10 Trillion Dollars (USD): What happens when the Accelerationistas Win

trillion dollars industries AI robotics battery DNA blockchain venn diagram

I recently returned from the first annual(?) TED/AI Conference, and one particular presenter, Cathy Wood of ARK Investments, exploded my brain and ushered me into new ways of thinking. The reason? Quite simply, her casual (and authoritative!) tone as she talked about emerging industries which were expected to be measured in numbers well north of a trillion dollars, sometimes tens of trillions, in the next 5 years. To be clear, the annual global economy, in total, depending on who you believe, is sitting today (2023) at pretty close to $100 trillion. So any ten trillion figure is… ten percent of the world’s total economic output (and, likewise, every 1 trillion is 1%).

Cathy put up graphs of an 8-year forecast, 2022-2030, and mapped out on those graphs were market size trajectories for 5 emerging markets:

  • blockchain
  • bioengineering (genetic / DNA sequencing)
  • battery tech (i.e. energy storage)
  • robotics (i.e. embodied AI), and
    last but not least…
  • AI

TED/AI was the first time in my LIFE I’ve heard the number “trillions (of dollars)” batted around so casually. We are, most certainly, on the edge of a new frontier. $100 billion used to be a big number. We are now entering into a spacetime where $10T is batted around and manipulated (thats a full 10% of global GDP). When you play at that scale, you are deciding the fate of entire populations.

One Trillion Dollars is One Percent of Global GDP

Read that again.

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