As someone who’s constantly interacting and working with technology I get asked about how it’s changing business and society. I don’t have a crystal ball, but one thing we all can do to keep up with technology is to expand our perspective by seeing what other companies and countries are doing to drive their economy with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robots, drones and IoT.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance’s Hello World Series where he travels to technology hubs around the world to explore how they’re using technology to drive their economy; I found a few things that caught my attention. With that said, today I want to share with you 3 videos from this series that will expand your perspective.
The Inventors and Robots Powering Japan’s New Tech Movement
First up is the mecca of robots: Japan.
Japan has stated that its goal is to become the largest society in the world supported by robots. In Japan, robots are as common as a Starbucks is in every other corner in North America. It’s safe to say that Japan is obsessed with robots, not because it likes the new and novel but because there aren’t enough people to hire.
It’s a very peculiar situation where a country embraces automation for survival rather than as a threat to jobs. If you want to see what a society where people and robots coexist, look no further than Japan.
Inside Sweden’s Silicon Valley
Did you know that Sweden – where Spotify, Nokia and Skype where born – doesn’t boast about its economic success? The reason is Jante Law, followed by many Nordic countries, which states in simple terms that you are not above anyone; no matter your level of success.
I think this is interesting because it results in a very stable yet driven economy; a topic for another blog post.
And as you’ll see, Sweden is very much a leader in creating and applying technology. In this video you’ll see a different approach to creating lifelike robots and how we’ll interact with them. You’ll also see how Facebook created a state of the art highly efficient data center in the north of the country to take advantage of the cold environment.
How Israel Is Turning Soldiers Into Entrepreneurs
A few years ago I had the opportunity to advise an Israeli born startup called Vioozer, an on-demand GPS communications platform, which uses GPS tracking and communication technology used in the military; I helped them enter the North American market beginning in Mexico.
I got an up close and personal look at how Israel breeds innovative entrepreneurs while working with the founders, and also understanding a little bit of how the Startup Nation works. Similar to Japan, Israel is in a very peculiar situation that forces it to develop technology in-house because it is in a constant state of conflict with its neighbors. This creates a sense of urgency to create and apply technology at a very fast pace, and the people develop a very high sense of inventiveness which they take with them when they leave the service and enter the workforce.
In this video you’ll see how technologies developed in the military quickly make their way to society at large at a very fast pace. Israel is an example where necessity is the mother of innovation; the name Startup Nation fits it well.
There are many other episodes to watch that feature other countries, including Russia, Iceland, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Chile and England. I implore you to watch the Hello World series of episodes if you are a tech-challenged business leaders who has a hard time keeping up with technology; I guarantee you’ll get smarter.