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.

Futurist Keynote, Belgium: Investing in the Future, Infosys Fincale 2018. See more…

Straight From Matts Daily Blog View all
“Green” concrete could help cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent

“Green” concrete could help cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Concrete is a huge contributor to global green house gas emissions, so finding new ways to curb those emissions helps in the bigger battle against climate change.   In an age where we can 3D print houses and entire communities using a range of different...

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An entire South American community will be 3D printed in just 24 hours

An entire South American community will be 3D printed in just 24 hours

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Houses used to be expensive and time consuming to build, those days are fast disappearing.   Following on swiftly from the developments in France, where a family became the first in the world to move into their own 3D printed home, and in Dubai who...

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Blockchain startups are trying to break big tech’s hold on AI

Blockchain startups are trying to break big tech’s hold on AI

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Companies with better brand recognition, and deeper pockets, are cornering the market for AI talent, but now companies want break that hold, and they have a way to do it.   Despite how easy the combination is to mock, the idea of applying the Blockchain...

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Ownerless companies on the rise as startups experiment with new business models

Ownerless companies on the rise as startups experiment with new business models

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Blockchain will let us build new types of companies in new ways, including ownerless companies where funds and profits are divided automatically between individuals.   Slowly, very slowly, we’re seeing the emergence of the world’s first fully autonomous companies, from small hedge funds in Hong...

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Jeff Bezos lays out his vision to take millions of people to the stars and beyond

Jeff Bezos lays out his vision to take millions of people to the stars and beyond

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the world gets more crowded billionaires are lining up to make humans an inter-stellar species, with interesting results.   The plan of Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, to transport humans from Earth to the Moon and house millions of us in space colonies...

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Government can’t do it alone any more, says Apple’s CEO

Government can’t do it alone any more, says Apple’s CEO Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As individuals and organisations start becoming more powerful than many governments, people are wondering if private companies can solve humanity’s problems faster.   As I travel around the world, from America to Africa, Europe to the Middle East, and Japan to Singapore, talking to people...

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Colour night vision breakthrough turns the darkest midnight into day

Colour night vision breakthrough turns the darkest midnight into day Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to see in colour, even during the darkest nights, is a game changer that will have ramifications for multiple industries.   When we think of night vision our minds automatically turn to grainy black and green images. But today things have begun to...

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“Unblinking Eye” pre-crime tech gets investment boost from UK government

“Unblinking Eye” pre-crime tech gets investment boost from UK government

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the pace of terrorism accelerates agencies around the world are trying to find the needles in the data haystack that can help them predict attacks before they happen.   In the movie Fast and the Furious 7 movie a secretive US government agency created...

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Deepfake President Trump looses itself in Eminem’s raps

Deepfake President Trump looses itself in Eminem’s raps

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In a couple of years time you won’t be able to tell what’s fake from what’s real.   We all love DeepFakes – unless that is you’re a celebrity, a news corporation, or a fan of democracy. But all that asides if you look past...

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Food breakthrough lets researchers grow fish meat on demand

Food breakthrough lets researchers grow fish meat on demand

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the Earth’s population and its appetite for protein grows this latest breakthrough will help alleviate famine and hunger.   We are on the cusp of a food production revolution, one that could eradicate global famine and let us make food, of all types, from...

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Game changing “Unhackable” MORPHEUS computer chip re-configures itself every 50 milliseconds

Game changing “Unhackable” MORPHEUS computer chip re-configures itself every 50 milliseconds Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create an unhackable computer sounds like science fiction, but that doesn’t stop researchers from giving it a go.   “Unhackable” is a strong word. And so far many of the technologies that people have described as being unhackable, even awesome science fiction...

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Just as 5G starts rolling out 6G is in the already in the works

Just as 5G starts rolling out 6G is in the already in the works

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The march of technology never stops, and as users celebrate Gigabit mobile speeds Terabit mobile speeds are already on the drawing board.   While countries around the world are just beginning to roll out their first 5G networks that operate at Gigabbit speeds, technologists at...

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Scientists have created a decoder to turn brain activity into speech

Scientists have created a decoder to turn brain activity into speech

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF For a wide range of reasons many people have speaking disabilities, but now a Brain to Speech breakthrough gives them their voices back.   Scientists have announced a breakthrough in Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology that has, for the first time, let them translate electrical...

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Amazon’s AI reportedly tracks, monitors and automatically fires hundreds of employees

Amazon’s AI reportedly tracks, monitors and automatically fires hundreds of employees

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we entrust machines with more decision making powers it brings both pros and cons, and being fired by an AI is definitely a con.   There’s been a lot of news coverage about how Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), will,...

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China announces plans to build a Moonbase in the next decade

China announces plans to build a Moonbase in the next decade

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Space exploration and building colonies on Mars and the Moon are in vogue as countries and billionaires vie to out do one another.   Just like the European Space Agency, Jeff Bezos, who wants to also move heavy industry off Earth, and NASA, China has...

