EP 156: The Industries of the Future with NYT Bestselling Author Alec Ross

EP 156: The Industries of the Future with NYT Bestselling Author Alec Ross

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Stay, hungry stay foolish. Adapt. Or perish now, as ever is nature's, inexorable. Imperative. HG. Wells. 1922. The. Internet had, a world-changing, impact, over 20 years from 1994. To 2014, in, the, next 10 years change, will happen even faster, as Hillary. Clinton's, senior advisor for innovation, today's guest travelled nearly a million miles to 41. Countries the, equivalent, of two round, trips to the moon from. Refugee, camps in the Congo and Syrian war zones to visiting the world's most powerful people, in business, and government his. Travels, amounted to a four year of master class in the changing, nature of innovation, in. His book the industries, of the future, he distilled his observations. On the forces that are chained in the world he, highlights the best opportunities, for progress and explains, how countries, thrive or sputter he. Examines, the specific, fields, that will most shape our economic, future over the next 10 years including robotics, artificial. Intelligence. The, commercialization. Of genomics. Cybercrime. And the impact of digital technology. Blending. Storytelling. And Economic Analysis he answers, questions on how we will need to adapt and gives us a vivid and informed, perspective, on how, sweeping, global trends are affecting the ways we live now and tomorrow, we. Welcome technology, policy expert, start-up. Advisor. Former. Obama administration. Adviser former. Senior advisor of innovation. To Secretary, Clinton, former. Baltimore, schoolteacher, and New, York Times bestselling, author of, the industries, of the future Alec, Ross welcome, to the show thanks, for having me a my goodness the way you introduced, me it was like my mother was introducing, me thanks so much. I'm. Very good man I'll have to work on the masculinity, of my voice then. It's. Great to have you on the show Alec, I really enjoyed this book it's so timely. And I know it's a couple of years old now but, it's more timely than ever and it's great to see somebody.

With Such a diverse, background, that's, worked in government and forcing. Change and informing, change as it's needed so much in the public sector, well you nice to say that you know it's funny when I first wrote the industries, of the future when, I was getting into it some, of it felt sort of Star Trek II a little bit like science fiction and my. Goodness it's all actually happening, now absolutely. And you know Alec that's one of the problems isn't it that people still think this is so far away from happening. But it's upon, us and it's happening in the background silently. All, over, the world that's, exactly right I mean look I grew up in coal, country coal, mines and, that Hills of, a place in the United States called West Virginia, and I. Saw. Really. Close-up what. It means if you, don't adapt, if you don't modernize, the, world goes on around you I mean the world will, keep spinning and keep modernizing. And keep changing and if, you just sort of sit, there and close your eyes and bow your fists, up and try to continue to do things the way you've always done them the, world to leave you behind, I mean where I grew up again in those stills of coal country it's, like stepping, back in, a history book but not a particularly, nice history book you know people are for people, are struggling, people. Are angry and it's. Because. Of the unwillingness. To recognize. How fast. And, how ferocious. The. Changes. In the world driven, by globalization. Driven. By changes in technology, driven, by changes in science and you can get ahead of it or it can leave you behind and you set the scene of the book exactly, that way with your summer job as a midnight janitor, but. Due to globalization, this was a must have jobs for other people who used to work in coal mines coal, mines used to be in, order to get the coal out of the mountain you, sent a man down with. A shovel and now. You've, got machines, that do the work of thousands, of men so, all of those coal.

Miners, Had end up doing other work and so, me growing up in that world you know when I was, working as a midnight, janitor, literally, mopping, up sick. After, people. Had had too much to drink after going to concerts you. Know I was a kid, at going to university, at the time but, the people working alongside me a lot of them were men in their 40s, and 50s who. Otherwise would have been down in the mines with their Union wage job, who had been left behind by the changes, and so, for them they had no other choice you used that to introduce the concept of automation, and you start the robot conversation. With the facts that you discovered, firsthand about. Japan's, aging, population, were 25%, of Japan's, population is, age 65. Or older and reached, 39 percent, by 2050. Yeah it's fascinating there, are a hundred 96, countries on planet Earth 196. The, country with the world's oldest. Living citizens. Is, Japan. The, average, life expectancy for. Women is now about 83, for men it's about 80 and, that's. Fairly old and then you've got this, you, know huge percentage, of the population, above. The age of 65, no. Longer, working. Anti-immigration. Policies, and, not enough grandchildren. So you've got all of these older. People without, the grandchildren. Or the low-wage help to help them as they grow older and here, you introduce the robots, Robi, nough and ASIMO, b-grade, Alec if you'd share that with our audience yeah, two of the stranger, things I've ever encountered, in my life are what, are called in Japan, called eldercare, robots. And that's. Exactly what it sounds like so if you think about eldercare. Right now who's taking, care of, that, frail, 85. Year old grandmother, today well. It's usually. A daughter. Or, granddaughter, maybe. It's some immigrant, help some low-cost help somebody who flew in from who's, living there from Eastern, Europe something, like that well. In, Japan, there aren't enough children, and grandchildren. There aren't, enough, immigrants. Or otherwise low cost help. And so, they've literally created. Eldercare. Robots, and so ASIMO and rohban are two examples, of this and what you think about well what is a robot gonna, do. For, older. People will it it's everything, from helping, lift people, out of a bathtub to. Playing. The violin, to entertain, them it's, fairly, remarkable, and for. Me it. Was a little disturbing, some, people love it some people, find it frightening, it.

