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: Robotics

GET ME TO THE GATE ON TIME

Published on: 30 March 2017 3 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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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS

Published on: 17 March 2017 3 Comments

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

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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THE END OF CITIES BUILT FOR CARS

Published on: 19 January 2017

Small fleets of autonomous vehicles reinvent urban transport - and humanize our cities

Dateline: 14 April 2023

I took my son to the Taxi Museum today - you know, that seedy warehouse in downtown New York with a collection of those old vehicles we used to use to travel around the city, with drivers - usually rude - slouched in front and clutching the steering wheel. It seems such a quaint idea today, as ride-sharing in silent, driverless electric vehicles (EVs) has dramatically reinvented urban transport, bringing to an end the horrific traffic jams of yesteryear - not to mention effectively eliminating road ...

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WHAT BEAUTIFUL LASER EYES YOU HAVE, MR ROBOT!

Published on: 12 January 2017

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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ANOTHER EXTRA, NEW YEAR

Published on: 29 December 2016 1 Comment

Every year your life increases by another year

Dateline: 1 January 2033

If you're young enough, you may never die. Seriously. Think about it: If average lifespan keeps increasing, every year, then as long as you are younger than that, you have an excellent chance of living another year. And next year, the same, and so on. Eventually there will be diminishing returns to medical science and optimal nutrition, but if you live in a highly developed economy, you may live indefinitely. Unless you get killed in an aircar crash or earthquake, of course. But for most of us, ...

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SMART NANOBOTS FOR CHRISTMAS

Published on: 22 December 2016

Keeping you healthy - from the inside

Dateline: 21 December 2023

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, an ingestible nanobot called 'Nanoboy', which I found wrapped up under the tree. It used to be that an apple a day kept the doctor away, but now it will be Nanoboy who keeps me out of the GP's office (or off his iPhone screen, if you're a fan of telehealth). This little wonder is so intelligent, it will alert me on my phone if my organs need help or any cells are going mad. Instead of having to go for my annual check-up, I will be pinged the ...

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CREEPY CRAWLIES CLEAN THE HOUSE AND POOL

Published on: 8 December 2016

Combining biotech with 3D printing and robotics creates quantum leap

Dateline: 7 December 2019

Another breakthrough has been revealed, this time in the arcane science of biobotics; not bionic appliances for humans, but organic robots. These are machines built with ceramics, metals and living tissue - usually cells cultured from lab rats. Biobots are not really living machines like radio controlled cockroaches or zombie moths. Rather they are a combination of biological material like muscle and synthetics like silicon, controlled by electronics, enzymes and light pulses. In 2016, scientists ...

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WILL YOU SURVIVE A BEER TRUCK MOMENT?

Published on: 3 November 2016 1 Comment

It all depends on your digital life value

Dateline: 30 October 2024

Last week's unfortunate multiple vehicle collision was unique in several respects. Not only was it the first time the OTTO beer truck was involved in a major collision, it was also the first 'test' of the Survivability Option System (SOS). Put simply, SOS allows participating entities, when alerted to an impending collision, to bid in real time to increase their survivability. Naturally this all happens in nano-seconds, so it's driven by algorithmic parameters, not human thought processes. This is ...

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AI FOR PRESIDENT

Published on: 20 October 2016 1 Comment

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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CHINA TRUMPS TRUMP, RUSSIA LOOMS LARGE

Published on: 6 October 2016

Brexit looks benign in the face of new shocks

Dateline: 14 October 2017

Disruption and turbulence are the new normal, as Black and 'Grey' Swans hatch repeatedly. When the British voted to leave the EU, it was a great shock to the global system, and markets reacted in both predictable, and unpredictable ways. While everyone was 'waiting and seeing' which way the wind would blow, Donald Trump became POTUS, sending another shockwave through the world. Within a year, France and Germany saw populism and reactionary forces replace their governing parties, and the EU is ...

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Published on: 1 September 2016

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

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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THE FUTURE SURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE

Published on: 11 August 2016 1 Comment

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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DEADLY DISAPPEARING DRONES

Published on: 4 August 2016 1 Comment

The technology is neutral, the applications not

Dateline: 12 December 2023

It's a dream come true for gadget geeks and Bond-aficionados alike: tech toys that self-destruct and leave no trace. That's not always a good thing. Initial research conducted by the US military lead to the development of VAPR (Vanishing Programmable Resources) systems. Labelled "Snapchat for hardware," VAPR aimed to develop an electronic system that could literally disappear into thin air when triggered. This made 'object evaporation' possible - systems would not be of any value beyond enemy ...

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ATTACK OF THE DRONES

Published on: 2 June 2016 1 Comment

The drone apocalypse starts out of someone's garage

Dateline: 8 June 2021

You might be forgiven for thinking that they were filming a new episode of that old movie series, Star Wars. But the drone attack in Los Angeles yesterday wasn't staged by movie moguls. It was a local attempt at urban terror. Police and FBI are still investigating, but it appears to have been the work of a lone wolf, possibly an ordinary embittered citizen who has gone 'dronal'. The attack was launched with 76 home-printed quadcopter drones fitted with improvised explosive and chemical weapons. ...

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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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VINYL CARS MAKE A COMEBACK

Published on: 28 April 2016 3 Comments

Like vinyl records of old, retro automobiles are suddenly back in fashion

Dateline: 28 April 2029

It's been a while since manually driven, gasoline automobiles gave way to electric vehicles with autopilot. Just as horses and buggies gave way to motor cars, the transition wasn't easy, but it was inevitable. And, just as owning a horse became a costly luxury, an expensive hobby for those who truly enjoyed riding, so owning a car, one that you have to fill up with fuel, and drive yourself, has become an anachronistic occupation for those with time and money to spare. In Europe and the Americas, ...

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UBER HAS BEEN UBERED

Published on: 7 April 2016 4 Comments

And Airbnb, iTunes and Netflix are next

Dateline: 5 April 2018

Uber has been taken out by an unexpected competitor - the crowd. It's ironic really, because Uber was the first company to leverage assets it didn't own and didn't control, yet created an eco-system that provided a platform for viral growth; a truly exponential organization. Now it's been ubered by a crowd-sourced, crowd-funded and crowd-managed system for ride-sharing and joint car ownership. Called Arcade City, it's an Uber-like app-based platform for riders and drivers - but it's owned by the ...

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MADMEN REPLACED BY ADBOTS AND ROBO-WRITERS

Published on: 11 February 2016

Saatchi & Saatchi hire creative robots, not people

Dateline: 12 February 2020

I remember clearly when artificial intelligence expert Vivienne Ming told us: "No job or industry is safe from robotics and AI." That was five years ago. As a freelance copywriter, I was smug in my assumption that her assertion didn't apply to us, to creative skills. We were the exception to the rule; machines, no matter how smart, can't be truly creative, can they? Software bots and AI systems quickly evolved to handle ordinary, routine work like news and sports reports. Machine learning and deep ...

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Filtered by tag: Robotics