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The Industries of the Future

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The Industries of the Future

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

A leading innovation expert explains what the future’s new industries will be and who might benefit.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


In this informative overview, technology policy guru Alec Ross paints quite a believable picture of the future of international business. A wise and experienced guide, Ross offers balanced reporting on technological developments – discussing their practical applications in commerce – and on the economic and human consequences of technological change. As he highlights these areas, he explains where business will find ripe opportunities. He cautions that, as always, progress will create losers as well as winners. Revolutions in computing ability and robotic devices will displace quite skilled (and newly outraged) people from their professions. These transformations will also disrupt those at the bottom of the labor market, the people who often bear the brunt of change. Besides the economic implications of progress, Ross highlights moral dilemmas that technologies – such as genome and big data – generate. getAbstract recommends this measured, thoughtful look into the future of businesses, economies and societies.


Big Data and the Internet of Things

Computing power is growing exponentially and becoming ever cheaper. Big data’s rate of growth continues to increase. Processing masses of data has become an increasingly viable option in business and science. More than 90% of the world’s digital data have been generated since 2013.

Data are the digital age’s raw material, just as land and iron were the core elements in previous revolutions. The big data revolution goes beyond volume. It includes making data searchable, and processing, transforming and communicating it in ways that help people visualize patterns. Big data helps firms “chew through” or “navigate” large amounts of information in real time.

Robots that collect masses of information in self-correcting, evolving cloud databases could actually “learn” the emphasis, slang and accent that make up everyday human speech. As computing horsepower gets cheaper, more of your possessions and devices will contain computing ability and web connections to enhance their usefulness or save waste. This Internet of Things could have more impact “in one decade than the whole Internet to date has been.”



About the Author

Alec Ross is a former senior adviser for innovation to the US Secretary of State, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at John Hopkins University and an adviser to government leaders.

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