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A Periodic Newsletter on
Breakthroughs in Strategic Foresight 
              July 11, 2020               



 
Prof. William Halal

 
Survey Results on the Coming Internet:  
Secure, Decentralized and Immersive
 
It is our great pleasure to present final results of this study exploring where the Internet is going.  
 
First, a little background. Our blog of May 30 highlighted George Gilder’s new book, Life After Google, forecasting how blockchain technology will create an Internet that is secure, decentralized and sensually immersive.  Using our method of collective intelligence, our blog of June 13 presented comments from several experts to frame these issues more carefully.  

This blog of July 4 presents results from a survey of 20 experts who answered our survey questions.  The responding experts are listed below, followed by detailed results using bar charts and comments.  Responses are often less that 20, as respondents do not answer all questions.  This is a small sample, but anything more than a dozen responses is sufficient to get into the right ballpark. 
 
Here’s a quick summary of what we learned:
 
 
Security May Arrive About 2027   We found a sharp division of opinion, with roughly half of our experts thinking there is little or no chance that the Internet would become secure -- and the other half thinks there is about a 60% probability that blockchain and quantum cryptography will solve the problem at about 2027.  After noting the success of Gilder’s previous forecasts, we tend to accept those who agree with Gilder.

Decentralization Likely About 2028-2030   We find some consensus around a 60% Probability and Most Likely Year About 2028-2030. The critical technologies are thought to focus on blockchain, but quantum, AI, biometrics and the Internet of things (IoT) also thought to offer localizing capabilities.
 
Immersion Highly Likely About 2031-2032   The experts show good agreement on a 70% probability that immersive capabilities will arrive about 2031-2032.  They also suggest a variety of technologies will make this possible: blockchain, VR and AR, gaming, AI, IoT and a useful brain-computer interface.
 
Despite pockets of doubt and uncertainty, we think this study tells a compelling story about evolution of the Internet.  The continuing advance of computer power, possibly using quantum, nanotech and photonic technologies, is likely to make complex blockchain platforms feasible over the coming decade. Along with applications of quantum crypto and AI, a new generation of Web systems is likely to greatly improve security and move control from tech companies to individuals. Some confusion and security failures will remain, of course, but glitches will be accepted by a younger cohort of users. The development of richer Internet experiences using VR/AR/XR, biometrics, AI, the IoT and holograms is very likely to bloom into the Metaverse long anticipated. Obviously, many other trends will also play important roles in the new Internet, as noted in our experts' comments.

The strategic implications should be formidable. The status and control of the large tech companies is likely to shift to users, and the Internet service providers (Verizon, Comcast,  etc.) may face competition from satellite systems flooding the air with cheap and abundant access. Apple and Elon Musk are launching satellites even now and expect to envelop the Earth with high-capacity broadband in a year or two.  In addition to fierce competition from these new sources, the entire supply chain of ICT equipment and services will be disrupted by an advanced generation of suppliers. Users should gain more sophisticated and immersive capabilities that are needed for the high-tech society ahead.

This is small study, but TechCast thinks it illustrates the power of our 2nd generation website in providing authoritative strategic analyses of hot topics quickly. Thus far, we have solved the  MegaCrisis by identifying 5 universal principles of a global consciousness, and this study outlines the new Internet architecture that promises to revolutionize life online . TechCast is considering our next strategic topic for study, and we welcome your opinion. Email us at Halal@GWU.edu to suggest topics you consider worthy of attention. 

 

Participating Experts
 

Margherita C. Abe, MD

Anesthesiologist, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 
 
 


Fadi Bayoud, PhD, MBA
CEO of the consultancy boutique, Strategic Anchors, UAE 
 



Dennis Bushnell
Chief Scientist, NASA Langley
 


Owen Davies
Editor, The TechCast Project
Futurist, Consultant and Writer
 


Dale Deacon

Founder, Epic Research & Development Lab
Strategic Technologist, Johannesburg, South Africa
 




Amy Fletcher
A
ssociate Professor of Political Science
The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Professional Futurist (APF)



Jerome Glenn

Executive Director, The Millennium Project
 



Ted Gordon
Co-Founder, The Millennium Project
Board Member, Old Lyme, Connecticut
Co-Founder, Institute for the Future
Founder and CEO, The Futures Group
 

Aharon Hauptman
Researcher in Technology & Society Foresight
Formerly at Tel-Aviv University 

Chairman of the Israeli node of the Millennium Project
Fellow, Zvi Meitar Institute for Social and Legal Implications
       of Emerging
Technologies
Lecturer in Technology Foresight at the Israel Academic College in Ramat-Gan.
 
