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Houston We Have A Quality Problem (With Theo Priestley)

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Announcer:

In the digital reality, evolution over revolution prevails. The QA approaches and techniques that worked yesterday will fail you tomorrow. So free your mind, the automation cyborg has been sent back in time. TED speaker, Jonathon Wright’s mission is to help you save the future from bad software.

Jonathon Wright:

Hey, and welcome to the show. Today we’re lucky enough to have a very good friend of mine, Theo, who is the world-renowned futurist, and also fellow TED speaker. I’m not going to go through all his bio but this guy is an absolute legend and so I’m just going to hand it over to him and let him do a bit of an intro of the stuff he’s been doing, some of the talks he’s been doing, and let the good times roll.

Theo Priestley:

Thanks very much, Jonathon. I appreciate that rather grandiose introduction there. Yes, I am indeed a futurist. I am also an author and newly appointed associate fellow with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which helps me examine both the positive and negative impacts at the intersection of technology, society and business, and how they affect people and public policy.

I have indeed done a TEDx talk on the impact of AI on humanity in society in the past. I regularly give keynote speaks, speaking slots on emerging technology and future trends, the future of work, how people are going to go about their daily lives and what the technologies are that are going to impact them in the future, maybe in five, 10 years time. I’ve worked with numerous organizations to basically help them understand the future curve and what’s coming around the corner for them and give them a brief appraisal of how these technology trends could impact their business. That’s me in a nutshell.

Jonathon Wright:

I think there’s a lot more. We started, I can’t remember where we originally met but I remember that when someone said to me when I was working at a tech company, “Who is the person that they need to hire?” Your name came up first as a digital thought leader and I’ve seen some of your recent keynotes. I love the Bosch one you did for the ConnectedWorld. I think it resonates so much about what the future should look like, and maybe some of the pitfalls that potentially people aren’t thinking about. What’s your view, and I’m not going to go too topical, so we’re not going to talk about the Coronavirus, but you do an amazing connected healthcare example. If that connected healthcare example was there today, what do you think, how it would be different to maybe this epidemic that’s just hit, how do you think connecting things would actually have improved or potentially reduced fatalities? That’s the big thing about changing the digital world.

Theo Priestley:

I think the big message there is one of the words that you used, which is connected. In the example that I kind of open some of my keynote talks around the future of work, it paints a day in the life of a patient going through this particular example. They fall over, they break their hip, for example, they’re diagnosed by devices in house, in their homes. That information is passed to surgeons and algorithms in hospitals who medically diagnose and prescribe what needs to happen next. You’re collected by an autonomous transport and taken to the hospital. 

In that example your hip is already waiting for you, 3D printed with biosensors. You undergo the operation with robots, just with a surgeon actually watching or supervising, but it’s all done autonomously. The biosensors are helping the hospital and relaying that information back to your GP in real-time to help you convalesce and understand your recovery schedule, which could be adjusted in real-time, along with the medication that you receive. 

I think one of the big impacts that I impress on people during those talks is it’s one journey through a healthcare system, but the amount of technology that takes place to enable it is massive. It cuts across numerous industries. Autonomous transport, 3D printing, IoT, cloud, big data, algorithms and analytics, and AI. When I go further into the example, I talk about using smart contracts and how they could be used to adjust insurance and utilities in real-time, to make micro-adjustments according to how you are recovering at home, for example, so you get a lower rate on your utility bill because you’ll be staying at home, so you’ll be using a lot more electricity and gas and everything else. Again, so you’re bringing in other industries into that one ‘simple’ example.

I think when we look at Coronavirus and other pandemics, we need to start thinking about linking up all these different types of technologies and industries to cater for an example like that, where your information will be passed across different entities, different departments that have never shared that information before but will connect to create a better service, understand pandemic situations like this and the spread of a virus, understand how people can recover from it, make strategies in line with preventative measures, in line with delay or contain. We saw the Boris Johnson live stream last night and I really don’t think it filled the public in general with any confidence when you compare it with the measures taking place across Europe and across the world, in terms of closing down schools, closing down large events and things like that. Today, what we’ve seen is organizations actually taking it upon themselves to take that action, rather than waiting on the government, which is a kind of sad statement in itself, but if we had that kind of connected healthcare example I think we’d all be able to make better and informed decisions in handling situations like this.

