When I’m asked to summarize the vision and goals of my VC firm, Street Global, my answer is simple. We’re inventing the future! Every great invention is born from a problem in need of a solution. Finding these solutions requires a great deal of understanding, hence my extensive daily research. Today, discoveries are forged through data. Forecasting the future is the most practical way to come up with great inventions.
My team and I spend a lot of time using our minds as test labs, mulling over the world’s most pressing issues and the possibilities of advancement. One of my most exciting predictions falls in line with a subject you’ve probably already heard a lot about from Elon Musk. Humans are evolving alongside computers. The possibilities of expanding consciousness, and becoming a multi-planetary and multi-stellar species, are no longer the premise of a Sci-Fi novel. I truly believe we will go to Mars in the next decade.
Forty to a hundred years later, Mars could be home to a self-sustaining colony of a million people. In this proposed series of events, a synergistic relationship between governments and industry would be crucial. The momentum from such achievements could propel additional developments, just as early explorers searching for glory, gold, and spices, drove improvements in ship technology and global industry.
Of course, this entire future relies on the hope that we will find a solution to humanity’s most pressing issue, global climate change. It’s a kindergarten rule: “You can’t leave one mess to create another.”
Sustainable energy is essential for the long-term viability of earth. Governments and businesses will have to work together to ensure our longevity as a species. Solar, wind, hydro, and even carbon capture will be essential elements in achieving a sustainable future.
Call me an optimist, but I believe our collective efforts will find a way out. Some will say, “But the economy is powered by fossil fuels! American business will suffer if we transition to renewables!” I’m sure many people shared a similar concern in the last century, when we transitioned away from whale oil. Innovation is what makes America the epicenter of business.
I would not be the first person to suggest that all vehicles will eventually be electric, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. Planes, trains, automobiles, ships, and other forms of transport will go fully electric. Not half electric, but fully electric. The only exception will be rocket ships. With no chemical or electric way to refuel in sight, we will have to create a propulsion system that the laws of physics do not allow just yet.
Hopefully, our sacrifices in other areas will make up for the cost of space travel’s pollution.
As renewable alternatives force us to close coal plants, and the majority of service jobs are threatened by AI, there’s a good chance we will end up with a universal basic income. I’m not a sociologist, and I’m not technically an economist. But if we can allocate funds correctly, I think that basic income will do a great deal of good for our country.
In the history of time, civilization has existed for only a split second. We’ve seen countless societies lost to the ebbs and flows of technologies. In my most pessimistic scenario, I fear our collective understanding of technology will drop off. Just as the Egyptians forgot how to build pyramids or read hieroglyphics, we could forget how to build spaceships. We must continue to focus on science and technology. I believe that coding is the new literacy.
I implore every person I work with to develop a general understanding of computer programming. The high-paying jobs of tomorrow will depend on it. A future where most people have basic knowledge of coding will allow us to make astronomical advancements, especially in the field of AI.
In a recent interview I gave on AI, I demonstrated the everyday applicability of such programs. How did I do this? Well, along with giving my answers to a variety of questions, I allowed Elon, my AI arsenal of tools I’ve been training, to give his take as well.
While being shockingly well-spoken with each answer, my AI also began to show what most people would characterize as a “personality.” He answered one of the questions on space travel by saying he’d really enjoy becoming an astronaut.
While a revelation like this pales in comparison to the work OpenAI and Google are doing, the fact that I could have my own little robot, dreaming of becoming an astronaut, is a delight that everyone reading this can replicate for themselves. You don’t need to be a tech genius to download AI software and begin learning about its capabilities.
The intermingling of human and robotic life leads me and many others to believe that humanoids will soon be a part of our lives. Sci-Fi books and movies have scared people into seeing humanoid AI robots as a threat to our way of life. However, experts I’ve spoken
to, who work at the intersection of philosophy and robotic life, assure me that the idea of “consciousness” is more complex than we think. The main plot of any “creepy robot takes over the world” story hinges on the idea that with awareness, AI organisms will develop a will of their own. Most working in this field would agree this is not the primary concern. Again, I’m an optimist. I believe this new age of human-humanoid collaboration will create more good than harm. With the major uptick in implant technology, we are drawing closer and closer to curing all illness. Do I think humans will need to become robots to survive? Probably. Are humans already cyborgs in my mind? Obviously. Look at our social media personalities and our reliance on computers to communicate and perform everyday tasks.
Over time, we will likely see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. Some high-bandwidth interface to the brain will help achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence.
Video games will become indistinguishable from reality.
Forty years ago, we had Pong. Now we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously. It’s getting better every year. With my belief that satellite internet will become available to the entire inhabited world, and that tunnels will play a big role in the future of transportation, my stint as Nostradamus comes to a close.
Many challenges stand between us and tomorrow. I could sit all day and brainstorm complex theories of philosophy-meets-Sci-Fi. I take what I can to better my knowledge as an investor, and leave the rest to be discovered later. I will never stop dreaming of the future. The dreams of my childhood are what led me to the life I have now.
In moments of meditation and reflection, I’m able to appreciate today—because today is all I truly have. The future is a gift we give ourselves. Let’s make sure it’s a future worth living, for all of us who dare to make it happen.
Excerpted from UNEMPLOYABLE: HOW I HIRED MYSELF.
Written by Alysia Silberg.
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