“With the advent of the Internet, people thought that the era of enlightenment would begin, but instead they got cats on TikTok”, – Serhiy Veretiuk about the future of technology

24 May 2023
Сергій Веретюк - гість подкасту Future is near

Can we predict what the future will hold? How can we usher in world-changing ideas? Can artificial intelligence solve all of our problems? Serhii Veretiuk, head of the Noosphere Engineering School network, takes on these and other critical questions in the Future is Near podcast, created by Maksym Kopistko, a member of the Fire Way team that won the NASA Space Apps Challenge hackathon in Dnipro in 2020.

“When we talk about the future, we have to imagine the socio-technological landscape that will exist in 5, 10, 100, or 1000 years. We don’t have the tools and methods to accurately predict what this landscape will be like. When I think about the future, I think 10+ years ahead.  The technologies that will emerge next year are interesting, but still, in such short time scales, we are in the grip of trends and can predict things. The horizon of 10+ years is far more interesting, because we just don’t know what will happen,” Serhii Veretiuk argues. He explains that even ten years ago, humanity could not imagine the level of development it would be at now.

Technological development arises from ideas – they are what shape the world of tomorrow and the many further tomorrows to come.

“An idea is a certain image that arises in your mind as a response to a request or problem. If we talk about the ideas of the future, we need to understand what the challenges of  the future will be,” Veretiuk explains. 

Take, for example, the UN’s sustainable development goals. These are precisely the challenges that the organization’s experts see as dominating the coming years.

R&D centers and research laboratories study how to respond to these challenges. However, according to Serhiy Veretiuk, it is extremely difficult to convert scientific knowledge into practical and useful changes. It is thus worth exploring other options.

“It is necessary to proceed from the opposite end – to understand the problem and look for technologies that can be used to solve it. This is the best way, so that you avoid making  a device that no one needs,” says Veretiuk.

At the same time, in the modern world, it is important not to rest on the laurels of results obtained and the knowledge acquired, because their relative value is diminishing.

“Knowledge is becoming less relevant. But this applies to a lesser extent to basic, foundational knowledge. Practical knowledge and skills are losing relevance. Therefore, we need to prepare for the fact that we will need to learn all our lives,” emphasized Veretiuk.

Many people believe that we will be able to count on new technologies to solve almost all of humanity’s problems. However, according to  Serhiy Veretiuk, this is not the case. Artificial intelligence, for example, is not actually intelligence, even though it was prophesied to replace a great deal of human labor.

“With the advent of the Internet, people thought that the era of enlightenment would begin, but instead they got cats on TikTok. There was a feeling that everyone would create something, and that humanity would begin to move forward in leaps and bounds. This did not happen. It is the same now with artificial intelligence. It will change things practically, but it will not become a solution to all problems,” Veretiuk explained.

“Thirty to forty years ago, engineers created things using existing tools, technologies and methods. So will the engineer of the future. Sure, he or she will have certain tools like artificial intelligence and quantum computers, and there will be methods and technologies with which they will also work. These methods and technologies will change faster, but nothing will change fundamentally. It is possible that the profession will be divided into engineer and operator. But creativity will definitely remain with the engineer,”  Serhiy Veretiuk emphasized. 

He advises people in technical professions to not only develop in their field, but also to master soft skills that cannot be replaced by any of the latest technologies.

Listen to the full podcast via the link.