Amy Webb | SXSW 2019



Hello, good morning everybody. It's nice to see you. Thank you for waiting on the line So three quick things about me. I'm Amy Webb how many of you were here last year. Just clap and make me just clap It'll make me feel better. Thank you. It's a nice welcome. So I'm a quantitative futurist I'm a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business Most of my time is spent doing research in my office Occasionally I come out in public and show our research to other people. I'm the founder of the future today Institute We work with all different kinds of companies on their futures and strategy all around the world So those are big fortune 500 companies we work with parts of the federal government the military We might work with some of your governments depending on who's here in the room Thirdly if I've done things correctly There should be a twitter back-channel that's running and hopefully if I've done this right? I'm live tweeting from the presentation So if you follow hashtag tech trends 2019 as I'm showing you all of our research I'm also tweeting out where all of the data and other things are coming from. So go ahead and follow along I'm Amy Webb at Amy Webb on Twitter Now three quick things about you you could be doing other things this morning You've also selected to be here. Which means That you're already paying attention to emerging trends and technology Which means that some of the research that I may show you is going to seem potentially a little familiar But I can guarantee you that you're gonna see it in a new way You all play a vital role in shaping our future And I believe that you have the power to create the best possible futures for all of us. So to that end I'm giving you a bunch of stuff to take home today so everybody in the room is going to get a copy of our report and a ton of other research and Everything is open source. So the research the report all of the stuff that's in the folders that you're gonna get is open source Which means I want you to take it and use it and tear it apart and build on it and make it your own At some point give us credit as the source where it originated But this really is yours and the only way that we are going to get to a place that we're all happy in the future Is if we're all making smarter decisions in the present That is why all of the stuff is open-sourced and as of a few seconds ago online for anybody to download and use Thank you Alright so this is the 12th annual edition of the report It's been seen as of this morning by seven and a half We've had seven and a half million cumulative views over the years. So this the reports all over the place And this year it's a lot bigger. So we included 48 futures scenarios Sometimes when you're looking at emerging technology trends if you don't see them in a broader context and you can't visualize What might happen as the future wears on you won't take any action? therefore we've put together 48 futures scenarios 17 are optimistic 20 are neutral and 11 involve catastrophic risk We also included five non technical primers because there are a lot of smart people running your companies and the places where you work and they're making very difficult decisions on things like artificial intelligence and blockchain and Genomics and extended reality and self-driving cars, but they don't necessarily have the technical knowledge Or a broad enough understanding so we wrote these primers Specifically for non-technical people to help them get up to speed more quickly. So these are good pages You can rip out and share with your teams and the people that you work with So this year we have 315 tech trends spread across 26 industries that represents a 30% increase from the number of trends that we had last year and when I was putting all of these models together and we were mining all of the data and we were Mapping out patterns and you know looking to see what the trends were and I discovered that we were gonna have a much bigger number This year than we did last year and I told my staff my staff was super super excited To get to work on this report. They were super happy couldn't wait really thrilled that he did grown this year So it's big it's really big and I want to explain to you why but first let me contextualize what big means So this was the computer that I had in college It was a toshiba satellite pro kind of doubled as a self-defense Weapon because it was so big. So the trend report print in its printed form is 5.6 pounds Which is about the size of this computer, so it's enormous and there's a good reason for that The reason that this trend report this year got so big Has to do with a few different important things that you should also know. First of all, there's been a convergence of lots of different technologies across areas that are typically siloed And that started to cause an acceleration of research in many different areas Secondly, there were some big breakthroughs this year in some important key fields places like artificial intelligence extended reality robotics energy biotechnology and also in places like Cube SATs and satellite technology in general, of course lots happening in space Transportation and also transportation itself. So none of these tech trends Evolved in silos, they all played off of each other and because of those key breakthroughs we saw inflection points across the board thirdly There were some important social factors that contributed to a lot of these tech trends starting to bloom things like changes in geopolitics The introduction of regulation or the threats of regulation or the lack of regulation Again caused some change and finally consumer awareness many more people who don't normally pay attention to different technologies Suddenly have an opinion on things like AI and workforce automation and transportations. So all of these things caused some big changes so in the year 2019, there's a lot that you need to pay attention to a lot of trends and this is important because Most organizations and most people especially people who are experts in their field tend to pay attention to the future in a linear so if you cover something like mixed reality or extended reality you tend to Be in a bubble like most people do in their industries So you're looking for key changes on a more micro scale and the problem is that there are now influences coming from many different areas So if you really want to understand the future of something like mixed reality or extended reality You also have to pay attention to other areas like psychology and data governance and in lots of different other areas where there are complementary and adjacent trends that will cause the impact of this technology to shift and change as it moves forward so I'd like to show you why that's important using a little thought experiment that we're gonna do together. So Why should