“Imagine travelling from New Delhi to New York in 1 hour – The next level of Travel!”
Today we struggle with the huge amount of hours required in inter-continental travel. New Delhi to New York takes around 24 hours, even New Delhi to Europe take more than 8 hours. All this is going to change as per the plans shown recently by Elon Musk for his venture “SpaceX“. SpaceX is working on a plan to transform travelling on earth, where a rocket will take you to space and then re-enters the earth and brings you to your destination. As per SpaceX’s achievements in the past related to Space Science, it looks like as if the perfection has been achieved in Rocket Science. This perfection is now turning into commercial aspirations of the corporation.
Is it really something achievable?
We usually say “Nothing is impossible!”, then how can we doubt something on which so many Govt. Agencies / Pvt. Corporations have worked in the past 70 years. It’s only that it has been planned to execute in a different way now. Although, such references of travel can be found in many science fictions but it’s only now that we feel confident to achieve it. It’s just a matter of time when we achieve what seemed impossible years ago. The same thing is with SpaceX vision. There have been multiple articles on the internet saying this is too ambitious, a logistics nightmare etc. But they are just viewpoints. If we really want the answer, then we should look at it from the perspective of mastering the space travel.
Now-a-days, we hardly get to hear any incidents where space rockets failed or any casualties happened due to that. It gives a clear signal that humans have mastered space travel. A famous phrase “This is not rocket science”, will will be irrelevant 10 years down the line.
In order to prove their current capability, Elon showed the journey of rocket inventions happened at SpaceX. You can check out the below picture from the presentation where evolution is shown pertaining to their Rocket Capability.
(Image Courtesy – SpaceX)
Space Travel – Disruption in the air
Air travel has come a long way in the last 200 years, which will be redefined by SpaceX by introducing travel through space designed rockets.
Elon seems to be obsessed with the way humans travel – First Electric Cars and now Space Rockets.
In today’s world, where most of the digital work could be achieved even from a distance then why do we want to shift to the next level. This level is going to change how we used to imagine travel. The disruption will be huge as there will be a new category of travel available. The regulatory authorities need to work on new regulations for this industry, the people need to change their mindset.
Wheel -> Bullock Cart -> Motor Vehicle -> Air Travel – Space Travel
Shift in Strategy
Why such a sudden shift from Space exploration to providing services in current times. It is only due to the need to commercialize operations at the earliest. Till now, the funding received has only been for the space missions(Space Travel / Reaching Mars) but the time has come for SpaceX to generate revenues for its investors. Any commercial venture is not viable if it can’t generate revenues for its investors. The change in strategy is right one if SpaceX wants to continue exploring the space and be relevant in the future.
In spite of all the failures, the true strength of SpaceX is now visible to the world. Now we understand, what a brilliant vision and perseverance can achieve.
“An ever emerging world of possibilities is right upon us, we just need to realize our strengths and conquer!”
“Your Fridge does not allow you to order beer as it can impact your liver – your watch doesn’t allow you to eat sugar as you are diabetic – you can’t sleep more than 8 hours as your home automation system doesn’t allow. A connected world is coming our way. Prepare for it and prepare really well!”
All we have been doing till now is interacting with humans/animals or other living creatures. It’s only few years since we are interacting with computers also, but it was not a nuisance in our lives. But now, the humanity is moving to a stage where non-living objects will be talking to us in the form of alerting or stopping us from doing what we like. Just visualize – if your watch alerts you to not eat sweets as you are a diabetic. Your home automation system doesn’t allow you to order beer because you have liver condition.
Till now, we are not into such kind of restrictions. As humans beings, we are owners of our own decisions and actions. The next generation of technological advancement is going to put a lot of restrictions on humans which could be good as well as bad. Its just that we need to prepare well for this next wave of digital connectivity.
Why are we moving towards such a world – do we really need it?
The humans have a tendency to evolve – for the better or worse it is up to an individual to decide. Our very existence has been dependent on the our evolution to move ahead. On this course of evolution, we have done some really bad things to environment, fellow humans, animals, trees & plants etc. Its our expedition to move ahead which forces us to evolve whether its good or bad. There was a time of slavery where humans were kept as slaves to do industrial work. A time when we kept on releasing harmful gases which damaged our very protection from Sun – the ozone layer. When we started cutting trees to convert the places into concrete jungles. So, all these expeditions have seen some good and some bad stuff happening to all of us.
