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
Bangkok residents cut out the energy companies and trade energy over the blockchain

Bangkok residents cut out the energy companies and trade energy over the blockchain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the number of small renewable energy installations around the world grow individual communities are increasingly cutting out the energy companies and trading energy directly with one another.   Residents in a Bangkok neighbourhood in Thailand are trying out a new blockchain based peer to...

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DeepFake busting app spots even a single pixel out of place

DeepFake busting app spots even a single pixel out of place

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Increasingly most people don’t believe the news they’re seeing is real, this new technology helps news organisations and outlets regain that trust.   Falsifying photos and videos used to take a lot of work – either you used CGI to generate photorealistic images from scratch,...

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Breakthrough carbon fiber battery could usher in batteryless electric vehicles

Breakthrough carbon fiber battery could usher in batteryless electric vehicles

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our understanding of how to turn mundane objects and materials into batteries increases in the future anything and everything could be a battery.   As I discussed a little while ago Carbon Fiber is going through its own little revolution, firstly it can now...

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MIT trained an AI to spot fake and biased news stories

MIT trained an AI to spot fake and biased news stories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to detect and weed out fake news is quickly rising up the political agenda, and companies are in an arms race to try to find solutions fast.   Any fact-checker who works in the media has a straightforward but challenging job – make...

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Breakthrough healthcare test screens for all known diseases at once

Breakthrough healthcare test screens for all known diseases at once

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Up until know hospitals have had to run multiple tests to identify multiple pathogens, which takes time and can cost lives, now they just need one.   Imagine being able to use one test to screen for every type of known and unknown human disease...

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Futurist in the press: Maximising the AI Opportunity, Microsoft

Futurist in the press: Maximising the AI Opportunity, Microsoft

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI will help organisations and society at large unlock untold new opportunities, in this report Microsoft discusses how to maximise the upsides while minimising the downsides.   Firstly, thank you to the team at Microsoft for reaching out and asking me to participate in their...

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Futurist Keynote, Dubai: The Future of Urban Mobility 2040, GITEX

Futurist Keynote, Dubai: The Future of Urban Mobility 2040, GITEX

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The rate and pace of change is accelerating, and in the next two decades the transportation industry will change more than it has in the past thousand years.   Last year I was writing about the goings on and unveilings, for example, of Dubai’s first...

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A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters and it’s getting worse as air travel increases, electric aircraft will reverse that trend.   Over the past year or so I’ve been discussing the eventual emergence of fully electric aircraft and sky taxis, such...

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Meet the robot surgeon that’s going to be taking aim at your organs

Meet the robot surgeon that’s going to be taking aim at your organs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Surgery is getting the robotic treatment, and it could mean better working conditions for doctors, and better outcomes for patients.   When Luke Hares met with gynecological surgeon Mark Slack four years ago to talk him through his idea of Versius, the first UK built surgical...

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A new blood test can tell what time it is in your body

A new blood test can tell what time it is in your body

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Certain drugs have to be delivered at certain times, and as we start to use nanomachines to release drugs telling the time in someone’s body becomes vitally important.   Recently I wrote about new simple blood tests that can detect cancer and chronic pain, and now...

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PWC program prepares employees for the next generation of jobs

PWC program prepares employees for the next generation of jobs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world is changing faster than ever before, leading to a shortage of talent, meaning companies are being forced to find new ways to adapt and overcome skills shortages.   Everyone by now understands that the workplace, and the workforce is changing as a result...

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Virgin Orbit strapped a rocket to their 747 to democratise access to space

Virgin Orbit strapped a rocket to their 747 to democratise access to space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many companies are trying to lower the cost of launching goods and people into space, and this is one of the craziest yet, but it’s likely going to work.   A number of companies are exploring ways to launch a rocket not from a launchpad,...

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Futurist Keynote, Antwerp: Investing in the Future, Infosys Finacle

Futurist Keynote, Antwerp: Investing in the Future, Infosys Finacle

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the pace of change continues to accelerate many companies find keeping up with it a daunting prospect, and it’s no less of an issue for the financial services community.   Firstly, thank you to Bharadwaj and the team for inviting me to be this...

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3D printed fashion takes over New York Fashion Week

3D printed fashion takes over New York Fashion Week

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF 3D printed clothes can be customised and printed on demand using sustainable new materials, giving fashion designers new options and reducing the industry’s environmental impact.   Downloadable 3D printed personalised sustainable fashion. I think you’ll agree it’s quite a catchy phrase – or at least...

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A portrait created by an AI just sold at Christies for $432,000

A portrait created by an AI just sold at Christies for $432,000

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We’re told that machines can’t be creative, at least in the human sense, but nevertheless they can still “create” art – and sell it.   A few months ago I wrote an article about a Google backed Artificial Intelligence (AI) based out of Germany that...