Steven Hausman
Futurist and Professional Speaker
Formerly Researcher and Senior Executive
      at the National Institutes of Health
 


Peter King
Environmental Consultant
Formerly Executive at the Asian Development Bank
 




Hannu Lehtinen
Researcher, VTT Technical Research Centre, Finland
Researcher, ASEA Robotics, Sweden 
 




Jonathan Kolber
Futurist and Author, A Celebration Society
 





Marilyn Liebrenz
Professor Emerita, GWU
 






Andrew  Micone
Technical Architect & Strategic Foresight Consultant
 



Alexandre Pupo
ICT Consultant and Futurist
PhD Candidate, Brazil
 


Clayton Rawlings
Partner, Hampton & Rawlings
Board of Directors, Lifeboat Foundation




Arthur Shostak
Professor Emeritus, Drexel University
 





Linda Smith
Co-Chair, Global Business Angel Network
Chairperson Emeritus, Angel Capital Association
Former Business Executive and Public Administrator
 
Peter von Stackelberg
Futurist, Investigative Journalist, Writer, and Publisher 
 
 
Survey Results
 
 Security  A Bi-Modal Distribution Shows Sharply Divided Expectations.
 
The most striking feature of our data shows dramatically different views on the prospects for improving security. One group of 8 responses averages less than a 20% probability this will happen, and another group of 9 responses averages more than an 80% probability. A similar bi-modal distribution shows 10 people with an average “most likely year” of about 2027,  while another group of 8 averages much later than 2040. The good news is that both groups seem to agree that blockchain and quantum cryptography are the likely technologies to make this happen, with the help of AI.
  

With such starkly divided opinion, additional insight seems needed to reconcile this impasse. Both cannot be correct. Yes, George Gilder’s claim is hard to accept, but he has been proven correct on similar forecasts. That’s why The Economist called him “America’s foremost technology prophet.” Here’s George’s forecast on the smart phone almost 20 years before Steve Jobs made it a reality in 2010:

“In 1994, my book, Life After Television, predicted the creation of the smartphone, saying…The most common personal computer of the next decade will be a digital cellular phone with an IP address… connecting to thousands of databases of all kinds… It will be as portable as your watch and as personal as your wallet; it will recognize speech and navigate streets; it will collect your mail, your news, and your paycheck.”
 
Now here’s how Gilder  sums up his forecast in Life After Google: “Some thousands of companies you’ve never heard of are investing billions in that effort [to fix the lack of security on the internet]. Collectively they will give birth to a new network whose most powerful architectural imperative will be security of transactions… So fundamental will security be to this new system that it’s very name will be derived from it. It will be the cryptocosm…”
 
Marc Andreessen, the billionaire who invented the first web browser, endorsed Gilder when he told The Washington Post: This is the big breakthrough. This is the thing we’ve been waiting for… [Gilder] should get the Nobel prize… Hundreds or thousands of applications and companies that could get built on top [of this]…”

Looking over this evidence, we are more impressed by Gilder and his credible supporters. Our best forecast is that blockchain and quantum cryptography, along with a dash of AI, are likely to introduce a secure form of Internet about 2027. It may also require tougher laws, and it may not be perfect as some glitches are always possible, of course.  But TechCast thinks it is coming and long overdue. Serious doubts are normal, of course, but we think the doubts may be what Arthur C. Clarke attributed to "failures of imagination and will."
 
Comments from the survey include many fascinating points to consider that could spell a more nuanced future. Here’s what our respondents had to say:
 
Dennis Bushnell:
“One of the world’s top cyber experts once opined that ‘software was in such a mess that the only way to fix it was to take it all down, redo it all, and then never connect it to anything… legacy software with in many cases some 40 errors per thousand lines of code many of which can be criminalized … will take technology shifts, of which quantum crypto, becoming increasingly successful now, is perhaps the best bet … some 10 years in the future given the current pace of research.”
 
