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THE TECH GAMES How How Disruptive Disruptive Technologies Technologies Will Will Impact Impact Your Your Business Business Part Part Two Two of of the the Special Special Report Report by by Center Center for for Strategy, Strategy, Enterprise Enterprise & & Intelligence Intelligence


One of my proposals is to insulate Customs from political influence ... with a policy or a law prohibiting recommendations for employment in the bureau.

Discretion is equal to corruption. Minimize discretion and you eliminate corruption; eliminate discretion and you eliminate corruption.

~ Philippine Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on reforming the Bureau of Customs, regarded as one of the country’s most corrupt agencies

~ Senator Francis Escudero on Customs reform

Volume 3 • Number 13

July 29 - August 11, 2013

Special Report on Disruptive Technologies Part Two

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perspective

gotta 14 you see this

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HOW WE HEAL

Gene Therapy Will Revolutionize Medicine

• The Human Genome: A decade after decoding man

HOW WE WORK

Robots Take Over the Factory

• Will robots replace humans completely? Some warn of a new middle class ... of robots

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Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence provides expertise in strategy and management, enterprise development, intelligence, Internet and media. For subscriptions, research, and advisory services, please e-mail report@censeisolutions.com or call/fax +63-2-5311182. Links to online material on public websites are current as of the week prior to the publication date, but might be removed without warning. Publishers of linked content should e-mail us or contact us by fax if they do not wish their websites to be linked to our material in the future.


Strategic Analysis and Research by the Center for Strategy, enterpriSe & intelligenCe

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HOW WE THINK

The Automation of Knowing and Pondering • Computers vs. call centers: The challenge to BPOs

hot 22 what’s what’s cool

30 wow tech POINT & CLICK Access online research via your Internet connection by clicking pictures, graphics, and words in blue

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HOW WE PROFIT

Businesses Need to Face Up to High-Tech Advances — or Die

40 supergraphic 41 body lab The CenSEI Report is now available for elite clients of major corporations at a special corporate gifts scheme. For details, please call or fax +632-5311182 or email marketing@censeisolutions.com


When Technology Disrupts Business What spurred the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence to devote two issues of The CenSEI Report to so-called disruptive technology was the McKinsey Global Institute’s report on 12 leading-edge tech trends likely to drastically affect life, business and society in the coming dozen years. The U.S.-based global consultancy group scanned reports, spoke with savants and CEOs, trolled the Internet, and crunched the numbers to come up with its “disruptive dozen”: mobile Internet for everyone everywhere, online-controlled and -monitored devices (“the Internet of Things”), cloud computing, knowledge work automation, next-generation genomics, robotics, 3D printing, advanced materials, self-driving vehicles, new oil and gas extraction techniques, energy storage, and renewables. The CenSEI Report links to MGI’s tome as well as many other future-tech studies and data, while focusing more on the featured innovations’ impact on everyday life. Part One covered technologies for living at home and controlling its gadgetry, connecting with others, getting from A to B, and harnessing and storing energy, ideally without heating up the earth. In this issue, meanwhile, the impact on manufacturing, thinking and learning, and healing are expounded upon. What about business? It’s impossible, of course, to cover in one article or even a dozen all major implications of technological change for every key industry, sector and economy. Hence, after this issue’s broad and quick assessment of some immediate impacts for certain business areas, The CenSEI Report shall return again and again to the disruption theme with in-depth analyses industry by industry. Then we can have better and more solid answers to the question: Is your job and your business safe? For companies and industries that can’t wait for their sector to be featured in The CenSEI Report, the Center is available to do special strategic research and analysis. We are now doing that for the container shipping and ports industries, which will be greatly affected by such technologies as 3D printing, which can drastically reduce shipments of components and finished goods if consumers opt to fabricate their created or chosen designs instead shopping for items made across the sea. Those interested in commissioning sector studies may email CenSEI Managing Director Ricardo Saludo (ric.saludo@censeisolutions.com). Even before contracting more research, read the stuff already in The CenSEI Report’s two-issue package. In pondering the advances, constantly ask three questions: What effect could they have on demand for the goods or services of one’s company and industry? What enhancements or obstacles could they offer one’s enterprise and its rivals? And most important: Will they benefit the society at large? Whatever will, may well be unstoppable.


perspective

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The Grammar of Simplicity On June 27, before Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, wrapped up his first international visit by celebrating Mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before a gathering of an estimated 3 million people at the area’s Copacabana beach, he addressed the country’s bishops over the reported exodus of Brazilian Catholics to evangelical Protestant or pentecostal organizations, as reported in The Huffington Post. “Perhaps the church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas,” the pope was reported as saying. “At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people … Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the

very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery,” he reportedly told Brazil’s bishops. The directness and simplicity of Pope Francis’ message to the bishops of Brazil stands in contrast to a May 2011 Vatican instruction issued under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, pressuring bishops around the world to allow priests to say the traditional Latin Mass for the benefit of ultra-conservative Catholics requesting it, as reported by Reuters. “It is the task of the Diocesan

bishop to undertake all necessary measures to ensure respect for the ‘forma extraordinaria’,” the Reuters piece quoted from the instruction – which included the use of a Latin term for the old liturgy – even as it reported that some bishops around the world said privately that reintroducing the traditional Latin Mass was a headache because of the scarcity of priests trained in Latin, and logistical problems inserting Latin Masses in their schedule.

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How we HEAL

Next-Generation Genomics Is Revolutionizing Medical Care Advances in the science and technology of genomics will revolutionize how we diagnose and treat diseases, all while raising ethical and regulatory issues By Tanya L. Mariano

STRATEGY POINTS Next-generation genomics will revolutionize research and health diagnostics and treatment, according to McKinsey Global Institute Improvements in computational and analytic speed have led to a drastic drop in sequencing cost and an increase in available genetic information Researchers are now better able to study the genetic roots of diseases; doctors can customize treatments Main barriers lie in ethics, policy, and regulation rather than technology

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T

here has been a lot of talk about genomics these days – in Hollywood, in science magazines, and in reports from management-consulting firms.

In April, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Technology Review hailed prenatal DNA screening as one of 10 breakthrough technologies on its annual list. The following month, it was reported that actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy, after finding out that she carried a rare genetic mutation associated with breast cancer. The procedure, wrote Jolie in a New York Times oped, has dropped her risk of developing breast cancer from 87% to just 5%.

By 2025, the McKinsey report thinks “genetic sequencing could become standard practice during medical exams.” There are more ethical and regulatory barriers than technological ones, says the report, but there is no doubt that unraveling the secrets of our genome will continue to revolutionize research as well as health diagnostics and treatment for years to come.

Computing speed, power increases spur decrease in cost, increase in available genetic information. The McKinsey report defines next-generation genomics as “…the combination of next-generation sequencing technologies, big data analytics, and technologies with the ability to modify organisms.” Much of the advances in this field have been made possible by rapidly increasing computational and analytic power.

Also in May, McKinsey Global Institute, the economics and business research arm of consulting firm McKinsey & Company, released a report, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy,” in which it heralded next-generation genomics as one such disruptive technology, with an estimated economic impact of $700 billion to $1.6 trillion a year by 2025, of which 80% would come According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the cost of sequencing an entire human from applications genome dropped dramatically in 2008 with the switch to next-generation sequencing in health care. technologies National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health

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In the past decade, the rise in computing power and speed has been so significant that it has led to a drastic decline in the costs of sequencing an entire human genome. The rate of increase in sequencing speed in the past decade even overtook Moore’s Law, says McKinsey. Beginning in 2008, due to the switch to such faster, more powerful, next-generation sequencing platforms, sequencing costs have been declining dramatically, according to data from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In 2001, it cost $100 million to map one person’s entire genome.

the growing amount of information from fully sequenced genomes gives researchers a bigger sample size and allows them to better understand how genes and diseases are linked. This could allow for faster identification of and more effective intervention for individuals who are at high risk for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Second, it paves the way for personalized medicine. Some patients will not respond well or at all to conventional treatments. By sequencing a patient’s entire genome and the cancer, virus, or bacteria afflicting them, physicians will be able to tailor-fit a treatment for each patient.

By 2025, McKinsey expects the potential economic impact of treatment applications and disease prevention to reach $500 billion to $1.2 trillion a year, “based on extended A 2012 lecture by Elaine Mardis, Professor of Genetics and co-director of The Genome life expectancy Institute at Washington University YouTube stemming from better and faster Today, this can be done for less than $10,000. disease diagnosis and more tailored treatments.” This drop in cost has led to more widespread use of sequencing technologies, which, in turn, has “Oncology remains at the forefront of genetic substantially increased the amount of genetic research and development in medicine, but information available to scientists. applications for other types of diseases are on the radar.” This includes cardiovascular disease Major implications for health. Next-generation and type-2 diabetes. Prenatal screening is also genomics has several major implications for our seen as a major growth area, as well as a source health, according to the McKinsey report. First, of controversy.

