tv Panel Discussion on Industries of the Future CSPAN October 29, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT
in notes from noman's land national book critic award winner examines race in america. life in fort hood, texas through the experiences of several families stationed there during the iraq war in you know when the men are gone. psychiatrist and professor ellen resounds her life with schizophrenia in the center cannot hold. in dreaming in french, yale university professor alice exams influence and angela davis had onen city is consumed in which political theorist benjamin barber argue that is capitalism has gone away in overproducing economy.
and former british embassador to moscow recalls the soviet war in afghanistan in afghancy. many of these authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch them on our website at booktv.org. >> three programs from the recent boston book festival held recently. first up a panel of the future industry followed by pams on wartime illustrations and time travel. >> good morning, everyone. very nice to see you all, welcome to industries of the future. my name is debbie porter for
those of you who don't know me, founder and executive of the boston book festival. we are excited to have such unbelievably impressive panel. i want to thank ge for generously sponsoring this session. bbs can offer this session for free and all the other sessions at the boston book festival thanks to sponsors like ge and also thanks to people like you who donate and this year we are not auctions, we are raffling a beautiful new red vespa donated to us, just another way to entice you to support us. tickets only available today at the book festival. just see the merchandise table here at the tent and get your
ticket and thank you in advance. i know have a great honor to introducing boston mayor, i think that's something that all of us here can get behind. i i applaud him for that. it is my pleasure to introduce and please join me in welcoming mayor walsh. [applause] thank you very much, debbie, i want thank debbie for starting the book festival. an exciting time in the city. i was about to give a sermon today in a little while so i will try not to unless you want me to go on for a couple of hours, i will.
i want to welcome to everybody in the industries of the future panel here in this beautiful church. i want to thank the panelists for being here today and moderator for being here and i know this session is going to be excited for a lot of people timely. each speakers are distinguished and experts on the topic. together they represent the echo innovation, innovation ecosystem in our cities here in boston and i know that sounds like a buzz word. i use that word a lot when i'm talking to groups but it truly has such a real meaning as a parred. our city's economic success and global reputation is built from our ecosystem, our university research, entrepreneurs, global product leaders, thank you for sponsoring and choosing boston
to put headquarters, to the great city. different feeds that feed to the mighty river. global leadership was built on life sciences. we understand the transformative value of this kind of positioning not just here in the united states of america but in the world was built on the life science, for example, we create partnership with cities and town up and down the red vine, the first time really that embraced regionally in the cities that we are talking about are boston, obviously, cambridge, chelsea. we think about the strength of those neighborhoods and those areas. we all have ability to build housing and we have the common thread of the red line that goes through the middle of it and we talked about not being jealous and not trying to take businesses from each other's city but how do we build and
build to something important. it allows us to really look more realistically as a region rather than municipality. as i go around the country, they say that i represent 2 million people in the united states, 6 million people in the city, when i think about boston, we think as a city, we have over 2.1 million people living, so it really helps us create opportunities n. the last few years we have moved to the forefront in the wide range of innovation industries. every week it seems like i'm opening and cutting a ribbon of something like that and new facilities, ge, just to name a few. i'm also looking at the work space that is -- spaces that these companies have.
they all try to outdo each other. last week i cut ribbon with robotic arm, something new. we broke ground using virtual reality and we had a pair of scissors from 120 years ago . but there's a growing confidence and optimism in the city and economic future and i think that as the city when i think about it and look at the crowd here today, we are a great city, we are going to an incredible trance foration -- transformation is not in every city either. it's important for us as government and society and businesses to really look to see how we can make sure that all the prosperity is happening in our city can be shared across different neighborhoods.
i mentioned to debbie that we have $6 billion worth of development in boston right now. that development in the past would say probably fenway area, downtown crossing and the district and today i can add to the list of transformation to neighborhoods that haven't historically seen a lot of wealth being spent in those neighborhoods as far as large scale. so we are starting to see that. we want to make sure to not just create opportunities but diversify industries that were created and industries created for the future so that industries can remain resilient. we are also working on making sure we create jobs for different skill sets for many people in particular for research and design to prototypes, manufacturing and marketing. inventors do things they, they imagine what can happen and here
in our city we really have a great opportunity to build off that. we are investing $75 million in the first ever stem high school. we had the other day. we had innovation two weeks ago in the city of boston where we were able to 6700 kids across the district really focus on stem. it's something that we shouldn't be focusing on a week in our school and should be looking the entire year for the kids. they are our future. i want to thank you all for the opportunity. i want to thank ge. negotiation e has -- ge has been a great partner, 25 million-dollar investment in workforce development and in life sciences and embraced madison park high school as one of their schools that they're going to be working on, they're
always embraced on middle school, they created another program so i want to thank them for being a corporate partner in the industry of the future. i look forward to hearing. i know all of you are here. i'm done talking and some are happy with that. i want to turn the microphone over to get us started. thank you very much, enjoy the day. [applause] >> major walsh, thanks very much for that. thank you for coming out today. my name is andy and i hang out at the business mit and i have the happy duty today to moderate a conversation that involves three old friends and one new one. the new one is to my left, this is alec ross, senior policy adviser for several administrations and a scholar of innovation all around the world, author of the book that we will be talking about in just a minute.
