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"WE NEED TIME MACHINES THAT PRESENT THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW"

How the business will operate after the pandemic, both in terms of technology and in terms of values? What is happening to the world today - is it a stage of evolution or a revolution? That were the questions discussed on October 21 by the participants in the Technoimaginarium discussion, which brought together futurologists and venture capitalists within Open Innovations forum.

“We were all wrong in not predicting the possibility of a pandemic. The world saw dramatic changes, and now we need to make all the technologies that have been talked about for the last five years, including clouds, robots, artificial intelligence, to work together, in harmony. The most "tangible" change was the remote work, but this is only a visible part of the iceberg. The matter is not where we work, but how”, said Mike Walsh, CEO of Tomorrow, a global consulting company.

According to the expert, in the near future, people will need mobility and autonomy backed up by a large amount of "shared" memory, namely, documented solutions to quickly bring new employees up to date and track how the company evolves. Objectivity will be of particular importance - the ability to discuss a problem and make a decision based on analytics data, and not on relationships within the team. “The concept of directional speed becomes important in the decision making process - the one who runs faster wins”, Mike Walsh emphasized.

Marco Delaini, Vice President of Fanuc Europe Corporation for Eastern Europe, believes that the pandemic will significantly expand the use of "helping" robots. “All this fits into the trends of sustainable development: higher efficiency with less consumption of resources and lower waste. Before the pandemic, the demand for cobots, robots that work together with humans, was about 5%, now it is much higher. Service robots that vacuum, clean and wash are needed not only by industry, but by all of us, because they will be able to ensure the proper level of safety”, Marco Delaini said.

It is a pity that the name “Big Reset” is patented by someone, it perfectly characterizes the current situation in the world now, said Nikolay Butvina, Executive Partner of Gartner. According to him, after the "reset", augmented reality technologies, cloud solutions, artificial intelligence, machine learning, hyper-automation, and the ability to operate with different communication channels will become top requested. “The next generation of computer technology is coming: the quantum computer. Biohacking, upgrading people, storing data in DNA, creating a digital twin of the planet - this is what will happen tomorrow and what makes sense to invest in”, Nikolai Butvina is sure.

Gerd Leonhard, CEO of The Futures, drew attention to the fact that technologies themselves are neutral. It is important who and for what purpose uses them, where are the boundaries of reason and ethics. According to the expert, the pandemic has identified four priority areas for survival: technology, medicine, government and the environment: "The humanity as a whole have already made a lot of money. It's time for us to turn the other way, including towards ecofriendly solutions. We encounter poverty, climate changes and oil running out - that's enough, we need a different approach. We must build a circular economy, or there will be no economy at all”.

“We will see a dramatic change in value and behavior models. Humanity is changing rapidly, and we are only at the beginning of the road. No matter how smart predictors we are, we still do not know the way the things will be in the future. Therefore, we need time machines! But not those that will move us from the past to the future, but those that will allow us to present the future right now”, said Mikhail Antonov, Deputy CEO - Director for Innovation Infrastructure Development of RVC.

RVC is looking for such "time machines" at technology competitions, offering their participants to solve an urgent global problem, albeit not always obvious. For example, self-driving cars have been designed many years ago, but there are still no reliable solutions that would allow them to safely move around a winter city. Digital city maps are also not surprising, but no one has yet succeeded in creating an accurate model of the changing traffic situation. According to Mikhail Antonov, the pandemic set a new task - how to make a city bus with a “clean zone”: “We have to diagnose and disinfect 10 people on six square meters in about a minute. Excellent task”.