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There Might Be Some Hope Here

Jay Samit knows tech disruption – and it’s coming hard and fast.

Samit, advisor to Fortune 500 companies and author of the books Disrupt You and Future Proofing You, is just off the plane from Davos and his mind is thrumming with how plants learn, the death of credit cards, cataclysmic threats from China, … and cow farts. In a recent talk, he spilled his thoughts a mile a minute.

“AI? ChatGPT?” he asks. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

“Large language models like ChatGPT? You basically put a bunch of stuff in a bucket and see relationships. It can never be forward-looking.  It can’t learn.  But what happens when the world doesn’t look like a model says it should? I was talking to a computational neuroscientist way above my thinking who is researching how plants learn, how the cells in our body learn, and how we learn. We infer. It's something that's called active inference. AI intelligent agents can do that and then go learn on their own. The world that you're going to see – it’s like The Matrix where Neo suddenly has to learn Kung Fu and he just downloads it and he's instantly an expert.  You will be able to build your agent on an iPhone and go to any agent that's learned something, and instantly your agent knows all that knowledge. It’s mind-blowing.”

AI is also fart-eliminating. Somebody said the single largest source of greenhouse gasses is cow farts. Cattle fart methane represents a full 8% of pollution. When cows digest grass and food, the microbes in Jay Samittheir gut produce methane as a byproduct. Using AI, someone just searched all the possible permutations of what you could do to alter what cows eat, they figured out what would be necessary to eliminate that output. Then combining AI and Crispr technology, which is gene editing, you splice genes together just like film – now you have cows that don't make methane! This combo of technologies can now also cure some forms of leukemia and sickle cell anemia. It’s an amazing combination of tools.”

How credit works is also about to be massively disrupted. In fact, according to Samit, "Credit cards will disappear in this decade. The fraud level is incredible compared to some of the biometric app-based systems that they use in China. They do 53 trillion dollars a year of transactions. Cards are antiquated. 1970s technology! You get stuck in a grocery store with too much in your cart, you won’t have to worry about a lost or full card. A short-term loan credit could be provided instantly from your bank or phone provider or Apple – the possibilities are actually endless.”

Watch Jay Samit at METAL

On the darker side of disruption, corporations are being scammed for millions by deep fakes. “You’re an exec an you get on a Zoom the world and the CEO, the CFO, anyone can be deep-faked. You see them. You hear them. They need you to wire funds now – or else!  Recently $200 million dollars was stolen from a company in Hong Kong exactly this way.”

According to Samit, cybercrime is such a huge and varied problem that some governments have put out as much as a $10 million reward for criminals who are taking hospitals and locking down all their data so they can't do any surgeries.

It gets worse …598f9aea-67e6-49b2-85e4-bfc99049d71e

“Quantum computing can operate at 8 different states at the same time as opposed to the old clunky binary 1-0-1-1-0 two-state capacity of today’s computers. It's witchcraft for whoever does that first. Suddenly there's no more encryption, no more passwords. An evil genius could shut off the stock exchange, empty every bank account, shut off the electric grid. If China gets there first, they call up the president and say ‘we're taking over Taiwan tomorrow. If you do anything, we crash your economy and you go back to the Dark Ages.’”

The good news, he cautions, is that quantum computing is exceedingly expensive “so you won’t have three guys in a basement doing this for shits and giggles. But it will be the next major weapon, the next major technology to be weaponized.”

What keeps Samit up at night? What inspires him and drives his increasingly in-demand pop art? It’s all the same – the fact that we are increasingly going to be able to access far greater intelligence than we've ever had before. It could cause devastating problems, he says, yes, but when it comes to healthcare, the environment and realms we have not even yet considered, “there might be some hope here, too.”

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Artwork by Jay Samit.

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