MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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BEATING THE AI BLUES

Published on: 13 December 2018

Machines don't have a heart

Dateline: 12 January 2022

That's the problem with artificial intelligence - it's pretty cold and mechanical; and it lacks emotional intelligence. Companies like Google and Amazon have worked hard over the last five years to inject some warmth and 'humanity' into their voice assistants, but it's an uphill battle. "Not very witty, and no sense of humor either," was how one reviewer described the latest incarnation of Siri on Apple's iPhones. Which is why more and more people are starting to rebuff smart assistants and work ...

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THE CHURCH OF BIG DATA IS THE FASTEST GROWING NEW RELIGION

Published on: 6 December 2018

As science progresses at an exponential rate, people turn to a new faith

Dateline: 23 June 2038

To those who don't know its secrets, science is indistinguishable from magic. In times of exponential technological growth, many people can no longer logically comprehend the way the increasingly digitized world around them works. In the past, people turned to religions, deities and mythologies to make sense of what they could not understand. These days though, the old religions, such as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism have lost a lot of appeal, not least because of their problematically ...

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ELECTRIC FEAST FROM THE EAST

Published on: 1 November 2018

China exports latest technology for organic food

Dateline: 9 January 2023

In dramatic style, China has surged ahead with the production of organic fruit and vegetables at affordable prices. Since the breakthrough achieved five years ago, China's 'ion farmers' have grown exponentially - and it's all thanks to electricity! If it sounds like science fiction, you're excused, but in fact electromagnetic pulses are beating pests and accelerating plant growth in millions of greenhouses across the country. Facing the daunting task of feeding a burgeoning population with ...

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BIG BROTHER AT BORDER CREATES BIG STOCK DRAMA

Published on: 25 October 2018

Did New Zealand Customs official leak info from traveller's phone?

Dateline: 7 June 2019

Very few people expected that the New Zealand law, which allows customs officials to inspect and copy data on travellers' digital devices, would still be enforced months later. The only alternative is for the passenger to pay a hefty fine, but how is that really different from a bribe? Right from the start, with the new law introduced in October last year, human rights groups have been up in arms, but this week the wider world took notice as well. A highly agitated male, sweating profusely, was ...

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CRUISING THE CROWDED SKIES

Published on: 18 October 2018 1 Comment

Everybody who's anybody is a frequent flyer

Dateline: 20 March 2038

In the last couple of decades, air traffic has rocketed. Annual air passenger numbers have shot up from less than 8 billion in 2018 to over 20 billion today. That's almost three times the world population, every year! Bearing in mind that hardly any flights exceed 24 hours, that means that, on average, 60 million people are boarding flights, somewhere, every day. And that doesn't include drone taxis and private planes. The only way major air terminals can cope with the hordes is increased reliance ...

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FEMBOT CROWNED FIRST RUNNER UP IN MISS WORLD PAGEANT

Published on: 11 October 2018 1 Comment

Outrage as fellow contestants cry anti-human discrimination

Dateline: 5 December 2023

Beauty queens around the world have taken to social media to complain about the judges' ruling in last night's Miss World beauty pageant. Erica (28), a Japanese humanoid robot, who is also a well-known television personality, was chosen as the first runner-up in the prestigious competition. Her fellow, human, competitors feel that Erica's artificial beauty and artificial intelligence gave her an unfair advantage over flesh and blood women who have to diet and endure gruelling physical training to ...

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SUPERINTELLIGENT AI COMING SOON

Published on: 4 October 2018

Are we ready for computers and robots that are smarter than humans?

Dateline: 8 October 2048

That's a question fraught with questions of its own. Smarter than which humans? In what way? And so on. On average, people think they are smarter than average; which is a statistical impossibility. What that really means, is that most of us think we're smarter than we really are. Now I'm not talking about geniuses with super-high IQs, or those millionaires that have upgraded their brains with neuroprosthetics. They're clearly in a different category, almost another species. Nevermind them. But most ...

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UN REJECTS MARKET MECHANISM

Published on: 27 September 2018

Favours increasing state intervention to realize development goals

Dateline: 15 March 2020

"Existing economic theories are incapable of meeting the needs of the future, and we need an economic transition, away from neoclassical economics and market capitalism," said the latest Sustainable Development report. In other words, capitalism and free markets are not good enough to guarantee prosperity for the people of the world. According to the UN. This position is bound to stir up heated debate from all quarters. No one can argue with the fact that democratic market economies and global trade ...

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INTELLIGENT MACHINES CREATE THE NEW HEGEMONY

Published on: 20 September 2018 3 Comments

China and America reap the AI dividend

Dateline: 3 December 2030

In the last 15 years, we have witnessed the stunning rise of an exponential technology - machine learning and artificial intelligence. Like Moore's Law on steroids, smart machines and computer systems have created entirely new global industries, turbo-boosted productivity, and destroyed old, industrial age business sectors. The Economist, now a purely digital research and analysis house, estimates the 'new value' created by this phenomenon at over US$ 19 trillion globally. But a full 70% of this ...

