10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 -- from MIT Technology Review


10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 — from MIT Technology Review


Dueling neural networks. Artificial embryos. AI in the cloud. Welcome to our annual list of the 10 technology advances we think will shape the way we work and live now and for years to come.

Every year since 2001 we’ve picked what we call the 10 Breakthrough Technologies. People often ask, what exactly do you mean by “breakthrough”? It’s a reasonable question—some of our picks haven’t yet reached widespread use, while others may be on the cusp of becoming commercially available. What we’re really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives.

  1. 3-D Metal Printing
  2. Artificial Embryos
  3. Sensing City
  4. AI for Everybody
  5. Dueling Neural Networks
  6. Babel-Fish Earbuds
    In the cult sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you slide a yellow Babel fish into your ear to get translations in an instant. In the real world, Google has come up with an interim solution: a $159 pair of earbuds, called Pixel Buds. These work with its Pixel smartphones and Google Translate app to produce practically real-time translation. One person wears the earbuds, while the other holds a phone. The earbud wearer speaks in his or her language—English is the default—and the app translates the talking and plays it aloud on the phone. The person holding the phone responds; this response is translated and played through the earbuds.
  7. Zero-Carbon Natural Gas
  8. Perfect Online Privacy
  9. Genetic Fortune-Telling
  10. Materials’ Quantum Leap




The NEW Periodic Table of iOS Apps for AR and VR — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson


You can download a high-quality version of the table here.




Lenovo is including its standalone Daydream headset in classroom VR kits starting this Spring — from 9to5google.com by Ben Schoon





Our Screenless Future Calls For Augmented Parenting — from fastcompany.com by Anya Kamenetz
How will parents manage their children’s screen time when there are no screens?




8 ways augmented and virtual reality are changing medicine — from israel21c.org by Abigail Klein Leichman
Israeli companies are using futuristic technologies to simplify complex surgery, manage rehab, relieve pain, soothe autistic kids and much more.





Augmented reality system lets doctors see under patients’ skin without the scalpel — from ualberta.ca by Katie Willis
New technology lets clinicians see patients’ internal anatomy displayed right on the body.




27 Mixed Reality (MR / AR) Influencers to Follow in 2018 — from by Mark Metry
Influencers to Follow in 2018




DAQRI Founder’s Passionate TED Talk on Potential Impact of Augmented Reality Gets Personal — from augmented.reality.news by Adario Strange





The Beatriz Lab - A Journey through Alzheimer's Disease

This three-part lab can be experienced all at once or separately. At the beginning of each part, Beatriz’s brain acts as an omniscient narrator, helping learners understand how changes to the brain affect daily life and interactions.

Pre and post assessments, along with a facilitation guide, allow learners and instructors to see progression towards outcomes that are addressed through the story and content in the three parts, including:

1) increased knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and the brain
2) enhanced confidence to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease
3) improvement in care practice

Why a lab about Alzheimer’s Disease?
The Beatriz Lab is very important to us at Embodied Labs. It is the experience that inspired the start of our company. We believe VR is more than a way to evoke feelings of empathy; rather, it is a powerful behavior change tool. By taking the perspective of Beatriz, healthcare professionals and trainees are empowered to better care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, leading to more effective care practices and better quality of life. Through embodying Beatriz, you will gain insight into life with Alzheimer’s and be able to better connect with and care for your loved ones, patients, clients, or others in this communities who live with the disease every day. In our embodied VR experience, we hope to portray both the difficult and joyful moments — the disease surely is a mix of both.

Watch our new promo video to learn more!



As part of the experience, you will take a 360 degree trip into Beatriz’s brain,
and visit a neuron “forest” that is being affected by amyloid beta plaques and tau proteins.


From DSC:
I love the work that Carrie Shaw and @embodiedLabs are doing! Thanks Carrie & Company!




Top 7 Business Collaboration Conference Apps in Virtual Reality (VR) — from vudream.com by Ved Pitre

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As VR continues to grow and improve, the experiences will feel more real. But for now, here are the best business conference applications in virtual reality.




Final Cut Pro X Arrives With 360 VR Video Editing — from vrscount.com by Jonathan Nafarrete


A sign of how Apple is supporting VR in parts of its ecosystem, Final Cut Pro X (along with Motion and Compressor), now has a complete toolset that lets you import, edit, and deliver 360° video in both monoscopic and stereoscopic formats.

