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

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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Futurist Keynote, Germany: Life in 2030, RWE

Futurist Keynote, Germany: Life in 2030, RWE

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A lot has changed in the last ten years, and even more will change in the next ten. Are you ready?   Firstly, a big thank you to Kathrin and the team for inviting me to be the keynote at this years RWE Leadership meeting...

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World’s first full body 3D scanner produces amazing live images of the human body

World’s first full body 3D scanner produces amazing live images of the human body

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Medical scanners haven’t advanced much in decades, this new scanner is faster, higher resolution and produces insights into the human body not possible using today’s technology.   Recently I talked about a new innovation that lets doctors create movies of the behaviour of cells in...

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Hyundai unveils the worlds first car with a solar power panoramic roof

Hyundai unveils the worlds first car with a solar power panoramic roof

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future electric cars won’t solely be reliant on Lithium Ion batteries, as battery technology and new materials evolve we’ll see the emergence of battery-less electric vehicles.   If you ever watch one of my keynotes on the Future of Transportation, like the one...

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The UK FCA could become the world’s first AI robo-regulator

The UK FCA could become the world’s first AI robo-regulator

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The level of regulation is already a major burden on companies, a robo-regulator could automate compliance, lighten the load, reduce costs, and even identify crime before it happens.   A little while ago I wrote an article highlighting a point made by the UK’s Chancellor...

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Ohio becomes first US state to let people pay business taxes in Bitcoin

Ohio becomes first US state to let people pay business taxes in Bitcoin

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many investors have said Bitcoin will take off when you can pay your taxes with it, well that time might be getting closer.   There’s a lot of legal uncertainty in the US surrounding cryptocurrencies, and many other investors, like Kevin O’Leary ABC show Shark Tank fame,...

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Lockheed Martin goes full throttle to develop NASA’s quiet supersonic jet

Lockheed Martin goes full throttle to develop NASA’s quiet supersonic jet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Regulators don’t like noisy supersonic aircraft flying over land, so Lockheed and NASA have teamed up to create a quiet supersonic aircraft.   One of the reasons why the iconic Concorde was mothballed was because it was too noisy when travelling at supersonic speeds, so...

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Birth of genetically engineered twins resistant to HIV causes global outrage

Birth of genetically engineered twins resistant to HIV causes global outrage

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Imagine growing old and never experiencing what it’s like to be ill because you were genetically engineered in the womb to be resistant to all known pathogens and viruses, technology is starting to make that a reality.   A little while ago I wrote about...

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The world’s first silent, engineless aircraft takes flight at MIT

The world’s first silent, engineless aircraft takes flight at MIT

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF This new type of engine, an ion engine, could one day be a useful propulsion system for drones and small aircraft but a lot of work remains to be done.   Since the first airplane took flight over 100 years ago, virtually every aircraft in...

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Decentralised hedge funds take aim at Wall Street elite

Decentralised hedge funds take aim at Wall Street elite

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Services and industries are increasingly becoming decentralised, and the financial services industry is no exception.   A little while ago I discussed how one hedge fund, Aidyia, is now fully autonomous, a decentralised autonomous organisation run by an AI without humans, and how another, Numerai,...

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Scientists jumped out of a plane to create a new wonder material

Scientists jumped out of a plane to create a new wonder material

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Everything is made from some form of material, whether it be organic or inorganic, which means the right breakthroughs can change industries forever.   Most people don’t care about materials – even self-healing materials, or state of the art programmable materials, or materials that will...

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World first as scientists re-grow a frogs amputated leg using a “silk bioreactor”

World first as scientists re-grow a frogs amputated leg using a “silk bioreactor”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Some of us are unfortunate enough to loose a limb, or multiple limbs, and one day this technology, and technologies like it, could help us regrow them.   Like something, out of a science fiction movie or everyone’s favourite “Merc with a mouth”, Deadpool, researchers...

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Emirates boss says future aircraft will be windowless

Emirates boss says future aircraft will be windowless

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Windows on airplanes add upto 50 percent to the weight of the aircraft, and reduce their structural integrity, so people want to get rid of them.   Would you want to fly eight hours or more on an airplane with no windows? Absolutely you would I...

