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
Nvidia unveiled a new AI engine that renders virtual world’s in real time

Nvidia unveiled a new AI engine that renders virtual world’s in real time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Arguably the most complex part of creating VR content is coding and building the environments, Nvidia just bought those barriers crashing down.   Nvidia have announced that they’ve introduced a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Deep Learning model that “aims to catapult the graphics industry into the AI...

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Genetic engineering breakthrough turns chickens into egg laying medicine factories

Genetic engineering breakthrough turns chickens into egg laying medicine factories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to produce drugs and medicines cheaply is important, and this breakthrough breaks grounds on all kinds of fronts.   Ordinarily, when scientists want to produce proteins to use in medicine they have to use techniques that are costly and complex. Recently, however, in...

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US researchers have found a safe way to 3D print explosives

US researchers have found a safe way to 3D print explosives

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The ability to 3D print explosives is a turning point for the military and other industries that rely on explosives, but it also opens up a debate on the potential dangers of the uses of the technology.   According to new research out of the...

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US Pentagon surrenders and admits it can no longer keep pace with cyber attacks

US Pentagon surrenders and admits it can no longer keep pace with cyber attacks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the volume and variety of global cyber attacks increase exponentially this is a wake up call that we need a new way to defend ourselves.   The US military’s cybersecurity capabilities aren’t advancing fast enough to stay ahead of the “onslaught of multipronged” attacks...

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American researchers unveil the world’s first liquid computer chip

American researchers unveil the world’s first liquid computer chip Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our understanding of computing improves, it is clear that the post-silicon computing era will be anything but dull.   Over the past few years there have been a growing number of experts voicing concerns that Moore’s Law, and the age of silicon computing, is...

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Create Digital Humans in minutes, Soul Machines unveils Digital DNA platform

Create Digital Humans in minutes, Soul Machines unveils Digital DNA platform

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Avatars that resemble real people, in their behaviours and speech, are on the rise, and some people are using them to create immortal versions of themselves.   Soul Machines, the company behind some of the world’s most human-like digital avatars that are already in service...

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MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI gets more deeply embedded into the world’s digital fabric, in everything from self-driving cars to high frequency stock trading, it’s crucial we know how it makes its decisions.   A child is presented with a picture of various shapes and is asked to...

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Scientists have created the blackest material ever, and it’s great for gaming

Scientists have created the blackest material ever, and it’s great for gaming

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are certain situations, such as calibrating satellite systems, or in cinemas where nearly dark doesn’t cut it, Vantablack is the darkest material ever produced.   Have you ever gotten up to use the restroom during a movie screening, then struggled to find your seat...

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Researchers 3D printed a working spinal chord implant in 1.6 seconds

Researchers 3D printed a working spinal chord implant in 1.6 seconds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today if you break your spine, you’re paralysed, but paralysis is increasingly no longer for life.   3D Bio-Printing, an offshoot of its better known cousin 3D Printing, lets scientists manufacture everything from real bones, cartilage, corneas and kidneys, to hearts, ovaries, skin, and teeth, by laying...

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Boston Dynamic’s robot Spot the dog learns to dance

Boston Dynamic’s robot Spot the dog learns to dance

WHY THIS MATTERS Teaching robots to dance helps researchers fine tune robots motor skills so they can be more agile and dextrous.   At IROS in Madrid, Marc Raibert from Boston Dynamics, one of the world’s most advanced robotics companies, showed a few videos during his keynote presentation. One was...

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Woebot, the World’s first AI counsellor, manages 2 million conversations a week

Woebot, the World’s first AI counsellor, manages 2 million conversations a week

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Mental health issues seem to plague modern society, but the number of people who seek out professional help is minimal, so companies are developing AI counsellors that are free and accessible anywhere 24/7   Mental health has been increasingly on people’s minds, if you’ll excuse...

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Virtual reality headsets tune into users brainwaves to train people faster

Virtual reality headsets tune into users brainwaves to train people faster

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As many people worry about the rise of AI and automation, and the effect they will have on jobs, new faster and smarter ways to educate and train our children and our workforces are emerging.   Before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games members of the...

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Futurist Keynote, London: Investing in the Exponential Future, SRP European Conference

Futurist Keynote, London: Investing in the Exponential Future, SRP European Conference

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Incredibly powerful, and increasingly democratised, emerging technologies are transforming every sector faster than ever, and this can have dire consequences for investors if the mechanisms behind the change are not understood.   Firstly, thank you to Amelie for inviting me to be the keynote for...

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The Pentagon hires the world’s best poker playing AI to play War Games

The Pentagon hires the world’s best poker playing AI to play War Games

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Poker is a game of bluff, and acting without perfect information, and so too is war.   Over the past year the US Pentagon has installed an autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robo-hacker called Mayhem to monitor and protect its most critical systems from cyber attacks,...

