Future Trends – The Cyborg Edition

Posted By on November 4, 2016

Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.

In Future Trends – The Cyborg Edition we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, November 4th, 2016. We see AR for med schools, human augmentation, firing your tears at people, pricing insurance based on your social media posts, surveillance and democracy.

This augmented reality tool could totally change med school

3D4Medical created “Project Esper” to change the way we study anatomy.

See and read more at completeanatomy.3d4medical.com

The Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation

Human Augmentation Code: the three “Laws”. These three “Laws” represent a philosophical ideal (like the laws of physics, or like Asimov’s Laws of Robotics [2]), not an enforcement (legal) paradigm:

  • Metaveillance / Sensory-Auditability
    • Humans have a basic right to know when and how they’re being surveilled, monitored, or sensed, whether in the real or virtual world.
  • Equality / Fairness / Justice
    • Humans must not be forbidden or discouraged from monitor­ing or sensing people, systems, or entities that are monitoring or sensing them, and,
    • Humans must have the power to create their own “digital identities” and express themselves (e.g., to document their own lives, or to defend against false accusations), us­ing data about them, whether in the real or virtual world. Humans have a right to defend themselves using information they have collected, and a re­sponsibility not to falsify that information.
  • Aletheia / Unconcealedness / Technological-Auditability
    • Humans have an affirmative right to trace, verify, examine, and understand any information that has been recorded about them, and such information shall be provided immediately: Feedback delayed is feedback denied.
    • Humans must not design machines of malice.
    • Systems of artificial intelligence and of human augmentation shall be produced as openly as pos­sible and with diversity of implementation.

See more at Kurzweil.net

Eindhoven graduate designs a gun for firing her tears

When a classmate stood up for her and expressed her anger at the tutor’s scalding, Chen felt that her “politeness became her weakness” and was overrun with emotion.

“I was too emotional to control myself, I could not hold my tears so I cried,” she said. “I turned my back to the others, because I did not want people to see me crying.”

Chen has now visualised this personal struggle with speaking her mind as a conceptual graduation project – a brass gun that fires tears she has collected.

This happens in three stages. The user first puts on a mask with a silicon cup that catches the tears. The tears are frozen in a bottle, which is then loaded onto the gun – allowing the frozen tears to be fired.

Read more at Dezeen

Admiral to price car insurance based on Facebook posts

One of the biggest insurance companies in Britain is to use social media to analyse the personalities of car owners and set the price of their insurance.

The unprecedented move highlights the start of a new era for how companies use online personal data and will start a debate about privacy.

Admiral Insurance will analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners to look for personality traits that are linked to safe driving. For example, individuals who are identified as conscientious and well-organised will score well.

The insurer will examine posts and likes by the Facebook user, although not photos, looking for habits that research shows are linked to these traits. These include writing in short concrete sentences, using lists, and arranging to meet friends at a set time and place, rather than just “tonight”.

In contrast, evidence that the Facebook user might be overconfident – such as the use of exclamation marks and the frequent use of “always” or “never” rather than “maybe” – will count against them.

Read more at The Guardian

Report: Surveillance and Democracy

This report offers a ground-level view of some of the ways surveillance, and digital electronic surveillance in particular, is impacting on the lives of citizens and residents in ten countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. […] Separately, these stories describe concrete instances in which governments have used surveillance to violate civil and human rights. Together, they challenge the notion that digital and more traditional surveillance operations are harmless intrusions and that these tools are being used in democratic countries with adequate restraint and oversight.

Read more: Overview page with link to PDF.

See also: Full text in PDF.

Read more at Privacy Dialogue


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.

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