Recently I finished the Executive Program in Exponential Technologies™ by the IIEC, provided at https://courses10.com online learning platform. If you are interested, take a look at their programs.
In this article I will be discussing what are exponential technologies and why the are so important.
Exponential Technologies are: Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Immersive Technologies, and Robotics.
Xponentialworks explains what Exponential Technologies are on their website as follows:
Whether or not you agree with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang that Moore’s Law is dead, it is still quite accurate to claim that technological innovation is proceeding at a breakneck pace – exponential pace, in fact.
Yet before we dig into the technology part of exponential technology, let’s take a quick look at what “exponential” actually means, what Moore’s Law actually says, and what the Law of Accelerating Returns has to do with all this.
The mathematical term “exponent” refers to the number of times a number is to be multiplied by itself. “Exponential growth” is when a mathematical function of time’s rate of change is proportional to the function’s current value. For example, cells in a culture grow exponentially – the first cell divides into two, then each of these split to form four, then eight, and so on.
Moore’s Law (which is not technically a law in the scientific sense) states that overall computer processing power will double every two years. In exponential terms, this means that computer processing will experience biannual exponential growth. Now, whether or not this is still happening is up for grabs at the moment. It depends on how you factor processing power – processor speed versus number of processor cores, etc. But the point is that technology, with the power of computing at its heart, grows exponentially, not linearly.
Postulated by Ray Kurzweil in 1999, the Law of Accelerating Returns states that the rate of progress in an ecosystem that learns via evolution (i.e. iteratively, via trial and error) increases exponentially. More importantly, the more advanced such a system becomes, the faster its rate of progress grows.
Great, Now What’s Exponential Technology?
Deloitte defines exponential technology as “innovations progressing at a pace with or exceeding Moore’s Law” that “evidence a renaissance of innovation, invention, and discovery…[and] have the potential to positively affect billions of lives.”
We define exponential technologies similarly, but with a bit more context: exponential technologies are those innovations that continue to advance exponentially, with disruptive economic and lifestyle effects. Moreover, exponential technologies are those whose current price-performance makes it feasible to incorporate them into today’s business and social problems in new and previously impossible ways.
Need examples of exponential technologies you’re already seeing in everyday life? Think of artificial intelligence (AI), additive manufacturing, augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), digital biology and biotech, data science, medical tech, nanotech, robotics, autonomous vehicles, etc…
The Oslo Business Forum published an interesting article that explains Exponential Technologies and they interviewed the globally renowned public speaker and co-founder of radical Ventures, Pascal Finett to the Future Forecast podcast.
We agree with Mr. Finett that change should start with changing the mindset. I think this is very important for leaders to understand this and inspire their people to do the same.
Furthermore, I think that we still have old systems in place that should be changed. The way we hire people and what we consider essential, is what should change. Systems are too focused on years of experience and what you have done in the past. But today’s world, which has a very fast pace, due to the exponential technologies and their impact, things become outdated pretty fast. It is more important to adapt, be flexible, understand where the needs and problems are and even more important who are our competitors. We have to continuously learn new technologies, better business models, different ways of working (remote work, etc), and be open-minded.
What takes time, is changing the mindset. It requires time and for some people more time than for others.
If we think about the disruption caused by Exponential Technologies, we can take a look at a video made by Peter Diamandis that shows the case of Kodak and how they became disrupted by Exponential Technologies which he calls The New Kodak Moment.
The way we should think about Exponential Technologies is studying the what Peter Diamandis calls the ”6 D’s”: Digitized, Deceptive, Disruptive, Dematerialize, Demonitize, and Democratize.
As we can see from the video, it is important to understand exponential growth, in order to not be disrupted. We need to understand where technology is going and when it is time to make a
change in our products and services in order to remain competitive. I am very passionate about the talks and books given by Ray Kurzweil.
I finalize this article by sharing a talk given by Ray Kurzweil on Exponential Learning & Entrepreneurship:
Written by Veronica Chiaravalli