Jonathon Wright:

Absolutely. I think the last time we met, I was at Hitachi and we maybe talked a little bit about the predictive crime platforms and those same kinds of predictions could have been used, using video analytics on street view, thermal readings to see if people are not well, identifying from connected IOT devices like an Apple Watch having your ECG built into it. I remember, and I know you spoke at Oracle before as well, but I remember hearing someone from Samsung saying one of the standard journeys they have is the sensor detects that you’ve had a fall, it contacts your GP, it sends out some healthcare like if your connected car hits something straight away, the GPX information’s been sent, the emergency services come to your location, it knows how bad the impact was by the amount of Gs. There’s all this connected information that we can start utilizing. 

I love it. I love the idea that this technology can be used for good and I think one of your talks, which I find fascinating is saying well, the younger child, the younger generations would have a different use case, where they’re not trying to completely automate things. They’re not trying to make these factories run in the dark without any people. That actually you’re part of that process. I guess healthcare, you are part of that process.

I use Babylon and I’ve been using them since they launched. It is a bit of an interesting one because there’s only so much a Skype conversation with a random doctor can tell, whereas the information that I’ve got on my smartwatch or on my Fitbit, minus the obvious occasion in the news where the military bases were getting detected because they were publishing their GPX locations for hidden bases and stuff, and the military were using them. But minus those kinds of mistakes, the [inaudible 00:09:26] tech landscapes can provide more disruptive products, how do you make sure AI is for good and digital is for good and it’s the right use cases are being defined in the industry to help people?

Theo Priestley:

It’s a difficult one because I was on a podcast recording this morning and we were talking about some really bad examples of connected devices or just technology in general which is being created with no actual useful purpose. One of them, we kind of sunk to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, was the smart candle for example, which is basically a wax candle that has built-in WiFi and you can operate it with your smartphone. It kind of beggars belief that we’re in this situation in society where these are the best examples that people are coming up with when we have all walks of life in society who are struggling in one form or another, who could benefit from those kinds of brains put to good use to solve real-world problems. 

I think that’s the crux of the issue here is what can I create using the technology that we have around us, whether it’s Internet of Things, whether it’s a smart device, whether it’s using algorithms in an ethical way. What can I use them for that will help solve a real-world problem for somebody? I don’t think that we’re asking those questions, especially when we’re looking to create something new. I think almost immediately the first question is, which VC will fund this for me and how much money can I make out of this, and when will I get an IPO? Ultimately, those are the wrong questions that these companies are asking and this is a behavioral shift I think that needs to happen in the technology sector in general, or the business sector in general, is it’s not about how much money I can make and how much funding I can receive, it’s about how many lives I can impact, about how many lives I can impact for the better.

Jonathon Wright:

I always go back to this, I know Picard’s just been launched as a new series, but this boldly going where no one’s gone before, but for the better of mankind. The idea that you’re all working together for the greater good to do amazing things. I don’t know if you’ve come across Kaggle, which is a data science platform that Google hosts?

Theo Priestley:

I’ve come across it before, yeah.

Jonathon Wright:

I did the Kaggle and so when you sign up, the example is the Titanic, which was good with your link with the candle, and the idea was you get to work out who would have been saved on the Titanic, by being given some data and you go off and create an algorithm. Now, obviously this is not going to help anybody but it was interesting, based on the fact of based on how you go and get higher accuracy levels, there are standard judgments that it was the rich people got off first, or women and children. Actually it wasn’t anything to do with that, there is a much more complex, and you have to think outside the box. Kaggle has just launched a value, well it’s kind of a donation to people who could look at Coronavirus and understanding the trends, and look at where potentially the growth areas are going to be. 

