Making Sense of MegaTrends:

Promoting Public Understanding of Emerging Technologies:

The 4th Industrial Age is upon us, and a clutch of different but inter-related technologies are developing at an exponential face. It is mind boggling to just notice what AI could do in 2017, that it couldn’t do in 2016. 

Although it is believed that it is the 3 wings of Governance, the executive, legislature and the judiciary that drive change with the press and media acting as the fourth pillar, the Reality is that continuous lifelong education of all four is the foundation. 

In the absence of a proper understanding, the path  ahead driven by the alignment among these 4 may not be the most suitable.  

A balance has to be maintained between the hype of the media and the financial investors with hyperbolic promises with any new ‘breakthrough’ that could be hyped and the understated modesty of the real researcher. 

See for example the opening sentence of the famous paper in Nature on April 25th 1953 in which the double helix structure of the DNA is announced.

“ We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleus acid ( DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest.”

Towards the end of the paper they say:

“It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.”

JD Watson FHC Crick Cavendish Laboratory Cambridge  April 2

I have therefore decided to become an ‘ explainer’ for some of these emerging technologies from the beginning of the New Year and in readiness for the Year 2020. By the beginning of the year 2020, we should have been able to demystify around 10 technologies and by the end of the year 2020 another 10 should have been done.

The general plan ( may be tweaked as we go along) is to have an event with an average monthly frequency of a one hour public lecture with a title like “ Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence” …..or a suitable variant. The bye-products from this public lecture will be a booklet on the theme, a suite of short video clips of a few minutes each, and a Whatsapp delivered course that runs over a weekend.

We will continue to solicit ideas for both topics and formats of dissemination of the knowledge.

An illustrative list of Topics :

1: A survey of emerging Technologies 

2: Tipping points for various Technologies 

3: Artificial Intelligence

4: Machine Learning

5: Deep Learning

6: Machine Learning Algorithms 

7: Artificial Neural Networks

8: AI and Robots

9: Drones

10: Swarm Robotics

11: Augmented Reality

12: Virtual Reality

13: Big Data

14: Blockchain

15: Internet of Things

16: Nano-technology 

17: Genetic Engineering: Genes, DNA and Gene editing with CRISPR

18: Immunotherapy

19: Crypto-currency

20: Quantum Computing