Ep. 36 – Emerging Tech – Trends Review 2022
A review of the current emerging tech landscape and trends, plus an introduction of guests and topics for Season 7 of the Creating Cadence podcast.
Any resources referenced in the episode are listed below the transcript.
Creating Cadence Transcript – Ep. 36
For season 7 of the Creating Cadence podcast, we’re going back to the future, to explore current trends with emerging technology such as the metaverse and AI. I’m also talking to people doing fascinating things with these forward-thinking tools.
Hi and welcome to Creating Cadence – a podcast for life and work in motion.
I’m your host Mich Bondesio, a writer, speaker, coach and consultant.
It’s my aim to help high achievers stuck on the treadmill of hustle culture to transform how they work and how they approach business.
So that they can activate more of their potential and perform better in every part of their life, at a cadence that is more suitable to them, despite this fast-paced world we live in.
This is episode 36, and the first episode of Season 7, recorded in September 2022.
So, if you’ve been wondering why the podcast and I have been a bit scarce for a while, it’s because we’ve been on a six-week summer sabbatical. I’ve still been working over this period, but as part of my intentional productivity workflow, every year at this time (and also for about month across December & January), I usually take a break from producing and publishing content.
It’s good to be back though, especially as I’m recording this intro episode from South West France, where I’m currently digital nomading for part of September.
That said, please be aware that I’m recording in a temporary home and I have no control over any external sounds that might distract in the background.
So, for this season, we’re looking at the future of business and how emerging technology can support us as we transition in our work and wellbeing, and as we establish new ways of doing business and leading our lives, which incorporates this technology to a greater degree.
I first investigated this topic a year ago, in September 2021.
Season 4, which ran from episode 21 to 25, provided an introduction for web3, the metaverse and all the interesting technologies that support it.
So for Season 7, I’m heading back there again, to see what’s changed or hasn’t and to interview some people about this topic.
In this episode I’ll do a quick recap of Season 4, before looking at the trends predicted for this year and my thoughts on that. I’ll also introduce you briefly to my guests for Season 7.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in.
Part 1 – Recap on Emerging Tech
As I mentioned, Season 4 was a primer. It was recorded at a time when these technologies were just starting to come to the fore and be discussed in mainstream media.
There was a crazy hype around crappy jpegs commanding millions and this new concept called the metaverse had come on the scene.
If the following topics are totally new to you, I recommend going back to listen to that season, but here’s a quick run down of what was covered.
In episode 21, I set the scene for this new frontier and touched on cryptocurrency, NFTs, creator coins and blockchain technology.
For episode 24, I looked specifically at wellbeing, and considered what might help and hinder us as we engage with these new technologies.
And episode 25 concluded the season with a focus on the creative, productive and business aspects of using these converging technologies, including some of the opportunities that they might provide.
I ended off Season 4 by surmising that this new technology was going to have far reaching impacts and that it would affect every single aspect of our lives and every single sector of business.
It is becoming embedded in our reality more and more every day. And irrespective of our age, we’re going to have to adapt and adjust and learn how to work with it.
Now, I want to preface everything I say in this season’s episodes with two important points:
First, some of what I suggest here is totally speculative. I’m not a tech guru, and even the tech gurus out there don’t know 100% for sure what’s going to happen, but there are some strong indicators as to where things might be headed. I’m also not a financial advisor so please do your own research before you make any decisions, especially ones that involve spending money or transferring currencies.
And second, it’s important to remember that although some of this technology has been around for a while, some of it hasn’t been mainstream for very long at all, and some of how this tech is used hasn’t been properly regulated or formalized yet.
Although the lingo is becoming part of our lexicon, for the person on the street, much of this arena is still very new and we are still really, really early in the game here.
So, what has happened in a year and what are the trends that are being pushed in 2022.
Part 2 – Current Tech Landscape
The biggest news of 2022 so far has been the crash of crypto and the crypto and NFT scams that have been occurring with increasing frequency.
Cyber security has been been getting the big hairy eye and in particular crypto security has been under the gun.
Consumers are also demanding more privacy from providers across the board. So as annoying as it might be seeing GDPR notices pop up and “Track Me All Across the Internet Why Don’t You” Cookie buttons coming up in our browsers, the likelihood is that we will be seeing plenty more of this in future. Either that or it will start being built into things as a default.
Regarding the crypto doldrums, like any investment on the traditional stock market, the highs and lows of the crypto markets are bound to happen. And they’re also informed by what’s happening with the global financial situation, which let’s face it is currently in the dwang.
Ongoing supply chain issues, the climate crises, cost of living meltdown, the Ukrainian war, Brexit, crappy leaders making bad decisions, and so on.
All of these things play their role in creating the financial instability we’re currently facing, both in the crypto markets and elsewhere.
But we need to look beyond crypto and the general faddish state of things like NFTs and designer digital trainers to things like blockchains that support these currencies and purchases, because their use cases are far broader than just a new kind of money or value exchange.
And we need to consider the deeper context and implications of emerging technologies as a whole, both in how they’re already affecting our lives and businesses and where things are going.
At the time of recording, Ethereum (one of the first and most reputable of the blockchains to be created so far) is on the verge of what is known (in capitals) as “The Merge”.
Ethereum Mainnet will commence merging with the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake system (POS). This will mark the end of proof-of-work (PoW) for Ethereum, and set the stage for future upgrades with other networks. Perhaps most importantly, The Merge will reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption by ~99.95%, this is according to Ethereum.org.
I talked about this briefly in Season 4 but have linked to the most up-to-date references about The Merge on the Ethereum.org site.
So, moving on, I know we’re almost at the end of the year, but let’s look at the trends in emerging tech that were predicted for 2022
Part 3 – Current Trends in Emerging Tech
For this episode, I’ve looked to two reputable resources for information.
The first is a 2022 Tech Trends Report from CB Insights which covers 12 specific areas of development.
Some of these areas are specific to particular sectors and industries, such as healthcare, food production, drug testing and energy supply.
Others relate to digital security; supply chain management; as well as marketing, sales and payment approaches based on digital consumer purchasing habits.
I’m not going to go into all of them, you can access the link to the 70 page report in the show notes, but I will connect a few of the ideas discussed in that report to the trends covered in the PWC report.
PWC or Price Waterhouse Coopers is one of the big four accounting and professional services firms, alongside Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG.
A decade ago they analyzed more than 250 emerging technologies and identified 8 Essential Emerging technologies that their research indicated would have the most impact on the future of business.
These are AI (artificial intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (virtual reality), Blockchain, Drones, IoT (the Internet of Things), Robotics and 3D Printing.
PWC have subsequently flagged Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology as things to also watch out for, but from monitoring the Essential 8, they’ve discovered 6 themes that are coming to the fore in 2022.
Each of these 6 themes require the interaction or collaboration of 2 or more of these 8 emerging technologies, and these 6 themes are as follows:
1. The Automation of Trust
2. Extended Reality
3. Immersive Interfaces
4. Working Autonomy
5. Digital Twins
6. Hyperconnected Networks
So let’s look at each of these emerging themes in a bit more detail.
Part 4 – Emerging Themes in Emerging Tech
1. The Automation of Trust
I mentioned earlier about cybersecurity being a trend and it ties in with increasing needs to verify identities, authenticate data, manage supply and ensure that we can conduct multiparty transactions across physical and virtual terrains without our digital money being stolen, our reputations being tarnished and our data being compromised.
Trust and security are essential for doing business in these digital spaces and the automation associated with this will become more efficient and more effective as things progress.
2. Extended Reality
Also known as XR, extended reality is an umbrella term for immersive technologies which merge the physical and digital world. Those technologies currently include AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality) and Mixed Reality (which is a combination of both AR and VR).
This term XR crops up in a few of my guest interviews this season too.
XR is currently accessible via tools such as headsets and mobile devices. At the moment, it’s most commonly seen in the spheres of entertainment, consumer purchasing, training simulations and product development. And it has widespread applications for collaboration, upskilling and concept testing.
Already, using our phones, we have options like digitally testing out the look of new spectacles against a photo of ourselves. Or we can browse furnishings online, and place a potential 3D version of a new sofa in our living room, or a fridge in our kitchen, to see how the style, colour and size fits with our existing set up.
So it’s going to be interesting to see where this goes.
3. Immersive Interfaces
So, we already have voice interface down pat because we chat with Alexa and Siri, and they can mimic our voice too. The next step in humanizing immersive interfaces is for this AI tech to be able to read our emotions, our body movements and brain waves to interpret our needs and communicate with us more seamlessly.
Two of my guests on the show this season reference this type of applications, which they engage with as part of their work.
4. Working Autonomy
AI has been around for a long time, and it plays a role here in the evolution of more intelligent automations that can predict and act on our behalf. These end-to-end systems will aid our decision making and productivity, enabling us to get on with the work that uses our best human abilities.
Incidentally, with regards to the fear of losing work because the robots are going take our jobs. Yes, there is a likelihood that many existing roles can and will be outsourced to digital systems in the future.
But new roles will also be created. And our existing roles will adapt.
One of the most important skills that any knowledge worker can develop at the present time is learning how to leverage and collaborate with these emerging technologies.
Because our human input (and by that I mean our creativity, empathy, decision making and ethical mindset) will still be required to guide our AI-driven counterparts. So knowing how to work alongside robots is going to be a key skill here.
5. Digital Twins
Also known as digital reflections, these are virtual simulations and replicas of interconnected physical processes and interactions.
Being able to recreate our real world as 3D virtual objects means we can problem solve and test out solutions for big challenges but in a safe space without the potential for more real world fallout if something goes wrong in those simulations.
For example, scientists at the World Economic Forum are recreating a digital twin of the earth to test models and simulate potential solutions that can help address the climate crises.
Another example of digital twins are the avatars that we create for ourselves online.
Research via CB insights indicates that more Gen Z consumers feel more like themselves online than they do offline.
For those who may not be familiar with the term Gen Z, or Zoomers, this is the next batch of consumers coming up the ranks after Millennials.
According to the Pew Research Center Generation Z are people born between 1996 and 2012. They are also true digital natives who were born into a digital world with smart phones, fast internet etc.