a big box retailer like a Walmart pay attention to trends that are completely outside of retail trends that would seem to have nothing at all to do with The retail experience things like gene-editing 4d printing Smart farms and green technology. Why should Walmart care about all of this? Well, let's start with these non retail trends trends that seem to have nothing to do with their core business and we'll start with genome editing so Genome editing which has a lot of different names that don't necessarily mean the same thing Has been a pretty hot area of R&D and a lot of people are talking about it Especially because we all heard that a Chinese researcher supposedly Used IVF and something called CRISPR to give birth to genetically modified twins so most people heard this story and of course the entire world freaked out as We do every couple of years when we hear some news story about CRISPR Now this may seem complicated. But all CRISPR is is a biological process with a little bit of human intervention So you go into the genome to the DNA you snip out the part that the part of the gene that you don't want and then the rest is heritable and it doesn't so Sara Lee change, we don't think The the organism and it doesn't necessarily have downstream negative effects And so if you think of something like mosquitoes that spread malaria well in malaria kills millions of people every day every year So we can't wipe out the mosquito population because a lot of the rest of the ecosystem would die But instead if we could use something like CRISPR to take away the part of the mosquito that is capable of transmitting malaria Then the mosquitoes live on everybody has food and the humans are okay. That's what we're talking about here This is a hot area of Rd everybody in lots of different countries around the world lots of different companies and investors are now getting into this space and again It's about using different biological techniques to introduce genes that have a high level of precision and none of the undesired traits as far as we know but Gene editing isn't just for people So there's a really interesting company in Minneapolis called recombinase that are doing really interesting Research on produce and livestock and basically what they're trying to figure out is given what we know to be true about The changing events and climate and other things around the world. Can we create a better almond? That grows on a tree that requires significantly less water that can withstand drought that can withstand high heat and things like that Similar techniques have been used in Asia to create double muscled pigs So these are not intended as pets or I mean unless that's your thing. Then I guess and double muscled or quadruple muscled cows for example for consumption and That has led to an entirely new area of work and of business opportunities that relates to indoor plant factories so indoor plant factories and also outdoor micro firms so There's a ton of really interesting new underground farms in Japan in China where they're using some of these new biological techniques in enormous spaces like warehouses that are 25,000 square feet where you would normally do your logistics and your boxes and stuff like that They're now growing lettuce. And so if you look over there You can kind of see some people standing in the pink area that looked like Oompa Loompas Those are researchers and those are indoor farmers and what's interesting. This is an indoor lettuce factory They are able to grow about a hundred times more volume of lettuce per square foot than out in the real world using 40% less power. They get 80% less food waste and use 99% less water, so it's much much more efficient, and you don't have to have it outside All right. So that's biology. Now. Let's switch over to that other trend that I mentioned. Why should walmart care about 4d printing? 4d printing if you're not familiar with it already is 3d printing with the added element that after the thing has been printed if you add a next element like Water or a chemical or air? That whatever you have printed Transforms one more time. So this is some it's an older project from MIT and They've printed out a strand They've they've put some liquid around it and it Continues the printing process and in this case forms MIT Okay, so that takes us to green technology So they're you know The weather's been a little weird right all around the world or last year. There were fire Nadeau's in California This is like a sharknado except with fire And I have to imagine is terrifying if you were to see when I'm laughing, but this is horrible We've we've got droughts. We have unpredictable weather patterns all over the place And the challenge is that all of that affects firming and where our food comes from? So this is some research from the National Academy of Science in the USDA Here in the United States which has recently shown that our crop production in the u.s. Is no longer sustainable though using our old methods That's because our grant groundwater tables have started to change fertile soil has started to change because of erosion changing and extreme weather patterns are messing with our Natural abilities to do farming the way the ways that we always have and as a result there are a lot of new solutions coming to place things like new ways to block the Sun and New ways to create clouds to help mitigate all of this Ok So what does any of this have to do with Walmart? What do what's the connection between all of these additional trends and Walmart and quite frankly every single person sitting in this room the global food supply and Where all of our food is going to come from not on in the year 20 to 200 when we're living on Mars But much more likely in the year 2030 2040 and we're dealing with real environmental catastrophes right here on earth So we're you know, we think about our food supply we tend to think you know in the future We'll come from the Amazon which is rich and dense Right, not that Amazon This Amazon So, let's look at some Amazon data Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 and The majority of Whole Foods here in the United States are in high-density urban areas that have a ton of large buildings large buildings in many cases with very large basements So this is a quick map of where a lot of those whole foods are distributed throughout the United States ok, but We also as of last week know that Amazon is most likely launching an entirely new grocery chain Not to obviate the work that it's doing at Whole Foods But to expand and as it happens more of us are buying our groceries online than going to physical grocery stores Some of the projections that we've built show that online grocery sales could double in the next five years up to Or possibly above 60 billion dollars by the year 2023. That's an incentive to push this forward Amazon