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This million core neuromorphic computer simulates a whole mouse brain

This million core neuromorphic computer simulates a whole mouse brain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Exponential computing platforms that have more processing power than mammalian brains are now a reality, simulating a whole human brain is next.   Neuromorphic computers are self-learning computing systems capable of packing all the power of today’s top of the line supercomputers, like Summit, which...

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Lexus turns to IBM to create the world’s first AI scripted advert

Lexus turns to IBM to create the world’s first AI scripted advert

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In time all adverts, and the majority of content, will be created by AI, and people won’t be able to tell it from the “real” thing.   Over the past eighteen months or so I’ve been discussing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been becoming increasingly...

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Record breaking solar powered aircraft stays aloft for 26 days straight

Record breaking solar powered aircraft stays aloft for 26 days straight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The aviation industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters so companies around the world are trying to find new ways to power aircraft.   Recently I talked about SolarStratos, a company that’s looking to produce “the world’s first commercial solar aircraft,” and a couple...

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Featured Futurist, TV Interview: The Future of Aviation 2020 to 2070, APEX Insider

Featured Futurist, TV Interview: The Future of Aviation 2020 to 2070, APEX Insider

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The pace of change is accelerating, and new technologies are re-writing the narrative for many industries, including aviation.   In the coming decades the aviation industry will, arguably, see more change than it has in the past century, whether it’s because of the introduction of...

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A creative AI designed NASA’s next spider-like interplanetary lander

A creative AI designed NASA’s next spider-like interplanetary lander

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As humans we tend to believe that creativity is our exclusive domain, but AI is muscling in in a big way, and creative machines are improving all the time.   Over the past couple of years I’ve been banging the drum, through my articles and...

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Robot swarms help scientists 3D print the buildings of the future

Robot swarms help scientists 3D print the buildings of the future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more companies explore using 3D printers to print buildings it’s impractical to use just one large printer, so scientists are experimenting with swarms. Today there’s more talk than ever before of using 3D printers to print all sorts of buildings, from small houses, and...

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Worldwide surveillance, Hawkeye satellites use radio to track illegal shipping

Worldwide surveillance, Hawkeye satellites use radio to track illegal shipping

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over $3Trillion worth of goods are transported illegally, and this new technology gives law enforcement a major new weapon in the race to find them.   A little while ago I talked about a company called Planet, that can watch the world, and everything on...

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The world’s first DNA storage machine is the size of a bus

The world’s first DNA storage machine is the size of a bus

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With so much information being generated we need a new way to store it all, and DNA is a perfect storage solution.   In a world awash with data, DNA is a hugely efficient and compact way to store it. After all, the data on every...

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The UK’s new Quantum Compass makes GPS satellites obsolete

The UK’s new Quantum Compass makes GPS satellites obsolete

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF GPS signals are often unreliable and they don’t reach every part of Earth, such as the deep oceans, this breakthrough replaces GPS everywhere.   Over the past year I’ve been increasingly discussing how researchers around the world, from the US to China, have been experimenting...

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Second hand electric vehicle batteries help Engie accelerate renewable energy uptake

Second hand electric vehicle batteries help Engie accelerate renewable energy uptake

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is clean and green, but when the sun goes down and the wind drops energy output falls, which means sustainable renewable energy needs grid scale battery storage to support it.   Multinational energy utility Engie has launched a new grid connected storage project...

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Snowdens smartphone app turns security on its head to protect “people at risk”

Snowdens smartphone app turns security on its head to protect “people at risk”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When it comes to security and surveillance governments hold all the cards, Edward Snowden wants to change that.   In today’s world digital security is just as important as physical security to those who find themselves constantly online in hostile countries or environments, and while...

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Triton’s $48million submarine takes the super rich to the bottom of the deepest ocean

Triton’s $48million submarine takes the super rich to the bottom of the deepest ocean

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technology isn’t just democratising mobility above ground, it’s increasingly reducing the cost of exploring the world’s deepest oceans too.   There’s a lot of talk recently about conquering space, whether it’s by living on the Moon or Mars, and space tourism, but the fact still...

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China debuts the world’s first AI news anchor

China debuts the world’s first AI news anchor

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As it gets easier to create high quality, natural sounding “human-like” avatars we’ll see more emerge and take on new and varied roles.   Over the past couple of years there’s been a huge increase in the amount of press columns devoted to the topic...

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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

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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