John Madea: Most economic opinions are coming from people who know “how things used to be”

From a article “The World’s Not Falling Apart” by John Madea, chief experience officer at Publicis Sapient:

Countless people are forwarding me key opinion pieces that share thoughts of doom and gloom about our future economy. Experts make provocative claims by comparing what happened in the past with what is to come for our future. For that reason alone, I find it hard to believe what they’re saying.

Because what will come is largely going to be shaped by us. And because we’re now inter-connected computationally, I don’t feel there’s any fair comparison to be made with our past and our rapidly evolving present world. There’s three things that are top of mind for me right now that make me optimistic and curious about the future.

  1. The Internet will co-evolve dramatically. The sudden migration from smartphones back to desktops/laptops is amassing large amounts of data for the tech companies to take an even greater advantage. People of all ages and walks of life have been forced to shift to an all-digital lifestyle. Forced evolution is now happening.
  2. An expert opinion is an expert’s opinion. There’s tons of professors being put on TV or in the media right now explaining how they see the calamitous future of our economy. But many of them are brand new to even using Zoom. Just ask their students. An expert of the past is no longer an expert of the future.
  3. AI’s antidote to its badness is inclusiveness. As I explain in my new book, How To Speak Machine (2019), the AI of today gets smarter when it has access to large amounts of data. It’s getting that opportunity right now. Fortunately, there are a few folks in tech companies like Annie Jean-Baptiste who seek to address the imbalance.

So in summary, the world’s not falling apart — in my view — because digital natives are intrinsically different people than the digital dinosaurs and digital immigrants out there. The majority of expert opinions are just coming from knowing “how things used to be” rather than knowing how the world of business really works today. So think twice when you hear their expert opinion. Lastly, thanks to many rising digital natives out there who are led by their strong moral compasses and are asking questions about inclusivity, we have a fighting chance at our society’s ability to grow into one that’s more AI ready.

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