Demystifying and bringing the future to life

No matter where you live in the world most people agree the pace of change today is faster than it was a decade ago, and that in another decade it’ll be faster still, all of which is in no small part thanks to the fact that today we have not a handful, but hundreds of powerful, and increasingly democratised, emerging technologies materialising that when combined together, by a resurgent global culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, are spurring cultural, industrial and societal disruption on a scale, and pace, the world has never seen before.

 

Through my daily blog posts, international keynotes, and through the 311 Institute, I help bring the future to life and demystify the hundreds of emerging technologies that are helping visionaries and entrepreneurs build and shape the future. By providing audiences with the tools and critical thinking not only do I help people envision and navigate tomorrow’s threats and opportunities, I also help them lead it.

The Future of Investing, STOXX Annual Conference, London, UK, 2018

Straight From Matts Daily Blog View all
After the goldrush comes the crash, over 800 cryptocurrencies are now dead

After the goldrush comes the crash, over 800 cryptocurrencies are now dead

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every market has its successes and failures and just like any investment ICO’s can gain and loose value too, making due diligence as important as ever.   Anyone who reads any sort of business newspaper will know that cryptocurrency projects have been popping up left,...

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Jeff bezos announces target to build the world’s first Moon base in 2023

Jeff bezos announces target to build the world’s first Moon base in 2023

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF At some point in the future humanity will become an interplanetary species, and several billionaires want it to be sooner rather than later.   Blue Origin, the space company run by Jeff Bezos, who wants to one day use the service to deliver goods to...

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Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today plastics are the scourge of the environment so now companies around the world are racing to create environmentally friendly alternatives, and plastics made from true glue could be near the top of the list.   Plastic’s fall from grace in the past couple of...

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MIT researchers have taught their AI to see through solid walls

MIT researchers have taught their AI to see through solid walls

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are times when seeing through walls is useful, for example in hostage negotiations, search and rescue, and to see when mum and dad are about to bust in on your gameplay.   Recently we’ve seen camera developments from both China and MIT that help...

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Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are an increasing number of billionaires who believe heavy industry should be moved off of Earth and onto the Moon, and Bezos might be one to help make it a reality.   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going...

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Baidu starts mass production of it’s fully autonomous bus

Baidu starts mass production of it’s fully autonomous bus

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The faster autonomous vehicles hit the roads the faster the transportation industry’s going to flip, and it’s clear that there are companies that want it to happen sooner rather than later.   Chinese tech and internet giant Baidu has begun volume production of China’s first...

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Canada and UK partner to develop the West’s first Quantum Radar system

Canada and UK partner to develop the West’s first Quantum Radar system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Any technology like Quantum Radar that renders all traditional stealth obsolete is a game changer.   Hot on the heels of China’s announcement last year that they’d managed to create the world’s first working Quantum Radar, a technology that would render military stealth technologies nothing...

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Uber reveals six of its favourite flying taxi Skyport concepts

Uber reveals six of its favourite flying taxi Skyport concepts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more companies become interested, and invest, in flying taxi’s, companies like Airbus and Uber are keen to be at the forefront of the revolution.   Stout cylindrical towers that cars can fly inside and stacked landing pods are among the proposals that architects and...

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Scientists put a worms mind into a Lego robot to control it, and it worked

Scientists put a worms mind into a Lego robot to control it, and it worked Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The convergence of biological intelligence with robotics will be an area of increasing interest in the future.   It’s not something you do every day, put a worms brain into a Lego robot… but then again you’re probably not a scientist. This is the promise...

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US military starts trialling robotic surgeons in the battlefield

US military starts trialling robotic surgeons in the battlefield

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to monitor the health of soliders in battle will help keep them at peak efficiency, and military robot surgeons will help save lives on the battlefield.   Keeping soldiers healthy has always been a struggle but there may soon be a high tech solution after US...