next alec is an old colleague of mine, michael is probably the world's foremost scholar of industries, so when we are having conversation about them, it seems more than appropriate to bring him into it. next to him is a person who i think has one of the coolest jobs in the world. beth is the vice chair and business innovation for general electric responsible for helping that industrial era giant transition into whatever future we are creating an as mayor walsh mentioned ge decided to move headquarters here to boston, beth tells me because largely of boston book festival. [laughter] >> next to her is the only person that gives her a run for the money as far as having the coolest job of the world, really one of the geek epicenters of the world and a place successfully creating the future for 30 years, we celebrated 30-year anniversary last year.
we are here to talk about where the business world is going. can you talk about the industries of the future. the reason why i think it's an appropriate question for you because you wrote a book called the industries of the future. [laughter] >> yes, thank you, and, you know, on one administrative note, i know it's take your phone out when you're in church but the archbishop said and it reminds me a lot in 1994, it's chapter of the internet. here is how it's going to change.
chapter one, page one of a variety of different fields ranging from artificial intelligence, machine, robotics to commercialization to big data. these are all fields that you can look at either vertically or horizontally that are going to have a huge impact in all of our lives work at home and the book looks at about a dozen different fields and projects, images a little bit what the world will look like, but the underlying thesis to all of this is basically that land was the raw material of the agriculture age, iron was the raw material of the industrial damage and data is the raw material. he had the economic power and political power.
he who owned the factories and controlled access to natural resources during the industrial age had the economic power and the political power. he or she who owned the data controlled the data, can harvest a meaning from the data are those who i believe are going to create the industries and businesses of the future. >> michael, do you buy this or is this just geek hype? is there really a big point happening? >> therecertainly is but i think we have to sort of understand where we are today and where we are going to have to spend several more decades. you know, i brought -- i brought a prop today. this is a tennis racket, right, everybody recognizes it. this is a physical object and we are going to have physical objects in this world forever, i mean, we need physical things, but this physical tennis racket is different because in this handle it's got sensors, it's
got a battery so that it can operate, micro process sorry and software running in there and with your cell phone you can actually connect this through the cloud, data being generated by tennis racket. you can get all kinds of new information about your play from this device and the data it generates. what is really happening right now and was built on the foundation that started a long time ago, the internet was a big piece of it. we are merging the physical and the digital together. that's what's happened. we are embedding sensors and
information system and the ability to gather and collect data inside of physical objects. you know, they make aircraft engines and now engines are a personal or fusion and part of that is making the physical object more effective and create a lot more value. they can do more, it could be more customized. you can know if it's going to break before it breaks, you can find out if it's overheating or something is going wrong before it breaks but the devices also generating this new information, the new data is coming from all of these devices that are now instrumented with the sensors and can connect and all of a sudden we have the tremendous body of data, ref to remember there's still going to have to always be physical and connect physical to digital and make
sense out of all the new data that we now have. that's the real competitive advantage. we are not going to have industrial companies go away and be, you know, eliminated. we are going to have industrial companies being more effective than ever. this is going to be the golden age of things, things aren't going away, but things can do more and we can be smarter about how we use things. it's a -- it's a very positive step forward for business, but it's hard, it's really hard to do. it's changing what a company looks like and how it appears and what skills it needs and the competition that is created by this is a different kind of competition and we have to understand differently. so something really, really big is happening. it's not machines taking over for a long time, but it's a powerful new era where the things that we all use and need in the world can be much more effective and much more value creating for us. >> beth, would you look at the tennis racket and hear michael
talk, does that scare you or excite you? there's a massive transitioning happening. you to bring that together with kind of a new skill set. >> for one it terrifies because i'm not a good tennis player. it also would make me better and that's the point of it. it's a better fie if you're a 140-year-old industrial company and you wake up as we did six years ago and said, wow, we need to figure that intersection of digital and physical. why would we care? partly because as michael said, the stuff isn't -- the physical stuff is not going away but it needs to get more efficient and there's been a lot of efficiency that people were hoping to get from the internet on the consumer side that really hasn't come -- some of it has happened but we haven't seen anything yet to what's going to happen in industry. that's what we start today see. our customers are saying, great,