is also in some really interesting areas of R&D. They're working on sensors they've got R&D and investments in life sciences, and of course robotics and logistics and warehouses so if we connect all of these trends that your typical Retailer is probably not paying attention to what are the possible outcomes? Well food of the future is grown from engineered seeds at indoor plant factories housed within the Amazon grocery store system in every one of our local communities the implication of this is risk Walmart Winds up having to compete where Amazon has significantly cheaper groceries grown nearby And Amazon not only kills Walmart. It kills big-box grocery stores Indoor plant factory to table is the new farm-to-table movement Which means we no longer need long distance produce shipping so all of the trucking companies and logistics companies and the packagers and everybody else in the refrigerants that are used to get your Celery soup for your celery juice From California to the East Coast doesn't need to exist anymore, which means Amazon not only kills traditional farms it also kills trucking companies and It's plausible that we would no longer need to import or export Soybeans beef and wheat, which could mean that Amazon unintentionally reshapes the global political world order. I Appreciate the laughter some of you I hear sobbing towards the front of the stage All right, but there's also some opportunity here and that's the part that I'm interested in The opportunity is how and where we get Our food is going to need to change not some time off in the distant future but within our own Lifetimes if you are able to recognize those trends early and you can do something about it develop smart strategy You could wind up being the hero to both your company and to our community, which would be a great thing You have to pay attention to technology and science trends that are inside your industry and also adjacent to it and That is why our report is so damn big this year So when you get home Here's what you need to start doing What is the connection between your company and? Whatever it is that you're doing and not just the tech trends within your industry but all of the tech trends within our report You have to force yourself to continually make those connections. The name of the game here is not predicting the future It's making connections so that you can see the future the plausible future more clearly Now you might be wondering this is interesting but when is all of this supposed at Amazon global takeover and plant factory is going to happen and Not just when but like exactly what year and what I would say to you is that is the wrong question I know a lot of people want to know exactly the year and the date that certain things are gonna happen But that sets you up for failure so one of the things that I strongly recommend to you and we do with our clients is to instead think in terms of Strategic time her okay So basically for the next couple of months, maybe the next 24 months You should have a preponderance of quantitative data that you can look for With more data more evidence uncertainty you can do tactical work. You can make tactical decisions about the future but that must be in service of strategic planning Vision and systems level disruption so you can make your strategic Plan, which a lot of companies do in three to five year increments But that should be done as you have less and less data in service of your vision for how you want whatever it is that you're working on to unfold and that should be in service of Not just how you want your company to look or your project to look but in fact how you want the world to function? so when I hear people say There's too much change happen too quickly. We can't possibly Plan out much more than a year or our company doesn't do anything longer than 24 months What I say is that's a terrible idea. You're wrong the best thing to do because a lot of Technologies are in flux is to make the capital decisions where you can as long as those service things like your strategy and your vision And your ideas about what the world should look like? You have to tack try to track tech trends in service of your farther futures All right quick note on our methodology and then we'll get right to it So this is a methodology that we've developed over the past 15 years We don't do your typical scanning and looking for keywords and headlines. This is a very rigorous Data-driven process we rely on quantitative data where we can get it qualitative data in other cases And essentially what we do is scrape up all this data. We run it through various different models that systems looking for patterns Those patterns give us a sense of what the tech trends are. We then calculate their trajectory Think about the strategic time horizons and then build out scenarios and the purpose of the scenarios is to make better decisions in the present In the report, you're gonna start seeing this on the screen there are different pieces of information Basically what we're telling everybody is these are the key insight and what you need to know. Here's what's happening Here's what we think is happening next. These are the companies and the people and the organizations to pay attention to and finally Here's how we think you should think about taking action within your organization's Now trends evolve as they emerge nothing is linear So as a result of that sometimes trends converge with other trends and become new things They typically don't drop off of our list entirely But what you will see in the corner is the number of years that we've been following whatever this thing is So in this case, Mike recep's sets and Cube sets we've been looking at now for four years and then finally the worst possible thing that you can do is to look at a bunch of cool emerging tech trends and then go back to your Day jobs, you have to get used to making incremental decisions on a very regular basis Daily if you if you can So we have this action matrix along with every trend that tells you you know If there's a high degree of certainty or a lower degree of certainty and what kind of impact whatever this thing is That indicates to you whether or not you need to act now. It's gonna inform your strategy You're gonna keep vigilant watch because it's early or we're gonna revisit it later So I want to highlight because there's a lot in the report what I'm gonna do is highlight some key findings From the report this year and I'm gonna do that by taking a deep dive into two trend clusters After I take that deep draw dive I'm then going to show you some plausible Optimistic neutral and catastrophic scenarios that describe what happens as these trends play out Here's the first key finding privacy is dead. Welcome to South by So privacy is dead you should have no illusion that You are a private citizen anywhere But the twist is that's not necessarily a bad thing So there are 16 trends in this area. There's a lot to move through So I've color-coded Everything and just so that we can sort of all follow the dot as we go through before we get to the scenarios I'm gonna sort of explain to you. What all these trends are and I'm gonna connect them as we go So last year I the first thing that I told everybody was that It was the beginning of the end of smartphones And one of the things that we looked at were face prints We looked at voice prints gesture technology and generative adversarial networks And so we're starting to see the convergence of a few of these different trends now in interesting new places So this is the bitin this is called the M byte car That's coming out in China later this year and it doesn't have any physical keys It doesn't even have a key fob The way that you open up this door of this car and hit the ignition is with your face So your face print is stored in central registry and it's stored within the car And if your face is the wrong face the car doesn't turn on In the cockpit it risk. There's not a lot of buttons so the whole thing responds to gesture and voice and there's a smart camera that personalizes the infotainment system again by Recognizing who is in the car and then giving those people access to different functions and entertainment when they're in the car Some of you have probably seen this but this is an update to generative adversarial networks or Ganz So software engineer philip wang, I think mostly sort of as a fun side project slash also to warn us about the future created something called this person does not exist calm and These people don't exist. So this is an example of a generative adversarial network using Nvidia Tools and as you can see, it's um, if you hit refresh on that website over and over and over again It shows you faces of people and backgrounds and they all look totally plausible. They look real And none of these are real people. These were all computer-generated and are being done in Microseconds not with some big giant render farm somewhere. This is I took this video sitting in my living room just hitting refresh over and over and over again and That made some pretty big headlines which of course and some memes and other implementations of the same technology So this is called This cat does not exist And as it turns out this project didn't go so well, but I thought it was worth showing you Cats are horrifying That's the Beetlejuice cat that's my favorite. All right So that's sort of a quick Here's what you missed from last year update and now we're gonna go into some of the newer trends that we're seeing this year beginning with Biometric scanning. I am obsessed with this trend I keep finding really interesting new things in this area to follow and I want to share with you a couple of really interesting projects but for those of you who aren't familiar, well, we talked about biometric scanning what we're talking about is mining and refining and Optimizing our bio data in real time to help other systems learn about us categorize us Respond to us and/or report on us like tattletale report on us So this is a project from MIT s affective computing lab and Kia Motors It's an emotion detection system again for the car you sit in the car It looks at your micro movements on your face and some other bio bio data and it is real-time Detecting what your emotional state is as you're driving your car Ostensibly this is to prevent road rage, right? So if you're in your car in the last days of humans driving cars and Somebody is doing something it enrages you Whatever it might be the car is designed to quickly help alter your mood By changing the color scheme Blowing I guess cold air or something, whatever it is that makes you happy Turning on Rage Against the Machine in my case. Um Whatever it is, the basically it's like altering the condition to help you experience more joy as you drive on extremely congested roads Amazon is also working on biometric scanning for the purpose of detecting our emotion so this was a patent that they filed and again patents don't necessarily mean that whatever it is is going to actually enter the marketplace, but in this case, I feel pretty confident that it is so As you talk to Alexa Alexa is creating a baseline of our voice. This is not happening. This is what they're proposing so Alexa would detect our emotional and behavioral states And over time it would know whether we're manic where they were feeling a little depressed whether we're amped up Whether we're happy whether we're sad, whether many of you in the room are coughing and sneezing because you have colds It's listening for tone of voice and so it creates this baseline of our biometric data and then judges are likely emotional state as well as our likely physical state whether or not we're sick, maybe we've had a stroke and we don't realize it yet and all of this is to help again understand more about us and probably to suggest cough drops or Tissue if it thinks that we're sneezing and maybe have a cold There's a lot of other interesting ways that our bodies are being recognized. So the US military has working on bone recognition so you're out and about and the idea is It's a dark place infrared is tricky this uses radar to Which can penetrate the body without frying your tissue probably and And since it can't penetrate your bone, once it you know, you're if you're in a database it can detect that that is you specifically or that you are a person roaming around So bone detection is a thing even without an MRI machine It's just now again like radar so it could be done in you know outside the Convention Center and then of course genetic recognition So just to placate me how many of you have submitted your how many of you have used like a 23andme or in ancestry.com? or yeah, that's what I thought so you all have Voluntarily submitted your biometric data to a third party so that you can find out what percent Irish you are And And what's interesting about that is at the moment. There's not a lot of rules and regulation around What can be done with that bio-data at a later date? Which is why we are starting not now I'm gonna scare the hell out of everybody who just raised their hands Um, which is why we are starting to see both calls for and new initiatives This is another trend in universal genetic databases So law enforcement loves this idea of universal genetic databases where all your biometric data is put into one spot Whether it's your bones or your brains or your blood or other things to start with be having do with your body And and and you can basically be tracked There's a rush to both buy and house our genetic data all around the world And to structure it to make it easier to search now. There are some really good medical reasons for this to be done So folks in the medical