The Industries of the Future
With 521 ratings
By: Alec Ross and Simon & Schuster Audio
Purchased At: $17.00
Leading innovation expert Alec Ross explains what's next for the world, mapping out the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next 10 years - for businesses, governments, and the global community - and how we can navigate them.
While Alec Ross was working as Hillary Clinton's senior advisor on innovation, he traveled to 41 countries. He visited some of the toughest places in the world - from refugee camps of Congo to Syrian war zones. From phone-charger stands in Eastern Congo to R&D labs in South Korea, Ross has seen what the future holds.
Over the past two decades, the Internet has radically changed markets and businesses worldwide. In The Industries of the Future, Ross shows us what's next, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future over the next 10 years, including cybercrime and cybersecurity; the commercialization of genomics; the next step for big data; and the coming impact of digital technology on money, payments, and markets. And in each of these realms, Ross addresses the toughest questions: How will we have to adapt to the changing nature of work? Is the prospect of cyberwar sparking the next arms race? How can the world's rising nations hope to match Silicon Valley in creating their own innovation hotspots?
Ross blends storytelling and economic analysis to give a vivid and informed perspective on how sweeping global trends are affecting the ways we live, incorporating the insights of leaders ranging from tech moguls to defense experts. The Industries of the Future takes the intimidating, complex topics that many of us know to be important and boils them down into clear, plain-spoken language. This is an essential work for understanding how the world works - now and tomorrow - and a must-listen for businesspeople in every sector, from every country.
“The Industries of the Future” is an informative and accessible book about the next economy and how this next wave of innovation will affect our societies. Leading expert on innovation and former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alec Ross, explores the industries that will drive the next 20 years of change. This 320-page insightful book includes the following six chapters: 1. Here Come the Robots, 2. The Future of the Human Machine, 3. The Code-ification of Money, Markets, and Trust, 4. The Weaponization of Code, 5. Data: The Raw Material of the Information Age, and 6. The Geography of Future Markets.
1. A well-researched, well-written book.
2. An interesting topic in the hands of a gifted author: the industries of the future that will transform our societies in the next 20 years.
3. A good format. The book includes six chapters each covering topics of interest such as: robotics, advanced life sciences, the code-ification of money, cybersecurity, and big data.
4. Factoids abound throughout this book. “About 70 percent of total robot sales take place in Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, and Germany—known as the “big five” in robotics.” “With 78 organs, 206 bones, and 640 muscles, not to mention up to 25,000 genes, our bodies are complicated machines.”
5. A fascinating look at robots and where there are more likely to emerge.
6. Concepts worth discussing, singularity. “Within the robotics community, the future of technology is wrapped up in the concept of singularity, the theoretical point in time when artificial intelligence will match or surpass human intelligence.”
7. Cool technology for the near future. “There is ample reason to think that robodrivers will be safer than we are now. Accidents are caused by the four Ds: distraction, drowsiness, drunkenness, and driver error.”
8. The future of genomics. “Genomics is going to have a bigger impact on our health than any single innovation…”
9. The dark side of genomics, designer babies.
10. Insightful information on coded money. “He views Square as a product that can help these struggling areas incubate new businesses. “The part I think Square plays is making commerce easy,” Jack says. “Not payments but commerce, so that anyone can make a start and then easily run and then easily grow.” It’s a commerce company for the little guy.”
11. The impact of mobile phones. “In 2002, only 3 percent of Africans used mobile phones. Today that number is over 80 percent and growing at a faster rate than any other region of the world.”
12. Cyberattacks, the Wild West. “There are three main types of cyberattacks today: attacks on a network’s confidentiality, availability, and integrity.” “
13. The impact of digitization. “The digitization of nearly everything is poised to be one of the most consequential economic developments of the next ten years.” “Gosler’s is not a lone voice. James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, warned Congress in February 2015 that cyberattacks pose a greater long-term threat to national security than terrorism.”
14. The future careers with the most demand, cybersecurity. Find out why.
15. The role of big data for the future. “Even more impressive, though, is the role that big data might be able to serve in significantly reducing hunger, probably the longest-running challenge for humanity.” “Precision agriculture also offers the promise of a major reduction in pollution.”
16. In the final chapter, Ross talks about what it will take to compete and succeed in the industries of the future.
17. Cities as innovation hubs. “An important aspect of what makes major cities thrive is infrastructure, along with the analytics programs that allow people to use that infrastructure more efficiently.”
18. The clash between open and closed societies. “The principal political binary of the last half of the 20th century was communism versus capitalism. In the 21st century, it is open versus closed.”