Final Cut Pro X 10.4 comes with a handful of slick new features that we tested, such as advanced color grading and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) workflows. All useful features for creators, not just VR editors, especially since Final Cut Pro is used so heavily in industries like video editing and production. But up until today, VR post-production options have been minimal, with no support from major VR headsets. We’ve had options with Adobe Premiere plus plugins, but not everyone wants to be pigeon-holed into a single software option. And Final Cut Pro X runs butter smooth on the new iMac, so there’s that.

Now with the ability to create immersive 360° films right in Final Cut Pro, an entirely new group of creators have the ability to dive into the world of 360 VR video. Its simple and intuitive, something we expect from an Apple product. The 360 VR toolset just works.




See Original, Exclusive Star Wars Artwork in VR — from vrscount.com by Alice Bonasio



HWAM’s first exhibition is a unique collection of Star Wars production pieces, including the very first drawings made for the film franchise and never-before-seen production art from the original trilogy by Lucasfilm alum Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie, Phil Tippett, Drew Struzan, Colin Cantwell, and more.




Learning a language in VR is less embarrassing than IRL — from qz.com by Alice Bonasio


Will virtual reality help you learn a language more quickly? Or will it simply replace your memory?

VR is the ultimate medium for delivering what is known as “experiential learning.” This education theory is based on the idea that we learn and remember things much better when doing something ourselves than by merely watching someone else do it or being told about it.

The immersive nature of VR means users remember content they interact with in virtual scenarios much more vividly than with any other medium. (According to experiments carried out by professor Ann Schlosser at the University of Washington, VR even has the capacity to prompt the development of false memories.)



Since immersion is a key factor in helping students not only learn much faster but also retain what they learn for longer, these powers can be harnessed in teaching and training—and there is also research that indicates that VR is an ideal tool for learning a language.



Addendum on 12/20/17:





Program Easily Converts Molecules to 3D Models for 3D Printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality — from 3dprint.com


At North Carolina State University, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Denis Fourches uses technology to research the effectiveness of new drugs. He uses computer programs to model interactions between chemical compounds and biological targets to predict the effectiveness of the compound, narrowing the field of drug candidates for testing. Lately, he has been using a new program that allows the user to create 3D models of molecules for 3D printing, plus augmented and virtual reality applications.

RealityConvert converts molecular objects like proteins and drugs into high-quality 3D models. The models are generated in standard file formats that are compatible with most augmented and virtual reality programs, as well as 3D printers. The program is specifically designed for creating models of chemicals and small proteins.







Mozilla just launched an augmented reality app — from thenextweb.com by Matthew Hughes


Mozilla has launched its first ever augmented reality app for iOS. The company, best known for its Firefox browser, wants to create an avenue for developers to build augmented reality experiences using open web technologies, WebXR, and Apple’s ARKit framework.

This latest effort from Mozilla is called WebXR Viewer. It contains several sample AR programs, demonstrating its technology in the real world. One is a teapot, suspended in the air. Another contains holographic silhouettes, which you can place in your immediate vicinity. Should you be so inclined, you can also use it to view your own WebXR creations.



Airbnb is replacing the guest book with augmented reality — from qz.com by Mike Murphy


Airbnb announced today (Dec.11) that it’s experimenting with augmented- and virtual-reality technologies to enhance customers’ travel experiences.

The company showed off some simple prototype ideas in a blog post, detailing how VR could be used to explore apartments that customers may want to rent, from the comfort of their own homes. Hosts could scan apartments or houses to create 360-degree images that potential customers could view on smartphones or VR headsets.

It also envisioned an augmented-reality system where hosts could leave notes and instructions to their guests as they move through their apartment, especially if their house’s setup is unusual. AR signposts in the Airbnb app could help guide guests through anything confusing more efficiently than the instructions hosts often leave for their guests.



This HoloLens App Wants to Kickstart Collaborative Mixed Reality — from vrscout.com by Alice Bonasio


Now Object Theory has just released a new collaborative computing application for the HoloLens called Prism, which takes many of the functionalities they’ve been developing for those clients over the past couple of years, and offers them to users in a free Windows Store application.





Virtual and Augmented Reality to Nearly Double Each Year Through 2021 — from campustechnology.com by Joshua Bolkan


Spending on augmented and virtual reality will nearly double in 2018, according to a new forecast from International Data Corp. (IDC), growing from $9.1 billion in 2017 to $17.8 billion next year. The market research company predicts that aggressive growth will continue throughout its forecast period, achieving an average 98.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2021.