research space would definitely benefit from having wider pools of datas Voluntarily submitted on the other hand. We've already started to see third parties using biometric data without informing us or without our consent and some countries now like Saudi Arabia Are trying to create universal genetic databases to track all of their citizens That brings me to wearables so You you all know. What wearables are everybody in this room probably has something on them at this point whether it's a connected watch and I watch or a Samsung watch or connected IRRI Buhl's Little bluetooth headphones that at the moment mostly play music and help you play your phone calls Take your phone calls, but pretty soon. They're going to be connected or collecting biometric data as well from your ears, but There's a ton of new wearables coming to market this year. So smart shoes smart belts and even smart yoga pants and All of these devices again create baselines. They monitor us in real-time. They detect our physical movement and then they Make suggestions and the idea here is to nudge us into walking better sitting better Downward dog being better corpse posing better, whatever it is and All of these trends all of these trends feed into what are called persistent Recognition systems which is another key trend to pay attention to for this year Persistent recognition is really interesting. These are systems that take all of this bio data and are constantly Learning from it in some way and so this is a really interesting again patent So it hasn't been built yet, but this is a new area of R&D for Walmart. This is a connected grocery cart Okay, so imagine yourself going into a warmer a Walmart. You take the cart? As soon as you put your hands on it, it creates a baseline of your biometric data. So what's your temperature? What's your heart rate? How what's the pressure that you're holding down? what's your speed and it's monitoring all of this as you move around and shop at the Walmart store and If it turns out it's a shopping cart senses that you are really angry that you can't find the Captain Crunch cereal Or whatever it else might be the shopping cart sends your data to a central location and then that central location sends a note a digital note to a store associate and says You know crazy lady with insane looking here on aisle four is about to go ballistic Will you please go over there? And then the store employee comes over and if it's me, I just get much more upset that somebody's trying to talk to me Persistent recognition and all of that All of these trends feed into another new trend that I have a feeling is going to interest a lot of people sitting in this room And that is behavioral biometrics so this is the first time this has made our list and the reason for this is because again a Confluence of different technologies making this technology possible. So we're talking about is mining hundreds of unique Biometric markers creating all of these data points comparing all of that against our individual baselines Using machine learning and deep learning to learn and understand Specifically about us and not just our obvious behaviors that you can see but what's going on inside our heads that you can't see and then authenticating us or nudging us to some other activity or Rewarding us or punishing us if we break some kind of rule so We just went through all of those trends there are two left And they may at this point be pretty obvious to you because they have to do with data governance and regulation so One question that every company that works with bio-data is gonna have to start thinking about is well who owns all of this? What is the data governance? Structure look like what do we have to be thinking about it? How are we storing this data? Even if you're a third party that plugs into it in some way Who's in charge of all of this bio data from all of us? How is it being encrypted should it be interoperable? So there are in because a lot of the genetic Databases like ancestry and 23andme. You can't port your your genetic data between those systems so there are now open source registries where you can upload it to there and then use that data across sites which like If a company goes out of business, can your data your bio data be sold to a third party and then should companies be in the business of data stewardship or data ownership and finally Regulation is definitely on the horizon for this year. So we've already started to see a lot of GDP are copycats Which last year when I talked about splinter nets? The Internet has become splintered that trend exists still in 2019 We're starting to see copycats around the world in different parts of this country the state of California trying to figure out how to regulate The Internet and can you even imagine what might happen when people try to regulate and do stuff with all of our bio data? So the name of the game again is not predictions. It's connections. So What I'd like to do is take of those trends and I'm going to now show you the connective tissue between all of them and once we do that We're gonna start having some questions. So the questions that are on my mind are Who owns the stuff who owns your biometric data? Should you have a right to keep your emotions? Private to keep your mental state private and your other biometric details private from persistent recognition how can your organization or your company use all of this bio data safely and ethically and then that should lead to some existential questions like Who actually owns your DNA? stop and think about that for a moment because guess what we don't have an answer to that question and If we don't have an answer to that question Then the next question is well Could I at least trademark my DNA so that nobody else can copy it or use it in some way and If it turns out that I don't technically own my own DNA once it's outside of my body Then who owns my body and all the stuff in it? These I know these sound like crazy questions But we haven't yet started to think about them and there are people all around the world who want to now create regulations without thinking this through clearly So we all have some big decisions to make and that is why we use scenarios So it's not enough to just know that these trends exist You have to take action on them in some way. You have to start planning with them. That's why we use as futurists data-driven Scenarios. These aren't like cool sci-fi stories. Although they may sound like it These are data-driven scenarios to help us confront These questions to help us confront deep Uncertainty so that we can develop better strategy and prepare ourselves for the future in a better way. So As I mentioned at the beginning there are three types of scenarios. You're gonna see the first are optimistic This does not mean utopian future where everybody is super happy All this means