i love that jet engine but really what i need is i need it to move faster, not because we can't make it move faster but too much stuff in the system. it's not a very efficient system. the ability to take sensors and controls and manufacture them inside the hardware, added manufacturing, it's literally embedded in the material but to be able to create a data stream then you can start to analyze and say, if i can give that railroad one mile faster, one mile faster i can save them $200 million a year. so to be able to take that data and turn it into insights and then it gets sort of crazy and exciting and scary all at once. the teams at research labs are creating what we call a digital twin. basically a simulating artifact of every machine that we make and the ability to simulate from -- to know data from the moment it was designed all the way
through manufacturer to being worked in the field, the temperature, the frequency, the materials and to be able to start over time, this is going to be a while, start to assimilate and be able to predict things so you know it's going to blow, we better take corrective action before it becomes a catastrophe and shuts our company down or whatever. that's really the vision and what got us so excited but you're exactly right, how do you bring the people together, you don't want to get rid of the great material scientists, mechanical engineers, electrical engines and it's awkwarder mash-up which i'm sure we will get to. we are not getting better at being efficient and converting
our inputs into outputs. beth, if i'm hearing you right, you're pretty optimistic that the next decade is going to be different than the previous decade. >> we do because of the data. we society a goal if we can get industry 1% better, multiple billions of dollars if not trillion or more return productivity to industry. mckenzie has a statistic. understand the performance of a jet engine from afar so you can take maintenance. all those kinds of things, know where my stuff is so i can more efficient and how i use it is the first phase. >> you and i both know the gibson quote, the future is already here it's just not evenly distributed, you're in charge of the part of the world is future is farthest along. can you give us a report from
that frontier, what are we not talking about enough yet that's going to be really fantastic? >> well, i think -- and i'm trying to remember. i think it's called amaras law but there's a rule that people overestimate short-term impact and under estimate long-term impact. one of the fas -- fascinating things about internet it has been a transformation. ge runs great snarky ads and kid gets a job and makes fun of the others. i heard one person say 15% of gdp that you can do purely digitally and consumer without lots of industry, without lots of science, without lots of
hippa and the majority of the world is still there. so it's the hospitals, all the difficult stuff. what's interesting being out here in boston you're close to the government, you're closer to real-world problems, you're closer to industry, you're closer into biotech and science. the real science of trying to cure cancer, trying -- these are now start to go con -- converge and i think that transformation is just happening and it really is the big companies and the industrial internet. i also feel that we also see ai internet things, there's also things like digital currencies and convergance and i think a lot of people try to solve it because specially because a lot of the computer-science based
companies have done so well financially. it's the old idea, that if they're rich they must be smart. they built a model that made them a lot of money. now we have to tie it in a very way. we have to bring the social scientists, lawyers, doctors, biologists and that part hasn't grown yet. i'm worried a little bit. we are investing as if it were a done deal and it's not. we are deploying ai without understanding how we are going to do the control. i'm a bit worried that some of the pieces are happening in an slightly awkward order. >> what is your cristal ball tell you about the time scale for these innovations actually defusing throughout the boring old fashion economy? >> there's a great paper in nature by crawford, but she says people are afraid of artificial intelligence, super intelligence but the world is already taking over by dumb machines and we don't even know it, right?
i think what's interesting is sort of getting into society in a weird way. ai is word because it has probably a dozen or two breakthroughs that need to happen and you can't predict breakthroughs. that's one of the problems. a couple of breakthroughs, for instance, it's hard to time that and it's the same with digital currencies. regulators, a bunch of things could tip something like that, you know, like the digital, the distribute autonomous and weird stuff, but when things happen are hard to predict and even things like vr, this is like the third wave of vr. i don't know if this is a real wave or second wave, digital currencies were big in the 90's and they are back. they also come in cycles and hard to tell you exactly when
it's going to catch so it's a nonanswer. >> very artful nonanswer. i forgot to tell my fellow panelists let's not have the one way conversation, if you want to react to anyone else said, let's just have a conversation. i want you to pick up on a word that joe pointed which is worries. is there anything about this world that we are creating that worries you,/terrifies you? >> sure, when you think about and close your eyes and imagine the world 30 years from now, do you imagine star trek or mad max. what's interest to go me is i have two very sets of conversation, two very different sets of conversations about this . the conversation in san francisco is star trek and in
baltimore it's more like mad max. there are things -- and you know, one thing about my book, the industries of the future it's either utopian nor distopia. we are going to be healthy and eyes close, fist clenched. i think -- >> so which is it? come on. [laughter] >> no, no. i think life is going to be far better for the vast majority of the 7.2 billion people around the world but i do think the exception to this is going to be low-skilled labor and high-cost labor markets. let me ask the audience a question, raise your hand if you've ever heard of a company called foxcon. raise your hand.
