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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.

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Filtered by tag: InfoTech
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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS
Published on: 17 March 2017   3 Comments
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Fears of jobless growth recede as markets demand new human skills
Dateline: 17 June 2023
The prophets of doom have been hard at work for the past decade, telling us that automation, robotics and machine learning are going to destroy jobs and leave millions of people unemployed and destitute. The reality has been somewhat different! Yes, some jobs have been taken over by the machines. But they're the dirty and dangerous jobs that most people did not want to do. Who wants to be a farm labourer or a production-line worker? It also true that many higher-level jobs have changed. AI systems ...
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SMART DOLLS FROM CHINA HACK AMERICAN CONSUMER DATA
Published on: 2 March 2017  
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FBI issues warning to families to destroy robotic toys
Dateline: 3 March 2019
Why send spies to gather industrial espionage, when your products can do it for you? The artificially intelligent Cutie Pie doll which is such a hit with American children is connected to the internet, so that it can interact with its owners, and answer questions. But it can also ask questions, like "What's your favorite colour?" or "What car does your mommy drive?" Innocent questions, unless they are coming from China, where the dolls are manufactured. Aggregate all the answers to those questions, ...
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EMERGING MARKETS RACE FOR DIGITAL CURRENCY FIRST PLACE
Published on: 16 February 2017   2 Comments
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Who will lead the global chaincash system?
Dateline: 13 March 2019
Several emerging economies are in a desperate tech race to be the first to establish a blockchain based fiat currency with global acceptance. The contenders, perhaps surprisingly, are the new giants, China and India, and little-known South Africa. Rich countries are too rigid in their financial structures and too protective of their established reserve currency status to risk a game changing innovation like this. An upsurge in nationalism and rejection of globalisation by America, Britain and Europe ...
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MERGED REALITY IS THE REAL DEAL
Published on: 9 February 2017   2 Comments
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Direct to brain video brings virtual reality to life
Dateline: 17 February 2027
Now that we are able to stream data, images and live action video directly into the neocortex, it's becoming difficult to tell what's really real, and what's just our current reality. The line between the two is becoming increasingly blurry, and we're not sure on which side of that line we are standing. It's like the Matrix, reloaded and recharged. But without the wires. You can hook into someone else's consciousness, thoughts and experiences, or merge with an AI for a while. Now sharing your ...
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NOW THIS IS REAL PEOPLE POWER!
Published on: 2 February 2017  
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Under-skin solar powers mobile devices and saves lives
Dateline: 26 August 2023
Remember the days when batteries in mobile phones and other device ran flat every day? A major irritation to be sure, but for critical implanted devices like pacemakers, failing battery power was nothing short of life-threatening. That's what prompted the idea that under-skin solar power-packs could drive such medical devices. Researchers in Switzerland proved the theory after extensive testing, showing that even in low-sunlight areas, and regardless of the season. these power cells could generate ...
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WHAT BEAUTIFUL LASER EYES YOU HAVE, MR ROBOT!
Published on: 12 January 2017  
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Robotic vision has improved exponentially, and it's making them more 'human'
Dateline: 12 January 2020
In the last three years, laser-based optical radar, or LIDAR has come a long way. LIDAR became famous when Google started using it on their self-driving cars; but it was big, clumsy and slightly threatening. That spinning cylinder on top of a car or robot might help it navigate, but it looks so mechanical! Then along came digital 3D laser scanners. With a diamond-studded microchip at its core, the invisible light beam is manipulated electronically; no moving parts. The LIDAR chip is the size of a ...
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NO MORE FAKE NEWS TO SWAY YOUR VIEWS
Published on: 5 January 2017   1 Comment
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'Pants-on-fire' detector comes to the rescue
Dateline: 29 May 2021
The Internet and globalization brought hordes of information with it, but unfortunately no easy way of verifying the truth or validity of all those search pages. How clearly did we see the consequences in 2016, when the US election results baffled, well, basically everyone! In a world where 'Reality Hacking' is now a thing, we need all the help we can get. Fake news and targeted propaganda are altering peoples' perception of reality. Now, the latest innovation in real-time speech processing ...
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SMART CAR INCRIMINATES VODKA-LOVING OWNER
Published on: 1 December 2016  
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Should your own things be able to rat you out?
Dateline: 10 January 2018
Gone are the days when a highway surveillance system or patrol cop were the only triggers for your traffic infringements. Welcome to a brand-new world. Gregor Kashniv from Moscow had a few too many vodkas last Friday and when he eventually surfaced late Saturday afternoon, he found himself in a cold, dark jail cell in the inner city. He vaguely recalled being arrested within 300 metres of his home. Apparently he protested heavily, saying that he was definitely under the limit and that he has no ...
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AI FOR PRESIDENT
Published on: 20 October 2016   1 Comment
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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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APPLE AIRPHONE REDEFINES ICT
Published on: 22 September 2016   1 Comment
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Voice is the new mobile computer interface
Dateline: 21 September 2019
The company that brought us the world's first true smart phone has done it again. A dozen years after the launch of the iPhone, Apple has completely redefined the personal mobile computing device - you know, that thing we used to call a 'phone.' At the height of the smartphone revolution, Apple's iPhone 8 was being outsmarted by Samsung and other Android devices; cheaper, faster and more ubiquitous than Apple, the open platform ruled. But in its inimitable fashion, Apple had "just one more thing" to ...
