearly half the United States believes that the vaccinations are a form of tracking, controlling our freedoms, and limiting our mobility. This public outcry and fear mongering demonstrates the state of distrust most humans have for most forms of government regulation and oversight for their own welfare. Politics has been divisive and even that has taken a technology warfare scenario that has been blamed for allegedly skewing the past election. Some people fear that further booster vaccinations will just enable an Armageddon style scenario with micro nano chip embedded genetic controls. Science leaps forward however humanity trusts such professionals less and less.
This leads into my next emerging technology issue quite well. With all this concern over our digital identities, constant tracking, social profiling, and cluster association and pushing us through our hand held and computer social networks to groups of like-minded people, making us believe that because that is the majority of what we read, it is the commonly held opinion. The battle now is to try to secure our privacy and not allow others whether government, private or hackers to manipulate us by using our data to mislead us and/or steal our freedoms or wealth.
With the thirst for constant connection through mobility comes with it a need to balance our data profiles that are being sold constantly and locking away our location and privacy of where we go in the physical world and in cyberspace. Dispersed public WIFI will offer users the chance to segregate and compartmentalize such decisions, sell your own data, and profit from it and protect (at least with a promise to protect) your privacy all wrapped in one, cloud connected application.
Goodbye 5G and Hello 6G
Blurring speed is never going to cease…6G is already slow compared to places like Norway where everything is 7G and now being upgraded to 8G. China and North Korea are testing 10G specialty networks. Now that 5G is becoming ubiquitous we will now see 6G cresting the horizon and taking the communications world to new super high speeds.
Here is the difference between 5G and 6G: The new 6G networks operate at terahertz frequency bands, 6G will deliver a peak data rate of 1,000 gigabits/s in less than 100 microseconds. 6G is 100 times faster than 5G with enhanced reliability and wider network coverage.
Digital Trust (secure privacy) is being driven by a horde of hacks into our personal lives and also major companies, famously some are part of national cyberwarfare sponsored through our own competitors for global commerce such as China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and others with no attempt to regulate their digital thugs and pirates. Congress in response has been pushing new laws that are aimed at better protecting our data. This push has in turn spawned a corporate response to limit their own liabilities to consumers, called zero data models. The companies ask us for preferences and gain permission to model our exposures. Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix are on the forefront of using such smart technologies to typecast us in our anonymous zero data persona.
3D Computing has gotten a real shot in the arm with the global lockdown and pandemic. With the lower entry point to 3D printers and easy access to materials, people are using this creativity to print everything conceivable. Movie sets, manufacturing ideas, fantasy concepts for collectibles, and even human parts. Soon anything we can either imagine or have seen will be replicable by 3D future printers. 3D computing combined with robotics has made prototyping much more affordable. This will spawn faster delivery of virtually everything we wish to manufacture, with much better-quality control and customer satisfaction.
Crypto Space the Metaverse is the convergence of digital lives and the new squishy internet evolutions that lack significant regulation as of yet. It has been simplified to the convergence of mixing three concepts, displays of innovation, virtual reality and a digital universe, it becomes a trifecta that forms the basic elements of the metaverse. It has become for many people their digital second life and uniquely tailored virtual persona. The economy of such is fueled by block chain digital currencies and new nun fungible tokens that protect the digital rights of art, creations, even virtual real estate. Now you can own your own house or castle right next to a real-life celebrity such as Snoop dog. Virtual real estate is not cheap, it comes with a high price tag as well. For a dose of real economics though, think of this concept. You can design your own digital storefront and place all your own branded items in there and sell not only the products but the virtual shopping experience to your customers from the metaverse.
According to an recent global economic forecast for the metaverse by marketsandmarkets:
“The Metaverse Market size is projected to grow from USD 61.8 billion in 2022 to USD 426.9 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 47.2 percent during the forecast period.”1
Workplace Trends through Digital Enabling Power has been changed long-term since the reopening of most of the world economy. Many folks don’t desire to return to the former grind of commuting to the office and home again. They learned through forced behavior of economic survival to do their trades remotely and see little value in changing back to the old work habits. Commercial real estate as I said at the beginning of the pandemic will look totally different in the post pandemic reboot. Bricks and mortar retail will need to evolve to smaller and more thematic build outs. Many folks just decided it was time to just retire and not re-enter the workforce at all. Those that do want flexibility and they can and will demand premium pay for their time.
According to Gartner, “By 2022, 25 percent of the global knowledge workforce has chosen to work from home as their primary workplace, and 45 percent of the workforce will be working from home two to three days per week.”2
Employers are using flexible work policies, distance enabled technologies and economic incentives to attract millions of recently retired during the forced lockdown to bolster their workforces that are in desperate need of people. This is seen by most economists as only a short-term fix as most will return to retirement within two to five years again.
However, with the continuous rise in automation, robotics, and artificial computing now at the quantum level, technology may be very capable of offsetting this demand curve by the end of that time.
Green Smart Energy Solutions are also technology enabled. New smart grids, new energy optimization and turning our own waste into energy are all on the breakthrough stage. Let’s look at just one concept. As I’ve been saying for years, using our own waste as an energy source is the most responsible green energy on the planet. It takes trash out of landfills and converts it to BTU energy with no carbon footprint to the negative, it reduces the pollution by reducing our pollution stream and giving us truly clean power that is available continuously. Continuous power is reliable and does not need the sun to shine, or nature to blow for energy creation and most importantly, it does not require massive battery banks to store power for off-peak use. In the next five years green fuel from waste will jump to the forefront.
Interplanetary considerations (The new space race to gain First acknowledged Alien Contact)
With the rise of computing power, constant sharing of information and technology interconnectedness comes several other phenomena’s, the rising conspiracy theorists’ stories and the actual release of sensitive data that has matriculated through various government filters for decades. Exposure to new possible realms, the multi-plex and space travel have been reinvigorated because of technology. Only you can decide if you believe that much of our scientific advances have been wholly because of our own know how or somehow manipulated through extraterritorial discoveries.
With that in mind and the recent release of our own government files on UFO encounters previously buried, a Harvard professor Avi Loeb and 100 other prominent scientists are involved in project Galileo. These scientists are shifting the emphasis of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) away from looking for signs of alien biology or electromagnetic signals to hunting for objects as signs of alien technology. The realization that our previous dependence upon radio wave technology for communications was of course obsolete. Most believe any aliens out there would be far ahead of such technologies and thus not even notice our efforts as they were previously constructed. Loeb thinks this change is long overdue. The reach for the stars and intelligent life in the universe will be greatly advanced by all this new technology. Soon we will be capable of launching a private space craft with an AI based humanoid robotic crew into deep space without fear of them not returning in our lifetime. It would be something that would make Jules Verne very proud but not surprised.