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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YOUR ROBOT CAR NEEDS A DRIVER UPDATE

Published on: 21 March 2019

Computers can also make mistakes

Dateline: 22 March 2022

Your driverless car does have a driver, but it's not human, it's a machine; or rather, a system, including bits of hardware and software, and things to make them operate independently and together. If it sounds pretty complicated, that's because modern automated systems are. In fact, if it wasn't for the sophistication of electronic components and their advanced programmability, we wouldn't have reusable space rockets or driverless cars at all. Assuming you've used a laptop computer for many years, ...

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FROM INTERNET TO SPLINTERNET

Published on: 14 March 2019

It just ain't the global web anymore

Dateline: 4 May 2023

It started with certain sites being blocked to protect regimes and minimize dissent. But it wasn't long before we saw the blackout of the Internet in whole nations, for days. Now we're heading for the splintering of the Internet into multiple networks with so much bureaucracy involved, we'll likely run out of red tape. In 2016 there were 75 Internet shutdowns globally. Within a year it rose to 108 and in 2018 almost 200 disruptions took place. Governments wanted to safeguard themselves from their ...

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THE NEW DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY IS... CHINESE

Published on: 7 March 2019

African government outsources its citizens to Alipay

Dateline: 1 April 2024

They say history never repeats itself - but it sure does rhyme. In a move that can best be compared to the way large parts and populations of Africa and India were divided up and dished out to the management of private firms, such as the British and Dutch East India companies in the 17th and 18th centuries; Zimbabwe's embattled military government has decided to delegate the governance of its citizens to the Chinese tech giant, Alipay. Under the new deal, Zimbabwean citizens will each be ...

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MIRRORWORLD IS THE ULTIMATE BUSINESS BACKUP PLAN

Published on: 28 February 2019 1 Comment

Now everything has a digital twin

Dateline: 27 February 2024

Who remembers disaster recovery plans and business continuity strategies? Big companies, especially banks and financial services, that owned and managed their own servers and corporate networks, had to have a complete physical backup site from which they could operate, if their headquarters suffered a major disaster. Then came the cloud, virtual datacenters, and working from anywhere, as long as you were connected. The internet couldn't collapse, not with giants like Google and Microsoft and Amazon, ...

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THE RETURN OF A JOB FOR LIFE

Published on: 21 February 2019

The gig economy fails to deliver the dream

Dateline: 7 April 2024

The freelancers wanted to be free, so they went their own way. The corporate rebels quit their cubicle jobs and threw off their chains. The entrepreneurs were born to answer the call of independence. Going it alone, however, was much more daunting than many realized. Since 2008, trend and research reports started proclaiming that "the Japanese model of lifelong employment is dead!" By 2022, more than half of the US workforce was made up of freelancers. For a while it went well, as the consultants ...

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MY FUTURE VALENTINE

Published on: 14 February 2019

Love in the post digital age

Dateline: 14 February 2029

Ten years ago, it was all about sending a selfie, or perhaps something more risqué and risky, to your beloved, or the secret of your heart's desire. Now it's a lot different. We've moved beyond snapchat and Instagram; haptic telepresence is simulated teleportation. We've conquered space and time, virtually; and with brain-computer interfaces our very thoughts can be shared. But still lovers lament... Roses are red, violets are blue,
I searched for a mate, my AI chose you. Our first date was ...

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HOLOGRAM INHERITS BILLIONS

Published on: 7 February 2019

Tycoon's family in feud with his avatar wife's lawyers

Dateline: 1 February 2034

Dr Akihiro Miaku the famous Japanese tycoon who died earlier this year under mysterious circumstances (rumoured poisoning) is back in the headlines, after his will was leaked to the press by a disgruntled, anonymous, family member. Dr Miaku, who had significant business interests in the Japanese renewable energy sector, was revealed to have left his entire 3 billion Yen (27.5 million USD) fortune to his wife - a hologram nicknamed Suzi. The eccentric billionaire married his hologram wife 11 ...