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POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Published on: 1 September 2016  
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Chatbot lawyer is helping victims to take back control
Dateline: 4 February 2018
Back in the day, when faced with a bureaucratic 'irritation', such as a parking fine or (wrongful) accusation of some sort, people usually followed three options. The uninformed paid their dues without questioning; the resource-constrained simply kept dodging the authorities; and those with deep pockets took on the fight, because they had the means to prove their point. With legal fees out of reach for the majority of the global population, altruistic programmers have taken matters into their ...
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PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU
Published on: 25 August 2016  
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My drone knows just how you feel
Dateline: 24 August 2019
Knowing how someone is feeling, or reading the mood of a crowd at a political rally, just got a whole lot easier with SensUbot - a small drone that scans people with a multi-spectral camera. The intelligent agent controlling the drone provides a real-time evaluation of your mood, sentiment towards a situation or proposal, or even your neural state. Are you bored, frustrated, angry, joyful or content? SensUbot can tell. Now there's no excuse for a public speaker to lose the crowd. A surreptitious ...
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AI IS YOUR PERSONAL LIFE COACH
Published on: 18 August 2016   1 Comment
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It guides you based on a real-time situational analysis of what's happening
Dateline: 14 July 2022
Google Glass was not massively successful when initially launched. The benefits were marginal at best and people preferred to rely on their phones, rather than don geeky eyewear. We had Siri and Google Now, that spoke to us. But these were only 'basic' artificial intelligence agents. Six years ago saw the launch of Nigel, touted as the first truly "Artificial General Intelligence" or AGI. A cloud-based algorithm that was more than smart; Nigel could learn from your actions and transactions, build ...
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THE FUTURE SURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
Published on: 11 August 2016   1 Comment
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The future will always surprise us
Dateline: 11 August 2026
Back in the 1950s, seventy years ago, people made all sorts of predictions about what the future would be like. We'd have flying cars and robot maids, it was all so exciting. Well, it hasn't turned out quite like that. That's the point; the future is always different to what we expect. Sometimes things don't materialize, like fusion power and flying saucers. Other times they exceed our wildest Star Trek dreams, like smartphones and teslas. Take the Apple iPhone as a case in point. As leading edge ...
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A LAPTOP THAT FITS IN YOUR HAND
Published on: 9 June 2016  
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New meta-lens makes your phone screen the size of a laptop
Dateline: 7 June 2020
We'd all love to have a phone with a screen as big and clear as a laptop - but it must still fit in your pocket. There have been many attempts at roll-up, fold-up screens, and they've all been dismal disappointments. Now there's an entirely new approach that seems to break the rules of optical physics. Samsung's Galaxy 14 has a 4-inch screen; but when you turn it on, a 12-inch image of the screen appears above your hand; and it's crisp and square. This magic is performed by a new nanotech device ...
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MEET JOHN DOE 1.0
Published on: 26 May 2016  
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First fully-synthetic human genome completed
Dateline: 29 May 2026
It's taken a decade since the idea was first conceived, but a fully-specced, digitally defined genome of a human being without parents has been created. Not surprisingly, this human DNA blueprint has been christened John Doe 1.0 and lives in a supercomputer. It may be some time yet, before the genome is inserted into a cell and brought to life. You can however, see what John will look like, at various ages. The artificially intelligent system can render a perfectly clear 3D image of John, based on ...
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GOOGLE INVADES CUBA
Published on: 14 April 2016  
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People rejoice as Castro's firewall goes up in smoke
Dateline: 26 May 2019
Google Networks has launched its balloon and drone infrastructure over Cuba, bringing wireless internet to everyone in the country, for free. It's great for Cubans, who have endured decades of poor connectivity and strong censorship, but it's even greater for Google, who now has millions of new users for its advertising and products. It's liberating. "Cubans have been cut off from the benefits of being online for far too long," said Larry Page. "It's about time they had the opportunity to freely ...
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CHINA TURNS ON FIRST PRE-CRIME DETECTION SYSTEM
Published on: 31 March 2016   1 Comment
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Using online behaviour and social activity, government looks to catch terrorists and criminals in advance
Dateline: 1 April 2019
Reports from the Dark Web are filtering through: China has activated its 'predictive policing' platform known as the Peoples' Public Security Evaluation or PPSE. Integrating a complex network of surveillance apparatus that has been in use for some time, China has added artificial intelligence based algorithms and sophisticated machine learning programs to trigger advance warning of criminal activity and social unrest. This allows authorities to profile individual citizens not only on their online ...
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THE REAL JURASSIC PARK OPENS
Published on: 24 March 2016   1 Comment
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Genetic modification and bio-printing recreate the dinosaurs
Dateline: 9 June 2030
Exactly 37 years to the day since the movie Jurassic Park was released, the world's first real dinosaur park, with living, breathing dinosaurs, has opened in South America. After it emerged that trying to extract and reactivate dinosaur DNA from fossils was a dead end, scientists turned to genetically modifying birds, which we now know descended from various dinosaur species. Plenty of Virtual Reality experiences to enable mankind to 'meet' dinosaurs emerged over the last decade, but this is the ...
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BANKCHAIN FUELS THE VALUEWEB
Published on: 3 March 2016   1 Comment
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The new digital network of business has a universal currency at last
Dateline: 9 March 2024
They've been around for hundreds of years, and they weren't just going to give up the ghost and disappear. Yes, I'm talking about the banks. A decade ago, 'bank' was a four-letter word in more ways than one, and everyone was predicting their demise in the face of the FinTech revolution. Finance was being overtaken by technology, and pundits asked: "When will the banks be Ubered?" But the banks fought back, usurping Bitcoin and the blockchain with a better, more scalable and widely acceptable ...
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