Published on: 19 July 2018

Mind-reading tech worn by employees is alienating customers

Dateline: 1 May 2024

Lisa Chen's mother always said that Lisa's whole spectrum of emotions is reflected on her face. Regardless of whether she's angry or ecstatic, Lisa has always been unable to mask what she's feeling. She always felt bad about it, until now. Back in 2018 it came to light that firms in the electronic equipment, power supply and telecoms industries were using sensor-fitted hats and helmets to measure their workers' levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Based on the data, employers adjusted shifts ...

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Un-recycled cycles
Posted: 16 July 2018

Last year we published a MindBullet highlighting the flood of 'dockless' share bikes in China, and wondering if it was sustainable. Now one of the big companies, with 430,000 bikes, most presumably abandoned or damaged, has gone bankrupt. Take a look at these images from bike graveyards in China.

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The unexpected beauty of China's bicycle graveyards – in pictures
16 July 2018
For the past 18 months many cities in China have been flooded by millions of dockless share bikes. Those that block pavements or apartment entrances have ...
There are 29 million bicycles in Beijing - and that's a problem
Dateline: 29 October 2019
The craze for 'dockless' share bikes in China and elsewhere soon led to a massive problem; piles of discarded bikes all over big cities, clogging up ...
How will we measure future corporate success? Metrics need a recalibration!
Posted: 16 July 2018

We have been positing for years that corporate success sin the future will be forced to shift form pure quantitative financial performance to incorporate wider societal impact - WAY beyond CSI and balanced Scorecard type initiatives. The pressure on rampant and greedy capitalism is growing - business needs to think about this deeply before its too late. We need to retain capitalism's ...

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Larry Fink, CEO of $6.3 trillion manager BlackRock, just sent a warning letter to CEOs everywhere
16 July 2018
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink just sent a warning shot to CEOs across the world: start accounting for the societal impact of your companies.
Is there a new model arising out of the ashes?
Dateline: 21 May 2015
Ongoing violent protests in major cities around the world are crippling developed economies. What started with an overt war against business in India by ...
Prepare your brain for download!
Posted: 16 July 2018

When last did you think about HOW you think? Our brain is used every day, mostly using thought rules developed over our entire lives. How many of these rules stay valid for the future? Get your brain ready dont want to download an old brain with old thought processing rules!!

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Startup wants to upload your brain to the cloud, but has to kill you to do it
16 July 2018
Nectome offers to preserve grey matter through ‘vitrifixation’ process tested on rabbits – but doesn’t have a method for uploading brains yet
First AI computer relies on sleeping students
Dateline: 18 May 2017
Hermann Goethe is asleep at home. A dense network of electrodes is attached to his head and neck. It may look like some bizarre behavioral psychology ...


Published on: 12 July 2018

Pervasive education replaces high school and college

Dateline: 11 July 2030

Remember when every teacher heaved a sigh of relief when they heard the news "School's out for summer" and they could enjoy their holiday? Now school's out - completely. Granted, basic formal education is still a good idea for young kids, who need to learn life skills, like how to handle things when our smart devices misbehave, but what's the point of congregating at a physical site, just to be told what you already know, by someone who's not necessarily as smart as you? That's 'old school' for ...

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America last
Posted: 26 June 2018 1 Comment

As our MindBullet suggested last year, the one who starts a trade war, often shoots himself in the foot. Now Harley-Davidson (how American can you get?) is moving out. More will follow; people who are stuck in the old industrial era mindset just don't get that the paradigm has changed. Capital, skills and jobs have never been more mobile. The only way to reverse globalization, is to reverse ...

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‘American success story’ Harley-Davidson to shift production out of U.S. to avoid Trump’s trade war
26 June 2018
The EU’s tariffs retaliating against Trump’s steel and aluminum levies will cost Harley about $2,200 per bike shipped to Europe
Global downturn follows isolationist resurgence
Dateline: 7 March 2021
Brexit, Trump and now Le Pen. As the old, established economies turn inward and nationalist, global trade and co-operation suffer. It's been left to the ...
Democratizing food production
Posted: 11 July 2018

Dubai certainly has an eye to the future, and is keen to embrace new tech, from drones to blockchain to driverless cars. Now they are also looking at a substantial investment in urban (vertical) farming. The reasoning is sound, as they want to manage their own supply chain, and can afford the capital outlay. It will be interesting to see how this ...

