Futurist movie maker Ian Khan helps governments mix AI with blockchain


Ian Khan is a futurist who expects that blockchain, synthetic intelligence and the Internet of Things will merge collectively to create a wholly new sort of world. 

He’s the inventor of the Future Readiness Score, the writer of eight books and the chairperson of the Money 20/20 fintech convention.

His first movie, Blockchain City, is far from an underground manufacturing. The 42-minute movie, which is obtainable on Youtube and Amazon Prime, is a businessy, optimistic and considerably sanitized tackle the trade. It focuses decisively on piercing the nebulous idea of “blockchain technology” whereas largely dodging the typically controversial phenomenon of cryptocurrency, selling blockchain as an environment friendly monitoring mechanism furthering the pursuits of “the establishment.”

Khan’s positioning within the trade is subsequently very a lot in distinction to the cypherpunk motion — the previous guard of the blockchain revolution.

These authentic torchbearers of the trade weren’t wanting to see the expertise used to enhance governance programs however to avoid and successfully overthrow them by turning their outdated programs and processes towards them. Such an imagined technological overthrow is, nonetheless, unlikely to succeed with the likes of Khan advising governments on how one can stop disruption by means of future readiness.

At a basic stage, Khan considers blockchain-based programs as “a way to do things in a better way.” The major causes for this are the effectivity advantages derived from a community that confirms its personal accuracy, and the belief that no unauthorized consumer has been in a position to manipulate information. 

Notably, he doesn’t give central reward to generally lauded themes like decentralization [away from governments] or the perceived advantages of on-line anonymity. Instead, he emphasizes how blockchains can be utilized by governments to raised safe non-public data and stop issues like id theft.





When it involves “the last 100 years off, how we’ve been doing business,” for Khan, blockchain is “something that does things better in 1,000 different ways.” On the a part of enhancing authorities processes, “the efficiency part will come up as a result of the exchange of data between government entities — incredible government services will happen as a result of that.”

Back to the Futuracy

This speak of effectivity and the long run doesn’t come from a vacuum, as Khan runs a Toronto-based firm future-readiness enterprise known as Futuracy, which he describes as “an emerging technology educator” that has labored with firms and governments all over the world. The prolific writer can also be a key determine within the Dubai GITEX expertise convention — such a key determine, that he was serving because the stage supervisor as I arrived to ship a keynote on the historical past of the blockchain motion on the occasion in mid-October. While I used to be seeking to the previous, his head was (and is) firmly sooner or later.



A nonetheless from the movie Blockchain City



The agency creates a Future Readiness Strategy for every shopper. These methods are tailor-made primarily based on the solutions to 200 questions put to the purchasers that are designed to disclose weak programs and processes which can be disrupted by advancing expertise. Depending on the dimensions of the group, minor weaknesses can have outsize impacts.

“If there’s an inefficiency in government, common people will suffer,” he explains, noting the necessity for future-readiness evaluation in stopping disruptions to necessary features similar to medical care and schooling — each of which have been impacted by the pandemic.





Khan can also be different phenomena that guarantees to form the way forward for his purchasers, specifically the Future of Work and Artificial Intelligence The Next Frontier, each of them additionally titles of his two upcoming movies. For him, concepts similar to digitization, the Internet of Things, blockchain and synthetic intelligence are usually not standalone improvements. Instead, they’re linked and it is just a matter of time till they mix and combine to type a wholly new tomorrow for the way in which governments, firms and establishments perform. 

“It’s very easy to paint the picture where we can talk about the world that is powered by AI that has blockchain in it,” Khan mentions casually as if the thought is by no means terrifying. It’s about effectivity, as AI-blockchain integration might be “saving lots of time, energy and effort,” and data might be much less more likely to be stolen, in keeping with Khan.

Thoughts from the long run

Much of Khan’s current work has been in Dubai, a metropolis he says “is always trying to do things in a different way.” An early patron of the blockchain motion, “Dubai was one of the first countries with a blockchain strategy at the government level,” Khan says.

Khan believes that one of the simplest ways for governments, massive firms and establishments to ease into the blockchain age is for them to offer all staff with an understanding of the expertise “whether they are decision makers or not,” as a result of if a corporation is to outlive in a altering atmosphere, it has to “become a learning entity.” 