Peter King: 
“Additional legislation may be needed to make issues like identity theft better controlled, possibly through global agreements that allow enforcement in second- or third-party countries.”
 
Steve Hausman: 
“The problem that I see is that there are so many ways in which security can be compromised that it will always be likely that some sort of intrusion can take place, if not via some sort of technological innovation, then by social engineering schemes.”
 
Hannu Lehtinen:
“The same tools that are used to create security are also used to create insecurity. Insecurity is easier.”
 
Peter Von Stackelberg: 
“Access to and control of security applications is often in the hands of the state or large corporations, rather than individuals. Even when technology for better security is available, many individuals and organizations fail to use it properly or, in many cases, at all.” 
 
Marilyn Liebrenz:
“I feel that there is substantial ‘wishful thinking’ about an internet without these security problems or issues. It appears that a longer ‘divide and conquer’ approach is going to be necessary to achieve a safer and cleaner resolution here … Some of the above listed problems appeared to have been more of an issue in the past, such as malware or computer viruses … There also seems to be a difference in the attitudes of various generations … The Seniors and Baby Boomer generations appear to be most distressed, while Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials) and even Gen Z appear to have a more relaxed attitude … overall, life appears to just go on, with little additional fanfare…”
 
Clayton Rawlings:
“Blockchain is defined as a ‘shared, distributed ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets… over thousands of computers all linked in a massive worldwide “network. The network maintains a ledger (accounting of an item) that is shown by all the computers at the same time. It reduces risk and cuts costs for all involved. In order to successfully steal the personal data of millions of individuals would require millions of successful hacks to obtain the same information held by one large centralized company. Theft will not be done away with, but electronic theft becomes less effective... From a security standpoint, wide adoption of block chain is analogous to adoption of solar power. One power plant that serves 10,000 homes is a strategic target. If all 10,000 homes had solar panels then disruption of power to 10,000 homes goes from one act to 10,000 separate attacks. A distributed system is massively more robust than our present centralized system. Since blockchain is already in existence and being used in numerous applications, I would expect it to be widely adopted, worldwide, by 2030.“
 
Ted Gordon:
“I think the first time the world experiences a really bad total system Internet attack by hackers, crooks, or terrorists there will be global reaction and all rules affecting the internet will change… The reaction will be global, coordinated and swift …There are likely to be greatly increased penalties for terrorist hacking, creation of peer review and licenses for posting, use of blockchain records for critical transactions and even for email authentication, standardization of data bases, end to end encryption, new privacy safeguards, mandatory isolated and guarded backups for certain data classes, AI for detection of deep fakes, new personal identification and authorization technologies way beyond fingerprinting including possibly EKG, DNA, iris patterns, etc. Faking any of these will bring harsh penalties.”
 
Andrew Micone:
“A more secure Internet is coming, but it will not be evenly distributed… as the cat and mouse game continues between those who want to exploit information assets and those who want to protect them, the technology required to protect information assets becomes more sophisticated and challenging to implement. That will put security further out of reach of those with limited resources, leading to societies suffering from information insecurity. In a post-information economy, this will lead to economic deflation, further compounding a lack of access to information resources.”

Owen Davies:
Gilder might convince me I'm wrong, but if blockchain and quantum cryptography are up to this job, I can't see it.
 
For one thing, blockchains are not as secure as claimed. Most cryptocurrency thefts focus on the exchanges, but lately the blockchains themselves have been attacked successfully. Often, the vulnerability is the kind of coding or design error that plagues all software. In some of the latest attacks, hackers subverted more than half the network's computing power and used it to rewrite the transaction history.
 
Quantum cryptography faces other obstacles: the primitive state of today's quantum technology, particularly with regard to error handling; enormous expense; the challenges of distributing quantum keys; the consumption of much more computing power; the need for dedicated fiber-optic lines.. Quantum cryptography might eventually secure the internet's trunk lines. It will not help in the critical last mile until it is available as one more inexpensive chip in a conventional, much more broadly useful PC with a fiber optic connection. Even that is very much a first-world solution. More than 70 percent of internet users, an estimated 3.7 billion people by 2025, will connect to the net by mobile phone. Making that kind of network access hacker-proof is a still-greater problem.
 
