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
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? Hot

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 Hot

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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US military genetics program to turn marine life into giant living sensor networks

US military genetics program to turn marine life into giant living sensor networks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we learn more about the genetic code and how to modify it organisations around the world are starting to look into new ways of turning nature to their advantage.   A few months ago I wrote about how DARPA, the bleeding edge research arm...

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US researchers get $1.7m grant to create wonder bio-material that lasts 500 million years

US researchers get $1.7m grant to create wonder bio-material that lasts 500 million years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Everything in the universe is made from material, whether it’s biological or synthetic, and as we unravel natures mysteries we could create products that, literally, last forever.   It’s the most durable biological material you’ve never heard of, Sporopollenin, and it makes plastics and other materials...

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Nitanic’s revolutionary AI’s evolve and battle for gamers loyalty

Nitanic’s revolutionary AI’s evolve and battle for gamers loyalty

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Traditional marketing, where marketers create and distribute content, is being automated by AI.   This is the future of marketing – automated, viral, and intelligent. Niantic, the company behind Pokemon Go, have announced that they’re going to be using a “thought provoking campaign” that “uses AI to...

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A year after china beat it the US is getting it’s own hackproof quantum network

A year after china beat it the US is getting it’s own hackproof quantum network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The US is increasingly falling behind China in the development of new quantum technologies, and now they’re trying to catch up.   A few years ago, Edward Snowden, a contractor working for the NSA, who recently released his own surveillance application for vulnerable reporters and...

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Israel’s autonomous crane takes aim at the fully automated construction sites of the future

Israel’s autonomous crane takes aim at the fully automated construction sites of the future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New technologies like AI, machine vision and autonomous robots and machines mean one day we’ll see fully autonomous construction sites – and they’ll need cranes.   A little while ago I discussed how tomorrow’s construction sites will become increasingly autonomous thanks to the arrival of...

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Researchers invent a new form of memory for future chemical computers, the Chit

Researchers invent a new form of memory for future chemical computers, the Chit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The computers of the future won’t just be silicon, they’ll be biological, chemical, liquid, photonic and quantum, for starters, and they’ll all need new components.   In modern day computer science information is stored in binary Bits, and in quantum computer science, information is stored...

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Here’s how NASA plans to build on Mars and the Moon

Here’s how NASA plans to build on Mars and the Moon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of launching equipment and people into space plummets the reality of colonising other planets is getting closer.   It’s one thing to send an astronaut to Mars to be an extraterrestrial tourist for a few hours. But if humanity wants to actually...

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Hypersurfaces uses AI to turn everything into a computer interface

Hypersurfaces uses AI to turn everything into a computer interface

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s computer interfaces are still limiting, even with the advent of voice and touch, so Hypersurfaces is setting them free.   In the future one thing is certain, as technology proliferates around us the keyboard and mouse will slowly die out and we will all...

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Stuntmen face the last act as technology comes to replace them

Stuntmen face the last act as technology comes to replace them

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are increasingly few areas of work and society that technology isn’t influencing, and even stuntmen aren’t immune.   A new Artificial Intelligence (AI) system has been used to create computer animated stuntmen that could make action movies cooler than before. Researchers at University of...

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Mercedes shows off the company’s latest autonomous vehicle concepts

Mercedes shows off the company’s latest autonomous vehicle concepts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we watch the future of autonomous transportation evolve automotive companies are now experimenting with new business models and product concepts.   As more vehicles, from cars to aircraft and everything in between, become electric and autonomous Mercedez Benz decided a while ago that it...

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Revolutionary brain prosthetic that boosts human memory by 35 percent unveiled

Revolutionary brain prosthetic that boosts human memory by 35 percent unveiled

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF They say to live a full life you should experience everything life has to offer, but if you suffer from dementia remembering it all is near impossible, until now.   Just months after two different teams of researchers figured out hot to edit and delete...

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Step into the holodeck, Theoriz unveil their mixed room reality concept

Step into the holodeck, Theoriz unveil their mixed room reality concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Holodecks are still the stuff of science fiction, but even though the journey is long we’re edging closer to realising them.   If you had to list the most mind blowing tech demos in recent memory, Microsoft’s Hololens Augmented Reality headset would need to be included, as...

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Elon Musk unveils the future of urban transport, and living on Mars

Elon Musk unveils the future of urban transport, and living on Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Urban transportation is often a nightmare of clogged and congested roads, Musk believes he has a solution, and it’s going underground.   Elon Musk unveiled his vision for the Boring Company last night with the unveiling of the company’s first 12 ft wide test tunnel...

