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Transcript of YouTube Video: 12 Predictions for the Future of Technology | Vinod Khosla | TED

Transcript of YouTube Video: 12 Predictions for the Future of Technology | Vinod Khosla | TED

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00:04

I'm a techno-optimist,

00:06

but techno-optimism should be practiced with both empathy and care.

00:12

And I’m a believer in what is possible if you do it that way.

00:17

First, I'm going to give you a word of warning.

00:20

Experts extrapolate the past.

00:23

They prevent radical progress because they don't think nonlinearly.

00:30

They don't think of the improbable.

00:34

I personally believe only the improbables are important.

00:39

We just don't know which improbable is important.

00:45

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, with a passion for a vision,

00:52

they dream the dreams, and then are foolish enough,

00:57

and we need more foolishness,

00:59

to try and make those implausible dreams come true.

01:03

That's what entrepreneurship is about, something I've loved my whole life.

01:10

In the 40 years, I’ve been doing innovation and innovation only.

01:16

This may surprise people.

01:18

I can't think of a single large social impact change

01:23

that was driven by an expert in the field,

01:27

possibly with the exception of biotechnology,

01:31

that's driven by an expert, by a large institution,

01:35

a large non-founder-led company.

01:39

Think about it. In 40 years, not one example.

01:43

Whether you look at SpaceX, or electric cars or Uber,

01:50

not one example.

01:52

The earliest one I could think of was credit cards in the early 70s,

01:55

when Bank of America put credit on plastic.

02:02

So what is this plausible world?

02:05

I'll go through a dozen scenarios

02:08

that I believe most experts will pooh-pooh.

02:13

Most expertise enabled by AI will be free.

02:18

I'm most excited

02:20

that every human being on the planet

02:22

can have, 24/7, a free doctor,

02:27

primary care in a very expansive way.

02:30

That every child can have a free tutor

02:34

in a very available, accessible way,

02:38

and these will be near free.

02:40

It doesn't matter, other expertise

02:43

whether you're looking at structural engineers or oncologists,

02:46

most expertise will be near free.

02:49

The cost of computing.

02:50

Most labor will also be free.

02:53

I can imagine a billion bipedal robots

02:57

doing more work than all of human labor does today,

03:01

freeing humans from the servitude of some of the jobs.

03:06

Working at General Motors on an assembly line for eight hours a day,

03:10

doing the same thing for 30 years.

03:12

That's not a job. That's almost slavery.

03:16

I do believe we will have enough abundance

03:19

to take care of everybody who is displaced.

03:22

And that's where the empathy part of techno-optimism comes in.

03:26

We will have enough for redistribution to happen.

03:30

Programming will be near free also.

03:34

And though we think of computers as pervasive today,

03:37

I think they'll be much more prevalent,

03:41

much more pervasive and expansive.

03:44

In fact, I think we will think of computers almost like a utility.

03:50

How many of you think about electricity?

03:54

That's how it will be in the background, not in our face.

03:58

And like this little Rabbit device I have in my hand, we'll just talk to it.

04:04

It'll understand human instruction.

04:06

Computers will adapt to humans.

04:08

We won't have to have humans learn computer.

04:12

Five years ago, when I first spoke at a conference in Toronto

04:17

on the role AI will play in music generation,

04:21

I was met with skepticism.

04:24

In fact, derision.

04:27

Whether it's AI alone or AI plus humans,

04:32

the level of creativity in entertainment and design will dramatically go up.

04:39

The level of diversity of these things will go up dramatically.

04:43

I'm excited about that.

04:46

Surprisingly, internet access will mostly be by agents.

04:52

Billions of agents running around doing things for us humans.

04:58

Medicine is my other favorite.

05:00

We have pretty good medicine today,

05:02

but we have the practice of medicine,

05:05

and it will change to the science of medicine.

05:08

It will change from what is mostly sick care today,

05:11

we apply medicine when people are sick,

05:14

to health care to prevent sickness.

05:16

It's a shame that in this day and age,

05:19

most people who get a heart attack discover they have cardiac disease

05:24

by having a heart attack,

05:25

not 20 years earlier when that disease started.

05:30

That won't happen.

05:32

Food.

05:33

We will have new types of proteins, which we need,

05:36

and new kinds of fertilizer essential to agriculture.

05:40

RuBisCO is the most prevalent protein on the planet.

05:44

Every place you see green, there is RuBisCO behind that chlorophyll,

05:49

or almost everywhere.

05:51

There's a few exceptions.

05:54

And we will have much more environmentally better proteins

05:59

than either plant proteins,

06:01

and possibly better than corn and soy.

06:04

So I'm excited about that, and greener fertilizer.

06:09

Oh, my favorite.

06:12

Experts completely disagree with me when I say this.

06:15

We can, in the next 25 years,

06:19

replace most cars in most cities.

06:23

Why? By making transit faster than a chauffeured car,

06:29

cheaper than a public transit system

06:33

and pervasive, any time on demand.

06:38

And yes, we can do it.

06:40

In fact, we are building the first one of these public transit systems

06:44

in San Jose today.

06:47

Another one of these, flying at almost 4000 mph.

06:52

We will be able to fly from New York to London for lunch.

06:57

It will make the world a much closer place.

07:02

And we fret a lot about power,

07:06

and we think solar and wind are the solution.

07:08

They're great solutions

07:09

I've been advocating for the last 20 years.

07:12

But fusion power will replace most coal and natural gas power plants today.

07:19

Again, people say we can't build that many.

07:22

We can if we are smart, if we just replace their boilers,

07:25

or maybe the boilers and their turbines.

07:28

In fact, all those plants will probably be retrofitted with fusion,

07:34

possibly with superhot geothermal,

07:37

not the kind of geothermal you've heard about,

07:39

even heard about at TED.

07:41

But much hotter, better, more efficient geothermal.

07:46

Doomers say we don't have enough resources like lithium and copper.

07:50

In fact, I say we haven't started to look.

07:54

In fact, we haven't started to develop the technologies

07:58

that will let us look a kilometer below the surface.

08:02

We are well on our way, though.

08:05

There will be carbon solutions for everything.

08:08

Entrepreneurs are working on this.

08:11

There's only a dozen major emitter categories,

08:14

and I wrote a blog on it about two years ago.

08:17

And it only takes one entrepreneur to tackle each of these categories,

08:21

so a dozen instigators can change the world of climate.

08:25

In fact, we inaugurated last week

08:28

the first cement plant in California

08:32

which from the same amount of limestone produces twice the amount of cement

08:39

by capturing the carbon dioxide and putting it into product.

08:44

You repurpose existing plants,

08:46

upgrade them like you would coal plants and natural gas plants,

08:51

and you increase the level of product

08:55

while decreasing the cost per ton.

08:58

That's what makes these things scalable.

09:02

All we need is a few entrepreneurs

09:05

who will imagine the impossible, dream the dreams,

09:08

and then be foolish enough to make them come true.

09:11

There's lots of reasons this won't happen, but I won't delve into them.

09:16

But I do think a really abundant world is possible.

09:20

It only takes a few motivated,

09:23

impassioned entrepreneurs to make it happen.

09:26

Thank you.

09:27

(Applause)