When it comes to exponential technologies there are few people in the world more informed than Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, earning degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering from MIT and a Harvard-trained medical doctor who co-founded, XPRIZE, BOLD Capital Partners, and more than two-dozen companies operating at the leading edge of technology & longevity. He also runs Abundance 360 (A360), a tightly-curated, by-application-only community of 360 technology executives where he teaches exponential entrepreneurship and invites the most outstanding leading technology executives to share the latest advances in the fields of AI, computing, energy, transportation, retail, gaming, healthcare, and longevity. The Abundance 360 members & the high profile XPRIZE board that Diamandis has cultivated take an active part in this community, tackle new challenges with XPRIZE, go on trips to the most tightly-controlled labs, centers for disease & aging as well as obtain courtside access to the latest technologies that most aren’t even aware of yet. Why does Diamandis spend so much time with those in his community? Diamandis is here to inspire, guide and transform the way these executives think in order to get the motivation, energy to create their massively transformative purpose in life and become moonshot thinkers. In fact, I was invited to give a talk at Abundance 360 and present the work to a group of about 360 people who you usually see on the covers of technology magazines. I had a chance to hear about the employee longevity programs at the Beijing Genomics Institute, new approaches to developing blockbuster promotional videos at Riot Games and got KDA’ “Popstars” on my playlist (since then they got over 300 million views on Youtube), and even learned a few new things in artificial intelligence.
To make this knowledge available to a broader audience, approximately every five years Diamandis publishes a book. These books quickly make it to the bookshelves of technology luminaries and business leaders and become New York Times bestsellers. And if you liked his two other New York Times bestsellers, Abundance and Bold, you will certainly be wow’d by The Future is Faster Than You Think. But for those who hear about these books for the first time, I recommend getting the entire trilogy and starting from Abundance. Every one of these books starts with a very simple but non-obvious realization - the world is substantially better than you think. Every one of us living in developed countries has a higher standard of living and more entertainment options than the Queen of England twenty years ago thanks to technology. The world is more peaceful, more connected, never been more at the ready to take on new challenges, and fix the problems that we complain about today. And it is getting better every year. The global poverty rate is on the decline, alternative and sustainable sources now supply a substantial amount of our energy, there are major advances in oncology as well as medicine, and more and more bright minds are joining the productive longevity revolution.
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However, humans have evolved to perceive the negative bias much stronger than the positive happening around us and tend to focus on short-term goals. For millennia, humans needed to quickly react to immediate threats, and our bodies and minds evolved accordingly. The modern media is using this evolutionary trait at large feeding us a constant stream of dramatic current events in the battle for our attention. If there are 100 pieces of news and only 1 of them is negative, the news-driven society that we live in tends to pay most attention to and focus on the negative. And since almost every news agency has access to almost the same information at the exact same millisecond, they compete for the most dramatic interpretation of the negative at hand. Like Abundance and Bold, The Future Is Faster Than You Think explains how to go around this short-term reactionary behavior and focus on the positive.
Similar to Abundance and Bold, The Future Is Faster Than You Think covers a very large number of advances in major areas of our lives that cannot and should not be ignored; however, the central topic of the book is artificial intelligence, which glues all of these sections together. It also covers the limitations and dangers of AI and other technologies but still keeps a positive outlook on the entire field.
Another unique feature of The Future Is Faster Than You Think is the way the information is presented. The presentation of a technology trend or discovery usually starts with some background and problem definition, a brief description of how the technology works, provides one or two examples of the real-world application of this technology and then follows with a thought experiment on how and where this technology can be used in the future. Some of these thought experiments become thought-provoking asking the reader to imagine the convergence of several of these technologies and the implications on the different industries and our daily lives. In other words, this book teaches you to imagine, invent, and disrupt.
In my opinion, whether you work for a cutting-edge AI, automotive, or coal mining company, this is one book every CEO, CIO, CTO, and head of innovation, investor, or entrepreneur needs to read and have on their bookshelf. I am buying a few copies to give out to the employees, friends, and partners.