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Table from “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2013

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Genome sequencing for cancer patients. According to a September 2012 NPR report, doctors perform sequencing mainly on two types of patients. The first group is composed of people with mysterious illnesses who have their DNA sequenced in order to find out what is affecting them (more on this later). The second group is composed of cancer patients. In 2008, U.S. scientists for the first time mapped an entire human cancer genome. The team, led by Dr. Timothy Ley of Washington University, was able to trace the genetic roots of acute myeloid leukemia, one of four general types of leukemia, according to the website of the university’s Genome Institute. Today, top academic medical centers around the U.S. are “spending and recruiting heavily in what has become an arms race within the war on cancer,” reports an April New York Times article. Mount Sinai’s Medical School, Weill Cornell Medical College, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins are among those who are competing with each other “based on the belief that the medical establishment is moving toward the routine sequencing of every patient’s genome in the quest for ‘precision medicine,’ a course for prevention and treatment based on the special, even unique characteristics of the patient’s genes.” In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2012 announced that the government would sequence over the next three to five years the genomes of up to 100,000 patients in England who suffer from cancer or rare illnesses, reports the BBC. Says Cameron, speaking ahead of the announcement, “By unlocking the power of DNA data, the NHS [National Health Service] will lead the global race for better tests, better drugs and above all better care.” Earlier, in January 2012, the U.K. government’s Human Genomics Strategy Group released “Building on our inheritance: Genomic technology in healthcare,” which provided a road map detailing

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how the health-care system could benefit from mainstreaming genomic technology. In 2025, approximately 14 million new cases of potentially fatal cancers will be diagnosed, reports McKinsey. While majority of cancers could remain incurable even after their genetic triggers have been uncovered, there has been progress in some types of cancers, such as breast cancer, for which the drug Herceptin has been developed. The drug has been found to decrease deaths by, for instance, discouraging the recurrence of tumors. McKinsey estimates that, in 2025, “genomic-based diagnoses and treatments can extend lives of cancer patients by six months to two years… and that 20% to 40% of patients would have access to such care.” They add, however, “… any estimates of success rates are highly speculative, given the state of development of these therapies.”

Uncovering the genetic triggers of cardiovascular disease. Researchers studying heart disease are likewise benefiting from the boom in available genetic information. Prior to the completion of the Human Genome Project (see breakout box on the Human Genome Project), studies that sought to reveal the genetic triggers of cardiovascular diseases have been largely unsuccessful. But, according to a 2011 review article in The New England Journal of Medicine, “A decade later, hundreds of loci associated with many cardiovascular diseases and traits have been identified. This genetic bounty is the yield of genomewide association studies, which involve testing of a large set of genetic variants in case and control subjects from a population to determine which variants are associated with the disease in question.” For patients, a May 2010 Wall Street Journal article reports on how genetic screening for heart disease

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may lead to early detection and more precise treatment. According to the article, a study published in The Lancet detailed how a healthy 41-year-old engineer with a family history of heart disease developed a technology to sequence the entire genome for below $5,000 and mapped his own genome, which revealed that he has an increased risk of heart disease, which, in turn, prompted his cardiologist to prescribe medication.

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The Human Genome Project, a decade later It’s been over a decade since the draft of the completely sequenced human genome was published in Nature, and so far, according to a 2013 report by Battelle Technology and United for Medical Research, its impact on the U.S. economy is close to $1 trillion. Below is a collection of videos uploaded by Nature about the project that ushered in the age of genomics, and a compilation of articles and other materials related to each individual chromosome of the human body.

Genetic testing to complement selfreported information. According to

the Journal article, cardiology clinics at academic research hubs like the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University offer genetic testing. These tests only screen small samples of genes and are not as indepth as whole genome sequencing, but do provide useful information to complement self-reported information from patients. Says Dr. Daniel Rader, director of preventive cardiovascular medicine and lipid clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, as quoted in the Journal article, self-reported information “is a very crude instrument and an incomplete way to assess inherited risk … Assessing genetic risk has the potential to provide information that cannot be gotten even from a good family history.”

The Human Genome Project – the basics

According to McKinsey, genetic testing for heart disease could also help doctors prescribe the most appropriate dosage and substance mix for individual cases, helping avoid the traditional trial-and-error method, as well as suggest customized preventive routines such as diet and lifestyle changes.

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The human body, decoded chromosome by chromosome

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By 2025, cardiovascular disease is expected to be responsible for 23 million deaths, adds the report. McKinsey expects 15% to 40% of patients to have access to genetics-based care and have their lives extended by an average of one year.

Type-2 diabetes prediction to benefit from genome sequencing. “Another major target for genetic medicine is type 2 diabetes, a growing health problem, especially in advanced economies,” according to the McKinsey report. While past studies – including a 2008 study led by Dr. James Meigs of Massachusetts General Hospital published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported in the Harvard Gazette, and a 2010 study led by Professor Steve Humphries of University College London as reported in the university’s website – have shown that genetic screening is not significantly more accurate than traditional methods at predicting type2 diabetes, genome sequencing could prove useful in creating better, more effective treatments. Such treatments, says McKinsey, could be better at reducing “the risk of death than the currently imprecise science of daily insulin use.” By 2025, about 20% to 40% of type-2 diabetes patients could benefit from these treatments, and could expect to live a year longer.

Sequencing demystifies unknown illnesses. As mentioned previously, one of the biggest groups of patients being sequenced is composed of those with mysterious illnesses. For instance, according to an October 2012 NPR article, researchers at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City sequenced the entire genomes of sick infants in the hospital’s intensivecare unit to screen for over 500 genetic diseases that might affect the babies. What’s striking about the study, whose findings were published in Science Translational Medicine, is that the process took only a few days, when it used to take several months.

In the other study featured in the NPR article, researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands were able to identify mutations that have not previously been associated with specific diseases. By sequencing the DNA of 100 patients with intellectual disabilities of unknown causes, the researchers found mutations in three genes that they confirmed to be associated with intellectual disability. The results are published in the November 15, 2012 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. In a recent case reported in Nature in June 2013, Californiabased biotech entrepreneur Hugh Rienhoff, who bought his own lab equipment to look at his sick

A closer look at what you’re made of: cells,

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daughter’s genome himself, and his collaborators discovered the mutation that seems to be responsible for his daughter’s condition. The mutation is found in genes that control cell differentiation and cell death, and has not been previously associated with any disease.

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Prenatal screening can unlock full genetic code of a fetus. According to MIT Technology Review, Stephen Quake, a Stanford University biophysicist and scientific founder of pre-natal screening startup Verinata, stumbled upon a breakthrough when he sequenced the DNA in a

, genes, and what genetic misspellings mean Infographicality

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Next-generation genomics to transform health care

pregnant woman’s blood and found out that, aside from revealing extra chromosomes, sequencing could “reveal the full genetic code of a fetus, letter for letter.” Similar procedures have been developed in the University of Washington and by two teams in China. This opens the door to testing not just for Down syndrome, but also congenital diseases such as cystic fibrosis and beta-thalassemia, as well as over 200 other genetically linked diseases, including some types of autism. McKinsey estimates the potential economic impact of prenatal screening to reach $30 billion a year by 2025, assuming an almost 100% adoption rate in developed countries and 30% to 50% in developing economies. However, McKinsey notes that prenatal screening is possibly the most controversial and contentious area in genomics. In its report, it asks: “Prenatal genetic screening raises the specter of eugenics: will parents end pregnancies for reasons other than serious deformities and other congenital medical conditions?” MIT Technology Review echoes this concern: “If we learn the genetic destiny of our children while they are still in the womb, what kinds of choices might we make?”

Need to address ethical and regulatory issues. McKinsey predicts: “What is more likely to slow progress, however, are the many unresolved regulatory and ethical issues that this technology poses.” The ownership of genomic data is one concern. Researchers will undoubtedly benefit from having more data available to them, but what if patients are unwilling to share their information? DNA information confidentiality is likewise an issue, as in-depth information about a person’s

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health could be used by insurance companies to deny coverage or increase rates. In the U.S., the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 protects individuals from discrimination by health insurers or employers based on genetic information. However, reports an October 2012 Time article, it does not apply to other kinds of insurance, such as disability insurance. Also, physicians will have to reach a consensus on whether they are obliged to divulge to their patients all information about the patients’ disease-linked mutations. Knowing too much may cause the patient unnecessary worry, but don’t they deserve to know? Plus, wouldn’t they want to know? According to Time, a 2010 study published in Health Economics revealed that most people do want to know about their future risks, “even if learning about those risks offer no leg up on treatment.” In terms of regulation, a path forward is already in the works. The Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University released a white paper in June, “Creating a global alliance to enable responsible sharing of genomic and clinical data.” The paper refines an initial draft presented at a January meeting of 50 colleagues from eight countries to discuss how they might “work together to create the conditions under which learning could take place and genomic medicine could flourish.” While still in its early stages, international cooperation through a global alliance seems to be a key ingredient in ensuring that the field of genomics will advance in a responsible, inclusive, and economically viable way. The technology side is developing at hyper-speed, so it’s imperative that the regulatory side keep up.

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Photorealism Reasonable Facsimiles

Adventures in and

The My Modern Met blog’s July 15 entry,

“Prismatic Layers of Air in Tuscany,” from alice,

introduces us to Adnan Bubalo’s stunning photos of the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy, in morning light, looking like the light had been filtered

through various prisms. From there, you can view other equally striking samples of Bubalo’s work here.