There may never be a technological solution for the central problems of network security, the inevitability of programming errors and the terrible security practices of end users. At best, spearfishing will still let hackers into whatever systems interest them. And if an idiot-proof security system comes along, it will inevitably meet a bigger idiot.
 
Dale Deacon:
“Quantum computing is a far greater and impactful technological shift. It usurps the very notion of linear processing, thus it’ll take much longer to be refined technically and adopted socially. The blockchain’s impact on the Internet, however, is happening right now. Bitcoin proved the concept, but Ethereum (and copycats like EOS) are leading the Web3.0 transition. The real benefit is immutable agreements. We build smart-contracts that essentially run applications entirely autonomously, but unlike traditional software, these instructions are immutably recorded for eternity in the ledger. This is a big deal for those that make promises professionally, such as banks, insurance companies and employers. Please feel free to use my blog post from a few years ago if you’d like to demystify some of the terminology around Ethereum & Blockchain.” 
 
 

Decentralizaton: Some Consensus Around a 60% Probability and Most Likely Year About 2028-2030.
 
The possibility of decentralizing the web into a bottom up system that is no longer dominated by the big tech giants seems more plausible to our respondents. There remains a wide distribution of estimates in the bar charts below, but not a bi-polar distribution.  Although many think there is zero probability this will happen, other responses form a fairly normal distribution averaging about 60%.  Timing is also less divided, suggesting that these changes are likely to arrive about 2028-2030. The responsible technologies are thought to focus on blockchain, but quantum, AI, biometrics and the Internet of things (IoT) also thought to offer localizing capabilities. I suspect George Gilder would largely agree with this forecast.

The need to decentralize control is gaining some traction. Dfinity is building what it calls the internet computer, a decentralized technology spread across a network of independent data centers that allows software to run anywhere on the internet, rather than in server farms that are increasingly controlled by large firms. It’s planning a public release later this year. However, a free-for-all internet could make it difficult to hold app makers accountable. It could also require a decentralized form of governance which could lead to infighting. It is not clear that mob rule would be better than recalcitrant CEOs. And it’s not the first to try to remake the internet. Can it succeed where others have failed? Read the full story.  

 
 
 
Here’s what the experts noted in our survey:
 
Dennis Bushnell:
“The Solution to Security is a ‘bottom up’ approach.”
 
Peter King:
“Australia and other governments are trying to get the tech giants to pay more taxes and pay news media for content reposted on their sites.  They are finding that these tech companies will not let go of their oligopoly positions under any circumstances or threats.  Therefore, they are even more unwilling to cede control to individual users.”
 
Steve Hausman:
“If we eventually are able to implement technologies like biometrics, that will go a long way to obviate the use of passwords.  However, the use of cookies seems to be mainly for the utilization of commerce.  That is, business advertising, so it is not likely that this will diminish in the near future.  Similarly, giant tech companies seem to be proliferating, and this trend is likely to increase in the future.  Amazon, for example, has gained traction well beyond its original purpose of simply selling things via e-commerce.  Now the company is active in web services, food retailing, hardware (like Alexa) and health care and a "bottom up" Internet is not likely to change that.”
 
Peter von Stackelberg:
“I think this is more a social issue rather than a technological issue. I'm just not seeing social progress among individuals and societies to decentralize access and control of information. Europe is ahead of the United States in decentralizing control and access to personal information. China seems to be moving more aggressively than ever to continue its efforts to centralize information on its citizens and presumably others outside China's borders. The near monopolies that Google and Facebook have on social media is a huge factor driving the centralization of information. Reliable blockchain systems, ubiquitous encryption of all data, and related technologies are essential. While those are being developed, control of them is primarily in the hands of the state or large corporations.”

Marilyn Liebrenz:
“There may be different forms of communication vehicles. Some obvious approaches might be fingerprints, eye scans, full facial scans, voice prints and perhaps even an embedded pin in a person’s body that acts as a password. The desire to eliminate passwords or even have only one or very few passwords for access to many files is appealing but frightening unless or until something more secure comes along.
 
The two-factor system appears a bit more secure but also appears unwieldy, at least as the current use of cell phones for receiving text messages is concerned.
 