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Researchers want to revolutionise AI by combining Quantum computers and Neural Networks

Researchers want to revolutionise AI by combining Quantum computers and Neural Networks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today, I talk not just about Exponential Technologies but also about Exponential Combinations, by combining Quantum Computing with Neural Networks we’d revolutionise both.   A new research project led by researchers at the Heriot-Watt University in the US aims to harness the power of quantum computers, computers...

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Revolutionary bio-electronic implant heals nerves, then vanishes

Revolutionary bio-electronic implant heals nerves, then vanishes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many people around the world suffer from what is today irreparable nerve damage, but this new technology can repair these nerves, restore bodily functions, and disappear without trace.   Lots of people, especially the military, are increasingly interested in creating electronic devices that disappear once...

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Scientists find a way to turn the internet into the world’s largest earthquake detection system

Scientists find a way to turn the internet into the world’s largest earthquake detection system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are hundreds of thousands of earthquakes a year, and a new detection system could help save lives.   The internet isn’t your phone. It’s not Instagram, YouTube, or Netflix. Behind those screens the internet is actually a  sprawling network of hundreds of undersea fiber optic...

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Luxury space hotel preps for launch in 2021

Luxury space hotel preps for launch in 2021

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of getting to space falls, and access to space becomes more democratised, it will eventually become a tourist destination.   Well heeled space tourists will have a new orbital holiday destination four years from now, that is if one company’s plans come to fruition,...

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Scientists fix a genetic flaw to boost crop yields by 40 percent

Scientists fix a genetic flaw to boost crop yields by 40 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By 2050 we will need to feed 10 billion people, but increasingly we have the technology to ensure noone goes hungry.   Scientists keep playing about with the process of photosynthesis, such as removing it’s natural sunblock, to boost crop yields by up to 30...

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Researchers successfully weaponise AI to create a “Biometric master key”

Researchers successfully weaponise AI to create a “Biometric master key”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As criminals continue to weaponise artificial intelligence they are inevitably going to find new ways to exploit weaknesses in existing security systems.   Just like any lock can be picked if you have the right key any biometric scanner can be fooled. For years now...

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Google creates a neural network that picks out individual voices in video

Google creates a neural network that picks out individual voices in video

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Not only does this technology have benefits for video search, but it also has surveillance and privacy implications.   Recently I talked about a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancement from Hitachi that let’s its AI’s pick out and follow individuals in a crowd – something that...

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DARPA propose creating an AI that can monitor the whole world for threats

DARPA propose creating an AI that can monitor the whole world for threats

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF An AI capable of monitoring the whole world for threats, of any kind, is a huge undertaking and could become the world’s first “global” intelligence platform.   DARPA already has a reputation as the mad scientist lab of the US military, thanks to a range of...

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MIT discover a way to mass produce cell sized robots

MIT discover a way to mass produce cell sized robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Small robots have their benefits too, in everything from the oil and gas industries to healthcare, now we can manufacture them en masse.   Recently I’ve written about not just tiny robots, but microscopic ones – tiny molecule sized robots that are being used to...

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A lab grown brain just spontaneously started producing its own brain waves

A lab grown brain just spontaneously started producing its own brain waves

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF While we are becoming increasingly adept at growing brains, we still don’t know much about them.   Researchers are doing a lot with brains – whether it’s growing them in jars, or even 3D printing them, but now a team of neuroscientists from the University...

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DARPA announces plans to build conscious robots using insect brains

DARPA announces plans to build conscious robots using insect brains

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF On the one hand you can write advanced AI software to control your robots, or we can use what nature’s already given us…   There’s a field called Neurobiotics that, unsurprisingly, many people haven’t heard of that I came across recently where scientists try to...

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World first as Chinese surgeon performs remote robotic surgery across a 5G network

World first as Chinese surgeon performs remote robotic surgery across a 5G network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Globally there is a shortage of trained surgeons, but robo-surgeons and 5G networks could soon solve that.   Recently dentists in China used the first autonomous robot dentist to replace a patients teeth, and the US Military started trialling what they call “remote robotic procedures” that...

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Forget 5G, China eyes dominance in 6G networks by 2030

Forget 5G, China eyes dominance in 6G networks by 2030

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As countries vie for leadership in 5G some countries are already eyeing leadership in 6G.   The race for leadership in the 5G world might still be in its early stages but China, alongside the UK who started work on a new 6G standard back in 2015,...

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World first as scientists create nanobot swarms capable of performing surgeries in humans

World first as scientists create nanobot swarms capable of performing surgeries in humans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By future standards today’s most advanced surgical techniques will look neanderthal, nanobots and nanomachines that can perform in vivo surgery are the future.   A ground breaking new method of controlling nanobots that “emulates natural swarm behaviour” has been unveiled by scientists in Hong Kong...

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World first as scientists use tractor beams to make objects dance

World first as scientists use tractor beams to make objects dance

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Increasingly the things we think of as science fact are becoming reality, but tractor beams also have more practical applications, such as transforming healthcare and manufacturing.   In addition to creating tractor beams like the ones straight out of Star Trek researchers have also been making more...