Yes, that’s only a data visualization problem they’re trying to solve, but I think at least people are trying to do something for good, to try and help society, and yes there might be a monetary reward in there because people are spending their time but actually that’s not what it’s for, it’s actually to help improve things. If we could come together and actually work on a digital project that actually benefits everyone, then it’s a clear winner. 

I think your example with going to primary schools and saying to them, “Well, what should the future look like?” That was always my interesting … when I watched the TED talks, they talk about, well we don’t know what’s going to happen in 10, 20 years, so how can we create education and know what kind of skills people are going to needs and what skill shortages we’re going to have? There’s a lot of unknowns. For people out there, who are new to this, I know you’re writing a book at the moment and it’s probably a small amount of spoilers that you can put out on there, but could you talk a little bit about The Future Starts Now and what’s the gist of the books going to be about?

Theo Priestley:

Yeah, so I started the book project with Ronald Williams, who’s another futurist from South Africa and my original idea was to basically write a book with a more pragmatic and realistic view of the future, trying to peel back some of the hype layers that you get from our other brethren, in terms of Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil, all the old school futurists who bang on about the singularity, for example. 

Then I thought, well do you know what? I read some business books and I get tired halfway through because it’s one person’s point of view and I thought, well, the future belongs to a lot more of us than just me. I’m sure everyone would probably get bored of hearing me waffle on for several chapters, so I actually hit upon the idea of getting other futurists and other really sharp-minded people involved in the project, to write a chapter based on their experience and their knowledge of particular fields of subjects.

We have around 20 contributors, each writing a chapter on any number of topics, including healthcare, education, the future of work, banking, anything that hits society in general. It’s aimed at both the general reader, to give them some sort of insight into what can come around the corner, but also business audiences as well, to give them some practical tips and some insight into how’s it going to affect business, how’s it going to affect their operating model, what do they need to do to prepare for this sort of shift, whether it’s exponential or whether it’s a linear shift? 

That’s basically the gist of the book. It comes out early 2021. We’re currently in the middle of writing all the chapters and the rest of the year will be me and [Bronwyn 00:16:47] sitting down with the editorial staff at [Bloomsberg 00:16:51] to basically go through all the submissions, edit them and make sure that the conclusions are fit for reading. That’s the project in a nutshell and I’m really quite excited. Had a few ideas in the past but I think having a number of contributors will actually bring a different kind of flavor to normal business books that have been published before.

Jonathon Wright:

Yeah, you’re absolutely right, and I think you’re going to have to do the audiobook version of it as well because that would be awesome, especially if you could get each people to do each chapter, or you’ll just have to get someone like Stephen Fry to do each one in a different voice. But yeah, have you ever listen to or read Life 3.0? Have you come across that book?

Theo Priestley:

I haven’t, no.

Jonathon Wright:

Yeah, it’s a really interesting one. It’s one around the fact that, and your TED talk, you talk about narrow AI versus the super AI, which takes over the singularity view. The distance between those, compared to general intelligence. The idea behind the book is that actually superintelligence has already happened and actually it’s just running things behind the scenes. It’s investing in different industries, it already played the stock market and actually now it’s trying to help life by allowing people to continue working and this kind of universal employment benefit, where people don’t have to worry about their jobs being lost. But it’s been there for the last 10, 15 years. So it is a really interesting one, it’s a really interesting read if you get the chance. I love that you also do a bit of consultancy on the side as an anti-think tank and I guess you’ve come across the tenth man rule before?

Theo Priestley:

Yeah.

Jonathon Wright:

I think it’s-

Theo Priestley:

My … I was just going to say, from my perspective, the anti-think tank, the idea is to essentially be a little bit more brutal about some of the advice that I give people and tell organizations and the people who hire me, some of the things that they don’t want to hear, rather than the things that they want to hear. I think that’s a problem with some consultancy aspects, is that they hire to be told what they already know because it provides some comfort and therefore there’s not that kind of level of independent challenge, someone to turn around to them and say, “Don’t be so stupid. This isn’t the right thing for you to do. You should be doing XYZ or maybe you should just stop the bus and have a rethink entirely.” That’s kind of the angle that I enter when I speak to these kinds of clients.