Access to the contents … stored on these communication vehicles is another category. It is this latter which often contains the individual’s valued information (bank accounts, medical records, etc.), and needs to be additionally protected.
I suspect most individuals have a generally fatalistic opinion that whether or not ‘cookies’ access is accepted, there is still going to be a record of the individual’s presence…Those individuals who decline the ‘cookies’ option, are probably not the individuals who would be the targeted consumers or readers of this content.”

 
Clayton Rawlings:
“Currently, blockchain is being used experimentally to handle vehicle registration, paying property taxes, and as a substitute for fiat currency, to name a few. Looking at the standard “S” curve for societal adoption of technology, we are clearly in the early adopter phase. Just barely out of the innovators stage. Bitcoin is anti-fragile, decentralized, non-sovereign, uninflatable (actually deflationary), immutable, uncensorable, borderless, permissionless, and programmable. The ledger is public, viewable, and distributed worldwide. It is, therefore, a “trustless” system …If you will excuse the generalization, surveys concerning Bitcoin find Boomers know little about Bitcoin, Gen X is distrustful, Millennials are very open to Bitcoin, and Gen Z appears to be all in. The latest published survey showed 71% of Millennials and 83% of Gen Z intend to buy Bitcoin. As these younger generations inherit wealth from the aging Boomer population, they will look for modern electronic investments rather than staying with old fashioned mutual funds and gold. I expect the early majority to hold some cryptocurrency by 2025 and mass adoption by 2030. This will also facilitate the continued digitalization of our world and provide a currency for the internet of things. I put the certainty of adoption at 50%. There are forces, both corporate and governmental, that will oppose this disruptor. It is an asymmetric asset that has no border or control center. As long as one nation allows for the mining of Bitcoin, or any other coin, it cannot be stopped by any one nation banning its use.“
 
Arthur Shostak:
“Much hinges on ability of China and USA to repair their relationship, as this could greatly improve joint IUT developments where creative use of Blockchain is concerned.” 
 
Ted Gordon:
“If a major [disruption] occurs, the probability of government control of the internet will grow; in the absence of such a chaos-causing event, the control technologies still appear but with less rapidity and with more controversy. But Internet chaos will work in the direction of centralization, the greater the chaos, the more intense the pressure for regulation and centralization.”
 
Andrew  Micone:
“The development of the Internet has been a battle between centralized and distributed control. This battle has played out between technology vendors and consumers, nations and their citizens, and nations against each other. The push for centralization has always centered around the desire for viability and stability and, to an extent, political power. Decentralization is driven by the needs of personal agency, autonomy, and innovation. For example, a decentralized blockchain disrupts the kill chain that information security professionals use as their framework to understand, analyze, and defeat those who would subvert information assets to their purposes. In recent years, the app market has created islands of proprietary technology that circumnavigate the Open Standards that initially allowed the Internet to evolve from a network of connected computers into something useful to everyone. Blockchain provides a platform for connectionless transactions, but the open standards that make the platform useful beyond being a ledger for financial transactions have not yet appeared, which is the critical driver for decentralization.”
 
Owen Davies:
“Development of a bottom-up internet on a scale the tech giants would find significant is at best a 30-percent probability through 2035. Even half that is likely to be wishful thinking on my part. This is less an issue of technology than of market.
 
The bottom-up internet is the online equivalent of Linux, the operating system for tech wizards. No company has polished Linux to consumer standards because it is effectively impossible to compete with Windows and MacOS. Similarly, Google, Amazon, and Facebook dominate their online markets in a way no small alternative can overcome. Appealing as some of us would find a bottom-up internet, consumers will not give up the social media they have learned to require.
 
Again, Gilder may have an answer to this problem. The only obvious possibility is a new technology as appealing as the smartphone and a lot less hospitable to centralization. What it might be, I have no idea.”

Dale Deacon:
“The human being has two pivotal drives; to collaborate, and to compete. The very fact that competition is hardwired into our psyche means that there will be those driven to pillage one another. Decentralization may be a step towards a more trusting infrastructure, but there will always be those that attempt to game the system and will thus find ways of doing so. When we transcend the need for an internet outside of our own minds, perhaps then we’ll have overcome the need for competition, but until then, I think (either malicious or playful) hackers will always find a way around our security protocols.”
 
 

Immersion: Reasonable Consensus on Roughly 70% Probability About 2031-2032.
 