The efficient solution to study new paradigm-shifting applied sciences like blockchain, in keeping with Khan, is to start out with examples of profitable technical implementation with the purpose to “massively simplify the understanding of these big giant buzzwords, so that people can relate” to what the expertise is definitely able to and helpful for. In observe, this might imply investing in schooling programs — maybe starting with watching his movie. 

Despite his emphasis on studying the fundamentals, Khan concedes there isn’t a want for everybody to have greater than a surface-level information. After all, blockchains are horribly complicated, however the way in which we work together with them may very well be made lots less complicated. Just as not all automobile customers want to know precisely how a combustion or electrical engine works, sooner or later it will likely be the “blockchain that is taking care of things underneath the hood,” he says.

“Everybody needs to be at the basic minimum level of understanding of technology — it doesn’t matter if they don’t work in the same department. I think education of basic technology concepts and the value it creates is important.”

Another method through which organizations, particularly governments, can harness the advantages of blockchain is to open up the ideation course of by giving as a lot inventive freedom to their folks as potential, so as “to come up with ideas that can really change the way they do things.”

On this advantage, Khan offers particular reward to Estonia, a small European nation of only one.3 million, the place he says “there’s a lot of freedom to express” one’s concepts to the very best ranges of resolution making. As a small nation with an enormous emphasis on expertise, as evidenced by the eResidency program making it simple for digital nomads to function companies from the nation, Estonia has solid a status as a digital hub.





The third method, Khan says, is for organizations to constantly run small experiments and pilot tasks “that prove a point,” even when there isn’t a apparent short-term profit or return on funding. As a major instance, Khan brings up Zug, a Swiss metropolis of 30,000 which in 2016, adopted Bitcoin as an choice for paying metropolis permits. Due to the success of the experiment, Zug quickly grew to become often known as “crypto valley” as blockchain firms from all over the world opened places of work there.



Ian Khan in a nonetheless from Blockchain City



Kashmir to Canada

Instead of being a blockchain native, Khan is future-native. “I just love learning these things and understanding them and helping others understand them,” he proclaims.

He was born on the Indian aspect of Kashmir, a area whose different half lies in Pakistan. There, Khan recollects that he grew to become serious about rising expertise on the age of six when he noticed a pc at college. “It was a BBC Micro hooked on to a black and white screen that had Pac Man on, and my mind was completely blown,” he recollects.

He studied engineering at Kuvempu University in southern India between 1995 and 1999, acquiring a diploma in software program on the similar time. Soon after commencement, he moved to Bahrain the place he labored in a gross sales and advertising and marketing function within the vitality trade, whereas additionally working in direction of a diploma in journalism from the London School of Journalism which he acquired in 2003. In 2007, Khan moved to Canada, the place he lives immediately.

In Canada, Khan tried his hand at a variety of aspect hustles, upon which he based Agnitio Solutions. He tried his hand at quite a few tasks and startups over 4 years, till “I got into the publishing industry and started a healthcare magazine,” he recollects. In his free time, he continued to review, incomes a venture administration skilled certificates from Humber College in 2009 and a certificates in public relations from the University of Toronto the next yr.

Blockchain documentary

Khan had the thought to make a documentary in regards to the blockchain revolution in 2018, across the time that he attended the primary Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai, a part of the bigger GITEX expertise conference for which Khan serves as Smart Cities Conference Chair. He noticed that, along with blockchain being extremely complicated to most individuals, “there’s lots of hype around it and there’s lots of misinformation around it,” he notes.

“The story needs to be told that clarifies things, brings some light to the situation and helps business decision makers, governments leaders and individuals understand this technology better”

Blockchain City – The Future of Cities Driven by Blockchain tells a “story of cities around the world and their shift towards being technologically powered through Blockchain.” In the 2019 movie, he interviews representatives of assorted governments who converse on the wonders of blockchain expertise and the alternatives it holds for making societal features extra environment friendly. 



The opening credit of Blockchain City



In line along with his mantra of instructing from real-life instances, blockchain use instances that had been introduced up embody stopping over-fishing and little one trafficking. These examples of the following stage of the digitization of governance infrastructure will help international establishments “join hands and take the next steps together.”

While Blockchain Cities largely avoids cryptocurrency, he has made a separate documentary titled The Bitcoin Dilemma on that topic. It is technologically agnostic and impartial of any politics or ideology, which is understood to permeate the cryptocurrency trade.







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