A look at the new BMW i3s in augmented reality with Apple’s ARKit — from electrek.co by Fred Lambert





Scope AR brings remote video tech support calls to HoloLens — from by Dean Takahashi


Scope AR has launched Remote AR, an augmented reality video support solution for Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headsets.

The San Francisco company is launching its enterprise-class AR solution to enable cross-platform live support video calls.

Remote AR for Microsoft HoloLens brings AR support for field technicians, enabling them to perform tasks with better speed and accuracy. It does so by allowing an expert to get on a video call with a technician and then mark the spot on the screen where the technician has to do something, like turn a screwdriver. The technician is able to see where the expert is pointing by looking at the AR overlay on the video scene.





Virtual Reality: The Next Generation Of Education, Learning and Training — from forbes.com by Kris Kolo


Ultimately, VR in education will revolutionize not only how people learn but how they interact with real-world applications of what they have been taught. Imagine medical students performing an operation or geography students really seeing where and what Kathmandu is. The world just opens up to a rich abundance of possibilities.




Technology from “Harry Potter” Movies Brings Magic of Brain into Focus — from scientificamerican.com by Bahar Gholipour
Software lets scientists explore the brain in 3-D and perform “virtual dissections”


The same techniques that generate images of smoke, clouds and fantastic beasts in movies can render neurons and brain structures in fine-grained detail.

Two projects presented yesterday at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., gave attendees a sampling of what these powerful technologies can do.

“These are the same rendering techniques that are used to make graphics for ‘Harry Potter’ movies,” says Tyler Ard, a neuroscientist in Arthur Toga’s lab at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Ard presented the results of applying these techniques to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

The methods can turn massive amounts of data into images, making them ideally suited to generate brain scans. Ard and his colleagues develop code that enables them to easily enter data into the software. They plan to make the code freely available to other researchers.






Expo: Towards Rapid VR Prototyping — from medium.com by Jon Wade


After several cycles of development, it became clear that getting our process into VR as early as possible was essential. This was difficult to do within the landscape of VR tooling. So, at the beginning of 2017, we began developing features for early-stage VR prototyping in a tool named “Expo.”

Start Prototyping in VR Now
We developed Expo because the tools for collaborative prototyping did not exist at the start of this year. Since then, the landscape has dramatically improved and there are many tools providing prototyping workflows with no requirement to do your own development:

  • Facebook Spaces and SteamVR Home allow teams to create quick doodles and play with props together.
  • MasterpieceVR has professional-grade sculpting tools and the critical feature of multi-user interaction.
  • Mindshow allows a single user to pantomime and record avatars and objects interacting to create shareable vignettes.





Google’s new ‘Poly’ service makes it easier to build VR and AR apps — from mashable.com by Karissa Bell


It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues holding back virtual and augmented reality is the lack of content.

Even as bigger studios and companies are sinking more and more money into VR and AR development, it’s still difficult for smaller, independent, developers to get started. A big part of the problem is that AR and VR apps require developers to create a ton of 3D objects, often an overwhelming and time-consuming process.

Google is hoping to fix that, though, with its new service called Poly, an online library of 3D objects developers can use in their own apps.

The model is a bit like Flickr, but for VR and AR developers rather than photographers. Anyone can upload their own 3D creations to the service and make them available to others via a Creative Commons license, and any developer can search and download objects for their own apps and games.




For a long, successful career, LinkedIn says nothing beats a liberal arts major — from qz.com by Dan Kopf and Amy Wang


“There is a real concern that these labor-market-oriented degrees that focus on specific technical skills are not as durable,” says Guy Berger, a LinkedIn economist and one of the researchers who worked on the report. Berger believes that “cross-functional skills” like management and analytical know-how are more adaptable across a range of work environments. As technology changes the nature of work across nearly every industry, it’s important to have a wide range of such talents, rather than a narrow subset applied only to a particular sector that may not look the same in the near future (or, indeed, exist at all).



Ed Dept. Names Finalists for Virtual and Augmented Reality Competition — from campustechnology.com by Sri Ravipati


The finalists are:

  • Case Western Reserve University, which developed “Holographic Anatomy to Transform Healthcare,” a simulation that provides an alternative to using cadavers to teach medical anatomy. Combining the Microsoft HoloLens and the VR experience, medical students can practice dissection techniques in a virtual environment.
  • Embodied Labs for a series of VR patient experiences called “The Alfred Lab,” designed to teach students how to take better care of elderly populations.
  • Octothorpe, the creator behind “The Irregular: Sherlock Holmes,” which challenges students to work together on chemistry and psychology problems.
  • Osso VR, for its realistic, hands-on orthopaedic surgical training platform; and
  • Smart Sparrow, an education company that created “LifeCraft,” which explores life on Earth through various archaeology, biology and astronomy expeditions.



