The Keynotes at Learning Solutions tend to be a jumpstart to your imagination. They allow you to peek into the world of the possible and see what’s coming. I find it very exciting to see what will be impacting my world in various ways over the next 3-5 years. The topic is around the RIP/MOD/FAB Maker community that is building with 3-D printing at its core.
The keynote speaker on the first day of Learning Solutions was Steve Wujec, a senior fellow at Autodesk.
Here is a video from June 2014 that is very similar to his presentation he shared with us.
This model of industry is going to have massive ripple effects across the world and across many industries. What are we talking about?
2012 is a good example. In this year, Kodak (a major film and photography product company) filed for bankruptcy. But, in the same year, a startup with about 30 employees changed the photography space and made about $1 BILLION in sales. That company is Instagram.
The pattern is similar to VCR > DVD > Netflix > YouTube. We are talking about the democratization of products and industries.
There is a mix of things that is occurring and it started with the Maker space. But, it has been the combination of things that can sense what is going on around us (FitBit, Google Glass, Mobile Devices), computers that have incredible processing power and capabilities (social, mobile, laptops), and the upcoming revolution with 3-D printing.
Wrap your head around this… There are 1.5 billion cellphones on the planet right now. That means there were more transistors and sensors produced last year than there were grains of rice produced on the entire planet last year. WHAT? There are about a million of them in each phone.
I had no idea that 3-D printers were being used for materials beyond basic resin. I have seen that many times. But, TODAY, they also print using metals, glass, and fabric.
The most common structure designs that keep coming back look like a web. This structure is stronger than steel.
I saw car that was built in 44 hours, out of metal and plastics, with a 3-D printer. This car gets 180 miles per gallon. What does this mean? It can be totally customized to the buyer and delivered in TWO DAYS.
You may think this is not a big deal because it is one car and it will never go mainstream. WRONG! Every major auto manufacturer has a prototype of this type of car in play now. According to Mr. Wujec, they demoed them at the Detroit Auto Show this year.
He also shared a video of the Google driverless car and a video of the experience. WOW! This car is more aware of its surroundings than any human could possibly be. It is capable of capturing billions points of data A SECOND. Here are some more videos of this concept and experience if you are curious.
I saw a Japanese office structure built for $5000 using 3-D Printing and quick-dry cement. It cost less to build this small office than it would cost to hire a crew to build it, not counting the materials.
I also saw a team of drones (maybe a dozen) that lifted bricks and built a large structure. So what? This team acted like a bee hive and it was controlled by a computer – not a human. They worked in symphony with each other. They were smart enough to know if one was having trouble with a heavy item. Several would fly over and help. The others would slow down and adjust their build speed to match.
In the past, a person would create several designs, test them, and fabricate prototypes to test the design quality. Now, a computer can capture the goals of what the designer wants and run through billions of prototypes in a matter of hours and present the designer with the best options.
Imagine going into a shoe store and picking a design you like. Then, they measure your feet, your walking style, determine in what environments you will use the shoe in, and within 45 minutes, you have a totally custom shoe to which you own the design. In this model, you are leasing the materials. When the show wears out, you bring back the design, pay for a review and the materials. They then 3-D print you a new shoe. This exists today – it did not two years ago.
Journalism and Big Data
Did you know that somewhere around half or more of sports stories are not written by a human? I didn’t! Computers dig into the statistical data surrounding a game of series of games and completely create the article or news story about that article. The human just verifies the language of the information.
Personal Health and Medicine
Have you heard of Watson? In 2011, this IBM computer beat the two longest reigning champions of Jeopardy? Watson had much of the Internet and the entirety of Wikipedia downloaded to its physical computer. It did not just win. It destroyed the champion.
Watson has been busy…now, it can run on a cell phone and it exists in the cloud. It also has the ENTIRE American Medical Journal in its system. They tested it against 12 board certified physicians in diagnosing and treating various illnesses and diseases. It was more effective than all 12 of the physicians together.
Here is an article that talks about Watson in a little more detail.
Another use of big data is in a tool called the Scandu – also known as a tricorder (Star Trek reference). This captures various points of data about you and seems to repeatedly be more accurate than a doctor.
Training & Learning
We really need to think about what this new reality will require, in the way of skills and how to train people for this new environment. You also may be dealing with training individuals that are connected to industries that use this technology (so, they don’t need to know how to operate it, but they need to understand the impact of this tech on how they do their business). Skills this new way of thinking could require include:
- Goal setting and constraint definitions
- Researching ideas and being able to show others how they think
- Designing of systems, rather than the individual components of the systems
What Does this All Mean?
This is all coming or is in existence right now. Your role as a learning professional continues to evolve. What you do, how you do it, and the information you offer your learners will be impacted in the next several years by all these changes.
A one-year old today won’t know a world without these things! That’s where this impact will occur. I expect it be another 10X shift in how learning operates.
What do you think? How will these technologies and advancements impact the training and development industry?