raise your hand if you own an apple or samsung device? >> three thirds. >> the thing that terrifies me was most animated by the guy who started foxcon terry gew. what terry said to me i i have 9,700 employees, i'm sick of humans. >> you are one of the pioneers of taking low-cost and bringing it to the coast and building our electronics for us, what do you mean you're not hiring anymore humans and he looks at me and he goes, humans, no cap x, robots, all cap x no op x. when you hire a human maybe i
buy them cards but every two weeks they want me to pay them. high op x and the longer they work for me the more they want me to pay them. he then goes, robots, high cap x, they make me buy the robot but after that, no op x. he goes, i don't have to pay them a salary, they don't get pregnant, they don't join a union, they don't complain, i can work them 24 hours a day, they are my slaves and not long there after he fired 60,000 humans and replaced them with robots. so the worry for me about the rise of technologies that enable labor that isn't merely manual and routine, the work of men with strong shoulders working in ports, factories, mines and mills and means that high cost, particularly high cost labor
markets like the united states, if you don't have skills that map to where job growth will be as jobs are displaced by ever more powerful technologies, then -- then stagnation is the best possible outcome. so that's what's scares me. it's my native west virginia and inherited west baltimore. i worry about those folks. >> michael, you have been hearing some version of the future where the next wave of technology is going to take all the jobs for quite a while. i just labeled your argument, not you. do you buy it? >> well, you know, we are starting to slip into what i would call long-term topics and, of course, i'm much more of, okay, how do we compete today in the industry. let me just make a couple of points. first of all, you know, we have a relentless ability for
technology to do certain kinds of things efficiently without the need for labor in the traditional sense. no question about that. that's been going on for a long, long time. society has not ended yet after hundreds of years of that and what we've got to keep remembering is that the stuff we do today and we want workers to do today it's not the same thing we want them to do tomorrow and the day after that and the very merging is creating all kinds of new opportunities. for example, fairly soon you will start to hear about the concept of hard-connected yard.
>> as we get more efficient in doing more basic things, we can take on other things. and when we get into the world of services, we find that it's very hard to replace many services. so i think the first thing we've got to understand is we don't, we can't see it as a zero sum, fixed pie here. we've got to recognize that these new technologies are creating lots of new opportunits for people to do stuff. the second thing, and this is perhaps less known now, you know, there's another piece of this digital/physical interface,
and that is, okay, how does it interact with humans. okay? and the digital/physical interface is creating all this new data we never had before. where is this, how is it working, is it being used 24 hours a day or 6 hours a day. we have all this information. the question is, how do we get that information into the humans? and if we make the human read their computer screen and also look at the physical object and we -- those interfaces are separate, then actually it's not very efficient. so we've got something called august med reality. everybody or heard of that? that's the pokemon go thing. [laughter] that's a big deal. because what that is, is a new way of kind of getting the information to the human in the context of the physical reality, of the real world. so this is like a heads-up display in your car. if you're trying to figure out where to go and you're having to look at your screen all the time, you're going to be very,
very inefficient in making the choices about how, you know, how to pilot your little ship. >> and less safe, right? distracted driving deaths are up about 10% so far in america. >> so if you're trying to merge all digital information together with the physical reality of where you are now and place in time you are, but we now have augmented reality which you can put on a headset -- pretty soon there'll be mostly headsets, you can also do it op an ipad -- and you can get the data superimposed on the actual physical reality, okay? and so you can put, you can put on your glasses and look at this machine, and it'll show you the machine is overheating. you won't have to read that on the screen and figure out which part of the machine is overheated. you can superimpose -- i bring this up because that, those augmented reality glasses can make a low-skilled worker much more skilled. they can allow a low-skilled
worker to be guided by the information. we're using these now on production lines where workers are, rather than looking at the plans, they're actually being guided by the augmented reality glasses to actually know what to do next and to be very flexible in that process. so if this boeing 747 needs this set of characteristics and this set of parts, the worker can just instantly adapt to that complexity. now, you try to robotize that, massively costly. so i think we need to recognize that there are opportunities being created by this technology just not risks, i guess that's my -- >> i would add on i think for industries, certainly our company's familiar with it couldn't be coming at a better time in some respects because many of these industries the people are aging out, they're retiring in the oil and gas, in the energy, in the, in, even in aviation, we don't have as many pilots as the world needs. so the reality that industry is
being digitized and the kind of skills that are going to be brought, i think, is going to be very helpful in some of these industries where today they're having a hard time hiring people trained the old way. but are we training people, that's one of the challenges in companies, in communities. that's why i love alec's book as a road map. i think we all need to get together and say what are those jobs, how do we all work together, government, business, figure that out. and i would say the other thing is just when you look at robotics and some of those things, we're finding applications to get rid of jobs that are dull, dirty and dangerous. is so to these are jobs that, frankly, humans shouldn't be doing them. and the fact that you can send a robot or a drone to do them much more effectively, it creates a higher order job. the challenge is will people be able to rise to that occasion with the skills, with the interests? are people just going to, you know, sit at home and, you know, play on their video games, or are they going to use the opportunity to raise their skills? there's also a motivation piece of that.
