Jack Uldrich’s “Friday Future 5:” January 27, 2023
Think Thin: MIT is now working on creating super-thin, flexible solar panels that can be coated or painted onto almost any surface. This means that soon houses, cars, boats and robots could have a new, clean way to help power themselves. If the technology scales, it could be a game-changer.
Think Different: The jury is still out on OpenAi and ChatGPT and, personally, I remain agnostic on whether its long-term benefits will be positive or negative. Nevertheless, I enjoy people who think and act differently than me and I appreciated this article on a professor who is embracing ChatGPT and encouraging his students to embrace its use as well. (The only caveat is that his student must tell him when and where they have used it.)
Think Smart: What do you get when you combine advances in technology with severe labor shortages? You get new ways of doing old tasks. This article outlining how robots are now exploring sewers for problems–and even repairing some of those problems in some cases–is just the latest advance in robotic technology.
Think Hard: If you are a farmer and you’re not thinking about water, it is time to think again! This article on the Ogallala aquifer is an eye-opener. (If you want a deeper dive on the future of water, review this old “Friday Future 5.”)
Think Ambiguously: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …” I could not help but think of this quote as I read these two diametrically opposed articles–both of which are true. The first article, 9 Astonishing Ways that Living Standards have Improved Around the World is optimistic in nature and highlights the many ways our world has gotten demonstrably better. The other article is pessimistic (but realistic) and highlights a very serious problem: Animal Populations Have Experienced an Average Decline of Almost 70% Since 1970. My advice: Embrace ambiguity and think about the many ways you and your business can continue to make the world a better place; while, at the same time, spend an equal amount of time thinking about how you and your business can be better stewards for all species on this fragile, beautiful planet.
Afterthought: “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides.“–Tony Schwartz