We need more than innovation to build a world that’s prosperous for all
Tim O’Reilly explains how we can “gradually, then suddenly” create a better world.
In this talk, Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, uses the principle of “gradual, then suddenly” as a means to explain how we can reconcile technological advancements with the evolution of human society, and to understand that those two things drive each other forward, feeding off the momentum of one another.
Highlights from O’Reilly’s presentation include:
Technological change happens gradually, then suddenly. Understanding this “gradual, then suddenly” principle is key to understanding why innovation isn’t enough when the world and technology need to get on the same page; “sometimes the world has to catch up to an idea,” O’Reilly notes. (00:17)
Algorithmically designed marketplaces are the future of the economy — we need to figure out how to make a good one. “There’s a lot for us to learn about the economy from the way that technology platforms are forced to weigh the value they allocate to different participants,” O’Reilly argues. “If you realize that that’s what we’re doing in the choices we make, you make better choices. (15:31)
AI technology won’t replace human work. Quoting Nick Hanauer, O’Reilly argues that humans won’t run out of work until we run out of problems. O’Reilly explains: “And then, gradually then suddenly, guess what: there are a lot of problems we’re starting to wake up to. The climate is changing. We need to find new ways to generate energy. We have to re-think transportation. We have to find new ways to feed the world. Hundreds of millions of people will need to be relocated. We need to fix the mess we’ve created.” (21:00)