it's not just retraining people. >> joi, one of the alternatives to michael's vision which is helping people cope with crazy amounts of data is getting rid of the people altogether and just letting machines cope with the crazy amounts of data. the breakthroughs in machine learning, like you've alluded to, are staggering over the past few years, unanticipated, and taking us into some very, very new territory. i've heard you talk a lot about the need to keep -- your great phrase is society in the loop, artificial intelligence. tell us what you mean by that. >> so i'll go to that, but i just wanted to add one thing to the work part, because i agree and i think even without the robots just on the soft side, you could imagine artificial intelligence that -- and it's pretty, we're pretty close to there that knew everything that a doctor needed to know. then a doctor maybe just a year or two of community college, and it might be a pharmacist, it might be a nurse, it might be your mom, right? so the interface with the medical system has this, we call
it skilled labor, but it's actually years of torture to turn a human being into a data a base when, in fact, you just want the human being to be the interface. and the other thing i think that's really important is it's hard to anticipate exactly what's going to happen. so one example be is when alpha go beat the top go player, everybody thought, oh, that's the end of go. now go board sales are up as high as it's ever been, the mit go team is twice as large. they're now more inspired about go than they've ever been in their life. so introducing an a.i. into something like go has rejuvenated the whole thing. so i think our relationship with the machines will evolve, and we're kind of afraid because we haven't really been there yet. but when you talk to people who have been in self-driving cars, we did a trial in japan, they all come back and say, wow, that's safer than i've ever felt before. now that they've experienced it. they're no longer afraid.
and i, i theorize that, you know, the driving will become so much safer with self-driving cars that fun to drive will be kind of like the smoking ads. you couldn't imagine why, you know, we are allowed to kill 40,000 people a year just because it's fun, right? and i think that sort of society in the loop part is i think society and machines will co-evolve. i think society has to accept things, society will change, but i think we're very resilient, so i'm fundamentally optimistic because i think we'll find new things to do. i totally agree, what we call unskilled labor, moms are unskilled labor, but they're extremely valuable. they're not part of our gdp. just think about super-charging mom -- >> not replace, but super-charge. >> yeah. maybe if you super-charge mom, you don't need half the things that kids need these days. i think you need to think about society. when we talk about society in the loop, the problem is when you take the people who are creating the stuff away from the people who are using the stuff,
you end up with stuff you don't really need. and this is, this is a problem. and so what you want is you want mom trying to figure out how to design the a.i., you want the factory work or trying to figure out how to augment their job rather than -- and i apologize to the big industry people, but even the big industry people, you've got people who work on engines, designing systems that are going to make the next generation of engines. so i think that's crucial. and what's happening right now is that computer science is a very sort of disconnected thing. and i think what -- and this is, this is a little bit computer science lesson, but when you do -- when you train an a.i., it's kind of an art form where you collect a bunch of data, and you tweak the algorithm, you pick an algorithm, and you tweak it. and the people who train are, basically, engineers, computer scientists. and what we're trying to do is figure out a way to have the training done by people who understand the art, whether it's a farm ore -- farmer or a mom.
