The Inevitable (Book Review)

What today seems IMPOSSIBLE, will tomorrow feel INEVITABLE! All of us who share a keen interest in how digital and technology will shape our personal and professional lives in the future, struggle with understanding the impact of the so many new technology advances and innovations. Some will have us believe that the future is dystopian, where machines will rule over humans, while others state that in the future mankind, augmented by the power of these technological advances, will be in a better place

In ‘The Inevitable’, Kevin Kelly, by identifying 12 technological forces expressed as actions & verbs, helps us comprehend how technology will shape our future and enables us with a framework to apply these forces to our benefit. These 12 interdependent forces are termed as Becoming, Cognifying, Flowing, Screening, Accessing, Sharing, Filtering, Remixing, Interacting, Tracking, Questioning and Beginning.

For example, Cognifying, explains how we are inserting intelligence in all our machines. Drawing parallels to the time when, electricity once harnessed, was used to convert all mechanical objects to electrical machines (from egg beaters to steam locomotives), The Inevitable posits, Artificial Intelligence will soon be as ubiquitous and seamless in our daily lives, as electricity is today.

Similarly, Flowing describes how the increased digitization of our daily lives, leads the ‘things’ we use to constantly evolve, being never static and always flowing, with an ever increasing volume and variety of choices. Value in this paradigm is created by additive functions to the core service (and product), like Trust, Curation, Immediacy and Interpretation. For example, due to prevalence of fake news, content we can trust is of value. Due to the availability of almost all books and music ever published, at our fingertips, curation of what will appeal to us is of value. Getting early access to data, that eventually will find it’s way to Twitter and Facebook is of value (for example to investors).

Kevin Kelly ends the book on a philosophical note, stating that these technological forces have yet to manifest their true impact. Our future therefore will continuously evolve, as we humans constantly learn and adapt, thus always feeling that we are at the footsteps of a new Beginning

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