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Fasten Your Seat Belts: Here Comes the Future

January 6, 2020

Wow! It’s 2020, the start of a new decade. Have you noticed things are changing and changing exponentially?

Recently, I read an article by management consultant Bryan Huston on LinkedIn. I have edited some of the article for us. You may not agree on everything he suggests will happen within the next decade, but it should cause you to think. Zora Hurston says, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Where is all this change taking us? No one knows but the years will answer.

“The future is approaching faster than most people can handle! In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold eighty-five percent of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model became obsolete and they went bankrupt.

"What happened at Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next five to ten years. Most people won't see it coming. Do you think in 1998 that in a few years later you would never take pictures on film again?

"Digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had ten thousand pixels. As with most exponential technologies, the digital camera was a disappointment for a time before it became superior and became mainstream in a few short years. It will happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture, and jobs.

"Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next five to ten years. Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the largest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties. Computers will become exponentially better in understanding the world. In 2017, a Google computer beat the best Go-player in the world, ten years earlier than expected.

"Because of IBM's Watson, you can get legal advice (so far, it’s for basic stuff) within seconds, with ninety percent accuracy compared to seventy percent accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be ninety percent fewer lawyers in the future, only omniscient specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses in diagnosing cancer. Watson is four times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans can.

"Around 2020, the (travel) industry as we know it will start to be disrupted. You won't want to own a car anymore. You will order a car with your phone. It will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it. You will only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving.

"Accidents will drop to one accident in six million miles. This will save one million lives worldwide each year. Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, insurance will become one hundred times cheaper. Their current car insurance business model will disappear.”

Whether you agree with the author or not, some things are changing quickly. I’m hoping it’s for the better but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some big challenges. Generally, right next to our greatest strength is our greatest weakness. People, institutions, businesses, and nations tend to gaze at their accomplishments and glance at our weaknesses. Change is not the issue. What we changing to is the issue.

The Book of Daniel gives us prophetic insight into times like ours. “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12:3-4.

So, there will be four things happening simultaneously at this time. Firstly, knowledge is going to increase in a way that has never happened before. Secondly, many people on earth will be going back and forth and from place to place. Thirdly, there will be a strategic group of people who have insight into where this knowledge is taking us. Lastly, there will be a group of people who will lead many to righteousness.

Sound familiar? Knowledge is growing exponentially through artificial intelligence programmed with a popular morality and a media that so willingly transmits it. Many will be globe-trotting, having collaborations and conferences sharing that knowledge. The internet will be full of it. The internet is just globe-trotting online. Knowledge is good but it’s not God. Knowledge needs guidelines and borders.

This brings us to our third group of people, those who have insight into where this is all taking us. It’s comforting to know those types of people will be around. They are the group that uses wisdom…the proper application of knowledge through understanding. They will stand out as beacons of light. Finally, there will be a group that leads many to righteousness. Righteousness is being in right standing with God. They are God’s stars who guide us to His perfect light.

By the way, no matter how much the world changes, there is One who doesn’t change. He is relevant yesterday, today and forever. He’s got the whole world, past, present, and future, in His hands. I hope you are in His hands too!

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com