12 things that’ll seem ludicrous in our lifetime / news.com.au, daily telegraph, courier mail, sunshine coast daily, Hong Kong Radio 3, ABC Far North

We so often look forward to what we might have in the future, that its fun to stop for a minute and think about what we won’t have in the future, and this week News.com.au’s Gary Nunn reached out to ask exactly that…

WITHIN our own lifetime, people will scoff at the thought of sitting on a flight for 22+ hours across the world.

It’s one of many things that’ll rapidly seem unfeasible to the upcoming generation.

Elon Musk recently revealed plans for a next-generation spacecraft that could fly to “most places on earth in under 30 minutes and anywhere in under 60 — with the cost per seat the same as a current full economy fare.”

What else will become ludicrously outdated? I spoke to some futurists whose predictions show that some disruptive innovations may be coming sooner than you think. Here’s a list of what could become a quaint thing of the past before you’ve even begun withdrawing your pension:

IN THE COMMUNITY

1) Schools being used just once a day

“As population density increases in urban areas, infrastructure like schools will double down on their resources” says James Fogelberg, former ‘Head of What’s Next’ at Adshel. “Schools will be used twice in one day. They’ll offer parents the option of sending kids to either morning or afternoon and even evening school.”

2) Leaving your house to vote

The blockchain will create the security and opportunity to vote digitally in elections. It’s already happening — overseas Australians were able to vote online in the postal survey on same-sex marriage.

Futurist Dave Yeates says: “The blockchain works with currencies like Bitcoin right now, but it’ll change how we digitally certify both ourselves and our ballot papers. That’s right: no more awkward queues at school voting booths.” Shame about the traditional democracy sausage then (more on meat later).

3) Stopping at traffic lights

Business futurist Morris Miselowski says: “Forget traffic lights, speed limits and roundabouts. In a world where vehicles, roads, and infrastructure are constantly chatting to each other, we’ll soon be able to figure out how to dynamically adjust the traffic lights, road conditions and available parking to best suit the traffic it’s trying to cope with at that moment.”

 

IN THE HOME

4) Paying for your own Wi-Fi

“In the sharing economy, wificoin and other blockchain technologies will mean sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbours will become common, leading to you paying four times less than you currently do” says Matt Hoggett, co-founder of Prezzee. “It’ll also enable you to earn money via micro-payments. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

5) Using a mobile phone

Futurist Bachir El Khoury says you can say goodbye to your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy: “In five to ten years, people will look back at smartphones as we look back at the Nokia brick phone. It only took ten years to have the iPhone, and now only ten years after having the revolutionary touch screen, we speak to them! Phones will be replaced by smarter sensors and devices, such as glasses (Microsoft Hololens) and in particular virtual retinal display technology.”

6) Typing and reading

Brain machine interfaces will mean you can plug your brain straight into external technology devices, says Morris Miselowski. “Within a couple of decades, we’ll not only be able to get information out of our brain and into technology, but we’ll also reverse it and input information into our brain. Turn on lights, open doors, command a wheelchair, learn a new language, see a new sight, or if there’s too much going on in your head, maybe download some of your thinking into offsite storage.”

You can forget about being attached to your smart phone. In a couple of decades we might be able to plug our brains directly into technology, or at least wear it in a much more convenient way.

7) Doing your own tax return

“Don’t worry about telling the tax department what you spent last year, they already know. All your transactions have been collected, audited and analysed by artificial intelligence. All your deductions, refunds and obligations have been worked out by your robo financial adviser” says Morris Miselowski.

 

MEDICAL

8) Human surgeons

Within the next thirty years, it’s likely that a robot will perform your triple heart bypass, according to futurist Sankar Gopinath. “The development of minimally invasive, smarter, automated, precise, and effective medical technologies means that nano-robots could be used for complex operations where a surgery is deemed critical but dangerous. This tiny equipment can help doctors diagnose the problems with much less blood spillage.”