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Virgin Galactic soars into space and the record books with succesful test flight

Virgin Galactic soars into space and the record books with succesful test flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the costs of accessing space fall we’re seeing the start of a new era in tourism – space tourism.   Late last Thursday a Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first US commercial...

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Elon Musk gets ready to unveil the future of urban transportation

Elon Musk gets ready to unveil the future of urban transportation

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tunnelling is often a complex and expensive process but musk has sped up the process by making the tunnels smaller, and now he wants to revolutionise urban transportation.   After months of wondering what was going on beneath their feet outsiders are about to get a...

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Scientists 3D print Lithium Ion batteries for the first time

Scientists 3D print Lithium Ion batteries for the first time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to 3D print batteries means we can create batteries in all shapes and sizes which will be useful for all our new gadgets.   Recently I’ve been reporting on a variety of new battery developments, from polymer batteries that can charge your electric...

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ORNL wireless charging breakthrough unplugs electric vehicles from the grid

ORNL wireless charging breakthrough unplugs electric vehicles from the grid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future we won’t have to plug our electric cars into superchargers, we’ll charge them wirelessly at home and when we’re travelling.   I’ve been saying for some time now during my keynotes, like the ones recently at GITEX in Dubai, and RWE in...

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Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many countries have tried to develop miniaturised nuclear reactors for space flight applications, but Russia’s by far the closest.   Elon Musk wants to travel to Mars using SpaceX’s planned monolithic rocket booster, the Big Falcon Rocket. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in...

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US military identifies virtual nations as a potential security threat to US sovereignty

US military identifies virtual nations as a potential security threat to US sovereignty

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The internet means citizens can now become part of large, virtual collectives, or nations, and there are fears these nations, with their own rules, welfare and support systems, could threaten the power and influence of sovereign nations.   When is a nation not a nation?...

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New “revolutionary” Google AI training method trains AI’s at the edge and protects  user privacy

New “revolutionary” Google AI training method trains AI’s at the edge and protects user privacy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of the biggest problems with training AI’s is the shortage of data, and the issue of privacy, Federated AI Learning overcomes this problem by training AI’s on the devices and smartphones at the network’s edge.   When big tech firms use Artificial Intelligence (AI)...

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Confidence that American’s can spot fake bots plummets to all time low

Confidence that American’s can spot fake bots plummets to all time low

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If people can longer tell fake content or “people” from what’s real then there’s the threat that trust in each other, and in society and government, could break down.   How times have changed. Just a few years ago, before the arrival of fake Chinese...

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Death isn’t forever, companies build digital avatars so people can “live on after death”

Death isn’t forever, companies build digital avatars so people can “live on after death”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Digital Avatars will mean that physical human death is simply a doorway into a new digital reality where our descendants interact with our Avatars instead of the real, physical us.   Over the past couple of years, asides from the giant strides we’ve seen in...

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After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the past you would need a rocket to get into space, but today there are more planes taking on that role, and Cape Canaveral wants to dominate the future of commercial space flight.   As the race for space heats up, Cape Canaveral is...

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Pentagon seriously considers using rockets to move soldiers and equipment around the globe

Pentagon seriously considers using rockets to move soldiers and equipment around the globe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of access to space continues to fall it opens up new possibilities for a wide range of industries, the us military included.   Today the US already uses its unmatched fleet of cargo planes to project its influence and move its forces...

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Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If you’ve ever been too lazy to go and get something yourself then tractor beams are for you.   Hot on the heels of researchers in the UK and US who over the years have created a variety of different types of tractor beams that...

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Inside Google’s plan to make sure AI is safe

Inside Google’s plan to make sure AI is safe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI becomes more deeply embedded into our every day lives it is imperative that there are safeguards in place to make sure it’s safe.   Making sure Artificial Intelligence (AI) does what we want and behaves in predictable ways will be crucial as the...

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Space Tango unveil their autonomous, robotic space based manufacturing platform

Space Tango unveil their autonomous, robotic space based manufacturing platform

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The benefits of manufacturing products in space are clear, but it’s still complex and expensive, this technology could help make space based manufacturing a commercial reality.   Over the past year or so I’ve been seeing more and more references made to not just space...

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Futurist Keynote, London: The Future of Disruption, Go Ahead Group

Futurist Keynote, London: The Future of Disruption, Go Ahead Group

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Billion Journey Project shows how today just one idea can transform over a billion journeys a year, and clearly demonstrates the power of ecosystems and open thinking.   Firstly, a big thanks to Theo and David for inviting me to be this years keynote...

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