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Microsoft created elusive particles to build the world’s most accurate quantum computer

Microsoft created elusive particles to build the world’s most accurate quantum computer Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The most powerful quantum computers in the future will be the ones not necessarily with the most Qubits, but be the ones that are the most accurate, and that’s what Microsoft is focusing on.   At Microsoft’s Dutch research facility at the Delft University of Technology,...

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Soul Machines reveal the secrets behind BabyX, their life like artificial baby

Soul Machines reveal the secrets behind BabyX, their life like artificial baby

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over time we will all be interacting more and more with AI, as a result companies are trying to “humanise” it.   BabyX, the virtual, artificially intelligent creation of Mark Sagar and his company, Soul Machines, who also bought us Ava, a life-like digital avatar that’s...

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Roborace’s fully autonomous race car prepares to pound the track at FoS

Roborace’s fully autonomous race car prepares to pound the track at FoS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future our sports events could be dominated by robot and drone warriors battling it out for supremacy, and at some point this could present companies with a new market opportunity.   Later this week, the world’s first autonomous race car company Roborace will make history...

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Plexus VR gloves give users fine grained control of their VR environments

Plexus VR gloves give users fine grained control of their VR environments

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The best technology is invisible and frictionless to use, and virtual reality still has a way to go before the experience is simple and seamless, but these gloves could help bring more users into the sector.   Bringing a user’s hands into a Virtual Reality...

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Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Retail will soon be going through another disruption, one where personalised products are made on demand in the back of stores, and the sportswear industry are leading the charge.   We’re facing a retail revolution, another one, and this time it’s not e-commerce, one where...

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Stopping the DIY bio-terrorists, US military embraces AI and Ginkgo Bioworks

Stopping the DIY bio-terrorists, US military embraces AI and Ginkgo Bioworks

WHY THIS MATTERS As the cost of powerful DIY gene editing kits continue to fall bioterrorism is going to be on the rise, so we need a way to defend against it.   Recently I gave a talk on the “Future of Cybersecurity” in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector...

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Scientists have turned human cells into complex living computers

Scientists have turned human cells into complex living computers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to turn human cells into powerful, living computing systems will revolutionise computing, energy, and healthcare, along with a myriad of other industries.   Today’s computer hardware is about to get softer, a lot softer, after a research team in the US announced they’ve...

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China unveils their revolutionary ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle

China unveils their revolutionary ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As lasers become more efficient, and as the battery packs needed to power them become more dense and powerful, we’ll continue to see the miniaturisation and deployment of increasingly powerful laser weaponry.   Artificially intelligent “fire and forget” cruise missiles, quantum internet and  quantum radar,...

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2018 Directory of Corporate R&D and Innovation Labs

2018 Directory of Corporate R&D and Innovation Labs Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world is changing faster than many organisations anticipated and the pace of technological change is now many CEO’s primary concern, the result of which is that innovation labs are now a business necessity, not a luxury.   The global pace of disruption and transformation...

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Futurist Keynote, Warrington: The Future of Industrial Controls Nuclear Security, Cyber Senate

Futurist Keynote, Warrington: The Future of Industrial Controls Nuclear Security, Cyber Senate

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that enable the safe and efficient operation of our CNI assets are becoming increasingly smart and connected, making them more vulnerable to attack, and new technologies bring  new challenges.   Firstly, thanks to James for inviting me to be the keynote...

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Revolutionary injectable brain implant restores mobility in paralysed patients

Revolutionary injectable brain implant restores mobility in paralysed patients

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF People with paralysis or nervous disorders could soon be regaining their movement thanks to a revolutionary new form of wireless brain machine interface.   Imagine if a tiny matchstick sized brain implant could circumvent damaged spinal cords and help paralysed people, and anyone for that...

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New battery technology triples the ranges of electric vehicles

New battery technology triples the ranges of electric vehicles

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the world starts to move away from fossil fuels we need to find new ways to squeeze more power from our batteries, and innovations like this one help us achieve that.   In the latest battery breakthrough claim researchers from the University of Waterloo...

