Jotting down the significant changes happened in the last 5-10 years and attempting to foresee what would be in the future:
- TV is replaced by online videos such as Youtube, Youku
- Paper books are replaced by ebooks
- Wiki makes encyclopedia obsolete, so has translation app done to dictionaries
- Smart Phones kick out home phones and traditional cell phones
- Music streaming makes CD, LP history terms
- Pictures stored in the cloud, cameras films are gone
- Taxi by uber, Lyft and Didi
- Hotel by Airbnb
- Google map makes everyone able to locate like a spy
- Snapchat Instagram tweeter replace newspaper
- The WeChat is looming as a one-stop-everything behemoth now, functioning as facebook, phone, banks, insurance, food ordering, bill paying, shopping, game playing, GPS, P2P loaning, all consolidated into one – WhChat app.
In the next 5-10 years, thanks to the rapidly advancing AI technology, things likely would extend and expand are:
- Alpha go smashingly win human go players
- Translation will be simultaneously conducted by a magic earset, backed up by AI software
- Medical diagnosis be conducted by AI
- New drugs can be discovered and screened in a faster, more efficient way by the AI and big data
- Lawyers, especially at the level of document sorting or referencing stage, will be replaced by robots; accountant, mechanical, math-heavy jobs also will be replaced by robots
- Financial advisor – robo advisors already is existent
- Insurance – some fast movers like Progressive has installed sensors in the automobiles to collect data of insuree’s driving habit, then calculate policy premiums more accurately
- Farming, intelligent farming with sensors all around in soils and air will be prevalent
- New form of education such as udemy khan dedao appeared already, but soon, they will threat conventional school system including expensive colleges. Many teachers will be out of jobs because the best ones will replicate their lectures online in numerous times and are available to students across the globe.
- Electricity vehicles or driverless vehicles will be reality but probably it will take much longer than optimists expected
- Blockchain demonstrates tremendous potential in everywhere, the immediate area would be on notary, credit report
- Vlog is going to replace blog, content will be more and more dominated by root-grass individuals instead of traditional media giants
- Shoes, clothes, furniture will be equipped with cameras and sensors, everybody is under surveillance, crimes will be reduced massively
- Health data including DNA info is streamed and stored in a cloud for each individual
- Hand-held laptop will be further slimmer, combining the power of large screen the current laptop can provide and nimble gadget like smartphone, so we can operate anytime, anywhere. Imagine a virtual screen can be projected in the air so you can type or voice the orders. Excel, word, terminal, all will be gone. Most people sink down to rely on app functions to satisfy their needs of watching movie, ordering food or playing game, while a small group of people will “speak” machine language proficiently to improve and innovate, making the rest of the folks less able to adapt and excel.
More and more platforms such as taskrabbits matching clients and handy-men, lawyer’s platform, doctor’s platform zocdoc, financial platform- quantopian… will be spreading, eliminating bureaucratic and self-limiting firms. This is particularly fast-growing in China. ‘Are you hungry’, ‘JD.com’, ‘Taobao’ makes the whole nation able to participate in business either as the seller or the buyer. An ordinary family doesn’t need to cook, just swipe wechat, in five minutes, a well-cooked, reasonably-priced dinner will be delivered at door. The maximum benefits of capitalism are realized in China of this era.
In the future, the top group of people will be the creators of these platforms, serving as a highway toll today, charging royalties from subscribers.
Beneath the top, people still have to get jobs to make a living. The elite jobs are to program and process data, dictate robots, to transform into intelligence and make decisions and designs. The bulk jobs would be the service providers such as waitress in restaurants, plumber (equipped with better smarter tools), massage workers, caretakers, nurses…
Big companies will dissolve to small entities or units, the form of shareholder structure will be taken place by partnerships
Traditional skills such as Microsoft excel, word, making ppt, email/text, coordinators such as middle-layer managers will be much less needed. It is terrible that for the bulk of office workers today, if you ask them what is your skillset, hardly can they utter anything that they are proud of themselves, which speaks of the fact that what many people are doing today are not that essential or valuable.
People need to be liberated to do really valuable works, like Lavoisier to discover oxygen, like Johann Heinrich Friedrich to discover penicillium, like Newton and Einstein to deduce the law of the universe, the list can go on.