Tagged: Society

A robotic “Cambrian explosion”? - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 06, 2015

Gill Pratt, who until recently ran some of DARPA’s robotics programs, has posited in the Journal of Economic Perspectives that the field of robotics may perhaps in the near future go through the technological equivalent of the “Cambrian explosion”,  resulting in a myriad of wondrous mechanical forms.   Source: ChopShopStore http://chopshopstore.com/index.php/werobotnew.html [Of course, the Cambrian “explosion” … Read More

One hundred years hence - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 19, 2015

Over the next week New Zealanders (& Australians) are looking back a century to remember and honour a tragic battle in a foreign land. There are a lot of activities and discussions happening about Gallipoli and how it subsequently influenced New Zealander society. It is right and important to reflect on our history, both the good and the bad. What … Read More

Post-mortem futures - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Nov 03, 2014

With Halloween just past it’s a good time to consider end of life futures. While we are getting better at postponing death (including getting better at bringing those close to death back to life, transplanting “dead” hearts, as well as some successes against cancers), we’re not cheating it. People of European ancestry have in … Read More

Generationalisation - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 28, 2014

An article in the Weekly Standard makes a good point about the vacuousness of some “generational analyses”. It’s hard to generalise about a diverse set of people based on when they were born, although that doesn’t stop many from reading their horoscopes every day. And as the Weekly Standard as well as others note, different studies of … Read More

Canada’s emerging technologies metascan - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 09, 2014

The Canadian Government’s just released a report on emerging technologies. It looks out over the next 15 years and focuses on digital technologies, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and neuroscience technologies, which they consider have the potential for disruptive rather than incremental innovation. As you’d expect they consider biological enhancements, nanofactories, robots, wired-up everything. There are no major surprises in their findings. Some … Read More

Now for the Long Term - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 21, 2013

The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations have just released a report – Now for the Long Term.  In addition to laying out the megatrends and challenges facing the world, they also propose some solutions.     The report does a generally good job in setting out concisely some of the  “megatrends” (ie long … Read More

Future Flash – McLab Burgers introduces Hyperloop intercity delivery system - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Aug 13, 2013

Personal jetpacks appear closer to hand, (sub)space tourism is heading to the launch pad, and Hyperloop travel is, possibly, on the drawing board. Is this, at last, the future some of us may have dreamed of? Not quite. Most of us won’t be able to afford these for some time. And given Wellington folk … Read More