The 6D's of everyday life
Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Two things happened this last week: I moved in with my girlfriend and Google's DeepMind beat professional gamers in StarCraft. The immediate thought would be, that these two events and in no way related to each other and are completely separate in nature. However, both events convey central principles related to exponential technologies.
Before you figure out how that is, let's throw in Netflix phenomenon Marie Kondo.
As I haven't seen the actual Netflix series, I have to rely on the reports of others and short clips made available for general use. But Marie Kondo apparently made a thing of sorting, tidying up and organizing things – and helping you do the same.
I can relate to that. Maybe it's the Scandinavian influence, or maybe it's just a personal thing, but I don't care much about having a lot of "stuff". Having too many things. I run a pretty minimalist furnished ship. Moving in with my girlfriend we have to fit 2 homes and 4-6 people into very little space.
Still, I found lots of stuff to either pass on, sell or recycle. But in the process, it made me think.
The 6 D's of exponential technology states 6 principles that relates to exponential technologies:
One thing I got rid of this time were my DVD's. Or at least the covers. And the DVD player. See, we're going for a PlayStation, so technically at least, the DVD discs can still be used… I know! I'm old-school.
I also took a good, hard look at my CD collection. Got them down to just one storage box. Notwithstanding I haven’t listened to a CD in 6-7 years. Still, it's a lot of plastic covers for recycling – a lot of space saved.
That's DE-MATERIALIZE for you: Separate physical products are removed from the equation.
Exponential technology makes lots of physical things and formats obsolete. Why OWN a DVD collection if you can ACCESS the same movies on some online service? Why buy music on CD if you can use online services?
I confess: I also KEPT my Ipod. Just think about how revolutionary it was at launch. Itunes completely disrupting how music was distributed and used. A perpetual e-shop on your computer. Pretty clever. And while the iPod may have helped explore navigational aspects since applied to smartphones, software and applications, it is just one of many technologies that got merged with the iPhone (phone, mp3 player, digital camera, PDA etc.).
Ever had a PDA?
ANOTHER AI BEATING
On Sunday, public service media in Denmark reported that Google DeepMind gave professional gamers a beating at StarCraft. The story was referred from online tech media "The Verge".
In September – just 4 months ago – I read an article on why AI would beat you at chess and Go, but not at… wait for it… StarCraft! Way too complicated as it was featuring real-time strategy. The idea was.
DECEPTIVE sprang to (Deep)mind immediately.
Most things have a linear growth pattern (1, 2, 3, 4, 5…) Our mind works well with that. It has a pretty easy way of predicting certain outcomes if things are linear. If you take 30 linear steps, you'll be about 30 meters away. You have a pretty good idea of when you are half-way. Where you'll be in 30 steps etc.
When something is digitized, it enters Moore's Law (a doubling of computing powers every 18 months). This is an exponential growth (1, 2, 4, 8, 16…) The initial period of growth is deceptive because exponential trends don't seem to grow very fast at first. But if you take 30 exponential steps, you'll have circumnavigated the Earth 26 times.
Most people have a hard time getting their heads around the IMPLICATIONS of exponential technologies (AI, IoT, Internet, computational power etc.) because of this. Things are moving slow at first – capabilities seem very limited. But the thing is, that as soon as it starts to pick up, speed increases dramatically. What was "NO WAY" 4 months ago is "YES IT CAN" today.
You actually carry a piece of exponential technology with you most of the time: Your smartphone. You know you can get a new one today – and if you wait roughly 18 months, there is going to be a new model. Which is twice as fast, can do twice as much, with an even more insane camera etc. That's Moore's Law for you.
JUST ONE MORE THING
Take a look at your smartphone. And take some time to think about how YOU use exponential technology. What kind of services you use, how you access content (music, news, blogs, images etc.). And then think about how you do the same things at work? Do you rely on psychical servers? Is software cloud solutions?
Can you share things or work on the same documents in real-time (using i.e. Google Docs)? How do you send and receive messages? Do you have advanced capabilities like AI? Are things the same at work and in your private life? And if not, why not? Should it be? Could it be? What would it take?