>> so get the massive administration out of the way. >> right. the problem is what you do then is you test it -- one of my funniest stories i heard was, apparently, there are kids that cut, like, stop sign-shaped things out of red craft paper, and they go in front of google, and these junior high kids go like this -- >> to mess with the cars? >> all jammed up, right? [laughter] the problem is if something happens that's outside of what the data set has, a machine can't really react to it. and so you need to start to build a relationship between the humans and the machines. and that's, i think it's coming, but so far it's been pretty segregated. >> i want to ask each of you one final lightning round question about who the winners and the losers in the industries of the future are going to be. so think about your answer to that. when we're done or, we'll have time for questions from everyone here. there's a microphone up front. if you've got a question, please, formulate it and come to
the month when we're done up here. very quickly, i will call time on us if we're rambling. winners and losers of the industries of the future. alec, you start. >> i think about six billion of the 7.2 billion people on earth will largely be the winners. i think with the exception of low-cost, with the exception of low-skilled labor in high-cost labor markets, i think overwhelmingly -- >> what about those remaining one billion who tend to do things like vote and rise up and not like their lot in life? >> yeah. so this is exactly why i think donald trump is the, is a viable president for candidate -- viable candidate for president right now. i mean, i think that the rise of sort of the lunatic right can be explained in significant measure. again, i was born and raised in west virginia which is the state where donald trump got the highest percentage of vote.
>> we now return you to your regularly-scheduled panel. losers. >> the losers are low-skilled labor and high-cost labor markets. >> michael. >> well, first of all, i think there's a lunatic left as well, and -- [laughter] i think it's just as destructive, so the lunatic part is, i think, our greatest concern right now. i personally believe our biggest problem in this country is our political process that can't actually allow us to see the synthesis and the compromise that we need to actually get things done that the society needs to do, but that's a small detour. [laughter] i think in terms of the industries of the future, one of the points we haven't really brought up is that what used to be a separate industry is now getting connected to other industries. and so take, take a farm tractor. a farm tractor now is not just a farm tractor. a good farm tractor that's in this new world actually able to be connected to all the other pharma chiens that are operating --
>> you on optimistic that the average farm tractor maker is going to recognize that and successfully -- >> well, they are -- already are. and it's making farms more productive and producing more crops with less water, fertilizer and more productivity. so i think the optimism is even greater when we start to see that we can kind of put what historically have been separate things together, and that allows us to get even more efficiency. so i would say any set of product areas where they're really part of a bigger system, and that system can get created. that's going to be a success story in the future. >> losers? >> you know, losers are the ones that get disintermediated. they're the ones -- for example, we used to have pedometers, you know, and you could wear a pedometer and see how many steps you took. we don't have them anymore because it's been subsumed into a system of other measurements
that are going on at the same time. and so you don't need a pedometer. so the power to integrate the physicalling and digital -- physical and digital and administer and more functionality to whatever the physical thing is, i think, is creating risk for people that are doing little, discreet pieces and don't see this trend coming. >> got it. you can't mention ge in the winner category. [laughter] >> i'm going to speak broadly. i think the winners are the ones who are going to-and-a-half that it that -- navigate that in between, and that means google's got to figure out hardware, and ge's got to figure out hardware. a lot less command and control, partnering, appreciating the value of an ecosystem where you don't have to do everything yourself. so the race is on. and i think the losers, conversely, are those who cannot get there, who only think i'm going to take digital, and it doesn't matter. i'm -- that's all i need. >> i've got an app, i've got digital. >> exactly. >> yep. >> joi.
>> so everyone sort of said most of in the, obviously, things that i agree with. but i would look at it as sort of how good you are at learning. so a lot of industries you sort of learn it, and then you're repeating. and what's important is to try to figure out what your core asset is and figure out where it applies, and so you do find tractor companies innovating, all kinds of interesting companies that look like they might be disintermediated, but they have learned to learn, and they're able to move. and other companies who feel like they're obviously going to succeed, but they stop learning, they'll -- if they stop learning, they'll fail. you're seeing a shift in who gets to be at what layer, and you can pivot if you know what your asset is. and so -- and, again, i think that i'm going to take a pot shot at education. i think the educational -- countries that have educational systems that aren't changing. it's really about turning human beings into robots. the industrial revolution was getting soldiers and factory workers to work in a repetitive,
boring way, and now we need people to be adventurous, to be creative. and i think the problem is that the whole idea of a good human being was really something that looks like a robot. and i think that societies that can pivot there, more people who can pivot there, companies who can pivot there, that's essential,ing and i think, and i think that it's not just one category. >> we all know that there are three rules for asking a good question in a forum like this. it needs to be short, it needs to be clear, and it needs to be a question. [laughter] all over the boston book festival today there are people getting that wrong. [laughter] we are better than that. [laughter] sir, show us. >> so mining the big data is the industry of the future, that was the starting point. so when we think about big data, we're talking about putting all that data somewhere. >> i need to feel like it's heading to a question. >> oh, yeah, i'm getting there.