Jonathon Wright:

I think there’s a lot of synergy in what we talk about and for those people who are listeners, who don’t know what the tenth man rule, it was an Israeli government initiative, which I guess plays back to the World War Z movie but in actual fact, it was within every team there’s always one person out of the 10 who has to go against everything. Play against Devil’s advocate, challenge the idea. I did this for a peer conference recently. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Tribal Descent, it’s a methodology. Dave Snowden who’s from the UK has developed.

Theo Priestley:

No, no I’ve not come across that one.

Jonathon Wright:

Yeah, I’ll add it to the podcast link with all your links as well, but it’s this idea where if you think of a tribal landscape, there’s one person who wears a mask and asks the questions but never responds and he’s seen as the chief or something. The idea with everybody else is that they have to either do a descent or an ascent depending on the approach to either play the item up into different possibilities, but then somebody has to then take the mask and then challenge against why this is not a good idea or why it won’t work. 

It’s amazing because the idea is you’re brainstorming and putting ideas on the board and actually it’s incredibly useful because people, like you, said, don’t want to challenge people and the idea with the mask is it’s faceless so you don’t see their reaction of oh no, I’m saying something now that’s pretty much their baby’s ugly. You’re right, there’s so many consultancies that will just tell you, “Yeah what you need is this stack or you need to build your company to be fully autonomous.” They don’t think of all the stuff, like the stuff you were talking about in your connected story, where it was like, well what’s the environmental effects? What’s the bigger vision, upstream and downstream effects of what your business has and how do you interact with that on a social innovation perspective?

I just think it would be really interesting. I’m not going to do too much promo but I’m so looking forward to your podcast on We Didn’t Start the Fire, and could you tell us a little bit about what you do on the podcast and what kind of conversations you’ve been having?

Theo Priestley:

Sure. We Didn’t Start the Fire is a new podcast series that I’ve split into three strands. The first strand I call Superstars, which is focused on really cool people or individuals or young businesses and startups who are doing some really disruptive, amazing things in their particular industry sector. Whether it’s improving a particular service for one part of society or whether it’s just this person is someone really cool, so, for example, I spoke with the world’s youngest futurist last night and we basically chewed the fat around Gen Z, around what he’s doing to promote futurism in education. He’s based in Iran. He’s an absolutely lovely guy, really sharp and I think he’s under 12 years old. I find that fascinating that he has created a movement amongst his peers and his friends across the world to create this sort of futurist movement at that level and at that age. I do think that his kind of story needs to be told, so hence the Superstars podcast.

The second stream that I’ve started is a general talk show called Chewing the Fat, which is talking with interesting people just around various general topics around business technology in society. Bit of a free for all, centered on them mainly, to highlight their thought leadership in the area. But it’s casual chat and it’s quite relaxed.

The third stream, which I know I’m going to have a lot of fun with is called Get in Sea, which if you haven’t heard that term before, is pretty much a derogatory term, levied at things that you wish would go off and drown or disappear at the bottom of the depths of the ocean and never to return. So we’re tackling this as a rather brutalistic Room 101 series where guests come on the show and offload their pet peeves that they’ve seen that particular week and then use, or if there’s a piece of technology that they would wish to consign to the bin, and we deconstruct it and have a bit of fun around that. That’s just kicked off last week. 

Hopefully, once the cutting room floor gets swept up a little bit, I’ll have the first Get in the Sea podcast up and running by this weekend. The first episode of Superstars is already out and that was with a company called 3DPrinterOS, who have created a cloud management platform that basically handles multiple 3D printers across thousands of users. Interestingly enough, I spoke with the CEO yesterday, because of the university shutdowns in the US, they expected a huge drop off across the maker spaces that sit in these universities. What they’ve actually seen is the exact opposite. Students have literally logged on and continued their manufacturing work using the platform and the usage and utilization of the printers have risen as a result of the students going home and thinking, well actually I can actually still create my work, still continue what I’m doing because of this software. That’s in one university with 5000 students, so I think that’s quite a powerful story and these are the kind of companies that I like to speak to, especially for Superstars.

