Vivek Wadhwa predicts that virtually every major industry will soon be disrupted by technology innovation. His latest book is "Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology
Read more at "Vivek Wadhwa Talks Tech Disruptions on the Horizon
by Big Think Editors
Transcript - One of the things that has begun to worry me is the fact that I'm seeing change happening at a scale which is unimaginable before and that it's impacting industry after industry after industry. Every industry I've looked at I've seen a trend of major disruption happening. Manufacturing is the most obvious. With robotics and 3-D printing, as of this year, it is cheaper to manufacture in the United States than it is in China. It is cheaper to manufacture in Europe than it is in China. Why is that? Because with automated robots that have two arms, that have screens, which show you their emotion, with the sensors they have around them, I'm talking about Baxter from the Rethink Robotics or Universal. These robots have become very sophisticated. The cost of operation is less than the cost of human labor. So we can now have robots working 24/7 doing the things that human beings did. Give it five years and these robots will become ever more sophisticated. They'll be doing many, many more jobs, which means that the manufacturing industry is going to be disrupted in a very big way. The good news for America is that it's coming back here. The good news for Europe is that it's coming back there. The good news for Asia is that it's also going to become a local industry. Bad news for China because it's no longer going to happen in China.
So, by the end of the decade you're going to see major upheaval in manufacturing, opportunities and problems. Move into the next decade, these robots will probably go on strike because we won't need them anymore. We'll have 3-D printers now. Within 15 to 20 years we'll be able to 3-D print electronics. So imagine being able to design your own iPhone and print it at home. That is what becomes technically feasible in the 15 to 20 year timeframe. So you're talking about major disruption happening to manufacturing in the short-term and then even greater disruption happening in the long term. Now look at finance. We're seeing the turmoil that Bitcoin is creating. You now have many parties supporting it. Well, you also have crowdfunding shaking up the venture capital industry that they've become less relevant. We'll soon have crowdfunding for loans that in some countries already they're experimenting with taking out loans by if you want to buy a house, if you want to buy a car you simply get it from a large number of people.
You're now moving into cardless transactions for purchasing goods. We may not need the banks anymore. We may not need financial institutions the way we do right now. So there's going to be disruption happening to financial services whether or not financial services realizes it. In the USA they seem to be complacent because they've got laws protecting them. But the same laws don't apply in other countries. We may well have major innovations happening abroad which come now to the United States. Look at healthcare. That already we now have Apple putting a stake in the ground saying we're going to be the platform for health. They basically have announced their health platform. What they want is that all of these new sensor devices that are becoming common, which monitors your blood pressure, which monitors your blood oxygenation, which monitors your heart beats, which monitors your temperature, which monitors your activity levels, and soon which will monitor your blood glucose and monitor your internals. They want all of this data being uploaded to the Apple platform. Do you think Google will be left behind? Do you think Microsoft will be left behind? Do you think Samsung will be left behind? Everyone is jumping into the act. But soon when you have all of this data, we'll be able to transform the healthcare industry because we will be able to predict when someone is about to get sick. We will have AI based physicians that can advise us when we're about to get sick, that can advise us on what we need to do to get healthy. [transcript truncated]
Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton