Think: It’s that time of year! Here is my annual list of “predictions” for the coming year. There should be plenty of “food-for-thought” in the predictions. (To my friends in the agriculture industry, here is another article I wrote this week which should give you plenty to think about: 10 Technologies Transforming Farming Today and Tomorrow.

Think Again: Earlier this year, MIT’s Technology Review published its annual “10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2023” article. In an interesting departure, however, MIT recently revealed five technologies that were close to making the list but didn’t. The five may be worthy of some of your “thinking time.” If you don’t have time to read the whole article, they are: 1) New drugs for Alzheimers; 2) Sustainable aviation fuel; 3) Solar geoengineering; 4) Male-male reproduction; and 5) Over-the-counter Narcan.

Think Different: Due to advances in artificial intelligence, scientists have reported a breakthrough in understanding whales. This development could be more important than most people realize. If humankind can learn to decipher and interpret whales’ language, it will become increasingly difficult to refuse that these sentient creatures are deserving of greater rights and protections under the law.

Think Bigger: With the Iowa caucuses now less than a month away, the 2024 political season is about to kick into high gear. Like many of you, I am not looking forward to all the ads, emails, texts, social media postings, etc.  It now appears we will have a new issue with which to deal: AI-powered bots. On the positive side, if these AI bots can provide factual information about a candidate’s positions on various issues that might be helpful for voters looking to make up their mind between Candidate A and Candidate B. If, however, the bot is loaded with data about your political leanings and preferences, look for these bots to play to people’s fears and biases. My advice: Be very weary of any and all robo-calls this upcoming political season–you might not even be speaking to a real human.

Think Different: It is estimated that it costs the U.S. over $400 billion annually to treat people with diabetes. In the near future, innovative treatments such as this new revolutionary device could significantly lower these costs and, in the process, dramatically improve the lives of millions of people currently living with the chronic disease.

 Afterthought: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery