Author profile picture

Tomorrow is good.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 07.51.59In a weekly column, alternately written by Lucien Engelen, Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer and Daan Kersten, E52 tries to find out what the future will look like. All four contributors are – in addition to their ‘normal’ groundbreaking work – linked to the SingularityU The Netherlands, the organization that focuses on spreading knowledge about technologies that can provide solutions to the problems of our time. This Sunday, it’s Carlo van de Weijer‘s turn.

By Carlo van de Weijer

SU Carlo van de WeijerAt present, the CES is being held in Las Vegas. It’s about Consumer Electronics, but more and more car makers present themselves at this show. They try to outperform each other on questions like which car can drive really autonomously, and whose car is most connected with all other electronics that are presented at the CES. The computer on wheels is an irrevocable thing in the Internet of Things. And nice to see that our region plays a huge role, including NXP, showing together with Microsoft how to securely connect cars, and TomTom whose special maps for autonomous driving are already used in 82% of the car brands.

In a high-tech environment it is no longer a matter of doubt if electric driving is the future.

The many prototypes on display had another similarity; nearly all of them drive electrically. In a high-tech environment it is no longer a matter of doubt if electric driving is the future. I stated it before: in a few years driving electrically will be the reference, simply because it is cheaper than driving with an internal combustion engine. The first reports on lease prices of the Tesla Model3 confirm this. A partially autonomous bloody fast car with a radius of 4-500 km will cost no more than a public transport card in the Netherlands. Interesting times ahead.

Technology and biology have long ago been integrated, we are all technology.

But it is not only automotive what is presented in Las Vegas. The electric talk-and-reply-oracles like the Amazon Alexa, electronic pets, household robots, new on-body or even in-body measuring devices, it almost makes you dizzy to see what technology offers us, whether we want it or not. The familiar question whether we truly benefit from such rapid progress in technological development fights for priority with the enthusiasm about it. At such times it is always good to get back and listen to the unparallelled Kevin Kelly, founder of WIRED and one of the best speakers on technology I’ve ever been able to hear. He looks at technology as a logical next step in the evolution. Technology and biology have long ago been integrated, we are all technology. So according to him, there can be no bad technology, exactly like there are no bad kids; it’s up to us to educate our technology as well as we do our children. Just make sure that technology gets good friends and a good job, then everything will be okay.

Innovate like you would raise your child

At the beginning of the new year it’s worth your time to take fifteen minutes to view the TEDx presentation he gave on his last visit to the Netherlands, and read or listen to his other work.

I wish everyone a lot of fun in the new year. Intend to color outside of the lines as much as possible, because that’s where innovation occurs. But do it gently. Because that’s exactly what Kevin Kelly says, and I repeat it again: innovate like you would raise your child. For we are technology.