My latest at Fast Company/Co.Exist has the rather lengthy title “Welcome to the Emotion Economy Where AI Responds to–and Predicts–Your Feelings“. It’s been among my most widely shared articles, which my editor there confirmed. Hopefully this means there are a lot of readers out there who are ready to explore this subject in more depth?
I haven’t been writing articles or posting for a good few months, because I’ve been head down completing my new book. Heart of the Machine is now complete and going through final edits with my publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, one of the fastest growing independent publishers in the country.
Toys that change based on children’s emotional responses. Smart homes and digital assistants that sense what kind of day you had and interact with you accordingly. Devices that can artificially generate a specific feeling for you. Perhaps even the foundations for true machine consciousness. Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence explores the coming era of affective computing, social robotics and other emotionally-aware technologies. These systems are destined to transform our world and our lives over the next few decades. Already, the field is forecast to grow from a U.S. market of $9.35 billion in 2015 to $42.51 billion by 2020. That’s a heck of a growth rate for a market that virtually didn’t exist a decade ago!
Heart of the Machine is being released in March 2017 and is now available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For other outlets, ask your friendly neighborhood bookstore when they plan to get it on their shelves. To learn more about this incredible future, please visit this page.
The new era of space mining is the topic of my latest article for Scientific American. The recent passage of the Space Act of 2015 by Congress will finally eliminate a lot of uncertainty for this nascent industry, assuming President Obama signs it into law. Given the enormous cost of lifting materials and supplies into orbit and beyond, the ability to draw from off-planet resources is critical for the continuing development of space exploration and colonization. As Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources stated following Congressional passage of the Act:
“Many years from now, we will view this pivotal moment in time as a major step toward humanity becoming a multi-planetary species. This legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and it will foster the sustained development of space.”
Given the continuing progress being made by the developing commercial space industry, including yesterday’s first successful VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) by Blue Origin, it seems to me we may be witnessing the start of one of the great transformational periods in human history.
San Francisco was host to WorldFuture 2015 earlier this month. With around 700 attendees and professional futurists from all over the globe, it remains the world’s oldest and best known futures conference.
On Saturday, the conference’s first full day, I had the opportunity to give my session, “Cybercrime 2025 and Beyond” to a full house and it seemed very well received. I chose to take a little different tack with this talk and explored the development of cybercrime and the search for its solutions as part of the ongoing coevolution between humanity and technology. I ended with a call for building a biologically-inspired cyber-immune system that could protect not only our future digital assets, but potentially our physical infrastructure as well. While there is research being done in this area, there isn’t a focused program for bringing it to fruition. Yet.
Given the growing threat of cybercrime in recent years, it’s no surprise there were several speakers at the conference who addressed the subject. “Future Crimes” author, Marc Goodman opened the morning with an excellent talk that drew from the wide range of topics he covers in his new book. Later in the afternoon, Roey Tzezana, a nanotechnology scientist and futurist from the University of Tel Aviv spoke about his team’s cybercrime forecast model which looks at the threat profiles that are generated when different technologies are combined. Fascinating stuff.