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A new camera inspired by the Mantis Shrimp is about to make self-driving cars safer

A new camera inspired by the Mantis Shrimp is about to make self-driving cars safer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over the past few years people have been killed when their semi-autonomous cars got confused and blinded by the Sun so scientists have turned to biology to solve the problem.   A little while ago a man driving a Tesla on autopilot was killed when...

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New glasses will beam augmented and virtual reality directly into your eyes

New glasses will beam augmented and virtual reality directly into your eyes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Augmented Reality glasses and Virtual Reality headsets use complex computers and optics to create their effects, researchers believe they can eliminate these overheads by beaming the images directly into your eyes.   Researchers have proposed a new way to build Augmented Reality (AR) smart glasses...

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AI could take your job, but Baidu’s newest AI can also help you find one

AI could take your job, but Baidu’s newest AI can also help you find one

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Artificial Intelligence is being used more and more to vet candidates, now it could soon be used to help match them to jobs too.   Recently I wrote a report on the Future of Education 2020 to 2070, and there’s been plenty of speculation about...

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Singapore, the world leader in education, bans student rankings

Singapore, the world leader in education, bans student rankings

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Education that prepares children for the changes in the decades to come is vital, and Singapore have one of the most ambitious education visions of any country.   By whatever yard stick you care to measure it by Singapore has one of the highest achieving...

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Apple’s eSIM plans would be a death blow to the carriers

Apple’s eSIM plans would be a death blow to the carriers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Carriers all around the world rely on physical SIMs to keep their customers locked into contracts and make it difficult to change, apple wants to change that.   Each new iPhone is usually good news for mobile network operators. The latest Apple device always comes with...

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US Navy puts AI brains into its 3D printers to make them creative and intelligent

US Navy puts AI brains into its 3D printers to make them creative and intelligent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By combining the power of AI with 3D printing the US military hopes to revolutionise how products are designed and made everywhere.   One thing about aircraft, especially ones that fly from aircraft carriers, that are increasingly being turned into floating factories and flying fortresses,...

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Physicists have discovered the world’s first time crystal

Physicists have discovered the world’s first time crystal

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Time crystals are unique, and new, and it’s believed they could open the door to creating incredibly weird and useful new materials.   Physicists at Yale University have discovered something extraordinary, a new material that more and more people are calling “Time Crystals,” a form...

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Quantum artificial life created for the first time

Quantum artificial life created for the first time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have long wondered what the smallest unit that could sustain life and replicate itself would be, and now they know.   Scientists have created quantum artificial life for the first time using a revolutionary new quantum algorithm and IBM’s experimental quantum computing platform. The...

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The web is broken so it’s founder is trying to re-invent it

The web is broken so it’s founder is trying to re-invent it

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The internet was supposed to empower people, but so far most of that power is being concentrated in big centralised platform companies instead.   The founder of the World Wide Web thinks it’s broken and has a plan to fix it. Tim Berners-Lee, the British...

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IBM breakthrough uses AI to make blockchain more energy efficient

IBM breakthrough uses AI to make blockchain more energy efficient

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Mining blockchain uses up an extraordinary amount of electricity, equivalent to an entire country, so companies are trying to fix the issue.   Proof of Work (PoW), the common consensus mechanism that secures Bitcoin and numerous other cryptocurrency blockchains, has given the technology a reputation for...

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Synthetic biology just got its own special programming language

Synthetic biology just got its own special programming language

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create and control discrete chemical and biological processes and reactions is extremely difficult, this new language aims to simplify it, alot.   Synthetic biology is an exciting new field of research that applies engineering principles to biology, and so far it’s being used...

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NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Somewhere out there there’s an asteroid withEarth’s name on it, and NASA’s new spacecraft will be the one to try to deflect it.   Within near-Earth space there are a crazy 18,000 asteroids whose orbit occasionally brings them close to Earth. Over the course of millions of...

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Drexel’s new spray on antennas can connect everything to the internet

Drexel’s new spray on antennas can connect everything to the internet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tomorrow’s world will be increasingly connected, and connecting old legacy devices and things has been difficult, but it’s about to get much easier.   Engineers are good at making minuscule antennas. Nowadays, we can cram antennas into our smartphones or smartwatches without much trouble. But...

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First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robotic plants could help find mines and pollutants buried in soil, or be used to explore alien planets for signs of organic material.   Plants are getting a lot of attention all of a sudden, whether it’s from researchers who are trying to turn them...

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Smart drug use hits all time high as people try to boost mental performance

Smart drug use hits all time high as people try to boost mental performance

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is an increasing amount of interest in creating drugs that improve cognition and intelligence, and their use is on the rise.   The use of drugs by people hoping to boost mental performance is rising worldwide, finds the largest ever study of the trend....

