The Inevitable – by Kevin Kelly

The Inevitable – by Kevin Kelly

‘Understanding The 12 Forces That Will Shape Our Future’


This is the second time we’re reading and reviewing ‘The Inevitable’, because we’re super excited to be speaking with the great Kevin Kelly during the week. This book takes a lot at the next 30 years and what new technologies and other changes are coming our way. Kelly describes how these changes will affect the way we live and interact with the world. VR sex anyone?


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Here is a dot point summary of the book!


  • Inevitable technological forces that will shape the next 30 years

Technology is moving at a fast rate. Things make believe are no longer fairy tale

“Not all of this shift will be welcomed, established industries will topple because old business models will not work. Entire occupations will disappear, together with livelihoods


  • New occupations will be born
  • Music industry did everything they could to stop copying – to no avail. Banning inevitably usually backfires. We shouldn’t regulate uber-like taxi services or any other decentralization of services.


  • Technology is humans accelerant
  • Each are highly overlapping forces, each codependent upon and mutually accelerating the others



  1. Becoming – Moving from fixed products to always upgrading services and subscriptions

Technological life in the future will be endless upgrades

New apple sucks

  • We will be endless newbies trying to keep up
  • Constant discomfort constant change
  • Continuous discontent brought by technology
  • We cannot expand our self, and our collective self without making holes in our heart
  • A world without discomfort is utopia, but it is also stagnant
  • Protopia is a state of becoming rather than a destination

-The subtle progress is not dramatic and not exciting. It is easy to miss because protopia generates as many new problems as new benefits

Becoming is a self cloaking action often seen only in retrospect


  • We need to believe in improbably things more often
  • In 1994 time magazine explained the internet would never go mainstream, “It was not designed for commerce and doesn’t accommodate new arrivals”


  • The web will be something new in 2050, different from the web as the first web was from TV

It will note your routines, provide you the files before the meeting etc.


The opportunity

  • Most of the greatest products running the lives of citizens in 2050 were not invented until after 2016
  • People in 2050 will look down at their wearable virtual reality contact lenses, downloadable avatars, AI interfaces and say, you didn’t really have the internet
  • The greybeards will be saying saying “Can you imagine how awesome it would be to be an innovator in 2016? It was a wide open frontier! You could almost pick some category, add some AI to it and put it on the cloud.

People will respond “Oh if only I realized how possible things were back then”


It is the best time ever in human history to begin (innovate)

  • You are not late



  1. Cognifying – making everything smarter using cheap AI

The arrival of artificial intelligence accelerates all the other disruptions

  • Something like Watson from IBM will be the worlds best diagnostician machine or human
  • Deep Mind teaches AI to learn to play the game  as opposed to playing the game
  • We will use AI as If it is electricity, plug into the grid
  • Business plans for next 10000 start ups are easy to forecast, take X and add AI
  • Cognified investors already happening with wealthfront and betterment


Cognified music – hundred of hours of personal music written by AI

Cognified laundry

Cognified marketing – Influence per dollar. Amount of attention an individual reader or watcher spends o advertisement can be multiplied by social influence.

Cognified Real Estate

Cognified nursing


In 2026 googles main product will not be search but AI


  • Machines will come that do not think what we think faster. But think what we can’t think at all
  • An AI will think about science vastly different than any other human science
  • We will redefine what it means to be human


By end of century at least 70% of jobs will be replaced.

It doesn’t matter what your role is, the robot takeover will be epic. We are already at the inflection point

  1. Jobs humans to but robots to better, cars, knitting clothes
  2. Jobs humans cant but robots can – a single brass screw
  3. Jobs we didn’t know we wanted done
  4. Jobs humans can do at first –  robots will take the role then we will do something different, then the robots will take over that role as well

Success will go to those who best optimize the process of working with bots and machines

The jobs politicians are fighting to keep away from robots are the ones no one really wakes up wanting to do


  • We need to let the robots take over


  1. Flowing- Depending on unstoppable streams in real time for everything 
  • Perpetual upgrades
  • Watching on demand means movies must flow
  • The first industry to switch to real time was music


4 Stages of flowing

  1. Fixed / Rare – precious products take much expertise to create and deemed high quality, music
  2. Free – Disruption makes it free
  3. Flowing sharing , each element becomes a new product and remixed into bundles
  4. Opening becoming – streams of powerful services at little conts enable amateurs to become experts



  1. Screening – every surface becomes a screen to interact with
  • Morning cereal you will be able to play with
  • Screen will be able to read emotions
  • Library of everything will be in your pocket may plug into the brain directly
  • Smart surfaces can read our reactions
  • The entire works of human kind from the beginning of recorded history, in all language, will be available to all people all of the time
  • The empty white spaces of our collective ignorance will be highlighted


  1. Accessing – we will go from owning assets to one where we have access to all services at all times
  • Possession isn’t as important as it once was, uber, air bnb, ali baba
  1. DEMATERIALIZATION – fewer materials  incredible for the environment
  • Rent your garage as storage space
  1. Real time on demand
  2. Decentralization
  3. Platform synergy – ecosystems are governed by coevolution, which is a type of biological codependency, a mixture of competition and cooperation
  4. Clouds – all movies, music, books and games will be available on the cloud



When we pay by car a bank authorises the payment. Bitcoin does not

Away from ownership


E.g Clothes will arrive at your door and will be shared


  1. Sharing – collaboration at a massive scale
  • People are working for free on cool projects (Wikipedia)
  • Crowd sharing. New crowdfunding techniques that gives people equity in the business
  1. Filtering – harnessing intense personalization in order to anticipate our desires

E.g G google search

  • Danger of being rewarded with only what you already like, however is that you spin into an egotistical spiral, becoming blind to anything slightly different
  • Paid for reading emails, paid for ads etc



  1. Remixing – unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombine in all possible ways
  • We will have the option to record every conversation we have and it will be easy to rewind to aid the memory


  1. Interacting – immersing ourselves into our computers to maximise engagement

Virtual reality similar to LSD

Augmented reality overlays existing

Anything is possible in this world – physics doesn’t matter

We will have wearables , special spectacles that reveal the augmented reality


The only way to get wearables closer than over our skin is to go under the skin

  • Jack into our heads, a computer direct into the brain

One brain jack already allowed a quadriplegic woman to use her mind to control a robotic arm to pick up a coffee bottle


Expansion of what we interact with in 3 ways

  1. More senses
  2. More intimacy
  3. More immersion


  1. Tracking – employing total surveillance for benefit of customers and consumers
  • Blood pressure, variable heart rate, heart performance, oxygen level, temperature, skin conductance
  • Lifelogging to create total recall. Googling your life. Everything will be saved … take a photo every 60 seconds scroll back.
  • Constant 24/7/365 monitoring of vital body measurements
  • Extended memory of people you meet, conversations you had, places you visited


  1. Questioning

Organized war will become less attractive.

  • Even though our questions are expanding exponentially , our questions are expanding exponentially faster
  • The gap between two exponential curves is exponential
  • The gap between questions and answers is our ignorance, and it is growing exponentially


A good question is the seed of innovation in science, technology, art, politics, and business.

A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do.

A good question is what humans are for


  1. Beginning
  • Future people will envy us
  • This will be seen as the largest, most complex and most surprising event on the planet up until this time
  • Constructing a system connecting all humans and machines into a global matrix











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