Even after going through rough times and difficult situations, we can’t ignore that we have progressed, developed, evolved during this very course. The next part of the evolution is a connected world where everything and everyone will be tracked and controlled through devices. You may like it or not but its coming our way and going to catch us.
IPification of everything and everyone
Now, what is IPification? It’s just a term which I am using where an IP address is being assigned to an object as well as human. We all know that IP addresses are used to communicate over internet and all the digital connected items have one to communicate. Here, I have added humans as well because there are inventions going on where connected device will be embedded in humans. And for these devices to communicate over internet it will be mandatory to have IP address. So, ideally it will become IPification of humans.
How far is it?
All evolution changes from mankind has taken quite longer duration but this one is coming really fast and will strike us soon in the next 10 years at a very large scale. Like other inventions and evolution, this will also come first in the west and then it will move to east. Even if early adoption will be in the west, but its mass production will be in surely be in the east (China or India). I see it coming sooner than the other changes, as we have mastered the art of moving ahead faster by involving Artificial Intelligence into our systems. We have also got quantum computers now which are million times faster than the current computer systems – I would say “the traditional hardware”. And also the greed of business/politicians will also play a crucial role in early adoption of such technologies.
“We are on the verge of fast paced life where divided opinions may not find a place – as everyone will have to accept the destiny to bind with the Digital World”
“Advobot! A bot fighting your case instead of a lawyer! “
As the whole world is moving towards digitization then how can the legal system be left behind. If you go online, you will find huge number of sites which connect lawyers, clients, advisers. These are mere platforms which helps you to gather information, connect with experienced people and fight a legal case. But the story is going to be different once AI takes over and facilitate invention of “Advobot”. The whole legal system will be dependent and available through bots.
Challenges against Judiciary System
Well, in the beginning all the new ideas seemed unrealistic but finally when they were realized…they took over the world. If we look at the current judiciary system, then you will find it completely outdated – 19th century system. Hardly 10% of the processes are digitized and the adoption itself has its challenge when it comes to those employees who are going to retire soon. As per the latest study, there are over 3 crore cases pending in various courts. These numbers are expected to go up as there are more cases filed everyday as compared to the number of cases resolved. Such situation clearly indicates the need for a faster judiciary system especially in India.
Reluctance to use such automation
Every new beginning always has naysayers, so will this one be. It will definitely get some negative attention in the beginning as its impact is on a bigger ecosystem. The acceptance will come only when people will see its benefits superseding the negative impacts.
Such bots will enable lawyers to dig deeper into the laws/sections and bring out the best argument on their cases. In a way, its going to be an ease for the current players in this field. But this will also impact jobs as it will reduce the dependence on human intelligence. Advobot will help in fighting difficult court cases with less human intelligence in fact it can take it to such levels where a lawyer doesn’t even need to look at the case at all.
I expect it to be a short term reluctance but eventually it will go away when people realize the benefits arising from such services.
How it can be achieved?
Not everyone has idea regarding today’s technical advancements in the field of Machine Learning and Artifical Intelligence. These technical changes have brought drastic impacts in achieving Self-driving cars, solar energy advancements etc. These technologies are bringing a tectonic shift in the way new innovations are being done. The best use of these technologies has been in the fields of space exploration, robotics and climate control. Moreover, its not limited to these fields only. There are other implications of these technologies which are currently being explored and legal technologies is one of them.
Too good to be true? Checkout rossintelligence.com
Still if you think its too good to be true, then you must check out ROSS Intelligence. It’s an AI based system which assist lawyers in doing superfast research on their cases and deliver better productivity to their clients. This system has been designed to facilitate lawyers with – a) Improved Workflow Integration, b) Bill Less, Deliver More advantages.
One such system “Advobot” is expected for Indian Judicial system as well, where our whole legal system is available through AI to explore and provide extra terrestrial intelligence for the pending cases with super-sonic speed. Looking at the development happening in the Indian technology ecosystem, the day is definitely not too far when we will have such systems in place for our Law System.
