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Interview The Future of Disruptive Technology: A Q&A with Expert John Straw

The Future of Disruptive Technology: A Q&A with Expert John Straw

Hey – I’m Abbie and I’m thrilled to be the newest edition to the marketing team at Speakers Corner. A somewhat recent graduate from the University of Adelaide, I hold two degrees in Commerce and Media. Upon completion I decided to relocate from my small beachside town in South Australia to London. I am please to report that I’m loving it here so far, although it has taken some time to get accustomed to there being more people on the tube in the morning then there are in my entire town!

John Straw is a leading expert on disruptive innovation and technology, including the future of artificial intelligence and robots. A digital veteran with over 33 years in IT and Marketing with 4 technology start-ups to his name, he talks about the new Business 5.0 Model, artificial intelligence and disruptive technology within the business sectors.

John recently came to visit us in the office, thoroughly enjoying his presentation and being somewhat shocked about the incredible advancements within the industry, naturally we had a few more questions which he was kind enough to answer!

When you came in to visit us on the couch, you completely blew us away with how advanced technology is. Are you excited or concerned by the pace of change?

Both - I'm excited for humanity and quality of life - significant automation in all walks will remove much of the drudgery from many jobs allowing use to have more leisure time. I am however worried about the economic impact of technology. By way of example - VC's are very excited about the opportunity for blockchain enabling peer to peer banking - disintermediating banks. The City of London pays enough tax to fund the whole NHS - if there are no banks left where do the tax receipts come from

I worry what my job might look like in 10-15 years down the track, and as my job involves loads of creativity, do robots and artificial intelligence have the ability of being creative and original without copying something else that has already been produced?

AI is becoming creative (and intuitive) but there is little sign of any form of emotional intelligence in the next 10-15 years. It will, however, come. 

Many people are under the assumption that these technologies (AI, robots) are potentially decades away from being interspersed within our daily life, is this the truth?

Even I am surprised about how fast this stuff is developing - it's almost logarithmic...the interesting test is the Turing Test - where you can't tell when you are talking to a robot or human. I, and many others, thought this would be around 2025-2030 - Google demonstrated it last year as you saw when I came in...

What is a snippet of how the Business 5.0 Model looks like?

A good snippet is the implementation of Smart Contracts that execute payments and transactions without any form of human intervention - image whole supply chains that run themselves with the intervention of admins, lawyers, accountants

What are some of the main questions the audience asks after you present a keynote?

Invariably I get the question about "what happens to the economy" and "how would you build a tech start-up that disrupts my business sector" Some of the Q&A sessions have lasted as long as the speech

If there is one message that you would like your audience to take away from your speech, what is it?

"The answer to the question is mathematics, remind me what the question was"

And finally, what’s on the horizon for you?

I probably have the best job in world - flying all over the world talking to people about the convergence of technology and economics - technomics - and when I'm not I live in the Highlands of Scotland and hike up mountains.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us John. There is still so much we need to learn, and we look forward to hearing you talk in depth about what the future may entail. 

For further information or to book one of our speakers, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk.

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