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A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our optical technologies improve we’re increasingly able to see the universes building blocks in ever more minute detail.   If you paid attention in science class you know that atoms make up everything. They’re the smallest unit of matter, and everything you’ve ever touched,...

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IBM’s AI wins debates in San Francisco against champion debating team

IBM’s AI wins debates in San Francisco against champion debating team

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The art of debating often helps humans learn new things and see topics from new perspectives, so an AI that can debate with humans on a vast range of topics could be incredibly useful.   Checkmate is a simple concept. It’s a final, decisive move...

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Perfectly transparent solar concentrator turns every window into a solar panel

Perfectly transparent solar concentrator turns every window into a solar panel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more materials become capable of producing and storing their own energy companies will be able to wean themselves off fossil fuels faster, and develop innovative new products.   Transparent solar cells and films that can be applied to any type of surface, even windows,...

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IBM joins Sovrin Foundation to give individuals back control of their data

IBM joins Sovrin Foundation to give individuals back control of their data

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today there is no way you can control who uses or shares your information, despite regulations like GDPR, but Self-Soverign ID systems like this one gives users the power to control their own online information.   It looks almost inevitable that Facebook will be punished,...

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Researchers have read the mind of a “black box” AI using cell biology

Researchers have read the mind of a “black box” AI using cell biology

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we continue to endeavour to read the mind of today’s so called black box AI’s there may be more than one way to do it, and while turning to biology is unconventional, it works.   The deep neural networks that power today’s Artificial Intelligence...

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An AI just wrote, directed and produced its own appalling film, but it’s the future

An AI just wrote, directed and produced its own appalling film, but it’s the future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today AI’s that are involved in film production are, for the most part, really awful, but over time they’ll improve and one day they’ll go head to head with the best human directors.   Benjamin is a genius who may have created a film that’s...

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200 Quadrillion calculations per second, Summit, world’s most powerful AI supercomputer goes live

200 Quadrillion calculations per second, Summit, world’s most powerful AI supercomputer goes live

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As supercomputers become increasingly powerful they will increasingly help us realise new breakthroughs in everything from drug discovery and energy generation, through to materials and space travel, and everything in between.   It’s the most powerful computing platform on Earth, for now at least –...

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Futurist in the press: Forward Thinking, Bentley Centennial Magazine

Futurist in the press: Forward Thinking, Bentley Centennial Magazine

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are very few companies that can say they are a hundred years old, and even fewer that are still at the pinnacle of their industry, Bentley is one of those exceptions.   Bentley was founded in 1919, and as they begin to celebrate their...

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Russian scientists show off their prototype nuclear battery

Russian scientists show off their prototype nuclear battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Nuclear batteries last for thousands of years without ever needing to be recharged, and they have applications in aerospace and healthcare.   Imagine only having to replace the batteries in a device once a decade, or even once a century, or more… Nuclear batteries could...

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Reverse engineering computer chips just became ridiculously easy

Reverse engineering computer chips just became ridiculously easy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Computer chips are prized assets, but now reverse engineering them and spotting state sponsored built in security “Trojans,” are easier than ever before.   Peering inside semiconductor chips using X-Ray imaging isn’t new, but the technique hasn’t been especially good or easy to accomplish. New...

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New omniphobic material reduces maritime fuel consumption by upto 80 percent

New omniphobic material reduces maritime fuel consumption by upto 80 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s ships use huge amounts of energy and fuel to move through the water because of the amount of drag on their hulls, this new coating could reduce fuel use by between 40 and 80 percent.   Shipping is one of the most polluting industries...

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US spy agencies prepare to build DNA computers and molecular storage systems

US spy agencies prepare to build DNA computers and molecular storage systems

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Storing and processing huge amounts of data requires huge power hungry hyperscale datacenters, which could all be replaced with DNA and Molecular computers the size of a table, powered by a car battery.   This week Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a group within...

