Gaming as Innovation Driver; Robots on the Rise – Insight from Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable

I’m well into my reading of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly. A couple of observations “so far”:

Observation #1 – a lot of innovation is driven by the pursuit of “fun.” Especially gaming. The book describes the technological breakthroughs that were needed to take gaming to the next level. One such breakthrough was the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit – this is above my technology pay grade), but it involves the development and widespread adoption of technology that enabled an impossible-before-this speed for playing computer games. From the book:

By 2005, GPUs were being produced in such quantities that they became so cheap they were basically a commodity.

And, what started in the pursuit of fun – gaming – now leads to great steps forward in many other arenas.

Observation #2 – Yes, in fact, the robots are indeed coming. (Many are already here – many, many, many more are on the way).

It’s been a few months since I read (and presented my synopsis of) Martin Ford’s award-winning book Rise of The Robots. This new book greatly enhances my understanding of this ongoing rise.

Here are Kevin Kelly’s Seven Stages of Robot Replacement, from this book:

No matter what your current job or your salary, you will progress through a predictable cycle of denial again and again. Here are the Seven Stages of Robot Replacement:

  1. A robot/computer cannot possibly do the tasks I do.

    Baxter is already here!
    Baxter is already here!
  2. [Later.] OK, it can do a lot of those tasks, but it can’t do everything I do.
  3. [Later.] OK, it can do everything I do, except it needs me when it breaks down, which is often.
  4. [Later.] OK, it operates flawlessly on routine stuff, but I need to train it for new tasks.
  5. [Later.] OK, OK, it can have my old boring job, because it’s obvious that was not a job that humans were meant to do.
  6. [Later.] Wow, now that robots are doing my old job, my new job is much more interesting and pays more!
  7. [Later.] I am so glad a robot/computer cannot possibly do what I do now. [Repeat.]

This book is reminding me, yet again, that we are just barely getting started in this technological revolution.

I really enjoy reading these books about the ongoing and soon-to-come technological advances. I guess I love a good story of hope and horror all rolled into one!


maybe a future selection for the FFBS

The Inevitable is my selection for the October 7 First Friday Book Synopsis.


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