is that we have somehow made the best possible connections Using the data that we have available and we have made the best possible decisions as a result therefore The future should be better than it is now. It should be good there are neutral scenarios, which is well what happens if we preserve the status quo and finally Pessimistic or catastrophic which is what happens if we in fact make bad decisions? So I started with the key finding there's many in the report but this is our key finding which is privacy is dead And let's see how all of this plays out over the next 15 years, so Optimistic framing data collection is transparent people understand how and when and where and why? We are being recognized and monitored It's the end of passwords no more two-factor, it's amazing you use your keys totally fine There's no boarding passes. No physical credit cards You don't even need a wallet unless you really really really want to have one. You don't have to worry about driver's licenses Biometric scanning is safe and secure technology enriches our lives Privacy is dead What ok with that. It's not a big deal. That's fine Now here's the neutral framing Turns out we preserve the status quo Everybody doesn't really see that any of this is urgent or that we should do anything about it We wind up seeing a ton of consolidation across the tech industries and all of the companies that are mining our data Our biometric data gets locked into just a few different technology providers, which means that our data are not interoperable But guess what? Neither are we humans? Interoperable across systems turns out there's a lot of bugs because nobody's collaborating Authentication becomes annoying and we start getting hacked in new ways that nobody saw coming and Then finally, I think the reason many of you are here is the catastrophic framing companies Acknowledge what's happening? They active. They don't want to collaborate They don't want to deal with regulators and or law makers in any way they want to go it alone So they actively work against protecting our biometric data. We have no idea where our data is or who even owns it regulation comes fast Splinter nets give way to protected bio data zones Which means that we have? hard time moving in between places the cookies that you have to keep clicking on when you go to websites that That means that when we go to physical places we're constantly having to Authenticate and check in and make sure that it's okay giving permission that our that we're being mined and refined and scanned Walmart shopping carts can't cross state lines There is a new economic and social class system again that nobody saw coming Rich people can buy premium services to anonymize their bio data But everybody else they have their bio data mined and refined and productized Authoritarian countries create universal genetic databases to monitor and most likely punish a lot of their citizens So if I were to model this out, which I have Here's here's here's given where we are today I would say there's about a 10% chance of that optimistic framing happening a 50% chance of the neutral Scenario happening and a 40% chance of the catastrophic framing happening Okay, why don't we look at some more cats? There's a little palate cleanser So we'll just take a couple of these Yeah I'm not sure what that one is. This looks like intestines on the outside. That's terrifying It's a cat human. Okay, that's even worse All right. So, let's take our second little palate cleanser now Let's take our second deep dive into the second area the second key finding in the second area of trends And the second key finding is that your home is way smarter than you think it is And these are all of the different tethers fewer in this this this area so it's fewer trends We're gonna go through but I've also color-coded them for you All right. So as I mentioned at the beginning last year I talked to you about the fact that our smart phones are with the beginning of the end of smartphones and I know What Mobile World Congress happened and I know everybody's very excited about these folding phones, which I think are interesting But their core functionality hasn't changed. We're talking about a bigger phone that now folds and By the way, you know, the numbers are still trending down In terms of new penetration and adoption rate except for price That number is going way up. So you can buy yourself a brand new phone that costs the same as five toshiba satellite pros If you want now it turns out that while we are all using our phones We're not using them as much to talk to people instead Our phones are the connective tissue between us and other devices that surround us we are not just talking to people we're now talking to machines So there's a Kohler toilet That you can talk to it has a LexA you can go into your bathroom and tell it to put the seat up Forget to tell to put the seat down But there are many many other Things that you can now talk to so you can buy plugs Until the plug to turn on your light There's a smart garden hose. You can walk outside. Tell it to start watering your begonias and I guess it will do that There's smart blood pressure monitors that you can talk to rather than having to squeeze it or do anything else there's a Roomba that you can talk to there's a There's a nest thermostat that you can talk to there are smart big appliances and our kitchens like ovens and stoves You can talk to your remote or just talk to your television rather than having to click on buttons And of course you can talk to your microwave oven Alexa, amazon has debuted a microwave that you can now talk to As it turns out last year during the holiday season eight percent of americans got some kind of smart speaker During the holidays. That's an extraordinary number of smart speakers that were sold in fact the total number of voice powered devices Increased 78 percent year over year in America beating most analysts estimates. That was a huge number And one of the models that One of the models that we built a couple of years ago seems to continue to hold which is by the year 2021 We still believe that about half of the interactions that you have with machines will be only using your voice So that may not be as big of a surprise now that we all of the opportunities to talk to machines One of which as I mentioned is that microwave now How many of you heard that Amazon has this microwave that with Alexa in it, you can you can talk to it So so let me break this down for you and tell you what's going on here There's a lot of people maybe thinking Like how American is it? That you're so lazy You can't push a couple buttons on your microwave to heat up your stuff. Why do we need to talk to our microwave? Well, the answer to that question has to do with data and popcorn so Once she order let's say you subscribe to popcorn from Amazon and you have