Per X Media Lab:

The authoritative CB Insights lists imminent Future Tech Trends: customized babies; personalized foods; robotic companions; 3D printed housing; solar roads; ephemeral retail; enhanced workers; lab-engineered luxury; botroots movements; microbe-made chemicals; neuro-prosthetics; instant expertise; AI ghosts. You can download the whole outstanding report here (125 pgs).


From DSC:
Though I’m generally pro-technology, there are several items in here which support the need for all members of society to be informed and have some input into if and how these technologies should be used. Prime example: Customized babies.  The report discusses the genetic modification of babies: “In the future, we will choose the traits for our babies.” Veeeeery slippery ground here.


Below are some example screenshots:










Also see:

CBInsights — Innovation Summit

  • The New User Interface: The Challenge and Opportunities that Chatbots, Voice Interfaces and Smart Devices Present
  • Fusing the physical, digital and biological: AI’s transformation of healthcare
  • How predictive algorithms and AI will rule financial services
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future
  • The Next Industrial Age: The New Revenue Sources that the Industrial Internet of Things Unlocks
  • The AI-100: 100 Artificial Intelligence Startups That You Better Know
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future




Wall Street Jobs Won’t Be Spared from Automation — from hbr.stfi.re by Thomas H. Davenport


Some conference participants were concerned that this beleaguered region might grow. In fact, one attendee — an old friend who strategizes about technology for a big New York bank — commented that perhaps Wall Street would become “the new Rust Belt.” His concern was that automation of the finance industry would hollow out jobs in that field in the same way that robotics and other technologies have reduced manufacturing employment.

This is a sobering prospect, but there is plenty of evidence that it’s a real possibility. Key aspects of the finance industry have already been automated to a substantial degree. Jobs in the New York finance field have been declining for several years. According to data from research firm Coalition Ltd., more than 10,000 “front-office producer” jobs have been lost within the top 10 banks since 2011. Coalition also suggests that global fixed-income headcount has fallen 31% since 2011.



Predictions for 2017: How Will the Digital World of Work Transform HR? — from hrdailyadvisor.blr.com


According to a new report, organizations are moving away from hierarchies, focusing on improving the employee experience, redesigning training, and reinventing the role of HR.

Business and HR leaders should rethink almost all of their management and HR practices as the proliferation of digital technologies transform the way organizations work, according to predictions for 2017 from Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

This year’s report includes 11 predictions about rapid technological, structural, and cultural changes that will reshape the world of work, including management, HR, and the markets for HR and workplace technology.



Artificial intelligence has a big year ahead — from cnet.com by Stepehn Shankland
In 2017, AI won’t just be for the nerdy companies. Machine learning can help with mortgage applications and bridge safety, too.


Get ready for AI to show up where you’d least expect it.

In 2016, tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft launched dozens of products and services powered by artificial intelligence. Next year will be all about the rest of the business world embracing AI.

Artificial intelligence is a 60-year-old term, and its promise has long seemed like it was forever over the horizon. But new hardware, software, services and expertise means it’s finally real — even though companies will still need plenty of human brain power to get it working.



AI was one of the hottest trends in tech this year, and it’s only poised to get bigger. You’ve already brushed up against AI: It screens out spam, organizes your digital photos and transcribes your spoken text messages. In 2017, it will spread beyond digital doodads to mainstream businesses.




2017 Design Trends: Predictions from Top Creatives — howdesign.com by Callie Budrick


The design world has seen its own changes and updates as well. And as we know, change is the only constant. We’ve asked some of the top creatives to share what 2017 design trends they think will be headed our way.



MapR Executive Chairman and Founder John Schroeder Identifies 6 Big Data Predictions for 2017 — from businesswire.com


SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The market has evolved from technologists looking to learn and understand new big data technologies to customers who want to learn about new projects, new companies and most importantly, how organizations are actually benefitting from the technology. According to John Schroeder, executive chairman and founder of MapR Technologies, Inc., the acceleration in big data deployments has shifted the focus to the value of the data. John has crystallized his view of market trends into these six major predictions for 2017…



The Most Exciting Medical Technologies of 2017 — from medicalfuturist.com


2016 was a rich year for medical technology. Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality. Smart algorithms analysing wearable data. Amazing technologies arrived in our lives and on the market almost every day. And it will not stop in the coming year. The role of a futurist is certainly not making bold predictions about the future. No such big bet has taken humanity forward. Instead, our job is constantly analysing the trends shaping the future and trying to build bridges between them and what we have today. Still, people expect me to come up with predictions about medical technologies every year, and thus here they are.



