Understanding Automation, Part 1

Why search for a new secret if you can comfortably collect rents on everything that has already been done? Peter Thiel

It takes a bold effort to make claims and predictions concerning the future in such uncertain times. If there is a consensus on the current state of affairs it generally entails a proclamation concerning its unpredictability. It feels sensible not to wager on the behaviour of those that are having their liberties curbed, or postulate on the exact nature of a virus’ contagion when there are so many different variables involved.

However, in the face of so much unpredictability how can we possibly make the right decisions? In his book Zero to One, Thiel describes how our perception of the future dictates the type of choices we make and the actions we take. For when the future is so unpredictable, so indefinite, the danger is that no decisions are made at all.

Ultimately we have two options available to us:

  1. we enter into a Darwinian survival mode and cast our hopes on the evolutionary winds of progress; praying for inclusion in society’s next great iteration (optimistic indeterminism). Or,
  2. we hatch a plan and foster a belief in the future that allows us to execute a definite long-term plan (optimistic determinism).

At Mortar we believe in the long-term technological transformation of the relationship between people and property. We are optimistic about finding secrets that exist in big data and in the application of AI to reveal entirely new ways to connect, share and co-create.

For that reason we are committed to investing in technology and promoting the implementation and availability of automation and machine learning. We’re comfortable making bold statements about the future of the workplace and the home; about financial wellbeing and the development of businesses and banking. We’re happy we might get some of these statements wrong, because we’re committed to a relentless search for the opportunities that are going to shape the future.

Our challenge is to help businesses and their users make decisions that overcome uncertainty, to aid them in maintaining an optimistic outlook even when the comforts of our new normal are nowhere yet to be seen. It is easy to fall into the trappings of pessimism but you don’t have to search hard to find that there is so much that has not already been done, and so many new ways in which to look at problems and find hidden solutions.

You don’t find secrets without looking for them.