For businesses embracing the latest advancements in technology, particularly AI, the future looks very bright indeed.
However, those unwilling to adapt face a very different outcome, says digital futurist, doctor, XPRIZE Founder and World Business Forum presenter Peter Diamandis.
"There are going to be two kinds of companies by the end of this decade: those that are fully utilizing AI and those that are out of business," he says.
It’s a prediction that’s as credible as it is dramatic. The incredible power of AI has gone over the heads of many in the business community, and Diamandis says time is of the essence to develop a greater understanding of it.
"Getting leadership teams in your business to begin playing with AI, understanding it, experimenting with it, is fundamentally critical," he insists. "The CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, says it’s more powerful than electricity or the web, and he’s right."
"Getting leadership teams in your business to begin playing with AI, understanding it, experimenting with it, is fundamentally critical."
Diamandis is no stranger to innovation and cutting-edge technology. The entrepreneur has founded more than 20 companies in areas such as space, longevity, education and venture capital, while his XPRIZE Foundation is a world leader in hosting public technological development competitions.
"Since 1994, we’ve launched about US$300 million in XPRIZEs that have driven close to US$5 billion in research and development."
XPRIZEs have mapped the ocean floor, journeyed into space and even pulled water out of the atmosphere.
"We have an XPRIZE right now that Elon Musk funded for US$100 million that’s focused on extracting gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere," Diamandis confirms.
"And all throughout these XPRIZEs is the notion that there is no problem we cannot solve, and that entrepreneurs building businesses is the greatest force for making the world a better place."
XPRIZE, like much of Diamandis’ work, is aimed at inspiring people to stretch out beyond the linear thinking of the past. In 2022 he collaborated with Tony Robbins and Bob Hariri on Life Force, a bestseller about cutting-edge regenerative solutions to traditional health problems.
"We humans are linear thinkers, but we’re living in an exponential world where the rate of change is doubling every 18 months," he says.
Over the past decade, Diamandis says a new breed of exponential organization has emerged from this rapid progression.
"They’re having 10 times the impact of linear, traditional organizations, and no industry whatsoever is immune," he warns. "People in the healthcare industry would have never seen Google and Apple and Microsoft becoming their greatest potential competitors, but that’s what’s happening."
"Disruption will come from startups, young companies, orthogonal companies that are digitizing, dematerializing, demonetizing and democratizing."
Linear-thinking businesses will meet a sudden end if they continue to do business in a traditional way, he adds.
"There’s no question about it. Disruption will come from startups, young companies, orthogonal companies that are digitizing, dematerializing, demonetizing and democratizing the products and services that the traditional companies are delivering," he says.
It’s this message that Diamandis will present when he delivers his keynote at the World Business Forum in New York this November. There, he’ll join business gurus including executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, restaurateur Will Guidara and marketing professor Marcus Collins.
"I’ll be speaking about how exponential technologies, computation sensors, networks, AI, robotics, 3D printing, synthetic biology, augmented reality and virtual reality, and blockchain are transforming every single industry, how they’re converging to create a set of meta trends that are going to transform how we live our lives," he explains.
Diamandis will also talk about having an abundance mindset, which he believes is critically important.
"We’re living in a world where technology is taking whatever used to be scarce and making it abundant over and over again," he says. "Ultimately, this is the most extraordinary time ever to be alive."
Sharing his insights with attendees of the World Business Forum is a chance to help business leaders understand their role in a future that’s hot on our heels, he says.
"Today is different. Small teams of individuals have the ability to solve some of the world’s biggest problems," he states. "And the world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities. If you want to become a billionaire, help a billion people."
"Small teams of individuals have the ability to solve some of the world’s biggest problems."
With so much going on and so much at stake, Diamandis refuses to slow down.
"I’m focused at the moment on building a number of businesses in two major areas: longevity and AI, which for me is the most powerful technology we have to solve the world’s problems," he says.
While Diamandis remains optimistic about AI in the long-term, he believes that human nature remains its biggest challenge.
"My concern is around the malevolent or dystopian uses of AI by evil actors in the short-term and what disruptions people will try to cause with these powerful technologies," he reveals. "Ultimately, I’m clear that we will overcome them and make the world a better place to live."
Fear of the future, Diamandis explains, comes from a lack of understanding.
"We humans love to wake up in the morning and know that the world is exactly as it was when we went to sleep," he points out. "We don’t like change, but change is inevitable, and it’s accelerating."