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
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 Hot

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 Hot

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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Scientists created a DNA Neural Network and the world’s first “test tube AI”

Scientists created a DNA Neural Network and the world’s first “test tube AI”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI neural networks made out of DNA will let us create “AI’s in a test tube” that will usher in the next AI revolution and exponentially increase the number of AI use cases.   Recently we’ve seen significant advances in the development of living biological...

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The world’s first DNA storage company is “coming soon”

The world’s first DNA storage company is “coming soon”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s hyperscale datacenters are huge and power hungry, tomorrow’s could be the size of a table and be powered by a single AA battery.   DNA already carries the genetic instructions that help every living organism grow and thrive, but it could do so much...

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The world’s smallest computer makes a grain of rice look massive

The world’s smallest computer makes a grain of rice look massive

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As computing and AI processing gets moved to the edge of the network and into billions of IOT devices computers will have to get ever smaller.   Researchers at the University of Michigan have created the world’s smallest computer, again, after their previous micro-computers, called...

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A solar panel the size of a book could soon power your entire home

A solar panel the size of a book could soon power your entire home

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A three fold increase in the energy efficiency of solar panels could revolutionise almost every industry on Earth.   In our efforts to make solar panels even more efficient a team of scientists in the UK have found a way of funnelling the Sun’s power...

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This new metamaterial could turn your car into its own airbag

This new metamaterial could turn your car into its own airbag

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create materials that can transition between hard and soft states could open the door to a whole host of new applications.   I think you’ll agree with me that rubber and steel are at different ends of the spectrum when it comes...

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Aston Martin unveils its first stunning flying car concept

Aston Martin unveils its first stunning flying car concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the technology to build flying cars improves, and as companies start to look rolling out the first services, the competition is heating up.   Lamborghini recently unveiled their first electric hyper car concept where the car is the battery, but now Aston Martin, the iconic...

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Rolls Royce is building cockroach like robots and snakes to fix airplane engines

Rolls Royce is building cockroach like robots and snakes to fix airplane engines

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future we’ll see more maintenance jobs performed by robots of all sizes.   Typically engineers want to get bugs out of their creations but that’s not the case for Rolls Royce, the engineering company who are building everything from autonomous cargo ships and...

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Google has created a test to measure AI’s ability to reason

Google has created a test to measure AI’s ability to reason

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As advanced as today’s AI’s are they still can’t reason, and that’s what’s going to hold them, and us, back from realising the milestone that is Artificial General Intelligence.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become pretty good at completing specific tasks over the past couple...

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Scientists push the boundaries of nanotech to build the world’s smallest house

Scientists push the boundaries of nanotech to build the world’s smallest house

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create increasingly small nanoscale structures will help us create more advanced nanobots and nanomachines in the future.   Recently we’ve seen a spate of new ways to build houses, whether they’re 3D printed, or built using autonomous drones, robots and vehicles, but...

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AI has learnt how to predict how smart you are from brain scans

AI has learnt how to predict how smart you are from brain scans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to gauge a smart a person is just from a brain scan could provide scientists with new insights into the brain.   Scientists in the US have announced they’ve developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that can tell how smart a person is...

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Horizon Report: The Future of Education 2020 to 2070

Horizon Report: The Future of Education 2020 to 2070

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Education and the future are kindred spirits, both are adventures, filled with wonders and awe, but in order to prepare ourselves and our workforce for tomorrow education needs to evolve. Read the report online or download it here.     It might sound controversial, but...

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A controversial AI can allegedly reveal your personality from just a photo

A controversial AI can allegedly reveal your personality from just a photo

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A system that can tell a persons personality from a photo can be used to help approve loans, provide better healthcare, and create smarter surveillance solutions.   In the past I’ve heard of Artificial Intelligent (AI) platforms that can, controversially, judge a persons character from...

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Rolls Royce unveil their new flying taxi

Rolls Royce unveil their new flying taxi

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more companies pile into the flying taxi market it’s increasingly likely that you’ll start seeing them appear in cities near you, kickstarting the next transportation revolution.   British engine maker Rolls Royce revealed its plans this week to develop a hybrid electric vehicle, dubbed...

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Book tickets into space for $200,000, Blue Origin preps for take off

Book tickets into space for $200,000, Blue Origin preps for take off

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The cost of space travel is collapsing thanks to new technology and new blood in the industry, and soon you too could explore the vastness of our universe.   If Jeff Bezos has his way, and he probably will, then soon it’s likely you’ll be...

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World’s first commercial solar aircraft aims for the Stratosphere

World’s first commercial solar aircraft aims for the Stratosphere

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tomorrow’s aircraft will be battery powered, but future generations of aircraft could do away with the batteries entirely.   While Elon Musk is invested in getting humans to different places, whether it’s from one side of the planet to the other in rocketships, or to...

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After the goldrush comes the crash, over 800 cryptocurrencies are now dead

After the goldrush comes the crash, over 800 cryptocurrencies are now dead

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every market has its successes and failures and just like any investment ICO’s can gain and loose value too, making due diligence as important as ever.   Anyone who reads any sort of business newspaper will know that cryptocurrency projects have been popping up left,...

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Jeff bezos announces target to build the world’s first Moon base in 2023

Jeff bezos announces target to build the world’s first Moon base in 2023

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF At some point in the future humanity will become an interplanetary species, and several billionaires want it to be sooner rather than later.   Blue Origin, the space company run by Jeff Bezos, who wants to one day use the service to deliver goods to...

