Technology is a blank slate, but when it is combined with human or machine based creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship it is a tool that can help us transform the world, and as new powerful emerging technologies become increasingly affordable and democratised our ability to transform culture, industry, and society, at global scale and speed, accelerates.
WELCOME TO THE Griffin Emerging Technology Starburst 2018 Edition, which is part of our overall 311 Institute Emerging Technology Starburst Collection, and which is complimented by the companion 311 Institute Exponential Technology Codex which explores the future and deep future and all of the technologies listed on our Starbursts in greater detail.
Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who supported me over the past year to make 2017 my most enjoyable year yet, and here’s to a prosperous 2018 to you all.
As in previous years, and building on the firm foundation of the previous 2017 Griffin Emerging Technology Starbursts this year’s 2018 Starburst is the culmination of years of ceaseless investigating, monitoring, and tracking the appearance and development of new emerging technologies from every corner of the globe, and I am now tracking over 300 of them. It’s also clear that, year on year, the volume of new emerging technologies appearing is still increasing, and that their impact, power, and sophistication, and ergo their ability, to disrupt and transform global culture, industry and society, especially as many of them become increasingly democratised, with a pace and voracity never seen before, is also increasing.
The 2018 Griffin Emerging Technology Starburst, 2018 to 2040
They, whoever “they” are, say a lot changes in a year, computer chips get faster, displays get sharper, storage devices get larger, but a year in the life of emerging technology is like none other that you’ll ever experience. In many ways, it’s like watching technology development on steroids, with what seems to be a decade’s or more progress crammed into just a scant twelve months. And it gets faster and more furious every year. Indeed, when it comes to emerging technology development it increasingly feels like we’re riding on the back of a rocket.
In this year’s Starburst, which displays 169 of the world’s most promising and coveted emerging technologies, each with an addressable market value of at least $500 Billion spread across 11 categories, I have expanded the horizon timeline from 2035 to 2040, giving you a clear 22 year view of what’s coming, and promoted 42 new emerging technologies that weren’t in last years’ Starburst.
The Starbursts also have a more practical application though, and that is to help governments, individuals and organisations foresee new disruptive threats to their countries, industries, and companies,, and, together with our How to Build Exponential Enterprises Codex and our ExPLORER Innovation Framework, help them accelerate the development of new policies, products, and services.
Among the hundreds of other emerging technology breakthroughs I saw were, for example, the development of the world’s first self-designing, self-evolving, and self-replicating AI’s, and AI’s 3D printed and made out of DNA, a new, self-configuring “unhackable” computer platform, a new communication technology that sends data without using signals, a relatively promising alternative to Blockchain, the first human telepathic game, the first memories transferred between animals, and six new types of computing platform, and all that’s for starters.
By creating and publishing these Starbursts I’m hoping they help spark people’s imagination, and demonstrate to us all, young and old, rich and poor, that nothing is impossible. For example, a couple of years ago we researchers managed to download, upload and stream images, information and movies directly from people’s brains, using Artificial Intelligence (AI), neural interfaces and the latest fMRI technology, and elsewhere other researchers used these same technologies to build the world’s first human telepathic interface, then, last year, thanks to new developments in the field of lasers, optical sensors and quantum communications technology, researchers teleported photons 300 kilometers into space, and used nano technology to build the first prototype cancer hunting nanobots. And thousands more world firsts and breakthroughs besides.
In 2017, I’m happy to say, the 2017 Starburst had the impact I hoped it would and it was used by, among others, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, whose handsets are in the palms of billions of people, and high tech semiconductor companies, whose chips power tens of billions of devices, to hundreds of other smaller organisations, to map out the future of their industries, and alternative industries, help them ideate the next twenty years of products and services, and, perhaps more importantly to “figure out what comes next.”
Signing off for now, if I could give you one piece of advice, from all my years of being a “futurist,” it would be forget what you know, open your mind and look forwards to what’s coming, because it’s going to be an awesome ride, and if you want to know more then you’re in the right place, check out my blogs, keynotes and videos, hold onto your hats and let’s go down the wormhole together.