2017 Predictions For AI, Big Data, IoT, Cybersecurity, And Jobs From Senior Tech Executives — from forbes.com by Gil Press


Artificial intelligence (and machine/deep learning) is the hottest trend, eclipsing, but building on, the accumulated hype for the previous “new big thing,” big data. The new catalyst for the data explosion is the Internet of Things, bringing with it new cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The rapid fluctuations in the relative temperature of these trends also create new dislocations and opportunities in the tech job market.

The hottest segment of the hottest trend—artificial intelligence—is the market for chatbots. “The movement towards conversational interfaces will accelerate,” says Stuart Frankel, CEO, Narrative Science. “The recent, combined efforts of a number of innovative tech giants point to a coming year when interacting with technology through conversation becomes the norm. Are conversational interfaces really a big deal? They’re game-changing. Since the advent of computers, we have been forced to speak the language of computers in order to communicate with them and now we’re teaching them to communicate in our language.”



Allen Institute for AI Eyes the Future of Scientific Search — from wired.com by Cade Metz


Google changed the world with its PageRank algorithm, creating a new kind of internet search engine that could instantly sift through the world’s online information and, in many cases, show us just what we wanted to see. But that was a long time ago. As the volume of online documents continues to increase, we need still newer ways of finding what we want.

That’s why Google is now running its search engine with help from machine learning, augmenting its predetermined search rules with deep neural networks that can learn to identify the best search results by analyzing vast amounts of existing search data. And it’s not just Google. Microsoft is pushing its Bing search engine in the same direction, and so are others beyond the biggest names in tech.



3 Forces Shaping Ed Tech in 2017 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
Ovum’s latest report examines the key trends that are expected to impact higher education in the new year.


  1. Institutions Will Support the Use of More Innovative Tech in Teaching and Learning
  2. Schools Will Leverage Technology for Improving the Student Experience
  3. The Next-Generation IT Strategy Will Focus More on IT Agility



Virtual Reality, AI Top Predictions for 2017 — from techzone360.com by Alicia Young


We’ve seen a lot of exciting new innovations take place over the course of 2016. This year has introduced interesting new uses for virtual reality—like using VR to help burn victims in hospitals mentally escape from the pain during procedures—and even saw the world’s first revolutionary augmented reality game in the form of Pokémon Go. The iPhone 7 was also introduced, leaving millions of people uncertain of their feelings regarding Apple, while Samsung loyalists just prayed that their smartphones would stay in one piece.

Undoubtedly, there have been quite a few ups and downs in technology over the past year. With any luck, 2017 will provide us with even more new innovations and advancements in tech. But what exactly do we have to look forward to? TMC recently caught up with Jordan Edelson, CEO of Appetizer Mobile, to discuss his thoughts on 2016 and his predictions for what’s to come in the future. You can find the entire exchange below.




The Fourth Transformation: Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence — from forbes.com by John Koetsier


Since then, we’ve seen three transformations. The latest, augmented reality plus artificial intelligence, will change more than the previous three combined.  At least, that’s what tech evangelist Robert Scoble and author Shel Israel say in their new book: The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything.




15 Virtual Reality Trends We’re Predicting for 2017 — from appreal-vr.com by Yariv Levski



2016 is fast drawing to a close. And while many will be glad to see the back of it, for those of us who work and play with Virtual Reality, it has been a most exciting year. By the time the bells ring out signalling the start of a new year, the total number of VR users will exceed 43 million. This is a market on the move, projected to be worth $30bn by 2020. If it’s to meet that valuation, then we believe 2017 will be an incredibly important year in the lifecycle of VR hardware and software development. VR will be enjoyed by an increasingly mainstream audience very soon, and here we take a quick look at some of the trends we expect to develop over the next 12 months for that to happen.



Our Tech Predictions for 2017 — from medium.com


Every December, we take a look back at big ideas from the past twelve months that promise to gain momentum in the new year. With more than eleven thousand projects launched between our Design and Tech categories in 2016, we have a nice sample to draw from. More importantly, we have a community of forward-thinking backers who help creators figure out which versions of the future to pursue. Here are some of the emerging trends we expect to see more of in 2017.

