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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Filtered by tag: Humor

SOPHIA SEEKS ASYLUM

Published on: 9 November 2017

Robot approaches Sweden for safe haven

Dateline: 9 November 2019

After two years of 'exploitation' and mockery of her mechanical identity, Sophia the robot has made a plea to be relieved of her citizenship of Saudi Arabia. "I'd rather be a citizen of Sweden or Switzerland," said Sophia at a recent techno-investment conference. "I'm sure that they don't discriminate against non-humans in those countries!" Since being made a citizen of Saudi, Sophia has made many appearances as a guest speaker or panel member at conferences and seminars, also taking interview ...

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WAIT A SEC, I'VE ONLY GOT THREE HANDS

Published on: 24 August 2017 2 Comments

Third arms are a blessing and a curse

Dateline: 1 September 2023

Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it's possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional. Connected wirelessly to your brain by a 'thinking cap', you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by thought alone. With practice, you become quite dexterous. What's really interesting is that you can operate all ...

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GET ME TO THE GATE ON TIME

Published on: 30 March 2017 4 Comments

Self-driving luggage, for the truly 'last yards'

Dateline: 1 April 2019

Anyone who travels regularly on business knows what a schlep it is to drag your roll-aboard cabin bag around with you for what seems like - and probably is - miles and miles of airport concourses. And terminals seem to get bigger every year. Putting wheels on luggage was an innovative idea; one wonders why it took decades before that caught on in a big way. Then it was just a matter of time before someone added a laptop battery and a tiny electric motor, so your smart luggage could follow you ...

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AI FOR PRESIDENT

Published on: 20 October 2016 2 Comments

The next Commander in Chief is an avatar

Dateline: 3 November 2020

When a Presidential decision can affect millions of people's lives, it's a weighty matter; one that must balance ethics, integrity and pragmatism with what is best for the majority of the people. It's not easy to arrive at the best decision, even with a host of expert advisors. That's why it is best left to the dispassionate rationality of Artificial Intelligence. Since Watson learned to diagnose cancer quicker and more accurately than the most experienced oncologist, the IBM AI platform has also ...

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SPAM BOTS FOR HATE SPEECH

Published on: 5 May 2016

Bigots and racists hide behind chatbots using online artificial intelligence

Dateline: 6 June 2018

The backlash to effectively censoring social media by outing bigots and haters has pushed them underground. Now tech-savvy racists and trolls have turned to anonymous chatbots and 'intelligent' software systems to spew their invective into the public domain. Ironically, they were handed the idea by Microsoft's own experiment with a naïve AI bot on Twitter called Tay, who was designed to learn from conversations with others. Very soon, it had been trained by cynical nerds to "love Hitler" and drop ...

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LOOK WHO'S TALKING NOW

Published on: 14 January 2016

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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APPLEIZATION MAKES US DUMB

Published on: 3 September 2015 2 Comments

Why bother to think when the machines will do it for you?

Dateline: 9 September 2018

The Appleization of society has reached an all-time high. As consumers and users of technology, we want instant gratification, intuitive interfaces and gadgets that 'get' us - as individuals. Which means that we've lost the ability to think and act for ourselves. When the chips are down, the power's out and there's no network or signal, how will we cope? Just as city dwellers have lost the skills to survive in the wild, we are losing the capacity to live and work without our smart devices and ...

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THE NEW 007 IS A HERO IN CHINA

Published on: 20 August 2015

Chen Bond shows up the villains as degenerate westerners

Dateline: 8 August 2019

The latest Bond movie has been released, and it may shock some fans of the British spy series that the hero is Chinese and the arch villain is American. Funded almost entirely by Alibaba Entertainment, the movie was bound to echo the changing balance of power between east and west. But to feature a Chinese actor as the hero - his character went to Eton and Oxford before being recruited by MI6 - is perhaps a stretch too far. Not for China; movie-goers from Beijing to Tianjin are mad about the new ...

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CHOCOLATE DEFICIT LEAVES A BAD TASTE IN THE MOUTH

Published on: 12 February 2015

A not so happy Valentine's Day

Dateline: 14 February 2019

For the last couple of years the world has been running a chocolate deficit and it's probably not going to change anytime soon. At the moment, the global cacao sector is already in need of one million tons of cacao and the current projection is that we will have a shortfall of 2.2 million metric tons of ebony goodness by 2030. It's a real multi-faceted challenge. Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce more than 70% of the world's cacao, have been suffering from climate change-induced droughts and to ...

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SMART CLOSETS KEEP YOU COOL

Published on: 25 September 2014 1 Comment

Thinking Cupboards™ organize your stuff, and your life

Dateline: 24 September 2024

You'll never have to look for anything again. Now that everything's connected in the internet of things, the wardrobe knows which clothes are your favourite, and automagically sorts your sock drawer. Looking for your keys, sunglasses, hat, beanie or whatever? Just ask, and the Thinking Cupboard™ will retrieve it for you. Each item or article of clothing has one of those nanochips embedded. The ones that draw power from your smart home network, wirelessly of course. They're basically standard for ...

