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IBM’s “5 in 5”

ibm 5 in 5IBM just unveiled its annual 5 in 5 — five predictions about technology innovations that IBM expects will change the way we work, live and play within the next five years.

This year’s IBM 5 in 5 explores the idea that everything will learn — driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and engage with us in a more naturalized and personalized way. These innovations are beginning to emerge enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics and learning technologies all coming together, says IBM.

Over time, these computers will get smarter and more customized through interactions with data, devices and people, helping us take on what may have been seen as unsolvable problems by using all the information that surrounds us and bringing the right insight or suggestion to our fingertips right when it’s most needed. A new era in computing will lead to breakthroughs that will amplify human abilities, assist us in making good choices, look out for us and help us navigate our world in powerful new ways.

Check out IBM 5 in 5 website and find which innovations will (probably) change our lives in the next five years.

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Is growth over?

Global growth from the current industrial revolution (computers, the web, mobile phones) is slowing — especially in advanced-technology economies, and long-term economic growth may grind to a halt, Robert J. Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Northwestern University, has argued.

Growth in real GDP per capita, with actual (from .2 to 2.5 percent per year) and hypothetical paths (credit: Robert J. Gordon)

Growth in real GDP per capita, with actual (from .2 to 2.5 percent per year) and hypothetical paths (credit: Robert J. Gordon)

Now economist Paul Krugman counters in The New York Times that we are moving toward a world in which:

Big Data — the use of huge databases of things like spoken conversations — apparently makes it possible for machines to perform tasks that even a few years ago were really only possible for people. Speech recognition is still imperfect, but vastly better than it was and improving rapidly, not because we’ve managed to emulate human understanding but because we’ve found data-intensive ways of interpreting speech in a very non-human way.

However, he warns, while smart machines may make higher GDP possible,

they also reduce the demand for people — including smart people. So we could be looking at a society that grows ever richer, but in which all the gains in wealth accrue to whoever owns the robots.

What about taking into account the effects of future exponential growth of hardware and software computation and technological singularity?

On Accelerating Change

Albert Einstein once said that

Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.

Or not? The U.S. Air Force has released an impressive video on accelerating change, “Welcome to 2035…the Age of Surprise” (see below).

Produced by the U.S. Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology at The Air University, the video was based on Blue Horizons, a multi-year future study being conducted for the Air Force Chief of Staff, a “meta-strategy for the age of surprise”…

We can predict broad outlines, but we don’t know the ramifications. Information travels everywhere; anyone can access everything — the collective intelligence of humanity drives innovation in every direction while enabling new threats from super-empowered individuals with new domains, interconnecting faster than ever before. Unlimited combinations create unforeseen consequences.

Maybe it is just PR and nothing more, or another article about predicting history today, but the video is definitely cool. Turn up your sound, and go HD full-screen!