Personally, I find the fact that the majority of GenZ can’t relate in their physical world very disturbing.
I feel like they are missing out on so much. And most parents might do too if they’re concerned about their children who may be wrapped up in these worlds where their online self is deemed more important and more real than their physical world and their physical self.
This situation is not something that you or I might be able to personally change, but knowledge and vigilance can go a long way to keeping our kids safe and helping them to navigate the fine line between the physical and the digital with more self awareness.
The important thing to note in this context is that the Avatar economy is becoming a fast growing new consumer market.
Direct to Avatar (or D2A) is the next B2C. Mass fashion brands are going all in on creating things like NFTs, metaverses and collaborating with other digital worlds to create digital storefronts within these worlds, where they can sell to the digital identities of their consumers.
I’m just scratching the surface here, there’s a lot more going on that’s beyond my remit at this moment.
So let’s move onto the 6th theme covered by the PWC’s report.
6. Hyperconnected Networks
Hyper connection is both about improving the connection between networks, so that everywhere in the world is able to connect online and access digital knowledge, data and information. And it’s also about improving the speed of those connections.
Ultra fast network infrastructure is becoming a reality with the introduction of high speed 5G and 6G, in turn improving connectivity and data collection and optimizing supply chain logistics, in more efficient, accessible and scaleable ways.
This high speed environment will also support ultrafast convenience for consumers, retailers and manufacturing supply chains.
So lots to think about. And some of these themes will be touched on in my conversations with my guests. So let’s find out a bit more about who I’m speaking to for this season of the Creating Cadence podcast.
Part 5 – Mich’s Guests for Season 7
To make good decisions about our future health, productivity, creativity and business, we need to learn about and understand what we’re now dealing with.
And we can all learn something valuable from how my guests for this season use or view these technologies both in our current situation and in the future.
They are creative thinkers and doers who fit one of three scenarios:
1. They are either heavily involved or invested in projects that already use this technology.
2. They’re interested in this technology from a personal and professional standpoint, and are already implementing the tech or the principles behind the tech in some way in their lives or businesses.
3. They’re just starting to take their first steps delving into what this kind of technology might mean for their lives and their businesses.
I’m delighted to have the following people joining me this season:
First up is Caitlin Krause who is the Chief Wellbeing Officer for TRIPP.
TRIPP is a company that creates products that focus on creating the mindful metaverse to support our wellbeing better.
Caitlin is also the founder of MindWise consultancy, and she has a multi-hyphenate career which includes amongst other things being a metaverse fluency advisor, a lecturer at Stanford, a published author and so much more, which I’ll share more about in that episode.
TRIPP and Caitlin are both doing very exciting things in the metaverse field, and I think you’ll enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
My second interview is with the wonderful Jerod Morris who has been building online communities since 2008.
Today, Jerod is the Chief Community Officer for Movement Ventures, where he and his partners Brian Clark and Trudi Roth help freelancers and solopreneurs to build successful online businesses.
Jerod is also the founder and CEO of the Back Home Network, a sports and culture community serving fans and alums of Indiana University. It includes the Assembly Call, a popular podcast show about Indiana University Basketball.
In my conversation with Jerod we talk about these emerging technologies in relation to community, amongst other interesting things.
After Jerod you’ll get to meet two of the co-founders of a company called Sairo. I chat to Matty Hall and James Ascroft, who together with William Sames founded Sairo during the pandemic.
It’s a creative agency and metaverse development company that helps brands to bridge the metaverse and leverage Web3 technology.
Currently their client focus is on luxury goods, fashion brands, collectables as well as antiquities. And the work they’re doing is fascinating.
I also chat with Robert Riggs who is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter and the creator of the True Crime Reporter® Podcast.
The podcast features “real-life” stories from Riggs’ years of reporting “inside the crime scene tape.” As part of his job in a past life as a TV news reporter and news blogger, Robert was fully immersed in Web2 and he shares his thoughts on where we’re going.
Last, but most definitely not least, I get to chat with the lovely Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, who is a best selling author and podcaster who has written a multitude of successful business and fiction books.
Joanna is experimenting with and leveraging a host of different types of emerging technology in her author business. As I’m in the midst of writing my first book as part of my own fledgling author career, I’m so excited that we get talk about these things in more detail.
Now that you have an idea of what’s coming up in Season 7, do stay tuned for these episodes. I’m really grateful that my interviewees took the time to chat with me about these topics. I’ve so much and I hope you will too.
And a few notes before we end off this first episode.
In the spirit of embracing new technology the bulk of these interviews and podcast episodes have been recorded and edited using tools such as Zencastr and Descript both of which employ emerging technology as part of their functionality.
Any resources referenced during this season can be found in the episode transcripts at creatingcadence.co
And if you’re not already signed up to the fortnightly Cadence newsletter, you can do so at creatingcadence.co/subscribe.
The newsletter is a free accompaniment to the podcast, but I also go deeper there and share other thoughts and resources related to podcast topics.
And you’re welcome to drop me a line with your questions or comments, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
So, thanks for listening. Until next time, keep moving forwards with courage, curiosity and cadence.
Bye for now.