Robert Scoble at the LDA
Robert Scoble at the LDA

According to blogger, author and tech expert Robert Scoble, we are on the verge of a “frictionless” future, where technology predicts our needs, makes transactions fluid, and thoroughly changes the way we live. The price we will pay for this advancement, though, is the death of privacy as we know it

On Tuesday night, Scoble spoke about the future of technology at a gathering organized by the Louisville Digital Association (and co-sponsored by Insider Louisville) at the Muhammad Ali Center. Scoble works for Rackspace, the No. 1 managed cloud company, and they pay him to travel all over the world and discover new tech startups. “That means I get to see trends before other people,” he said.

For example, he talked about testing out iPhone’s Siri application in his son’s bedroom six months before it was released.

Improvements in sensors, wearable technology, location capabilities, social media and cloud-connected data are leading to the frictionless society he predicts. The ability to layer these technologies allows technology to “know” you over time and predict your needs and tailor itself to your life, Scoble said.

But this means giving up privacy as we know it. “People who are fighting for privacy will lose,” he said. “Privacy is dead. It’s going away in a very deep way.”

It’s chilling, perhaps, but we’re already surrendering privacy all the time. Facebook knows where you are every time you log on. We give over our location information to services like Uber so they can pick us up for a ride. “You’re going to surrender your data because there is such a deep upside to it,” he said.

Scoble suggested this emerging technology will not only change how we live, but where we live because of the availability of connected services. He lives 45 minutes out of San Francisco in a rural area and has no service options, but in San Francisco he can use an app to have a fresh salad delivered to his door in 10 minutes for $10. As a result, Scoble predicted more and more people will move back into cities.

Isn’t a future that compels us to surrender our data in favor a more connected life fraught with danger? “We need to switch from talking about privacy to talking about consequences,” he concluded.

Watch the whole video here, shot by SwitcherStudio for the LDA: