But this dawning new age is not just transforming companies and business models – on many shop floors, the most strenuous and difficult jobs are now handled exclusively by robots. Robot vacuum cleaners are appearing in every consumer electronics store. And very soon, robots will be ready to take on more household chores, enabling individuals in an aging society to remain autonomous and self-determining for longer than ever before. At the same time, the networking of digital products and the use of “deep learning” algorithms are enabling digital devices to climb ever steeper learning curves – to the benefit of users everywhere. Using swarm intelligence, the new algorithms positively suck up knowledge and experience, and we’re already seeing the benefits – when a smartphone’s cloud-based voice control software also understands dialects, for example, even though they were never explicitly included in the program code.
Networking will soon enable cars, trucks and trains to drive themselves – and enable robots to deliver packages to the doorstep. And because more of us are working in flexible digital workplaces, we also have more time to enjoy TV programs. As we relax on the terrace after work, we can make our evenings even more enjoyable by ordering – in real time, using an app – a fresh, juicy steak accompanied by a tasty salad. Indeed, the supplier’s algorithm already knows what we want before we pick up the smartphone.