Has Been remarkable to learn about it and actually see it not, in a movie but in real life and I found it really fascinating that, you talk about the, ancient Shinto. Religion practiced. By 80% of Japanese and that religion includes the belief of animism, and I thought it would be interesting to share this because here. In the West we see an inanimate, object as. An, inanimate object it's a machine but, in Japan they, believed that objects. Have souls as, well no, that's right I mean look my father's, in his eighties my mother's in her late 70s and, if I were to imagine 10 years from now having. A robot, take care of them that seems, almost cruel, and inhumane. To me it, seems like I actually I would be a bad son to allow something like that to happen but. The Japanese, have, a very, different. Cultural. Bias so, in the West where. We are rooted in sort of traditional. Judeo-christian. Values we're. Taught that these are in fact machines. They, are soulless. But. In a, lot of Eastern. Religions including, Shinto, which as you mentioned is practiced by about 80 percent of Japanese people it, holds, that every, object. Has a. Soul, the, rocks on the ground. Robot. And, say they don't have the cultural, hang-ups, that. We do in the West around. Things like robotic, and so. Where you, might feel terribly, to. Have a robot, playing, the violin, to your, older. Grandparents. Or parents in, the, United States or in Ireland, or somewhere it, with a different set. Of cultural, values that can be reversed, what. I found really interesting from, your from your research that, China. Japan and, Korea for. Example all felt. That the, West got ahead of them with the internet that they've stolen, the march in. The innovation, or the next wave or the next, Industrial Revolution but, they are not gonna let that happen when it comes to robotics, and maybe, artificial. Intelligence, as well over. 90 percent of the robots in the world come from just five countries at. Or in the West Germany, in the United States but, the other big three are Japan South Korea and China in, the. Way in which in the West we view automation. And robotics as, being. More. Of a threat, in the. Far East it's viewed. A bit as more, of an opportunity and, they've, aligned, their resources, as such and there, is a bit, of a race at least between the United States and China now we've gone from a world with, a cold war to. A code, war where. In areas, including. Artificial, intelligence. There's, sort of a competition, to, see who is going to be the master of the, industries, of the future and, in. Artificial, intelligence, and in robotics, the Chinese, in particular, have proven willing to spend an almost, infinite amount, of money and to, have a really, sharp strategy, you see the robotics, industry being, akin to the Internet as it was maybe 20 years ago we're in the infancy of where. It's gonna go part, of why I wrote the industries, of the future is. I graduated, from University. In 1994. In 1994. 25. Years ago from today was, a fascinating. Time it's when the. Internet as we know it became, real things. Like the web browser, ecommerce. Search, engines, all of, those came about right around the same time when. I was graduating from University twenty-five. Years ago and I. Feel like today. We're. At another one, of those moments, and I, wrote the industries, of the future because, I wish, 25. Years ago I had read a book where. Somebody had said hey there's this thing called the Internet and here's how it's gonna change communication.

Here's, How it's gonna change commerce. Here's how it's going to change how, we get. In share information, so, I wrote the industries of the future because, I do believe, that in fields, from artificial. Intelligence. To robotics. To. Other fields that we'll talk about it's. Like where we were 25. Years ago it's sort of chapter, 1 page. 1 for. Something. Where, we're going to rewrite. History. It's, a fascinating time. And it brings promise, and it brings peril, you know I'm not a utopian. I'm not a dystopian. It brings good and it's bad but. Part of what I'm hoping with you know the. Industries, of the future is, that people. Will understand, a little bit about how if, you understand, the world to come how, do you maximize the promise. And how. Do you minimize, the, peril, of the. Changes, to come if, you don't understand, it's like you're surfing or, you're in the water and you're just hoping you get drifted. In the right direction and, you mentioned at the start that to a lot of people who even, pick up your book even, though it's in York Times bestseller, many. People feel it it's sci-fi or it's too distant in the future and it's one of the objections. I always get when I talk about AI or I talk about any, type, of genomics. Or and I thought people kind of got oh that's way in the future that's not gonna affect my business it, already is and one. Of the ones that is kind of topical, more. Than robotics, certainly in the West is autonomous. Vehicles, and self-driving. Cars etc be great to share your findings in that realm I'll, tell a quick story that, does not reflect well on me but I'll tell it anyway when, I first heard about a, driverless, car, I was, like alright this is too far a car that drives itself and. Possible. And at. The time this was a few years ago everybody called it the Google car because it was the fellas over at Google who are developing, this and I. Was in an event and the founders, of Google were there and I know him a bit and I went up to him and, I said fellas a driverless. Car this is impossible, and they. Convinced, me to come to campus and do a bit of a demo and I. Got to campus, and I. Got in the car got, in the backseat put on my seat belt there. Was no driver. In the front seat the car had no steering wheel and it, began driving and at, first it felt like a bit, of a car ride at a carnival you know the kind of you, know I've got these kids. And three, kids and it reminded me of sort of that car ride you take for a euro or two at, an amusement park in the. Parking lot you know it's like all they've spent billions of Bureau, on a kiddie ride but. Then the car pulled out of the parking lot it went on the road and it drove to the onto the highway 40. Kilometers an hour 50, kilometers, an hour 60, kilometers, an hour 80, kilometers, an hour and I, gotta tell you I was thinking about my kids again and I. Was, like somebody's, gonna die either, I'm going to die or, somehow, I'm going to survive and I'm gonna kill the Google guys and.

We Got onto this you know scary Highway in California. Highway 101 five lanes. Remember. I'm in the backseat. Nobody's. In the front seat there's no driver there's. No steering wheel and I'm, freaking, out I mean thank goodness, there is no video camera, in the car I just let's just say it wasn't my most masculine, moment, you. Know you you can only be, so, scared. For so long and after like six or seven minutes I'm like oh my god it works it, works, and. Eventually, we looped around went back to the Google campus but, all of this is to say that the idea of an autonomous vehicle it's, not a hypothetical based, on a theoretical based, on and maybe it's. Already happening, I mean beer is already being delivered, in the, United States on 18 wheel trucks, going from the bottling factory to the warehouse, the. Question, now is you. Know less technological. But more regulatory, um, you. Know how are we gonna manage these things we know what to do if a driver makes a mistake in gets in a mistake but what do we do if an algorithm makes, a mistake and and. You. Know I think that this is going, back to my earlier point about there being both good and bad with this change I think it's good in that. We won't let these things on the road unless they are substantially. Safer than human drivers but, it's bad in, that think about the millions of people who make an income and a pretty good income by the way you, don't require university. Degrees driving. A vehicle and now imagine. A world where that job isn't available anymore. So this, is a the autonomous, vehicle. What. You think is gonna happen in 20 or 30 years, is going, to happen I believe in five years and. It's. Gonna happen with some real ferocity in the marketplace. Disruptive. Is an overused, word but I do think this is gonna be disruptive, we, as humans were really, resistant, to change and it's really hard to wrap our head around all the changes that this will mean I don't even say might mean but. You also say 1.3, million people die every year in car crashes so we we know that but, also there's 2 and 1/2 million people in the US alone who earned their living this, way then, you look at an aging, population there's.

Gonna Be more people alive, they. Will need money they would, have relied on the gig economy in the past maybe driving, an uber or maybe driving a taxi certainly and in the Europe that would be the way and they, are all gonna be gone, there's gonna be more people alive because there's less people dying this. Is gonna cause new problems that we're not ready for that's. Right and look this is why I think we need a new social, contract, what's a social contract a social contract is that which, defines the, relationship between. Government. Citizen. And corporation. And in. Europe in the United States, we've. Had basically, two. Major, forms. Of social contract in the last several hundred years new, during the agricultural, age when there was feudalism, the. Workweek was 6 days a week you know taking off only Sunday, the day of our Lord and the work, day was any number, of however, many hours of sunlight there, was those. Were the working hours the, social. Contract then was you know the, peasants. The low-income. People lived, on the. Land of the Lords the Lords held the lands, for the nobility all in exchange, for, taxes. For, a, share, of the Crofts and other such things but. Then within the onset of industrialization. In the migration of Labor from. Farm. To factory from, country to city we. Needed a new social contract and that's, where things like the, minimum wage the. 40-hour. Workweek the. Five-day, workweek free, public education until. You're 18 years old a. Henshin child. Labor, laws all of, these were part of a new social contract, that, came with industrialization. We're. Now moving from. Industrialization. Into, an entirely, new kind of economy when. It's technology, rich and knowledge-based and in, a world where people are increasingly, living to be 90 years old but, they don't necessarily have, pensions, because instead of having one job for, 30 years they've had 30 jobs in 30 years the, old Industrial, Age, programs. The. Old Industrial. Age social, contract, doesn't hold anymore.