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Revolutionary AI chip that replaces GPU’s hailed as the “future” by ARM’s founder

Revolutionary AI chip that replaces GPU’s hailed as the “future” by ARM’s founder

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future will be powered by AI and Machine Learning, and it could also be powered by a new type of chip, an “Intelligence Processing Unit,” which is the next evolutionary step after the GPU.   What comes after the CPU and the GPU? The...

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It’s raining cash, US startup edges closer to creating solid state “Jesus” battery

It’s raining cash, US startup edges closer to creating solid state “Jesus” battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Solid state batteries charge faster, , don’t catch fire, last longer and and are cheaper to make than their liquid Lithium Ion cousins, making them a game changer.   Recently technology giants like Dyson, Samsung and Total have collectively invested $65 million in Ionic Materials, a company...

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China’s massive and unparalleled  “AI in education” experiment has begun

China’s massive and unparalleled “AI in education” experiment has begun

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There’s no doubt that China’s AI in education initiative will bring a wide range of benefits and improve educational outcomes, but questions remain about the best way to deploy it.   Last year China unveiled their ambitious plan to become the world leader in Artificial Intelligence...

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Tech giants prepare for the next giant leap in quantum computing

Tech giants prepare for the next giant leap in quantum computing

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the race to build quantum computers heats up it could be the company who has the most accurate quantum computer, not the one who has the largest, that wins the game.   The hype that has been building around quantum computing, a potentially revolutionary technology...

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New quantum resistant crypto stops quantum computers spying on your data

New quantum resistant crypto stops quantum computers spying on your data

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When large quantum computers come online circa 2025 over 70 percent of the world’s encryption will be at risk, so companies need to adopt new method to protect themselves and their data.   As quantum computing becomes an increasingly “real” technology, moving out of the...

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Bin your headphones, Noveto streams sound straight into your ears

Bin your headphones, Noveto streams sound straight into your ears

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Wired headphones get tangled, wireless headphones need charging, so why bother with headphones at all?   When Apple introduced the iPhone 7 they removed the headphone jack and spun it as a win for consumers who could now use wireless headphones, obviously preferably Apple branded...

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Futurist in the press: Amazon home insurance could be on the horizon, CNBC

Futurist in the press: Amazon home insurance could be on the horizon, CNBC

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As Connected Home devices become more capable and popular they will give insurers new insights into previously private user behaviours, and fundamentally change how insurance is sold.   Connected home devices, that range from Alexa to smart fire alarms, lighting, security systems, thermostats, TV’s and...

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3D printed Graphene Aerogel, stronger than steel and 99.8% lighter

3D printed Graphene Aerogel, stronger than steel and 99.8% lighter

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tomorrow’s materials will be lighter, stronger and more flexible than todays, and that opens up a whole host of new applications.   The world’s lightest 3D printed structure, a Graphene Aerogel, is so lightweight that it can be placed on top of a cotton ball...

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This is the world’s first 3D printed carbon fiber bike

This is the world’s first 3D printed carbon fiber bike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Carbon fiber’s light weight and superior strength make it idea for many applications, but up until now it’s been expensive and very difficult to work with to create products, that’s all about to change.   Modern carbon fibre bikes, stiffer and stronger than their metal...

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US military and DARPA team up to develop tech to uncover fake news

US military and DARPA team up to develop tech to uncover fake news

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The advent of powerful AI tools, adaptable neural networks and the democratisation of hi definition rendering have taken fake news to a new level and this program aims to unmask the fakes.   We’ve all seen that video where Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered algorithms make it seem like Barack...

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BMW and MIT create the world’s first 3D printed inflatable material

BMW and MIT create the world’s first 3D printed inflatable material

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to 3D print materials with different and unique properties opens up a whole new range of use cases and applications, from car design to implanted medical devices, to soft robots and beyond.   A two year collaboration between BMW and MIT has produced...

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