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
The US Marines 3D printed their new barracks using the world’s largest 3D printer

The US Marines 3D printed their new barracks using the world’s largest 3D printer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The way we make buildings hasn’t changed much in thousands of years, so it’s time for a faster, cheaper alternative to take center stage.   Recently a family in France were the first family to move into a 3D printed house, and the benefits of...

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This creative AI paints like the old masters

This creative AI paints like the old masters

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We’re always told ai cannot be imaginative or creative, but human creativity can be cloned.   Recently art made by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software has become a field in its own right and it’s become quite a niche market in certain circles. As a result...

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Researchers turned a window into a lens-less camera, because AI’s don’t need fancy cameras

Researchers turned a window into a lens-less camera, because AI’s don’t need fancy cameras

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Researchers have re-thought cameras from the point of view of today’s AI’s, and what they’ve created is as innovative as it is revolutionary.   Cameras used to be their own devices with lenses and film and trips to the drug store to get the pictures...

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A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots that can autonomously identify and skill-fully manipulate objects without needing to be previously trained could revolutionise the robotics industry.   Human dexterity is an impressive skill that requires both our body’s fine motor skills and highly efficient visual acuity, and despite recent advances from...

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Telepathic warfare takes center stage as US military bets big on neuro tech

Telepathic warfare takes center stage as US military bets big on neuro tech

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s brain machine interfaces are rudimentary or require invasive surgery, this program could bring brain interfaces to the masses and be the next step in human-technological evolution.   Until now the advanced and cutting edge neuroscience programs at DARPA, the self proclaimed mad science wing...

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Collapsing bee colonies prompt researchers to build robotic bees to replace them

Collapsing bee colonies prompt researchers to build robotic bees to replace them

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We rely on bees to pollinate nearly 75 percent of our crops, but as colonies continue to collapse researchers are looking for new alternatives to pollinate crops.   Food security continues to come under the spotlight which is why we’ve recently seen research that uses...

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World’s first space elevator hitches a ride to the ISS to begin first trials

World’s first space elevator hitches a ride to the ISS to begin first trials Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The cost of getting astronauts and cargo into space is still astronomical, a space elevator could eliminate the need for costly rocket launches and democratise access to space.   Let’s be honest, launching things into space with rockets is a pretty inefficient way to do...

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Blockchain startups are lining up to decentralise and revolutionise the internet

Blockchain startups are lining up to decentralise and revolutionise the internet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We think the internet is already decentralised, but the internet as we know it is evolving, and tomorrow’s internet will be truly decentralised.   An increasing number of people want to fix the flaws of the internet by decentralizing it, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father...

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DeepMind’s AI now has human like 3D vision

DeepMind’s AI now has human like 3D vision

WHY THIS MATERS IN BRIEF As we come to rely on robots and automated systems more in our daily lives their ability to accurately perceive our world is crucial.   If I showed you a single picture of a room it’s likely you’d be able to tell me about it...

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A teenagers revolutionary algorithm busted quantum computings greatest promise

A teenagers revolutionary algorithm busted quantum computings greatest promise

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Quantum computers promise amazing performance gains over classical computers, but a new algorithm just put the ball back in the classical computer’s court.   A teenager from Texas has single handedly taken one of the biggest advances promised by the first generation of quantum computers...

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Scientists make biodegradable plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide

Scientists make biodegradable plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Plastic has turned into the scourge of the environment, and companies are tripling their efforts to find viable environmentally friendly alternatives.   Society is producing more waste plastic than ever before and it’s polluting our oceans and contaminating our drinking water. By all accounts by...

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California is replacing three coal fired power stations with battery systems

California is replacing three coal fired power stations with battery systems

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Grid scale energy storage is now a viable economic alternative to coal fired power stations designed to top up the grid during peak demands.   Grid scale energy storage is going to get a big boost after California officials, who also recently announced that Los...

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A family in France become the first family to live in a 3D printed house

A family in France become the first family to live in a 3D printed house

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As 3D printing improves it will continue to revolutionise the way we make everything from clothes to homes.   It was always going to happen, and now it finally has. First came 3D printed houses in Dubai, who want 25 percent of all new houses to...

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The world’s first digital teacher starts work teaching kids about energy

The world’s first digital teacher starts work teaching kids about energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI, avatars and bots will play an increasingly central role in the future of education, and Will is the first teacher of his kind.   It’s back to school time for millions of children around the world and you know what that means – it’s...

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Scientists revolutionary liquid reverse filter is “straight out of science fiction”

Scientists revolutionary liquid reverse filter is “straight out of science fiction”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Filters may be boring but they play a vital role in our everyday lives, from healthcare and transportation, to the food and drinks we consume.   Filters have increasingly been hitting the headlines recently, especially graphene ones that could help us end future water shortages...

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OpenAI’s AI bot crushed the world’s top Dota 2 players

OpenAI’s AI bot crushed the world’s top Dota 2 players

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Dota is a game of prediction, strategy and collaboration, and it’s been long thought that an AI couldn’t master it – until now.   A lot of humans think they’re so good at video games that they make the point of describing themselves as “gamers.”...

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Scientists produce smart windows that generate their own electricity

Scientists produce smart windows that generate their own electricity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The use of glass is increasing around the world and scientists are trying to find new ways to enhance its properties.   Recently we saw new research that lets windows turn into mirrors at the flick of a switch, and now researchers from the Institute...

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MIT created a nanobot spray that gives dumb objects superpowers

MIT created a nanobot spray that gives dumb objects superpowers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to spray nanobots onto surfaces and objects is a fast way to turn them from dumb objects into smart ones that have new sensing capabilities.   You may have sworn off aerosol sprays back in the 1990’s when everyone was talking about the hole...

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Scientists use electro-charged nanoparticles to create liquid mirrors

Scientists use electro-charged nanoparticles to create liquid mirrors

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to apply new properties to glass, such as liquid mirrors, could help companies reduce their air conditioning bill and help homeowners improve their privacy.   Researchers from Imperial College London in the UK have developed a new material that can turn a transparent surface into a...

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IBM boosts the speed of homomorphic encryption by 75 percent

IBM boosts the speed of homomorphic encryption by 75 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Homomorphic encryption gives organisations a secure and easy way to run analytics on data without having to first decrypt it, but up until now it’s been oh so slow…   IBM has announced that it’s rewritten its C++ Homomorphic encryption library and claims that it...

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Revolutionising communications, Kymeta starts shipping metamaterial antennas

Revolutionising communications, Kymeta starts shipping metamaterial antennas

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Metamaterials have amazing, and unique, properties and they’re turning up in more places, and helping revolutionise more industries.   The first 400 flat panel antennas developed by Redmond based Kymeta, which has received over $200million in funding so far from luminaries such as Bill Gates,...

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IBM created an undetectable cyberweapon by injecting viruses into neural nets

IBM created an undetectable cyberweapon by injecting viruses into neural nets

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Even today’s cutting edge cybersecurity products have no defence against virus laden, weaponised neural networks.   It’s been a very busy few weeks in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and neural networks with the creation of the world’s first DNA neural network, and the world’s...

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A new AI tool is mastering how to create complex drugs and molecules

A new AI tool is mastering how to create complex drugs and molecules

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Chemistry plays a vital role in our society and being able to create new drugs, and chemical cocktails and compounds, will revolutionise everything from cars to healthcare.   Chemists have a new lab assistant, and its name is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and they join synthetic...

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Renewable energy smashes a major installation milestone, hits 1 Trillion watts

Renewable energy smashes a major installation milestone, hits 1 Trillion watts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The rise of renewable energy is on a tear, and it’s now looking unstoppable.   Global wind and solar developers took 40 years to install their first trillion watts of power generation capacity, and, as electric vehicles get ready to take off, and as renewables...

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Hackers use data science to evade state of the art AI cybersecurity systems

Hackers use data science to evade state of the art AI cybersecurity systems

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By figuring out what data sets cybersecurity are training their AI’s on hackers have found a way to create malware that can’t be detected.   Walking around the exhibition floor at this week’s massive Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas many people were struck...

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Virtual reality without the headset, US startup debuts the “Looking Glass”

Virtual reality without the headset, US startup debuts the “Looking Glass”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF VR headsets create an isolating experience, so a US startup has found a way to create VR worlds without them.   Many people have dreamt about being able to use free form holograms, like the ones in Star Wars, to communicate with their friends and...

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Artificial General Intelligence is here, DeepMind unveils its Impala AGI

Artificial General Intelligence is here, DeepMind unveils its Impala AGI

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The development of an AGI that can master tens, hundreds, and eventually thousands or millions of subjects is the “holy grail” of AI, and it will change every corner of society.   One of the most significant Artificial Intelligence (AI) milestones in history was quietly...

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Microsoft gets rid of blockchain miners with new Ethereum blockchain service

Microsoft gets rid of blockchain miners with new Ethereum blockchain service

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Mining blockchain has become a contentious issue because of the amount of energy it uses and its speed, Microsoft are trying to solve both problems.   Hot on the heels of its interest in Iota, a blockchain-like peer to peer cryptocurrency that does away with...

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DARPA splashes $1.5bn to re-invent the way electronics are designed and made

DARPA splashes $1.5bn to re-invent the way electronics are designed and made

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is a concern that the lack of focus on developing new, advanced hardware will put US business and its military at a serious disadvantage in the future so DARPA is quadrupling its investments.   There is now question that the electronics industry has been...

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Researchers built a breakthrough quantum transistor using just a single atom

Researchers built a breakthrough quantum transistor using just a single atom

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As transistors get smaller companies are going to be able to create computers that are orders of magnitude more powerful and energy efficient than today’s platforms.   Over the past couple of years we’ve seen the development of a wide range of transistors that push...

