Sun, Nov 04, 2018

Understanding Convergence

A common mistake we all tend to make over and over again is to look at the world of technology in isolation. We see AI and consider it as a thing in and of itself. We observe autonomous vehicles and ponder what this will mean for car manufacturers. We watch the latest Boston Dynamics robot doing parkour or happily dancing away and consider the implications their progress will have on manufacturing.

The more interesting and insightful question to ask is: What will this technology enable and what else will change?

Most technologies drive very specific change in somewhat narrow industries (self-drive tech combined with the electrification of cars will likely dramatically change the automobile landscape) and radiate into many other sectors, industries and technologies. Autonomous vehicles will change the way we think and build cities (which in turn will dramatically alter long-held real estate practices), will lead to fewer car accidents and thus influence the insurance industry as well as eradicate most car repair shops and redefine what the word “commute” means. And this is just scratching the surface.

Technologies like AI, blockchain or quantum computing are mostly enablers – which will influence, change and disrupt countless industries and adjacent technologies.

Whenever you encounter a new technology, ask yourself not only what the direct implications are but what else will change due to the convergence of technologies. New products, services, and whole industries are born in the newly formed gaps resulting from convergence.

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