• Carol Wong

Think exponentially to drive exponential mindsets

Technology is fundamentally different. Technology grows exponentially. Computing power is escalating dramatically by a power of 10, is progressing more each hour than it did in its entire first 100 years. Computing power is forecasted to surpass all 7 billion human brain power by 2045.

According to Albert Allen Bartlett, an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. Our cognitive brain is wired linear as we grow up in a natural world of linear; i.e. one day is 24 hours, one week is 7 days, and one year is 365 days. Very few nature is exponential and visible to us. Humans cannot grasp exponentials.

The acceleration of the scope, scale, and impact of technology is making the world evolving exponentially. We will need to think, plan, or predict exponentially. However, it is not easy to detect exponential trends as the initially slow growth could be deceptive. Experts often fail at predicting the future of their fields because they tend to make a linear correlation from the past to the future. They tend to mistakenly assume that straight-line growth, rather than exponential growth, will continue.

In conclusion, let us begin with understanding the implications of exponential technologies. In the future, we will be in the world of IR 5.0 where human intelligence works in harmony with cognitive computing power enabling mass personalization. It means what we used to think impossible is now made possible by leveraging exponential technologies.

Although it is not easy to predict exponential growth, we must have the right exponential mindset to think about the technology implications. We must be prepared to go through a phase of disappointment due to exponential returns is slow. We need to continuously embrace an exponential mindset to think exponentially about exponential technologies' implications.

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