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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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MADMEN REPLACED BY ADBOTS AND ROBO-WRITERS
Published on: 11 February 2016  
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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 systems quickly evolved to handle ordinary, routine work like news and sports reports. Machine learning and deep ...
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HIGHER EDUCATION FINALLY MAKES THE GRADE
Published on: 4 February 2016   2 Comments
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Getting graduates ready for the 4th industrial revolution
Dateline: 5 September 2027
Universities are having a hard time - and not just your small town college. Even Harvard classrooms are emptying out as bureaucratic institutions are falling behind and losing credibility; by the time exams are written, the content is no longer relevant! Increasingly violent and brutal student protests worldwide about fees, loans and unemployment have left many governments desperate. With machine learning, AI, quantum computing and automation, the workers of tomorrow require drastically new ...
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PHI STREAMING REINVENTS MOBILE BROADBAND
Published on: 28 January 2016  
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Vortex based on the golden ratio boosts wireless signals exponentially
Dateline: 27 January 2020
Nature always chooses the path of least resistance. Nature always seeks to optimize available energy, and the golden ratio, phi, is at the heart of the spiral and fractal designs we see everywhere in the natural world. That's because phi maximizes the return on stored energy and minimizes losses and friction. Whether it's growing a lily or building a nautilus shell, or even directing water down the plughole; the golden ratio makes it easiest to accomplish. What works for energy also works for ...
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SOLID HYDROGEN BREAKS THE RULES OF PHYSICS
Published on: 21 January 2016  
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Hydrogen compressed beyond a liquid into a metallic state is the ultimate super conductor
Dateline: 25 January 2035
Imagine a stable, solid metal that is made of pure hydrogen - the ultimate solid fuel and lightweight material. That is now within our grasp, as scientists perfect a new method of 'growing' hydrogen crystals and nano-wires. Twenty years ago, scientists saw the first signs that achieving metallic hydrogen was possible. By compressing microscopic amounts of hydrogen between two diamonds with massive force, the gas was observed to partially solidify, proving the theory that, with sufficient force, ...
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LOOK WHO'S TALKING NOW
Published on: 14 January 2016  
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When your dog talks back, you can understand him at last
Dateline: 15 January 2033
Since scientists first grew human vocal cord cells in dogs' throats, the science of communicating with man's best friend has advanced significantly. Now you can talk to your dog - he has always understood you - and when he responds, you can understand him! Implanting 3D-printed human vocal cords in dogs' throats was a great idea, but the voice-like sounds they produced were indecipherable except to trained animal behaviourists; kind of like how only a mother can understand the gurgles her baby ...
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OPEN SESAME TO THE GOOD LIFE
Published on: 7 January 2016  
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China's new social credit score for citizens starts paying dividends
Dateline: 15 April 2021
Yesterday was a good day for Mei-Hua Li. Her offer on her dream apartment was accepted, her internet speed got bumped up three notches (for free) and she was offered a paid internship in the Chinese president's office. Sure sounds like she hit the trifecta! Li has clearly mastered the gamified social security system that is Sesame Credit. She has stopped buying non-Chinese products and chose a Masters degree topic of 'Sustaining China's Resource Relationship with the African Continent'. She has ...
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[QUANTUM VALUE] NEW YEAR
Published on: 31 December 2015  
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This year will be both happy and unhappy - at the same time, in the same place
Dateline: 1 January 2019
Alphabet's announcement last week that its quantum computer breakthrough is both real and commercially practical is going to make a lot of people happy, and just as many unhappy, even the same people, at the same time. That's the inescapable duality of quantum phenomena; they are capable of being multiple things at once, like looking at a single thing from different perspectives. Which means you're never sure if you understand it; it all depends on your point of view. Quantum computers are not that ...
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YOUR CHRISTMAS PARCELS WILL HUNT YOU DOWN
Published on: 24 December 2015  
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Fluid deliveries are winning the hearts of ecommerce consumers
Dateline: 18 December 2016
How many times have you waited for the FedEx guy to come - to your home or to your office? Do you recall that irritable chore of booking a delivery slot, only to be bound by that fixed block of time in your Google calendar? This Christmas, rejoice, because your e-shopping order will find you, wherever you are! After a roaring success of using digital keys to deliver parcels to individual Volvo passenger cars in Sweden, H&M has announced a roll-out of the initiative to all EU countries where it has ...
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SUMMER OF SUPER SURPLUS
Published on: 17 December 2015   1 Comment
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Commodity prices hit 60-year lows as oil halves
Dateline: 4 July 2016
The world is awash with basic commodities, and for many people, prices have not been so low in living memory. It's back to the 1950's in real terms for resources like coal and iron ore; wheat and corn are dirt cheap too. Fueled by fears of climate change and radical new energy and transport technologies, oil has halved in a year and is now floating around US$ 20 per barrel. Supply continues to exceed demand worldwide, as producers fight for market share. Global electricity prices have continued ...
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WELCOME TO MY MOBILE CRIB
Published on: 10 December 2015  
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Travelling 'apartments' are leaving planes and hotels empty
Dateline: 1 March 2028
Driverless cars were supposed to disrupt only the automotive sector and the insurance industry, right? Wrong. The latest victims are airlines and hotel chains - and they never even saw it coming. With green car technology sorted, it's no longer necessary to get vehicles off the road. In fact, the good old road trip is back - but this time with a twist. Travellers are now renting self-driving, customized cars and vans to chauffeur them from point A to point B in luxury. Passengers can sleep or ...
