This article was originally published by theresalongo.com in 2016. Many of this is materializing now in 2021, read on:
Working with public and privately held companies over the years on Canada’s biggest stock exchange in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District has provided theresalongo.com expert insight into the markets as well as new technologies and emerging systems. Here are theresalongo.com official predictions for the future, based on over a decade of front line work on Bay Street.
- Artificial Intelligence. AI will play a huge role in the development and convenience of the foreseeable future. AI will support human intelligence when it comes to marketing, planning, organizing and even creativity. How does it work? Similar to how social media sites analyze your every online move aggregating content and showing you what it feels you are most interested in or not – AI can algorithmically analyze the latest trends in say, fashion over the last 50 decades and come up with a blueprint for the next hit fashion styles/patterns/sequences. Same goes for marketing strategy. Thanks to feedback loops, computers are excellent at determining what is most appealing to us. Programs are so advanced, humans input data parameters to customize/influence the overall outcome. This can apply to editing and creation. Take logo creation for example – enter in a few details about your company (technology, food, hospitality) and choose a handful of shapes, and sample logos you find appealing – within 5 minutes the logo creation has analytically created the PERFECT logo, most aesthetically pleasing design, which will be the most marketable for you. This is already happening now. Here’s why humans are still important (and always will be!): All AI is based on human intelligence – or human input. Therefore it really cannot run “without us” or “with a mind of it’s own” as some speculate.
AI needs us!
- Blockchain Technology. Basically a “blockchain” is like an accounting ledger. All transactions that happen are recorded in the blockchain as they happen. They cannot be erased/destroyed – and this ‘ledger’ is available for EVERYONE to see and verify. How does it work? A transaction is first requested; and then broadcast to a P2P network for verification using algorithms. This network of computers working together verifies the transaction and it is recorded in time and space forever for all to see. Blockchain is good for cryptocurrency, but it is also good for records, dispatching, contracts, or other information. Why is blockchain tech so good? Let’s compare blockchain and cryptocurrency (which transacts on blockchain technology) to your bank. With the bank, if you want to make a large transaction or withdrawal, maybe you have to sign for it or even wait 48 hours. With Blockchain, transactions are quick with little wait time. With banks, there are fees, overhead and no one can see what you do with your money – that is between you and the bank. With Blockchain, there are no monthly bank fees, and everyone can see and verify transactions. Blockchain technology is made up of a network of computers. So long as ONE single computer can access the blockchain, it can be preserved and accessed by the entire network. It is known as a decentralized network – it can run anywhere, anytime around the world, for everyone. Unlike banks, which vary from country to country – blockchain is a distributed database. The upside is you have total and complete control over your money and how it transacts outside of banks and governments. Many speculate a computer satellite system will be shot into space or somewhere remote so that the blockchain network is truly decentralized and can never truly be destroyed. The drawback to holding your assets in crypto and transacting on blockchain mean if someone were to get your wallet key – they could transact monies our of your account. Once the transaction goes through (verified) it cannot be reversed or destroyed from the ledger for all to see. This is why it is so important to guard your crypto wallet key with your life! Avoid storing wallet keys on a computer. Rather, keep it written down out of sight somewhere. If you lose it or have your crypto currency stolen, you cannot get it back once the transaction is completed, verified and posted.
- Most companies will begin running blockchain technology. Uber is already starting this. A ride-request is received, the computer aligns drivers to ride hailers – and once the transaction is complete it is stored within UBER database. Blockchain is perfect for UBER – no humans involved. Eventually even coffee shops, clothing stores, etc. will operate on this network. Every fast food place you see will run on blockchain- which then brings us to our next futuristic point
- You’ll be able to MAKE MONEY by visiting businesses or doing things. More and more businesses will begin to issue their own ‘digital tokens’. Subway restaurants is already doing it. Buy a sub? Get token! Eventually you can cash in that token for subs! It’s like “Subway money”. Buy coffee every day? It will transact on blockchain tech and maybe even issue you some token to use in future! People will be able to trade and swap their token for things they need. “I’ve got 10 coffee shop Tokens, wanna trade me for 10 Subway Token?” etc. Tokens or “rewards” are a clever way to track where people go, what they spend money on, their preferences and can be useful to companies. Companies closely tracking consumer preferences. Watch your favorite show each week on free cable for allowing facial recognition to study your reaction to commercial breaks. Your reactions will be highly analyzed and this information will be stored to make AI stronger. Get digital token for watching TV/Ads? For those who already do it, it’s a bright future!
- Eye reading technology and automation. Use a contact lens with your digital footprint on it, you approach the coffee counter. Already your regular order is known by the system but you are free to browse a digital menu. Face recognition will analyze your face: are you looking happy or sad today? If you are sweating it will offer you an ice cold ice cappuccino. If you show up to the coffee counter looking tired the system may suggest regular coffee if you normally get decaf. If you look sad, perhaps the system will attempt an up-sell. A robot sends out your toasted bagel and coffee. Robots and tech-led machinery will be HUGE in the future of automation. As computers compile data, facial recognition technology and biometric data will become more popular, too. Facial recognition can track your facial movements, eye movement, expression, reaction and preferences all while you are going about your activity. Upside to all this: Accuracy, speed, efficiency. Downside: Little human interaction. Furthermore, the upside for the CEOs: Automation and accuracy saves a TON of money.Get paid or rewarded to watch TV if you allow it to track your eye movement during the ads and programming for analytical feedback. A digital profile with your preferences is built and stored on blockchain technology. The user is getting paid from a data-backed crypto. Companies will issue crypto currency (token) with real value – to be used by the user.