Unlike Security and Decentralization, our experts tend to agree on the feasibility of sensory immersion in the Internet. The bar charts show a distribution centered around 70% probability and a most likely year of 2031-2032 when immersion arrives.  They also suggest a variety of technologies will make this possible: blockchain, VR and AR, gaming, AI, IoT and a useful brain-computer interface. Gilder would be proud of these results.
  
 
 
The expert comments provide more detail:
 
Dennis Bushnell:
“An immersive internet is unstoppable as folks become enamored with VR and VR/holographic projection keep developing. The requirement for this is bandwidth, especially the last mile bandwidth. Optical cable is probably necessary, increasingly enabled by the many thousands of LEO satellites going up to provide broad band Internet. The current Internet, cobbled together, has too many points of failure and intrusion [undersea, underground, etc…] and [further] demands can become shaky. Requisite access is going to come forward from above, still subject to weather.”
 
Peter King:
“These are already multi-billion-dollar industries and will continually invest in new technologies to make online actions seem closer to reality. Social and environmental issues will be ignored as people become more locked into their online worlds.”
 
Steve Hausman:
“One can argue about the definition of mainstream but it seems likely to me that immersive technology has already begun to take off.  Classes are being taught using the Microsoft HoloLens, and with distance learning becoming more prevalent out of necessity in recent months, adoption of that technology should increase.  Gaming has always been leading this trend and that will continue.  Beyond that, the applications of immersive technology are vast.  Examples include areas as disparate as military and police training, 5G-supported remote surgery, navigation, disaster response, real estate sales and experiential marketing.”
 
Peter von Stackelberg:
VR is the most likely candidate for immersive experiences in the near future. Long-term (beyond 2040), more immersive applications could involve computer/brain interface technology. Intermediate steps include wearable and/or implantable devices (e.g., VR-capable eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, etc.) It is already in use in some areas. The likely technologies include brain/computer interface technologies, nanosized manufacturing for wearable and implantable devices. Content development tools are needed to make it easier, quicker, and cheaper to produce immersive content.”
 
Clayton Rawlings:
“The latest VR equipment allows complete freedom of movement and is sharp enough to trick the viewer into believing you are in a real environment. The horrid pixilation from early VR is now gone. The software has failed to keep up with the advances in hardware. Adoption is still waiting on quality applications that can exploit the VR environment. The majority of current selections are either crude animation or very simplistic and juvenile. Given the gaming world is estimated at 2.2 billion people, there is certainly a ready demand for VR. No flat screen can compete with this platform once the games, travel shows, movies, etc. mature enough to fulfill the promise presented by the hardware. Having to wear goggles is another issue that makes widespread adoption problematic. As the goggles become smaller, lighter and less intrusive, the wider the path to adoption. Until the VR goggles are made less isolating, I do not expect mass adoption. In any respect, I expect gamers to lead the way. I would expect software to catch up by 2025, and adoption should pick up from there. The wild card is if 3D immersion can be created, without goggles, it would totally transcend this environment and push rapid adoption.”
 
Ted Gordan:
“The monitor 2D screen gives way to the monitor 3D stage, output of simulations and modeling programs become almost tangible; the breakthrough is 3D TV, routine and without special viewing apparatus (e.g., glasses, filters, etc.) This is likely to happen event without the triggering event I imagined above. Gradual and incremental but in full swing by 2030. The key to timing is 3D TV. Technology VR and AR are important of course, but there is an invention waiting to be made that gives us Star Wars- like display. Immersion will be important to policy analysis when scenarios are games and game moves are alternate national, corporate, or military strategies and policies, and the players are the real-life decision makers.”
 
Andrew Micone: 
“Cheap and ubiquitous computing power and display technology have brought VR to the peak of its current wave of maturity. However, just like the first wave of VR's infancy in the late eighties and early nineties, there needs to be a sea change in how immersive technologies are delivered to consumers. The fact is that immersive technology is clunky, difficult to use, and doesn't fit consumers' new mobile lifestyle. The next wave in immersive technologies will require breakthroughs in human factors engineering and technique to address these shortcomings before the next wave in immersive technology begins. Further, immersive technologies will need to "cut the cord," as the best immersive systems utilizing current technology remain hardwired to devices or use wireless technology not currently ubiquitous enough to start the swell of investment.”
 
