(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Satish Kanady / The Peninsula
A safer and less expensive future is coming our way. The world has to get ready for that, according to a renowned futurist.
The technology innovator and social entrepreneur Ben Slivka, who is known for his futurist predictions, said yesterday the world is already on the cusp of a technology breakthrough. The Self-Driving Vehicles (SDVs), robots, drones, genomics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and expedition to Mars are all set to revolutionise the world from 20 to 30 years now and the future is looking bright for the world.
Ben, an investor, philanthropist and one of the creative thinkers of modern times, was giving a sweeping summary of technology innovation and its impact on humanity at the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar's (AmCham Qatar)' Distinguished Speaker Series,' yesterday.
The shift to self-driving cars, buses and trucks will lead to dramatic changes. Government and school bus fleet will be history. Drivers of all these vehicles will be out of a job. The arguments on rail lines, light or otherwise, will crumble, he said.
There will be a lower demand for private vehicles and there will be declining demand for taxi drivers, chauffeurs, bus drivers and truck drivers.
As there will be reduced need for parking vehicles, more road capacity will be there in crowded cities. With more road capcity, traffic jams will become a distant memory.
There will be no more stop signs and red lights. SDVs will automatically interleave at intersections, Ben said.
The future certainly looks bright for the resource-rich Qatar as well. 'If a rich country like Qatar can master the dynamics of innovations and reposition itself, it can compete with tech giants like Google, Amazon and Apple. It can seize opportunities in the face of technological change from its demographic dividend, dry land, soft water.
'As technology evolves over the years, the story of possible future of Qatar will be exciting. It can leverage the innovations in farming, desalinations. The country can be a leader in AI, Ben said.
Replying to a question put by The Peninsula that 'Who will be then the ‘New Poor'? in this evolution, Ben said the pace of innovation will redouble and economic evolution will raise the living standards of the 21st century in an unimaginable way, helping even the poorest people of the world to afford to meet their desires as well as their needs.
'If you look at any analysis on human conditions over the last hundred years, it has all been positive compared to the previous century. In the previous century millions of people died of hunger, war and economic depressions. The number of people died due to these resons in the 21 century is just a fraction of this.
'I view all these technology innovations will improve people's standards of living.
If you ask me everyone will be living in a 7,000 sq ft house and run a Rolls-Royce, probably not. If the predictions come true, the economic and social empowerment of the people will dramatically improve around the world, Ben said.
Sharing his thoughts on the evolution of Genomics, Ben said its scope and pace of advancement is accelerating. What Ben would call internal aversion therapy..20 years from now….. 'If you pick up a cookie, you hand will start shaking. As you bring the cookie closer to your mouth, you'll start to feel nauseous.., he said.
Ben, who believes Mars Colonisation by humanity is inevitable of, is convinced that human beings were going to Mars in the next 5-10 years. Competition by for-profit companies like SpaceX is going to bring down the cost of Space Travel; making it realistic to send hundreds of people to and from Mars each year.
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