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: InfoTech

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

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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FINTECH FALLS OUT OF FAVOUR

Published on: 28 June 2018

Tech is no longer regarded as a sector

Dateline: 23 June 2031

FinTech, MarTech, InsurTech, LegTech, AgTech, EnerTech - they're all dead. A decade ago, news feeds and timelines were swamped with the latest entrant into one of these sub-sectors. Thousands of startups proudly adopted an 'xTech' descriptor, as they tried to carve a superniche for themselves from the digital supercycle. But the fever of digital transformation of business has cooled; the era of digitalization of industry is all but over. The fact is, any business enterprise that has not incorporated ...

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ALGORITHM SAVES YOU FROM YOURSELF

Published on: 21 June 2018

There's a new digital gatekeeper holding your hand and saving your reputation

Dateline: 4 January 2021

It's funny to think that we were impressed when filters could make our photos look cooler. Or that Spotify could suggest other artists based on our taste in music. Clever and entertaining, but not really significant. An algorithm that stops you from ruining your reputation, now that's a completely different story. A former Facebook bigshot has now started his own firm called Barrier. Trevor Scott saw his opportunity as numerous Facebook users ended up being fired or sued based on what they sent ...

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ALEX, PLEASE GET ME A PIZZA

Published on: 26 April 2018 1 Comment

And bring it to the TV lounge

Dateline: 24 April 2020

Amazon has released its home robot, and it's called Alex. It works with Alexa, to buy things and stream stuff to your home. But Alex is fundamentally different; it can move around the house and help you with domestic chores. Just like the robot butler featured in sci-fi movies. Alex has been quietly, almost secretly, developed by Amazon over the last three years, and now it's ready for Prime Time. There's already a waiting list from Amazon Prime customers, who have been given first dibs on the new ...

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FEMTECH: IS IT A BUBBLE?

Published on: 19 April 2018

The market for non-male tech gadgets and apps is exploding

Dateline: 1 May 2023

It's official. If you want to be the next tech giant, make sure you're aiming at the Femtech market. And it's even better if your company is run by women too! For years, actually decades, the personal computing and IT sectors were dominated by products and services created by men for men. About the only application where women were heavily involved was word processing, and later, desktop publishing. That's all changed, but the big names in tech startups are still heavily biased to the male gender, ...

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WIRELESS INTERNET REINVENTED

Published on: 12 April 2018 1 Comment

5G is more than just a speed upgrade - it's mission critical

Dateline: 4 April 2020

It's finally here, and 5G mobile broadband isn't just a quicker internet - it's going to save us from the future! You'll forgive me for being a bit cynical, but we all remember the hype surrounding 4G wireless broadband, how it would solve all our congestion problems, and allow us to watch live-streamed video on our phones. Then finally the LTE (Long Term Evolution) demos began, and it looked so cool. And then another wait, while the handset makers caught up, until Bingo! you could get an iPhone ...

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YOU'RE NEVER ALONE WITH A CLONE

Published on: 8 March 2018

When your intelligent assistant is a digital you

Dateline: 11 March 2035

There are two types of cloning; biological clones of a plant or animal, and digital copies of data, programs, or even an entire system. Microsoft has just announced a breakthrough - digitally cloning your brain. But the vision for this new service goes far beyond just making a backup of your memories, in case you become forgetful. They want to energize your personal robotic assistant with a digital copy of you. Think of it as a full-size Mini Me. A humanoid robot with artificial intelligence, that ...

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WE WANTED TELEPORTATION

Published on: 1 March 2018

We got VR glasses instead

Dateline: 7 May 2024

We wanted flying cars. All we got were passenger drones, eventually. We were hoping for limitless fusion energy; instead we got solar panels. Everybody did. The future doesn't always deliver on our hopes and dreams. We dreamed about cheating death, an elixir from the fountain of youth, that would keep us forever young. Instead we have developed CRISPR and stem cells that keep us healthier in old age, but we still get old. That's the thing about the future. Our sci-fi fantasies and high tech ...

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I THINK I'M GOING SLIGHTLY MAD

Published on: 22 February 2018 2 Comments

It's finally happened, according to my smartphone app

Dateline: 8 March 2021

That's the thing about our phones, they listen to everything we have to say. That fact alone might drive you nuts, but even if it keeps your conversations private, your phone can learn a lot about you, just by listening to how you speak. It's called metadata and there's a lot of it; who you called and how often, when you called and for how long, your location when you called, and so on. Phone companies and law enforcement have been making use of metadata for a long time; even without recording your ...

