Futurism, Fiction and Blends of the Two

I'm both an analyst of future trends, and a communicator using articles, fiction, presentations and even games to show what might be possible, and where we might be headed

karl

White House Invitation

Above is a photo of some of the Hieroglyph authors taken by Ruth Wylie on October 2, 2014. Left to right are myself, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Edd Finn, Elizabeth Bear, Kevin Bankston, Kathryn Cramer, Vandana Singh, Ted Chiang, Madeline Ashby, Lee Konstantinou, and Neal Stephenson.

The Hieroglyph anthology has certainly had legs.  As well as garnering excellent reviews, it recently brought a number of authors and the editors to the White House to talk to the Office of Science and Technology Policy about how to engage a new generation of young people to go into the science and engineering professions. 

We also discussed other issues, particularly the future of governance and how to manage thorny issues such as climate change.  My own story in the anthology, "Degrees of Freedom," is all about governance, so I was in my element. 

This is where science fiction and strategic foresight meet for me--in events like this one.  Oddly enough, this is not the first time I've participated in such a hybrid event; much of my history with foresight for the Canadian government and army has involved using my talents as an SF writer to both filter and refine ideas that come from foresight.  I did my Masters thesis on how to employ storytelling methods to communicate foresight findings.

This visit to Washington was the capstone to a season of travels and adventures that took me to San Jose in August (for the Cognitive Computing forum), to UCLA in September (for the Digital Cash conference), and most recently to Phoenix for the World Bank's Evoke project.  I'm now happily settling in at home to work on a new novel, but hopefully this is just a hiatus and I can get out to more speaking gigs soon.

 

Will Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Nanotech, Synthetic Biology and Other Forms of Futuristic Technology Replace More Work than They Create?

The Millennium Project is launching a new study to explore global long-term structural unemployment, new forms of work, futuristic economics, and strategies for governments, corporations, universities, NGOS, and individuals to pursue for improving global prospects

nullFuture artificial intelligence that can autonomously create, re-write, and implement software simultaneously around the world is a unique historical factor in job displacement.null

(PRWEB) November 30, 2014

“Future artificial intelligence that can autonomously create, re-write, and implement software simultaneously around the world is a unique historical factor in job displacement,” says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project, and adds that, “the Internet is also a historical factor in job creation. Information and means of production are far more open and distributed in the forthcoming biological and artificial intelligence revolutions than they were during the industrial revolution and the information revolution; hence, the frontiers for work may be greater than the information age revolution.”

Millennium Project Full SizeThe Chairs of The Millennium Project’s 50 Nodes around the world were asked to rate 19 potential global futures research studies as to their priority to be performed by the project. The future of work and income gaps was rated the most important. “Long-term and large-scale strategies are needed locally, nationally, and globally to address the potential scope and spectrum of unemployment and income gaps in the foreseeable future due to the acceleration, globalization, and integration of technological capacities, population growth, and current economic assumptions,” says Elizabeth Florescu, Director of Research of The Millennium Project.

The Pew Research Center found that leading expertsare divided about whether future technology will replace more jobs than they create by 2025. “The assumptions behind both of these potential futures should be identified, assessed, and explored in depth for their long-term implications and systematically discussed in workshops around the world,” says Cornelia Daheim, Chair of the Millennium Project’s Node in Germany and Head of International Projects at Z_punkt the Foresight Company. Individuals and institutions interested in being involved in this research are invited to contact the Project.

The Millennium Project is a global participatory think tank connecting 50 Nodes around the world that identify important long-range challenges and strategies, and initiate and conduct foresight studies, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training. Its mission is to improve thinking about the future and make it available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the annual "State of the Future" reports, the "Futures Research Methodology" series, the Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies. Over 4,500 futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities have participated in The Millennium Project’s research, since its inception, in 1991. The Millennium Project was selected among the top ten think tanks in the world for new ideas and paradigms by the 2013 University of Pennsylvania’s GoTo Think Tank Index, and 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its contributions to collective intelligence systems. The 2013-14 "State of the Future was named November 2014 “Book of the Month” by Global Foresight Books.

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