A Hot, Smart, Solar-Powered Future


And One Where Tech Is More Valuable Than People? A Discussion of Five Recent Futurist Blog Posts

Most global biz leaders say smart tech will soon be more valuable than people in the workplace: In his People as Pets blog post, Richard Watson discusses a Korn Ferry study of 800 business leaders, two-thirds of whom say that technology will create greater value in the future than people. And it gets worse: 44% say the prevalent combination of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence will make people “largely irrelevant” in the future of work.melting-icicle-1391553-639x871

In fact, the future will not only be artificially smart but also solar-powered, connected and largely autonomous, suggests Jack Uldrich in his The Five Trends Shaping the Future of Cities blog post. He highlights developments that include AI agents, wired cities (Internet-connected trash bins, anyone?), autonomous vehicles, Internet-access-spreading drones, and a new type of solar roof.

Others agree that solar will soon rule the energy landscape. Glen Hiemstra, in his The Future and Energy post, notes that in a conference packed with people from oil and gas companies, he tried to “nudge them toward an understanding” that renewables will soon disrupt the fossil fuel industry because, “as manufactured technologies, renewables are becoming inexorably cheaper.”

Meanwhile, the poles are melting as the world cooks at an ever higher heat, notes Michio Kaku as he explains that the polar ice caps are melting fast, shrinking to the tune of areas twice the size of the state of Alaska.

As hot as it’s getting, however, the world is getting better at extracting fossil fuels. Brian L. Wang describes the pioneering use microwave tech to recover oil in his post called Microwave Oil Recovery Could Unlock Trillions of Barrels of Oil and Drinkable Water from Oil Shale and Oil Sands.


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