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NO LAWYERS REQUIRED

Published on: 8 February 2018

Smart contracts threaten legal industry

Dateline: 23 January 2020

Now that the open source blockchain known as Hyperledger Sawtooth has gone commercial, there's no need for lawyers and attorneys to draw up legal agreements and contracts. Your PA or AI assistant can do it for you, online and for free. Hyperledger is a platform which can run your customized Smart Contract app. Once installed, a smart contract automatically performs routine tasks, like paying the rent, and validating that it's been received. Using technology similar to bitcoin, the smart contract ...

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CONTROLLING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Published on: 1 February 2018

Government tries to follow the money

Dateline: 1 February 2021

Now that the bulk of the so-called 'capitalist political economy' operates on digital platforms and through digital channels, it's inevitable that government wants more influence and control. But will it work? In the aftermath of the dotcom boom, everybody wanted more access and better networks, and it wasn't long before broadband came to be regarded as a basic human right. Wireless networks and smartphones connected everyone else, and suddenly the whole world was on the 'net! Sure, some ...

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MAGIC MIRRORS MAKE MARKETING FUN

Published on: 25 January 2018 1 Comment

Augmented reality selling seals the deal

Dateline: 26 January 2023

How do you let someone test a product or article of clothing without using samples? A virtual reality demo, that's how. And to highlight your product on a cluttered shelf, you would use augmented reality to add visual cues, and data. This is the new world of Digital Reality, a blend of VR, AR and well, just normal 'reality'. And whether it's through a smartphone, digital glasses or an in-store display, digital reality is becoming big business. A customer walks past your magic mirror, and suddenly ...

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USING GRAVITY TO SEE BLACK HOLES

Published on: 18 January 2018

New attempt to observe the unobservable

Dateline: 2 February 2022

For decades scientists have speculated about the nature of black holes, but their existence has never been proven - yet. The theory says supermassive stars that have collapsed on themselves exert such powerful gravitational force, that even light can't escape; hence the name 'black holes'. We know that light and other forms of electromagnetic waves like radio and X-rays travel at constant speeds, depending in their wavelength. But what travels faster than light? Perhaps gravitational waves. Gravity ...

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IT'S GOING TO BE A COLD, DARK CHRISTMAS

Published on: 14 December 2017 4 Comments

Climate change reversal catches almost everyone by surprise

Dateline: 21 December 2025

It's almost a decade since those 'hottest years on record' culminating with the 2016 El Nino. But no-one expected it to cool down this rapidly. In 2017, Parisians and other rich communities were still throwing money at the problem of 'global warming', convinced that the modern warm period was spiralling upwards. That was the year it snowed in Mexico and blizzards shut down major EU airports. On top of that, we all thought we'd reached peak electricity, and consumer power consumption would decline ...

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SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: HAND IT TO THE MACHINES

Published on: 7 December 2017 1 Comment

When AI and chips are the best researchers, let them get on with it

Dateline: 8 February 2021

There's only so much a scientist can do. Which is why we all use smart agents to do most of our research for us. Smart software can read and parse papers many thousands of times faster than any human. A typical example is fingerprint identification or facial recognition. Computers are just way more efficient at matching patterns. But what happens when you are looking for new data in real time? How do you program that? Nano Global has released their first version of Nanobit, a system-on-a-chip that ...

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IT'S NOT JUST BUSINESS, IT'S PERSONAL

Published on: 23 November 2017

Business that isn't personal doesn't survive the future

Dateline: 24 November 2020

There's a strange problem with stock exchange investing - the primary, and often only, motive is to make money. But we all know that the best businesses, those that flourish, survive the bad times, and outperform the rest in the good times, are businesses that have a real sense of purpose; that resonate with their customers and community. When Steve Jobs started Apple, it wasn't to seek corporate profits and become a billionaire. No, he wanted to change the world. The profits and riches were a ...

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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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SHORT TERM IS THE NEW LONG

Published on: 26 October 2017

Long term strategy requires short term agility

Dateline: 27 October 2020

It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but short is the new long, and long is the new short. Effective executives need to have a long-term perspective, to really think about the future opportunities, as well as the challenges, that exponential change brings to the surface. But execs equally need to be able to take decisive, short term action, in order to make those long term plans a reality. Once you understand the future, and you've designed your future, you need to create it, and that means ...

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THE INTEL(LIGENT) CHIP ARRIVES

Published on: 28 September 2017 3 Comments

Intel's new brain-like chip puts machine learning in the heart of your device

Dateline: 29 September 2018

AI is dead. Long live accelerated AI. Now deep learning by computers has been internalised in the CPU, the very heart of the machine. It's called self-learning. Cognitive computing required deep neural networks that had to be trained on extensive datasets, but Intel's neuromorphic chip combines training and inference for on-chip learning on the fly. That sounds like a mouthful, and it is. Simply put, AI systems required supercomputers and advanced software to learn how to deal with different ...

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Filtered by tag: InfoTech