The road ahead

Recently I came across Bill Gates’s first book – The Road Ahead – which he published twenty-five years ago, I was interested to read about the predictions which he made in this book such as:

  • The internet transformation – travelling back in time people were still navigating with paper maps, listened to music on CDs, watched movies on VHS tapes – today the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses has engaged billions of people – anytime, anywhere – with smarter experiences.
  • Digital agents or Virtual assistants – Alexa, Cortana, and Siri have already given birth, however, the visionary has envisioned a more powerful technology capable of learning human requirements and preferences in much the way that a human assistant does – grab this opportunity, it’s the equivalent of the goose that lays the golden egg.

It is great to see how technology is helping us in unprecedented progress on COVID-19 – for instance of the innovation on rapid tests, a British company LumiraDx has created a device that’s roughly the size of a thick cell phone, with a card reader at one end. A health care worker takes a sample from a patient, inserts it into the machine, and gets results within 15 minutes.

According to Schumpeter, the process of technological change in a free market consists of three parts: invention (conceiving a new idea or process), innovation (arranging the economic requirements for implementing an invention), and diffusion (whereby people observing the new discovery adopt or imitate it) – in layman’s terms, this means Schumpeter argued that anyone seeking profits must innovate.

Knowledge must be used because it multiplies by spending!