Photo credit: Adnan Bubalo and My Modern Met

From the photographic bordering on impressionistic, Benjamin

Starr’s blog post, “Anamorphic Drawings Jump From the Page” on the Visual News site, gives us Alessandro Diddi’s amazing

2D drawings that look as if they were coming right off the page. Have a look for yourself, you’ll be amazed at the depth of the illusions.

Photo credit: Alessandro Diddi and Visual News

Moving on from amazing anamorphic

drawings, Gizmodo’s “You Won’t Believe

These Images Are Just Renders,” features 9 of the most photorealistic renderings on the Web, i.e., computer-generated imagery so

painstakingly rendered you’d think they were photos.

Photo credit: Leandre Hounnake and Gizmodo

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How we WORK

When Machines Get Smart

Technology will reshape the workplace

STRATEGY POINTS Advanced robots are getting smarter and safer for people to interact with, making it practical to substitute robots for human labor in more manufacturing tasks, as well as in service jobs, such as cleaning and maintenance, a study says

By Pia Rufino

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By 2025, advanced robots could be capable of producing goods with higher quality and reliability by catching and correcting their own mistakes and those of other robots or humans The working environment of the future will become virtual, due to more secure mobile technologies and cloud computing

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obots are taking on jobs that only humans were capable of doing before—lifting and packing in manufacturing plants, cooking and serving food in restaurants, responding in crisis, harvesting in farms, among others— suggesting a future workplace where humans and robots are coworkers. Meanwhile, technologies such as mobile Internet and cloud computing are reshaping the work environment by making it virtual, with video technologies helping to overcome the challenge of distance. In this article, The CenSEI Report discusses how technologies such as robotics, mobile internet, computing, as well as 3D printing will bring about changes in the future workplace. This report will also tackle the effects of technologies

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on human employment—what jobs will they likely create and destroy.

Robots get smarter. The May 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and global economy,” identifies advanced robotics as one of the disruptive technologies, observing that robots are gaining enhanced senses, dexterity, and intelligence, due to advances in machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI), machine-to-machine communication, sensors, and actuators. These robots can be easier and safer for workers to program and interact with. “These advances could make it practical to substitute robots for human labor in more manufacturing tasks, as well as in a growing number of service jobs, such as cleaning and maintenance,” the report posits. The global consulting firm explains that advances in AI, combined with improved sensors, “will enable robots to make complex judgments and learn how to execute tasks on their own.” It predicts that “by 2025 advanced robots could be capable of producing goods with higher quality and reliability by catching and correcting their own mistakes and those of other robots or humans. These robots can sense and quickly react to obstacles, other robots, or human coworkers, giving them greater “awareness,” and making it possible for them to work more safely side-by-side with humans.” Moreover, the report says that many advanced robots can also communicate with one another and work as a team, which can eventually be used for dangerous tasks such as search-and-rescue operations. By 2025, the report also predicts that “very advanced robots with a high level of machine intelligence

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and other capabilities” could be available for US$50,000 or less, way below the current range of US$100,000-150,000 for industrial robots with machine vision and high-precision dexterity.

Increased robotics in factories, production lines. According to a March 2012 report, “Agent of change: The future of technology disruption in business” by The Economist Intelligence Unit, increased robotics will make a difference in factories and production lines over the next decade, with advances in artificial intelligence as well as faster and cheaper computing helping to accelerate the shift. The report noted that a million industrial robots had been installed globally by the end of 2010 in the manufacturing field. Meanwhile, it says that the automotive sector is the biggest user of robots, but “as robots have become cheaper and more sophisticated, other industries are starting to adopt them.” One of the examples of a smart and humanfriendly robot in an industrial setting is Baxter of Rethink Robotics, the robot with common sense. In a February TED Talk, former MIT professor Rodney Brooks, who designed Baxter, shows how it is safe for a worker to work alongside Baxter and how one can teach the robot to perform a task, to counter the concern that robots are dangerous to be around. Baxter can do tasks such as material handling, line loading and unloading, testing and sorting, and packing and unpacking. To address the concern that robots will displace workers, Brooks says that people training robots get a promotion, from doing repetitive mundane tasks to supervising robots that do them. In his presentation, Brooks also points out how robots can play an important role in elderly care, especially as the aging population increases.

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Jobs to come and go. In a

A worker teaches Baxter to perform a task by moving its arms

Meanwhile, a March 2013 report, “A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics From Internet to Robotics,” by researchers at leading robotics institutions including MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon outlines how robots will penetrate sectors from manufacturing to service to health care and defense, becoming as transformative as the Internet in the years ahead. It cites three drivers of the adoption of robots: economic growth, quality of life in the aging society, and safety of respondents and soldiers to immediate danger. “More effective use of robotics, through improved robotics technologies and a welltrained workforce, will increase U.S. jobs and global competitiveness,” according to the report. An updated study, “Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on employment” by the International Federation of Robotics, suggests that robots create jobs. The report, conducted by the U.K.-based METRA MARTECH, says the robotic industry will add more than 2 million jobs in the next eight years.

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February 2012 blog, Thomas Frey, senior futurologist at the Colorado think tank DaVinci Institute, predicted that over 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030, or roughly half the total jobs in the world, largely driven by advances in TED technology. On the next page is the list of jobs that Frey thinks will be gone, along with the jobs that will likely replace some of them over the coming decades.

Bots at work. Previously, The CenSEI Report’s own “From Low-Cost Labor to High-tech Robots” article (Vol. 2, No. 31, Aug. 6-19, 2012), as uploaded on the digital publishing site Issuu, discussed the adoption of robots in a number of fields, including manufacturing, pharmacy, laboratory research, agriculture, search and rescue operations, and the military. Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer of electronic goods for giant companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Nintendo, said in 2011 it would employ 1 million robots to do welding, spraying, and assembling, to replace some of its 1.2 million workers in the next three years. At the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, robot pharmacists pick, package, and dispense up to 350,000 doses of prescription medication without making a mistake.

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JOBS THAT MACHINES WILL DESTROY AND CREATE Industry Driverless automobile transportation

Online education

3D Printers

Robots

Jobs going away

New jobs created

• Taxi and limo drivers • Bus drivers • Truck drivers • Gas stations, parking lots, traffic cops, traffic courts • Fewer doctors and nurses will be needed to treat injuries • Pizza (and other food) delivery drivers • Mail delivery drivers • FedEx and UPS delivery jobs

• Delivery dispatchers • Traffic monitoring systems, although automated, will require a management team • Automated traffic designers, architects, and engineers • Driverless “ride experience” people • Driverless operating system engineers • Emergency crews

• Teachers • Trainers • Professors

• Coaches • Course designers

• Clothing manufacturers and clothing retailers (If clothes can be printed and these clothes fit perfectly) • Shoe manufacturers and shoe retailers (If you we can print our own shoes) • If we can print construction material, the lumber, rock, drywall, shingle, concrete, and various other construction industries will go away

• 3D printer design, engineering, and manufacturing • 3D printer repairmen will be in big demand • Product designers, stylists, and engineers for 3D printers • 3D printer “Ink” sellers

• Fishing bots will replace fishermen • Mining bots will replace miners • Agriculture bots will replace farmers • Inspection bots will replace human inspectors • Warrior drones will replace soldiers • Robots can pick up building material coming out of the 3D printer and begin building a house with it

• Robot designers, engineers, repairmen • Robot dispatchers • Robot therapists • Robot trainers • Robot fashion designers

CenSEI compilation of data from blog “2 Billion Jobs to Disappear by 2030” by futurologist Thomas Frey of DaVinci Institute, as posted on FuturistSpeaker.com, Feb. 3, 2012

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Meanwhile, Texas A&M University rescue robots have been doing humanitarian work, assisting emergency responders in the World Trade Center search and-rescue operations in 2001 and in disaster response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, among others. A new machine called Lettuce Bot has been tested in California to thin out a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job manually, according to a July 14 report in The Huffington Post. The automated, programmable tractor won’t be commercially available for at least a few more years, but when available, it should be able to help address the U.S.’ shortage of agricultural workers. According to the report, “researchers are now designing robots to handle the delicate crops by integrating advanced sensors, powerful computing, electronics, computer vision, robotic hardware and algorithms, as well as networking and high precision GPS localization technologies.”

strawberry harvester, according to The Huffington Post article. “The machine is equipped with 24 arms whose movement is directed through an optical sensor, allowing the robot to make a choice based on fruit color, quality and size. The berries are plucked and placed on a conveyor belt, where the fruit is packed by a worker.”

Food servant bots in China. In Harbin, China, a restaurant opened in June, 2012 with 20 robots that cook, deliver orders, usher in, and entertain diners, the U.K.’s Mail Online reported in January. These robots – costing from £20,00030,000 (US$30,630–45,950) can prepare dishes, run along tracks on the floor to deliver orders to the tables, and sing to entertain guests. They stand 4.3 to 5.25 feet tall, can display more than 10 facial expressions, and greet diners with basic welcoming lines. The Mail Online report includes a 2010 Al-Jazeera video uploaded to YouTube, showing another

Also in California, engineers at Spanish company Agrobot are working with local growers to test a

Lettuce Bot uses sensors to identify which leafy bugs to leave and destroy YouTube

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restaurant, in eastern China, where robots each costing US$6,000 served food and entertained diners.