19. The empowerment of women. “In 2013, China led the world in the percentage of women in senior management positions—51 percent. Half of the world’s wealthiest female billionaires live in China.” “It turns out that Rwanda is the only country in the world with a democratically elected parliamentary body that is majority female.”
20. A solid conclusion section that brings it all together.
1. Notes not linked or referenced.
2. No formal bibliography.
3. A minor technical error, genomics will have the biggest impact in the 21st century not the 20th.
4. Lack of charts and diagrams to complement the solid narrative.
5. There is nothing really new or earthshattering in this book.
6. It’s intended for the masses so it will come at the price of technical depth.
In summary, it’s always fun to take a peek into the future. Ross does a good job of covering the most noteworthy technologies of the future and explaining the implications to our society. The book would have been better served by complementing the narrative with diagrams and charts. Lacks technical depth but for the layperson this is a worthwhile book to read, I recommend it.
Further recommendations: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” by Klaus Schwab, “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, “Race Against the Machine” by the same authors, “Rise of the Robots” by Martin Ford, “Our Final Invention” by James Barrat, “Tomorrowland” by Steven Kotler, “Singularity Is Near” by Ray Kurzwell, “The Price of Inequality” by Joseph Stiglitz, “Why Nations Fail” by Daron Acemoglu, and “Saving Capitalism” by Robert B. Reich.
I think it would be a good book for a high school student to read, maybe in their junior year, so they can see what the future job market looks like and can plan to prepare themselves for that.
The only thing that I thought wasn't really covrred well was the Sub saharan Africa especially that out of all advanced African countries only Rwanda, Nigeria and Sudan could be mentioned,while South Africa has been the leading economy for over two decades since Nelson Mandela namely in the
I wondered has Alec ever visited South Africa?
The author predicted that the cyber security market will boost some 10 times what it was worth when the book was written in as little as 3 years.
With the latest cyber attacks against Microsoft and government institutions around the world, you clealy see this prediction unfolding.
Some insights about what will happen next are interesting (you should soon be able to tweak your own genes, big data is –well– big, money is no longer made in manufacturing stuff but in design and clever marketing, Uber is here to stay). This is IMHO a good round up of what's in store.
Despite the large number of references to papers and articles, I have the nagging feeling that Alec Ross has adopted an angle (spoiler alert here: if you are not in the digital economy by tomorrow morning, some guy in Estonia will eat your bacon sandwich) but has conveniently disposed of the nuances and the "if things carry on exactly the way they go now" - and we know they don't always do.
Long and short, it is a good outlook on the near digital future, but you will probably want something a bit more high octane if you like the specifics and a more nuanced approach.
Before I read this book I would say anything environmental, AI, robotics, biotech (that include genetics), IoT, neuroscience, space, gaming and health. There is obvious overlap between those sectors. Just imagine a huge box full of lego blocks, combining these technologies with mobile, nano, virtual reality, big data, augmenting, biomimicry, material science, quantum physics and you have a Pandora’s box of industries we have not even imagined.
Alec Ross thinks that the industries of the future are robotics, advanced life sciences, the codification of money, cyber security, and big data. Not much to argue there, although in my view very limited and almost too easy.
North Korea or Estonia
What the book does do is show the countries that are ahead and the once that are behind, and the book puts the industries into a geopolitical, cultural, and generational context. All 196 countries in the world have a choice. You can be North Korea or Estonia. That goes for your company too.
Europe versus Japan
I would suggest it will make for unhappy reading for European policy makers and there is no doubt, power is shifting East. Japan already leads the world in robotics, operating 310,000 of the 1.4 million industrial robots in existence across the world. Driven by an increasingly older population, they have particularly focussed on elderly care and health. That includes augmentation, which is a growth sector all on its own. Other counties to watch in robotics are China, the United States, South Korea, and Germany.
What everyone needs to consider, and here is the Pandora’s lego box again, is when robotics get combined with big data, cloud (all robots connected and learning), AI, nano and biology. No wonder venture capital funding in robotics is growing at a steep rate. It more than doubled in just three years, from $160 million in 2011 to $341 million in 2014. The market for consumer robots could hit $390 billion by 2017, and industrial robots should hit $40 billion in 2020.
The number of robotic procedures is increasing by about 30 percent a year, and more than 1 million Americans have already undergone robotic surgery, and it is growing exponentially. It is quite amazing what robots are doing already, from hunting jelly fish and hunting cancer to hair washing, waiting tables, cleaning floor but also teaching maths and anything in between. There is no doubt, as the technology continues to advance, robots will kill many jobs.
