The future Is Here: We Need To Engage Learn And Adapt

Lindsay Judge   |   03-05-2024

Author, keynote speaker and futurist John Sanei looks at how we should get on board with new technologies 

The future is already here – its just not very evenly distributed.” Is a quote by William Gibson. And today more than ever this quote is relevant. 

Just this March, some incredibly futuristic things happened in the world that have leapt us into the future, but most people dont know about them yet. This really puts into context what is noted in that quote by Gibson, because so much has happened, but awareness is not evenly distributed across humankind. Hardly anyone knows about many of these things. 

In the context of AI, we are currently moving from something called Large Language Model (LLM), to Large Action Model (LAM). LLM was excellent at getting us to write essays, making us write our emails better, etc. while Large Action Model, means that the same system is now even smarter to do physical actions for you. Whether its booking an Uber, arranging a holiday, or finding you a restaurant – there is a whole process of actionable things that we used to use other services for –  PAs, nutritionists, lawyers, accountants etc. – that can now be done with AI. Services across the world will really start to get challenged over the next few years because of the emergence of LAMs. 

Some of the exciting developments that happened in March: 

  1. The Starship, the biggest spaceship ever made by humans was successfully launched by Space X. This shows us that we are getting better at taking things into space. I was at a NASA event a while back, and they were discussing building a city on the moon. The problem they have is that they cant take concrete to the moon; they have to take a machine that will make it there. So developments like this rocket will allow such processes to take place and thus further develop into sustaining life outside of Earth. It is getting cheaper and easier to deliver physical things into space.
  2. Neuralink implanted the first human being with a chip that has allowed a person to control mouse functions just by thinking. Someone who is who is paralysed from the neck down is able to play chess and control functions on a screen with his brain because of whats inside his head.
  3. A brand called Be My Eyes has developed a product that allows every blind person to have a camera that can tell them what they are seeing in front of them. Where they are going, how they are going – you can even point it at a fridge or a cupboard and it will tell you whats in there and give you recipes to cook! The next phase will be the robot cooking it for you (thats LAM)
  4. A company called Figure has created an AI robot demo thats got OpenAi linked into it and its able to multitask. It can make conscious decisions and not just think about one function at once and to have multiple conversations while going through instructions.
  5. A company called Cognition has launched something called Devin, the worlds first AI software engineer – that means human input coding will be no longer needed, there will be a programme that can do it. This is a big problem because governments have spent millions on developing coding and coding schools.
  6. Google Deepmind has launched SIMA; the first AI agent that can follow natural language instructions to perform tasks across video games. It can understand the challenges in games and complete them! This could mean that gaming platforms will have to change to a certain extent because now players will have an AI helper, assisting them with what to do in their games.
  7. The University of Chicago has invented a vaccine to help us forget. This is important because when you have an autoimmune disease, your body is killing itself. The reason you have the disease is that your brain and your internal dialogue have been sending negative messages to yourself about yourself. So what happens is the body starts to react to what your mind has been saying. The vaccine created by the University of Chicago will help you forget these messages so that an autoimmune disease can stop. So it could eventually be healing some of these diseases which currently cant be cured.
  8. An aerospace company called Boom has launched its first supersonic passenger airline which will have planes that fly faster than Concorde. It is nowhere near operational yet but once it is it could cut flight times dramatically and I think we will see a lot more coming out around this.
  9. Nvidia has launched a new AI chip called the Blackwell Chip, which is the most powerful graphic processing chip ever. The rate at which chips are now holding increasing amounts of information is exponentially growing, giving us more access to more computing power
  10. AI startup Anthropic has developed a family of large language models named Claude.  They are smarter than ChatGPT 4 and you can upload whole books into it – up to 150 pages which is much more than ChatGPT or any other programmes out there. So again we can see AI becoming exponentially smarter right in front of our eyes.
  11. By using AI Stanford University has found six new bacteria strands that are able to go against superbugs that are killing people within hospitals. Bugs and bacteria are getting smarter and smarter and these bacteria are resistant to some of these superbugs and can potentially help in finding cures to some of these diseases.
  12. Over the next few years, the world will start to become a place where our current level of skills will become essentially useless. We are entering an Intimacy Economy – where we are becoming intimately involved in AI, it becomes our friend and it can make suggestions for us. Its a very daunting thing but we have to be prepared to adapt. 

But dont panic! Remember that it took 80 years for electricity to become a regular part of our lives from when it was first invented. And so, even if we cut that 80 years down by 80 per cent, weve still got 10-20 years to go. I always say get ready for the next 3-4 years because, over that period, things will start to settle into our society, and we will have to start asking ourselves the question: If the future is unevenly distributed, which pocket of it am I sitting in and how much access do I have of whats going on?If you are able to just get your head around to prioritise AI, to think about, engage with it, and watch talks on it – you will become more familiar with it, and in that process, you can start to look for opportunities within this realm. And that is the real key here…