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 I read through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
Top-5 Futures for October 23rd – Humans in 1000 Years look at how we will evolve, how driverless public buses are becoming more commonplace, how Australia is going off of the electricity grid, how carmakers must solve an impossible ethical dilemma of algorithmic morality, and gets a little racy with a look at the burgeoning VR Porn world.
Humans in 1000 Years
What will humanity look like in 1000 years? Watch as we cover some cutting-edge innovations happening today.
5 Cities With Driverless Public Buses On The Streets Right Now
Last week it was announced that the US will be getting its first driverless bus fleet in a Bay Area office park as soon as next year. But say you can’t wait that long. You want to see the future now. So why not hitch a ride to one of these cities where you can ride in a public, autonomous vehicle in 2015.
Here is the driverless buss in Lausanne, Switzerland
Half of Australian homes to adopt solar power and move ‘off grid’ from 2018
Australians will be able to use solar panels and batteries to cheaply produce and store electricity within three years, in a “dramatic” development that is expected to revolutionise the nation’s power generation.
A report by The Climate Council, a non-government organisation, found that improvements in battery technology could make homemade electricity cheaper than buying it within three years and could allow half of the nation to start moving “off the grid”.
The Climate Council said the cost of producing lithium-ion batteries will fall “dramatically” in the coming years and that each battery’s capacity will grow 50-fold within a decade.
Via The Telegraph
Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill
Self-driving cars are already cruising the streets. But before they can become widespread, carmakers must solve an impossible ethical dilemma of algorithmic morality.
When it comes to automotive technology, self-driving cars are all the rage. Standard features on many ordinary cars include intelligent cruise control, parallel parking programs, and even automatic overtaking—features that allow you to sit back, albeit a little uneasily, and let a computer do the driving.
So it’ll come as no surprise that many car manufacturers are beginning to think about cars that take the driving out of your hands altogether (see “Drivers Push Tesla’s Autopilot Beyond Its Abilities”). These cars will be safer, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient than their manual counterparts. And yet they can never be perfectly safe.
And that raises some difficult issues. How should the car be programmed to act in the event of an unavoidable accident? Should it minimize the loss of life, even if it means sacrificing the occupants, or should it protect the occupants at all costs? Should it choose between these extremes at random?
The answers to these ethical questions are important because they could have a big impact on the way self-driving cars are accepted in society. Who would buy a car programmed to sacrifice the owner?
The Future of Porn is Virtual
Consumer virtual reality is around the corner, with VR headsets from Samsung, Facebook, HTC, Sony and more hitting store shelves in the next nine months. Porn is widely believed to be among the most powerful forces driving mainstream interest in VR, even though almost no one outside the adult entertainment industry will talk about it on the record. One Silicon Valley investor even noted that a “sin clause” in his contract prohibited him from touching the taboo.
Porn is said to be a $15 billion to $25 billion industry, and it will take a long time for any sort of VR content to rival that. But as other, once-lucrative revenue streams dry up, virtual reality is increasingly seen as a lifeline for erotica.
Warning: the following video is a little NSFW
See the last 4 week’s Top-5 Futures here:
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.