Jonathon Wright:

Absolutely. Part of them is I guess when you look at the TED landscape is there’s a message that they want to get out there. A very powerful message. Sometimes they just don’t have the voice to be able to do that. I’m guessing, I know with the travel ban, we talked a little bit earlier but you had a lot of events lined up, do you see that you’re going to change your delivery mechanism to allow people still to receive that message in blogs and maybe looking at doing some stuff on other platforms to really get that out? How do you see the best delivery mechanism for getting your voice out there today?

Theo Priestley:

Yeah, I think over the next 12 to 18 months I think we’re going to see a lot of change, and obviously speakers in general, but people like us, you and me, we’re going to have to adapt to almost living life behind the screen. So it would require a completely different setup, so whether more attuned to live streaming, to recorded audio and visual collateral, and engaging with organizations who are looking for those kinds of services now as well, because we’ve seen major conferences shut down entirely.  

Google, for example, is not allowing anyone on their site at all, for meetings. Remote working is going to take a bit of a hammering and we’ll also find out which companies and which software are up to the task to promote it and enable it. For me, as a speaker, absolutely. The podcast was quite fortunate timing in a sense, I had no idea it was going to be this bad when I first kicked off the idea. But the podcast is going to be one way that I will get my voice out. I’ll start to do a lot more virtual platforms, whether it’s working with webinars with companies, or doing livestream keynotes, as part of their online events or virtual events now, but I think we all have to learn to adapt to doing things either remotely or virtually now. Those that I don’t I think are going to struggle, so I think those that rely on speaker management agencies who do things very old school I think are going to struggle a little bit this year.

Jonathon Wright:

I think if you remember when IBM started talking about remote working, and then they kind of backtracked and everyone realized they’d got all these great office locations and they wanted people back on site, for a lot of people and even in the UK now we’ve got the new IR35 legislation, which is hitting the contract market.

Theo Priestley:

Yeah.

Jonathon Wright:

This remote working isn’t always encouraged, but with this kind of push, of course it’s going to have an impact on those systems that are supporting collaboration. The stuff that we take for granted of the Slacks and teams of the world for enterprise collaboration. Of the video conferencing streaming services which people always had problems with. It’s going to be interesting, maybe it’s going to bring out another side of how we work better together and some new lessons on what collaboration really does look like in a digital world.

Theo Priestley:

Yeah, absolutely. I’m a huge online proponent of Twitter and I’ve seen a lot of activity, in terms of people suddenly shifting to virtual and online community work and doing meetings offline, well online I should say. Again, I kind of stress that we’re going to quickly sort the wheat from the chaff from which particular platforms can actually enable this. 

I think we’re also going to see in the next 12 months, a huge rise in startups looking to take on a challenge and create different experiences as well. While we look at the Zooms and the Slacks and maybe even some of the VR simulation stuff like Doghead and OpenSim to host conferences and educational things online, I think there will be a rapid rise in some young startups coming up with new and different types of collaborative software solutions. Some will fail, that’s going to be obvious. It might become a very quickly saturated market in the next 12 months. Some will rise to the challenge and actually create something brand new that we’ve never even thought of. 

I see a lot of people talking around or mistakenly saying that virtual reality has got its time, but I think there’s a misconception that you need virtual reality environments to live a virtual life online and you don’t. I’ve always wondered the disconnect between thinking that you needed a hardware solution for a software problem and that’s born out of the fact that Magic Leap is now putting itself up for sale and looking for 10 billion. There’s a classic example of something that was created that could have had so much potential but they just didn’t know what the market was. They created something without a market. Now, if they had created something like that now, potentially there could have been a market for using their hardware and their software platform to enable virtual and remote working and more collaborative ways of doing things, but I think they’ve had their time. I think they’re sunk and someone else is just going to take their place, but do it better, and without hardware.

