Dec 07 2016 Stats and Trends That Blew Our Minds
We asked our team to take a quick break from their year-end crunch and submit stats and trends that caught their attention this year. Here’s a freewheeling look at what they came up with:
// 90 percent of all data has been created in the last two years alone. [Upon closer inspection, it turns out this one’s actually from 2013. Since big data is growing exponentially, we suspect this number is even higher for 2015 and 16.]
// Here’s another way to look at this, from Eric Schmidt at Google: every two days we create as much information as we did from the start of human existence to 2003. Wow. “We’re drowning in information, but starved for knowledge”. John Naisbitt said that in 1982.
// Maybe this mental overload can help us make sense of this stat: 55 percent of people have stopped surfing the web for products and content and rely only on trusted sites. Obviously, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix et al. are the big winners here.
// Speaking of: Netflix makes up 37 percent of North American Internet traffic. All streaming services combined reach 70 percent of Internet traffic at peak times.
// All that binge watching is doing us no good: according to Mayo Clinic, less than 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a ‘healthy lifestyle.’ On the flipside, ten times as much—a third of us—are tracking their fitness with a digital device.
// AI is evolving in interesting ways: check out Bernie, an AI-powered matchmaker that finds and communicates with potential matches on Tinder & Co, and its naughty cousin “Ghostbot,” a “text-messaging bot that helps you ghost away from fleeting relationships—without the emotional baggage.”
// According to Accenture, artificial intelligence is poised to double economic growth by 2035 and boost labor productivity by 40 percent. In their study, AI was found to yield the highest economic benefits for the United States, where it will add $8 trillion dollars in gross value. They also have a cool graph that shows how long it would take for economic growth to double in a baseline scenario vs. when AI has been fully absorbed into the economy.
// But we’re also hearing some bad news: over 5M jobs could be lost by 2020 in the 15 global leading economies from disruptive labor market changes in tech, according to the World Economic Forum. The good news is: “A clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labor market for the long term.”
// So here’s a somewhat related stat that we learned through client work this year: Out of the 200 million people that are older than 25 years in the United States, almost 70 million have a bachelor’s degree or higher. That means about 68 percent of adults do not have a bachelor’s degree. The future job market for these Americans is a social challenge that we really care about, and we’re very excited to help and design for these middle-skilled workers through one of our ongoing projects with a large East Coast Foundation.
// Speaking of the number of jobs lost due to new technologies: have you seen this map of the U.S., listing the most common job in each state? NPR has a fascinating time lapse from 1978–2014.
// Nowadays, the most common job is truck driver. Depending on how autonomous vehicle technology will shake out, the future may not be boding well for the almost 9 million jobs related to the trucking industry in the U.S. Actually, in 2016, we saw the first commercial driverless delivery—it was a truckload of 50,000 Budweiser’s.
// In 2016, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to exploring the future of VR for our business—just in time for the advent of the “Virtual Experience Economy.” As our CTO Thong Nguyen recently wrote, VR headsets have evolved to the point where our minds can be convinced that we’re in another environment, and the possibilities are now endless. The latest applications that caught our attention range from how VR is used in Australian nursing homes for Dementia patients, to other fascinating medical applications, such as pain relief. We can’t wait to see what’s next in 2017!