In thirty years the Web has grown into the foundation of civilisation – but can we make the Web more useful, more private – and more human? That’s a question that Sean White, Chief Research & Development Officer at browser-maker Mozilla continually considers. The answer is evolving.
Some of the answer lies with new Web technologies, like Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid project. And plenty of the answer lies within ourselves, as our use of the Web evolves.
Social media has been weaponised and is now used against nations as a tool of war – invisible, subtle, and dangerously destabilising. John Robb has spent over a decade studying how these new networks represent the new powers – and the new engines of war.
NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen opens a window onto a world where the next billion seconds of journalism grows from a foundation of trust and relationships.
Jay writes and teaches extensively on journalism and it’s future. Here’s an essay “Optimising Journalism for Trust” about the Dutch publication De Correspondent that Jay refers to in our interview as one future for journalism.
In our world, you flip a coin and it comes up either heads or tails. But in the spooky quantum world – that’s everything from a single atom all the way up to a small virus – that coin can come up both heads _and_ tails, depending on how you read it. So which is it? Heads? Tails? Both? Neither?
Welcome to the strange world of quantum computing where this both-true-and-false ‘superposition’ allows quantum computers to vastly outperform their ‘classical’ peers (such as the one in your smartphone).
At least, that’s the theory.
Quantum computers are so unstable they tend to self-destruct before we can get them to run a program!
And since you’re going to need a quantum computer to run this program, here’s the IBM Q Quantum Experience (5 qubit device available publicly on the cloud) – a REAL quantum computer you can run your own experiments on!
Back in July 2016, Pokémon Go opened the doors to the brave new world of augmented reality – an overnight success fifty years in the making. With companies like Magic Leap and Facebook working hard to create augmented reality ‘spectacles’, the next billion seconds will see us put our smartphones down — instead placing the screen over our eyes. We’ll like what we see in our new, “improved” reality – but who’s creating and controlling that reality? That’s a question confronting all of us at the dawn of “The Last Days of Reality”.
The ‘Next Big Thing’ always promises to be the cure for all our ails – but inevitably the high promises tarnish and all our best efforts fall back to earth. For as long as we’ve had technology, we’ve believed in its capacity to craft a perfect world – even though we ourselves are far from perfect.
Author and philosopher Erik Davis has spent twenty years dissecting our attitudes toward technology, utopia and belief – and writes about a future where we ‘wise up’ enough to understand the human value of our imperfections.
Here’s a bit of a taste of our wide-ranging conversation about faith, reason, utopia, and why we seem to make the same mistakes over and over again…
All the way back in 1994, Bill Gates quipped, “Banking is necessary – banks are not.” For billions of ‘unbanked’ in the developing world, banking happens through a smartphone app – no branches, no tellers, and no ATMs. How does a bank inspire trust – or trust its customers – when it’s all inside a smartphone?
Banking futurist Andrew Davis shares his vision of a future where banks protect privacy as well as your money, a world where everyone, everywhere becomes a banker.
Here’s a clip of Andrew talking about ‘open banking’ – the coming revolution where banking becomes about your data just as much as today it’s about your money:
One of the most interesting innovations in banking involves the analysis of mobile usage to measure the creditworthiness of an individual or business. This article from the World Bank explains how it works.
For two and a half thousand years, cities and politicians have grown together. The city gives politicians a platform, a stage – and a demanding public. Always economic powerhouses, our cities also hold the key to an urban future where city-states like Singapore rise in prominence.
We talk to Sydney City Councillor Jess Scully about how best to grow a ‘world city’ like Sydney over the next billion seconds – and what it means to have a political career in a time when every citizen has social media to amplify their voice, their beliefs – and their anger.
The future is here – and it’s local. In this clip, Jess talks about the importance of Sydney to Australia’s economy:
In our interview, Jess mentions the DECODE Project – designed to give people rights over the data collected about them. Read about DECODE here.
The City of Sydney wants to increase the housing supply – and this article explains why that’s more difficult than it might appear.
Solar power cost $100 per kilowatt hour when energy futurist Ramez Naam entered the world. Last year, the UAE signed a 20-year contract for solar power at a four thousandth the cost. For Ramez Naam it’s no longer a question of if renewables, it’s a matter of when: the data proves it. Energy has been mixed with politics from the beginning – so over the next billion seconds, how do we talk ourselves out of our coal culture and into a sustainable future? Ramez Naam makes a convincing case for a future where we profit from the sun.
Here’s an excerpt:
There are some amazing things happening in the renewable energy space, as shown in this chart about a typical week of energy generation in South Australia:
Ramez gives a lot of talks about energy futures, here’s a recent one given in South Africa – a nation with some energy problems…
Ramez has also written a series of blog posts on the energy future – the first is linked here.
Finally, here’s that infamous photo of Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, on the day they passed a lump of coal around in Parliament:
We invite three series 1 guests to join Mark in studio for a final featuring a freewheeling conversation about myths, artificial intelligence, slaughterbots (!), and what happens when four billion people suddenly show up online.
Are the robots going to rise up in a “Singularity” that will first threaten our jobs, then our very existence? Dr. Ken Goldberg, Chair of the Robotics program at the University of California, Berkeley, tells us that while things are moving quickly, we’re moving into a world of ‘multiplicity’ – where multiple intelligences grow together to create a uniquely diverse world of human and machine minds.