Jonathon Wright:

Yeah, I think VR or AR and MR have got a really strong place in the workplace, going forwards. Minus the military use for things like [inaudible 00:33:07] and how that’s been more of a focus, but actually it’s bringing things, it’s still developing the industry and giving them that capability. 

I actually, you mentioned South Africa, I’m supposed to be going in a couple of weeks. Well, unless it gets grounded, to do a conference on AI. I had a journalist reach out to me, saying, “Do you think, based on the amount of unemployment, do you think that AI is a sensible thing to be coming to talk about?” I kind of said, “Well, of course, it is.” Augmented intelligence is probably one of the biggest growing markets there. There’s an opportunity if you look at things like Mechanical Turk from Amazon, for unskilled workers to be able to come and do things remotely. Amazon are paying $25 an hour for you to recognize, solve puzzles, look at data, look at image recognition, for those mis-clarifications. 

The mis-clarification rates are still so high that actually augmenting intelligence is going to be going on for a very long time and actually, that helps because the minimum barrier of entry is what? Access to the internet on a device that maybe is a thin client view, where you don’t actually need to have much power. You can do it from your phone, you can do it from a library. That actually enables quite a lot of people in South Africa to start working. Do you think this gig economy is going to start making high skilled surgeons and architects give them global reach? Do you think that’s going to be possible with the MR and VR technologies?

Theo Priestley:

Well, we’ve seen, if take the medical profession, for example, we’ve seen examples where GPs can almost use telepresence to beam themselves into households and do their consultations from there, rather than do home visits. In this case of the Coronavirus pandemic, those kinds of platforms I think will come to the fore a lot more because rather than doing telephone consultations, you could literally speak to them via your laptop or your TV, and with any sort of home kit, you could even be sent something in advance to be able to measure your temperature or even get a reading from your Apple Watch, for example, if you’ve already got some kind of smart device, and enable them to track some readings and then give a more accurate diagnosis.

I think these platforms will allow some people to work more effectively. I think you have to remember that not everyone is a knowledge worker or has those kinds of professions that will help. People with more practical and trade-based skills, like plumbers, electricians and things like that are still going to have to come out. I think the connectivity, in terms of engaging with them, might change and might become more slick, but for them, they’re still going to have to practice their trade because that’s what they’re trained for and it’s not something that you can easily hand off to an augmented platform to enable them to do it more efficiently. They still have to be physically on-site to do some of these things, so it’s a yes and a no situation. I think it will improve and become more efficient for some professions and I think for others it won’t have that much a greater impact.

Jonathon Wright:

Because I know in your last talk you talked about those safe roles that people had across the US. I remember a project working with a Bobcat, which was for loading and unloading goods off a container. The way that they trained the autonomous Bobcat was to use people who were trained in those types of vehicles. They would do hundreds of hours of recording, which they’d be capturing how they unloaded and loaded sand, or whatever it may be, and the difficulties and challenges in weather conditions. You talk about truck drivers and I know you had that great example with the autonomous trucks. If that’s going to be a supervisory role that you have when you’re a truck driver. It’s safer to be drone piloting that than not having any supervising of the actual platform at all.

I think a lot of this idea of shadow systems, where the AI is making the decision but at the moment you’ve also got a human who’s also overseeing that, to make sure, from a safe position, actually it’s getting done. Until they’ve got this accuracy rate that they can feel that it’s safe enough or it’s trained to a level where it can provide to make those decisions in real-time. Because like you said, they’re very narrow-focused. But having a truck driver on his laptop watching it and I guess if you were playing online poker or something, you were 10 deckings it, you could be driving 10 trucks, but like you say, this question around what kind of roles are going to come through. 

Do you see things like that happening across the globe, sooner rather than later or do you think we’re still going to see that, even though we may be ambitious about [Car 2X 00:38:51] and [Infrastructure 2X 00:38:52], that actually they’re still working on the standards, they’ve still got a long way to go. We’ve not seen those smart cities that we kind of expected to appear, to the level that we expected and really, these self-driving cars are autonomous and they can only drive by making decisions by themself and not with the surroundings.