9) Human doctors

Instead of visiting doctors, we’ll swallow them, according to Morris Miselowski: “These tiny hair-width nanobot doctors, ingested or inserted, are your own on-board specialist team of medical researchers, diagnosticians and physicians. Programmed to deliver tailor-made medicine to just the right cell, or perhaps take a good look at your colon or bowel and send real time information back to your doctor; they’ll even perform minor internal procedures.”

10) Single use toilets

“We’ll look back at our toilets and be amazed they were only used to transport waste.” Danielle Storey from the Eastern Innovation Centre is developing a system whereby toilets “become diagnostic tools for early disease. We’ll self-manage our health rather than awaiting a doctor’s opinion.”

 

FOOD

11) Eating meat

Author Richard Dawkins predicts that we’ll “look back on the way we treated animals today as something like we today look back on the way our forefathers treated slaves.”

12) Awkward bill splitting in restaurants

“We’ll read the menu on our phone while we’re there (often seeing video or chef comments, or a cooking demonstration), order in an app and pay for it all digitally often without speaking to a waiter. In China this is already the norm and mostly done through WeChat” says Morris Miselowski.

Podcasts:

Hong Kong Radio 3, Phil Whelan, Tuesday 31st October 2017, (15 mins 35 secs)


Kier Shorey ABC Far North, Monday 6th November 2017 (13 mins 20 secs)

Getting around in 2030 – #FutureTransport \ Keynote, 4BC, ABC WideBay,

8For centuries we grew up, worked, learnt, dated, married, lived, and grew old within 25 miles of where we were born. Then came the wheel and we moved ourselves a little further, the steam engine a little further, the automobile a lot further, the airplane a hell of a lot further, but then came the internet and the necessity to travel out to see the world ceased, because for the first time ever in our existence the world now comes to us anywhere anytime on any device and we can live, see, play, work, date, learn and anything else – anywhere at any time.

This new digital space, has opened up new distribution models, new learning models, new food production models, new work models and the list goes on.

In my keynote last week to Intelligent Transport Systems Australia I posited that our need for transportation has irrevocably changed and is currently, and for the foreseeable future, going to continue to be challenged, reshaped and re-imagined.

To view my keynote click on the central Prezi symbol wait for it to load and
then use the arrow keys at the bottom of the box to move around.

The first of these influences is the internet itself, but other change agents abound and some of them include:

Big Data which will increasingly allow us to understand what’s happening on our roads, rails,seas and skies and to make swift purposeful decisions based on up to the minute data and predictive artificial intelligence inputs, we’ve already seen Qantas and other transport companies switch over to technology intermediaries to assist their staff in making timely and “perfect” decisions.

Internet of things and connected smart cities will over the next years virtually connect all of our vehicles, traffic and cityscape objects allowing each to share with the other information about driving intent, road conditions and what’s ahead. In the very near future buses may not work to a strict timetable and set of stops, but instead you’ll be able to virtually hail it to come to get you, rather than you going to get it.

Autonomous cars within 10 years will be a serious road contender with an expectation that in 2025 1 in 4 new cars sold will be capable of being put into auto pilot, when you don’t wish to drive yourself. We’re already seeing this used in the mining industry with huge trucks being driven remotely through the outback of Australia to and from the mines and depots. Daimler announced last week their soon to be released platooning auto pilot trucks capable of  finding other trucks going in the same direction and joining them in an aerodynamic, sleek and safe convoy.

3D printers will bespoke produce goods, spare parts, clothing, food and lots more in our homes, in our retail outlets and wherever we are, leading to an eventual downturn in the need to transport goods to warehouses, distributors and retailers for storage for later hopeful consumer purchase.

The Sharing Economy and changing consumer demands is also altering the need for transportation. Car ownership is being disrupted by car sharing and car ride schemes. The growing cultural desire of having use of products, homes, offices, clothes, pets, furniture, cars, and other objects rather than owning them has spawned entirely new industries connecting those that have with those that want and in doing so is slowly taking some of the need away from transporting multiple goods along our transportation corridors.

