Evolution Of Tech

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Not many saw it coming, but the futurist and technologist have been waiting patiently for technology to catch up with humans, and like any loving parents, they too would like to see their techno child take form and stand alongside us.

It started with the pre-agricultural revolution when humans were hunters and gatherers, culminating a whole range of skills to survive in the wild. Fast forward in time came the post-industrial revolution, where humans began to specialise themselves in order to develop greater things as an organisation, opening up the opportunity for mass-production and mass-comsumption, but they could not achieve this without the advancement of technology.

Capitalists soon realise that technology and automation were the key drivers to increase profits. Henry Ford took advantage of machine automation during his time by introducing the assembly line, and now banks like Axis and Deutsche are using Robotic Processing Automation to automate their processes, making RPA a $29 billion industry by 2021.

Technology now armed with algorithms, fast computational power and memory that never clears, marches on to take over our specialise work, especially in the service sector that hardly requires any physical needs, only good cognitive capabilities to perform the work. Cognitive needs are what technology is excellent at, and AI with its algorithms are poised to prove to us all that it can do a better job.

There are no surprises here that technology is competing with us today. Jobs are already being replaced by bots and machines over time, with higher precision, driven by smart algorithms to make calculated decisions based on a large amount of data, far beyond what we could do today. So it humans versus machines, will we rise to the calling of finding new jobs and opportunities as technology replaces our 20th-century job roles?

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paularmstrongtech/2016/08/17/technology-vs-human-who-is-going-to-win-an-interview-with-gerd-leonhard/#2a69884249cd

  2. https://www.ynharari.com/book/sapiens/

  3. https://automationedge.com/robotic-process-automation-rpa-in-banking-industry/

Digital Governments

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The way we want to engage our government is rapidly changing due to the advent of powerful smartphones and high-speed networks like 5G, which can enable people in remote areas to now access the government much easier. Gone were the days when we dread the long queues at the government offices, an effort that would have cost us unnecessary time and money.

For governments who are not able to leverage on cutting edge technologies to serve their demanding citizen's needs will soon find it difficult to compete with other digital governments who may already be adopting AI to drive their systems and processes.

Digital governments who are able to manage large amounts of data from their citizen’s engagements can start to develop insights for service improvements; or provide a richer network across the public sector to improve collaboration and cultivate innovation.

So what can non-digital governments do to transform themselves quickly?

Some would suggest starting with the basics by first understanding what is the current pains points and needs of the citizens and then decide to group the relevant government services around those needs. Governments in Singapore and New Zealand have been quick to accept their citizens as their customers and to serve them the same way any private company would. Satisfaction and customer experience are critical factors for consideration; therefore government services should be designed around the citizen that empowers them with personalisation, virtualisation, automation and self-service. This is better known as the citizen-focused mindset.

My personal opinion, start with the top man in the government to drive the change in mindsets to move from a service-focused mindset to a citizen-focused mindset and recognise shared accountability across the government officers to drive new value for their citizens.

  1. http://fortune.com/2018/10/08/what-is-5g/

  2. http://time.com/5087385/why-you-shouldnt-be-afraid-of-artificial-intelligence/

  3. https://www.ey.com/my/en/industries/government---public-sector/ey-digital-government

  4. https://hbr.org/2016/01/how-local-governments-are-using-technology-to-serve-citizens-better

Visiting Islands

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It was my first time going to Jakarta and Bandung; two cities nestled within an archipelago that is made up of 18,000 islands, spanning 5,150 kilometres from east to west, blessed with three different time zones. I have been to Bali twice, but my visit to this part of Indonesia was going to be unexpected. We arrived in Jakarta very early that morning. Already, I could see the number of vehicles on the road was starting to build up. The average Jakartan spends ten years of their life in traffic, and I was about to spend 3 hours of my life travelling out of Jakarta towards Bandung. Most of the slow down was due to the massive construction to build elevated highways, an initiative by the government to improve traffic congestion. They are already working towards a smarter city, where street lamps, traffic lights and ambulances are fitted with intelligent technology to reduce macet (gridlock).

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/nov/23/world-worst-traffic-jakarta-alternative

  2. https://www.g2g.govt.nz/

The Clock Is Ticking

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It is 4 am in the morning, and I could not go back to sleep. Maybe because I was too excited to start my day, which means I was already waking up 1 hour earlier than expected. I tried my calming app and played some soothing music to get me back into deep sleep, but my body was already screaming for me to get out of bed to jump-start my morning ritual. Some of you may already know my morning ritual but here is another explanation for those who don't.

The ritual consists of me waking up at 5 am to perform my daily exercise routines on the run or bike, read 20 pages from a book of my choice, and write my heart out. It is a little extreme for most people. Most of my friends think that I am 'nuts', and my wife witnessed my struggles to wake up consistently at 5 am for years now. She knows I am not going to give up as it takes grit to earn the entry into this private club. The trick is sleep early, drink lots of water, eat well and take rest during the day. It is not for the faint-hearted, especially when you have kids.

Having A Meal

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Her food is now everywhere, on her mouth and dress, over the counter of her seat, and on the floor over a protective plastic layer. She was trained since young to eat on her own, a technique called baby-led weaning — not the prettiest of sight. For parents who are not used to it, they would consider us not teaching our child to eat correctly. My wife has experienced public shaming of this kind once by another mom, on how messy my girl was with her food. For those of you who don't know, public shaming is an act of another mother negatively commenting on another in public, not common but it does happen — one of those human traits that I find very amusing and mind-boggling. Our girl came out okay in the end.