Brave New World



Future Education

You're going to start seeing costs come down, meaning spending $40,000 a year for a degree may not be the way to go. One example would be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They have an open source where you can look at any of the lectures online and earn a degree. Surprisingly, this is not a new innovation. Google Career Certificates is a new innovation, entering this space where they can give you employment skills that are beneficial without going through a four-year college degree. Google Certificates prepares its audiences for jobs, while MIT structures itself around an institution's idea.


As we move forward in our progressive society, we will have more diversity with education types that could be better geared towards the individual child's needs. Working from anywhere is where we can see more innovation, and if you can educate from anywhere, you are no longer bound to your house.


Recreational Vehicles

A recreational vehicle isn't automation or innovation, but it is still a considerable topic regarding creation. The ability to work and educate from anywhere will likely include more significant travel. Tesla has an application called Starlink for high-speed internet in your car. Vehicles like this and services like Uber or Lyft have become the internet of things, allowing for driverless cars in the future. Imagine if your RV is moving to your destination with little or no input. You can work, sleep, eat, learn and stay connected.


It is also crucial to automate artificial intelligence (AI) driving. It's all about the time, speed, and data we are dealing with, showing how dependent we have become on the ability for everything to be connected anywhere at fast speeds. As our world is getting into AI, people realize how important it is to have a body, allowing you to have a relationship with things around you.


Warehouses & Package Delivery

Toyota released a video imagining a team of robots allowing warehouses to use fewer people for a specific task. They see automation as a growing field in society.

This video shows the idea that all of these robots can work as one. They're able to work in a unified manner, with the task being loading and offloading products from vehicles continuously. High-speed internet is crucial because people need to know where the robots are and what schedule they are on.


Another company that is working on this is Ford. In the video below, they show self-driving vehicles that deliver packages. However, if you don't have a driver, you still have the last 50 feet to cover. Ford introduced Digit, a robot that does the last 50 feet for you. Digit is the solution because it's easier as it is not easy for vehicles to go around obstacles. This robot looks more like us and most likely can take a quick screen grab once it sets that package on your front door, just like our Amazon delivery people.


Groceries

Since work from anywhere has started, you have begun to see the app Shipt and Instacart become popular, where you can order your groceries to your doorstep. Kroger is trying to automate this and make it easier for us to shop, especially since fewer people are worried about going into the building.


The whole idea is that the grocery store would become a warehouse with automation. There is a warehouse being built in Butler County, Ohio, and several more in the works. It would take an employee about 40 minutes to collect 50 items for a person; however, it would take just five minutes with robots.


Clothes, Construction, and Lumber

Folding our clothes is another topic of automation. This massive machine in the video below is probably not arriving in our houses in any time soon until it's smaller. However, it perfectly folds your clothes for you.

What about the construction? Especially since we're going to need different buildings to be built with highly skilled labor techniques. Here you have two examples of some masonry work.

This automation will require people to have less skill to know how to operate this machine versus the time it takes them to do it. You may see a drop in the cost of buildings being built and a need for new buildings to be more efficient for these robots to be used. This is going to put a demand on commodities because now it's cheaper to build them. You can create more of them, which means you need more material—leading to another topic of automation, lumber.

Lumber is an example of something that can be more environmentally friendly because it is not as hard on the terrain. Now, if we have all of these machines working, what's something that we would need more of?


Energy

Energy is very crucial in the automation process. Solar power looks very promising long-term, where the price of gathering solar energy continues to drop. We can see it plummeting on this logarithmic scale.

However, there are negatives to solar power as the actual panels use many materials, much of which is not very good for the environment. The more significant part is the storing of energy, the battery life. You have to collect the power when the sun is shining because if you need to increase your capacity, you can't just turn a knob and have the sunshine a little bit brighter.


Short Term Concerns with Automation

There are lots of concerns with automation as our world does not like change. The Government is trying to figure out how to provide for people because they believe that this would increase unemployment. There would undoubtedly be more minor jobs for delivery, fewer jobs for construction but new jobs in other sectors.


One of the reasons this is going to be a problem is monetary and Government policy. We're tilting the field in favor of capital procurement, creating this technology maybe a little bit early before we need it because we've kept interest rates so low. There is this back and forth between labor and capital, and if we tilt the field in favor of capital, it could be labor that's moving out.


Ultimately these don't have to be at odds with each other. If you were allowing interest rates to increase, it would become more costly to add new capital. As that capital makes it cheaper to work, and you need lower skills that bring down the cost of labor, which may sound bad at first—but considering everything else going down at a faster pace, it doesn't necessarily hurt. Then, you would just hire people instead of capital. Therefore, the market forces can bring these together and balance them while solely making this progression.


Long Term Concerns with Automation

The long-term problem is Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We could have everything provided for us in this situation. The shelter is cheaper than robotics and automation. The ability to have your food is more reasonable, especially if you like the idea of synthetically printing it. All those basic needs are there, but then we have safety needs. You could have robots as your security, right? There's a lot of protection from new technology.


We start to move up in love and belonging. You can see tighter family units and smaller social groups that spend a lot more time together because we're no longer structuring our world around a location. Then, this moves into self-esteem and self-actualization as a hierarchy.


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Disclosures:


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.


All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested directly. The economic forecasts outlined in this material may not develop as predicted, and there can be no guarantee that the strategies promoted will be successful.


All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.


Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

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