Disrupt or be disrupted! Technology is your best friend and your worst enemy! Why you need to learn new skill sets to avoid a possible poverty crisis.

Adam Milton-Barker | Jul 1, 2015 | Disruptive Technologies | 4371
Just in case you have missed it, technology is rapidly changing and disrupting the world around us, every day more and more inventions are being unveiled from voice controlled web applications, to automated homes & businesses, automated vehicles, artificial intelligence and robots. I have mentioned the comparison before, but if you remember a kids cartoon show called the Jetsons, that is the world we are NOW living in, yet it hasn't quite hit mainstream enough for many people to take notice. For most of the people that are in my developer circles and most of the people that I follow and get inspiration from, development is about creating life changing technologies that are safe, secure and easy to afford. In the past most modern technologies came with a heavy price tag, but this generation of developers want to change how things are, and want to ensure that these technologies can be benefited from by all, no matter what budget. Throughout history there have been only a select few people that had stood up to try and bring affordable or free technologies to the world and most of these people were branded as crazy or squashed by governments and corporations in fear of collapsing the controlled society that was being formed. I am happy to say that today it seems the tables are turning and the development community are pushing forward against restrictions that are holding back our evolution, and taking a stand against corporations that have been draining the economies of their communities for too long. Over the last year there has been massive amounts of both new technology and new projects revealed that really are going to make a difference, as much as I love promoting the good side of technology, these technologies are not called disruptive technologies for nothing, and although the world is going to be a better place overall, there is a lot that is going on totally unnoticed by the general public. We are smack bang in the middle of one of the biggest shifts in technology the world has ever seen, within the next one to five years, our home lives, our work lives, every aspect of our day to day will have totally changed, and unless people begin to start to learning about this now, the learning curve will be too steep for many to handle. To recap what disruptive technologies are, disruptive technologies are technologies that totally wipe out existing markets and replace them with more technologically advanced ones, out with the old and in with the new. Probably one of the most well known times that disruptive technologies shook the world so dramatically was the Industrial Revolution, factories were introduced with technology that could perform many times faster than humans and more efficiently, as a result of this and other technology related changes during this period, many people were sent into poverty, mainly the working class were affected by it. In our case today, the disruptive technologies are going to affect so many different job roles in our communities that it is hard to not to try and raise awareness so that people can prepare themselves for a future that is already here, below I will write about some of the most well known disruptive technologies and give a few positive and negative points that I think they have. I understand that most of the following technologies are going to affect a lot of people that I know personally or online, what I am writing here is for people to stop and think that they should start taking steps to broaden their skill sets, not to upset anyone but inform. 3D Printing 3D printing is one of the most powerful, yet fairly silent, disruptive technology. To most, these devices are just something cool to have that you can make things with, but out there in the real world, this technology will make or break businesses. POSITIVE: 1. 3D printing is already saving and changing lives, 3D printed vertebra, artificial limbs even living tissue. 2. 3D printing is revolutionizing the construction industry, houses being printed in a number of days and costs of materials and construction reducing immensely. 3. 3D printing makes it possible for you to print almost anything you will ever need, even food and now electronic circuit boards can be 3d printed. NEGATIVE: 1. Say goodbye to hardware stores. 2. Say goodbye to many different types of manufacturers. 3. Required manpower is going to reduce massively in many different fields. Drones: Drones are another technology that when settled, will be a massive game changer. At the moment there is pretty much a world wide ban on commercial activity related to drones, but slowly progress is being made and technologies that are being held back are slowly gaining headway. POSITIVE: 1. Drones will revolutionize disaster response allowing us to locate and aid people in distress more quickly and efficiently. 2. Drones will revolutionize delivery and messenger services. 3. Drones are being used to distribute internet to remote locations around the world. 4. Drones will help military missions increasing efficiency. NEGATIVE: 1. Drones will massively reduce the need for manpower in the disaster response field. 2. Drones will massively reduce the need for manpower for delivery and messenger services. 3. Drones will help military missions increasing efficiency. 4. Say good bye to privacy as you know it. The Internet of Things: Still many people do not understand what the Internet of Things is, the IoT is one of THE biggest disruptive technologies, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 30 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things. Your kettle will talk to the IoT, your bath, your front door, your car, your lights, your heating, pretty much every single object in your everyday world will be connected and you will be able to talk to them and make them do things no matter where you are in the world. POSITIVE: 1. The Internet of Things has opened up a whole new world of control. Your life will be 100% automated. 