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 – Driverless UBER is Here we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, August 19th, 2016 (one day early this week). The future of the UBER’s driverless services, Interscatter communication, ISS being sold, mind-controlled bionic limbs that feel, and simulations with No Man’s Sky.
Uber Begins Its Endgame: Replacing Humans
Uber announced Thursday that its automated cars are going to begin shuttling passengers around Pittsburgh by the end of the month. Let that sink in: The age of the hirable robotaxi for the masses will begin within the next twelve (12) calendar days.
Of course, Google’s driverless cars have driven millions of miles, as have autopilot-enabled Teslas (the feature was delivered overnight via a software upgrade, of all things).
But Uber’s move is strategically different. Google has no currently obvious or imminent business strategy for its cars. Tesla is not currently in the business of automating humans out of relevancy (long term, Elon Musk has suggested the company might become an Uber competitor). Uber’s cars, meanwhile, will actively be competing with and making irrelevant the moms and students and two-job-hustlers Uber has long held up as the human capital that make its platform so compelling.
Via VICE Motherboard
‘Interscatter communication’ could help your brain implant talk to your iPhone
“Our goal is to provide connectivity to the next billion devices,” Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, told Digital Trends. “These are going to be devices which push the limits of what we currently think of as connectivity. For example, you’re going to have connected contact lenses capable of tracking the glucose sugar level in your blood, which can then send that information to your smartphone so you can track it and get real-time diagnoses. There’s also the possibility of brain implants, which researchers have been doing a lot of work investigating. The challenge with all of these different devices is communication. If you’re going to have smart contact lenses or a brain implant, we need to be able to ensure that information can be properly communicated to the outside world.”
Via Digital Trends
NASA hopes to hand the International Space Station to a commercial owner by mid 2020s
NASA is giving us some more insight into its plans to get humans to Mars, under the blanket mission called ‘Journey to Mars,’ and during the press conference, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development Bill Hill revealed that the current hope is to hand off control of the International Space Station to a commercial owner by sometime around the mid 2020s.
“NASA’s trying to develop economic development in low-earth orbit,” Hill said, speaking on a panel of NASA staff assembled to discuss the upcoming Mars mission. “Ultimately, our desire is to hand the space station over to either a commercial entity or some other commercial capability so that research can continue in low-earth orbit, so that research can continue in low-earth orbit.”
The timing fits with the end of The U.S. Government’s current funding of the ISS program, which was extended by President Obama’s administration from its original deorbiting date of 2016 through 2020. Operations were prolonged through 2024 to help give NASA a platform from which to run its near-Earth preparatory missions leading up to the ultimate manned mission to Mars.
This Mind-Controlled Bionic Arm Can Touch and Feel
In the first episode of Humans+, Motherboard dives into the world of future prosthetics, and the people working on closing the gap between man and machine.
We follow Melissa Loomis, an amputee from Ohio, who had experimental nerve reversal surgery and is going to Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab to test out its latest Modular Prosthetic Limb, a cutting-edge bionic arm funded in part by DARPA. Neuro-interfacing machinery is a game changer in terms rehabilitating patients, but what possibilities do these advancements open for the future?
Via VICE Motherboard
No Man’s Sky: A Simulation Inside a Simulation?
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.