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Urban farming is here to stay, and that's a good thing, isn't it?
Dateline: 1 March 2021
For some time now, various cities have been experimenting with vertical farming, rooftop farming, and even basement farming with LED lighting. Now it's maturing into a fully-fledged industry, just like fish farming. Farming without land, or even soil, sounds like a contradiction in terms, but hydroponics is not a new idea - it's just become more profitable. Being physically close to the ...
Life behind the WiFi Curtain
Posted: 5 July 2018

According to reliable sources, both the US's Dept of Homeland Affairs and the UK's GCHQ have also trialled hybrid versions of this technology and this is helping them to weed out 'free thinking' citizens within their public services. We understand that they are both now hoping to roll-out V2 versions of this specific software to cover other teargetted areas of national interest, including writers, academics and personnel at influential trade organisations.

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Published on: 5 July 2018

China's social credit score system forms an impenetrable virtual barrier

Dateline: 5 February 2020

Dubbed the "WiFi Curtain", China's mandatory social credit score system, which went live last month is shaping up to be the 21st Century's answer to the Iron Curtain. Chinese citizens trying to escape the restrictive system, which punishes bad behaviour by limiting access to top jobs, credit and other perks, have realized that they are now effectively trapped inside the new, invisible Chinese Wall. A particularly poor social credit score completely prohibits citizens from traveling by air, or ...

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7-Eleven recognises YOU!
Posted: 4 July 2018

Radical new technologies are no longer quite so radical - they're starting to appear everywhere, even in your corner convenience store!
Well, if you live in Thailand, that is...where all 11,000 7-Eleven stores have been fitted with sophisticated face recognition technology to drive loyalty and sales. ...

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Thailand’s 7-Eleven stores get facial recognition tech
4 July 2018
Spread the love! Forward this email to your trend-obsessed friends and share on social media »
Robo-writers are here, courtesy Alibaba
Posted: 4 July 2018

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Saatchi & Saatchi hire creative robots, not people
Dateline: 12 February 2020
I remember clearly when artificial intelligence expert Vivienne Ming told us: "No job or industry is safe from robotics and AI." That was five years ago. As a freelance copywriter, I was smug in my assumption that her assertion didn't apply to us, to creative skills. We were the exception to the rule; machines, no matter how smart, can't be truly creative, can they? Software bots and AI ...
When the boss knows what you're feeling
Posted: 4 July 2018

Your boss is a machine. Well maybe that's an exaggeration, but the boss is certainly assisted by machines, and increasingly by AI systems. And if those systems are monitoring your brainwaves, they kind of know what you're thinking, or what your stress levels and emotional state are like. Is this the future? Not in China; it's today.

So how does that make you feel? Don't tell me... the AI ...

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These Chinese workers' brain waves are being monitored
4 July 2018
Sensors in caps and hats track emotions in the workflow - and their impact on performance.
Now we can communicate with our thoughts - and technology
Dateline: 13 June 2019
For generations, people have dreamed of communicating with their thoughts. Now, thanks to the first commercial device that successfully reads brainwaves ...
Two alternative futures for solar energy
Posted: 20 June 2018 1 Comment

Quartz says the solar power revolution is in grave danger of collapse by 2050, and needs a serious commitment to increased investment to 'succeed'. I disagree fundamentally for two reasons. One, the column looks at two scenarios out to 2050, but essentially only takes current technology trends into account. As we all know, tech is characterized by exponential improvements in efficiency and ...

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The solar revolution is in grave danger, but we can save it
20 June 2018
The world is facing two futures: let the solar revolution sputter out and face ruin or harness solar power to help reign in climate change.
Just paint that wall for instant solar fuel
Dateline: 23 June 2022
It's taken five years to come to fruition, but the magic of solar paint is finally something every building owner can benefit from. Why pay for costly 3D ...
The future of debating
Posted: 3 July 2018

Could you hone your debating skills by arguing with a computer? Yes, if it's IBM's new AI that's been taught to argue with humans about specific topics. And there's the rub, the machine can only debate topics it's been programmed to specialize in, and not impromptu discussions. Also, it has trouble with jokes.