It's A big, picture, what. We need to really make it for. The next 3040 years in the 21st, century is a new social contract an entirely, new relationship, between. Corporations. Between, government, and between citizens. Yeah. We don't have enough Alec, Ross's in government, or in government, policy or push and regulation, or even, examining, it and traveling like you did and ministers, of innovation, etc, but, moving on from robotics, and from autonomous, vehicles you, say the last trillion dollar industry is built on a code of ones and zeros the next, will be built on our own genetic, code let's. Talk about your research in genomic, technology. And curing, and detecting, cancer for example sure. You know mine I live in Baltimore Maryland and one. Of the wonderful things about Baltimore, Maryland is a local, university, called Johns Hopkins with, one of the finest medical institutions. In the world and. What. I've learned in the labs of Johns Hopkins is, exactly. As you said the world's last trillion-dollar, industry was, built at a computer, code in the world's next trillion dollar industry is, gonna be built out of genetic code if. The day I was born I'm not very old I I don't think I'm in, my 40s, the day I was born life Explo, be life expectancy. Was 58, today. It's 71. How. Does global life expectancy. Continue. On that trajectory from. 58, to 71, into, the 80s well. The way it, does it is through. The. Commercialization. Of genomics, by which I mean that you're. Able to do things like diagnose. Cancer. At. 1/100. The size of what can be detected by an MRI you know right now I go to the doctor every year for a checkup they take a vial of blood and they check for things like cholesterol level, it's. Increasingly, the case though that people are now getting the genetic, material. In. Their in their, blood measured, and you're, able to identify, cancerous. Cells. Early. In stage one as opposed to this stages three and four that they're routinely found in now and it makes fighting, cancer, a lot easier. The. Combination. Of being able to address, diseases. More. Precisely, combined. With personalized. Medicines, I think is going to change medicine, as we know it and will make the, kind the way that healthcare and medicine is practiced today, look, primitive, by comparison, in 30 years yeah and that personalization, goes, to a dark, side as well and you talk about the genomics, of designer. Babies, for example, that's exactly right I mean the same. Technology. That can, be used to. Figure. Out to do genetic repair. And say, oh my goodness this, individual, has. A, 12%. Genetic, predisposition. To Parkinson's we. Are now while that child, is still in utero we. Are going to repair, the damaged, proteins and. Engage. At the at the, DNA, level to, decrease, the probability of, that child getting. Parkinson's, from 12%, to 2%, we'd. Feel good about that right oh yeah if there are things that you can do you. Know to decrease, the likelihood of my getting Parkinson's from 12% to 2%, do it but. I asked, a doctor. At. Johns Hopkins and like what's the downside of this and he goes designer, babies he, goes sure everybody's, in favor of reducing the likelihood that you. Could get Parkinson's, but what, if you're, able to tell the parent oh yeah this, is gonna be a, kid. With brown eyes and the parents say well can we make the eyes blue. They say oh yeah he'll be a little bit below average height, say, where, are the things we can do to make them a little above average height the. Answer to those questions is. Yes and the ability. To manipulate our. DNA. Which. We are beginning to see take place now but. Which like everything, else in computing, will, accelerate, on a nonlinear. Basis, we. Can have designer. Babies. In. The. Next five to ten years and we've already seen a willingness of, humans to hack their bodies whether, it's getting tattoos, or. Whether getting nose jobs or Botox. There, is precedent, for saying all right the bodies were born with are things. That we can also change, and, if. We. Are able to change things.

About Our children, before they've even been born you. Know that there will be people who won't want to do that so, I'll you give loads, of example, of genomics, robotics. And automation but. Let's shift our attention. To further, work you did which was the codification of, money markets, and trust you did lots of research or including interviews with jack dorsey of square and the founder of twitter and what. Jack says is one of the reasons he started, the company square is the. Trend towards, more local, experiences. I thought that was really interesting yeah, you know it's funny in a world of globalization, I feel. Like people want things that are more, local than ever before, I know, I do I mean I want my fruit and vegetables, to come, from farms, not, from the other side of the United States but to come sourced, locally, and a, world of all of these conglomerates. I actually, like, buying, local, and buying from small businesses, but, the invention of Square actually came because you, know it's a bit of a nightmare for. Small businesses, historically. To use things like Visa and MasterCard, and Square, was invented, to take the capabilities. That existed, inside bigger, grocery, stores and bring. Them to smaller merchants, and. Enabling. Payments. Enabling. The exchange, of value, between, people, in a way that previously. Would have been quite difficult. And here you say for, context. Approximately. 40 billion, is sent to communities in Africa from families abroad and in some countries remittances, comprise as much as a third of GDP, any, of us who have traveled, around the world if you travel, in the Middle East if you travel, throughout, much of Europe you the United States you see people from, all over the world including, Sri. Lanka, India. Africa. And what, are they doing they're going to where the work is and, you. Know the wife the children the, family, members stay back home and the, way that they really make it is through remittances, you know you make money working on a construction site, and you. Send it back to the home country and the terrible. Thing historically. Is, it something like up to 25. Percent of the wages, can. Be lost. Sending. That money. From. A part. Of the developed, world back, to the developing, world a whole lot of stuff falls off the back of the truck and one. Of the nice things about the creation, of these more. Efficient, digital, marketplaces, is the. Money can go from Dublin, to lassoo to a lot. More efficiently, you're not gonna lose 20% falling, off the back of the truck awfully you, know as you go to the money. Wiring. Services. And what-have-you, who. Gets on both sides of it and so this is this, is a case of how. Developing. Technologies, can actually be of great, benefit, to the developing, world I thought it was really interesting that one of the things he said that. With soldiers, that, oftentimes their, pay was in cash from the government, but oftentimes. Generals. Would, steal the cash and the soldiers would often go months, or weeks where they pay yeah, it was a crazy story and this goes back to when I was working for Hillary Clinton when. I was working for Hillary Clinton and she was the Secretary, of State I was sent, out to east Congo, one of the tougher places in the world and one. Of the things we were trying to deal with was all of the corruption. And, the. Local, military. I mean the military was just shaking everybody down for money, and we were trying to understand why is it these soldiers are just absolutely. Wrecking, havoc out there and part. Of what we came to learn it's because they were never getting paid and they, were never getting paid because the way they were supposed, to get paid is banknotes.