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Step inside the SpaceX capsule that will take astronauts to the ISS

Step inside the SpaceX capsule that will take astronauts to the ISS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Since the end of the Space Shuttle program the US has had to rely on rides from the Russians to get to the ISS, this marks America’s return to its own manned spaceflight.   After making history in 2012 as the first commercial spacecraft company...

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AI can now tell your boss what skills you lack and how to get them

AI can now tell your boss what skills you lack and how to get them

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every job is a combination of different competencies but most training courses only focus on a few, now AI can tell you all the competencies you lack and how to get them.   Here’s the conundrum with corporate online learning, there are so many classes available from...

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Uber has killed off its self-driving truck division

Uber has killed off its self-driving truck division

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As Uber faces challenges on multiple fronts the company has had to take the hard decision to double down on strategic bets.   Two years after Uber bought self-driving truck developer Otto for $680 million, the ride hailing company has announced that the Uber Advanced...

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Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyborg bacteria could be used to replace today’s silicon solar panels with higher efficiency, lower cost panels that help accelerate the renewable energy revolution.   Although most life on Earth relies upon photosynthesis as its sole source of energy, the process has a weak link...

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IBM finds a way to watermark AI’s to protect them from theft and sabotage

IBM finds a way to watermark AI’s to protect them from theft and sabotage

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Creating complex neural networks and AI’s takes a lot of expertise, money and resources so being able to watermark them will help protect them from theft.   What if machine learning models, much like photographs, movies, music, and manuscripts, could be watermarked nearly imperceptibly to denote...

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China tests its cutting edge hypersonic aircraft that “rides its own shockwaves”

China tests its cutting edge hypersonic aircraft that “rides its own shockwaves”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF China, Russia and the US are engaged in a race to create the next generation of hypersonic weapons, and the race is accelerating.   Over the past year China has announced it’s developed the world’s first quantum radar system, that neutralises US stealth, the first...

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New autophage rocket devours itself for fuel

New autophage rocket devours itself for fuel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A rocket that consumes itself for fuel could dramatically reduce the cost of future satellite launches.   A team of engineers from Scotland and Ukraine have developed what they call an “Autophage” rocket that would consume its own structure as it hurtles into space, and...

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Blackhat hackers discover a way to turn satellites into “microwave weapons”

Blackhat hackers discover a way to turn satellites into “microwave weapons”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Satellites are ubiquitous and a newly discovered exploit could let hackers turn them into high frequency weapons that fry electronics on the ground.   As I discussed in a recent keynote on the future of cybersecurity, even air gaps, thought to be the ultimate in...

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Scientists have 3D printed the world’s first physical neural network

Scientists have 3D printed the world’s first physical neural network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to print advanced and complex AI’s mean we can produce them cheaply and position them at the edge of networks where computer power might be limited.   Recently a team of researchers in the US revolutionised artificial intelligence when they made the world’s first...

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Scientists achieve world first by following a thought through the human brain

Scientists achieve world first by following a thought through the human brain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If we are ever going to unravel the mysteries of the mind, and help find new treatments for cognitive diseases, we first have to understand how the brain works.   A study using epilepsy patients undergoing surgery has given neuroscientists an opportunity to track in...

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Scientists created huge atom clouds to test quantum entanglement at scale

Scientists created huge atom clouds to test quantum entanglement at scale

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The ability to harness quantum entanglement at scale will help revolutionise communications systems, computing, healthcare, and warfare, to name but a few.   From tunnelling through impenetrable barriers to being in two places at the same time, the quantum world of atoms and particles is famously...

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Canada ends its three year Universal Basic Income trial two years early

Canada ends its three year Universal Basic Income trial two years early

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Governments fear the fall out from the mass automation of jobs by AI will be extreme so they’re investigating new welfare systems to limit the damage, but solutions are illusive.   4,000 people in Ontario, Canada just lost their Universal Basic Income (UBI) cash and...

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Scientists printed a flexible battery that could revolutionise wearable computers

Scientists printed a flexible battery that could revolutionise wearable computers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Ultra thin and ultra flexible batteries made from Graphene could make new types of wearable computing platforms a reality.   Researchers in the UK who were motivated by the problem of how to power the growing number of wearables that are now hitting the market...

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Ocado shows off the world’s most advanced automated warehouse

Ocado shows off the world’s most advanced automated warehouse

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As technology and robotics get better it won’t be long before all warehouses are completely automated.   They call it “The Hive,” or “The Grid.” Or sometimes just: “The machine.” It’s a huge structure that fills a warehouse on the outskirts of Andover, a small...

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OpenAI’s robot hand handles objects with human-like dexterity

OpenAI’s robot hand handles objects with human-like dexterity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots struggle with tasks that involve dexterity, but that problem could soon be solved.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) advances are increasingly making headlines as we witness breakthrough after breakthrough, whether it’s in the creation of self-driving cars, or in the creation of the world’s first...

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