By predicting future trends, we can prepare ourselves with the necessary skills to succeed in the future. The pace of technological advancement is increasing, so we should expect the changes in the next 5 years should be much greater than those of the last 5.
You might have already heard of the following 5 observed trends. I am going to show you some of my insights and how you can take advantage of these trends.
#1 Automation expands the scope of human ambitions
The trend of automation is a no-brainer. We have been experiencing it for the last 30 years where robots replace us in doing laborious work.
As creative creatures, our time is much better spent doing creative works than repetitive work because creative works can generate values exponential to the amount of time spent.
Automation allows us to dream bigger. When we no longer need to worry about growing crops, we can spend more time on space exploration. Automation takes away current jobs but generates future jobs. Jobs that might be replaced by automation will be replaced by automation, so you have to constantly improve yourself to stay relevant (you can check out the site Will Robots Take My Job).
Automation will not only happen to physical work but also to software, thanks to the advent of AI and Machine Learning. Computers are better at recognizing patterns and remembering than human beings. Most importantly, computers don’t get tired at all and can run 24/7.
AI is beating human at playing Go and now beating the best Dota2 player. Cars will eventually drive better and safer by themselves. Computers might eventually replace software engineers in writing code.
These changes may sound scary, but it’s also exhilarating for you because of the opportunity you can take full advantage of. Expand your scope of ambitions. Dare to go to Mars or live in another galaxy next weekend?
Start learning about AI and machine learning by reading related news (here’s our AI & ML newsletter). Become eloquent in programming and take classes about AI/ML.
The supply of AI/ML engineers is scarce. You can earn this market arbitrage simply by learning. This arbitrage will likely last for another decade, and the AI/ML industry will flourish in the next 50 years.
2. Value storage and transfer to be decentralized
In a truly free market, you should be free to exchange anything you want with someone else. I give you an Apple, and you give me an orange. I give you $10, and you help me wash my car. In general terms, you should be able to transfer “values” freely.
In reality, our banking system is broken globally. Banks with unjustifiably high fees are closed on weekends. Credit cards charge merchants a high percentage of each sale. Remittance fees cost up to 40% in some developing countries. The banking infrastructure is a giant oligopoly with bad reputation, high fees and terrible customer service.
A fiat currency’s value is underpinned by the strength of the government that issues it. Any actions taken by its government have consequences on its fiat currency. When a government is out of power, its citizens lose their entire net worth because its currency is worths nothing at that point.
As a global citizen, you can be a step ahead with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies*.
USD is valuable because people have a consensus. Otherwise, it’s a nice piece of printed paper. Similarly, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are valuable because some people (still a minority) believe they are.
Bitcoin has the following attractive properties:
- the stability of value storage like gold (no government can print gold)
- the liquidity like cash (everyone accepts cash throughout the world)
- the speed of transactions like any online transactions
Since Bitcoin, there are thousands of new blockchain projects aiming to solve different problems in the financial systems.
You can begin to equip yourself by, again, learning about it (here’s our blockchain newsletter).
With any technology, there are early adopters and late adopters. Instead of being afraid of new technologies, start learning about them and become an early adopter. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities. FOMO is good for you.
*Disclaimer: I’m not a financial advisor; don’t take my words; all investments are risky.
3. The internet is not perfect yet
Without the internet, most technological progress we’ve so far discussed wouldn’t have existed. Even blockchain and AI tech wouldn’t be able to unleash their ambitious potentials without standing on the shoulder of the internet.
The internet is an instrument to connect all and everything. We build highways so we can travel far away to see each other. Similarly, The internet is the ultimate highway to transmit data, information and, ultimately, knowledge.
In the end, everything (all living things and objects) will be interconnected in one way or another to maximize efficiency in our society. Your fridge will be able to tell that you’re running short of apples, make an order on Amazon.com for you, and the package will be shipped to your doorstep via a drone in the next hour. The whole process will be notified to you while you are running on a treadmill that knows your heart rate and plays music back to you with melody at the same pace as your run.
The takeaway here is that the internet is not perfect yet, and you can profit from expanding the highway of internet despite of the apparent domination of corporations like Facebook and Google.
There are thousands of new exciting projects (many profitable) born on the internet. Any time you feel frustrated while using the internet is an opportunity for you to take full advantage of. Like highways, the internet is here to stay and to be improved by you.
4. Your virtual world transcends all physical limitations
Before the Virtual and Augmented Reality hype, we actually already have many virtual worlds, mostly known as simulations. In Engineering, Biology and other sciences, we have long used computers to simulate the physical world. Simulations allow us to test and observe natural phenomena that may otherwise be extremely costly and difficult to observe in the physical world.
Buildings, bridges and airplanes are all being simulated on computers before being built in the real world. Imagine spending hundreds of millions of dollars building an airplane only to later realize that some design was terribly wrong.
Simulations allow us to save a tremendous amount of money and time.
Since the PC era, we entered the age of human experience simulations. We have had Minecraft, GTA and Second Life to simulate human experiences on a computer screen.
Today, we are bringing these human experience simulations to the next level by making them more real with the introductions of VR goggles, better graphics cards, better game engines and better user experiences.
Human experience simulations will eventually allow us to experience many lives and save us time choosing the life that we want.
You can take advantage of this movement by contributing in any way you can.
5. The education system needs a huge upgrade
Last but not least, none of the above trends is possible if we don’t improve the current broken education system.
A new upgraded iPhone comes out every year, but schools haven’t changed since the Industrial Revolution.
Students are taught to pass exams, instead of thinking outside of the box. Schools try to standardize us, rather than helping each of us differentiate. Teachers are not practitioners, and practitioners don’t have an opportunity to teach. Lectures are boring, bad and, sometimes, unnecessary. No personalized feedback are given to students. Standardized tests are only as good as the people who design them.
Schools are currently designed to make you ordinary. Instead of helping you become extraordinary, they discourage students to differ.
If you learn the same things as everybody else, you will be at best average. To become extraordinary, you have to learn valuable things that others don’t.
The future of learning is going to be depressingly sad if we don’t give it an upgrade.
Your action items
Act today. Every little step counts. Start learning and stop wasting time. Start creating and contributing. Take advantage of future trends and Profit!