Two Oxford University professors who studied more than 700 detailed occupational types have published a study making the case that over half of US jobs could be at risk of computerization in the next two decades. Forty-seven percent of American jobs are at high risk for robot takeover, and another 19 percent face a medium level of risk.
Singularity, when, not if
The level of investment in robotics (including drones, self-driving cars, etc.), combined with advances in technology are setting the foundation for the 2020s to produce breakthroughs in robotics that bring today’s science fiction right. Including singularity which is expected somewhere between 2023 (Vernor Vinge) and 2045 (Ray Kurzweil). We have moved from “if” to “when”.
That is why China is not just relying on forced urbanisation to produce low-cost labour; it is also investing heavily in the industries of the future. Every country needs to invest in growing fields like robotics but also invest in a social framework that makes sure those who are losing their jobs are able to stay afloat long enough to pivot to the industries or positions that offer new possibilities. Humans are not as easy to upgrade as software.
That is the robotic industry. Now for life sciences. The size of the genomics market was estimated at a little more than $11 billion in 2013 and is going to grow faster than anyone could imagine. We are talking DNA sequencing, precision medicine, designer babies, neuroscience (the genetics of suicide), xenotransplantation and Jurassic Park.
With 78 organs, 206 bones, and 640 muscles, not to mention up to 25,000 genes, our bodies are complicated machines. We are hacking the machine, part by part. As a result, we will live longer lives, but our lives will grow more complicated as we manage
Including and particularly in the world of cyber security If you have read “Future Crimes“, you really want augmentation, DNA and robots to be secure. A hacked care robot hovering over your bed with a knife is not something you want. A hacked augmented hand strangling you is also not a prospect you would relish. Let alone someone hacking your voice, your DNA, or your brain.
Hacking. Malware. Virus. Worm. Trojan horse. Distributed denial-of-service. Cyber attack. The terms for the weaponisation of code are by now well known, but we are just beginning to understand their full implications.
175 billion industry
Over the 20 years from 2000 to 2020, the cyber security market will have grown from a $3.5 billion market employing a few thousand people working in IT departments to a $175 billion market providing critical infrastructure. Cyber has grown into such a mission-critical function that every Fortune 500 board chairman now should make sure he or she has a board member with cyber expertise. In five years, any board of directors without a board member with expertise in cyber will be perceived as a shortcoming of corporate governance.
Combine that with what will be a $19 trillion global market in the Internet of Things and we are creating an almost unimaginable new set of vulnerabilities and openings for cyber security hacks.For example, in July 2015, hackers managed to remotely infiltrate and shut down a Jeep Cherokee while it was speeding along the highway. Did you know that GPS is hackable? Don’t trust your Tom-Tom.
Long term cyber attacks pose a greater threat to national security than terrorism. We have moved from cold war to code war.
Alec Ross other favourite future industry is coded money, blockchain and fintech and how that will transform local and global economies, particularly Africa. M-Pesa and Shwari as examples. But also the sharing economy. At last measure, the estimated size of the global sharing economy was $26 billion, and it’s growing fast, with some estimates projecting it will be more than 20 times larger in size by 2025. Read “Machines, Platforms, Crowds“.
The last industry he mentions is big data, quantified self and algorithms. Did you know that an estimated one-third of all marriages in the United States begin with online dating which is run through an algorithm? The best quote of the book is this one “Serendipity fades with everything we hand over to algorithms”.
Impact on your business
Alec Ross is spot on. None of those industries can be ignored and they will impact on your business. Robotics, cyber, big data, coded money will do so very soon.
What are we going to do?
The question is what policy makers are going to do about it. If you read “The Seventh Sense”, politicians are the last ones to understand what goes on. And it not about:
Mix in R&D labs and university centres;
Provide incentives to attract scientists, firms and users;
Interconnect the industry through consortia and specialised suppliers;
Protect intellectual property and tech transfer;
Establish a favourable business environment and regulations.
It is about broadband infrastructure, women (“women hold up half the sky”), openness, domain expertise, quality of life, the flow of ideas, innovation and yes, creating active serendipity.
What are you going to do?
Or look at some examples of good practice such as Singapore, Estonia, Japan and China versus Belarus, North Korea and Venezuela. Which one do you want to be?
I want to be Estonia (or Japan).
A little too much of the author's ego. Loses momentum towards the end of the book where it lacks a more definite opinion on how those areas/countries not innovative and outside the digital hub complexes could look to improve.