These Are (some of) the Big Questions About Tomorrow | Changes of Tomorrow

There is so much going on every day. The progress-obsessed web isn’t making any pit stops any time soon, that’s for sure.

Check-in

There is so much going on every day. The progress-obsessed web isn’t making any pit stops any time soon, that’s for sure. Out of all the discoveries, inventions, innovations, creations and reflections, we tend to end up with a sense of surprise and overwhelming need for answers about the future.

And it seems that for every new question we manage to answer, 20 new questions are created.

Margaret Heffernan summarizes the effect brilliantly:

The unexpected is becoming the norm. It’s why experts and forecasters are reluctant to predict anything more than 400 days out. Why? Because over the last 20 or 30 years, much of the world has gone from being complicated to being complex – which means that yes, there are patterns, but they don’t repeat themselves regularly. It means that very small changes can make a disproportionate impact. And it means that expertise won’t always suffice, because the system just keeps changing too fast.

These are some of the small changes we predict will have a bigger impact on our possible futures.

 

What’s changing: Thursday, October 17th, 2019

😶 Will our brain data be commercialized? It seems that the neural revolution is finally on our doorstep. Neuromarketing is salivating. (4 min read)

🏙️ Will we continue to widen the big divide? Cities vs Companies, Rich vs Poor, Rural vs Urban? (4 min read)

🤖 Could our imagination be our savior skill against machines? When the unexpected is the norm, our hope is our limitless capacity for adaptation, variation, and invention. (16 min video)

📚 Will education stop being a competition? Singapore took the first step to reframe education as learning and not a contest. (3 min read)

🖥️ Will we win our parental battle against video game addiction? New science indicates that digital adventure may be just as thrilling as the real thing. (7 min read)

 

Mental energizer

A series of research papers show that income is by far the most important determinant of environmental impact. It doesn’t matter how green you think you are; if you have surplus money, you spend it. The only form of consumption that’s clearly and positively correlated with good environmental intentions is diet. People who see themselves as green tend to eat less meat and more organic vegetables. But attitudes have little bearing on the amount of transport fuel, home energy and other materials you consume. Money conquers all.

From “For the sake of life on earth, we must put a limit to wealth” at The Guardian.

 

Food for thought

Dataful
This is about leveraging quantitative data together with qualitative data as two key methods, by which one’s “gut intuition” can be challenged for its most arrogant biases.

 

A.I. Watch

Today A.I. can accurately… Mediate between divorced parents. With AI assistance 85% of parents users, settled their differences out of court.

Is it better than humans? Robots can detect and navigate sarcasm and aggressive language, without taking it personally and reach solutions.

Forecast? A rational, safe and constructive resolution about a very sensitive, highly emotionally charged topic? Bring in the algorithms. We expect huge demand for mediation bots in the next 5 years.

 

Tomorrow’s numbers

The number of Americans living in poverty—38.1 million—is roughly the same as the population of California (nearly 40 million). However, the poverty line for a family with 2 adults and 2 children is set at an annual income of $25,465.
From Axios

The mobile version of the video game, “Call of Duty”, was downloaded 100 million times in its first week. A new record.
Source: Reuters

About 43 percent of what people do every day is repeated.
Source: Behavioral Scientist.

The Instagram influencer marketing industry alone is set to hit $2.4 billion this year.
Source: Morning Brew

Instagram has an algorithm that detects and flags photos featuring over 60% skin. Originally intended to flag nudity, it’s now affecting large-bodied humans. Source: fastcompany

 

Check out the new addition to our series Future of Jobs: 36hrs in the life of a Product Manager.

___

This week’s exploration of possible futures was curated with curiosity by Iñaki Escudero, Future Activist.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.