your monthly subscription and you get the microwave popcorn Amazon knows exactly what's happening and any online retailer does with that popcorn up until the point that it's delivered to your home Once it arrives at your house You know, they no longer have any data however, if you open up the box of popcorn and you put it in the microwave and you tell Alexa to pop your popcorn and You keep in mind all of the trends that I just talked to you about it in the bio data section Alexa not only knows who's popping that popcorn But whether you're sick whether you're healthy What else you've popped and heated up that day what time of day it is? Who else is in the room? There's a lot of data there's a wealth of information that's being shared By the simple act of you asking the microwave to pop your popcorn for you now what happens when all of your devices can collect really granular levels of data on You and your families? Well, one of the biggest trends that we're covering this year has to do with home automation And so a lot of us now are thinking mostly about smart speakers But in fact what happens when your entire home becomes a gigantic computing device a big huge computing environment? Your home continuously generates data and and uses the smart devices in order to generate real-time information so that Tasks can be completed for you to make your life a little bit easier. So Some of you may have apple homekit Because all of the big tech giants have something now So this is where again you can create a central nervous for your home plug-in your lights plug in your Electric drapery Whatever it might be your locks your security system but again, you're generating a lot of data inside your home in order to make all of these things work and Appliances now have their own digital assistance Which is another big key trend that we're paying attention to so Google Amazon and Apple all have digital assistance for appliances But there are additional players in the system now like Samsung Samsung's bixby is supposed to be in all of its devices by 2020 and of course there are other players coming to market What we're doing here what these systems are doing? We're not just tracking you, but they're making it so that the machines can talk to each other. So it's tracking interactions data It's responding to commands and then using predictive analytics to anticipate your needs to try to make your life a little bit easier All of this is intended to help us live more efficiently But it's also intended to help optimize our appliance energy use So this one may seem like it's coming out of left field But another key trend area in this space has to do with energy and energy use So right now similar to when people when these companies deliver boxes to our house, and then nobody knows what happens Energy providers know how much amperage that we're pulling from the system So they know what we look like on the power grid, but they don't have any other information beyond that That's where the big tech companies come into play They increasingly understand our data and our energy usage patterns Which means that they have way more Granular data about our individual energy consumption and our utilities consumption not just energy than the utility companies themselves And home automation isn't just about home appliances This is going to blow your mind, so So in America, our biggest home manufacturer is called Lenoir And lasts like 18 months ago or so Amazon partnered with Lennar Which is the biggest home builder in the United States to create Amazon homes Now this is not just about getting a brand new home and putting a couple of Alexa's in it The whole thing is automated there are sensors everywhere So we're talking about cameras outside and smart locking systems and smart surfaces and smart stoves and smart microwaves a technician comes When you open up and move into your home to not only flip the switch But to tell you how everything works and you don't have to worry about tech support because if something is broken, they already know and and you can get you can get help and As it turns out Amazon homes aren't just in the cool parts of Austin or in San Francisco. They're everywhere So this is where I grew up I grew up on the southeast side of Chicago technically called, Northwest, Indiana and That's cool. That's fine. But but I grew up in a really blue-collar neighborhood So I would not call us like a like a good Natural location for lots of high technology and incredibly smart homes There is literally a cluster of Amazon homes Ten blocks away from where I grew up it blew my mind when I found this out All right, so if we combine all of that with one last adjacent trend So on so this is adjacent, but it's important big tech is also getting into healthcare so so all of the big tech companies in some way now have health initiatives that That are pretty interesting. So Apple is launching healthcare clinics They're called Acey wellness and they're intended for their employees So these are on-site medical care systems and it's not just about triage when you get sick. This is also about wellness But that system plugs into the stuff that we that the employees wear. So you've got your Apple SmartWatch Pretty soon when the earpods come out that have the biometric scraping capabilities. They might be wearing that and this is to help The healthcare system make sure that you're living your best life your best Optimized life get better sleep stress management healthier eating Apple will help you with that Google has been in healthcare that sort of space for very long time Previously, I think it was in the mid-2000s. Google had something called Google health, which was intended as a new kind of patient Management system that you could port and take with you so that you had a better sense of what your health data was Google's got Google fit. They've got Android systems They've got watches they've got phones and of course the brain division Which is one of Google's AI divisions is working on AI powered systems for doctors and for hospitals And then of course, we all know about Amazon's health care plans. So there's the joint merger between Berkshire Hathaway JP Morgan Chase They're challenging incumbents on insurance and they hope that the future of healthcare could look pretty different by the time that they're done so now again we Have to make decisions about all of this home automation. We have to contextualize it We have to think about all of this in terms of our companies and also our personal data So here are some data driven scenarios again to help us see how all of this may play out in the future In these scenarios cover the next 10 years, so this is for the Year 2029 Okay, so we started with as it turns out your smart home is way smarter than you think it is and these were the different Tech trends that we covered that we route