The age of rapid disruption, Part 2

These are some of the industries due to be overtaken by new technologyy in the next 5-10 years:

– Hotels: 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. Last year a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

– The legal profession: In the US, young lawyers are not getting jobs. On IBM’s 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.

– Diagnostics: Watson already helps nurses diagnose cancer, it is 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

– Face recognition: Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

– Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars appeared. 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: only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s licence 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 spaces into parks.

– Road accidents: 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

– Motor car manufacture: Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will follow the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

– Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

– Taxis: Already partly upended. Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and yet are now the biggest taxi company in the world.

– Insurance: Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 times 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 neighbourhood.

– Electricity: will become incredibly cheap and clean. Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

– Solar energy: More solar energy is being installed worldwide than fossil fuel installations. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.

– Clean fresh water: With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2 kWh per cubic meter (@0.25 cents). 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, at nearly no cost.

– Health: There are companies who will build a medical device called the “Tricorder” (from Star Trek) that works with your phone, takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you can breath into it. It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, and in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.

– 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 have already started 3D printing shoes. Some 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.

– Scanning: New smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. Rather than go to a shoe shop you will soon be able to 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they have already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.

– 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 day in their fields.

– Aeroponics 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 areas are used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore.

– Protein There are several start-ups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

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