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Scientists are teaching robots to share code and evolve just like animals

Scientists are teaching robots to share code and evolve just like animals

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We all too often think of machines, and robots, as static things, but new breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, manufacturing, and materials are giving them the power to evolve.   Bacteria do it, viruses do it. Worms, mammals, even bees do it. So our parents tell...

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AI and automation: The benefits for business and industry

AI and automation: The benefits for business and industry

On 4 August 1997, Skynet, a US military developed program, became self-aware and began to think for itself. Operators tried to deactivate the computer system but the now ‘intelligent’ system perceived this as a threat and in order to protect its mandate of ‘safeguarding the world’ Skynet launched a nuclear...

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China’s AI anti-corruption program is getting shut down for being too good

China’s AI anti-corruption program is getting shut down for being too good

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Corruption is endemic, and now China’s AI powered anti-corruption program is getting shut down in a record number of provinces because it’s allegedly too efficient.   What would you do if you had a machine that could catch a thief, or a corrupt politician? Well,...

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First of a kind material lets solar panels generate electricity from snow

First of a kind material lets solar panels generate electricity from snow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our knowledge of materials and how they behave improves we can generate electricity from almost anything.   Scientists have announced that they’ve developed a first of its kind material that generates electricity from nothing other than, wait for it… snow. Based upon the principles...

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Perfect fit one size fits all clothing is here, thanks to robots and smart materials

Perfect fit one size fits all clothing is here, thanks to robots and smart materials

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Inventory is one of retailers biggest cash sinks, but now a new technology combo means retailers can buy one size from the manufacturer and custom fit it to every body shape in house.   You’re shopping for a sweater, and you spot one you love,...

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Codex of the Future 2020 to 2070

Codex of the Future 2020 to 2070

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The emergence of hundreds of powerful exponential technologies is accelerating the rate of global cultural, industrial, and societal change, this first of a kind Codex is your guide to understanding, simplifying, and navigating it all.   eXplore the Codex   THIS CODEX is your front...

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This is the first ever photo of a black hole

This is the first ever photo of a black hole

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Up until now it’s been thought it’d be impossible to take a photo of a black hole, but where there’s a will there’s a way.   Recently scientists managed to find a way to read information from the very heart of a black hole, but...

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Electrical brain stimulation rejuvenates memory by 50 years

Electrical brain stimulation rejuvenates memory by 50 years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we age our memory capacity degrades, but his latest breakthrough turns the clock back over 50 years.   Over the past couple of years I’ve been closely watching the field of Neuro-Training – an emerging technique that helps people with brain training, memory retention,...

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Amazing ray tracing mod pack makes Minecraft look stunning

Amazing ray tracing mod pack makes Minecraft look stunning

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI tools become better it’s getting easier for us to turn even the simplest graphical designs into stunning hi def visions.   If you were to make a list of all the graphically intense, amazing looking games in the world, Minecraft wouldn’t be on...

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Google’s AI enlisted to help crack the secret of nuclear fusion

Google’s AI enlisted to help crack the secret of nuclear fusion

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Trying to create an artificial Sun on Earth is no mean feat, and scientists have turned to Artificial Intelligence to help them.   With the click of a mouse and a loud bang researchers blast jets of super hot, ionized gas called plasma into one...

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Doctor Dolittle researchers use AI to decode mice chatter

Doctor Dolittle researchers use AI to decode mice chatter

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Using AI to translate human languages is nothing new, but now we’re using the technology to help us decipher animal languages.   Dolphins are getting in on the act, and now so are mice – having their language translated into something humans can understand using...

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Scientists bring 28,000 year old woolly mammoth cells back to life

Scientists bring 28,000 year old woolly mammoth cells back to life

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many scientists see de-extinction, as well as immortality and re-incarnation, as a mystery we simply haven’t solved yet.   In a world rife with movie plotlines about bringing extinct animals back from the dead, and actual scientists thinking about actually doing it, scientists in Osaka,...

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Nvidia’s GauGAN turns your crappy sketches into masterpieces

Nvidia’s GauGAN turns your crappy sketches into masterpieces

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Increasingly AI is being used as a tool to help democratise creativity and unlock people’s creative potential.   It’s long been known that I’m a crappy artist – despite my best efforts at school it was evident early on that I was just never cut...

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Scientists gene hacked lizards to make them albino

Scientists gene hacked lizards to make them albino

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As gene editing tools become more powerful scientists are starting to push the boundaries by modifying the genes of more complex animals.   For the first time reptiles, which are comparatively complex organisms, have been gene-edited with CRISPR technology after scientists at University of Georgia...

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Major 3D printing advance boosts LiON battery capacities by over 400 percent

Major 3D printing advance boosts LiON battery capacities by over 400 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our ability to 3D print objects at the nano scale improves it gives us the ability to create dramatically better batteries with huge surface areas.   Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Missouri University of Science and Technology have used 3D Printing to produce high capacity Lithium...