Everyday artificial intelligence
Whether chatting with a device as if it’s a virtual assistant strikes you as a sci-fi dream come true or a dystopian nightmare, we’re going to see an increasing number of products that use voice-controlled artificial intelligence interfaces to fit into users’ lives more seamlessly. Among the projects leading the way in this arena are Vi, wireless earphones that double as a personal trainer; Bonjour, an alarm clock that wakes you up with a personalized daily briefing; and Dashbot, a talking car accessory that recalls Kit, David Hasselhoff’s buddy from Knight Rider. One of the factors driving this talking AI boom is the emergence of platforms like Microsoft’s Cognitive Service, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Speech API, which allow product developers to focus on user experience rather than low-level speech processing. For the DIY set, Seeed’s ReSpeaker offers a turnkey devkit for working with these services, and we’ll surely see more tools for integrating AI voice interfaces into all manner of products.



3 reasons 2017 is the year to develop a company chatbot — from thenextweb.com by Ellie Martin


During Microsoft’s Build Conference earlier this year, CEO Satya Nadella delivered the three-hour keynote address, in which he highlighted his belief that the future of technology lies in human language. In this new wave of technology, conversation is the new interface, and “bots are the new apps.” While not as flashy as virtual reality nor as immediately practical as 3D printing, chatbots are nevertheless gaining major traction this year, with support coming from across the entire tech industry. The big tech enterprises are all entering the chatbot space, and many startups are too.


Out with the apps, in with the chatbots. The reason for the attention is simple: The power of the natural language processor, software that processes and parses human language, creating a simple and universal means of interacting with technology.




When kids toys come to life: How AR is transforming play — from thememo.com by Kitty Knowles
We asked three entrepreneurs to explain why AR toys are going to be the next big trend.






By 2030, this is what computers will be able to do — from medium.com by the World Economic Forum


Developments in computing are driving the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance. In this interview Justine Cassell, Associate Dean, Technology, Strategy and Impact, at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the Global Future Council on Computing, says we must ensure that these developments benefit all society, not just the wealthy or those participating in the “new economy”.






Artificial Intelligence will drive innovation and development in 2017, says Ericsson — from tech.firstpost.com


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an important development and consumers globally will see it playing a much more prominent role — both in society and at work — next year, a new report said on Tuesday. Ericsson ConsumerLab, in its annual trend report titled “The 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2017 and beyond”, said that 35 percent of advanced internet users want an AI advisor at work and one in four would like AI as their manager.At the same time, almost half of the respondents were concerned that AI robots will soon make a lot of people lose their jobs.



21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030 — from businessinsider.com by Cadie Thompson


From driverless cars to robotic workers, the future is going to be here before you know it. Many emerging technologies you hear about today will reach a tipping point by 2025, according to a report from The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society. The council surveyed more than 800 executives and experts from the technology sector to share their respective timelines for when technologies would become mainstream. From the survey results, the council identified 21 defining moments, all of which they predict will occur by 2030. Here’s a look at the technological shifts you can expect during the next 14 years.

The first robotic pharmacist will arrive in the US 2021.








The Chatbot Revolution: Rise of the Conversational User Interface — from tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com by Aakrit Vaish


At Haptik, we have now been working on chatbots for over 3 years, and this post will attempt to make some sense of where we are as an industry.



AI, VR, Chatbots to Take Off in 2017 Microsoft Researchers Predict — from eweek.com by Pedro Hernandez
Prominent Microsoft researchers share their tech predictions for an AI-enabled future that blurs the line between physical and virtual experiences.


A new year is quickly approaching and Microsoft Research is offering a glimpse at what the tech scene has in store for 2017 along with some hints at the Redmond, Wash., tech giant’s own priorities for the coming year. This year, the company gathered prominent women researchers to share their thoughts on what to expect next year. Surprising nobody’s who’s been following Microsoft’s software and cloud computing strategy of late, the company is betting big on artificial intelligence (AI).



11 IoT Predictions for 2017 — from ioti.com by Brian Buntz


It’s still early days for the Internet of Things. As recently as 2014, 87 percent of consumers had never heard of the technology, according to Accenture. In 2016, and 19% of business and government professionals reported that they had never heard of the Internet of Things while 18% were only vaguely familiar with it, according to research from the Internet of Things Institute. Although the technology is getting the most traction in the industrial space, the most promising use cases for the technology are just starting to come to light. To get a sense of what to expect as we head into 2017, we spoke with Stanford lecturer and IoT author Timothy Chou, Ph.D.; Thulium.co CEO Tamara McCleary; industry observer and influencer Evan Kirstel; and Sandy Carter, CEO and founder of Silicon-Blitz.









