The Future is Faster Than You Think

If it feels as if the year is already flying by quicker than you expected, two bestselling nonfiction writers could not agree more. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler argue convincingly that the whole future is coming at us at an unprecedented speed, thanks to revolutionary new technologies.

Diamandis earned degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering at MIT.  Then he received a doctorate from Harvard Medical School. In 2014, Fortune Magazine ranked him among its list of top leaders. Kotler, a New York Times bestselling author, has been nominated twice for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.

The duo’s newly published a book, The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives.   It doesn’t just examine game-changing innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and advanced robotics as independent forces. The authors show how multiple technologies like these all work in tandem to fuel the future. The end result confirms the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” As phenomenal technologies gain strength and velocity, merging into one extraordinarily powerful sea of change, they transform civilization socially, economically, and psychologically.

Twenty years ago, it would be inconceivable that a nearly 400-page book like The Future Is Faster Than You Think would be browsed, ordered, purchased, and then read by just using a pocket-sized mobile device. In many respects, the future is already here and it’s in the palm of your hand.

Similarly, technological innovation has significantly enhanced and improved transportation logistics. Software now enables and enhances our work in ways that once upon a time sounded like science fiction. Who knew that we’d seamlessly integrate carrier management and documentation into one system that also handles dispatching, LTL, tracking, and accounting?

Part of the authors research was to transportation. They forecast that as technology within the transportation industry evolves, it will radically change where people live and how they work. They cite innovations including autonomous vehicles and the Hyperloop freight and passenger system under development in California. They also point to Uber Elevate−which plans to, within the next 10 years, offer battery-powered rideshare helicopter services.

The book, released this year, is organized into three main sections. The first discusses the present, and applications of technology such as AI, virtual reality, and quantum computing. The second part examines ways that virtually every major industry is being reconfigured or disrupted by new tech. The book concludes with an analysis of worldwide threats that could impede the future of technological progress, as well as human sustainability. They provide an informed view of how the rest of the century may unfold while looking at major areas of exploration and human migration.

Despite some dire warnings presented in the final section, the authors remain hopeful that innovation and technology will provide the solutions needed to solve the global problems of the 21st century. The Future Is Faster Than You Think is a fascinating and insightful read, especially for those who are already utilizing some of these forward-thinking technologies in their day-to-day lives as transportation logistics professionals.

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