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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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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SUPERINTELLIGENT AI COMING SOON

Published on: 4 October 2018

Are we ready for computers and robots that are smarter than humans?

Dateline: 8 October 2048

That's a question fraught with questions of its own. Smarter than which humans? In what way? And so on. On average, people think they are smarter than average; which is a statistical impossibility. What that really means, is that most of us think we're smarter than we really are. Now I'm not talking about geniuses with super-high IQs, or those millionaires that have upgraded their brains with neuroprosthetics. They're clearly in a different category, almost another species. Nevermind them. But most ...

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INTELLIGENT MACHINES CREATE THE NEW HEGEMONY

Published on: 20 September 2018 3 Comments

China and America reap the AI dividend

Dateline: 3 December 2030

In the last 15 years, we have witnessed the stunning rise of an exponential technology - machine learning and artificial intelligence. Like Moore's Law on steroids, smart machines and computer systems have created entirely new global industries, turbo-boosted productivity, and destroyed old, industrial age business sectors. The Economist, now a purely digital research and analysis house, estimates the 'new value' created by this phenomenon at over US$ 19 trillion globally. But a full 70% of this ...

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THE TRUE COST OF YOUR DNA

Published on: 13 September 2018 1 Comment

Shouldn't you be rewarded if you are the product?

Dateline: 23 September 2023

A bit more than a decade ago, it would have cost you US$ 10,000 to have your entire genome sequenced; four years ago, about $100. But now, you can take the highest bidder, and get paid for your genomic data. Of course, the first complete sequence of a human genome was an enormous undertaking, as there was no reference data, and the project cost an estimated US$ 2.7 billion, but Moore's Law soon came into effect, and prices plummeted as the tech became mainstream and automated. Soon it was the ...

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CAN YOU TRUST YOURSELF?

Published on: 30 August 2018 1 Comment

Your innermost thoughts and feelings might not be your own!

Dateline: 3 September 2032

We've all been taught to trust our instincts. That little voice that tells us infallibly, what is right and what's wrong. Sometimes we subconsciously or willfully disregard that voice, thinking that, this time, it's different. Sometimes our goals, our egos, our sense of logic, override our feelings and intuition. But since neuralink adapters have connected our thoughts directly to the cloud, we've been able to explore new ways of thinking, with augmented intelligence. Boosting our natural brain ...

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DIGITAL CREATIONS BECOME MILLIONAIRES

Published on: 23 August 2018 1 Comment

Actual existence not a prerequisite for wealth anymore

Dateline: 28 September 2023

For a long time, people invested in and trusted those who they could see in the flesh. Steve Jobs presenting the new iPhone on stage. Tick. Warren Buffet speaking at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. Tick. Heidi Klum strutting her stuff for Victoria's Secret. Tick. Not anymore. The world economy has witnessed a new influx of millionaires who built their wealth on, well, nothing. Nothing but data, that is. It started with computer-generated models and Instagram influencers who dethroned ...

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THE ULTIMATE CURE FOR AGING

Published on: 26 July 2018 3 Comments

It's not drugs or gene therapy

Dateline: 26 June 2024

In the last six years, a bunch of longevity entrepreneurs, or should I say aging researchers, have been seeking the holy grail: a way to slow down or even reverse the aging process. In other words, keep you living longer, and having healthier lives while you do so. For money, of course, but it's a noble purpose, so no-one is complaining. Now prominent geneticist and longevity evangelist Craig Vesper has announced that he has the answer, and it's not a miracle drug, or even modifying your genes, ...

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HUMANITY TRUMPS TECHNOLOGY

Published on: 19 July 2018

Mind-reading tech worn by employees is alienating customers

Dateline: 1 May 2024

Lisa Chen's mother always said that Lisa's whole spectrum of emotions is reflected on her face. Regardless of whether she's angry or ecstatic, Lisa has always been unable to mask what she's feeling. She always felt bad about it, until now. Back in 2018 it came to light that firms in the electronic equipment, power supply and telecoms industries were using sensor-fitted hats and helmets to measure their workers' levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Based on the data, employers adjusted shifts ...

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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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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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RISE OF THE NOT SO EMPTY NEST

Published on: 31 May 2018

Young would-be homebuyers forced to move back in with mom and dad

Dateline: 5 April 2021

It's the moment almost all parents wait for - graduation cap in hand, the chicks finally leave the nest. Spread your wings and fly little birdies, mom and dad think to themselves. It's just a pity that lately the peace and quiet doesn't seem to last long. Initially it looked like a blip that would pass, but multigenerational households are here to stay, at least for the near future. In fact, one in four Americans now have such a setup at home. Global property prices have ballooned and many a ...

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DISRUPTION DÉJÀ VU

Published on: 24 May 2018

We've seen it all before, but this time it's different

Dateline: 6 June 2020

It's just like 20, or maybe 200 years ago, but it's completely different! Disruption has always plagued established markets and societies, throughout the ages. The first waterwheel or windmill for grinding wheat into flour was disruptive technology at work; nascent and naïve, but a foretaste of things to come, in a tumultuous tsunami of ever accelerating change. Steam power and traction engines, threshing machines and cotton gins; it seemed as though there was no end to our ability to employ ...

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ALICENT IS THE NEW DIGITAL CURRENCY

Published on: 3 May 2018

Bitcoin faces irrelevance as network based digital cash takes over

Dateline: 1 May 2026

When Bitcoin reached its all-time high, it operated on a network with only a few million subscribers, and faced a multitude of copycat coins and tokens that had the potential to supersede it. What it really needed was global critical mass. The opportunity was there for a truly massive network to launch its own blockchain currency, or take on the open source system already in the wild. At the same time, cryptocurrencies needed a technology fix; something to make them more user friendly, trusted and ...

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ALEX, PLEASE GET ME A PIZZA

Published on: 26 April 2018 3 Comments

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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INNOVATION IS NOT A GOOD IDEA

Published on: 22 March 2018

It's about working on a really great problem

Dateline: 5 April 2023

You might have a great idea, and be obsessed with it, to the extent that you can't sleep, can barely eat, and all your conscious hours are spent on thinking how you can improve on this idea, and share it with the world. Stop. This is not how innovation, truly great, disruptive innovation, works. It's all very well to be obsessed; but be obsessed with a problem, a real problem. Like how to feed the world, or solve water scarcity, or make a car that gets 100 miles to the gallon, and costs 1,000 ...

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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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