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IBM’s new AI can argue with humans
3 July 2018
A machine developed by IBM is challenging humans to debates about the future of medicine and the value of physical education.
Super Artificial Intelligence agent thinks it's a real person
Dateline: 7 January 2019
You may recall the movie 'Her' where the lead character falls hopelessly in love with his virtual girlfriend Samantha. She returns his love, even though ...


Published on: 28 June 2018

Tech is no longer regarded as a sector

Dateline: 23 June 2031

FinTech, MarTech, InsurTech, LegTech, AgTech, EnerTech - they're all dead. A decade ago, news feeds and timelines were swamped with the latest entrant into one of these sub-sectors. Thousands of startups proudly adopted an 'xTech' descriptor, as they tried to carve a superniche for themselves from the digital supercycle. But the fever of digital transformation of business has cooled; the era of digitalization of industry is all but over. The fact is, any business enterprise that has not incorporated ...

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World's smallest computer, again
Posted: 27 June 2018

Not to be outdone by IBM, who recently boasted the smallest functional device at 1mmx1mm, the University of Michigan has created one even smaller - so small that it makes a grain of rice look gigantic alongside.

The jury is out whether these nano devices qualify to be called 'computers' but the opportunities they offer for massively distributed sensors capable of gathering and processing data ...

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World’s tiniest ‘computer’ makes a grain of rice seem massive
27 June 2018
The University of Michigan was salty that IBM made a smaller computer than it did, so it made an even smaller computer.
High performance computing is embedded everywhere and virtually free
Dateline: 22 September 2022
Moore's Law says, in essence, that computer processors become twice as powerful, and half the price, approximately every two years. Over time that sort of ...
Embedded intelligence
Posted: 26 June 2018

Key to the mass adoption of machine learning and intelligent things, is the ability to drive intelligence to the edge, in everyday devices and sensors, rather than relying on supercomputers in the cloud to do all the heavy lifting. A startup called GraphCore is developing an IPU to replace GPU and CPU in machine learning, promising dramatic improvements in performance. So it's not just Intel ...

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Data shows scalability of new artificial intelligence chip -
26 June 2018
Early data from GraphCore‘s first chip for machine learning and artificial intelligence is showing a dramatic speedup for AI algorithms and the ability to ...
Intel's new brain-like chip puts machine learning in the heart of your device
Dateline: 29 September 2018
AI is dead. Long live accelerated AI. Now deep learning by computers has been internalised in the CPU, the very heart of the machine. It's called ...
Wonder wine
Posted: 25 June 2018

Four years ago we 'predicted' that at some point, Californian wine makers would introduce wine with a touch of cannabis. Well, that is happening this year, but in a quirk we didn't foresee, they are removing the alcohol, so it will be alcohol free but laced with THC.

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This US winery is making a Sauvignon Blanc wine laced with cannabis
25 June 2018
But now, the varietal is about to get a lot greener as one vineyard is working on a complex wine which swaps out alcohol for cannabis.
Modified crops produce food and drink with that feel-good factor
Dateline: 26 July 2017
It's unusual for innovation in California to develop outside of Silicon Valley, but this time it's Napa Valley that's making the headlines. Vineyards and ...
Nanobots cleaning your bloodstream
Posted: 21 June 2018

An old MindBullet we wrote years ago suggested that by 2017, we could have nanobots cleaning our arteries. Well, that was a little optimistic, but now engineers have developed nanobots made from gold nanowires coated with cell membranes that clear toxins and bacteria from blood - powered by ultrasound. So perhaps, in the future, these scenarios will become commonplace!

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Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood
21 June 2018
San Diego, Calif., May 30, 2018 -- Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through ...
And a microspider "roto-rooter" cleans my arteries
Dateline: 27 March 2017
Who's old enough to remember "Fantastic Voyage", the 1966 film in which a team of scientists were shrunk to microsize and injected into the bloodstream of ...


Published on: 21 June 2018

There's a new digital gatekeeper holding your hand and saving your reputation

Dateline: 4 January 2021

It's funny to think that we were impressed when filters could make our photos look cooler. Or that Spotify could suggest other artists based on our taste in music. Clever and entertaining, but not really significant. An algorithm that stops you from ruining your reputation, now that's a completely different story. A former Facebook bigshot has now started his own firm called Barrier. Trevor Scott saw his opportunity as numerous Facebook users ended up being fired or sued based on what they sent ...

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