2. Your devices will learn you and react accordingly. 3. Your city/home and business will become more efficient. 4. Physical security will improve, security systems will be more advanced. NEGATIVE: 1. SECURITY, the main issue is online security, you cannot guarantee that every device you will be able to buy has any security implementation, also people find it hard to stay safe just using a computer, people have to learn about the basics now because what is to come is a far more dangerous world if not understood and handled correctly. 2. Massive job losses! Although these technologies are made to improve peoples lives, the big picture is that companies are going to be able to afford to cut down on manpower, many day to day business activities will be handled by connected devices and machine to machine communication. 3. Your data will be passed around the IoT every second of the day, everything from your heartbeat patterns and your daily commute to your personal habits and schedule will be known to your devices, this data will more than likely be stored on many servers, this is the area where providers need to make security implementation a must and the primary concern of their business. 4. Say good bye to privacy as you know it. Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence seems to be a bit of a grey area at the moment, thanks to media most people believe that AI will either take their jobs or end the human population. When I first began to get involved with artificial intelligence I was fairly closed minded about the above two theories, my aim with AI that I develop is to make people and businesses more efficient and to make life easier for people, but in the long run, AI could very easily eliminate many jobs. If programmed incorrectly or deliberately programmed to cause destruction, they will, one thing that I do believe is that to eliminate the Terminator scenario, this technology should be kept off the battle fields. POSITIVE: 1. AI will save lives! Medical decisions and decisions that determine the well being of a human will be more accurate than any human being could provide. 2. Data analysis will be more accurate, AI will calculate trends more efficiently, sales teams/administration teams will be more productive. 3. AI will learn their owners and team mates, they will integrate into your day to day and become part of the team. 4. AI will help military missions increasing efficiency. NEGATIVE: 1. The accuracy and efficiency of Artificial Intelligence will result in massive job loss world wide. 2. AI will help military missions increasing efficiency. 3. AI could be developed by naughty people and made to do naughty things. 4. Say good bye to privacy as you know it. Robots: Robots are obviously one of the most ground breaking technologies that are emerging at the moment. Robots already has a history of changing the productivity of businesses and increasing their possibilities. Most people are used to working around robotics in factories, but soon this technology will be integrating into our everyday lives in a massive way. POSITIVE: 1. Robotics will increase the efficiency of businesses and reduce costs. 2. Robotics will make work environments safer. 3. Robotics will be used to go into situations that would endanger a humans life. NEGATIVE: 1. Massive job loss in many different industries from construction, security and production, to disaster response, military and space exploration. 2. Robots will help military missions increasing efficiency. 3. Robots can be programmed to do naughty things. Autonomous Vehicles: Autonomous vehicles, like most of the technologies mentioned here, have been around for years, but like the rest of the technologies I have mentioned so far, they are now starting to come through into the general population. POSITIVE: 1. Road accidents will decrease. 2. Time spent commuting and traveling will decrease, the vehicles will be more efficient at handling incidents and deciding routes. 3. Energy consumption will drop dramatically. NEGATIVES: 1. Many transportation jobs will be eliminated, there will be no need for drivers and delivery staff. There are many other forms of technology that will be soon part of your everyday life but the above are some of the most known ones and the ones which I feel will affect people so much initially. This isn't a definitive list, there are many other pros and cons about these new technologies, but it is a start for you to think about. The most crucial step for everyone, whether we are talking about your home, your job or your business, is to get clued up on security, we are already living in a world where hacking is become a strong tool against our population, and mainly this is because most people and businesses are easy targets. Once you are confident you know how to keep your devices and systems secure, it is time to start thinking about ways to make your business future proof, what steps will you take to make sure that your business will survive? How will your business go up against a business that can provide services to millions of users more efficiently and cheaper than you requiring less manpower and costs, these are some of the things anyone that cares about the future of their business should be considering. There is so much more I have to say on this topic, but I would go all night. Like the previous revolutions, we will survive, but whether or not this change leads to poverty and damage until people learn how to deal with it is totally down to each individual. My advice is that no matter what you do, you are at risk of technology taking your job or ending your business, you can either sit around and wait for it pretending it won't happen to you, or you can start to learn now and increase your skills. If everyone starts to understand this, the very near future will be a lot less bumpy.