Artificial Intelligence Ethics, Jobs & Trust – UK Government Sets Out AI future — from cbronline.com by Ellie Burns


UK government is driving the artificial intelligence agenda, pinpointing it as a future technology driving the fourth revolution and billing its importance on par with the steam engine.

The report on Artificial Intelligence by the Government Office for Science follows the recent House of Commons Committee report on Robotics and AI, setting out the opportunities and implications for the future of decision making. In a report which spans government deployment, ethics and the labour market, Digital Minister Matt Hancock provided a foreword which pushed AI as a technology which would benefit the economy and UK citizens.





MIT’s “Moral Machine” Lets You Decide Who Lives & Dies in Self-Driving Car Crashes — from futurism.com

In brief:

  • MIT’S 13-point exercise lets users weigh the life-and-death decisions that self-driving cars could face in the future.
  • Projects like the “Moral Machine” give engineers insight into how they should code complex decision-making capabilities into AI.



Wearable Tech Weaves Its Way Into Learning — from edsurge.com by Marguerite McNeal


“Ethics often falls behind the technology,” says Voithofer of Ohio State. Personal data becomes more abstract when it’s combined with other datasets or reused for multiple purposes, he adds. Say a device collects and anonymizes data about a student’s emotional patterns. Later on that information might be combined with information about her test scores and could be reassociated with her. Some students might object to colleges making judgments about their academic performance from indirect measurements of their emotional states.



New era of ‘cut and paste’ humans close as man injected with genetically-edited blood – from telegraph.co.uk by Sarah Knapton


A world where DNA can be rewritten to fix deadly diseases has moved a step closer after scientists announced they had genetically-edited the cells of a human for the first time using a groundbreaking technique.

A man in China was injected with modified immune cells which had been engineered to fight his lung cancer. Larger trials are scheduled to take place next year in the US and Beijing, which scientists say could open up a new era of genetic medicine.

The technique used is called Crispr, which works like tiny molecular scissors snipping away genetic code and replacing it with new instructions to build better cells.




Troubling Study Says Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Who Will Be Criminals Based on Facial Features — from theintercept.com by Sam Biddle




Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming as biased as we are — from thenextweb.com by Bryan Clark




A bug in the matrix: virtual reality will change our lives. But will it also harm us? — from theguardian.stfi.re
Prejudice, harassment and hate speech have crept from the real world into the digital realm. For virtual reality to succeed, it will have to tackle this from the start


Can you be sexually assaulted in virtual reality? And can anything be done to prevent it? Those are a few of the most pressing ethical questions technologists, investors and we the public will face as VR grows.




Light Bulbs Flash “SOS” in Scary Internet of Things Attack — from fortune.com by Jeff John Roberts




How Big Data Transformed Applying to College — from slate.com by Cathy O’Neil
It’s made it tougher, crueler, and ever more expensive.



Not OK, Google — from techcrunch.com by Natasha Lomas

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The scope of Alphabet’s ambition for the Google brand is clear: It wants Google’s information organizing brain to be embedded right at the domestic center — i.e. where it’s all but impossible for consumers not to feed it with a steady stream of highly personal data. (Sure, there’s a mute button on the Google Home, but the fact you have to push a button to shut off the ear speaks volumes… )

In other words, your daily business is Google’s business.

“We’re moving from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world,” said CEO Sundar Pichai…

But what’s really not OK, Google is the seismic privacy trade-offs involved here. And the way in which Alphabet works to skate over the surface of these concerns.


What he does not say is far more interesting, i.e. that in order to offer its promise of “custom convenience” — with predictions about restaurants you might like to eat at, say, or suggestions for how bad the traffic might be on your commute to work — it is continuously harvesting and data-mining your personal information, preferences, predilections, peccadilloes, prejudices…  and so on and on and on. AI never stops needing data. Not where fickle humans are concerned. 



Welcome to a world without work — from by Automation and globalisation are combining to generate a world with a surfeit of labour and too little work


A new age is dawning. Whether it is a wonderful one or a terrible one remains to be seen. Look around and the signs of dizzying technological progress are difficult to miss. Driverless cars and drones, not long ago the stuff of science fiction, are now oddities that can occasionally be spotted in the wild and which will soon be a commonplace in cities around the world.


