Friday, March 15, 2013

Intellectual capital is source of wealth in the future

INTELLECTUAL capital will overtake commodity capital as a source of wealth in the future, and those who fail to recognise this will fall by the wayside of history, futurist Michio Kaku said yesterday at the Credit Suisse Global Megatrends Conference.
"Food prices have been dropping for 150 years. Better competition, mass production, better containerisation, shipping, while intellectual capital has risen in price. Why is that? You cannot mass produce the brain."
Countries and companies that take a progressive view of embracing innovation and technology will come out better, Prof Kaku said.
China, for example, has a programme where they send the brightest students in the country to the United States for further studies, because "they can't sit and repair shoes forever". "In the big picture, countries which understand the relationship between commodity capital and intellectual capital will thrive in the future."
The theoretical physicist said that the key technology of the future will be a combination of four broad areas: telecommunications and computers; biotechnology; artificial intelligence; and nano and quantum technology.
He also described a trend of digitising, in which products and services will eventually be translated into zeroes and ones to be accessed via the information technology (IT) cloud.

Education and medicine, in particular, are industries that are ripe for such a move.
He described technology that can enable "robo-docs" to provide remote, artificial intelligence-driven medical care, and diagnostic technology such as "smart toilets" for early detection of cancer.
Such technology can not only improve health care, but also reduce the cost of health care, Prof Kaku said.
Taking a step back, he viewed the inevitable ubiquity of IT as ultimately leading to "perfect capitalism".
In this scenario, customers have perfect knowledge of the market. Because of instant access to technology and information, customers can easily find the cheapest source of a particular product, for example, or reviews by other users. In essence, markets will be more efficient, but the advantage will shift to the customer.
Businesses will have to respond by making sure that they have the best product, because customers will know who has the best product, Prof Kaku said.
To achieve that goal, businesses will have to invest in data mining, for instance, to know exactly what their customers want.
Intangibles such as branding and service quality will also take on additional importance.
"Friendliness, that human touch, will be the decisive factor in building reputation for your products," he said.
Source: Business Time

No comments:

Post a Comment