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7 Disruptive Technologies Changing The World // Pricing the World’s 7 Biggest Disruptive Technologies
Syndicated from singularityhub.com (Jason Dorrier) with permission, edited by Mann Made Media.
South Africa is embracing disruptive technologies
Scientists, technologists, engineers, innovators and visionaries are using disruptive technologies to help solve the world’s grand challenges, such as unemployment, lack of education and food security. Disruptive technologies are helping to find alternative energy solutions, revolutionise medical technologies, re-engineer the way economies function and support human rights.
Singularity University empowers the global community with the mindset, skill set and network to create an abundant future. The inaugural Singularity University South Africa Summit (23-24 August 2017, Johannesburg) will explore how disruptive technologies drive change in a South African context, side-by-side with South African leaders, change makers, entrepreneurs and innovators.
“We believe innovation is key to growth,” said Catherine Wood founder of ARK Investment Management, a research and investment company focused on disruptive technologies, while speaking at Singularity University’s Exponential Finance in New York. In a recent research report titled Big Ideas 2017, ARK tried to value seven disruptive technologies. Here’s what they found.
1. Fleets of Autonomous Taxis to Overtake Automakers
Today’s automakers have a global market capitalisation of a trillion dollars. Mobility-as-a-service companies are valued at around $115 billion. ARK predicts that by the 2030s mobility-as-a-service companies will be valued at $2 trillion.
By co-founding Metro Africa Xpress (also known as MAX), Nigerian app developer Adetayo Bamiduro has created sustainable earning opportunities for millions of Africans. He will be speaking at the Singularity University South Africa Summit about how MAX connects millions of independent motorcycle taxi owners, many of whom are in the low-income bracket, to transport requests from businesses and consumers in real-time through a mobile app. Bamiduro will be speaking about how the sharing-economy and crowd sourcing should be leveraged for inclusive growth across Africa.
2. Deep Learning Could Be Worth 35 Amazons
Much of the hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) surrounds deep learning – a subcategory of machine learning. Big tech companies are pursuing deep learning to do practical things. And while the internet has transformed several industries – news, entertainment and advertising, to name a few – deep learning will transform even more by automating transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and finance. And, as is often the case with emerging technologies, it may form new businesses we have yet to imagine.
“Bill Gates has said a breakthrough in machine learning would be worth 10 Microsofts. Microsoft is worth $550 to $600 billion,” said Wood. “We think deep learning is going to be twice that. We think it could approach $17 trillion in market cap – which would be 35 Amazons.”
3. 3D Printing Goes Big
3D printing is becoming part of the industrial production process. Adidas recently partnered with Silicon Valley start-up Carbon to mass-produce 3D-printed shoe midsoles. 3D printing may grow into a $41 billion market by 2020, according to Wood, and McKinsey forecasts it as high as $490 billion by 2025.
4. Genetic engineering
The cost of genome editing – a kind of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted or replaced in the genome of a living organism using engineered nucleases – has drastically decreased in the last four years. “There are roughly 10 000 monogenic or single-gene diseases. Only 5% are treatable today,” said Wood. She believes treating these diseases is worth an annual $70 billion globally.
Raymond McCauley, a scientist and engineer, who works at the forefront of biotechnology will be speaking at SingularityU South Africa Summit about how to hack the code of life with digital biology. While Dr Divya Chander, a neuroscientist, will be speaking about groundbreaking medical technologies, such as wearable neural devices and brain monitors.
5. Mobile Transactions Will Grow 15 times by 2020
By 2020, 75% of the world will own a smartphone. Amid smartphones’ many uses, mobile payments has been very impactful across the continent. Coupled with better biometrics security and wide spread acceptance at point-of-sale, ARK believes mobile transactions could grow 15 times, from $1 trillion to upwards of $15 trillion by 2020. Mobile payments make sharing economy transactions easier and are the key to financial inclusion in emerging markets, such as South Africa.
6. Robotics and Automation = $12 Trillion by 2035
Driven by declining costs more businesses are adopting robots. Amazon’s warehouse robot workforce has grown from 1 000 to nearly 50 000 since 2014. “And they have never laid off anyone, other than for performance reasons, in their distribution centres,” said Wood. It’s only natural that the digitalisation and mechanisation of the labour landscape leads many to fear job losses. The anxieties of job security in the future will be unpacked at the Singularity University South Africa Summit by Mxolisi Mgojo, CEO of Exxaro. The title of his talk is The Future of Work.
This is only the beginning of automation driven by cheaper, smarter, safer, and more flexible robots. By 2035, the US GDP is estimated to be $12 trillion more than it would have been without robotics and automation. Dr Vivienne Ming and Sarah Bergbreiter will be putting things into context during their talks on artificial intelligence and robotics, respectively, at the summit.
7. Blockchain and Cryptoassets
Blockchain-enabled cryptoassets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Steem, have caused a stir in recent years. Besides Bitcoin there are now 700-odd other cryptoassets. Bitcoin has a market value of nearly $40 billion, up from $3 billion two years ago, but it’s only half the sector’s value.
The SingularityU South Africa Summit will include four sessions and a panel discussion on how exponential technologies and thinking affect business and the finance sector. Mandy Simpson will share insights into how blockchain may secure the future. Funeka Montjane, CEO of personal and business banking at Standard Bank, will present on the future of banking, and Jaya Baloo will speak about how to create a safer cyberspace.
Wood believes there’s at least one big area blockchain and cryptoassets are poised to break into: the $500-billion, fee-based business of sending money across borders. Remittance is very popular across the continent, especially with so many economic migrants seeking employment in wealthier neighbouring countries.
SingularityU South Africa Summit, in collaboration with Standard Bank, global partners Deloitte and strategic partners MTN and SAP, is produced by Mann Made Media and will take place on the 23-24 August 2017 at Kyalami Grand Prix and International Convention Centre.