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TAKE A PILL TO LEARN CHINESE
Published on: 3 December 2015  
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Attend a workshop, swallow some tablets and go home with all the knowledge
Dateline: 17 November 2030
One of Ray Kurzweil's 'craziest' predictions from fifteen years ago just came true! Just like predictions of driverless cars and wireless brain interfaces were considered crazy in 2005, the idea that you could learn something other than by reading and listening was thought impossible. But the nanobots that we use to augment our natural intelligence have also become more user friendly. Now we can ingest them, and they will find their way into our brains and upload the information. The first ...
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TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N ROLL, BUT TOO YOUNG TO DIE
Published on: 26 November 2015   4 Comments
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The agony of being in your 120s
Dateline: 20 December 2027
It's tough being 122. If you thought puberty or being a twenty-something was challenging, just wait until you get to 120-something! You've got the body of a 90-year-old; so what? It's still an effort to get out of bed, and those neuroprosthetic implants keep your mind sharp, but the constant software updates are literally giving you headaches. Slowing and reversing physical aging has become more than a science - now it's an industry, and once you're on that bandwagon, you're hooked for (the rest of ...
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YOU CAN'T PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM
Published on: 19 November 2015   1 Comment
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We are losing history as sound and video recordings die at an alarming rate
Dateline: 3 November 2030
Technological obsolescence is killing human history. All those decades of music and audio recordings in the archives have only been partially digitized, and now the tech to retrieve them is failing, even as the recordings themselves disintegrate. There's and old joke that goes something like this: If you want to rent the video of the Glory Days of Manchester City FC it will cost you GBP100; that's GBP10 for the cassette and GBP90 for the Betamax machine! The cold reality is that there are hardly ...
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WILL WE MOVE FROM SUPER-PETS TO SUPER-HUMANS?
Published on: 12 November 2015   1 Comment
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Row as scientists suggest using animal DNA editing for humans
Dateline: 27 March 2018
A furious ethical row has reignited after Chinese and North Korean scientists proposed applying gene-editing techniques used to create 'super-pets' to humans. Opinions are loudly divided over whether the new technology will help eradicate dread diseases - or create a feared 'super-race'. This follows the announcement in 2015 that scientists at the Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health were creating extra-muscular beagle dogs, ostensibly for ...
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WHO IS REALLY CASHING IN ON THE DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND?
Published on: 5 November 2015  
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Burgeoning youth creates opportunities and challenges
Dateline: 15 December 2023
Many businesses and organizations have been so focused on catering to the aging Baby Boomers and the grey markets of Europe and China that they almost missed one of the biggest opportunities of this century: the boom of youngsters in sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is seeing an unprecedented increase in its youth numbers and fertility has started to fall. By 2035, they will have more people joining the labour force than the rest of the world combined. The region is poised to benefit from ...
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BORDERS CRUMBLE, COUNTRIES MERGE AND SPLIT
Published on: 29 October 2015  
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Migration is the new normal as ultra-mobility ramps up
Dateline: 28 October 2023
In the face of a constant flood of political and economic refugees, as well as 'citizens of the world,' geographic borders are becoming an increasingly archaic concept. People who have a home in Africa and an apartment in France, or Spain, are so tired of being quizzed by banks and online markets for 'Country of residence' and then treated like that's their only language or national identity. We are global citizens, and spend as much time, if not more, in 'foreign' lands as we do 'at home.' And why ...
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PLASTIC UNFANTASTIC
Published on: 22 October 2015  
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EU to ban plastic packaging for groceries - unless you can eat it
Dateline: 29 January 2018
It started slowly. First we stopped giving away plastic bags for free. Then water bottles died a quick death. Now, in a revolutionary move, European grocery stores are ready to call it quits - completely. After marathon meetings behind closed doors that apparently started back in 2017, we have learned that consumers will have two options starting from 1 July. Shoppers will be able to bring their own Tupperware-like containers or they could choose to pay more for products with edible protective ...
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MUTANT GENE SAVES RHINO
Published on: 15 October 2015   3 Comments
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Endangered species saved from extinction by genetic modification
Dateline: 8 October 2024
A decade ago, the African rhino was threatened with extinction as poaching escalated every year. Demand for rhino horn reached an all-time high in 2016, and poachers, desperate for instant riches, risked their lives to kill the remaining animals in South Africa's national parks. Powdered rhino horn is highly prized in east Asia for its mythical medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities - all false; but now it's an important status symbol in newly affluent Chinese and Vietnamese communities. Private rhino ...
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SUGAR, DRONES AND GUNS
Published on: 8 October 2015   4 Comments
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Industries transformed by sudden regulation
Dateline: 12 December 2020
This is going to be a strangely different Christmas. No matter how good the sugar substitutes, Christmas treats just don't taste the same. And the kids don't like it. I cannot buy junior a drone. Will he be satisfied with a virtual drone game instead? The gun store at the mall has shut. In its place is a pop-up store selling smart digital Christmas decorations. They should help light up what is becoming a rather different season. These three industries, sugar, drones and guns have all been ...
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FACEBOOK WINS IT FOR POTUS!
Published on: 1 October 2015   3 Comments
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Fears the social giant swayed voters as Republicans sue
Dateline: 12 November 2016
"All you had to do was see the news feeds for Donald Trump. They were all negative, whereas those for Bernie Sanders were all positive," says Kurt Azazel, special counsel for Mr Trump. In the run-up to US presidential elections, numerous analysts expressed concern that Facebook was biasing its news feed in favor of the Sanders campaign. "If you get your news from Facebook - which some 250 million Americans do - you'd think that Trump was a dolt, whereas Sanders is a great statesman," says ...
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