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Room temperature superconductors in sight as scientists smash record

Room temperature superconductors in sight as scientists smash record

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create room temperature superconductors with zero electrical resistance will revolutionise everything from computing and energy to telecommunications.   Superconductivity. It’s not on everyone’s hit list of top technologies to follow, and most people probably don’t give a damn about it, but that...

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The founder of China’s largest online retailer envisions a “100% robotic workforce”

The founder of China’s largest online retailer envisions a “100% robotic workforce”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are particular industries and companies that lend themselves for full automation, and E-Commerce is just one of them.   “I hope my company would be 100% automation someday … no human beings anymore, 100% operated by AI and robots.” That’s Richard Liu’s audacious goal,...

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IBM unveils the world’s first “commercial quantum computer,” but is it?

IBM unveils the world’s first “commercial quantum computer,” but is it?

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the race to be the first company in the world to build a viable, commercial quantum computer heats up IBM moves into prime position.   In the gruelling race to build a practical quantum computer, tech companies are keeping their spirits up by loudly...

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RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A revolutionary new way to deliver mRNA into the body in aerosol form makes genetically editing faulty genes easier than ever before.   Recent there have been some almost miraculous medical breakthroughs, from treating patients with inherited genetic diseases with in vivo gene therapy treatments...

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Breakthrough AI hacking tool cracks millions of user passwords in minutes

Breakthrough AI hacking tool cracks millions of user passwords in minutes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Artificial Intelligence is a cyber security game changer, for better and worse, and we need to be better prepared for what’s coming.   Last year the credit reporting agency Equifax announced that malicious hackers had leaked the personal information of over 143 million people after their system...

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Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are many ways we can modify our atmosphere but microwave manipulation produces some of the most extreme results.   China and Russia have jointly announced that they modified an important layer of the atmosphere above Europe in order to test a controversial new military...

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UK and Singapore set 2021 deadline to launch world’s first quantum communications cubesat

UK and Singapore set 2021 deadline to launch world’s first quantum communications cubesat

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Unlike traditional communications technologies quantum communications are unhackable, so countries are racing to deploy them.   Highly secure global communication based on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a secure communications cryptographic protocol that’s based on the eerie phenomenon of quantum mechanics, could eventually be made possible...

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Google X spins off its molten salt grid scale storage business

Google X spins off its molten salt grid scale storage business

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy sources only generate electricity when the sun shines or the wind blows, so companies have to find a way to store it so it can be used in times of scarcity.   One of the biggest problems with renewable energy is that when...

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US proposes to regulate AI the same way it regulates weapons exports

US proposes to regulate AI the same way it regulates weapons exports

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI can be both very beneficial, but also in the wrong hand very dangerous, and the US is thinking about regulating it in the same way they regulate military hardware.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has the capability to be one of, if not the,...

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Dutch man, 69, applies to legally change his age to 49 years old

Dutch man, 69, applies to legally change his age to 49 years old

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As anti-aging technologies arrive one day the elderly may well have the bodies and minds much younger than their years, and that will cause a societal dilemma.   There’s a lot more than you might realise going on in the world of ageing, or more...

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OpenAI develops curious AI’s that learn for themselves

OpenAI develops curious AI’s that learn for themselves

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s AI’s are force fed training information but companies around the world are trying to create AI’s that learn for themselves which will revolutionise the field.   When playing a video game, what motivates you to carry on? This question is perhaps too broad to...

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Aleph Farms serves up the world’s first lab grown steak

Aleph Farms serves up the world’s first lab grown steak

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By 2050 there will be an estimated 10 billion people on the planet, producing our food in new ways will let us alleviate hunger and feed them all.   Over the past couple of years I’ve been watching the rise of vertical farms, that produce...

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New Russian laser weapon obliterates targets in seconds

New Russian laser weapon obliterates targets in seconds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The next generation of warfare will include many things, from autonomous hunter killer robots and intelligent hypersonic weapons, and lasers.   As what’s being termed the new Cold War hots up I’m seeing a surge in the pace of development of fully and semi-autonomous weapons...

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NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more machines and humans work alongside one another how we interact with one another will become increasingly crucial.   As he entered his final month on the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, Alexander Gerst could be proud that he’s helped given birth to...

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Autonomous planes, hypersonic jets and flying cars, Boeing unveils its future

Autonomous planes, hypersonic jets and flying cars, Boeing unveils its future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One day aircraft will be fully autonomous, but getting there is a journey of many steps and this is one of them, and Boeing is placing its bets.   Everything it seems these days is going autonomous, from cars, trains and trucks, to giant cargo ships...

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Boeing unveil their stunning hypersonic space plane concept

Boeing unveil their stunning hypersonic space plane concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of transportation is fast, very fast, and companies are once again getting serious about building commercial hypersonic aircraft.   It’s a vision of the future that could someday jet people from the Los Angeles to Tokyo in just three hours or cut the...

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