Exponential Technologies: JCU Welcomes CMO of Impactscool

Andrea Geremicca, CMO of Impactscool

Andrea Geremicca, CMO of Impactscool

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the Institute for Entrepreneurship welcomed Andrea Geremicca, CMO of Impactscool, for a workshop on “Exponential Technologies.” The workshop, part of the IFE Speaker Series and the first of four workshops scheduled for the Fall, aimed at pointing out how Exponential Technologies are going to impact our society and how they can be put to good use starting today.

Impactscool offers education on innovation, new technologies and the future ahead of us. The goal of the workshops is “to prompt the participants to work on the impact and the potential originated by new technologies, with an overall outlook on combined effects of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Biotechnologies, Genetics, 3D print, Space Explorations and more.”

What are “exponential technologies”? As the name suggests, they are technologies that develop at an exponential rate rather than at a linear one, Geremicca explained. Computer chips are an example of this. The computing power of any integrated circuit has doubled every 18 months for the past 40 years, as defined in Moore’s law.

The issue with understanding exponential technologies, Geremicca said, is twofold. First, humans are not capable of thinking exponentially since much of our experience deals with linear increments. We grow up in a linear fashion, we age in a linear fashion. Most of the forces humans experience in life are linear: acceleration, velocity, temperature, and so on. Second, the development of exponential technologies begins in an area which Geremicca defined as “the disappointment area.” While the initial progress of such technologies is slow (for instance, from 1 to 2, from 2 to 4, etc), once the technology reaches a critical point, each successful exponential increment makes it incredibly more powerful than its previous “step” in development. An example can be once again found in computing. The latest generations of smartphones have around 33,000 times more computing power than the Apollo-era computers which sent the man on the moon.

Geremicca analyzed the challenges posed by exponential technologies in the next few years. He talked about the impact technologies such as self-driving cars would have on the transportation industry, 3d printers on the manufacturing one, as well as the development of A.I. in nearly all related fields. The impact would not be limited to the foreseeable job disruption these technologies would cause. It would also present new privacy concerns, for instance with the increasing use of robotics in healthcare. Moreover, the integration between technologies and humans would necessarily result in the redefinition of what it means to be a human being, a field currently explored by post- and transhumanist philosophers. Geremicca concluded the workshop with a debate around examples of new technologies and the ethical challenges they pose.

The next Impactscool workshop will be on Tuesday, October 17 at 11:30 AM. Andrea Geremicca will tackle the topic of Artificial Intelligence. The workshop, hosted by the class MGT 498 – Strategic Management, is open to all students.