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jerryking : yuri_milner   2

The next big tech revolution? The global brain - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 22, 2011 | Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

Mr. Milner, in contrast, almost perfectly represents a technology elite with a global reference: He lives in Moscow, recently bought a home in Silicon Valley, and addressed the Ukrainian conference by video link from Singapore. From that vantage point, the most pressing issue in the world today isn’t recession and political paralysis in the West, or even the rapid development and political transformation in emerging markets, it is the technology revolution that, in his view, is only getting started.

Here are some of the changes he sees as most significant:

The Internet revolution is the fastest economic change humans have experienced, and it is accelerating. Two billion people are online today, he noted; he predicts that number will double over the next decade.

The Internet is not just about connecting people, it is also about connecting machines, a phenomenon he dubbed “the Internet of things.” Five billion devices are connected today, he said; by 2020, he thinks more than 20 billion will be.

More information is being created than ever before. He asserted that as much information was created every 48 hours in 2010 as was created between the dawn of time and 2003. In 10 years, that much data will be generated every 60 minutes.

The result is the dominance of Internet platforms relative to traditional media, he said: “The largest newspaper in the United States is only reaching 1 per cent of the population ... That compares to Internet media, which is used by 25 per cent of the population daily and growing.”

Internet businesses are much more efficient than brick-and-mortar companies. This was one of his most striking observations, and a clue to the paradox of how we find ourselves simultaneously living in a time of what he views as unprecedented technological innovation but also high unemployment in the developed West. As Mr. Milner said: “Big Internet companies on average are capable of generating revenue of $1-million per employee, and that compares to 10 to 20 per cent of that which is normally generated by traditional offline businesses of comparable size.” As an illustration, he cited Facebook, where, he said, each single engineer supports one million users.

Finally – and Mr. Milner admitted this was “a bit of a futuristic picture” – he predicted “the emergence of the global brain, which consists of all the humans connected to each other and to the machine and interacting in a very unique and profound way, creating an intelligence that does not belong to any single human being or computer.”
Chrystia_Freeland  Yuri_Milner  e-commerce  revenue_generation  Industrial_Internet  networks  connected_devices  platforms  collective_intelligence  efficiencies  inefficiencies  tech-utopianism 
october 2011 by jerryking

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