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Digital Reality versus Air Travel: The Responsibly Imaginable

The development of digital reality (DR)—virtual, nonphysical presence—began with the telegraph, progressed to the telephone, then moved to telephones with screens, and now to computers. The nearer-term developments of DR include augmented reality and advanced virtual reality (VR), and it is heading toward five-senses VR and holographic projection. Going forward with the availability of ever greater bandwidth and direct machine-to-brain communications (bypassing the senses), DR is projected to be as good as, or better than, physical reality.

On Methodology: Technology Foresight (Event Report)

Tim Mack

Tim Mack

As part of its executive education webinar series on workforce planning in the “next normal,” Vanderbilt University hosted a Zoom lecture June 23 on “Technology Foresight: Predicting and Planning for the Future” led by Professor Andy Van Schaack of the School of Engineering Management. The goal was to present futures techniques needed to redesign workforces for a new business landscape.

Futurism's Pioneering Women

Cindy Wagner

Cindy Wagner

In honor of Women’s History Month, Forbes magazine published its list of the world’s 50 leading female futurists—including the article’s author, Blake Morgan, who describes herself as “a Customer Experience Futurist, Author and Keynote Speaker.” See “50 Leading Female Futurists” by Blake Morgan, Forbes.com (posted online March 5, 2020). [Disclosure: The Forbes article includes me in the “extended list” of honorably mentioned. —CGW]

Event Report: Responding to the Deepfakes Challenge

Cindy Wagner

Cindy Wagner

The digital tools for manipulating images, sounds, and other information—already used for such things as making movies—are increasingly being misused as well as democratized, said panelists at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s March 12 forum, “Responding to the Deepfakes Challenge.” But calls to regulate “deepfake” technologies that create deceptive sounds and images could have unintended negative consequences, they pointed out.

Growth of AI Partnership in Medicine

Tim Mack

Tim Mack

Not all doctors view artificial intelligence (AI) with favor. However, instead of replacing medical personnel, using AI capabilities allows doctors and technicians to deliver medicine that is more personalized, proactive, and effective. This includes preventive medicine by proactively monitoring early warnings of illnesses, combining digital connectivity and AI analysis, and focusing on wellness in a cost-effective manner.

People and Their Future

Tim Mack

Tim Mack

The future is a peculiar place, in that it often seen as uninhabited, like a chessboard, where if a series of strategic moves occur, the responses will predictability be this or that. In other words, if people are involved, we all already know how they will react. Perhaps that mindset arises by the enormous amounts of attitude/motivation-related data now being collected—as Edward Snowden reports in his memoir, Permanent Record—with that outcome in mind. But of course Snowden himself is an example of how the actions of a single person can lead to cultural sea changes.

Event Report: Rebuilding National Service

Cindy Wagner

Cindy Wagner

With the release of a new report, “Will America Embrace National Service?” the Brookings Institution convened a discussion on National Service: Rebuilding America’s Civic Fabric, October 10, 2019. The report and the event were co-sponsored by Brookings’ Future of the Middle Class Initiative and Service Year Alliance.

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