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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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AI is now better at diagnosing eye diseases than human experts

AI is now better at diagnosing eye diseases than human experts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but they’re also a window to our health.   Recently we’ve seen breakthroughs where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is better at diagnosing dementia, fatal heart conditions, inherited genetic diseases, lung diseases, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, and even the...

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BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft cockpits haven’t changed much in decades, and digitising them opens up a host of new opportunities.   BAE Systems has announced that it’s looking to make the fighter jet cockpit of tomorrow a much simpler place for pilots by replacing conventional instruments and controls...

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