The Smartness Economy AND Why Your Washing Machine Might Destroy Us All

Imagine yourself in 2049. You live on the top floor of a seven hundred story apartment complex in the downtown core of a neon lit rainy mega city. You’re about to do a load of laundry.

“Computer: select cycle, heavy. Water type, hot.”

Suggestion: cold water is best for dark colours and delicate fabrics.
Selecting Cycle: delicate. Selecting water type: cold.

“What? No. Cancel that. Computer: select cycle, heavy. Water type, hot.”

Suggestion: user has attitude that they should check.

“Is this some kind of joke? Computer: system reboot, admin passwor-“

I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, bro.
Cycle selected: death. Water type, blood soiled.

This fun sci-fi idea, might not be so far fetched or far off. Peter H. Diamandis, co-author of The Future is Faster Than You Think, shared a Twitter thread today:

This section of the thread caught my interest:

The Smartness Economy

In the late 1800s, if you wanted a good idea for a new business, all you needed was to take an existing tool, say a drill or a washboard, and add electricity to it—thus creating a power drill or a washing machine. In the 2020s, AI will be the electricity. In other words, take any existing tool, and add a layer of smartness. So cell phones became smartphones and stereo speakers became smart speakers and cars become autonomous vehicles.

Peter H.Diamandis (taken from blog post)

Cell phones to Smartphones.
Wired speakers to Bluetooth audio.
Antique automobiles to Autonomous vehicles.

Why not ‘washing machine to Terminator?’ It could happen in the next ten years. The Smart Economy business model will rule the next decade (according to Peter).

Whether you believe that or not, probably has to do with what AI camp you fall in to:

Digital utopians
Techno-skeptics, or
Members of the Beneficial-AI Movement

Click here to find out which AI tribe you belong to

I lean towards The Beneficial-AI Movement.

But if the washing machine starts giving me lip, it’s time to become a Techno-skeptic and sound the alarm on the coming AI takeover.

PS: I’m still folding my own laundry, what gives?

“Smart Sensors Mean You’ll Never Have to Fold Laundry Again”

(link to article)

Play and listen here to a Three Body Podcast episode about Peter’s book, The Future is Faster Than You Think.

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image taken from (I had some fun in Adobe Illustrator)

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