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Tech VCs, at Churchill Club, predict an edgy future

David Needle | May 29, 2017
Look for Amazon to face antitrust action, e-commerce to kill shopping malls and high-tech biomedical advances.

Abbott said it's important to look at the root cause of the problem, which is that doctors have for decades over-prescribed antibiotics.


Voice will be the ultimate interface

Amazon's Alexa, Google Home and personal assistants like Apple's Siri already make great use of voice recognition. But Jurvetson thinks the best is yet to come, calling Siri "a false start."

"Now we have deep learning to make it all work and (inexpensive) voice recognition chips about the size of a button with an error rate of 5%, which is about the same as for humans. We can speak three times faster than a glass keyboard," he said. Jurvetson expects continuous communication in the next five years, where our devices are always listening -- and smart enough to respond at the appropriate times.

"It's not clear voice will be the only interaction," said Abbott, noting younger people like his daughter use their phone more as a smart camera than for talking.


The future of food, investing and education

Rounding out the predictions, Tung forecast that food production will be revolutionized globally with new plant-based foods and a big increase in indoor growing, spurred in part by the legalization of marijuana in many states.

Sarah Tavel, a partner at Benchmark, predicts a startup will emerge in the next five years with IPO potential that starts out as an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), a kind of virtual currency. "Initial Coin Offerings are the next Kickstarter," she said.

And Abbott foresees a big leap forward in online education, as students take advantage of virtual reality to virtually "go" anywhere in the world.


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