March 23, 2023
Solving Our Deepest Challenges
Digital technology has come a long way in recent decades, transforming our lives in ways we could have never imagined. From the first computers that filled entire rooms to the smartphones we carry in our pockets today, technology has brought convenience and efficiency to our fingertips. However, as technology has become more ubiquitous, some argue that it has lost its soul. It has become all about speed, convenience, and efficiency, with little thought given to the human experience, our most pressing challenges as a society, and the impact of our technologies and industries on the planet we live in.
But there is a growing movement towards technology with soul, also known as Deep Tech. This is a type of technology that tackles our most complex economic, social, or environmental challenges and is a huge catalyst of change. It is not just about making our lives easier or more convenient; it is about creating solutions that positively impact people's lives while helping to regenerate our ecosystems.
One example of deep tech is the elevation of students' cognitive capacity through individual learning using whisper assistants. This new technology can mimic a student's vocabulary, tone of voice, preferences, create metaphors, and even react to the student's emotions to enhance their learning ability in complex subjects. This type of technology has the potential to scale the best education in the world, for everyone, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. It has the power to amplify "just in time" learning experiences around the most important topics for humanity, and open the window to the world of knowledge for every brain, heart and will.
We now have the potential to transform every industry, tacklings issues from healthcare systemic inefficiencies and the fulfillment of the promise of precision medicine, to climate technologies that take care of our most precious resources. It can help create more equitable and resilient financial systems, reduce digital bureaucracy worldwide and even reinvent entire organizations' operational models to be much more dynamic while enchanting customers with new experiences. By approaching technology with soul, we can develop digital platforms and augmented intelligences that bring meaningful purposes to life and empower people to create positive change for the planet.
Deep Tech is the soul of technology. It is about using technology to solve our deepest challenges, to bring the new into existence, and create transformations that matter. It's not just about improving our lives in the short term, but about creating a lasting impact that benefits everyone. By embracing Deep Tech, we can build a better present for ourselves and leave a better future for the next generations.
We also need a critical questioning of the societal and ecological impacts of high-tech tools. This time, let’s do disruption right. Humanity’s greatest achievements have happened when we did not wait.
So our invitation to leaders, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and agents of change is to collectively change our metaphor, from advanced tech to Deep Tech. To open up new conversations, dialogues and questions, exploring new pathways of growth, value and impact. To rise to the challenge of the elevation, scaling and amplification of technology to internal qualities of their organizations, and amplified externally, across ecosystems, society and our planet.
*Igor Couto is co-founder and CEO of 1STi. One of the leading experts in deep tech in Brazil, the executive has extensive experience in mission-critical systems and the implementation of intentional digital architectures. Author of the book Deep Tech and the Amplified Organization, he also acts as a technology architect in strategic projects in organizations, in addition to leading programs for the democratization of advanced digital technologies.