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Future Prediction by Robert M Goldman

2018-01-08 02:18:52

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just 

a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak 

will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years - and most people don't see it coming. Did 

you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? Yet 

digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed 

Moore's law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, 

before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen 

with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, 

agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential 

Age. 

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. 

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the 

world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any 

properties. 

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This 

year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, 

young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far 

for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy 

when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers 

in the future, only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 time 

more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can 

recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers will become more intelligent than 

humans. 

Autonomous Cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the 

complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don't want to own a car anymore. You will call 

a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You 

will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. 

Our kids will never get a driver's license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, 

because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. We can transform former parking space into 

parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident 

every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. 

That will save a million lives each year. 

Most car companies may become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary 

approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the 

revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from 

Volkswagen and Audi; they are completely terrified of Tesla. 

Insurance Companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will 

become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear. 

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further 

away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. 

Electric cars won’t become mainstream until 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will 

run on electric. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on 

an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact. Last year, more solar 

energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that all coal 

companies will be out of business by 2025. 

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per 

cubic meter. We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. 

Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no 

cost. 

Health: There will be companies that will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from 

Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you 

breathe into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be 

cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly 

for free. 

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 

years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D 

printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station 

now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large number of spare parts they used to have in 

the past. 

At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D 

scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they already 3D printed a complete 

6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed. 

Business Opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: "in the future, do 

you think we will have that?" and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If 

it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th 

century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century. 

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it 

is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time. 

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries 

can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields. Agroponics 

will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be 

cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for 

cows. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore. There are several startups that will bring 

insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as 

"alternative protein source" (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects). 

There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you are. Until 2020 there 

will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate 

where it's being displayed when they are telling the truth and when not. 

Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the default reserve currency. 

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the 

life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, 

there will be more than one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, 

probably way more than 100. 

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. Until 2020, 70% of 

all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class 

education.