Literally, The old physical, paper banknotes, were. Put on a plane, from. Kinshasa and, flown. To the east of Congo, so from the capital to the east which, by the way is about the distance between, Frankfurt. And Dublin, and. When. The bank and when the plane would land the. Generals, would take, most. Of the money the Colonel's, would then take a fair amount of it and very, little of it actually got to the foot soldiers, and so, what we did is we created an electronic. Payment, system based on, mobile. Phones mobile phones are everywhere even in the east Congo and, we said instead, we created a system so that instead of people having. To be paid by banknote, it just showed up on their phone and it, helps substantially. Reduce corruption now I've made a lot of corrupt. Generals very angry but too bad. You. Know and yeah, and this was based on something we first did in Afghanistan, where. In Afghanistan. The soldiers were being paid by cash and, they would then leave for a week every. Time they got paid because. It was a long walk back to their village, and they would literally walk for three days back to the village drop. Off the banknotes, rest today then walk the three days back and so we first put that mobile payments, program in place in Afghanistan so, people can just be paid through their cell phones or send money to the village through, their cell phones without requiring a three-day walk there's, a resistance, and obviously those generals, are gonna be resistant, but there's resistance a lot of times from governments, to digital currencies, but, you see it as positive in the long run you see it more as becoming a protocol, rather than their currency in itself the. Way that I think about it I do imagine, that, in you know six seven eight years the. World's largest currencies. Will be the dollar the, yen the yuan. The. Euro the. British. Pound and a crypto currency, that none of us have heard of right now I think that there's a great, case to be made for, a global. Cryptocurrency. I don't. Think it's gonna be Bitcoin, though and I don't think it's gonna be Bitcoin, because, of a lot of the flaws. Built. Into. Its design. Which. I think, you. Know are consistent, with the values of the founders of Bitcoin, but, which make government hostile. To it so for example it's pseudonymity, in order. I think for a cryptocurrency, to, really, become global, it has to it, has to actually be, the, opposite, it has to be hyper, transparent. Who, the owner is rooted. In real identity, right, now crypto, one. Of its criticisms, and one of the reasons why governments. Can be hostile, to it is the, perception, that it enables, sort. Of dirty transactions. Illegal, transactions. But, in a if crypto. Is built with hyper, transparency. Into. Its, design, then. It actually can have the, opposite, effect I do think, though with Bitcoin. Blockchain. Which, I know you've spoken about another, of your programs, I do think that the blockchain. Technology. Baked. Into the. Creation, of Bitcoin, basically, a distributed. Encrypted. Ledger system I do think, that that blockchain. Technology. Will, increasingly, become. A protocol, that we see in more and more of our computer science products I find, a really fascinating the, way you. Say, that there will be one big winner and it's kind of like the, search engines, that there was loads of search engines but there was one big winner at the end which is Google, there, were 18, search engines, before, Google, and there. Are gazillion, little crypto, currencies, right now but. There is an inherently. Monopolistic. Property. To currency, you don't want to be constantly operating.

