Demistifying the future

 

No matter where you live in the world the majority of people agree that 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 articles and talks around the world I help demystify the hundreds of emerging technologies that are helping visionaries and entrepreneurs build the future and disrupt the status quo, and I provide audiences with the tools and critical thinking that help them envision and navigate tomorrow’s threats and opportunities.

The Future of Disruption, Oxford University Lecture Series

Straight From the Newsdesk View all
MIT’s new artificial synapse brings “Brain on a chip” hardware closer

MIT’s new artificial synapse brings “Brain on a chip” hardware closer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Computer chips that can learn by themselves will revolutionise Artificial Intelligence and let us create machines are that genuinely “intelligent.”   For those working in the field of advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) getting a computer to simulate how the human brain works is a gargantuan...

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China spends $300million to buy lab produced meats from Israel

China spends $300million to buy lab produced meats from Israel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Food production is undergoing a revolution, and technology is helping us move away from what many experts and governments are increasingly seeing as outdated farming techniques to help us feed Earth’s growing population.   Following on from a recent announcement that US start up Plenty...

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New Chinese breakthrough “soil” turns desert into fertile farmland

New Chinese breakthrough “soil” turns desert into fertile farmland Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the amount of desertification around the planet increases, and as the global population continues to grow, humanity needs to find new ways to turn the tide and find new ways to feed a growing population.   Creating a roadmap to combat the spread of...

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Scientists have reverse engineered the genome of a man who died 200 years ago

Scientists have reverse engineered the genome of a man who died 200 years ago Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many of today’s emerging technologies are aimed at keeping us alive, and helping edge us closer towards immortality, but what if we could bring our relatives back from the dead?   Hans Jonatan was born in the Caribbean in 1784, migrated to Iceland in 1802, and...

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World’s most powerful laser will be able to rip matter out of a vacuum

World’s most powerful laser will be able to rip matter out of a vacuum

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As laser technology develops at an accelerating rate it’s increasingly being used to help scientists unlock the mysteries of the universe, and many other things besides.   Amazingly physicists are getting close to building lasers powerful enough to rip matter out of a vacuum, yes,...

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FDA approves use of world’s first neuro controlled exoskeleton

FDA approves use of world’s first neuro controlled exoskeleton

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today millions of people in the world, for a variety of reasons, have trouble moving their bodies, but new brain controlled exoskeletons could help them regain their movement and rehabilitate them at the same time.   People familiar with the Terminator series from the 1980’s...

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US startup secures $200m in funding to build 300 vertical farms across China

US startup secures $200m in funding to build 300 vertical farms across China

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s population will grow by another 2 billion by 2050 and many think today’s agricultural systems won’t cope, as a consequence we need to embrace new forms of sustainable, high yield agriculture.   The agricultural industry is going through a revolution, everything from robotic...

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Scientists observe epigenetic memories being passed down 14 generations

Scientists observe epigenetic memories being passed down 14 generations Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The evidence that events experienced by our ancestors is passed down from them to us through our genes is mounting.   The most important set of genetic instructions we all get comes from our DNA, passed down through generations, but increasingly, as I’ve discussed before, it’s...

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Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of the largest ascending mega trends is Synthetic Biology, and as our command and understanding of the natural world increases it will help transform our world in ways you never thought possible.   It turns out that many of the complex folded shapes that...

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World first as Chinese scientists clone two monkeys, raising fears humans could be next

World first as Chinese scientists clone two monkeys, raising fears humans could be next

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF So far monkeys have proven resistant to cloning, but now that barrier has been broken, and many suggest it leaves the way open for a day when we can see the first cloned humans.   Last week Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the world’s first...

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ORNL’s new super fast ultrasonic dryer uses 70 percent less energy

ORNL’s new super fast ultrasonic dryer uses 70 percent less energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tumble dryers account for more than 4 percent of the world’s energy consumption, so cutting that figure by 70 percent could be a big deal.   Forget heat, drying laundry in the future is all about cranking up the volume. At least, that’s how the folks at...

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Electric eel inspired bio-batteries could revolutionise pacemakers and wearables

Electric eel inspired bio-batteries could revolutionise pacemakers and wearables

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new type of ultra thin biological battery could replace batteries in pace makers, and power smart contact lenses, but their use cases don’t stop there.   New artificial organs may have a familiar, slimy face to thank for their near future prospects in the...

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SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket into space

SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket into space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Not only is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy the world’s most powerful rocket, but it’s also destined to be the one that takes colonists to Mars and help Musk realise his ambitions to ferry people around the world in under thirty minutes or less.   SpaceX’s...

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Denvers new “Hyperloop for roads” will transport cars at 200mph around the city

Denvers new “Hyperloop for roads” will transport cars at 200mph around the city

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One good idea leads to another, so they say, and now Denver thinks it can use an adaptation of the Hyperloop to reduce urban commute times.   Start-up co-founder Brogan BamBrogan has an unusual stance when it comes to the futuristic technology he’s building, which...

