via Future Reports; Roland Berger (Gerd's statements below)
“The next 20 years will bring more change to humanity than the previous 200 as the exponential curves for a number of technologies really take off. We’ll go from 3D-printing small, simple things like dental implants to rapidly creating complex, vital objects such as houses, body organs and food, for example. Quantum computing will help deliver unlimited clean energy via nuclear fusion. And we’ll have outsourced most of our dull, repetitive and dangerous work to machines. In fact, by 2040, many of us may only need to work just three or four hours a day
Which is not to say that machines will have taken over completely. Humans will have more freedom to focus on other, more creative kinds of work. People have many kinds of intelligence – emotional, social, kinesthetic and so on. Machines only really have one – logic. While they are already much better than humans in this area – a gap that will continue to grow wider – we will remain ahead of machines in many other aspects for a few decades yet. Until the singularity, at least. But that’s another story….”
“When it comes to the world of work, we need to be mindful of who benefits from the huge jumps in efficiency and productivity that AI and robotics will bring. The financial gains must be distributed fairly. This is something both the private and public sectors need to figure out in the relatively near future. Policymakers can’t just ignore the externalities of automation.
Because the pace of change is accelerating so quickly, governments are really going to have to shape up and get future-ready. They need to know what’s coming. Most of them are still too fixated on the past or the next election cycle – this will have to change. While we don’t want to inhibit the development of science and technology, we do need to ensure that it is controllable and to our benefit…”
“One crucial area that technology will improve tremendously over the next 15-20 years is health care, which is still extremely expensive and inefficient. But in 2040, most of us will have personal devices that constantly record all sorts of health-related data – weight, blood sugar, heart rate and so on. AI systems will be able to analyze this data and provide tailored recommendations for ways we can improve our health – food, drugs, exercise. This will help us to massively reduce the prevalence of diseases like diabetes. Instead of “sick care,” we’ll have real, proactive health care. But, just like with the workplace, we’ll need a supervised public mechanism to make sure this is done safely and securely.
I think we’re going to see three revolutions: the digital revolution is ongoing; the sustainability revolution is just beginning; and we’ll also have the human revolution. People are sick and tired of hearing that machines will take over and that we’re heading toward a dystopian future. We’re going to realize that we need rules, regulations and social contracts that ensure we respect humanity. And we’re going to realize that we need to work together to create what I call “the good future.” Because we’re not short of solutions or money; we’re just short of collaboration…”