The growth cycle of an exponential technology (Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, the cloud, advanced robotics, autonomous vehicles …) can be divided into six phases and all six begin with the letter "D".
Understanding them can help us see what phase each of the exponential technologies is in and the radical changes that are about to take place throughout this century.
- Digitization : takes place when technology goes from using atoms to using bits, from matter to long strings of zeros and ones. This allows acceleration thanks to Moore’s Law (power and / or speed doubles every year, and / or cost is halved) and Rose’s Law (in the case of quantum computing).
- Disappointment : in the first steps of exponential growth, the jumps are short and, given the publicity that has been given to the new technology, people begin to be disappointed and think that it was not a bad thing or that it will never be like it happens in the movies of Science fiction. For example, we had already accepted that we would not have flying cars soaring through the skies of cities, but that will change shortly.
- Disruption : the real impact on society takes place, suddenly and profoundly modifying products, markets, services and economic sectors. A good example of this has been the mobile phone, which has transformed the world so much that it is even lifting Africa out of poverty .
- Demonetization : money disappears from the equation, which is why many Google services are free. The marginal cost is also reduced to almost zero, like what happened to photography when it went digital.
- Dematerialization : products disappear from the market; For example, Wikipedia has dematerialized encyclopedias, the smartphone has dematerialized GPS devices, iTunes the record store, Netflix the video store …
- Democratization : occurs when all social layers can access the service or the product. The richest person in the world can buy the most powerful smartphone on the market, but also people from the middle and even lower classes. Massive open online courses or MOOCs have democratized education.
An easy-to-use interface also marks a turning point in a technology (for example, when we move from complex computers to Windows, and later to iOS and Android. All of which will eventually make us live a life of science fiction in very few years A surprising example of this is the so – called affective technology or affective computing , which will allow our technology to tune in when our mood (in the first place) but will also influence it to make us feel better.
An example of what will happen when you get home after a difficult work day and let yourself be guided by affective technology can be seen in the following video, taken from The future goes faster than you think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler :