What will be the impact of disruptive technologies?

An email from David Trafford of Formicio pointed me at this really interesting report from McKinsey. His comments (below) got me thinking …. 

In 1975 the price of the fastest supercomputer was $5 million. Today the iPhone 4 has equal performance and costs merely $400. Between 2007 and 2011 there was a threefold increase in efficiency of North American gas wells. Since 2000 the cost per watt of a solar photovoltaic cell has dropped 85%. Google’s autonomous cars have had only one accident in 300,000+ miles, and this was a result of human error.

Whether you are a fan of technology or not, there is no denying that advances in technology have changed our lives and will continue to do so. To help us understand their impact, the McKinsey Global Institute has identified 12 technologies that could drive truly massive economic transformations and disruptions in the coming years. The report looks at exactly how these technologies could change our world, as well as their benefits and challenges, and offers guidelines to help leaders from businesses and other institutions respond.

In my current sector, education, some of the impacts are clear. #2 the automation of knowledge work clearly has massive implications for education – indeed some commentators belive that in the same way robotics and automation have cut through manual jobs in industry in the last century, in this century many “professional” roles will be automated and disappear. Other technologies may influence eduction – e.g. #9 3D printing. The Open University was famous for the science kits sent out in the past – is this a new way of sending things to our students?

To read the report, click here. What impact do you think these things will have?


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