Virtual work environments and hybrid offices. The aforementioned 2012 study from the Economist Intelligence Group says the working environment of the future will become “virtual.” Findings from the global survey used in the report show that 66% of the 567 executives agreed that we will have a virtual work environment due to more secure mobile technologies and cloud computing. The respondents, who were asked for their views on the impact that technology will have on business between now and 2020, think that many of the staples of today’s office will be gone in the future, particularly fixed-line telephones and desktop computers.

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Threat to human employment? “New robots will take on advanced manufacturing, tutoring, scheduling, and customer relations. They operate equipment, manage construction, operate backhoes, and yes, even drive tomorrow’s cars,” writes Illah Nourbakhsh in a May 14 blog entry about “the burgeoning robot middle class” posted on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Technology Review. The professor of robotics at Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University says that robots will take on middleclass jobs not because they are as good as the humans they replace, but because they bring about cost savings for companies. Without policy changes, he warns, the impending mass migration of robots might lead to stealing of job opportunities from humans. However, he also says, “without doubt, robots can greatly improve many lives, offering everything from smart prosthetics to home care for the aging.” He also provides a scenario where humans and robots work together: A whole factory of thinking humans could be replaced by unthinking robots so long as they have a drone interface, asking for just-in-time problem-solving help from a human supervisor when needed. Economists Erick Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee from MIT Center for Digital Business argue in their e-book, Race Against the Machine, that advances in computer technology have contributed largely to the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years. In the January 2012 research brief summarizing their thesis about how information technologies are affecting jobs, skills, wages, and the economy, the authors conclude: “Weʼve stressed that computers are rapidly encroaching into areas that used to be the domain of people only, like complex communication and advanced pattern recognition. And weʼve shown how this encroachment can cause companies to use more computers and fewer people in a growing set of tasks.”

uests in a restaurant in eastern China YouTube

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when machines get smart

Moreover, remotethe report controlled predicts: wheeled “The office machines is likely to are equipped become a with video hybrid—a cameras, meeting speakers point and and a place to microphones exchange that allow ideas, used users to Mobile webcam robot Beam lets the user see, hear, talk and walk in to converse communicate faraway locations YouTube with from remote customers or locations, other team according members, both in person and via video technologies to a June blog post by Parmy Olson in Forbes. such as telepresence. (3D holographic video Beam—controlled over wireless Internet conferencing, no longer a distant prospect, may connections-- give remote workers a physical also help to overcome the challenge of distance.)” presence in the workplace via its 17-inch video However, ineffective management from a distance screen. However, the machine doesn’t come can lead to less productive workers, the study posits. cheap: US$16,950 for the main unit, plus US$3,200 a year for the service contract. Early One of the telepresence robots available today is adopters of Beam include Microsoft, Mars, Splunk Beam, created by Suitable Technologies. These and Xtreme Labs.

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H O T

what’s hot/what’s cool By George, we think the oddsmakers got it! We don’t know if Britain’s Duke and

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An ecological disaster with drastic economic consequences. On a more literal

(and serious note), here’s another reminder that the planet itself is still hot, and getting hotter. ScienceDaily reports that a group of researchers is warning of an “economic time-bomb” in the Arctic, consisting of methane emissions that will ensue if Arctic sea ice continues to thaw. More specifically, the release of 50 gigatons of methane under the East Siberian Sea alone – said to be just a fraction of the total methane buried under Arctic permafrost -would cause an estimated US$60 trillion in damage to the world’s oceans and overall climate, equivalent to the size of the global economy in 2012.

C O O L

Duchess of Cambridge, aka Will and Kate, actually crowdsourced United Kingdom oddsmakers, but it turns out their choice of “George” for the new prince’s name was the most popular choice among professional handicappers. Other oddsmaker favorites related to the new Prince George include: First word – PaPa (7/4 odds); First foreign trip – Canada (2/1), and; University to be attended – St. Andrews (5/2). (In case you’re looking ahead, 10 will get you 11 that their next child will be another boy, the odds of that boy being named Henry are 10 to 1, and the odds of their having twins next are 20 to 1.)

Arachnophilia. Popular

Science links us to an io9 report on T8, a 3D-printed “octopod ‘bot” from the Robugtix company, which is taking preorders even as we speak (at US$1,350 each). Check out the video by clicking on the link above, and tell us that isn’t cool. Our question: If it bites you, will you turn into a robot Spider-Man?

Sometimes, simplicity is its own reward. Business Insider provides this video by William Wei, featuring no-brainer food hacks that will make your life infinitely simpler. So simple, in fact, that we could describe them for you, but what fun would that be? Watch the video, then slap your forehead in belated realization.

And while we’re on the topic of spiders, design website Inhabitat. com is carrying a report of a synthetic spider silk developed by Spiber, a Japanese startup company, that’s said to be lighter than steel and tougher than kevlar. After studying the makeup of protein fibers in spider silk, the company’s researchers then got bioengineered organisms to replicate fibroin -- the natural component that makes spider silk resilient. According to the report, the artificial fibroins can take the form of films, gels, sponges, powders, or nanofibers, and, while research into possible applications is only starting, possible applications have already been identified in artificial blood vessels, strengthened space suits, and crash-resistant materials for cars.

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Meanwhile, Business Insider provides us with another slice of coolness, in the form of staffers’ reactions to the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset for gamers, with a view of what people are seeing inside the headset, including what could be the most terrifying roller-coaster ride you’re not actually on.

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HOW WE THINK

Mind and Machine Melded in the Age of Cognitive Computing How technology is augmenting human brainpower for work, memory, and learning By Marishka Noelle M. Cabrera

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POINT & CLICK Access online research via your Internet connection by clicking pictures, graphics, and words in blue

Strategy Points • A major management-consulting firm predicts the automation of knowledge work tools and systems could take on tasks that would be equal to the output of 100-140 million full-time workers • From big data to brain implants, technological innovations are impacting the way people process information and solve complex problems • While advancements in cognitive computing expose human limitations, man-machine symbiosis might still be the best way to solve complex problems • Human-computer symbiosis makes us more capable, posits a data-mining innovator

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omputers are getting smarter and more capable of interacting with the real world, enabling them to provide more accurate, reliable data. Brain implants can potentially restore cognitive functions lost due to brain damage. Learning can be enhanced and personalized with adaptive learning programs. So can a human’s inherent ability to think and to reason be replaced by a machine’s brute computing power? In its May 2013 report, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy,” McKinsey Global Institute predicts that knowledge-work automation tools and systems could “take on tasks that would be equal to the output of 110 million to 140 million full-time equivalents (FTEs).” In the report, knowledge-work automation is defined as “the use of computers to perform tasks that rely on complex analyses, subtle judgments, and creative problem solving.” It is made possible by advances in computing technology (including computing speeds and memory capacity), machine

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learning, and natural user interfaces such as speechrecognition technology. The business and economic research arm of global consulting firm McKinsey & Company further notes that the incremental productivity brought about by this area of technology could have as much as $5.2 trillion to $6.7 trillion in economic impact annually by 2025. It also has the potential to redefine jobs as tasks are augmented by or transferred to machines, thereby requiring new skills for workforces. Moreover, the report posits that companies that use technology to make knowledge workers more productive will gain large business-model advantages and attract the best talent. “More than ever, companies will need to have the right people, along with the training systems to keep these workers’ skills current,” the McKinsey report says.

Knowledge-work automation aids in decision-making and analysis. For IT and legal departments, manually reviewing documents can take precious time away from actual analysis.

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Symantec’s Clearwell eDiscovery system, the McKinsey report notes, uses language analysis to detect general concepts in documents and then present the results graphically. In one occasion, it was able to analyze and sort more than 570,000 documents in two days. In the case of hiring workers, a company called Evolv monitors recruitment and workplace data and uses big data predictive analytics to “uncover and correct the inefficiencies that undermine the performance of global workforces.” As discussed in an April 6 article in The Economist, Evolv keeps tabs on things like how long each call-center agent takes to answer a customer’s query, so it can then relate actual performance to traits that were visible during recruitment. Advocates of big data say in the article that human-resource managers can make better hiring decisions with tools to aid them. A study by Evolv, for instance, found that prior history of unemployment has no bearing on performance or attrition. Studying a sample of over 20,000 hourly employees, Evolv revealed in a paper that there was virtually no distinction in tenure between applicants that had held no jobs in the last five years and applicants that had held many jobs over the past five years. This finding is important since many employers believe job-hoppers and the longterm unemployed make bad employees, preventing millions from finding work. Instead, other variables, such as social media use and familiarity with other employees in the company, may be more useful in predicting future job performance. In a May 29 InformationWeek report, tech giant IBM says computers will not replace doctors, traffic analysts, and meteorologists anytime soon. Their real-time analytical capabilities, however, can provide vital information, which can help professionals make smarter decisions. The company sees a “confluence of four factors -- social, mobile, analytics and cloud, or ‘SMAC’ -- that will combine with cognitive systems

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to have a major impact on 21st-century business, government and society in general.” Doctors, for example, do not have the time to read every journal about the latest medical discoveries and treatments— yet it is this kind of information that is vital in making the correct diagnosis. IBM’s Watson computer “uses natural language capabilities, hypothesis generation, and evidence-based learning to support medical professionals as they make decisions” according to an IBM write-up on the computer’s use in health care. In the area of financial services, Watson is being designed as the ultimate financial services assistant. An advisor working for a bank, for instance, can use Watson to make better recommendations for financial products based on “comprehensive analysis of market conditions, the client’s past decisions, recent life events, and available offerings.” While some jobs may be automated entirely due to innovations in information technology and robotics, knowledge work, in turn, may become more complex, thus creating a demand for workers with the new skills required for new tasks, posits the McKinsey report. Automation of knowledge work is expected to boost productivity in high-value-added functions, rather in simple tasks, which might be turned over entirely to machines. Still, some knowledge jobs could become obsolete, as with typists when word processors on desktops became the norm. “[M]uch of the automation of knowledge work technology may require the intelligence of organizations to be codified, perhaps in many cases by the very workers who are adopting or even being replaced by this technology,” the report adds.