In 14 different currencies, so, I think that as soon as sort. Of the Google, class cryptocurrency. Is built, I think, that it can have global, reach and global distribution moving. On to another, industry. Of the future that you've identified. You. Talk about the weaponization, of, code, this elfin reminds me of the force you know in Star Wars that you can use the force for good or bad and it's the case with all these new technologies or, new mindsets. Or new protocols, for all of this change. Driven, by, digitization. Driven, by the zeros, and ones of computer, code it, creates, wonderful new efficiencies. So instead, of having to go to the library, and open, books to retrieve information. To. Learn anything like you had to do when I was a kid, now you can google it, instead. Of having to spend a, euro. Per, minute to make a phone call an. International, phone call and now it's worth almost nothing over, our mobile phones, but. For. Everything, that we do digitize. It creates, you, know security. Challenges. And, you. Know III, think that, the. Weaponization, of, code is the, most significant. Development. In conflict, since the weaponization, of fissile material, the, difference, being the creation of a nuclear armed nuclear weapon, requires. Access, to the, scarcest. Of, scarce. Scientific. Talents, and transuranium. Elements. Whereas. The creation, of a cyber weapon has a much lower barrier to entry so, for all of the convenience. And all, of the well-being that is created, by digitization. There. Is a bit, of downside, and it largely comes, from the weaponization, of, this, digital space if. People are thinking about roles for the future you, say a cybersecurity, specialist. Is an essential. Member on a kneeboard let, alone any organisation today if. You want 30. Years, of guaranteed. Employment, get. Some cyber security, skills I mean, every board of directors should have somebody on it with, expertise. In cyber every. Executive team, needs, somebody out with expertise, in cyber and every, organization, needs a cybersecurity strategy. Or cybersecurity, team, this. Is a case where, the, talent, just, hasn't been developed to, meet the, massive. Need so for all of you parents with kids, who are 13 14 15 years old and you're like oh what, are they gonna do what, can they study, to have sort of a safe economic. Future get, him to study cybersecurity. Also. Maybe, something, like the arts as well not just one, discipline, it's multidisciplinary. Skills that, are really important, yeah, so if you say the question alright I don't, want to just have a job for 30 years but, I want to be a leader, I wanna, I you, know I want to have some mobility I want to not, just have 30 hours of a middle-class wage but I want to be somebody who's imagining and, inventing, the future, then. You have to go beyond science technology, engineering and, mathematics the real leaders, in today. And tomorrow's, world are interdisciplinary. Learners. It's, people, who've combined, an, aptitude. For things, that are technological. Or scientific but. Combine, that, with, expertise. In something we associate, with the humanities, whether. It's communication. Skills. Emotional. Intelligence. An, understanding. Of behavioral. Psychology. Or, economics if. You're able to combine a. Deep. Skill, in the, humanities, with, a deep skill, and something, scientific, or technological, your. Position, not just compete. In tomorrow's, world but to lead in tomorrow's, world fantástico. We might come back to education as well because you do address this as a father of three yourself but, it'd be great in the current climate on your, experience, in government as well to mention election. Tampering and here you give the example at the time which was Ukraine, one, of the really tragic. Aspects. Of digitisation, has been the, degree to which people who want to undermine our democracy can. And I first saw this in Ukraine, Ukraine. Has always been, sort. Of the testing, ground for. Russia's. For. Russia whether it's through physical, invasions, or whether it's through cyber invasions. And so, Russia had Russia, with cyber attacking. Ukraine. And undermining. Its elections. Years. Before God involved, in brexit, and years, before it got involved in the u.s. presidential, election. You. Know we have, to make sure that our, institutions. And. Our, elections. Are, wired. In, a way that, the, guards, against. Foreign, interference, yeah. And you bring this also to the. Private, sector as well and I and you pose a really, fascinating question. I love, hearing these kind of questions and people in government asking these in the Situation, Room the White House for example that, when there's been cyber attacks on Silicon Valley Giants in the past they, approached the presidential.

Administration To. Raise awareness but. What if they retaliate, it is the question you asked what if they went and they counter, attacked and they launched, an attack upon that's, trouble, that could be seen as an act, of war and then, when you think about war you. Always think about that being between. Countries. Right what is a war a war is some, is a is a conflict, between a, country, and a country but. What if there was a war between a country, and a. Company, I remember. Years ago when. Google. Was cyber, attacked, by China, what. If instead of, picking up the phone and calling the White House, the. Executives. At Google, said okay China use cyber attacked us well. We're Google and we've. Got great engineers, we're. Now going to a cyber attack you, we, are gonna steal. Your intellectual, property we're. Gonna turn off your electrical. Grid we're gonna use all of the engineering, talent at Google to, attack you, imagine. That imagine, a war. Not between countries, but between countries, and companies. That. Might seem ridiculous, but it's not. It. Could absolutely. Happen. And. That's. A that's a world that we aren't quite prepared, for we, don't have a set of rules for that yet do we and you give the example here Sony and the slap, on the wrist from Obama to, the attackers, the cyber attackers of Sony right, you know North, Korea, cyber. Attacked Sony, first, because there are always. Hostilities. Between North Korea and Japan and Sony is a Japanese, company but. Then there was a movie. Made by Sony an American, movie a Hollywood, movie, I'm made, by Sony Pictures that, made fun of North. Korea and which. Actually included, an assassination. Of its, leader and so. North. Korea's, cyber attacked, Sony and did an enormous amount of damage to Sony. Obama. You, know sort of give. North, Korea little slap on the rest but, if Sony had said you know what I'm sorry that's not enough we, are now going to try to. Destroy. The digital infrastructure, of Pyongyang, that. Would be really, interesting and I. Wonder, what the North Koreans would have done about it we, haven't seen this happen yet but, it certainly could stranger, things have happened I thought, about how these. Dystopian. Topics that we talked about the positive and the negative so, genomics, for example you mix genomics, with.

