Chelmsford and 100 years of broadcasting

(this is work in  progress, never mind the design, feel the content... please use browser back-forward buttons to navigate for the time being)

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 The famous hut in Writtle where 2MT – and broadcasting - was born
– now relocated to Chelmsford’s Sandford Mill Industrial Museum


This is the Future... and the end of traditional employment?


Software will disrupt most traditional industries not already being reinvented in the next 5-10 years.


Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.


Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.


AMAZON is now the biggest retailer in the world, although they don't own any retail properties (but they are currently experimenting in the US)


Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.


In the US , young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM's Watson , you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90 % accuracy compared with 70 % accuracy when done by humans.


So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90 % less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.


Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer , it's 4 times more accurate than human nurses.


Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030 , computers will become more intelligent than humans.


Autonomous cars : In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020 , the complete industry will start to be disrupted. 


You won't want to own a car anymore . You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.


It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95 % less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.


Most car companies that fail to adapt will probably go bust. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies ( Tesla, Apple, Google ) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels 




Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified by what Tesla represents.


Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people may move further away to live in a more beautiful neighbourhood.


Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020 . Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.


Electricity will become cheaper and cleaner : Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the impact happening.


Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last. Technology will take care of that strategy.


With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2k Wh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.


Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the " Tricorder " from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.


It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease .. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free brace yourself, medical establishment .


3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $ 18,000 to $ 400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes .


Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.


At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.


In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6 -story office building. By 2027, 10 % of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.


Business opportunities : If you think of a niche you want to go in, first ask yourself: "In the future, do I think we will have that?" and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?

If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20 th century is doomed to failure in the 21 st century.

Work : 70-80 % of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a short time. This will require a rethink on wealth distribution.

Agriculture : There will be a $ 100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries with climates suited to multiple annual crops can then become managers of their fields instead of working all day on their fields.

Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018 . Right now, 30 % of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore.




Alongside are some of the reasons why everyone (not just in Chelmsford) needs to brace for impact and prepare for change.

These are the thoughts from one US pundit from 2016; he's not exaggerating (too much).

Even the ideas around driverless vehicles which seemed improbable in 2016 are now being realised - and much of the rest has already happened where pioneers in the various technologies have found versatile investors. 

Ideas like 3D printing have profound consequences for distribution of the scheduling and means of production.

And all this is going on while the country is distracted as it tries to disengage from a 70s trading bloc that has spent the last 50 years devising convoluted regulations to protect its inefficient industries from competition. Ironic. eh?


A word of caution: the connected revolution

A lot of the disruptive ideas being pushed rely heavily on exploiting the "internet of things" - the idea that everything from your electric toothbrush to the security cameras at your home have a unique address using IP V6 and can all connected via a router and 5G to the internet.

Before we listen to the prophets of the connected world, remember that in theory (and in practise), anything connected to the internet can talk to anything else connected to the internet. The early "because we can" enthusiasm has been tempered by realising of what this means - complete insecurity!

Your connected toaster may well be able to send a message to your phone to tell you when the toast is done - but since the chances are that it is connected to the same wifi network that you use for your laptop, it could also send details of your bank account to a hacker in Bulgaria - or anywhere else.

The biggest opportunities of the immediate future will be to devise and control schemes that offer better online trust, identity and security schemes. Traditional online security also relies on the interconnectivity of everything to go online to check and compare things like passwords and key signatures.

Those security lookup connections can be intercepted and compromised ("man in the middle attacks")  present tempting targets for hackers. Complete security is still mostly a myth.

Any phone or email user should by now be aware of the efforts of spammers to try and get you to part with information - and infect you devices with ever more pernicious viruses that means opening just about any email is now a risk for the unwary.

Whilst this world of enhanced security may not be as glamorous as driverless cars and 3D printed furniture, it's going to be the foundation of of a very long term and very rewarding business.


And here's a big one: the use of Artificial Intelligence in marketing is already unstoppable:


You can zoom this video to full screen. ....^                           

 #Ignite @ #stream Conference #MarketingToTheSingularity from edo segal on Vimeo.

So should we be afraid of this future? Frankly yes, because so few people in this country, let alone our politicians, have the first inkling of what it actually all means in the short, medium or long term. The best the  EU can do is write documents containing nonsense paragraphs like this:

Mandatory requirements of the national legislation applicable to the data importer which do not go beyond what is necessary in a democratic society on the basis of one of the interests listed in Article 13(1) of Directive 95/46/EC, that is, if they constitute a necessary measure to safeguard national security, defence, public security, the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences or of breaches of ethics for the regulated professions, an important economic or financial interest of the State or the protection of the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others, are not in contradiction with the standard contractual clauses. Some examples of such mandatory requirements which do not go beyond what is necessary in a democratic society are, inter alia, internationally recognised sanctions, tax-reporting requirements or anti-money-laundering reporting requirements.


What does all this mean for Chelmsford?

Opportunity or Armageddon?  It does not mean "business as usual", or "steady as she goes".

And yet the biggest topic of local debate seems to be a 40 year old temporary flyover that was originally planned to last no longer than 5 years... oh dear.





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