Robots are already making decisions for us – how far do we want that to go?

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Last week I spoke at a very interesting event ‘Should We Turn Over Decision-Making To Robots?‘. It was the first of a series of discussion organised by WWF‘s Panda Labs, delving into the ethics and positive potential of emerging technologies.

ABC News published an article Relinquishing more power to robots up for debate at futurist talks based on pre-event interviews with fellow panelist Theresa Anderson, Director of the Master of Data Science and Innovation at UTS and myself.
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How far will the shift in power to individuals go?

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A few weeks ago I gave the keynote at the Asian Forum on Enterprise for Society in Manila, Philippines. The conference began as Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in 2002, this year celebrating the anniversaries of the convenors, 50 years for Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and 60 years for Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF).

I was honored to give the opening address on How Different Will the Future Be?, immediately preceding the keynote by the Vice-President of Philippines, Leni Robredo, who drew on her background as a social activist lawyer to present a powerful view of possibilities, in fact echoing many of my themes of platforms and cross-boundary collaboration.

One of the themes of my keynote was the massive trend of the shift in power to individuals.
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Sydney – Explore the future of sex: the evolving intersection of technology and human sexuality

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My company Advanced Human Technologies launched the web publication FutureofSex.net in 2011, seeing it develop into one of the most prominent publications globally in the space today.

At the time I wrote about the reasons for launching the publication, including simply that it is a very important topic for us all to explore, given the technologies we develop are shaping who we are in a multitude of fundamental ways.

As the publication has progressed I have realized even more how critical this issue is. We published a summary Future of Sex Report to distill the key ideas and their implications.
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Cyborg rights: law and society must allow us to modify ourselves

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Yesterday I was interviewed live on the ABC National News on the case of Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, who had just been convicted for paying for his bus ride using an implanted chip instead of a standard bus card.

Below is the segment, running through the court case and conviction, followed by a 4 minute interview with me on the implications.

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The only thing you can change about your life… is your future

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While recently re-reading some of my personal journals from my late teens and early twenties, I found a list of thoughts distilled from my writings over several years, categorized into the primary themes I was thinking about, such as ‘Experiencing’, ‘Independence’ and ‘Creation’.

One of these phrases was ‘The only thing you can change… is the future’.

It struck me as immensely apt to my work today, so I put it in a shareable image, shown below.
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Exploring the future of homes: they will be our butlers and help us live longer

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A recent article The revolution that will change how Australians live within 30 years dug into the future of homes, based on interviews with some of “Australia’s top futurists” including myself.

Here are some of the quotes they took from me:
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Vectors of Disruption: a framework to clarify the key forces of change

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Yesterday I gave a briefing on Technology Trends and the Future of Work to a group of Non Executive Directors of major corporations, organized by a large professional services firm for its clients.

The group was the first to get a run-through of my new concept framework Vectors of Disruption, shown below, which I used to introduce and frame the rest of my presentation.


Click on the image for the full-size pdf
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The future of dating: VR dates, AI wingmen, DNA compatibility, facial recognition

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This morning on the occasion of Valentine’s Day I appeared on the Today Extra TV show to talk about the future of dating.

Click on the image below to watch the segment.

Some of the highlights from our conversation (plus some more detail):
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Mapping the adoption curve of brain implants

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A new study has demonstrated that people who have brain implants (the research used epileptics who already have implants to control their ailment) can have their memory improved using electrical impulses controlled by AI.

Brain implants to help the disabled

Brain implants have for years now been used to assist those with neurological disease to control their environment, for example the groundbreaking Braingate project shown in the video below.


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The evidence is in: we are all born to be futurists

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I believe that we all need to be our own futurists: in a rapidly changing world we need the skills and capabilities to think effectively about the future so we can act better today.

Perhaps humans are all in fact born to engage deeply in the future, it is simply a capacity we need to develop further.

Renowned positive psychology professor Martin Seligman, in a recent New York Times article prefacing his forthcoming book Homo Prospectus, says humans are intrinsically focused on the future.
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