Everyone knows I’m a sucker for tech. I usually update my phone too often, my laptop every few months and spend a lot of my money on technology in general, from iPads to smartwatches. So, when I saw a book on ‘Megatech’ and technology in 2050, I had to buy.
I took a while to actually decide to read it, I bought it almost 3 months ago but never had that “yes, I want to read about tech” until about a month ago.
The book covers three main areas: fundamentals, megatech by sector and megatech and society. Each section is split into further sections written by people particularly well known in these areas. One author I was surprised to find was Melinda Gates, here, she touches very briefly (it was published in The Economist previously before the book) on how mobile phones can empower people, particularly women.
The first section was good, it touched on areas such as biotechnology and it’s possibilities as well as going into detail of Moore’s law and how innovation is slowing down, as tech is currently ridiculously advanced. But getting into some chapters was quite difficult and I really didn’t want to carry on reading e.g. Tech generations: the past as prologues which talks about particular generations such as the computer generation, big data generation and now the AI generation, though this sounds cool, it was quite dry and dragged.
My favourite section was the second, it has chapters such as the farming of tomorrow and how providing food for the entire planet will be one of technology’s greatest test, healthcare and how personal it will become from genome sequencing to big data patient analysis, new areas of energy and the future of renewables as well as where military technology is heading and that non-Western superpowers such as the USA will no longer be leaders in military technology due to universal advancement in technology research and in places such as China. It was an overall great section and covered lots of different topics.
The third section was good, covering topics such as AI ethics, data driven world and short stories. But it was ruined by the two short stories, like I understand they wanted to better convey the story of tech in the future, but they kinda sucked. One was about being able to transfer yourself into hybrid-exoskeletons and not need your own body whilst another about using microbes to better the planet. I thought the second short story would be good (as microbes of course!), but it sucked. They both sucked and weren’t really needed, well I thought personally anyway.
Overall though, the book was good. I did learn a lot about technology in the future, mainly AI and big data and how they will likely be used, which is great. I also liked the occasional reference to recent tech like the Amazon Echo and how these have only been released recently, yet are having a profound effect on the world.