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Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today plastics are the scourge of the environment so now companies around the world are racing to create environmentally friendly alternatives, and plastics made from true glue could be near the top of the list.   Plastic’s fall from grace in the past couple of...

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MIT researchers have taught their AI to see through solid walls

MIT researchers have taught their AI to see through solid walls

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are times when seeing through walls is useful, for example in hostage negotiations, search and rescue, and to see when mum and dad are about to bust in on your gameplay.   Recently we’ve seen camera developments from both China and MIT that help...

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Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are an increasing number of billionaires who believe heavy industry should be moved off of Earth and onto the Moon, and Bezos might be one to help make it a reality.   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going...

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Baidu starts mass production of it’s fully autonomous bus

Baidu starts mass production of it’s fully autonomous bus

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The faster autonomous vehicles hit the roads the faster the transportation industry’s going to flip, and it’s clear that there are companies that want it to happen sooner rather than later.   Chinese tech and internet giant Baidu has begun volume production of China’s first...

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Canada and UK partner to develop the West’s first Quantum Radar system

Canada and UK partner to develop the West’s first Quantum Radar system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Any technology like Quantum Radar that renders all traditional stealth obsolete is a game changer.   Hot on the heels of China’s announcement last year that they’d managed to create the world’s first working Quantum Radar, a technology that would render military stealth technologies nothing...

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Uber reveals six of its favourite flying taxi Skyport concepts

Uber reveals six of its favourite flying taxi Skyport concepts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more companies become interested, and invest, in flying taxi’s, companies like Airbus and Uber are keen to be at the forefront of the revolution.   Stout cylindrical towers that cars can fly inside and stacked landing pods are among the proposals that architects and...

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Scientists put a worms mind into a Lego robot to control it, and it worked

Scientists put a worms mind into a Lego robot to control it, and it worked

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The convergence of biological intelligence with robotics will be an area of increasing interest in the future.   It’s not something you do every day, put a worms brain into a Lego robot… but then again you’re probably not a scientist. This is the promise...

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US military starts trialling robotic surgeons in the battlefield

US military starts trialling robotic surgeons in the battlefield

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to monitor the health of soliders in battle will help keep them at peak efficiency, and military robot surgeons will help save lives on the battlefield.   Keeping soldiers healthy has always been a struggle but there may soon be a high tech solution after US...

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Microsoft created elusive particles to build the world’s most accurate quantum computer

Microsoft created elusive particles to build the world’s most accurate quantum computer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The most powerful quantum computers in the future will be the ones not necessarily with the most Qubits, but be the ones that are the most accurate, and that’s what Microsoft is focusing on.   At Microsoft’s Dutch research facility at the Delft University of Technology,...

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Soul Machines reveal the secrets behind BabyX, their life like artificial baby

Soul Machines reveal the secrets behind BabyX, their life like artificial baby

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over time we will all be interacting more and more with AI, as a result companies are trying to “humanise” it.   BabyX, the virtual, artificially intelligent creation of Mark Sagar and his company, Soul Machines, who also bought us Ava, a life-like digital avatar that’s...

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Roborace’s fully autonomous race car prepares to pound the track at FoS

Roborace’s fully autonomous race car prepares to pound the track at FoS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future our sports events could be dominated by robot and drone warriors battling it out for supremacy, and at some point this could present companies with a new market opportunity.   Later this week, the world’s first autonomous race car company Roborace will make history...

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Plexus VR gloves give users fine grained control of their VR environments

Plexus VR gloves give users fine grained control of their VR environments

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The best technology is invisible and frictionless to use, and virtual reality still has a way to go before the experience is simple and seamless, but these gloves could help bring more users into the sector.   Bringing a user’s hands into a Virtual Reality...

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Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Retail will soon be going through another disruption, one where personalised products are made on demand in the back of stores, and the sportswear industry are leading the charge.   We’re facing a retail revolution, another one, and this time it’s not e-commerce, one where...

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Stopping the DIY bio-terrorists, US military embraces AI and Ginkgo Bioworks

Stopping the DIY bio-terrorists, US military embraces AI and Ginkgo Bioworks

WHY THIS MATTERS As the cost of powerful DIY gene editing kits continue to fall bioterrorism is going to be on the rise, so we need a way to defend against it.   Recently I gave a talk on the “Future of Cybersecurity” in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector...

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Scientists have turned human cells into complex living computers

Scientists have turned human cells into complex living computers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to turn human cells into powerful, living computing systems will revolutionise computing, energy, and healthcare, along with a myriad of other industries.   Today’s computer hardware is about to get softer, a lot softer, after a research team in the US announced they’ve...

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China unveils their revolutionary ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle

China unveils their revolutionary ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As lasers become more efficient, and as the battery packs needed to power them become more dense and powerful, we’ll continue to see the miniaturisation and deployment of increasingly powerful laser weaponry.   Artificially intelligent “fire and forget” cruise missiles, quantum internet and  quantum radar,...

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2018 Directory of Corporate R&D and Innovation Labs

2018 Directory of Corporate R&D and Innovation Labs Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world is changing faster than many organisations anticipated and the pace of technological change is now many CEO’s primary concern, the result of which is that innovation labs are now a business necessity, not a luxury.   The global pace of disruption and transformation...

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Futurist Keynote, Warrington: The Future of Industrial Controls Nuclear Security, Cyber Senate

Futurist Keynote, Warrington: The Future of Industrial Controls Nuclear Security, Cyber Senate

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that enable the safe and efficient operation of our CNI assets are becoming increasingly smart and connected, making them more vulnerable to attack, and new technologies bring  new challenges.   Firstly, thanks to James for inviting me to be the keynote...

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