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Scientists have smashed the record for the world’s most powerful magnet

Scientists have smashed the record for the world’s most powerful magnet

WHY THIS MATTES IN BRIEF Magnets are the unsung heroes of the modern era, they help produce our energy and make engines work, make MRI machines possible and make futuristic transportation technologies like the Hyperloop feasible, and developments in the field drive innovation across a variety of sectors.   If...

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NASA inspired tech designed for outer space triples crop yields on Earth

NASA inspired tech designed for outer space triples crop yields on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As Earth’s population grows by another 2 billion in the next few decades scientists are coming up with new ways to feed them and produce food in previously unimaginable ways.   Over the next few decades it’s estimated that the Earth’s population will grow by...

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Featured Futurist: Exclusive interview with Richard Branson, Metro newspaper

Featured Futurist: Exclusive interview with Richard Branson, Metro newspaper

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Richard Branson is one of the most iconic entrepreneurs of all time but sometimes you’ve got to give the critics fuel in order to create the future.   I have to admit I do sometimes have to sit back and pinch myself, after all, it...

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World’s first DNA robots successfully move and deliver molecule sized cargo

World’s first DNA robots successfully move and deliver molecule sized cargo

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots are getting smaller, and our mastery over biology is increasing, so it’s inevitable that we will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and create a new breed of smaller, intelligent micro-machines.   In the classic 1966 American science fiction film Fantastic Voyage, a...

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China launches the world’s first fully electric cargo ship

China launches the world’s first fully electric cargo ship

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cargo ships are by far the most polluting types of “vehicles” on the planet, all be the fact they carry huge weights of cargo, but now the industry is starting to electrify and the result will be an environmental revolution.   Ground transport, closely followed...

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Researchers use mind-reading AI to put people’s thoughts on TV

Researchers use mind-reading AI to put people’s thoughts on TV

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to read people’s minds, and visualise what they’re thinking and their memories on a screen will revolutionise almost every part of society, and that’s before we start talking about telepathy and futuristic brain downloading.   It already seems a little like computers can...

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World first as scientists manage to make carbon fiber using plants, not oil

World first as scientists manage to make carbon fiber using plants, not oil

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The knock on impact of being able to produce cheap carbon fiber at scale could help us create stronger, lighter  drones, prosthetics and robots, as well as improve the fuel economy of all manner of vehicles, from aircraft to cars.   Carbon fiber is the...

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Quantum sensor breakthrough could one day replace global GPS systems

Quantum sensor breakthrough could one day replace global GPS systems

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s sensors are sensitive, but Quantum sensors are millions times more sensitive, meaning that they can detect even more things with even more accuracy.   Thanks to the miracle of GPS we can now work out where we are almost anywhere on Earth, but it...

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RB Systems unveil their awesome Hyperloop Terminal concept

RB Systems unveil their awesome Hyperloop Terminal concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New ideas and concepts, such as the Hyperloop, are sometimes hard to grasp, so being able to visualise them, and how they would work in society is often crucial to their final success.   Late last year, Hyperloop One who recently ran their prototype Hyperloop at...

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Scientists have created the world’s best and biggest 3D living hologram

Scientists have created the world’s best and biggest 3D living hologram

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists, and society at large, have been waiting for holograms technology to appear on the market for decades, and while you’ll still have to wait before you can buy one in the shops we’re starting to edge closer to realising the dream.   Science fiction...

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Scientists use sound tornadoes to create the world’s biggest tractor beam

Scientists use sound tornadoes to create the world’s biggest tractor beam

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to levitate, move and manipulate objects without touching them will be especially useful in the fields of healthcare and manufacturing, and it’s also awesome.   In the past researchers thought that acoustic tractor beams were limited to levitating only small objects because all...

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Google’s revolutionary new “Codeless AI” lets non programmers build their own AI’s

Google’s revolutionary new “Codeless AI” lets non programmers build their own AI’s

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI will help revolutionise every corner of society and Google is helping democratise the technology so everyone, with any capability, programmers and non programmers, can build models and make use of it.   With the dramatic rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recent years it’s...

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Hitachi’s newest surveillance AI can follow you through a crowd

Hitachi’s newest surveillance AI can follow you through a crowd

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF You might not care too much about your privacy today, but what about your children’s privacy tomorrow? The technologies to track and analyse our every thought and move have already been assembled, the next step is deployment.   Not only can a new Artificial Intelligence...

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NASA’s tests its new interplanetary space internet system, sends a selfie to the ISS

NASA’s tests its new interplanetary space internet system, sends a selfie to the ISS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As humanity reaches for the stars and pens its plans to become an interplanetary species today’s Earth bound internet system just won’t hack it, so an alternative  is needed.   As humanity reaches for the stars, and to colonise Mars from 2024, NASA used a...

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The world’s first molecular robots go to work on the production line

The world’s first molecular robots go to work on the production line

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Our ability to assemble increasingly tiny things using increasingly tiny machinery is advancing all the time, and soon the breakthrough’s we are seeing will make even nanoscale products seem giant by comparison.   Not only is the creation of the world’s first molecular robot by...

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UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF More companies are showing interest in wireless charging and the pace of development and investment in the sector is accelerating, but this is one wireless charging technology that the experts say shouldn’t work, but it does.   Unlike Energous, a company that a few weeks...

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