Theo Priestley:

I think, so we’re still very much in the hype cycle around some of the levels of automation and technological advancement. Autonomous cars, for example, a great one is Elon Musk saying we’ll have full level five autonomy by I think this year or next year. I don’t see it happening at all, primarily because we’re almost still in the user acceptance test phase and it’s being done in production rather than in a staging environment where people are losing their lives and there are crashes happening because these systems just aren’t fully trained yet. 

It’s the same everywhere, even you mentioned smart cities, why haven’t we seen smart cities? Well, we still have crumbling infrastructure everywhere. We’re still digging up roads to replace faulty gas pipes and wiring and things like that and we’re still doing it in a very manual fashion. Now if you think of the infrastructure needed to support a smart city from scratch, that’s a huge endeavor. It’s not just a case of knocking up some smart cameras and things like that, and then relaying all the data and then trying to understand that data, you’re talking about giving every home the ability to have some kind of smart system installed. If you look at some of the houses in the UK, for example, we’re looking at there are some Edwardian, Victorian buildings out there with solid walls that have never been rewired or re-plumbed in decades and now you’re asking people to expect a smart system being installed in them. I think we have very ambitious targets but no real common sense on how to reach them and we also have very high expectations of the technology but no real understanding of the capability level that exists today, plus the skill level in order to implement them at scale.

Jonathon Wright:

Yeah. As a proud new Tesla 3 owner with autonomous mode, the fact the UK only allows you to drive on slip roads to the motorway, on the motorway and you have to have one hand on it at least to keep it from deactivating, it seems fairly primitive to what we were kind of expecting, that it would be self-driving, be able to make a lot more decisions. I think getting technology commercially available to consumers, it’s something that’s always driven the industry. Having a connected home, so your smart building technologies, the idea of all this slam technology that we’ve been using for such a long time with predictive maintenance, applying that to health, to people’s health on a daily basis, we don’t see that technology yet. 

We see we’re getting all this information from our Fitbit or our Apple device and what is it actually telling us? What is it saying to us? What recommendations is it making to us? It just doesn’t seem that it’s there yet for the standard doctor, the early to late majority, are they really using this technology or do they see it as something that’s just high tech wizardry with no real purpose? 

It’s a really interesting challenge and I think that’s why you’re messaging around Gen Z and they’re going to be living in this future, so they need to be on board with, well what is that future going to look like? Not what we’re reacting to problems that may be a much smaller scale and maybe not as important, but are looked from a revenue-generating perspective, and like you said, IPO driven. How do we actually make money on this idea or on a particular industry because we see we can mix these two technologies together and 5G, so that’s going to change the world, but in reality, does it? That’s the big thing.

I’m hoping that actually for subscribers to this podcast, that actually signing up to your podcast on We Didn’t Start the Fire will give them some of those answers and some of those kinds of questions and put the hard questions out there. I know you’ve done stuff with Huffington Post before and Forbes and Wired Magazine. It’s great to have someone in the industry who’s fighting for those people and actually who’s thinking about what it means for them in their digital life, going forward. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show, Theo, and as parting advice, would you be able to tell listeners the best way to get in touch with you and maybe give some kind of links or some recommendations of other things to check out?

Theo Priestley:

Yeah, sure, so you can find me via my website, which is theopriestley.com. I also lurk on LinkedIn and Twitter, so LinkedIn is just you’ll find me just by my name. I very much doubt there’s any other Theo Priestley’s kicking about in there. On Twitter, you’ll find my handle, which is tprstly. You’ll know me by the blue checkmark there as well. That’s where I normally hang out. The podcast is listed on my website, as are my speaking credentials and where I’ve written before if you want to engage. Please get in touch if you want to a guest, I guess. Get in touch as well via the website.

Jonathon Wright:

Wonderful. Well, thanks so much, Theo, and thanks for making such a massive contribution to our digital future. 

Theo Priestley:

Thank you, Jonathon.

Slack Team

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