Bodyguards. For example and what. I mean here is if you can take the, DNA. Sample, of a target, you, can then attack them in a different way that's not a sniper hiding, on the roof you can attack them and you attack their health directly, that's, exactly, right I mean a if. There, is a digital, database, of, our genetic material then. The. Ability to build a weapon, that. Can. Sort. Of attack, you at the cellular level is, not inconceivable, and if for people, who think that this is far-fetched well, go back and think about the u.s. presidential, election, I mean the idea. That. A foreign, country, of lower. Standing, like Russia and weaker, could. Take, the. World's. Most powerful country, the United States and help. Elect. A. Guy. Like Donald Trump president, through. A, cyber. Attack that. Would have seemed you, know not, even worth discussing five, years ago but, it actually happened, so sometimes, these, worst-case. Scenarios. Of, sort. Of decipher. Dystopian, ism sometimes. It actually does happen and we're, living with the consequences of, that here in the United States and. You, do mention as well about your work with the Obama, campaign on how. Big, day played a massive. Role and I thought was fascinating, the story you told about the amount of subject. Lines that were tested a be tested, I was gonna say ABCD, efg tested, but there was many many more variations. Of the subject line test to find out which one was the most effective for, us it was it, all seems like kids play today, ten years ago though you know when I was running Technology, Policy for Obama's presidential campaign, this stuff was wildly, innovative and part, of it is instead of saying, you know oh yeah, that's a real clever subject, line you know we'd come up with dozens. You, know 50, 70, 80 subject. Lines for emails and then. We would test them all to see you, know which had, open. Rates the highest and, the respond rates the highest and, so, we just mechanized, we mechanized, things to a remarkable, degree. You. Know the. Way we did it it seemed absolutely harmless, but, you can use those same tactics, and, those same capabilities. For, things that are harmful, one. Of the things this raises. And you. Talk about in depth in the book is falling. In love the, idea of falling in love being a very human, thing an emotional, thing and it, seems like it. Should involve more human choice and less computer, algorithm, yet we're already seeding, that and giving that job over to an algorithm because he said at the time of writing 1/3. Of all marriages in the u.s. begin, with online dating isn't. That crazy, I mean look I'm. Not saying it's bad, but. One. Out of every, three. Marriages. In, the u.s. start. With, an online match, I mean that is fascinating, using. Algorithms. To. Find your mate. Look. I'm not gonna say it's good I'm not gonna say it's bad I just. Think it's fascinating it does seem, to me though. That everything. We surrender. To. Algorithms. We, lose a little, bit of life serendipity. Now. There are certain things that I'm happy to surrender to, you know to algorithms. But. There are the things that are different, and. You know it's a third of all. Marriages, in the us start with online dating, yeah we're getting to the point now where you, know you. Literally. Can have computer, programs identify. You. Know the the outfit. That is most likely to get a girl to like you, based. On the what, the girl's preferences.