together So here's your optimistic framing our devices work across platforms. They are truly Interoperable our families easily enter mEagle with Google with Amazon and with Apple easily. They help us save time They help us be better energy consumers We are nudged into healthier lifestyles. Smart homes are safe and fun Don't laugh cynically. All right I feel you neutral framing. We continue along this path without making a lot of big changes We soon realize that as it turns out we can't just flip a switch and change providers We can't change over our smart homes our smart offices our smart schools Operating systems the same way that we used to change or try to change our mobile. Os's For those of you who have tried to switch between Amazon and Apple think of that in-home scale or company scale We're frustrated we're spending way more money and way more time than we thought we were going to have to and by the way we have very little choice and now for the catastrophic framing You are living in either a Google home and apples an Amazon home or an Apple home and so is all your data you have no idea or understanding of how decisions are being made about you and for you and as it turns out your smart homes are now making decisions for you that you yourself wouldn't make The microwave which is connected to your Fitbit and your smart phone and your smart stuff Besides that you should be on a diet and you don't get to pop that popcorn The washer decides that Austin is in a drought and you should be a better consumer of your utilities and you can probably get another dad of those jeans and You who lives a 10 minute walk to work should be taking your bike But you're feeling a little lazy today and your garage Decides that it's not gonna let you open it up so that you can take your car You get to walk to work? Your smart home is a smart prison and there is no escape You may be able to unplug your smart microwave, but you can't unplug your whole family from the system That's right, that's right Given the data and the evidence and what we are modeling and seeing today I think there is a 0% chance of that optimistic framing happening a 30% chance of the neutral framing and a 70% chance that is catastrophic framing is what our futures look like Let me end on this. All right These futures haven't happened yet Okay, we're not robots living out somebody else's simulation. None of this has happened The optimistic scenarios are possible if they weren't possible. I wouldn't have had the data and the evidence and the model to write them I believe they're possible however Like a great marriage Great futures take a lot of work if You want a terrific future one that you are going to be excited to live in it's not just going to show up for you Wonderful amazing happy futures healthy societies are the result of really really hard work They're the result of courageous leadership. They are the result of being flexible of collaborating of Making inroads between your competitors and of showing up and putting up your sleeves and getting down to work And I believe as I mentioned at the beginning that you you people who are at South by and the places that sent you here That you have the power to build a world that we all live in we're not beholden to all of these other companies We can decide that we want something different and and I think that you have the power to make some good reasonable changes now I've Yet clap that's good I like the applause alright I've made connections in the last hour or so between 26 tech trends Okay, which means that you only have 289 to go? All right So we have some work to do and I would like for you to get started right away My clicker may die. So here are two links to links to share. Hopefully I'm tweeting them If not, I'm about to show them. This is the trend report I wasn't joking there 289 more trends I would like for you to spend some time with this is enormous And here's the link. So it's a bitly link. It's case sensitive the capitalization It's simple FTI 2019 tech trends everything So it'll send you to a link where you'll download it on a wheat transfer site so that our server doesn't crash There's a ton here So there's a whole section on block chains and cryptos With a primer to help everybody in your organization to understand what the hell all of that is There's a bunch of other stuff. There's a section on security and privacy and data there's also some glossaries There are some amazing scenarios on things like virtual reality and eSports, which we're covering for the first time I'm just talking so that everybody's got that link. All right and There's also a calendar For the entire year that tells you all different things that are happening to pay attention to this is the second link so the second link is a Dropbox folder full of free research and tools that I am not joking you can take and Reshape and use as your own with whatever work that you do This is all stuff that I'm putting out there so that you can use I had some amazing co-authors I work with a lot of my former and current students at NYU who helped with other research our creative director The report looks amazing. This year was 38 weeks pregnant when she worked on this so ladies can get stuff done. Even if they're pregnant right Alright last thing you may be wondering why I didn't talk at all about artificial intelligence There's a reason for that everything that I mentioned today in some way had to do with AI Every scenario every company everything up here one some way tethered to artificial intelligence AI is a huge part of our 2019 report It is also the subject of my new book Which is called the big nine about the big nine companies that control the future of artificial intelligence And I think as a result of the future of humanity And I would love to talk more about that or the trend report with you So for those of you who want, I'm gonna head over right now to the book store I will be signing books or I can also just take questions that you might have about this year's report Thank you. I will see you next year You You

6 thoughts on “Amy Webb | SXSW 2019

  1. For your theory with Amazon, the other huge risk that entails is complete loss of biodiversity. Because you know if they do that, each warehouse will be identical, for efficiency and so on.

  2. Extremely interesting presentation of both individual futures trends, but more importantly, how these all interact with each other, and some of the long term political/social impacts. Some very complex topics presented in an understandable way.

  3. Around 32:20 and everything feeding into Persistent Recognition Systems I realized I had to watch this with a soft focus and let it wash over me in a sci-fi kind of a way.
    About 3 minutes later I felt like I was watching this :
    https://youtu.be/KTJn_DBTnrY

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