Owen Davies:
“We will get there eventually. VR/AR and gaming are the critical technologies for first-iteration immersion, with convincing haptics the harder next step. Holding out for a five-senses brain interface and 100-percent probability pushes us back at least to 2040. Once this technology is available, how quickly it achieves mainstream status depends on finding its "killer app" to create market appeal and fund expansion. No doubt porn will do, as it has for previous media innovations.”
 
Dale Deacon:
“It’s simply a matter of perspective. E-Sports has boomed over the past decade and is undergoing a real growth spurt. From those inside this industry, it is already mainstream. If your definition of mainstream is that everyone uses it, then we could probably say it’ll never be fully adopted by everyone - there are always luddites… The rate at which XR technology is progressing is astounding. I can confidently say that XR is, and will continue to, change our societal structure in the long term. Philosophically speaking, it allows us to overcome physical barriers, something that religion has attempted to do throughout human history. You’re welcome to apply anything interesting you find in a piece I wrote on this topic a while ago on timing ventures into XR. I also laid out some of the work done by the South African XR community, WeAreVR here.

 

 
 
TechCast Briefs Angel Investors

TechCast founder, William Halal, kicked off the annual meeting of the Angel Capital Association’s Virtual Summit May 12 with his keynote on The Technology Revolution.  Among his many points, Bill outlined how AI is causing today’s move beyond knowledge to an Age of Consciousness, and that business is now altering corporate consciousness to include the interests of all stakeholders. Angel investors are concerned about the social impacts of their companies, so this news was well received, especially as Bill stressed this historic change could be a competitive advantage.

Click here for Bill's talk
 


 
TechCast Speaks at the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association 

 
Halal also spoke at the annual AFCEA conference on the topic of AI, noting TechCast’s forecast that AI is expected to automate 30% of routine knowledge work about 2025 +3/-1 years and General AI is likely to arrive about 2040. Expanding on the same theme delivered at ACA, Bill explained how today’s shifting consciousness is likely to transform, not only business, but also government, the military and all other institutions.
 
 
Kicking Off the Program on Engineering & Society
 
 
This first podcast in the program focused on our recent series of blogs outlining a global consciousness. Nelson and Rashidi plan to interview other authorities every few weeks in this creative program. The interviews are then distributed on Twitter to their audience of 80,000 followers. Halal’s interview is available by clicking here.
 
 
Jess Garretson's Plan to Resolve Global Mega Issues  
 

Jess is CEO of The Cognis Group and a TechCast partner. This is how she describes her masterful plan to resolve today's ongoing crises.  
 
"How do we realize positive global change faster?  We know that doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity.  Yet, it is actually the reality we face today in trying to create more positive impact on the world with an economic model that is geared to short term gains.  It is time to rethink our approach, targeting the root causes of the disconnect versus addressing the symptoms in the many decentralized efforts.  This paper provides a high-level approach to addressing our current barriers and providing clear solutions to overcoming them.  The work needing to be done will not be for the faint of heart and will require influential experts and leaders to start doing things differently.  Now is the time to disrupt a model that no longer serves our higher purpose."

 
Click here to access the plan.
 

 
We Invite Your Ideas
 
TechCast offers exciting new possibilities to use our unequaled talent and resources for creative projects. I invite you to send me your questions, fresh ideas, articles to publish, consulting work, research studies, or anything interesting on the tech revolution.
 
Email me at Halal@GWU.edu and I'll get back to you soon. Have your friends and colleagues sign up for this newsletter at www.BillHalal.com.

Thanks, Bill
William E. Halal, PhD  
The TechCast Project 
George Washington University
 


Bill's Blog is published by:

The TechCast Project www.TechCastProject.com

Prof. William E. Halal, Founder
George Washington University

Prof. Halal can be reached at Halal@GWU.edu

The TechCast Project is an academic think tank that pools empirical background information and the knowledge of high-tech CEOs, scientists and engineers, academics, consultants, futurists and other experts worldwide to forecast breakthroughs in all fields. Over 20 years of leading the field, we have been cited by the US National Academies, won awards, been featured in the Washington Post and other media, and consulted by corporations and governments around the world. TechCast and its wide range of experts  are available for consulting, speaking and training in all aspects of strategic foresight.
 
Elise Hughes, Editor

Copyright © 2020 The TechCast Project. All rights reserved.
  
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