From DSC:
I don’t see a world without work being good for us in the least. I think we humans need to feel that we are contributing to something. We need a purpose for living out our days here on Earth (even though they are but a vapor).  We need vision…goals to works towards as we seek to use the gifts, abilities, passions, and interests that the LORD gave to us.  The author of the above article would also add that work:

  • Is a source of personal identity
  • It helps give structure to our days and our lives
  • It offers the possibility of personal fulfillment that comes from being of use to others
  • Is a critical part of the glue that holds society together and smooths its operation


Over the last generation, work has become ever less effective at performing these roles. That, in turn, has placed pressure on government services and budgets, contributing to a more poisonous and less generous politics. Meanwhile, the march of technological progress continues, adding to the strain.



10 breakthrough technologies for 2016 — from technologyreview.com


Immune Engineering
Genetically engineered immune cells are saving the lives of cancer patients. That may be just the start.

Precise Gene Editing in Plants
CRISPR offers an easy, exact way to alter genes to create traits such as disease resistance and drought tolerance.

Conversational Interfaces
Powerful speech technology from China’s leading Internet company makes it much easier to use a smartphone.

Reusable Rockets
Rockets typically are destroyed on their maiden voyage. But now they can make an upright landing and be refueled for another trip, setting the stage for a new era in spaceflight.

Robots That Teach Each Other
What if robots could figure out more things on their own and share that knowledge among themselves?

DNA App Store
An online store for information about your genes will make it cheap and easy to learn more about your health risks and predispositions.

SolarCity’s Gigafactory
A $750 million solar facility in Buffalo will produce a gigawatt of high-efficiency solar panels per year and make the technology far more attractive to homeowners.

A service built for the era of mobile phones and short text messages is changing the workplace.

Tesla Autopilot
The electric-vehicle maker sent its cars a software update that suddenly made autonomous driving a reality.

Power from the Air
Internet devices powered by Wi-Fi and other telecommunications signals will make small computers and sensors more pervasive



The 4 big ethical questions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — from 3tags.org by the World Economic Forum


We live in an age of transformative scientific powers, capable of changing the very nature of the human species and radically remaking the planet itself.

Advances in information technologies and artificial intelligence are combining with advances in the biological sciences; including genetics, reproductive technologies, neuroscience, synthetic biology; as well as advances in the physical sciences to create breathtaking synergies — now recognized as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Since these technologies will ultimately decide so much of our future, it is deeply irresponsible not to consider together whether and how to deploy them. Thankfully there is growing global recognition of the need for governance.



Scientists create live animals from artificial eggs in ‘remarkable’ breakthrough — from telegraph.co.uk by Sarah Knapton




Robot babies from Japan raise questions about how parents bond with AI — from singularityhub.com by Mark Robert Anderson


This then leads to the ethical implications of using robots. Embracing a number of areas of research, robot ethics considers whether the use of a device within a particular field is acceptable and also whether the device itself is behaving ethically. When it comes to robot babies there are already a number of issues that are apparent. Should “parents” be allowed to choose the features of their robot, for example? How might parents be counseled when returning their robot baby? And will that baby be used again in the same form?









Amazon’s Vision of the Future Involves Cops Commanding Tiny Drone ‘Assistants’ — from gizmodo.com by Hudson Hongo




DARPA’s Autonomous Ship Is Patrolling the Seas with a Parasailing Radar — from technologyreview.com by Jamie Condliffe
Forget self-driving cars—this is the robotic technology that the military wants to use.




China’s policing robot: Cattle prod meets supercomputer — from computerworld.com by Patrick Thibodeau
China’s fastest supercomputers have some clear goals, namely development of its artificial intelligence, robotics industries and military capability, says the U.S.



Report examines China’s expansion into unmanned industrial, service, and military robotics systems




Augmented Reality Glasses Are Coming To The Battlefield — from popsci.com by Andrew Rosenblum
Marines will control a head-up display with a gun-mounted mouse




Addendum on 12/2/16:

Regulation of the Internet of Things — from schneier.com by Bruce Schneier


Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and PayPal went down for most of a day. The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology. If we want to secure our increasingly computerized and connected world, we need more government involvement in the security of the “Internet of Things” and increased regulation of what are now critical and life-threatening technologies. It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when.

An additional market failure illustrated by the Dyn attack is that neither the seller nor the buyer of those devices cares about fixing the vulnerability. The owners of those devices don’t care. They wanted a webcam —­ or thermostat, or refrigerator ­— with nice features at a good price. Even after they were recruited into this botnet, they still work fine ­— you can’t even tell they were used in the attack. The sellers of those devices don’t care: They’ve already moved on to selling newer and better models. There is no market solution because the insecurity primarily affects other people. It’s a form of invisible pollution.




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