Can Kevin Kelly Predict the Future?

According to Kevin Kelly, much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. He captures this in his new book, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. These twelve trends overlap and are codependent on one another, and will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other: 

  • Becoming: Moving from fixed products to always upgrading services and subscriptions.
  • Cognifying: Making everything much smarter using cheap powerful AI that we get from the cloud. 
  • Flowing: Depending on unstoppable streams in real time for everything.
  • Screening: Turning all surfaces into screens of rapidly changing pixels, birthing a new visual literacy.
  • Accessing: Shifting from the burden of owning assets to accessing them anytime.
  • Sharing: Unleashing collaborative action at such a scale that it makes impossible things possible.
  • Filtering: Harnessing intense personalization in order to anticipate our desires.
  • Remixing: Unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombining in all possible ways.
  • Interacting: Immersing ourselves inside our computers to maximize their engagement.
  • Tracking: Employing total surveillance for the benefit of citizens and consumers.
  • Questioning: Promoting good questions as far more valuable than good answers.
  • Beginning: Constructing a planetary system connecting all humans and machines into a global matrix.

By understanding and embracing these forces, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired Magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until 1999.

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