What's Your Opinion?

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This blog considers four controversial implications of exponential technologies and asks for your vote:

  1. Is privacy dead?
  2. What are the implications of technological unemployment?
  3. Are we actually living in a virtual existence?
  4. Is the world actually getting better and more abundant?

After you read my comments below, I'd love you to cast your opinion on a simple poll (Click here). If you enter your opinion, I'll report back to you on the full results in a couple of days.

1. Is Privacy Dead?

By 2020, we will live in a world with 100 million connected devices and 1 trillion sensors collecting data. Cameras on phones, glasses, drones, autonomous cars, satellites and more will be recording everything, everywhere all the time. Everything on the planet will get witnessed (sensed) at some level.

Add to this machine learning and image recognition (such as facial recognition and digital lip reading), and the question emerges: will privacy exist anywhere?

The upside of lack of privacy is radical transparency. Given that most evildoing happens in the dark, radical transparency means we will likely see less terrorism (which is much harder in a world of radical transparency) and less oppression.

Is privacy dead? If so, will society be able to adapt to this? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? (At the end of the blog, be sure to answer the poll.)

2. What Are the Implications of Technological Unemployment?

The Martin School at Oxford University predicts that in the next 20 years, computers, AI and robotics will automate and replace over 48% of jobs in the United States.

People like my Singularity University co-founder Ray Kurzweil and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen believe that technology has always created more jobs, and this will be no different in the future. While some jobs are eliminated, many more (that we can't even currently imagine) will be created.

Other technology leaders, from Richard Branson to Larry Page, believe that society will adapt, perhaps with a shorter workweek and state-supported guaranteed basic income.

Other leaders are just worried that there will be massive unemployment and this will lead to civil unrest.

If so, will society adapt quickly? Slowly? Never?

Which of these views sounds right to you? (After the blog, don't forget to take the poll.)

3. Are We Living in a Virtual Existence?

As virtual reality and artificial intelligence continue their exponential rise, there will come a time when we'll be able to simulate "reality" so well that you won't be able to tell the difference between the real and simulated world.

Many Silicon Valley technologists, entrepreneurs and philosophers believe that we are already living in a simulation.

The concept, largely popularized in The Matrix and by philosopher Nick Bostrum, proposes that if a sufficiently advanced civilization reaches a point where it can simulate reality, it is in its best interest to do so, many times over.

If this was the case, statistically, in a 14.5-billion-year-old universe, the probability that we are in a simulation is close to 100%, while the probability that we are the first generation of humans ever to become sufficiently advanced to simulate others could approach zero.

So, what do you think? Are we living in a simulation? (After the blog, click the link to enter your response.)

4. Abundance: Is the World Actually Getting Better?

As you know, I believe we are living in the best time ever. The data shows over and over again that the world is better than it has ever been, and that it's getting better every day.

And yet, every day we are bombarded with negative news, as the latest murders, acts of terror, natural disasters and violent uprising are delivered to our eyeballs in high definition.

Is the world actually getting better? What do you think?

So now it's your turn.

What do you think? Please vote. Click here to take a 1-minute survey, and then I'll report back on the results (for those who took the poll) in a couple of days.

Join Me

This is the sort of conversation we explore at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360.

This is the sort of conversation we explore at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360.

The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here. Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

P.S. Every week I send out a "Tech Blog" like this one. If you want to sign up, subscribe here for this and Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. My dear friend Dan Sullivan and I have a podcast called Exponential Wisdom. Our conversations focus on the exponential technologies creating abundance, the human-technology collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Head here to listen and subscribe. 

Head here for my full archive of tech insights