What does the Future Hold- the Science Fiction of the Past? Or, Do you Know what a Dongle is?

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This post has nothing to do with supply chain/strategic sourcing – explicitly.  What I do want to share are some data points around technology with you and have you think about what 2015 and beyond looks like.  In the near future, we will post a blog of our annual “walk around” with senior executives to see what they are concerned about and  share some of our current thinking with them.

  • A dongle is a small “appliance” that fits in your hand, is powered by your smart phone and can detect major diseases like syphilis and AIDS and costs $34(sure to go down over time or be subsidized).  The potential impact on mortality rates will be huge.
  • Cars can easily be taken over and controlled by very simple hand held devices – while you are driving.
  • Britain just approved the creation of a human embryo from 3 different parent’s DNA to help eliminate certain diseases.
  • ….also bringing along the fear of “designer babies” that only the very rich can afford.  You may have seen Gattaca where Ethan Hawke buys superior genes to improve his chances for space travel.  There was even a comparison to a “super race” on a comedy show.
  • Virtual golf in your basement puts you in the middle of a very realistic experience and you know what the Wii can do.  Now combine that with something like hololens from Microsoft.  The ability to experience augmented reality in an incredibly real way is here….
  • …which reminds me of a movie from a long time ago – Westworld-that has suck in my memory.  Yul Brynner is an augmented character in an immersive vacation spot but the augmented reality goes haywire and he gains the ability to actually kill Richard Benjamin (a real person).
  • Drones are now being used for disaster relief management, wildlife management, better crop planning, water management and things that we are only starting to identify…we of course know where the technology came from and it’s original use.
  •  If you have been the subject of any telemarketing recently, chances are that you were being subjected to “cyborg telemarketing” – not talking to a human.  This is not a recorded voicemail that you listen to – you actually may have gone through a 5 minute conversation thinking you were interacting with a human….
  • ….and we all remember what cyborgs are capable of – “I will be back”(Terminator) or even Iron Man with Robert Downey Jr.
  • Driverless cars are going to be at your local dealer soon or available to taxi you back and forth (Uber, Google etc.) thus reducing accidents and traffic jams.
  • Employees in Sweden are now being inserted with chips so that they don’t have to swipe ID cards – apparently a major convenience.
  • The predictive power of big data is immense and still being developed and the benefits are only now starting to trickle in…
  • …and it’s also being used to identify potential trouble makers long before they have ever done anything or even thought about doing anything.  Did you see Tom Cruise in The Minority Report?

The confluence of all these technologies is definitely happening and it’s happening at a far more rapid rate than any of us may be aware of.  Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawkings and many others have been sounding the alarm, “AI  is a potential menace to humankind with super-intelligent machines that could run amok”.  A lot of science fiction may magically have supernatural predictive powers or they help shape the imagination of the imaginers who go on to imagine scientific and technological advances.  Some things to ponder about as the new year starts – some food for thought if you will, things to contemplate and muse about as you are sipping a libation or even to get into a heated discussion with someone.


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Dalip Raheja
Dalip Raheja is President and CEO of The Mpower Group (TMG). Dalip has over 30 years of experience managing large organizations and change initiatives. He has worked across the spectrums of supply chain management, strategic sourcing, and management consulting.

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  1. Pingback: Will a Robot Deliver Your Kale to Your Front Door? Sure – If You Let Echo (From Amazon) Do It - News You Can Use

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