Deep-learning software recognizes patterns in sound, images. With greater

depth, however, computers could assist humans more effectively through speech and image recognition.

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Will computers replace call center agents? According to the McKinsey Global Institute report, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy,” many business functions will be disrupted because of advancements in knowledge-work automation. Artificial intelligence and advancements in cognitive computing and voice and speech recognition are paving the way for these tasks, including the work of call-center agents, to be automated.

using machine learning combined with advanced speech recognition, improving upon conventional interactive voice response (IVR) systems. IVR is a technology that enables computers to interact with humans through voice and dual-tone multi-frequency signaling. Its Smart Call Center agents “effectively replace live operators in a wide variety of tasks with unprecedented cost-effectiveness,” the company claims in its site.

Contact-center employees are on the frontlines of an important customer touch point. In a May paper, IBM reiterates that when customers have queries they expect them to answered quickly and accurately. And yet, finding relevant personalized information can be a laborious task for humans. Most of the time, the paper says, the failed calls could have been resolved through better access to information.

“These types of intelligent systems are able to automate many calls while minimizing customer frustration with touch-tone or primitive voiceresponse systems (systems that offer prompts such as, ‘If this is correct, say yes’),” the McKinsey report notes. Further, the technology can lead to higher call completion and lower abandoned call rates.

As such, IBM plans to use its supercomputer Watson to help support center agents by ingesting information from sources, such as manuals, call logs, users groups and government procedure documents and use it to provide agents with responses in plain, conversational English. It aims to help agents “speak knowledgably about a broad range of products and services, draw upon vast information sources, and keep up with quickly changing policies, procedures and regulations.” Further, IBM writes: “Individual consumers can interact with Watson in plain English, directly or through an agent, to get personalized responses to questions and receive actionable insight with supporting evidence and confidence to help create the experiences customers expect.” As cited in the McKinsey report, a company called SmartAction provides call-automation solutions by

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Technology research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human, as reported in a brochure on the Gartner Customer 360 Summit 2011. From manual labor to knowledge work, this wave of automation centered on artificial cognition, cheap sensors, and machine learning is threatening jobs, a December 2012 article in Wired posits. Nevertheless, the genius of the robot takeover, it says, is in doing things we never imagined humans doing 150 years ago. This means that while technology may be destroying jobs, it can, in the same way, create new ones. “In a very real way our inventions assign us our jobs,” the article says. “Each successful bit of automation generates new occupations— occupations we would not have fantasized about without the prompting of the automation.”

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One of 2013’s 10 breakthrough technologies, as compiled by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Technology Review, deep learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that “attempts to mimic the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex, the wrinkly 80 percent of the brain where thinking occurs.” The MIT feature says the software learns to recognize patterns in digital representations of sounds, images, and other data. With deep learning, voice search on smartphones improved, as in Google’s new Android software. “Because the multiple layers of neurons allow for more precise training on the many variants of a sound, the system can recognize scraps of sound more reliably,” the article explains. Then again, ambiguities in language ensure that natural-language understanding remains a daunting challenge. According to the McKinsey report: “The ability to use deep learning techniques to discover new relationships in huge amounts of data and to determine which relationships are the most important amounts to an enormous shortcut in many kinds of technical work— from software design to drug discovery.” In a contest sponsored by pharmaceutical company Merck, a team of researchers proved that a deep-learning computer “could examine an unfamiliar data set of chemical structures and develop its own rules to narrow down the thousands of unique molecules to those with the greatest potential to be effective.” In the MIT Technology Review article, machine intelligence is beginning to transform everything from communications and computing to medicine, manufacturing, and transportation. Yet for all its advances, many doubt deep learning can transform AI into something that can rival human intelligence. The article notes some critics say AI and deep learning “ignore too much of the brain’s biology in favor of brute-force computing.”

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Adaptive learning programs can enhance or replace lectures. The McKinsey report says

knowledge-work automation can augment the abilities of teachers and even enhance or replace lectures with adaptive learning programs. These are “dynamic instruction systems that alter the pace of teaching to match the student’s progress and suggest additional drills based on student responses.” In what could reshape educational systems, adaptive learning programs have the potential to end the “one-size-fits-all curriculum” and make “personalized education available to more kids than ever before,” according to a June 6 Time article. In the piece, a startup company called Knewton claims it has the potential to revolutionize how students learn, through a learning profile for every student. According to a separate piece in Mashable, Knewton’s Adaptive Learning Program helps students learn better by “responding to what [they] do and don’t know, and personalizing the content that’s served to [them] based on data collected about [their] learning habits.” Three start-up companies pursuing adaptive learning technologies have recently received funding from venture capitalists and established industry leaders, reports SmartPlanet in January. One is WizIQ, for its online education platform and software to be used on desktop and mobile devices. The second is KnowRe, for its educational service focused on K-12 mathematics, which promises a real-time, adaptive-learning environment that tailors itself by the use of algorithms that create permutations of mathematical concepts. Lastly, Denmark’s Area9 sold 20% of the company to McGraw-Hill, to provide the educational publisher with a vehicle for a dtigital future. Another potential impact of intelligent technologies is in automatic grading. As cited in the McKinsey report, a company called Measurement Incorporated has developed a technology that gives a computer the

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capacity to grade student written responses as well as a skilled human grader can. The company’s Project Essay Grade (PEG) uses “advanced, statistical techniques” to analyze written prose and calculate “more than 300 A paralyzed woman is able to control a robot with her mind measures that Extreme Tech reflect the intrinsic characteristics of writing (fluency, diction, grammar, construction, etc.), and achieves Berger and his research partners, however, have yet results that are comparable to the human scorers in to conduct human tests on their neural prostheses, terms of reliability and validity.” or assistive devices that restore functions lost to

Brain implants may be able to restore cognitive functions. With advances in

intelligent software, it is no wonder that brain implants that can extend the limits of human capability are now on the horizon. Theodore Berger, a biochemical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, wants to restore the person’s ability to generate long-term memories by implanting chips in the brain. Also featured as one of MIT Technology Review’s 10 breakthrough technologies 2013, memory implants can help patients whose brains have been damaged because of Alzheimer’s, stroke, or injury. Disrupted neural networks often prevent long-term memories from forming. The article reports that Berger “has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that…neurons do when they’re functioning properly—the work that allows us to recall experiences and knowledge for more than a minute.”

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neural damage. Their experiments show how a silicon chip externally connected to rat and monkey brains by electrodes can process information like actual neurons. While Berger emphasized that what they were doing was putting in the capacity to generate memories, he and his colleagues were also able to demonstrate that they could help monkeys retrieve long-term memories from the part of the brain that stores them. In the article, Berger points to other successes in neuroprosthetics, which make him more optimistic about the project. Cochlear implants, for one, “now help 200,000 deaf people hear by converting sound into electrical signals and sending them to the auditory nerve.” Meanwhile, researchers at Brown University have succeeded in creating the first wireless, implantable, rechargeable, long-term brain-computer interface (BCI), Extreme Tech reports in a March 4 story.

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MIND AND MACHINE MELDED IN THE AGE OF COGNITIVE COMPUTING

data, identify patterns and relationships, respond through speech and image recognition, all with the end goal of helping human beings make decisions and function better in the world. But can they make the kind of judgments that, currently, only humans can? Data-mining innovator Shyam Sankar believes the key is human-computer cooperation in order to solve complex problems. As we enter the era of big data, network systems, open platforms, and embedded technology, he suggests, in this June 2012 TED Talk, that we consider an alternative to AI: IA, or intelligence augmentation.

Shyam Sankar explains how the right symbiotic relationship between man and machine can solve the world’s biggest problems TED

The wireless BCIs have been implanted in pigs and monkeys for 13 months without issue, the report says, and human subjects are next. Basically, a BCI allows a subject to transfer thoughts and commands to a computer directly, according to this Discovery Channel primer. Because of Brown University’s wireless BCI, the subject can move freely, which dramatically increases the quality and amount of data that can be gathered. For example, “instead of watching a monkey move its arm, scientists can now analyze its brain activity during complex activity, such as foraging or social interaction.” In the past, BCIs have been bulky and tethered to a computer, thus limiting the mobility of the patient. A robotic arm controlled by a tethered BCI developed by BrainGate, Brown University’s research group dedicated to neurological technologies, enables paralyzed patients to feed themselves.

