Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day I read through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
Top-5 Futures for September 18th – Super Zombie Soldiers. This week we see engineered soldiers with a lack of empathy, the oceans rising faster than projects, planned parenthood being threatened in the U.S., 3D printed jewelry, and the campaign against sex robots.
Super Zombie Soldiers
Just a reminder of what DARPA is up to. Can you imagine the implications of creating humans with no empathy.
DARPA, an agency under the US department of defense, has started a heavily funded project that aims to enhance human ability in war zones, by altering the genetic code (recipe) of their soldiers. They hope to achieve supremacy by making soldiers that are stronger, smarter, more focused and lack empathy.
The credit goes to a relatively new scientific field called genetic engineering. It’s where scientists experiment with the “cook book” that contains the recipe that makes you, and all life around you. All life forms have their own recipe, and just like food, there are a finite number of ingredients to choose from. Combination of different ingredients in different proportions makes different life forms. Genetic engineers are practically capable of making glow in the dark babies, by simply adding certain genetic codes of jellyfish into the human genetic code.
Oceans Could Rise Faster Than Projected
A new report by top climate change scientists looks back more than 120,000 years to a previous period when the Earth warmed up, and raises the possibility of a near future where sea levels rise far faster and higher than previous projections if carbon emissions are not curtailed.
It is unlikely that coastal cities or low-lying areas such as Bangladesh, European lowlands and large portions of the United States eastern coast and northeast China plains could be protected against such large sea level rise.
Via NBC News
Fighting for Planned Parenthood
On Thursday, right-wing extremists in the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to try to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s largest providers of women’s health care and family planning services.
Planned Parenthood is under attack and it’s up to all of us to fight back. Any society that respects women must respect their right to control their own bodies. There is a strong moral case to be made for this — but this video isn’t about that. This is about the economics of family planning – which are one more reason it’s important for all of us to stand up and defend Planned Parenthood.
Economist Robert Reich breaks down why it is important for society.
3D Printed Jewelry
dvanced manufacturing could “reshape the jewellery industry,” says designer Lionel T Dean, who has designed a collection of artefacts that are directly 3D printed in 18 carat gold.
The future lies in digital design tools and the direct link between those and the artefact you get,” he says. “3D printing will reshape the landscape of the jewellery industry as designers get to grips with the capabilities of digital technologies and master the skills to harness them.
Campaign Against Sex Robots
Robot ethicists Kathleen Richardson of De Montfort University and Erik Billing from University of Skövde are the co-creators of the Campaign Against Sex Robots, which seeks to bring awareness to the issue and proposes a robot sex ban. They compare it to similar campaigns that seek to limit development of “killer” robots. Richardson and Billing believe that sex robots will degrade human relationships and reinforce a view of women as sexual objects.
We think that the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women and women.
On the Campaign’s website, these ideas are unpacked further, including:
- We believe the development of sex robots further objectifies women and children.
- The development of sex robots and the ideas to support their production show the immense horrors still present in the world of prostitution which is built on the “perceived” inferiority of women and children and therefore justifies their uses as sex objects.
- We propose that the development of sex robots will further reduce human empathy that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.
Personally, I find this to be completely ridiculous.
Via the BBC
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.