November 2012
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Archive: Ariadne November 2012

OK, computer

Robert Hickson Aug 24, 2016

Ten years ago we were largely communicating with computers through key pads and mice. Then came touch screens, and more recently voice recognition systems such as  Siri, Google Now, and Cortana. Tim O’Reilly has written a good article on LinkedIn about the voice recognition technology that sits within Amazon’s Echo, and what it signals for the future. O’Reilly makes … Read More

The next 90 years

Robert Hickson Jun 26, 2016

In my previous post I noted that the last 90 years saw a tremendous amount of change. Are the next 90 going to be as, or more, turbulent? Or as “golden”? Given that no one in 1926 could predict what the world in 2016 would be like, what’s the point now of looking ahead? One reason is … Read More

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The last 90 years

Robert Hickson Jun 06, 2016

Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith is officially 90. Happy Birthday Ma’am. What are some of the most significant changes that have happened during her life, and what could we expect over the next 90 years? 1926 to 2016 … Read More

Australia 2030 – CSIRO’s scenarios

Robert Hickson May 30, 2016

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has a futures group. They’ve just released a report called Australia 2030: navigating our uncertain future.  There are some nice aspects to the report, and it is good to see rigorous futures techniques being applied in our hemisphere. But, overall, I was underwhelmed. The report is based around four scenarios: Digital … Read More

Algorithmic organisms?

Robert Hickson May 21, 2016

Here’s a really absurd mis-reading of biology from a Professor of History in a Huffington Post interview: The whole of biology since Darwin can be summarized in three words: “Organisms are algorithms.” I wasn’t aware that we were living in the Matrix. This is the type of talk you most commonly hear from Silicon Valley folk talking or writing about technological progress and what … Read More

Future work

Robert Hickson May 16, 2016

There are four narratives about how increasing automation of manual and cognitive tasks will affect employment: Many people will no longer have paid employment, and will depend on government assistance. Many people will no longer have paid employment, but automation will create highly productive and equitable economies that enable people to pursue their own creative and social endeavours. As in … Read More

High-Tech Sechs

Robert Hickson Apr 09, 2016

Wired magazine has always been somewhat of a tech fetish publication. Recently they’ve highlighted fetish tech. Silicone valley comes to “adult” toys. [I’m not revealing anything explicit here]. It’s not the sad and seedy that you may expect. These are items designed to be flaunted, or at least not to be seen as embarrassing items hidden away in a … Read More

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Minister of the Future, please no!

Robert Hickson Apr 04, 2016

Something that I didn’t pick up at the time during the World Economic Forum in January was the suggestion by Marc Benioff, the Chairman and CE of Salesforce, that “Every country needs a Minister of the Future“. Last year, though, I did write about Sweden’s new Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation. The World Economic Forum’s … Read More

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