Dubai: At a conference in Dubai this week, an American futurist painted an intriguing, at times unsettling, picture of the coming world.
As Dr Peter Diamandis went over his presentation slides at The Government Summit on Tuesday, there were plenty of raised eyebrows.
In the future, the slides suggested, privacy will be a thing of the past, robots will take over our jobs, 3D printers will pop out everything from human organs to houses, and man will mine asteroids in deep space for unfathomable mineral wealth.
The 58-year-old said hyper-tech breakthroughs are already hurtling us towards that future, today.
“The world’s no longer changing every 100 years, it’s changing year by year,” he said on Tuesday.
“Right now the only constant is change, and change is moving at an increasing rate.”
Gulf News obtained a copy of the presentation by Dr Diamandis, the scientist CEO of XPRIZE, best known for its $10 million (around Dh36.7 million) Ansari XPRIZE for private space flight.
Dr Diamandis was addressing a Summit session titled ‘The World in 2050’. That world, he conjured, will have one overarching trait — abundance.
He has dwelled deeper on the subject in a New York Times bestseller – Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think – which he co-authored.
Tuesday’s slideshow summarised just how abundant abundance can get.
“We are growing to a world of more than one trillion sensors. We can know anything, anytime, anywhere. Privacy is ending… [or is it already] dead? This will drive significant changes in government and social systems,” the presentation said.
Highlighting a US media report, Dr Diamandis touched upon how American government experts are trying to build a supercomputer that could break security codes protecting records in virtually every industry or organisation, from banking to health care.
In fact, computers are now building computers that are smarter, faster, and smaller. Indications are, his presentation suggests, we will see by 2032 the first “infinite” data memory and processing technologies.
Subsequent generations will yield Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines.
“AI can already do most tasks better than humans. 50 per cent of service jobs could be lost in 10 years,” one slide said.
And that is a good thing, Dr Diamandis maintains. He believes AI will become our “best physicians, best teachers.
“They can think better than humans, they can translate and understand 85 languages… The whole world will have the answers to every question at anytime and anywhere.”
The CEO said iPhone’s interactive Siri feature is an example of AI today that people have warmed up to and found useful.
“Robots will enter every aspect of our daily life and we are not talking about ‘in 45 to 50 years.’ We are talking about now, they already exist now and they are being used now,” he said.
And powering the transformations will be creative individuals, not world superpowers or global corporations.
“Today’s ‘exponential entrepreneurs’ are more capable, past governments and large corporations.”
Dr Diamandis said we have already entered an era where change is unstoppable. His book explorers the impact of human ingenuity at length, and seems to bestow on technology a consciousness of its own.
“But the short version is that for the first time in history, our capabilities have begun to catch up to our ambitions,” reads an excerpt.
“Humanity is now entering a period of radical transformation in which technology has the potential to significantly raise the basic standards of living for every man, woman, and child on the planet… Abundance for all is actually within our grasp.”