Disruption on the Horizon: OTC d5 Presents Thought-Provoking Visions of the Future

Larry Tesler speaks at Rice University in Houston where he explained to oil and gas professionals how their companies can find value in technologies that failed to have commercial success.

We are living in an age of disruption. If you question that assertion, just reach into your pocket. In less than a decade, a combination of the Internet, smartphones, and the myriad of apps developed to run on them have obliterated a growing number of once-lucrative business models.

Countless brick-and-mortar music stores have been replaced by iTunes and Spotify. Kodak has been replaced by Instagram. The global taxi trade is being redefined by Uber. Expensive long-­distance phone calls and over-priced text messages are now free thanks to Whats­App, Viber, and Skype.

Vivek ­Wadhwa

And this is only the beginning. The disruption these consumer-friendly technologies are causing to the retail and service sectors will pale in comparison to the changes coming to energy supply and the entire global economy. This prognostication comes from Vivek ­Wadhwa, a renowned technology researcher and a fellow at Stanford University.

“Every industry will be disrupted,” he said. “As technology advances, it becomes more powerful, it becomes smaller, and it becomes cheaper. It democratizes so that anyone, anywhere can now use it to build world-changing solutions.”

Wadhwa was the keynote speaker at SPE’s second annual d5 event on the Friday after OTC. Held at Rice University in Houston, the meeting featured speakers with various backgrounds in digital technology and oil and gas who shared their ideas on how to challenge the ­status quo.

Wadhwa’s message to the audience of oil and gas executives from around the world was that technology development is on an exponential path, and that there is no turning back.

Over the next few years, he said the world will witness the rapid maturation and convergence of robotics, 3D printing, low-cost sensors, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computers. There will be unprecedented benefits, but also plenty of upheaval to go around.

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Disruption on the Horizon: OTC d5 Presents Thought-Provoking Visions of the Future

Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

13 June 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 7


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