You can share your views below on the need of such system for Indian judicial machinery.
“A bot which entertains on the kind of jokes only you like”, how does it feel?
All humans have peculiar taste towards entertainment, some like jokes, some like horror, some like games, some like driving etc. etc. This peculiar taste in entertainment creates the need for entertainment bots which understand your mood and play what gives you happiness. I am referring here the interactive entertainment industry which runs into trillions of dollars … maybe more. We know the journey from radio, TV to the internet but we hardly know why this industry has grown to be the number one. This industry touches on a very personal spot of human life that is to be happy.
We all want to be happy all the time and we look for this happiness in the outer world in different forms. Instead of switching channels or watching movies, we just access the entertainment bot and ask it to check our mood and show us what we would like. This is something not available today, but when it gets launched then it will surely be called “Entertainment as a service” or “EaaS”. The personal aspect will come from Machine Learning which will check the mood of a person by tapping into the human brain and show as per the mood.
Interesting but far fetched
It may look a little far fetched but this will eventually come as browsing the internet or surfing the channels is a waste of time. There was a time when people hardly had access to TV, which was a big surprise to watch real-life visuals. Kids used to think that the actors are inside the TV and dancing. As the world progressed, all these technological innovations seem intrinsic to our daily routine. Similarly, EaaS, when arrive will become an intrinsic part of our daily routine and would not seem far fetched at that stage.
Need for such service
Its human tendency to reach higher than the others. The quest for higher targets has left very less time for ourselves and this will be the use case for saving time and play something as per your mood and taste. In today’s internet age, the customized entertainment is in our hands which is a step ahead of the Radio/TV revolution. EaaS will be the next step in this quest which will change the way technology entertains us.
AR – a feather in the crown
Augmented Reality is the latest game changer in the entertainment industry. Combined with your previous years personal data, it can do wonders. Augmented reality is making communication as real as it could be. Now, combined with the fun quotient if we go ahead and bring alive some characters as per your thoughts and give your mind a soothing / fun feeling then it would be another remarkable change for EaaS.
Conquering the unthinkable
“How would you feel if you don’t have to open your eyes to watch your entertainment program?”, this is what we saw in a previous article “Computing with Skin and Mind – Facebook Building 8 Initiative” which talks about Facebook working on a technology to reach the brain through the skin. We can refer to the movie “Matrix“, where people were plugged into systems to learn new skills. If everything goes well with Facebook’s plans, then we might encounter such technologies in the near future.
I just came across this quote on entertainment which goes well here – “Entertainment has this way of resetting itself”.
“While the world sleeps, destiny plans the next move to take”. This quote seems so true for all middle aged Indian IT professionals in the current layoff situation. Internet, newspapers and other communication mediums are flooded with info related to IT professionals in India being laid off. The cause of this situation is actually the IT professionals themselves. They didn’t keep up with the changing scenario in the technology world. The buzz words “Big Data”, “IoT”, “Automation” were everywhere but most of the IT professionals ignored them, especially the middle-aged IT professionals. The destiny was planning the next move in this fast changing industry, but the professionals were busy in drinking beer, watching movies, shopping in malls. They could not figure out the storm coming their way. Now, as the storm has struck, there is no way to run but succumb to the destiny.
The game of numbers
“Greed” is the next main driving factor against all these layoffs. Indian IT companies are facing a lot of pressure to maintain their balance sheet and P&L statements and show profitability in the coming quarters. In the current situation, it has become very difficult to keep up with the projections shown to investors. Getting new projects in today’s scenario has become a herculean task for the Indian IT majors. Moreover, the big companies in US, UK, Australia are themselves looking for new ways to increase profitability in terms of Automation, Robotics, Data Analytics. As they themselves are discovering new ways to enhance their profits, so there is no point generating new work for Indian IT majors. Clearly, there is a cycle of increasing the numbers going on which is having adverse effects on the Indian IT sector.
Can Indian IT professionals fight them off?
It is very unlikely that Indian IT professionals can fight with the companies like Wipro, HCL, Infosys, Accenture etc. Indian IT professionals do not have any umbrella from Indian government to protect their interest in such situations. Being a major contributor to India GDP, Indian IT companies do have many privilege in terms of tax breaks, but there are no privileges to the professionals who work for these majors.
Reason for huge number of Indian IT professionals layoffs
The number of layoffs may be huge in comparison to what has been projected. This will be due to the widespread panic in the industry. The companies who didn’t have planned for it, will start planning for the bad days ahead and may start laying off. There will be few companies who will take this as an opportunity to lay of few employees whom they wanted to layoff but due to different reasons were delaying their decision. The pressure will mount on the employees who will be retained as the tasks performed by the laid off employees will be distributed among them. There could also be layoffs if the productivity of employees goes up. Increased productivity is clearly visible and will work as a deterrant for few employees but opportunity for employers. Such kind of situations usually create a cycle which doesn’t end easily and result in mounted numbers.
Check if you have prepared well in advance
If you are financially secure with no EMI and less monthly expenses, then you can consider yourself prepared well in case of any adverse situation.
But you will find very few people who are well prepared for such a situation as most of them in this age have Home Loan EMI, Car Loan EMI and School fees as mandatory monthly expenses. The situation will be critical for those who get laid off with high monthly commitments.
In case, you are not prepared well, then you need to become emotionally strong and have to possess a strong will to transform yourself to get out of this situation.
How to prepare for the coming layoff wave without being hurt?
Now, the question arises if you can survive this layoff wave without being hurt.
Yes, you can do it with your mental strength.
It is evident that the trend will continue and a lot many professionals will have to face this difficult truth. If we can evolve and learn the new technologies around and prepare our self for the new opportunities, then we still stand a golden chance. It will not be an easy shift but will be the only chance to stay in the race. We need to fight with our full strength and face off the situation like a winner.
For a mid-aged professional, it is not easy to learn the new technologies like IoT, Data Analytics, Robotics or Automation. In case if you feel like not getting into new technologies, then its important you look at the alternates available as per your interest & passion. One thing is for sure, there are very less areas where you could earn your bread & butter in a short span of time.
I am trying to list a few areas which you can explore to use your current knowledge. Choose them as per your interest & passion and don’t expect to get the returns in a short span of time. You also need to be prepared to work hard to succeed in these areas. Just imagine if you have started as a fresher who need to get through difficult APIs before having the final code is ready. Also make sure that you take a wise decision while selecting the alternate career.
You must have been to multiple blogs on the internet to get different kind of information and thought if you could find time then you will start writing yourself. If you think that this is something which is your cup of tea, then don’t think twice but start honing your skills to take on the world. There was a time when newspaper was the only medium to get your voice across. In this information age, your audience is not too far; just need to have that bent of mind to reach them. “Pen is mightier than sword” is changing to “Keyboard is mightier than the nuclear bomb”. The recent ransom ware attack is the best example which shows the power of keyboard. So, don’t shy away from your interest and start writing.
2. IT Trainer
Are you inclined towards making the next generation ready? Then Trainer could be your alternate profession. Although, there is high demand for the new technologies, but the basics of computing have still not died. Even today, every computer student need to learn the basics before they could move ahead to learn the advanced technologies. A lot of new schools/colleges are getting
3. IT Consultant
A little difficult field to choose as you need to have good contacts before you could be hired as an IT consultant. If you see yourself providing services to big corporate as independent IT consultant, then be ready for a long wait. The most important skill here is networking which should be your forte. You need to be passionate about making contacts especially with the influential people. You also need to be ready to explore every area which
4. Social Media Marketer
Lately, this has also been a key area for the big companies to indulge IT people. Internet has become today’s TV. The advertising on internet is considered more important than TV channels. It proves how important internet is for these companies. Similar to advertising, social media portals also needs to be flooded with companies information. This has also been considered a well known skills where IT people with marketing skills are getting involved. If you think that you have developed marketing skills in your career in terms of Presentations, RFPs, SOP etc. and this excites you more than other fields, then you can plan to get into this.
5. SEO Expert
A technical field where you need to understand how search engine works and how to beat them to bring your rankings to the top. An exciting field but difficult to get assignments. It goes perfect in combination with Blogging, as bloggers need to make themselves visible on internet.
Today’s situation is definitely not a good one, but this is something which mid-aged Indian IT professionals are going through. It’s time to create a personal action plan similar to the one which you created for your projects.