The role of language

I was struck this week by the sharp contrast in language styles adopted by two of the world’s great tech leaders – Tim Cook and Elon Musk. Tim Cook’s keynote at the WWDC  was full of the kind of language we have long associated with Apple – full of “incredible”, “great”, “changing the world” – […]

The future is coming faster than we think

 I’ve just finished belatedly reading An Optimist’s Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson. I say “belatedly” as it was written in 2011 which wouldn’t normally be a problem except that this is about accelerating future technologies (and why they are going to be good for us). It was a very good read, but already there […]

The era of emulation and what it means for us

What is the next phase for humanity? Robin Hanson set out to answer this question in a thought-provoking and lively talk to London Futurists on March 19th. He argues that humanity has been through several distinct economic growth phases each of which has been “exponential” in character. The first lasted nearly 200,000 years from the moment Homo Sapiens first emerged […]

Future Shock

There was a very perceptive article in the current issue of the Economist which argued, basically, that Moore’s Law is in sight of breaking down. The result, though, is maybe not what you might think. Progress may not necessarily just get slower; it is more likely to be much, much more unpredictable. The reasons, according to the […]

The industries of the future

The question Alec Ross set out to answer at the RSA today was: “If the last 25 years shaped by Internet, what comes next?”  His book The Industries of the Future addresses the question more fully, but for the audience today he focussed on two examples: robots and AI, and genomics. He began, though, with central […]

Network Society: the coming socio-economic phase transformation

The world is headed for a big transition, says David Orban, entrepreneur and Singularity University faculty member, speaking at a London Futurists lecture in London on February 6th. “Technology created humans,” he says. “And we continue to use reason to advance technology for humanity’s benefit.” But the key to the future wellbeing of society lies in practicing […]

Flying car at last?

The thing most disappointing to life-long technophiles is that the flying car we have always dreamt of never came. In many ways we far exceeded the dreams of futurists past. The modern smart phone is vastly more powerful and capable than anyone could have predicted and the modern internet is a phenomenon way beyond prediction. […]

The radical potential of Blockchain

Blockchain, the technology which underpins Bitcoin has the potential to disrupt many large and powerful industries believes Niki Wiles. Speaking to London Futurists in a session in London today Wiles, Lead Data Scientist for the London-based digital media agency, 360i said Blockchain solved some of the biggest problems with today’s centralised services. Big disadvantages with […]

Can robots be moral beings?

In short, we can make robots which display altruistic behaviour but they aren’t moral agents because we create them, says Joanna Bryson from Bath University. And what’s more we should not pretend that they are.  Speaking at a London Futurists session today she said the key difference between robots and children is that, although we […]

What really lies behind Google’s acquisition strategy

Last month I wrote about Google’s acquisition spree and was somewhat critical of the depth of the analysis. I promised a follow up on what I thought was possibly really going, so here it is – better late than never. When ever Google acquisitions get discussed it seems the explanation is always somehow connected to data. […]