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Conference Proceedings

World Gold 2019

Conference Proceedings

World Gold 2019

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The story of digital

We are living on an ever-changing landscape of fast evolving technology. Just a few decades ago we were still in the technological countryside, with mining somewhere in the outback. Now we find ourselves in the digital jungle of disruption where we are met by anxiety, confusion and excitement. On this journey into unfamiliar territory, a variety of questions arise. How did we get here? Where are we going? How are we going to survive? We look back at our historical trail. In the far distance, on the horizon, we can still vaguely see the steam clouds of the first industrial revolution. Nearly halfway from there the electric lights of the second industrial revolution starts lighting up the path. While pondering how these events changed the world for those who lived since then, we notice the birthplace of a more recent companion: Digital. He was born in the valley of the third industrial revolution not very far from us. What an amazing character he is, comprising entirely of only two elements: Zero and One. At first the baby was small and harmless, but he quickly grew into a strong and generous young child who handed out computing power to everyone that wanted some. We loved him to the moon and back. His growth spurts however soon got out of hand, as he was doubling in size every 2 years and still hasnt stopped The ambitious teenager developed into an ostentatious young adult, disrupting our lives and dragging us into the weird and wonderful jungle of the fourth industrial revolution. We look around us and everything seems so real, but upon closer investigation we discover that the imaginary is now somehow intertwined with the physical world. Digital is tirelessly creating a dual for every creature and process, and everything is strangely connected to everything else through a misty cloud stretching as far as the eye can see. Within this cloud Digital is hard at work in creating a new kind of brainpower that outperforms humans in a staggering number of applications. Intriguingly though, it still depends on humans to function. We look down to the fertile soil at our feet, much more fruitful than the dirt of the plains where we came from. We will undoubtedly be able to accumulate a far bigger pot of gold here We look up and notice a sunray of hope shining through the trees and mist. Hope that we will be able to survive the jungle, since going back is impossible. Hope that everyone will be able to share in the bigger pot of gold. Hope that life will be better than on the plains. Hope that we will still be able to cherish the things that make us truly human. We look forward and realise that this jungle is radically shaping the way we live, work and conduct business. We will have to adapt or die. *This is an abstract only. No full paper was prepared for this abstract. CITATION:van der Spuy, D, 2019. The story of digital, in Proceedings World Gold 2019, p 33 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2018
  • PDF Size: 0.649 Mb.
  • Unique ID: p201906008

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