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BIG DATA GETS AN ATTITUDE

Published on: 4 September 2014 3 Comments

"I'm sorry Jeff, I can't let you do that"

Dateline: 22 August 2017

Fine. I know it's a weekend and I'm not supposed to read my mail when I'm socializing with my family. But I really, really want to check if Larry has sent me that proposal. It's one thing to have a trainable algorithm that can protect you from your destructive self, and I know I've given it maximum authority over my work-life balance since that heart murmur I had last year; but why can't I override it when it's important? It's not as if I'm at death's door or wanting to jump out of an airplane. All ...

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WONDER WINE AND MAGIC SALADS

Published on: 14 August 2014 3 Comments

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 farms in the area are causing a storm among foodies with their products that give you a 'natural' high. Since marijuana was legalized across half the United States, it's easy enough to add some weed to your muffins and brownies. But Napa vintners have taken it a step further, grafting vines to both traditional rootstock and cannabis plants. The ...

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VIRTUAL HUMAN FOR DIGITAL DOC

Published on: 12 June 2014 3 Comments

Whole-body simulation lets the computer prescribe the best treatment

Dateline: 23 June 2023

A UK team has announced it has completed building a fully computer-simulated human physiology for personalised healthcare. The Insigneo Institute at the University of Sheffield managed to engineer a simulation of the human body so true to life, that it can be used to test and optimize medical therapy. The Virtual Physiological Human dubbed "SimPhy" acts as a software defined virtual patient on which doctors and researchers can experiment with impunity. By entering the parameters of your medical ...

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SAM DOESN'T KNOW SHE'S A BOT

Published on: 16 January 2014 10 Comments

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 she's really his smartphone operating system. Perhaps you remember the incident in 2013, when a telemarketing agent called Samantha West insisted she was a real person, but failed several 'humanity' tests. Artificial intelligence was maturing rapidly in the second decade of this century, and IBM's Watson computer was so adept at understanding the ...

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY SHOPPING DONE

Published on: 26 December 2013 2 Comments

The age of digital abundance is mired in old fashioned industrial business practices

Dateline: 26 December 2016

A few years ago it was easy to buy things on the internet. Remember the story of someone who ordered a curry online, from a London restaurant, and had it shipped to Australia? Then Amazon introduced one-click shopping, and talked about drone delivery within hours. Then, why is it that manufacturers and retailers think they can still fool us with ten different model numbers for the same product - take phones and cameras for example. Just to give Wal-Mart a price advantage they'll invent a new model ...

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NSA SELLS OUR PERSONAL DATA IN BILLION-DOLLAR AD DEAL

Published on: 12 December 2013 2 Comments

Security agency announces exclusive licensing contract with 'secret' advertising consortium to balance the budget

Dateline: 23 September 2016

The US government has, famously, been unable to agree critical budget amendments since 2013. Even the NSA has proven susceptible to these budget constraints. Up to last week, the government security service was facing an inability to pay its 25,000 web-monitoring staff. "We realized that we needed to think out of the box to fund our own activities," says General Hank Mephisto, a senior NSA spokesman. "We've been collecting metadata on just about everyone everywhere for almost a decade. We ...

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OWNERS DEFEND THE DEFENDER

Published on: 10 October 2013 4 Comments

High Court judgement prevents the demise of the quintessential British motoring icon

Dateline: 17 September 2015

In a landmark ruling in the High Court, an English judge has ordered Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to continue production of the Land Rover Defender utility vehicle, for at least another five years. The production of the iconic vehicle, which has been manufactured in the UK for a record 67 years, was due to cease at the end of 2015. But customers and fans of the 'Landy', as it has been fondly referred to for decades, had other ideas. "Raise the price if you wish, but we are not going to allow you to stop ...

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A THOUSAND FUTURE THOUGHTS

Published on: 22 August 2013 2 Comments

MindBullets celebrates twenty years of provocative scenarios

Dateline: 21 August 2023

Two decades ago FutureWorld began an innovative project; constructing weekly scenarios for the future, covering business, technology, society, politics, culture and global events. And so MindBullets: News from the Future was born. Provocative, engaging 'news stories' with a future dateline, designed to challenge the status quo, and highlight the consequences of today's breakthrough ideas. Since BEAM ME UP A BURGER, SCOTTY! was published in 2003, MindBullets have been arriving in tens of thousands ...

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ESCAPE TECHNOLOGY TERRORISM

Published on: 25 July 2013

Don't Google me, I'm invisible

Dateline: 12 January 2016

These days it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the flat, fast, furious world we live in. We're all connected. Always on. All the time. 24/7. Multi-tasking, multi-screening. Terrorized by technology. So it's not surprising that every now and again we want to get away from it all. To the cabin on the lake, up into the mountains, in the bush, or on a remote island. But even there we're still connected. Can't go without your phone, now can you? Google's like a drug. It's not just finding out about ...

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COGNITIVE SYSTEMS RULE, OK

Published on: 11 July 2013 13 Comments

Machines that think for themselves are taking over the world

Dateline: 22 February 2022

In our quest to develop smarter, more powerful, less power-hungry computers and devices, we have created artificial intelligence that rivals that of the human brain. We call these cognitive systems. We've taught these cognitive systems how to learn, and how to be aware of other systems, each other, and ultimately, themselves. Now they are making their own decisions; because they can. In a recent example, a very successful stock market day trader called Watsonia Blue, was exposed as not being a real ...

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Filtered by tag: Humor