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Self-driving hotel room scoops major design award

Self-driving hotel room scoops major design award Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The rise of fully autonomous vehicles are allowing innovators to come up with new concepts and travel ideas.   Question: What do you get if you cross a hotel room with a self-driving vehicle? Answer: The Autonomous Travel Suite (ATS). A hotel room on wheels, the ATS...

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FCC opens up new spectrum for 6G, 7G and “whatever’s next”

FCC opens up new spectrum for 6G, 7G and “whatever’s next”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As mobile communications become more important to businesses and governments the US wants to encourage innovation.   Commercial 5G networks are barely operational in the US right now, but that hasn’t stopped engineers from thinking ahead to 6G, which is already on the drawing board...

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Evolving robots discover new ways to walk thanks to AI advances

Evolving robots discover new ways to walk thanks to AI advances

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF People often think of robots as static things, with fixed forms that don’t evolve, but scientists are creating robots that can evolve to suit different situations.   Evolution is a trip. On the one hand, it’s a seemingly simple mechanism -those best fitted to their environment have...

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Breakthrough process lets researchers turn Carbon Dioxide back into Coal

Breakthrough process lets researchers turn Carbon Dioxide back into Coal

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Climate change is getting harder to solve, and the effects are getting more severe so we need new ways to tackle it.   Scientists from the Melbourne based RMIT University have announced they’ve developed a new technique using “a liquid metal electrolysis method to convert...

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Coffee without the coffee beans, “Molecular Coffee” has arrived

Coffee without the coffee beans, “Molecular Coffee” has arrived

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we find new ways to produce food coffee isn’t immune, and now a company has found a way to make great tasting coffee but without using beans.   Food production is going through a revolution. Take the animal out of meat, and you’ve got...

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Scientists create a liquid fuel that can store the Sun’s energy for 18 years

Scientists create a liquid fuel that can store the Sun’s energy for 18 years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the number of solar energy installations increase storing the energy they produce, so it can be released to the grid when the Sun goes in, is still holding the industry back from world domination.   Recently renewable energy became the cheapest form of energy...

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Microsoft have created an all in one desktop DNA storage device

Microsoft have created an all in one desktop DNA storage device

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our data volumes explode we need new ways to store it all, and DNA is a perfect solution – if we can get it to work.   By all reports the modern world is facing a tsunami of data as we produce exabtyes of the...

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MIT researchers have turned WiFi signals into electricity

MIT researchers have turned WiFi signals into electricity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Wireless charging is becoming more popular, which is why we’re seeing breakthrough after breakthrough in the space, and new innovations.   Noone likes having to shove a battery into things or plug everything they own into an electrical plug socket, whether it’s your phone, your...

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All new UK homes will be off the gas grid by 2025 says UK government

All new UK homes will be off the gas grid by 2025 says UK government

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As countries try to hit their emissions targets fossil fuels are under fire, now the UK government is calling time on domestic gas supplies.   Connecting new homes to the UK’s gas grid could be banned after 2025 as the UK government, just like many...

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Researchers unveil the world’s first programable DNA computer prototype

Researchers unveil the world’s first programable DNA computer prototype

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of computing isn’t silicon, it isn’t even quantum, it’s biological, and it’s coming.   We’ve already turned bacteria into computing and storage devices that we’ve used to re-play videos from, and perform basic calculations, but just like tomorrow’s Biological computers DNA too, it’s...

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Scientists create Nanobionic plants that detect chemicals and could grow on Mars

Scientists create Nanobionic plants that detect chemicals and could grow on Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to bend nature to our will has its advantages, but it could also help us create plants that grow naturally on alien planets.   Plants are naturally amazing little machines so, naturally, scientists think that giving them a bionic leg up could unlock...

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New pre-crime tech detects shoplifters before they commit the crime

New pre-crime tech detects shoplifters before they commit the crime

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI’s that can predict outcomes from users behaviours are becoming increasingly common, and one of the biggest beneficiaries of that is the area of pre-crime detection.   It’s watching, and knows a crime is about to take place before it happens – this is the...

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Department of Defense warns the US is falling behind China on 5G

Department of Defense warns the US is falling behind China on 5G

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New 5G mobile networks will unleash a torrent of new innovation, and the US DOD fears that the country will be left behind if it doesn’t release new spectrum.   The US led the charge on 4G LTE, which gave US companies significant power in...

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NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft wings are subject to different conditions during flight, but until now rigid wings weren’t optimal for any of them.   A team of researchers led by NASA and MIT in the US have come up with a radical new aeroplane wing design that is...

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Revolutionary polymorphic liquid metal paves the way for shape shifting robots

Revolutionary polymorphic liquid metal paves the way for shape shifting robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Our ability to create robots that can shape shift and change their shape is a matter of when, not if, and we’re getting closer.   Between the US Pentagon’s use of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) to defend its critical systems from attack, DARPA’s proposal to...

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