Not a single day passes at the moment without a flurry of reposted technology predictions of the future. It has probably always been like this with a timely skew to topical themes.
Today it’s technology. Apparently, it’s going to change us, our relationships and the fabric of our community.
And maybe it will. Maybe we will all be augmented and living in a mixed media environment with the machines listening and responding to our every thought and sentiment.
Perhaps the products we want will turn up at the door by drone or robot and perhaps all those menial tasks that we think are beneath us will just get done.
The vision this kind of thinking points us at is a hybrid of WALL-E and Altered Carbon. Personally, I think we can learn a lot from the imagination of futurists. History tells us that they have a knack of getting lots of their predictions right. History tends not to record everything they got wrong. They are fallible.
So, how useful are predictions? In the context of your business how useful is this kind of pronouncement: ‘Blockchain – each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.’
Cool. And that means?
‘For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires a consensus of the network majority.’
Oh man, I need some of that. Call Lyreco and get me a box.
How about this: ‘Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals.’
Which does what?
‘AI has become an essential part of the technology industry, helps to solve problems in science and medicine, and is better able to analyse business data to make more accurate predictions and forecasts.’
Now go and shop for your AI driven accurate prediction service and see how far you get. My prediction is that you’ll find a consultant who can build you a machine learning algorithm because what’s described here doesn’t actually describe AI very well. Just my opinion.
I love the way that we can work our business plan into the future and that we can fairly accurately forecast the way that technology can help us. I am completely committed to the act of anticipating what your (and our) clients will want to see provided as a service in the future. BUT – bland pronouncements of what’s to come serve no purpose unless they can be tied back to what we do today. If we don’t work on the direction of travel that takes us from a business that doesn’t use a new technology to one that does, we aren’t designing our business; we’re waiting for something to happen and that’s not a strategy.
That’s just business as usual and as we predict, ‘usual’ won’t last forever.
Seeing it differently. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.