The Machine Economy Innovators Award

Creating the new machine economy

Machines and digital agents are innovating as quickly as their creators. Blockchain and open source are democratizing new technologies. Automation and machine learning are accelerating our perception of the possible. In under a decade, we will live alongside fleets of autonomous vehicles, self-organizing supply chains, DNA replicating robots, and increasingly intuitive AI.

We are looking for the innovators that will enable these robots and replicators to machine our future, for better.

We believe three core categories will be radically affected by this rapid change: our global society, the way we do business and our changing culture characteristics. How will the relationship between humans and machines evolve as we move into the Machine Economy era? We want you to show us.

Society – Unemployment, safe zones, and the meaning of life

Experts predict that by 2025 robots and digital agents will displace a significant quantity of both blue-collar and white-collar workers. Even complex routines performed by skilled workers such as lawyers will be affected by robots, smart contracts and AI. Recent analysis by Frey and Osborne at Oxford suggests that autonomous robots could impact up to 50% of jobs, leaving only jobs that require complex problem solving or creativity. There will be huge implications for industries such as health, car manufacture, transport, logistics, customer service and home maintenance.

  • What are the “safe zones” that require creativity, high level thinking and relationship building and are therefore less vulnerable to automation?
  • What kind of new products will emerge?
  • What are we going to do with our free time?
  • What is the purpose of life if we stand idle?
Business – Zero margin economy, new business models and taxation

Exponential organizations that are better, faster and cheaper will ultimately lead to a zero-margin economy. Automation, self-optimizing machines and decentralized open-sourced technologies will make it increasingly hard to make money. This will reduce purchasing power and affect demand in the wider economy. There will be huge implications for taxation and business models of the future. Thought leaders are concerned that our existing economic and political structures – and especially taxation – no longer fit to a world that is decentralized, autonomous and machine-powered.

  • Who will pay for all this new world, if there is a broad base of unemployed people?
  • What are the machine-powered business models of the future?
  • What will the currency of the future look like?
  • What are the banks of the future? Do we need an energy bank for the machine economy?
Culture – Human coexistence with AIs

We will ask machines to learn to perform even more complex tasks, make decisions that we previously thought only humans could be trusted to make and start to provide advice and recommendations in higher risk areas. Clever technology make fewer mistakes than people. A super intelligent system may become more reliable than even the most intelligent information worker. But at some point it will make a mistake. Elon Musk has donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute to “run a global research program aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity”.

  • Which technologies will arise to enhance human capacities that we can live and work with AIs on an equal basis?
  • How can we ensure that AI powered machines support human development and happiness? Will they remain peers or become resource-hijacking enemies?
  • Who is liable when there are accidents and malfunctions?
  • How well do current insurance products and policy wording cover these new exposures?

Who are we looking for?

We incentivize teams and individuals around the world to create a new ethical machine economy where we can all – humans and our machines – live prosperously together. Impact communication, infrastructure, law, taxation and academia and help economy to catch up with the new industrial revolution. Lay a strong foundation for developing new business models and use technology to benefit humanity.

We are looking for early stage start-ups that are advancing our world for the better and individuals tinkering novel solutions.

Let’s make the world a better place

Pick at least one from our three categories: society, business and culture and submit your short term and long term initiatives now. Your solution should be suitable for further development and commercial use.


Ready to apply? Let’s go!

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