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Ground transport at 760mph, HTT unveil their hyperloop passenger capsule

Ground transport at 760mph, HTT unveil their hyperloop passenger capsule

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Countries around the world reinventing mobility and transportation, and the Hyperloop is a crucial part of many countries future vision.   Elon Musk’s dream of travelling by hyperloop, essentially a Mach 1 train in a vacuum tube, is getting closer to reality as the UAE...

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Sticky, evolving botnet gets top cyber experts worried about the future

Sticky, evolving botnet gets top cyber experts worried about the future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new form of modular, multi-stage malware that’s capable of infecting anything and almost everything is getting cybersecurity experts worried.   A dangerous and potentially destructive new IoT malware sample has recently surfaced that for the first time this year is not just another cheap...

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The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Plastic waste is a menace at sea and on land, but an ambitious project hopes to clean up 90% of the oceans plastic waste within a decade.   Plastic waste has become a growing issue over the past decade or so which is why more...

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An immune system for the internet, new “good” malware surprises experts

An immune system for the internet, new “good” malware surprises experts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyber attacks are getting out of control, but evolving, roving “good samaritan” forms of malware could become the new cops of the internet and the future of cybersecurity.   Security researchers have discovered a very odd new botnet that, rather than posing a threat, seems...

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Three people played Tetris telepathically together in world first

Three people played Tetris telepathically together in world first

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we unlock more secrets of the human brain we are slowly but surely getting better at communicating with each other telepathically.   Telepathic communication is nothing new but it’s still in its early years as a technology. The first major telepathic breakthrough came in 2012...

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Can your smartphone detect when you’re depressed? This startup thinks so

Can your smartphone detect when you’re depressed? This startup thinks so

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Mental health issues are growing in number but in many cases they go left undiagnosed or treated, this breakthrough could help change that.   Today we can use smartphones to detect cancer, dementia, eye diseases, heart disease, illness and even inherited genetic conditions, but could...

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Breakthrough solar charged battery could revolutionise the solar industry

Breakthrough solar charged battery could revolutionise the solar industry

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Despite solar power’s increasing popularity until now customers it’s been difficult and expensive for customers to store the excess energy from their solar panels to use later, meaning they often still have to be attached to the energy grid.   Recently we passed the 1...

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This nanomebrane turns your skin into a loudspeaker

This nanomebrane turns your skin into a loudspeaker

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Displays can increasingly be placed anywhere, and now the same can be said of loudspeakers.   We all are familiar with loudspeakers; the critical element found in almost every household in one form or the other – whether they’re in smartphones, TV’s or stashed in...

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Human mini brains grown in a lab integrated with live mice brains

Human mini brains grown in a lab integrated with live mice brains

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our ability to re-code and “improve” on nature improves so too will our ability to produce new human organs in new ways.   The future of personalized medicine will very likely involve human “spare parts,” whether they’re 3D printed on demand, grown on demand...

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Virgin Atlantic completes world’s first biofuel trans Atlantic flight

Virgin Atlantic completes world’s first biofuel trans Atlantic flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The global airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters, and new clean sources of fuel are vital in helping the industry become more sustainable.   First Alaskan Airlines flew an aircraft using nothing more than wood pellets, but now Virgin Atlantic has gone...

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Researchers 3D print human corneas in world first

Researchers 3D print human corneas in world first

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tens of millions of people a year go blind because of a lack of donor corneas, this work will, literally, give them a new outlook on life.   There are so many parts of the human body now that can be 3D printed that it’s...

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FDA approves first spray on skin treatment for burns

FDA approves first spray on skin treatment for burns

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Treating third degree burns today often involves skin grafts and more pain for the patient, spray on skin will put an end to that misery.   Over the past couple of years we’ve gotten increasingly good at 3D printing human skin and making artificial skin...

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BMW unveils it’s first fully autonomous motorbike

BMW unveils it’s first fully autonomous motorbike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF While a fully autonomous motorobike sounds odd, it’s designed to improve driver safety and comfort.   Will you need a motorbike license to ride in the future? Well, maybe not. At the Miramas testing ground circuit in Provence, France, last week, BMW unveiled its first autonomous...

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Neural implants let military pilots control three jets at once with their minds

Neural implants let military pilots control three jets at once with their minds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of warfare is digital and telepathic, and both types of warfare are now starting to enter the mainstream.   Asides from the fact we are increasingly entering the world where brains meets brawn, literally, and where, future cyber warriors will telepathically roam the...

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World first as scientists just turn human blood cells into human eggs

World first as scientists just turn human blood cells into human eggs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biology keeps surprising us, and scientists are finding amazing new ways to treat infertility and create new life.   Scientists at Kyoto University in Japan have announced they’ve made significant progress in the quest to combat infertility by creating the precursor to a human egg cell in a...

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