Podcasts

This Much I Know: Azeem Azhar on How Accelerating Technology is Transforming our World

“Technology alone is not enough. Without the right governance, it may still lead us down the road of over consumption and environmental catastrophe.” — Azeem Azhar, Author of Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It

Azeem Azhar knows a thing or two about what direction exponential technology is heading toward, and how it’s challenging our well-established social, economic, and political systems. On this week’s TMIK, Managing Partner Carlos Espinal chats with Azeem on his newly published, must-read book, ‘Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It.’ Neither the conversation nor the book is about a dystopian future, but the two definitely dive into some dystopian outcomes!

The two discuss a range of themes that technology has transformed, particularly around the changing landscape of labour, increasing levels of local productions, and transport. In regards to the labour market, Azeem brings up the contradicting nature and impact that one single business model and economy can have in developed countries versus developing countries. The gig economy model is one interesting example. In developed countries where labour markets are formalised, the gig model creates flexibility, but more insecurity; however, in less established countries, the model provides more certainty to the labour force. The two also highlight the importance of not shying away from ML and robots. One fun tidbit: in 2020, the companies that had most heavily invested in robots and ML, also hired the most people (Amazon, Netflix, JD.com).

Finally, Carlos asks what investment themes Azeem is currently looking at. “I rely on the founders to tell me,” Azeem states, but he does share a few he’s keeping an eye out for. Think smart car batteries, protein engineering, and bio-manufacturing.

This episode packs in a lot, so definitely tune in; it’s a really good one.

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