Human-computer cooperation is key to solving complex problems. In sum, advances

in technology has enabled machines to sort heaps of

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Elaborating on J.C.R. Licklider’s vision of a symbiotic relationship between man and machine, Sankar discusses how humans, with all their creativity, intuition, ethics, non-linear approaches, and perspective, can be limited. “We’re terrible at scale, computation and volume,” he says. “Licklider foresaw computers doing all the routinizable work that was required to prepare the way for insights and decisionmaking,” Sankar continues. Improving human-computer symbiosis will entail designing the human into the process. Computers excel at processing data and recognizing patterns, but not at detecting novel patterns, new behaviors, and adaptations. He posits, “Instead of thinking about what a computer will do to solve the problem, design the solution around what the human will do as well.”

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A different kind of hybrid car. A July 15 blog post

in Popular Mechanics reports that Swedish automaker Volvo has developed a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) – which already exists in Formula 1 and Le Mans series racing -- that it hopes can be adapted to passenger cars. The system involves a modified flywheel designed to spin at 60,000 rpm, housed in a vacuumsealed carbon fiber shell over a lightweight aluminum core, sitting where the spare tire would be. At 132 lbs., the system is said to be an improvement over conventional hybrid systems that might involve battery replacement, modifying the gasoline-oriented powertrain/transmission system, or extra weight. The system of power transfer -- to and from the brakes, transmission, and flywheel -- is controlled over a Bluetooth connection to an Android tablet mounted on the front console, with a repurposed steering-wheel button for hard resets. Based on prototype testing, the system is said to have resulted in a 25% boost in fuel economy when in economy mode, and improvements in 0-60 mph acceleration of 1.5 seconds (five-cylinder cars) and 2.5 seconds (four-cylinder cars) in power mode. The only issue, according to the blog entry, appears to be noise, which the author/tester says could be tolerated, given the power and efficiency improvements.

Data storage to outlast humankind? Not that

this sort of thing really keeps us up nights, but CNET does report on something with the capacity to get our attention, if not blow our minds outright: the development of a new storage medium that could lead to practically unlimited, indestructible data storage, as in 360-terabyte discs that can withstand temperatures up to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the report, researchers from the United Kingdom-based University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre and the Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology successfully wrote and read 300KB of data to and from an everlasting medium consisting of self-assembled nanostructures within fused quartz, involving a femtosecond laser (emitting pulses at 10-15-second intervals) writing data in five dimensions to three layers of nanostructured dots only five micrometers apart.

The future of high-speed aviation: To hell and back in four hours. On July 16,

Business Insider reported on the development of a new aircraft that can fly anywhere in the world in four hours. The secret of this new aircraft by British aerospace firm Reaction Engines is in new technology that can cool a jet-engine system by 1,000 degrees Celsius in 0.01 second, allowing the aircraft to run at higher power, thereby generating faster speeds, as in up to Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

We remain hopeful of the long-term implications of larger capacities of seemingly indestructible media, but at the same time, we also wonder whether, as in the case of work expanding to fill the time alloted for completion, data storage won’t expand in proportion to the new capacity created for it. Put another way, we can’t be sure when 360TB disks will become de rigueur – after all, we’re still dealing with 1- and 2TB hard disks – but whenever that day does come, can the day be far behind for someone to complain 360TB isn’t enough for storing their personal collections of photos, movies, music, and TV shows? Just putting it out there.

According to the report, the plane, which will be called Skylon, would measure 276 feet long, seat 300 people, take off and land horizontally (like a plane), but otherwise fly like a rocket. There are only two major drawbacks identified in the report: as currently drawn up, the plane would cost $1.1 billion and have no windows. Mark your calendars, test flights of the Skylon are planned in 2019.

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HOW WE PROFIT

Higher, Faster, Stronger, Fuzzier That’s how business has to evolve in this age of disruptive technologies By Ricardo Saludo

Apple value hits record last September: Rapid change turns troubled IT maverick into MVP

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s your company safe? What about your job? And those of your children, too?

STRATEGY POINTS

If you haven’t been asking those questions of late, give a thought to Microsoft, Nokia and Kodak. All three have been, at one time or another, the global kings in their respective industries of software, cellphones and photography. Just a decade ago, Microsoft was the largest enterprise in the world by market capitalization, the total value of all its shares based on stock exchange prices.

Technology upended behemoths like Kodak and Nokia. It won’t spare your business First defense against disruption: know the trends and advances in decades ahead

Today, however, Kodak and film are a tiny drop in the ocean of largely digital photography, and a frequently cited case study in failed strategy. So too is Nokia, a victim of so-called disruptive technology upending its mobile telecoms industry. From half a billion phones

Maximizing gains for the poor is good social responsibility and sound business too

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POINT & CLICK Access online research via your Internet connection by clicking pictures, graphics, and words in blue

sold a year less than a decade ago, Nokia has fallen far behind Apple and Samsung, is laying off 10,000 employees by year’s end, and has seen its market capitalization plummet from $222 billion in 2000 to about $16 billion this year. And Microsoft? It’s still one of the top 10 companies in terms of market value. But the summit now belongs to Apple Computer, which hit a record $656 billion last September and has hovered around $400 billion this year, eclipsing Microsoft’s own record value and that of longtime most valuable company Exxon Mobil. One big reason: Growth in the use of smartphones and tablets, where Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are the prime platforms, have outstripped that of Microsoftdominated desktop and laptop computers. As expounded on ad nauseam in many a business strategy class, rapid technological change overthrew erstwhile empires Kodak, Nokia and Microsoft, with billions of dollars in sales and profits lost and tens of thousands of jobs vanished. Not to mention such former household or boardroom words as Xerox and Wang, while reining in erstwhile leaders Intel, HP, and Dell. And if it can happen to these once-highflying players, it can certainly happen to you and your company. Welcome to the brave, nasty world of disruptive technologies, the kind that turn mammoth industries and enterprises upside down, especially when they’re not looking. And from the May report, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy,” from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the waves of high-tech change rocking businesses worldwide are set to get even choppier, stormier — and scarier.

The disruptive dozen. The MGI report focuses

on 12 technologies expected to have huge, sweeping impact on life, business and economies over the next

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dozen years, about the same time it took Apple to rise from information technology’s troubled maverick to IT’s most valuable player, dethroning Microsoft, Nokia and Blackberry, among other behemoths. Coming from pretty much all major technological fields, from IT and genetics to advanced materials and energy, the coming innovations will likely miss no major aspect of human life, enterprise and society. And they certainly will not spare any enterprise or endeavor aiming to still be around in 2025. The 12 technologies “share four characteristics,” says the summary (page 2), “high rate of technology change, broad potential scope of impact, large economic value that could be affected, and substantial potential for disruptive economic impact. ... leaders need to focus on technologies with potential impact that is near enough at hand to be meaningfully anticipated and prepared for. Therefore, we focused on technologies that we believe have significant potential to drive economic impact and disruption by 2025.” To get to the final dozen, MGI, the business and economic research arm of U.S.-based worldwide consulting firm McKinsey & Company, started with more than 100 potential disruptors “drawn from academic journals, the business and technology press, analysis of published venture capital portfolios, and hundreds of interviews with relevant experts and thought leaders.” Nearly listed, but dropped for being unlikely to have major impact by 2025 were nuclear power and water purification advances, quantum computing, and carbon sequestration to suck in greenhouse gases. Others like space travel, wireless charging, LED screens, and flexible displays, though highly hyped, never even got close. What did eventually make it into the disruptive dozen are listed in the table on this spread, along with how fast each innovation has advanced in recent years, the potential areas of its projected impact, and the

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McKinsey Global Institute Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy

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ADVANCES TO ROCK 2025

Exhibit E2 Speed, scope,value and at economic at stake of 12 disruptive Speed, scope, and economic stake of 12value potentially economically disruptive technologies technologies Mobile Internet

Illustrative rates of technology improvement and diffusion

Illustrative groups, products, and resources that could be impacted1

Illustrative pools of economic value that could be impacted1

$5 million vs. $4002 Price of the fastest supercomputer in 1975 vs. that of an iPhone 4 today, equal in performance (MFLOPS)

4.3 billion People remaining to be connected to the Internet, potentially through mobile Internet

$1.7 trillion GDP related to the Internet

6x Growth in sales of smartphones and tablets since launch of iPhone in 2007 Automation of knowledge work

1 billion Transaction and interaction workers, nearly 40% of global workforce

100x Increase in computing power from IBM’s Deep Blue (chess champion in 1997) to Watson (Jeopardy winner in 2011) 400+ million Increase in number of users of intelligent digital assistants like Siri and Google Now in last 5 years

Internet of Things

300% Increase in connected machine-to-machine devices over past 5 years 80–90% Price decline in MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) sensors in last 5 years

Cloud technology

Advanced robotics

$9+ trillion Knowledge worker employment costs, 27% of global employment costs

1.1 billion Smartphone users, with potential to use automated digital assistance apps 1 trillion Things that could be connected to the Internet across industries such as manufacturing, health care, and mining 40 million Annual deaths from chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease

$36 trillion Operating costs of key affected industries (manufacturing, health care, and mining) $4 trillion Global health care spend on chronic diseases

18 months Time to double server performance per dollar

2.7 billion Internet users

$1.7 trillion GDP related to the Internet

3x Monthly cost of owning a server vs. renting in the cloud

50 million Servers in the world

$3 trillion Enterprise IT spend

75–85% Lower price for Baxter3 than a typical industrial robot

320 million Manufacturing workers, 12% of global workforce

$6 trillion Manufacturing worker employment costs, 19% of global employment costs

250 million Annual major surgeries

$2–3 trillion Cost of major surgeries

1 billion Cars and trucks globally

$4 trillion Automobile industry revenues

450,000 Civilian, military, and general aviation aircraft in the world

$155 billion Revenue from sales of civilian, military, and general aviation aircraft

26 million Annual deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, or Type 2 diabetes

$6.5 trillion Global health-care costs

170% Growth in sales of industrial robots, 2009–11 Autonomous and nearautonomous vehicles

230+ million Knowledge workers, 9% of global workforce

$25 trillion Interaction and transaction worker employment costs, 70% of global employment costs

7 Miles driven by top-performing driverless car in 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge along a 150-mile route 1,540 Miles cumulatively driven by cars competing in 2005 Grand Challenge 300,000+ Miles driven by Google’s autonomous cars with only 1 accident (which was human-caused)

Nextgeneration genomics

Energy storage

3D printing

10 months Time to double sequencing speed per dollar 100x Increase in acreage of genetically modified crops, 1996–2012

2.5 billion People employed in agriculture

40% Price decline for a lithium-ion battery pack in an electric vehicle since 2009

1 billion Cars and trucks globally 1.2 billion People without access to electricity

90% Lower price for a home 3D printer vs. 4 years ago 4x Increase in additive manufacturing revenues in past 10 years

Advanced materials

$1,000 vs. $50 Difference in price of 1 gram of nanotubes over 10 years 115x Strength-to-weight ratio of carbon nanotubes vs. steel

320 million Manufacturing workers, 12% of global workforce 8 billion Annual number of toys manufactured globally

$1.1 trillion Global value of wheat, rice, maize, soy, and barley $2.5 trillion Revenue from global consumption of gasoline and diesel $100 billion Estimated value of electricity for households currently without access $11 trillion Global manufacturing GDP $85 billion Revenue from global toy sales

7.6 million tons Annual global silicon consumption

$1.2 trillion Revenue from global semiconductor sales

45,000 metric tons Annual global carbon fiber consumption

$4 billion Revenue from global carbon fiber sales $800 billion Revenue from global sales of natural gas

Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery

3x Increase in efficiency of US gas wells between 2007 and 2011

22 billion Barrels of oil equivalent in natural gas produced globally

2x Increase in efficiency of US oil wells between 2007 and 2011

30 billion Barrels of crude oil produced globally

Renewable energy

85% Lower price for a solar photovoltaic cell per watt since 2000

21,000 TWh Annual global electricity consumption

$3.5 trillion Value of global electricity consumption

13 billion tons Annual CO2 emissions from electricity generation, more than from all cars, trucks, and planes

$80 billion Value of global carbon market transactions

19x Growth in solar photovoltaic and wind generation capacity since 2000

$3.4 trillion Revenue from global sales of crude oil

1 Not comprehensive; indicative groups, products, and resources only. 2 For CDC-7600, considered the world’s fastest computer from 1969 to 1975; equivalent to $32 million in 2013 at an average inflation rate of 4.3% per year since launch in 1969. 3 Baxter is a general-purpose basic manufacturing robot developed by startup Rethink Robotics. SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute analysis

Table from McKinsey Global Institute disruptive technologies report, page 5

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estimated economic value which the technology may have (see Advances To Rock 2025 table). These same advances have been covered in the seven other reports in this two-issue package on disruptive technologies, which includes the previous installment of The CenSEI Report, dated June 9-22 (e-mail report@censeisolutions.com for copies). These reports dwelt mainly on impact on everyday life and the society at large. On the other hand, the broad business impact is given initial coverage in this eighth article of the package, with special focus on enterprises and industries in developing Asia, with future reports zeroing in to specific industries and major economies.

Connecting to everyone and everything.

One-third of the 12 technologies are IT advances. Mobile Internet is expected to become accessible and affordable to more and more people, with increasing capacity and capability of both portable computing devices and wireless broadband systems. Already seen in home-entrance monitors and pet feeders activated online, The Internet of Things will put more and more gadgets and processes at home and work under smartphone or tablet control. Plus: activity data gathered by the Internet of Things can be used to make devices work as users prefer. How will increasingly ubiquitous and capable Internet services connecting billions of people, and even more devices and processes, impact Asian businesses? For starters and with further analysis due in future reports, perhaps the biggest immediate effect on commerce is to make the region’s consumers ever more influenced by global online media, as Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, and other prospering Asians see lifestyles, watch images and video, hear music, and read news, views, and data from across the globe.

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That’s exactly what MGI highlighted as “joining the social matrix” in its report, “Ten ITenabled business trends for the decade ahead,” accompanying the disruptive technologies study. With billions of current and potential clients, investors, associates, and employees wired, not only will their tastes be shaped by online media. Companies can also tap them for information, opinions, preferences, and other views and knowledge via social media and other online devices. The IT trends report also mentioned the Internet of Things enabling companies to remotely manage marketing and manufacturing activities and equipment. Store screens can show promotional video to approaching shoppers identified by their social media activity. Factory supply and assembly lines can be monitored by central computers also connected to warehouses and procurement offices. Of course, all this online traffic will demand greater and greater bandwidth capacity as well as online security.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt: Evolutionary MGI

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quickly and with greater usefulness for work. Initially, organizations will need to be enticed with low-cost or free trial services, with assurances of IT security, which can actually be better provided by secure cloud servers than most firms can on their own. For those adopting these technologies, staff can answer client questions and address customer needs with programs that automate research and initial processing work, which more sophisticated software would be able to deliver with less human intervention. Moreover, data from daily work would be processed to further enhance operations. And business-process-outsourcing (BPO) work can be increasingly done by computers — a challenge to BPO firms and employees, who then have to upgrade skills and capabilities as more and more knowledge work is automated.

Look, guys, no hands. Like business processing

challenged by knowledge work automation, Asian manufacturers should be ready for advanced robotics and autonomous or near-autonomous vehicles to return some of the factory and delivery work now done in the region back to developed countries. Combined with the Internet of Things, which can monitor and manage logistics and production 24/7, MGI experts see in this confluence of online-controlled devices, robots and self-driving vehicles a “new industrial revolution,” as expounded in the Institute’s forum on “The Internet of Things and the future of manufacturing.”

3D printers, from top: CubeX and Replicator 2x cost $2,500-$3,300 Endgadget

Tech for thinking better. Two other IT

innovations in the disruptive dozen are cloud technology and the automation of knowledge work, well discussed in The CenSEI Report articles about IT’s impact on how we connect in the past issue, and how we think and work, in the current one. Starting with established corporations and institutions, but eventually spreading to small and medium enterprises, both innovations offer to boost both efficiency and performance in processing information and dealing with the public. Office files and business data can be accessed and used more readily, and with greater relevance and beneficial effect on operations. Personnel dealing with clients can be provided needed information more

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Also speaking with MGI, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt points out that many innovations like cloud computing are not entirely new, which should make them less difficult to promote. Explains the search-engine and mobile platform czar: “[W]hat we call innovation today is essentially routine, or evolutionary innovation. Cloud computing has been around for a long time, right? And it’s getting better, and better, and better.” The same can be said of robotics and the automation of vehicle control.

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Hence, over time, these technologies will gain ground. The implication for businesses: adopt and adapt — or die, especially if competitors upgrade to these systems, and customers expect the same. As for those who trade on competitively priced low-tech workers, the next dozen years is an inflexible or even shortening deadline to move up from that niche. And that’s a wake-up call as well for ancillary sectors catering to such industries, i.e., retail, office and home developers serving BPO firms and employees.

Magical machines and materials. Also

watched by tech-savvy Asian manufacturers are 3D printing and advanced materials. The former are shortening the time and travel from market assessment to product sale and delivery. The traditional process of divining what consumers want, designing prototypes and patterns, sourcing raw materials, producing components, assembling and packaging goods, and finally promoting, selling and delivering them is set to get a major shortcut. With increasing capabilities of 3D-printing technology, a prospective client’s conceived or chosen produce design can be refined on computer, then produced through machines that make the desired object from malleable materials right or near the point of sale. Out goes everything in between, including a lot of the design, production, storage and shipping work in Asia, and the firms and personnel doing them. Which industries will pioneer these efficiencies of the third dimension? Given the cost and marketing advantages, it doesn’t take a genius to know that every industry would try to harness 3D printing, if not for entire products, at least for some components. Plus: consumers cannot but gravitate to firms that enable them to select or suggest designs in the morning and get the attire, gadget, houseware, or other item by the afternoon or the following day. Make them wait six months, and they’re gone.