- Asset-Backed Crypto Currencies. If you have an asset, let’s say a car – you can technically ICO (initial coin offering). With the value of your asset you can issue digital currency – similar to how publicly traded companies do, then use it to create wealth for your backers. This allows everyone a fair chance at making money. For companies who gather data and information in exchange for tokens – they are essentially issuing DATA-backed cryptocurrency. If I am skilled in computers and have one – I can issue 1000 tokens at 100$ each to make a quick business – all token convertible to real cash. People get their token product or can trade it at a later date on the market as I utilize the asset to repay the backers with added value. Resource companies will start to do this more. Have a ton of gold in the ground? Issue company token and get backers – the money is raised to mine the gold (finance the project), and the value of the finite number of token issued will skyrocket once the product is mined. As the resources are mined, the tokens hopefully go up in value as there is a limited number issued, and being backed by gold, they can be traded for cold hard cash or bitcoin at any time. Companies will utilize their proven resources to finance projects to completion by issuing redeemable, valuable and limited digital currencies.
- Digital Currencies. In general, digital currency will expand ways to pay for things. People will want digital token as the future of currencies and how we go about purchasing things day-to-day. Trade it anytime, use it, cash it, and even issue your own currency. Yes, YOU can issue your own token if you are willing to work to bring value to that said token. Digital currency is easy and quick. Let’s say I go to the coffee shop each morning and pay AUTOMATICALLY – without even talking about it. With the eye reader tech, a quick eye scan deducts your account balance is automatically and your favorite order is known. Pay in your digital token with the blink of an eye – literally. Everything runs on blockchain.
- Augmented Reality. Augmented reality is becoming so incredibly lifelike and real. In future, you will put on your AR headset and be immersed in court-side basketball action. At the game, 360 cameras record the action for you as you sit in your living room. Sports clubs will sell in-home AR experiences for games. Heck, the person next to you just virtually spilled popcorn on you! This type of augmented reality will apply to concerts and festivals too. Buy a ticket by typing in a numbered sequence – press “999000” to buy a front row ticket to your favorite band. The transaction takes place on blockchain tech and then you are able to dance around the safety of your living room as if you are in attendance front row. Look around you and you’ll see the festival grounds just like you are really there, thanks to 360 cameras recording the experience for at-home AR viewers. Augmented Reality is one step behind teleportation. Let’s say we want to host a virtual interview with a prospective worker miles away. The interviewee dials into our office number “555666” and holographically appears there as if in person. Meanwhile for that person who is actually miles away, their AR headset is broadcasting a clear view of the interviewing office. From their living room, wearing an AR device, subjects can audition, interview or perform in the prospective employer’s room from the comfort of their own homes with a holographic projection of themselves in the actual place they intend to show up. 360 cameras, holograms and AR go hand in hand to create a billion dollar offshoot business in sports and entertainment. Buy a “seat” to a front row hockey game, then watch it in the comfort of your living room – as 360 cameras offer you a highly realistic experience. Augmented reality can be used by a group of kids to play basketball or soccer with a virtual ball. This similar concept is already happening through the connected network of video gamers who come together across wi-fi networks to join together in a game from within each of their homes.The opposite of this will happen, where you’ll gather with 10 friends in the same room and play a virtual game together using a virtual tablet or AR ball in a game of soccer.
- Smart cities of the future. All energy will be captured. Ride a bike to work? Energy can be captured and sold. Like suntanning? Capture solar energy while you do it and sell it in exchange for a digital token. EARN your bus fare easily by stomping on a stomp pad or pulling a lever to generate energy. You’ll earn digital token. Companies will put us to work and humans will energetically accept small gestures in exchange for products and services. Humans will welcome all of this. Back at the futuristic coffee shop, if a patron didn’t have money for coffee, generating captured kinetic energy for the store exercising for 5 minutes will earn a cup of coffee. Humans will want this because it means we can be self-sufficient. It completely changes the economic structure of our society. Humans are no longer reliant on a traditional 9 to 5, banks or governments: Humans already have and can easily create their own wealth while benefiting society (and themselves) as a whole.
Robots. The police force will find it easier, safer and cheaper to employ robots. They can run ID’s, apprehend or de-escalate a situation just like a human can! Obviously the drawback is robots (machines) can easily be stronger than humans and how can you plead with an un-empathetic robot to let you off the hook for something? Worse, what if a cop-bot gets it wrong and hauls in the wrong person?! Bottom line, humans will welcome this and such technology can ALWAYS rely on human input to verify/check/monitor all activity.
What do you think about these future predictions? Would you love AI to choose and print your unique wardrobe for the year? Would you love to transact value anywhere, anytime without banks telling you when/how or taking a cut of your money? Do you enjoy the idea of attending a concert in real-time from the comfort and safety of your living room with a handful of your best friends? Personally for me, a major drawback is there are no humans to complain to if something goes wrong (crypto-theft or UBER complaint or otherwise)! Aside from technology, I think humans will wake up to several other atrocities we currently engage in – plastic use , killing animals and the destruction of nature. Finally I think there will be an overhaul when it comes to fuel and transportation to become non-invasive and environmentally-safe.
Comment your thoughts below. Thanks for reading!