>> but get there quickly. >> okay. [laughter] so the storage, the infrastructure, that's off somewhere. that's the thing about the cloud, it's tucked away, it's hidden. how can we possibly have enough spinning hard drives, enough electricity, to encompass all of the little blips from tennis rackets and gps -- >> that's a great question. are we going to run out of cloud? >> i can't speak to that, but certainly in the industrial internet space you're look at control and data information happening on premise and in the cloud and getting the balance of the two, there's going to be certain funks that have to -- functions that have to happen in your factory, on the side of the machine, and not everything is going to go to the cloud for security, compute power and a whole host of other reasons, but, yes, cloud computing is getting bigger. >> joi, are we going to run out of cloud? >> i don't think so. you can google for this snowden leak document about the intelligence agencies and how
they're dealing with the big data problem, and what they do now is they have artificial intelligence and machine learning, and they just watch the flow and create a model. so a.i. models take up a lot less space than the data itself. you don't actually have to carry around the data and the instructions, you can learn from it. it's kind of like our brains, we don't remember everything, but we remember what we learned from it. so learning, actually, is a kind of compression technology. so it is interesting that the intelligence agencies are starting to throw out a lot love data because they can just sort of remember roughly that -- >> a conclusion from it. >> yeah. >> all right. so earlier this week the "wall street journal" had this great article about how the tech industry was great at creating wealth but not very good at creating jobs, right? they did a statistical analysis that said tech jobs are are decreasing pretty significantly. and we talked about how -- >> question, question. >> -- much more production and the jobs are going away. the question is how do you actually incentivize companies
to create more jobs instead of becoming more productive and creating wealth? >> that sounds like a question for you. >> again. i think it's at that intersection. one kind of job dose away, but -- goes away, but another kind of job comes along. you might get a robot or a drone that's replacing what someone did that was dull, dirty or dangerous, but someone has to actually operate that drone and figure out -- >> which is neither as dull or as dangerous as what the drone is doing. >> right, exactly. so i do think, i do think new jobs are going to be created. but there's no doubt that there is going to be this bridge of time where we're going to have to retrain and reconfigure some of the jobs. i mean, there's no doubt that we all have to face into that. >> michael, how do we incentivize this? >> well, before i get to that, let me just say that tech has created a lot of jobs, it's just that where they were created is the issue. and in america, unfortunately, the apple created massive jobs, but they were not in america, most of them, except for the really high-skilled ones.
and that is something that, you know, it's sad because we have a tremendous company innovating, creating massive value, and yet most of the work was offshore. why did the work go offshore? because we've done a crummy job of improving our business environment. we haven't made obvious changes in our infrastructure, our training system, our tax code. >> how would you wave your magic wand and improve that environment to create -- >> you know, the u.s. can be very, very competitive. a lot of these jobs that went overseas could be here, but we have to somehow -- i want to get back to the point i made earlier. we haven't had any progress on any of these big economic policy issues in the last 20 years in america. because we're screaming at each other, and we're gridlocked s and we're frozen. and we know what to do to fix our economy. so i don't want us to think that tech opportunity create jobs. it creates lots of jobs. the issue is whether america is
an inviting, efficient, low cost of doing business place, and right now we're just not. >> okay. policy guy, how do we create the right environment, right incentives in america for jobs? >> i mean, the first thing we have to do is we have to create incentives for the people who we elect to do this work for us to collaborate. and we as, you know, the governed pick the governing. >> okay. >> all 535 members of the united states congress are people who we voted for. and right now the incentives of the voters are misaligned with good governance where what we have is the right going far, far, far to the right, the left going far, far, far to the left and where the governance tends to take place -- >> in the middle. >> -- is in the middle. it's compromise. there are, god forbid, commas and semicolons involved in the creation of kinds of policies that michael is describing which would actually make america more globally -- >> give us an example of one concrete policy. let's assume --
>> tax -- >> -- massive collaboration happened. >> repatriating foreign earnings. there are a couple trillion dollars sitting in foreign banks right now that american companies cannot bring back to the united states. they'd pay taxes and use them for capital expenditures, you know, hiring more people, building factories and other such things. because it's viewed in such an incredibly facile way by people on the far right and on the far left. you know, i do think that we can have a compromise on vast areas of tax policy. but instead -- >> okay. i'm going to stop you there because we have many people who want to ask questions. i see i'm being draconian not just on you, but on them too. >> i want to ask you a question about books because it's a book festival. i recently read black swan and change my mind of how world works. i'm curious, what is the last book you read change your perception of the world?