Are Through her social networks. I mean, it's fascinating, the application, of this stuff for both good and bad our. Ignorance. For, the wonderful better word of handing, over our data and being, unaware or not, caring of what's done what and you raised it another brilliant, question, which, is we. Should or should we have a chat before, the birds and bees chat with her children, about the big data chest exactly. Right I mean look when. I was a kid and I would go you know I was again in the in, the hills of coal country you. Know I grunts. I'd with my friends, we'd be on bikes we. Would not be sending or receiving, any, data but. My three children today they're sixteen fourteen and twelve years old they're like little beacons, of data you, know they and their little cell phones are pulsing all the bloody time and so. I do think, that we need to be aware that you. Know when you leave digital. Footprints. You. Can't erase them and things. That you do as a young person I mean look I'm glad there wasn't Facebook when I was in university, I had lots of fun when I was in university and I'm glad that it, wasn't captured. You. Know by you. Know millions, of cellphones they're over there but. My, kids that's, not gonna be the case you. Know the the stupid things you do when you're 18 years old now. Could live with you until you're 68, and so, the question, is how how, do you educate yourself. And, your children about. Living in a world not just of surveillance, when I think of surveillance, surveillance is, you, know being watched from above by like a government or a corporation. What. About sousveillance. Being. Observed, from below where every, single solitary human. Being with a cell phone is. Able to capture, video of you is able to capture communications. Of you is able, to MA, monitor what you're doing that's a world, of both surveillance. And sousveillance. Makes. For an interesting mix. So. Dangerous, for our children and speaking of children you the. Former schoolteacher, as well in very, impoverished, areas in Maryland and to, your credit as well and I really, respect that and. Here. You, identify. That. The outputs. Of Education do not match with the inputs, of the private, sector or the public sector or the work sector, of the future yeah, I think there are countries that do this better than others you know I think you. Know I see. A lot of what's happening in Scandinavia. In Norway, in particular, and think it's very strong I see, a lot of what's happening in, places. In East Asia like Singapore and I see, them, reforming. Their. Education, such that the outputs, of the education, system do. Map to the inputs of where private sector hiring is going to be and where tomorrow's world is but. You look at what's taking place in Scandinavia, and you then compare with what's going on in some of Mediterranean. Europe like in Italy where. You'll, walk into a classroom and. You. Know it's 2019, but it's no different than it was in 1919. Or 1819. In the, u.s. frankly, for. Our, young. Kids it's. More like 18. 9 18, 19 and 19 19, you know if we are if. We aren't changing, education, to tomorrow's, world. We're. Doing our children a real disservice we know, more. About how children learn than, we knew 30 years ago we, know where the jobs of the future are, gonna be but we continue, to skill, people for Industrial Age jobs. Adapt. Or perish twas. Ever thus, yeah. And that idea of, interdisciplinary. Skills are really important but generally. If we were stuck in an elevator and I was turned to my metallic I have, two kids, what. Should they be studying, for the future what, industry, should they be looking at what would you say, well. I'd say a couple things I would say first of all in. The same way in which everybody, has to learn how to read and write even if they aren't gonna become a journalist, or author and, everybody has to learn, arithmetic. Mathematics. Even if they aren't gonna become an accountant so, - I think everybody should learn the basics of computer, code because, computer, code is the alphabet, that much, of the future is going to be written in so I think a basis, in computer, science is important, I also, think, though that that. An. Understanding. Of emotional. Intelligence, behavioral. Psychology. And things, like that are more important, because in a world of.

Zeros. And ones where software, is growing more powerful that. Which makes us most human, actually. Becomes more, important. Than ever so, it's the combination of. Literacy. And things. That are technical, with. A real. Humanism. That I think is going. To is going to create. The. Most resilient. People, for tomorrow's, world I'd. Love to finish on that really, positive, note about being more human in the world that's become, technologically. Less human but if, we're. Stuck in a lift now so I have a sense to ask you another question and, this, one is one that you get asked all the time and we have a lot of listeners in policymaking. Countries, in the, EU for, example, and this, question often, comes upon I hear or - and it's we want to create our own Silicon, Valley what, are the ingredients we, need I would say don't try to recreate Silicon, Valley there's only one Silicon, Valley and that, Silicon, Valley is the byproduct. Of 60. Years, 66. 0 years. Of investment, a world-class. Multiple. World-class, universities. And. An. Ecosystem. That's been decades, in the development, instead. Of just looking, at Silicon, Valley, and, saying, how. Can create, that what, I believe, is that you can, create your own version. Of it by, looking at what your strongest, skills, are where, the domain expertise. Exists. Where, you live whether. It's an agriculture. Mining. Data, analytics. What whatever, it is and going. Deep, on that with a did component. You, know that that's my strong view but, I think the idea of copying. Silicon, Valley has. Never worked if you look at the examples, of places that have created their. Own. Very. Successful, culture. In. Entrepreneurship, other than Silicon, Valley places, like Israel, it's, not been because they've copied things it's been because they figured, out what their core, aptitudes. Are and then, they've substantially. Invested. In that, and in, creating the conditions that, enable, entrepreneurship. Like access, to high risk early stage capital and access. To markets one, final line that I pulled from the book Alec was this the. 21st century is a terrible time to be a control freak future. Growth depends, on empowering, people I thought that was such a powerful life well. Thank you you know look I think that the. Principle political, and economic, binary, of the, 20th, century was left versus, right the, political, left versus, the political, right in, today's world I think the world is less about left left versus, right than, it is open, versus closed you know if you think about brexit, I don't.

Think About that as being a struggle between the political left in the political right I think it's a struggle between open and closed and I, do believe that those states and societies, that most orient, themselves toward, openness, are, gonna be those that compete and succeed the most effectively, and by openness, I don't just mean the flow of people and capital, I also, mean upward economic, and social mobility is not just constrained, to elites it. Means that. Social. And cultural. Norms are not, set by central authorities. And it, means that were rights respecting, religious. Minorities, sexual. Minorities, women. And others. I think, that the states and societies, that do the most to tilt toward openness, will. Be where the innovators, congregate. It's already, happening and I think that that will only continue well, that's a beautiful way to and, today's, show I like, if people want to find you where can they find out more about you the book etc you, can find the book just about anywhere, look on Amazon the industries, of the future by, Alec Ross you, can find me on Twitter, and on, Instagram. Alec, J. Ross, New, York Times bestselling, author of, the industries, of the future Alec, Ross thank, you for joining us thank you it's been fun.

2019-04-28 14:01

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