During this keynote session futurist Matthew Griffin discusses the future of choice and the algorithmic society where Artificial Intelligence and machines are increasingly making our choices for us while at the same time giving us the “illusion” of freedom of choice.


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Firstly, thank you to Sandra, the CEO at the Nuremberg Institute of Market Decsions, for asking me to be their keynote at the annual European marketing summit in Nuremberg which, because of COVID-19 hasn’t run now in person for more than two years. Having selected the End of Choice as their topic it was my pleasure to wow the audience and bring to the surface innovations and business norms that mean the freedom of choice we have as humans is now increasingly little more than an illusion.


Futurist keynote, Johannesburg: The Future of Innovation, ITWeb Enterprise Mobility Summit


Today we all live in a world where there is more choice than ever before, but in an increasingly algorithmic society choice – the act of choosing between one or more things – is now all too often an act we leave to the machines. And, whether it’s the biased corporate algorithms powering our smart devices, or the algorithms powering our web searches, increasingly it’s those machines that are deciding the best options for us – rightly or wrongly – and then asking us to choose between the choices they’ve made. Which then begs the question: Are we really choosing for ourselves? Or are we all just mindlessly pressing the “Buy” button for goods that are at best mediocre fit for our needs?


The End of Choice keynote, rewind and replay


It’s an odd world, and one where increasingly our freedom to choose is being undermined as we not only put more trust in the machines, but also delegate more decision making to them in the name of convenience.


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Furthermore, while many of us think that this new norm is just limited to the purchase of consumer goods it isn’t – it’s creeping into every part of society, whether it’s machines making buying decisions for themselves, firing and hiring decisions, or even playing the dominant role in helping choose our life long partners. All of which is just the very tip of the iceberg and, unless we’re vigilant, the start of a very slippery slope.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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