Artificial Intelligence • Future Forecasting
Sophie is a futurist whose research entails meeting weirdos and troublemakers in off-the-beaten-track labs, makerspaces, garages around the globe – Shenzhen, Seoul, Detroit, Mumbai. As part of her research, she consults for exec teams and boards of large companies on understanding the explosive new technologies defining the new economy. Sophie is also CEO of a data and AI company, 1715 Labs, that she’s currently spinning out of the Astrophysics department at Oxford University with her academic co-founder. This follows a career building businesses for WIRED magazine, for Singularity University at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, and prior to California, the interdisciplinary Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, where Sophie raised more than $120m of research investment.
We have an internet economy and yet an analogue set of business processes to support it, from manufacturing to supply chains. How do morphing concepts of IP impact how we think about the ‘value’ of a product? With Tesla and others opening up their patents, what does an open source future look like? Will we email objects across a digital supply chain?
How technology and demography are converging, precipitating huge spending on robotics by economies like China, Japan, Korea who are facing massive demographic challenges. The rise of robots, drones, exoskeletons as tools to support an older population, as well as neuroenhancements or ‘technodoping’ to ensure our continued mental agility. Will we infact need robots to do jobs that we don’t have enough humans for?
What can we learn for Earth, from the bold astropreneurs who are innovating off-planet. An industry that didn’t exist only a few years ago, what we can learn from technologies being developed for space, from asteroid mining to space payments to terraforming Mars?
Without a new compute paradigm shift, we will be unable to make the AI dream a reality. How we are entering a new compute era, giving us access to almost unlimited power. What would we do if we had machines 1 trillion times faster than today? New chips, new architectures, new quantum possibilities.
From China to South Korea to Japan. How science and technology is blooming in Asia and the incredible dynamism of the region. How new spaces for innovation and creativity are taking shape outside Silicon Valley or corporate labs, whose creativity and scale are underestimated in the West.
I believe we will we use genetic information to make important business decisions far beyond healthcare, from security to supply chain management to food safety. How we are on the brink of a genomics explosion which will change the way we make decisions, and personalise our healthcare and lifestyle behaviours.
Where do we end and the ‘robots’ begin? How to understand the blurring of boundaries, how we will ‘speak’ to / interact with machines, how – and where?- to tax the robots. The uneasy ambivalence we feel about these machines, flipping haphazardly between sympathy and fear. How will the internet ‘understand’ us and our emotions – and what will that do to our lives as consumers, as we transact, live, love, and work increasingly virtually?
Autonomous vehicles, Hyperloop, ‘robot’ factories: when all plugged together can be thought of as a physical internet, a platform that sends humans, goods, vehicles around the world seamlessly, similar to how the internet transmits data. An exploration of a seamless transport future where rockets and robots collaborate.
How sensors are blending intelligence invisibly into our environment, turning the world into a computer that is processing information about us all the time. Real time ‘CCTV of the planet’ will offer radical transparency, enabling us to track economic activity, predict unrest or even prosecute lawbreakers, remotely. Privacy, personal sovereignty, security, ethics, and technical limitations, are balanced with the opportunities this depth of data provides.
Demystifying what is an overheated term, and demonstrating real-world use-cases of machine intelligence, today and tomorrow. How a new super intelligence will help us make sense of the data explosion, moving from just observing the world, to taking decisions for us. Machines will also present answers to questions we never thought to ask. Answers are cheap, it’s the questions we can now ask that offer the competitive advantage.
If AI is automating human intelligence, virtual technologies are automating human experience. The concept of content will radically shift as we previously shared video and images, we will soon share 3D objects, or even people. Blending real and virtual worlds will take us from fake news to fake worlds. Novel use cases for virtual objects and virtual experiences are blended with the fascinating psychological impacts of life as an avatar.