Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.
There’s a big shift happening in how enterprises buy and deploy software. In the last few years, open technology -- software that is open to change and free to adopt — has gone from the exception to the rule for most enterprises.
Technology is all around us, and sometimes in us. We experience it daily in the way we stream music, in how we use an app to navigate a museum or a shopping centre, or to check our calorie burning and heart rate. This technology is changing our lifestyle and consumption. There is, of course, a lot more technology around us that we don’t see or touch at source. A wave of technological innovation has started to fundamentally alter how we make stuff. And it signals an era of huge change.
In the 1920s, Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev linked waves of technological change occurring every 50 years or so with cycles in global GDP growth. He suggested that radical inventions could profoundly revolutionise the techno-economic nature of economies. Indeed, the subsequent spawning of countless minor and incremental innovations could penetrate every aspect of the economy.
The idea of Kondratiev waves is that as old technologies exhaust their potential for new ideas to boost the economy, they slow down until a critical mass of new technologies comes to fruition all at once. That then kicks off a new technological wave that is able to trigger a spate of new applications in new processes, new products and new services.
One day in the future, we’ll look back in wonder at how our physical objects used to be singular, disconnected pieces of matter.
We’ll be in awe of the fact that a car used to be just a piece of metal full of gears and belts that we would drive from one place to another, that a refrigerator was a box that kept our food cold — and a phone was a piece of plastic we used to communicate to one other person at a time.
That’s because the future we’re rapidly moving towards is one where physical items become intelligent and interconnected — and as a fascinating result, their functionality changes.
There is probably no better example of this trend than the cell phone. The mobile phone used to be just that — a mobile phone. Now it’s your flashlight, your bank, your TV, and your funny, yet kind of dumb personal assistant. The cell phone — or really, more accurately, the hand-held computer — has become mostly a gateway to all the mobile services we use on it.
And those services are constantly morphing and improving, changing what our smartphones can do without requiring the physical phone itself to change all that much at all.
Mark Zuckerberg recently reiterated that brain-to-brain interfacing is our species future. Today, scientists can have participants move things on a screen with their mind and signal to one another across vast distances. It may someday have therapeutic uses for ADHD, give us sense experiences not akin to our species, and even allow advertisers to invade our minds.
Think this one through...not so sure this is a great idea, even if it could be done, which I doubt. Where's Mr. Spock when you need him?
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