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THE TRUE COST OF YOUR DNA

Published on: 13 September 2018 1 Comment

Shouldn't you be rewarded if you are the product?

Dateline: 23 September 2023

A bit more than a decade ago, it would have cost you US$ 10,000 to have your entire genome sequenced; four years ago, about $100. But now, you can take the highest bidder, and get paid for your genomic data. Of course, the first complete sequence of a human genome was an enormous undertaking, as there was no reference data, and the project cost an estimated US$ 2.7 billion, but Moore's Law soon came into effect, and prices plummeted as the tech became mainstream and automated. Soon it was the ...

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THE GREAT BITCOIN HEIST OF 2027

Published on: 6 September 2018 1 Comment

Quantum hackers make off with billions

Dateline: 14 September 2027

The global crypto community is in an uproar this morning. Overnight a group of hackers, who go by the name of "Gotya," managed to hack into the main Bitcoin blockchain, making off with billions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrency in the process. Gotya appears to have used advanced quantum computing power to break into the blockchain network using what is known as a 'routing attack'. In essence, the hackers managed to temporarily fork the core Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain in order to double-spend coins ...

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CAN YOU TRUST YOURSELF?

Published on: 30 August 2018 1 Comment

Your innermost thoughts and feelings might not be your own!

Dateline: 3 September 2032

We've all been taught to trust our instincts. That little voice that tells us infallibly, what is right and what's wrong. Sometimes we subconsciously or willfully disregard that voice, thinking that, this time, it's different. Sometimes our goals, our egos, our sense of logic, override our feelings and intuition. But since neuralink adapters have connected our thoughts directly to the cloud, we've been able to explore new ways of thinking, with augmented intelligence. Boosting our natural brain ...

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DIGITAL CREATIONS BECOME MILLIONAIRES

Published on: 23 August 2018

Actual existence not a prerequisite for wealth anymore

Dateline: 28 September 2023

For a long time, people invested in and trusted those who they could see in the flesh. Steve Jobs presenting the new iPhone on stage. Tick. Warren Buffet speaking at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. Tick. Heidi Klum strutting her stuff for Victoria's Secret. Tick. Not anymore. The world economy has witnessed a new influx of millionaires who built their wealth on, well, nothing. Nothing but data, that is. It started with computer-generated models and Instagram influencers who dethroned ...

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IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

Published on: 16 August 2018 1 Comment

Your children will need more than just technical skills

Dateline: 26 June 2027

We've reached the age of skilled machines, a new age of enlightenment, where automated systems are often smarter than most people. Not because they are more inventive, but because they can think faster, and sift through masses of data, coming to conclusions more rapidly than humans. How do you prepare your children to live and thrive in this technologically dominated environment? Not by teaching them math and coding - those are just basic life skills! No, to rise above the average, kids today need ...

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THE FREE REPUBLIC OF LIBERLAND GETS UNITED NATIONS SEAT

Published on: 9 August 2018

Not-so-small-anymore micro nation sets precedent for other tiny tax havens

Dateline: 16 July 2030

The Free Republic of Liberland has grown from an eccentric community of radical libertarians into a diplomatic force to be reckoned with, in the 15 short years since it was founded. The small sovereign state, which occupies a seven square kilometre area of disputed territory between Croatia and Serbia on the west bank of the Danube river, now boasts almost five million citizens. Many of Liberland's citizens are Bitcoin billionaires and millionaires who have use their citizenship to hide their ...

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CHINA STEPS INTO THE BREACH

Published on: 2 August 2018

Together with India, they make a formidable pair

Dateline: 8 August 2020

The vacuum left by America's leadership crisis has been filled, but not by Europe. Power has shifted to the east, and now China is stepping up to the plate in a big way. In a world where western free market ideology has become tarnished and mean, China's economic imperialism is eagerly welcomed. Make no mistake, Russia still has command of massive resources, but its technology seems rooted in the industrial age; an economic minnow, left stranded by the tsunami of digital tech sweeping the ...

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THE ULTIMATE CURE FOR AGING

Published on: 26 July 2018 3 Comments

It's not drugs or gene therapy

Dateline: 26 June 2024

In the last six years, a bunch of longevity entrepreneurs, or should I say aging researchers, have been seeking the holy grail: a way to slow down or even reverse the aging process. In other words, keep you living longer, and having healthier lives while you do so. For money, of course, but it's a noble purpose, so no-one is complaining. Now prominent geneticist and longevity evangelist Craig Vesper has announced that he has the answer, and it's not a miracle drug, or even modifying your genes, ...

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HUMANITY TRUMPS TECHNOLOGY

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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SCHOOL'S OUT FOREVER

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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LIFE BEHIND THE WIFI CURTAIN

Published on: 5 July 2018 2 Comments

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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