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February 27th, 2017 at 9:32 am

Which 5 jobs will robots take first?

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In 2012, Futurist Thomas Frey predicted that 2 billion jobs would disappear by 2030, roughly half of all jobs that exist today. Oxford University researchers reinforced this with their estimates that 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades. But which ones will robots take first?

First, we should define “robots” as technologies, such as machine learning algorithms running on purpose-built computer platforms, that have been trained to perform tasks that currently require humans to perform.

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February 25th, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Inside the Mind of a Futurist – April 10-14, 2017

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A little over two years ago I mentioned a new anticipatory thinking tool I’ve developed called “situational futuring.” It helps me gain better insight into the world ahead. Until now I hadn’t given too many details about how it worked, but I recently decided to reveal the entire process and how to apply it.

While I’ve been very protective about the crazy brain games I use for developing predictions, this will give you a sneak peek into one of the secret tools I use for thinking about the future.

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February 24th, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Robots will replace over 250,000 government jobs — and that’s just the beginning

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Automation could replace 250,000 jobs in government over the next 10 to 15 years — with potentially one million more under threat. The UK’s public sector workforce stood at around 5.3 million in the middle of last year, and has been falling since 2009, when it stood at 6.4 million. But that could be slashed significantly if the public sector adopts a policy of automating predictable jobs, according to a report from thinktank Reform.

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February 24th, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Researchers invent paper that can be printed with light and reused 80 times

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In an effort to fight the detrimental environmental impact of inkjet printing, researchers have invented a new type of “paper” that can be printed with light and re-written up to 80 times. Their invention employs the color-changing chemistry of nanoparticles, which can be applied via a thin coating to a variety of surfaces – including conventional paper.

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February 24th, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Do certain sounds enrage you? Neurologists know why

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If the sound of a co-worker repeatedly clicking his pen can send you into a flaming furor, take heart: You’re not being hypersensitive, and you’re not alone. Neurologists in the UK have spotted physical differences in the brains of people with this sound-related rage, although whether these differences are the cause or the result of the disorder remains to be seen. The scientists published their findings in the journal Current Biology.

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February 22nd, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Technology is now forcing us to confront the ethics of bringing people back from the dead

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Imagine you have a close friend you frequently communicate with via text. One day, they suddenly die. You reel, you cry, you attend their funeral. Then you decide to pick up your phone and send them a message, just like old times. “I miss you,” you type. A little response bubble appears at the bottom of the screen. “I miss you too,” comes the reply. You keep texting back and forth. It’s just like they never left.

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February 21st, 2017 at 11:44 am

How Japan can solve its huge sex problem

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It’s the kind of stat you might casually tell a friend at a bar: For the last six years, Japan has sold more adult diapers than baby diapers. But Japan’s fertility problems are far more grave than toilet-related trivia. Over the last decade, Japan has seen its elderly population swell, new family-planning stall, and its economy shrink because of persistently low spending. Economists are now calling the situation a “demographic time bomb,” and some Japanese researchers have even created a doomsday clock that ticks off the seconds until Japan’s population extinction.

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February 17th, 2017 at 11:55 am

This robot will draw anything you do

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Line-us is by far the cutest drawing robot we’ve ever seen. Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, this little bot is essentially a USB-powered arm that connects to an app on your tablet or smartphone and copies anything you draw in real time. (The software also works on Macs and PCs.) You can use it to just play around by mimicking your doodles, or connect it to the internet via Wi-Fi and send and receive messages from anywhere in the world. If someone has the app, they can send a drawing straight to your Line-us over the internet. Okay, so it’s hardly a practical way to get in touch with someone, but who cares: it’s got personality.

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February 16th, 2017 at 11:40 am

Electric cars and cheap solar ‘could halt fossil fuel growth by 2020′

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Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020, a new report has suggested. A scenario that takes into account the latest cost reduction projections for the green technologies, and countries’ pledges to cut emissions, finds that solar power and electric vehicles are “game changers” that could leave fossil fuels stranded.

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February 16th, 2017 at 11:31 am

Shell to start installing electric vehicle chargers at its gas stations

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In a future where the world’s car fleet is rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream brought in by people stopping for gas but buying something at the convenience store.

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