“Two billion jobs will disappear by 2030”. This prophecy made Futurist Thomas Frey famous overnight in 2012. He wanted to bring the constant technological progress into the consciousness of the population. As part of the “The Future is Exciting” series , we introduce you to a personality that has an exciting and insightful perspective on your future.
The renowned futurist Thomas Frey looks at the present from the future. He masters this view like no other. Learn how he imagines the gigabit age and how to get there.
Why technological progress should not be a cause for concern
In 2012, Thomas Frey made a prediction. He predicted that two billion jobs will disappear by 2030. The prediction, however, was by no means as bleak as the statement might initially seem to some. Because Thomas Frey meant the technological progress, which contributes to the fact that certain abilities are automated and thus work processes are optimized. Many of the jobs that people are still doing today could already be done by machines in 2030. He did not say that by 2030 there would be two billion unemployed. Rather, this is the time to understand the unemployment that comes from technological progress and create timely perspectives .
For this future problem, he already has a solution. Futurist Frey sees education as the greatest skill whose code has not yet been cracked. Here he brings Artificial Intelligence (AI) into play. A virtual teacher, so to speak, who will know his students very well. Such an AI would not only notice whether a student understood the mediated knowledge, but also at what time of day which student can best pick up which information. After such a get-to-know phase, according to Frey, it would be about optimization, because an AI always wants to get better. The world is a playing field .
In the case of knowledge transfer, this means more speed. But do not misunderstand: It’s about the speed with which students can absorb the knowledge – and not the speed with which the AI scribbles the virtual tablet and then wipes it again before the student has even noted everything. In the future, there should be no more classic learning, but through Artificial Intelligence individually tailored and taught learning content. This knowledge is to be taught in a much shorter time than any current system could. Thomas Frey estimates that the use of Artificial Intelligence in education could provide twice, four or even ten times faster learning time.
Who is Thomas Frey?
Thomas Frey deals full-time with the future. After working as an engineer for 15 years, in 1997 he founded the forward-looking DaVinci Institute in Westminster, Colorado. He is considered the Google’s top-rated futurist and holds regular lectures for major corporations and government agencies such as NASA. What he has to say interests many people. After all, he seems to have found a way to look to the future. And all without a crystal ball or time machine.
His secret is actually very easy to understand. For his thoughts do not go from the present to the future, but exactly the opposite. He has a clear idea of what life will look like in 2030. His years of experience and sound technological understanding help him. But this idea is only the second most important element of his work. Most importantly, the result is the first step we take tomorrow to get closer to this idea.
Thomas Frey likes to bring the example of smartphones . The number of sensors in a smartphone is doubling every four years. With this knowledge in mind, smartphone makers can change their thinking and ask themselves: which sensor would we fit into our new smartphone model next? This shows that the model works. Because everyone no longer has the uncertain future in mind, but a clear goal worth working towards.
The future of autonomous driving
The gigabit age is becoming more and more tangible. Technological changes are already more than just ideas and sketches. Futurist Frey is convinced that autonomous driving will have a greater impact on the world than the invention of the wheel or electricity. Because in his opinion, self-driving cars will change the lives of more people than any other technology has ever done.
In his imagination, you do not reach for the car key in ten years, if you want to get on the road, but to the smartphone. You simply request a car, which then picks you up and carries you to your destination. There you get out and the next passenger gets in. In his opinion, car owmership should be considered obsolete in the future. Individual mobility is possible without your own car, because you can always order one of the many autonomous cars. With the certainty that there are always enough vehicles available and can be with you as quickly as possible, the way of thinking should change over time.
The precursor of this approach already exists with Car-Sharing services today. In more and more cities you can simply use a car for a certain time and then park it again and release it for the next driver. A super exciting idea, right? Anyhow, we are absolutely curious about the gigabit age and of course the innovations it will bring.