As a new year begins, Faith Popcorn, the CEO and founder of BrainReserve, a strategic innovation consultancy, spoke to CBC Radio in Canada about the huge shifts ahead. Known as a 95% accurate Trend forecaster, Popcorn focused on the changes coming due to the advent of AI, as she spoke with other futurists on a panel.
We already live in a world with self-driving cars soon taking to the roads and a robotic citizen, but Popcorn believes that things will become even more sci-fi. She stated that "we're in the bridge from the past to the future…It's going to be even faster than we think."
Popcorn commented on the way that robots and AI will transform the workplace, given the daunting statistic that 40% of U.S. jobs could be robo-replaced by 2035, according to Oxford University.
She also adopted a techno-optimist perspective, saying that we should embrace these changes as part of our evolution. People must move forward and redefine what work means, whether we must work – and consider what it means to be human.
Popcorn also pointed out that our evolution is bringing us closer to bots as they take on more of our tasks. For instance, she said, “We’re becoming more and more robotic ourselves with implants and learning chips.” Here, she is referring to the fact that the majority of workers at 3 Market Square, a software firm, chose to have tiny chips embedded in their hands to ease their way through the workday. The chips unlock doors, run the copier machine, can pay for snacks at the vending machines, and so forth. Popcorn has also noted that knee and hip replacements mark some of the early ways in which we have become robotized.
In the future, we will adopt more and more of these “tweaks” or “hacks” to improve our bodies and our lives. As AI and robots become part of our daily lives, so too will AI and robot parts become pieces of ourselves.
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