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Indispensable to 3D printing is the new generation of advanced materials, including malleable stuff that hardens into the right texture, stiffness or softness, and durability, as needed in, say, a 3D-printed gun that actually fires. But even more disruptive than the raw material for design-and-fabricate machines are nanomaterials with extremely microscopic tubes and other nanostructures incorporated into substances at the molecular level. Among nanoproducts are cement less greenhouse gas emissions, self-repairing or -healing materials, and power-generating surfaces (see page 118 in Disruptive Technologies report). Car owners would love memory metals which bounce back into shape without hammering. And a host of products made with carbon-fiber sheets, from airplane fuselage and wings to cellphone cases impervious to heat and impact. Asian enterprises and employees using traditional materials such as metal and plastics will eventually face hugely more capable and highly desirable competing products made with nanomaterials. They can, of course, buy the special materials and eventually the equipment to produce them. But actually designing products that use nanomaterials and then shaping and finishing them very delicately, is another matter. There is a learning curve here, with rather expensive lessons due to the costly substances and processes involved. Asia had better get into nanoschool yesterday.

The changing energy landscape. If IT

and high-tech materials are indispensable for many advances in this report, even more so is energy, which powers everything from the servers and transmitters connecting billions across the planet, to advanced vehicles, 3D and nanomaterial fabricators, and metropolises generating the innovations set to disrupt the present. No wonder three of the 12 key disruptive technologies are related to energy.

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Already shifting the global energy balance are the new technologies for oil and gas recovery, which now produce, among other bounties, a quarter of U.S. gas output and one-fifth of its oil production. And there’s more expected to come: by 2025, annual American gas production is forecast to surge 41% to nearly half a billion cubic meters. Crude output is estimated to jump sixfold to 10.5 million barrels per day. That’s just in the United States. In developing nations, between $25 billion and $125 billion of direct economic impact in current values are projected by 2025.

What are the crucial impacts for Asian businesses to watch for energy technologies? The moderation of oil and gas price increases is one clear plus; another is the boost to developed economies, especially North America, from new oil and gas output, which will lift global economic growth and, consequently, exports from developing nations. The other boon to watch are new consumer markets and production centers opened up in distant areas provided new or additional power by new dynamo and storage technologies. That includes the elimination or reduction in power cuts, thanks to better load management.

But burning more and more fossil fuels cannot but worsen global warming, so a second wave of energy technology is needed: renewables, especially solar and wind. With ample state incentives and the technological boost from nanomaterials, these non-conventional power sources could not only take up more of global energy needs, but also bring electricity and modern devices to undeveloped areas too far-flung to connect to country grids. In addition to solar and wind, biofuels, geothermal, ocean convection, and advanced nuclear plants could augment renewables substantially after 2025.

Next-gen genes. The twelfth disruptive

Energy storage technologies are the

third innovation in powering up, covered in the fourth article of Part One. While batteries do not, of course, generate power, they enable energy produced but not immediately consumed to be stored for use at other times and places with higher demand. This gives added efficiencies to the power grid and generation system, plus the provision of energy where no generation or transmission facilities can reach. Total projected economic value from advances in energy storage: $90 billion to $635 billion a year by 2025, potentially almost as much as the combined gains from advanced fuel extraction and renewables (see table on potential impact).

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technology, next-generation genomics, is also the one projected by McKinsey to have the greatest potential economic impact outside of IT-enabled advances, even exceeding those in energy, materials and 3D printing. The expected gains of coming discoveries and developments in genetics are estimated between $700 billion and $1.6 trillion. Most of the additional value could come from boosts in food production (assuming society doesn’t eschew genetically modified crops), plus benefits from enhanced biofuel production and medical breakthroughs. However, as the controversy over genetically modified crops shows, ethics and policy are among of the biggest challenges in pushing for new knowledge and applications for genomics. How society views and acts upon genetic knowhow, including the sequencing and alteration of DNA codes, will have immense influence on how much economic and technological benefits would be reaped from biotechnology. The decisions of national governments and international bodies will open or close doors for scientists and technologists, conferring greater or lesser competitiveness to a country’s enterprises in this fast-developing field.

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Exhibit E3 Estimated potential economic impact of technologies from sized applications in 2025, including consumer surplus

Range of sized potential economic impacts Low High

Impact from other potential applications (not sized)

X–Y

$ trillion, annual

Mobile Internet

3.7–10.8

Automation of knowledge work

5.2–6.7

Internet of Things

2.7–6.2

Cloud technology

1.7–6.2

Advanced robotics

1.7–4.5

Autonomous and nearautonomous vehicles

0.2–1.9

Next-generation genomics

0.7–1.6

Energy storage

0.1–0.6

3D printing

0.2–0.6

Advanced materials

0.2–0.5

Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery

0.1–0.5

Renewable energy

38

0.2–0.3

Notes on sizing ƒ These estimates of economic impact are not comprehensive and include potential direct impact of sized applications only. ƒ These estimates do not represent GDP or market size (revenue), but rather economic potential, including consumer surplus. ƒ Relative sizes of technology categories shown here cannot be considered a “ranking” because our sizing is not comprehensive. ƒ We do not quantify the split or transfer of surplus among or across companies or consumers. Such transfers would depend on future competitive dynamics and business models. ƒ These estimates are not directly additive due to partially overlapping applications and/or value drivers across technologies. ƒ These estimates are not fully risk- or probability-adjusted.

SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute analysis

Table from McKinsey Global Institute disruptive technologies report, page 12

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In making policy decisions, government and business should consider not just traditional norms of religion and morals, but also the needs and conditions of communities that could greatly benefit from the advances under consideration. In particular, the benefits of genetically modified crops for rural areas, where most of the poor live, must be given ample weight, even as spiritual values and ecological concerns are also given proper value. The plight of potential poor beneficiaries must be duly considered, along with the scruples and anxieties of the well-off.

higher value to earlier gains received by less-endowed communities than later ones accorded to the affluent.

Sharing technology gains with the poor is good business. The needs and benefits for the

Lastly, addressing poverty and inequality by a proactive business drive to share more of technology’s benefits with the deprived, also promotes peace, harmony, social justice and well-being in the land, while moderating crime and violence borne of hardship. In this way, disruptive technologies, in fact, can promote stability and security. And that has got to be good not just for corporate responsibility, but the bottom line as well.

less privileged are also a major business consideration. While reaping profits from developing and deploying new technologies are both valid and necessary in spurring future advances, maximizing gains for the deprived also boosts economic impact far more than benefits for the prosperous. This is so not only because the principle of diminishing returns ascribes

A further reason for increased emphasis on benefits for the poor is the increased multiplier effect, because the poor consume and spend most of the gains they receive, while rich enterprises and families are likely to save a substantial part of every increment. Thus, maximizing benefits and value for those in need enlarges the market and enhances the gains, rather than simply boosting interest-bearing deposits.

Poor Ethiopian pupils learn without teachers in MIT’s One Laptop per Child Project: Share the gains

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Parsley, sage, rosemary, and mint. For anyone who’s needed a little push to start a little herb garden of their own, this issue’s supergraphic comes from the HealthCentral site, which provides us with a handy guide to “The Benefits of Herbs,” referring here to basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, mint, and parsley. Aside from laying out the health benefits of each herb, the guide also provides tips on how to grow them at home, along with their most common uses. (Click on the preceding link to pull up the entire guide.)

click on image to view full infographic

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Nerve healing, growth linked to cancer, cancer risk.

A couple of recent studies from New York’s Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine caught our attention this go-around. One recent study, as reported on in TheMedGuru, indicates that nerves play an important role in the development and spread of prostate tumors. An analysis of tissue samples from mice and men, notably of the “autonomic nervous system,” which controls functions such as heartbeat and digestion, showed that nerve density in patients with prostate cancer was higher than in those free from the disease. When mice were injected with human prostate cancer cells, the researchers found that the tumors were infiltrated with nerve fibers, and when the nerves were chemically destroyed, that inhibited the development of tumors, suggesting that blocking certain nerve receptors could prevent the cancer from invading nearby lymph nodes. Nerve growth is a crucial step in repairing wounds, the report reminds us, and researchers speculate that cancer, the resultant tissue damage, and organ and body inflammation might be perceived by the body as a wound that never heals, triggering the healing process. The other recent study, as reported on in MedIndia, involved a 12-year analysis of nearly 145,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79, which found that height is positively correlated to cancer risk. More specifically, each additional four inches (10 centimeters) of height was linked to a 13% higher risk of getting cancer. The study was published in the U.S. journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The study found links between greater height and higher likelihood of developing cancers of the breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, ovary, rectum, thyroid, as well as multiple myeloma and melanoma. And the height link persisted, even after adjusting for factors that might influence these cancers, such as age, weight, education, smoking habits, alcohol consumption and hormone therapy. The women entered the study without cancer. The correlation notwithstanding, the report reminded readers that the study did not establish a height level at which cancer risk begins to rise, and also cited the lead researcher in saying that the increased risk was still small. “The association of height with a number of cancer sites suggests that exposures in early life, including nutrition, play a role in influencing a person’s risk of cancer.” lead author Geoffrey Kabat, senior epidemiologist at the Einstein College of Medicine, was quoted as saying.

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TCR Volume 3 Number 13  

July 29 to August 11, 2013 issue

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