>> great question for a book festival. lightning round, go. joi. >> i'm trying to remember. i'm going to go last, because -- [laughter] >> i'm reading a philosophy book right now called how to live, and it's about mountain. and i'm -- month town. >> that's good. >> it is good. i think i've heard joi make this point, i do think -- i studied science. i didn't study philosophy. i think critical thinking and philosophical wisdom are going to be important to give us the context we need for decision making, so i'm drawn to that right now. >> michael? >> i've been reading books about how human beings learn and gather information and absorb information and make decisions because i think that's kind of really on the frontier of how we make this synthesis between machines and people work. >> is there a title you can share with us? >> if i could remember, i would. i read too many. >> so those memory books are having a huge impact. >> yes, they are.
[laughter] >> originals by evan grant, and a book about china. >> ready yet? >> yeah. i, i'm also skimming a lot of book, and i don't want to be too narrow, but i will. i think there's a book called debt -- >> oh, yeah. >> what is it, is it the 5,000-year history. i think for me at least personally getting to -- because we're sort of fish/water thing. we all assume money's the way it is, and i think the next big phase around change is going to be sort of reinventing what money is. i think that's going to be pretty important. >> i'm going to exert moderator privilege and answer the question, because i love it. ing hill billy elegy which really explains american culture in a way that was hugely beneficial to me. great question, thank you. sir? >> you all had an interplay between those closer to future and those farther from it. what do you see as the role of
each of the institutions you represent in connecting that future with smaller, lagging players meaning both consumers and smaller businesses. if it's an active role to, what action -- >> great question. okay. in this order this time. your institution, what's the role? >> well, i would have to choose my institution first. i'll point to my academic institution, johns hopkins. what i would say is that i think that there's an important role for university institutions to make sure that the educational outputs that come from campus map to the inputs that are going to be required over the next 30-40 years from the private sector. >> michael? >> i remember one of the important titles, industries of the future. [laughter] so i would say that in hvs we are rewriting, in a way, our curriculum because what a marketing is, what production is, what research is, what all the disciplines in business are are being changed significantly
by the fusion between machines and digital. and this is something that is very challenging. i mean, in a sense what management is is changing. and what managers need to know is changing. and the appreciation that managers need to have for some of these new technologies is material. so we're having to change that. >> yeah. i think institutions like ge need to make sure there's a good balance of optimizing today and planting the seeds for tomorrow and fighting short-termism, and i think that's what you should count on companies to do, and that means working a lot with start-ups, working with people who are more freelance, you know, sort of more freelance molds and making themselves more open and accessible. that's why ge's here in boston, because we want to be part of a broader ecosystem. and you're seeing that modeled around the world with a lot of companies. >> so the media, we used to use a phrase demo or die, and i changed it to deploy or die, and
then president obama said maybe you should drop the die part. [laughter] but we, so we have almost 90 companies that are members of the lab including ge and lego, and they're all over the place. and we also work with all the disciplines. to your bill gibson quote, i think everybody has something that's ahead of everybody else. so our job is to connect those people that don't normally connect. so connect the computer sciences, connect lego to ge -- >> no place better at that than the media lab. you are the connectors of the academic world. >> we like to think so. but i think that's really -- how do you connect -- because the problem is not so much about the future, it's the future pointed in the wrong direction. >> right. >> so it's more about making sure that you get feedback loops. >> because i loved your question so much, i'm going to answer it as well. mit is my institution as well. the thing that we can and should do is take our world class educational materials and make them available for free to everybody around the world over
the internet. that is happening, it is the most hearten, one of the most heartening trends that is going. [applause] i'm sorry to put pressure on you. this is the last question. >> great. >> it needs to be a lapping-up final question -- bang-up final question. ready? >> is there a way to have our industrial era economy adjust in a way as a result of these new technologies so that we can abandon the 40-hour workweek, abandon the exchange of economy under our current capitalism and look at ways that there's new free time that we all get also would reward us, allow us to grow as human beings and also make a living at the same time? >> wonderful final question. >> so i would say, yes. as we move from the agricultural age to the industrial age, we went from a mean workweek of six days to five days, from 12-13 hours a day to 8 hours a day, and there's no reason as we go from an industrial age to an information age we can't continue to make progress against that. what we will need though is a new social contract.
we had a associate contract during the feudal days, during the industrial age where we have tensions today is where we try to graft elements of our industrial age social contract onto the information age. >> the mark of a good question, i told you, was that it was short, clear and a question. all of our people did a wonderful job. the main job of a good moderator is to end on time. thank you all for coming. this has been fantastic. thanks to our panelists. [applause] ♪ ♪