Production is dirty, boring and obsolete. This is a slow industry, stuck in the past, and its development is calling into question new technologies from the Silicon Valley. And stereotypes are ridiculous and … wrong. Let's not forget that it was production and industry that brought us to the modern era. While many dream of robots from science fiction, manufacturers make them and use them for useful things. While in the headlines flashed 3D printers, manufacturers prototyped with their help for decades. And while information technology is the source of the latest revolutions, production is the source of this source. There will be no chip manufacturers – there will not be chips.
Production can be high-tech and low-tech. Dirty solutions in some places are flawlessly clean in others. Assembly lines become obsolete, but robotic manipulators also become obsolete. What will happen next? Production is changing, but when was it news?
Only the rate of change is important.
Yevgeny Zavalishin, CEO of Yandex Data Factory, says the biggest misconception about AI is that it's a futuristic thing. Not really. And it's not just technical giants. The same software for machine learning that helps you find, watch and buy everything you want online can be placed in other contexts, for example, to analyze raw factory data for cost savings.
Zavalishina said that software for machine learning like this is quite affordable, and sometimes even free.
"These systems have long worked in favor. But in 2017, these technologies have become so accessible that even super-skilled people are not needed to use them, "says Neil Jacobstein, a student at the Faculty of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Singularity University. "These technologies can be applied to a wide range of problems in the industry, from design to quality control, from production to customer service … Now there are really good results."
Robots are long in production, but they always needed tightly controlled environments for work and candidates of sciences for programming. Robotics legend Rodney Brooks demonstrated the robot Sawyer from Rethink Robotics, showing that anyone can program it.
And thanks to cheap 3D modeling equipment and constantly improving software, robots also become smart, light and knowledgeable enough to work close to people without harming them. The next step is not the end for the people-workers, this is the collaboration between the best robots and the best people.
Anyone who knows about 3D printing, once dreamed of printing anything, anywhere, anytime. But the cost, quality, speed have always been problems. With the advent of solutions from Carbon and others, 3D printing finally comes to mass production. In areas where final 3D printing is possible, assembly lines will simply disappear. That is, we will immediately move from the design stage to the stage of receiving the product, without rebuilding the infrastructure and tools for each new product.
"A 3D printer is a programmable factory," says the futurist, hacker and inventor Pablos Holman. "He does not care what to do. He does not care whether to do one thing twice. And this is his strength. Just turn on the imagination. "
Many people have heard about virtual reality or even tried to make friends with it. In the market there are commercial devices for games in VR, as well as a lot of talk about when it will become available massively.
Immediately behind the virtual reality is augmented reality. And if the first plunges completely, augmented reality superimposes the digital world right over the real world. This is a more complicated problem technically, but it has more applications. In the world of advanced augmented reality, we will use a small wearable device to interact with computers, like Tony Stark of Iron Man.
In production, this means that developers will be able to draw 2D modeling programs to work more quickly and intuitively with three-dimensional objects on the table. Workers at the plants will receive more real-time data on machines and processes or directly instructions for repair and production.
"The whole world will become our display, we will be in augmented reality all the time," says Ray Kurzweil. "I think this is the future of interactions with technology. They will become an invisible part of our world. "
Very soon, bioproduction will become a byword, says Raymond McCauley, head of the Department of Digital Biology at Singularity University.
We learn to reprogram simple organisms into sensors and miniature factories for the production of wires, fuel and food, he says. "Not only metal will pass through the changes. Most materials and the principles of their production will have to be reviewed because of breakthroughs in the field of bioengineering. "
And there is progress. Algae with modified genes produce biofuel, and modified bacteria spider a spider web. But as the tools for bio-production become cheaper and more powerful every year, scaling remains a problem.
Technology is developing rapidly. How to stay aboard this fast-moving modern ship? Once upon a time, the old companies in the list of the top 500 most famous had a 50-60-year life span. Nowadays this number is closer to 20. Small startups on software development can break down the life of a giant. Innovation becomes a critical tool for survival.
Jeff Taff, head of digital change at Monitor Deloitte and his team presented the "golden ratio for innovation" five years ago. They advised spending 70% of innovation resources on the core, 20% on the areas adjacent to the core and 10% on the transformation space. This should not be a rule, carved into stone, but rather an excuse for starting a dialogue: where and how much should we promote innovation? Today, the short answer is: the more and the farther from the comfort zone, the better.
Tuff believes that his ratio has long been outdated.
"70-20-10 can not be used anymore, and I have no idea what the figures will be like today," he says. "I think it's close to 50-30-20 or even 50-25-25."
The speed with which technology creates and destroys jobs can not help but surprise. Advanced AI and robots promise an increase in automation. Automation historically has been the cutting off of simple and rough work in favor of more complex and requiring qualification.
"People say: well, what will be the new jobs? I say: I do not know, we have not invented them yet, "says Kurzweil. "There is no single political response to this question."
Moving from one skill to another will not be easy and will pass by so many. Previously, such transitions were very complex. Peter Diamandis is worried that people will not have enough time to adapt and to keep pace with the changes. They will come too fast.
"In 1810, there were 84% of farmers in the United States. Today only 2%. Giant change in the labor market. But it went through a long period of time, "says Diamandis. What if we lose giant jobs in just 20 years? We will see social and political unrest on a large scale.
Diamandis notes that universal basic income could facilitate this transition. And although we can not shy away from the challenges ahead, we can not allow them to blind us with the positive and useful changes that will take place in parallel with them.
"The son or daughter of a billionaire in New York, or the son or daughter of the poorest farm in Kenya will have access to the same education that they will be provided by AI, to the same level of health care that AI will provide, or to robots. We demonetize everything that is now considered necessary for life, "he says.