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WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT ANYWAY?

Published on: 31 January 2019

Customers dictate the course of business

Dateline: 1 February 2023

Change is inevitable, but many businesses don't like or want change. Not when they're on top, and milking the cash cow; if it's not broke, don't try to fix it! But just because you're making super profits, and your customers adore you, doesn't mean it's going to be that way forever, even if you're Apple or Coca-Cola. Just ask Kodak. Shareholders and employees like to think it's 'their' business, but it's not much fun running or owning a business with no customers; a bit like a morgue, except that ...

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THE REAL FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Published on: 24 January 2019 3 Comments

Young blood rated tops for healthy aging

Dateline: 2 March 2020

Donated blood used to be good enough if it was free of infection and if it was the same type as the patient's. But now there's another criterion on which it is rated: the age of the donor. When a geneticist published research in 2018, concluding that plasma from young blood improves the physical health of older individuals, every second start-up wannabe took notice. It is claimed that the young blood will, by implication, also counteract the development of age-related diseases like dementia and ...

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ONE APP TO RULE THEM ALL

Published on: 17 January 2019 1 Comment

Digital swamp monsters are taking control of our lives, and we are happy to let them

Dateline: 2 January 2022

We've just begun a new year in the early 'twenties, and looking back with perfect hindsight over the past 20 years, we might be shocked at how deeply digital transformation has changed our businesses, and our lives. It's no longer about the 4th Industrial Revolution, it's the fourth age of humanity, of society, of the world - we've become Digital Humans. It's all very well to blame it on smartphones, even though, back in 2002, all we had were BlackBerrys and Nokia Communicators - remember them? In ...

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STATE-SPONSORED EUTHANASIA ADS HORRIFY ACTIVISTS

Published on: 10 January 2019

As lifespans get longer, China invests in a population control 'solution'

Dateline: 1 July 2033

As everyone knows, expected lifespans have increased dramatically over the last ten years. According to top genetic scientists, a 100-year-old today can expect to live until 150. That's fantastic, unless you are the government that has to foot the bill to keep all these geriatrics alive, healthy and well-fed. Although people may well be able to live until they are 150, since most people still retire at 75, the elderly are becoming an unaffordable burden on the state, and the society compelled to look ...

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THERE'S A NEW FOREST IN TOWN

Published on: 3 January 2019 1 Comment

Printed bio solar cells are greening the city

Dateline: 3 January 2028

We've had vertical gardens and basement farms for some time now, in our cities, but now landscaping has taken on a whole new dimension. With 3D printers and bio-engineered shrubs and trees, terraced gardens and leafy lanes can be laid out by the robots, straight from the architect's designs. What's more, genetically altered algae are used to construct bio solar cells that form part of the leaf structure, harvesting solar power from panels that look and act like, well, leaves - nature's very own ...

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CEO BEATS PHD FOR BETTER GDP

Published on: 27 December 2018 1 Comment

Startups as dissertations are remaking economies

Dateline: 28 March 2025

What students need and what society needs, is not a PhD thesis in the form of 200-400 pages of new analysis, but rather the results of an applied trial in the real business world. It's a no-brainer, right? You'd think so, but it took hundreds of student protests around the globe and a US$ 3.5 trillion defaulted student loans crisis in the US; but now the world can finally see that startups should be the new dissertations. In 2018, the Indian Institute of Technology announced that they would ...

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SPOTTING THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Published on: 20 December 2018

Quantum sensing sees the invisible

Dateline: 18 December 2021

The Butterfly Effect theorizes that the beating of the wings of a single butterfly in Japan could cause a hurricane in Hawaii. What it really means, is that everything in nature and the world is connected on some level, however insignificant it may seem. And the greatest connection is at the molecular level, beyond the nanoscale. Much like the way smart systems can detect someone moving in the next room, by analyzing faint disturbances in the background WiFi signals, we can now 'see' into opaque ...

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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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