Will My Future Self Be Disappointed in the Decisions I’m Making Today? – Excerpts from “Epiphany Z”

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On January 10, 2017, my new book, “Epiphany Z – Eight Radical Visions for Transforming Your Future was officially released in bookstores all around the world. Here are a few excerpts from the book where I discuss the concept of “future self.”

Being a Futurist is far more than just making predictions. It involves digging deep into the nature of humanity to better understand who we are and why we do the things that we do.

So what kind of relationship do you have with your future self?

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Students are zapping their brains for a boost

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Last October, Matt Herich was listening to the news while he drove door to door delivering pizzas. A story came on the radio about a technology that sends an electric current through your brain to possibly make you better at some things — moving, remembering, learning. He was fascinated.

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Humans can now move robots just by thinking

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Most robotic arm systems required a very complex and very invasive brain implant… until now. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a new system that requires only a sexy helmet and a bit of thinking, paving the way to truly mind-controlled robotic tools.

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Electrodes let you taste and chew in virtual reality

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You’re having dinner in a virtual reality game. The banquet scene in front of you looks so real that your mouth is watering. Normally, you would be disappointed, but not this time. You approach the food, stick out your tongue – and taste the flavours on display. You move your jaw to chew – and feel the food’s texture between your teeth.

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Job security won’t exist in the age of ‘superintelligence’

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Coined in 1956 by John McCarthy, it was originally intended to define an independent machine agent that can take actions to maximize success toward a particular goal, with human-like functions such as learning and problem solving. AI can be broadly categorized as ANI (artificial narrow intelligence), AGI (artificial general intelligence) and ASI (artificial superintelligence). Almost all of the AI systems we see today align under ANI — e.g., IBM Watson, Deep Blue, a calculator, even the device you’re reading this from all fall into that category. All are built to perform specific functions, but are not quite at a human level.

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Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs Are Here At Last

 NO, REALLY. AMPUTEES HAVE BEEN TESTING THEM FOR OVER A YEAR

For a full decade, Gudmundur Olafsson was unable to move his right ankle. That’s because it wasn’t there. Olafsson’s amputated lower leg was the delayed casualty of an accident from his childhood in Iceland, when he was hit by an oil truck. “I lived in pain for 28 years,” says Olafsson. “After 50-plus operations, I had it off.” For years after the operation he wore a Proprio Foot, a prosthetic with a motorized, battery-powered ankle, sold by the Reykjavik-based company Ossur.

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Paralyzed man feels through robotic fingers

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A 28-year-old man left paralyzed after a car accident has been able to feel as though he was touching something with his fingers after a robotic arm was connected directly to his brain in a world-first breakthrough.

Nathan Copeland, who was injured after crashing his car on a rainy night in Pennsylvania when he was just 18, spoke of experiencing a “really weird sensation” as he touches things.

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Remote control of the brain is coming. How will it be used?

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Controlling the minds of others from a distance has long been a favourite science fiction theme – but recent advances in genetics and neuroscience suggest that we might soon have that power for real.

Just over a decade ago, the bioengineer Karl Deisseroth and his colleagues at Stanford University published their paper on the optical control of the brain – now known as optogenetics – in which the firing pattern of neurons is controlled by light.

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“Brain Malware”: How Hackers could get inside your brain

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Hackers have spyware in your mind. You’re minding your business, playing a game or scrolling through social media, and all the while they’re gathering your most private information direct from your brain signals. Your likes and dislikes. Your political preferences. Your sexuality. Your PIN.

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