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Rudy De Waele’s Shift 2020

Here’s a nice visual presentation from Rudy de Waele covering most of the key near-term (2020 is only six years away!) tech themes. De Waele calls the presentation “a collaborative look on How Technology Will Impact Our Future in the year 2020 with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT), Connected Devices and Wearable Technology.” 

You don’t even need a voiceover for this; the images tell the story. Check it out:

De Waele will be presenting this content at NEXT Berlin 2014. It’s an event for the future of digital.

Really, at this point, if you’re not working to understand IoT, wearables, robotics, automation, AI, digital identities and similar “futuristic” topics, 2020 might look rather strange to you.

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Colbert, Bleep-Blorp and Robot Ethics

Here’s a brilliant little video segment from Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report that I thought would be a nice follow-on to yesterday’s post on Kirobo’s Farewell, the strangely touching goodbye conversation between a Japanese astronaut and his orbital robot companion.

In this bit, Colbert, inspired by a recent US Navy program, riffs on the topic of “teaching robots morality,” with a rather dark twist at the end.

Click here to check it out (you’ll probably have to watch an ad, but it’s worth it).

So it seems that the ethics of man-machine relationships are on the minds of many these days … and maybe Colbert is right, maybe it’s the machines who should worry.


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Kirobo’s Farewell

Some time ago, I wrote about Kirobo, the robot companion that accompanied astronaut Kochi Wakata to the International Space Station in November of last year.

Here’s the post I wrote.

The Kirobo-Wakata relationship was an experiment in assessing smart robotic technology’s effectiveness in keeping a human company on the lonely watches of space travel. Now, after some six months in space, Wakata is returning to earth but leaving Kirobo behind in space.

Here’s a poignant video of Wakata’s farewell to Kirobo:

In the video, the emotional content is great, if only projected from us humans, and I love Kirobo’s pragmatism (tact? naiveté?) in understanding he’s being left behind because of an available space issue. No apparent abandonment issues at all!

Fascinating stuff, and perhaps a glimpse of the future. For additional information, videos and more, visit the Kirobo site here.