Project and task-work is re-framing the 9-5 commute and as we increasingly change where and when we work the traditional road congestion and traffic will reshape itself.

Transport’s where, when, how, why and what are all changing, but of course we will continue to travel and in fact travel more than we ever have before, but for very different reasons and in very different ways.

But my concern is that every decision being made about our roads, highways, parking, airports, train stations, ports and transport routes are being made on yesterday’s usage, transposed onto tomorrow’s world.

If we have apps like Waze successfully using the collected wisdom of road users to redirect each car in real-time. If we have people commuting to work and elsewhere at different hours instead of within tight time-frames. If autonomous cars can pick and choose directions according to road conditions and personal preferences. If we have 3D printers printing requisites on demand and in-situ then our roads and transport decisions need to factor in these and so many other new horizon influences.

We must start to think about, set cultural rules around and legislate for autonomous cars, work though licencing and insurance needs. We need to factor in changing traffic flows and mass transportation needs, there are lots we need to do before we go to our default position of widening and expanding highways for traffic conditions that may not be present when the roads comes to reality.

We must be brave and truly factor in tomorrow’s needs and technologies before we merely default to replicating yesterdays solutions and infrastructure over and over again.

And because a futurist conversation is never complete without some science fiction transportation possibilities, here’s 3 of my favourites:

gravity train which could travel through the core of the earth and take you from anywhere to anywhere on the planet in 42 minutes and 12 seconds,

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop that will place you into a vacuum sealed tube and woosh you 6,500 kilometres in 45 minutes at the speed of 1,223 kilometres per hour.

and the space elevator a long desired piece of kit, that now has Obayashi Corp in Japan saying it may be possible from 2030 onwards as carbon fibre improves enough to allow them to set a thin vertical track that will allow us to hop in an elevator and spend 7 days travelling up to the nearest space station or space hotel.

These were just some of the questions I posed and future landscapes I explored with the worlds smartest transportation thinkers at their conference and with my regular audiences on 4BC and ABC radio WideBay, so have look at my keynote (above) and have a listen to the interviews and then share your thoughts on what you think, or want, in tomorrow’s transport system.

4BC Clare Brady – 19 May (21 mins 21 secs) and thanks to all the listeners who phoned in – great questions and let’s keep talking

ABC radio – WideBay –  David Dowsett – 18 May (7 minutes 9 seconds)

Chances are you won’t have your job in 2025 | ABC Local

nightlife_21_April_2015I’m pretty certain that in 10 years you won’t have the job you have today, and why would you want to?

In 2005 most people were using a Nokia phone, handling emails at their desk and believed social media, Facebook and LinkedIn were just a fad and of no possible use.

Switch to 2015, Nokia is out of the phone business, emails find us wherever we are 24/7 and social media has evolved into a multi-trillion dollar industry complete with new jobs, professions and services.

Fast forward to 2025 and who knows what we will be doing, thinking and working at and on, but the thing I’m certain about is that it will not just be what it is today.

There is a perfect storm of technology, economics, culture, politics and humanity that are all independently evolving, but when you put them altogether you have a profound movement of change ahead.

On the technology front alone there are significant backdrops that will change how, where, when and who works these include the internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence, mobile, cloud, 3D printing, machine thinking, robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, intelligent buildings, just to name a few.

With the certainty of change, but the uncertainty of what that change may be ABC Local Nightlife’s Tony Delroy and I set out on one of our regular on-air radio expeditions to explore the Future of Work.

Will robots have taken over your job by 2025? What work will we be doing in 2025 that today sounds like a science fiction joke?  What are 2025’s most likely jobs and industries? Which of today’s professions are likely to have become irrelevant by 2030? What new professions will have $100,000 plus salaries in 2020, but most people today don’t even know exist? Where, when and how might you work in the next decade and beyond? and Will there even be enough jobs for everyone in the future?

A really great discussion made better by lots of callers sharing their experiences, fears and thoughts.

Have a listen now (45 minutes)  and then share this link and your thoughts on the Future of Work.