Where we are today — and why this book

Knowledge explosion
Humans have been revolutionizing the world since the existence of Home Sapience-Sapience. In the early days of mankind, evolutionary changes took hundreds of years for even tiny steps. Over time different steps happened simultaneously. And the more simultaneous steps happened the faster the evolution moved forward. Still even 500 years ago we may had several hundred advances a year, it was still almost insignificant. Every new discovery was carefully woven into the existing knowledge. As we all know that changed rapidly after the industrial revolution and still continues to accelerate.

The past 200 years
Only in the past 200 years we found ways to share new discoveries much faster which sparked new ideas and new discoveries and we experience exponential growth in knowledge. During the same time period the human race is experiencing a new fear for the first time. The fear to starve to death or be eaten by wild animals vanished away and is replaced by the fear of change. Everything radically new is disturbing over 80% of the population, making them truly fearful. Even though knowing that after some time they can’t live without it: Iron tools, Stone built homes, Steam ships, Airplanes, Automobiles, Radio and TV, Internet, Social Media, Online Shopping – the majority fears change.

Massive global work on AI
Today many hundred thousand people from more than 50 countries work on different aspects of Artificial Intelligence. The number of scientist and software developer is growing by the month. Many even work on their own with no pay just because the topic is so compelling. On the other hand people embrace the idea to stop it, making the prognosis that robots will completely eradicate humans. Worried about their own imperfection and knowingly making terrible mistakes, just not knowing how to stop it. We will see how the artificial humanoids will help in the biggest human conflict of all times so far.

Today’s Technology

Robots and Artificial Intelligence

We have robots since the early 1900’s. High performance computers are around since the 1960’s. But there are all of a sudden rapid improvements on both sides and eventually both technologies began to converge.

Key computer evolution
* Highly precise speech recognition
* Highly accurate image and pattern recognition
* Learning and deep learning algorithms
* Decision making processes

Only through the combination of fast and very precise machines, sensors, motors and other mechanical systems, on one side, and image & speech recognition, sensor recognition, deep learning and high performance decision making processes, we gained something that was so far only part of science fiction stories: autonomous machines.

Autonomous machines

Autonomous machines will come in very different flavors – yet have all one thing in common: An AI Technology based internal system will give that machine instructions to perform certain actions based in information input from the world outside the machine.

Autonomous driving is a highly complex act where the computers in the car cannot be programmed for every conceivable situation but must learn and decide based on algorithms (mathematical and procedural formulas).  The same applies for autonomous airplanes, ships, and so forth. Those transportation vehicles are autonomous machines.

Robots on two legs, or on a platform with only one arm, on wheels, on multiple legs, or drones who act autonomously walk, fly are move and do something based on what they see and what their algorithm is telling them are autonomous machines.

Your Alexa speaker, that not only plays radio, but enters new items into your shopping list without ever understanding what an orange juice press is is an autonomous machine. And also a banking system that you access through your smartphone or laptop and provides you with investment opportunities that fits exactly your profile when you tell it that you want to invest in companies that are focusing on sustainable companies with at least one female in the board, has its headquarter either in Europe or in the AFTA region, does not distribute any dividends but is on high growth since more than 8 quarters and in industry segment A,B, XYZ, having a PE-Ratio below 20 – is an autonomous machine.

Your new medical system, a network of your smartphone, a medical database, hospitals and other systems, will tell you on the spot when your liver function has an issue and what the most likely solution is. It will still recommend you to get a necessary verification from a human doctor but even that doctor can better confirm or reject that analysis than ever imaginable.

We will see autonomous machines in countless forms and shapes, appearances and skills. You will see it in any conceivable industry. And you will experience precision and a depth in knowledge that puts any human on second place.

Why is it important

We need to understand what is going to happen, in order to make educated decisions that will provide a socially comfortable path into that new world. We may experience loosing a billion jobs by 2100. Meaning the largest part of the developed wild will no longer ‘work’. If we tax all autonomous machines, we may create the funds to provide a sustainable unconditional base income at a level that is even above today’s income.

Autonomous Machines – unlike any technology advancement before – is no longer requiring a human ‘operator’. And with that there are no large number of new jobs. Autonomous machines for the first time – as the name indicates – work completely autonomous after they are setup.

Personal Computers needed human input – every keystroke. E-Commerce needed human data entry, human purchaser and so forth. Social Media needed human interaction on both sides to actually build relationships. Cars needed drivers and ships needed captains. CAD systems needed engineers to enter every aspect of a construction.

Autonomous machines like a car – does no longer need a driver, truck driver, taxi driver. No more advanced driver job, no more sophisticated technology that needs experts – it drives on its own. But it doesn’t only drive on its own, it learns with every data point it’s sensors capture. Improving the car, it’s controls and all aspects of its behavior can be done again by an AI system with breathtaking speed that no engineer can do today. This may happen as soon as 2035.

Autonomous machines like chat bots, no longer need an info person on the other side, no more inside sales person and so forth. It has the entire product portfolio of any company at hand if needed. It will be able to compare any competitor and select the most advantages features. This maybe possible in a quality that will blow us away by 2050.

Autonomous machines like financial planning assistant no longer needs a wealth manager on the other side. The banking AI system learns every day all the changes from every single public company on earth, reads the analyst reports and can build smart correlations with other stocks relative to the investment profile of a customer. No human being would be able to do that in the same speed. Due to the sheer importance and the regulatory load on anybody suggesting anything in the financial world, this may be available even sooner than the sales chat bots. Maybe already by 2028 or so.

In the book we will touch approximately 50 industries and show what really may happen and some plausible time frame.