The Future In The Blink Of An Eye

By Karen DeMasters, Financial Advisor

In the future, you will blink your eye and your car will come to you. When you are at your destination, it will find its own parking space.

That is only one of the many advances that is waiting for humanity in the coming decades when we have a seamless transfer of information from people to cars to medicine, all with the blink of an eye, according to Dr. Michio Kaku.

Kaku, a theoretical physicist, professor, futurist and New York Times best-selling author several times over, was a keynote speaker on Friday at the BNY Mellon, Pershing Insite18 conference held in Orlando.

The good news for financial professionals is that they cannot be replaced by robo-advisors because there are some things robots cannot do, Kaku told the 2,500 financial professionals attending the 20th Insite conference.

Computers cannot engage in human relations, do not have common sense and are not self-aware, the professor said. They can present different options, but they cannot make the judgment call needed to make a decision.

But computers have amazing capabilities, Kaku said.

“In the future, computer chips will cost a penny and will be embedded everywhere,” he said. Chips will be embedded in contact lenses so that, with the blink of an eye, a person can have access to all information, and in pill-sized capsules that can be swallowed for early detection of cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.
“Professors will have to be mentors and memorization [of information] will be eliminated,” Kaku said. “Cancer cells will be detected a decade before a tumor forms.”

“Wealth always comes from science and technology,” he said. First it came from the industrial revolution sparked by the steam engine, then the electrical revolution and now from high tech. The next is artificial intelligence, nanotech and then biotech, the futurist said.

“We will have augmented reality. [For instance], a doctor will be able to walk through a DNA molecule; you will argue with your car, and you will only have to blink to be online,” he said. “Information will be everywhere, like electricity is now.”

In the next few decades, insurance companies will have to remake themselves because 40,000 people a year will not die in car accidents.

“I will be able to travel from New York City to Tokyo in three hours, because companies are developing supersonic jets—without the sonic boom” that doomed the earlier models.

Since capitalism means setting prices by supply and demand, AI will enable the world to have “perfect capitalism” with infinite knowledge of supply and demand, he said. “Stock brokers will no longer sell stocks; they will provide intellectual capital, creativity and leadership. Savvy wisdom cannot be digitalized.”

The losers in the AI era will be workers doing repetitive tasks and middlemen. The winners will be the plumbers and police officers of the world. The future also will need people to design and maintain AI systems.

Initially, AI will cost jobs, but then it will create jobs, he predicted.

“Artists will visualize a creation and it will appear in their hands. You will select a pair of sneakers online, and a 3-D printer in your living room will create them,” Kaku said.

“We already have the capability to do 3-D printing out of cloth and metals,” as well as plastics. Body parts such as ears and even gallbladders can be replicated using plastic and human cells now.

“Next will be a liver, for those who want to go out and drink tonight … and eventually the brain,” he said. “We can already store memories and skills in computers.

“Research on the brain has proved some old wives’ tales to be true,” he noted. Teenagers do have brain damage, because their prefrontal lobes that guide risk-taking behavior are not fully developed. And a man talking to a beautiful woman does become stupid, judging by blood flow in the brain.

The current climate where a person has a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop and a computer will no longer exist. Instead, people will have one device with a flexible screen that can be unrolled to the size needed, Kaku said.

The professor explained he learned his drive to find the next new idea from his parents who met in a Japanese internment camp in California during World War II.
“My parents taught me to push ahead and not wallow in the past,” he said.