In the future you will pay with your face

In the distant future I think there’s a real possibility that keys will cease to exist. Instead we will open doors with our faces. Similarly, we won’t have cash or credit cards or even Apple Pay. What we will have is Apple Face Pay or some similar (Facebook Face?). We will pay for things by having machines scan our faces, which are probably a bit more secure than a signature, passwords we can’t remember or, in the case of physical locks, sets of keys (we currently carry an average of 9 metal keys, but have no idea what 3 do!),

In China, companies such as Face ++ (currently valued at around $1 billion), Alibaba and Baidu have developed such facial recognition technology already. Of course China is not the UK or US. In China surveillance is omnipresent and its people don’t seem to care about this too much. Minority Report and Face Off here we come….

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So essentially stay at home

Thanks due to Matt Doyle for sign spotting. Do please send any further signs in, especially any related to risk or what might be termed ‘weak signals’.

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100 Most Disruptive Technologies

Little bit of an issue. The final table is now embargoed until Monday January 22 for various reasons. I’ll put the table and the PDF back up end of Monday. Sorry.

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In-home delivery

I was eating (or attempting to) in a restaurant in London recently and the food took ages to arrive. Why? Because the kitchen kept cooking things for Uber Eat delivery drivers to collect, which seemed to take priority over the food for people actually sitting in the restaurant. I won’t be going back there again. But it seems I’m not alone.

Putting aside the fact I always seem to be in traffic stuck behind a van delivering supermarket items for people that can’t be bothered to visit a supermarket there’s a good example from New York that I heard about yesterday. Guy walks into a dry cleaners….but it’s not a joke. He want to pick up a suit, but there’s a queue of six people in front of him collecting parcels from Amazon or some such. This is because the dry cleaning shop has become an online delivery hub. His view was wait a minute, surely I have priority here. I’m using the dry cleaning for dry cleaning. Is he right or wrong?

So how to solve this. One idea being developed by Amazon is in-home delivery even when you are out. If you fit a digital lock to your front door you can digitally authorise companies or delivery people to open the door and drop things off. Or for that matter allow cleaners, baby sitters, dog walkers etc to get in when you are out.

I can see this working for people in rented apartments with nothing worth stealing, but otherwise I’m not convinced. Depends how much you trust the likes of Amazon, Uber etc I guess, which in my case is not a lot. Actually, I can see this being widely adopted by younger generations. Also, on the plus side, if all your stuff is stolen I guess you can let the insurance claims guy in when you’re not at home too.

BTW, in case you think that same day delivery is a fixed feature of the future it might not be. I’ve been told on good authority that in the UK a delivery costs £20, so on orders of £25 or £30 this may not be sustainable…unless, of course, we give the job to robots.

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Could do better

Boring graphic from WEF. This is much more interesting….digital drinks.

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Brainmail is back

Well this is probably a record even by my abysmally low standards. The problem is that I’ve more or less given up reading newspapers, which makes finding Brainmail material more difficult. Why have I given up? Partly it’s because there’s next to nothing of interest in them nowadays and partly because what is in them depresses me. But I have found a solution. Read newspapers when they are a week or even a month old. It’s much easier to scan and filter them and also somewhat Zen. The antics of Trump, Putin, Jean Claude Junkers and Kim Jong-un somehow don’t worry me when it’s all yesterday’s news.

Two bits of recent news that did appeal to me concern two rogue robots. The first was an autonomous K5 security robot that drowned itself in a water feature inside an office complex in Washington DC. Evidence of true artificial intelligence surely? The second was a security robot, also a K5, hired by an animal shelter in San Francisco to scare off homeless people. (Surely they need a K9? Geddit?). I’m still processing that thought. A robot hired to scare away homeless people from a shelter for homeless animals. Nope, I still can’t cope with that thought.

Anyway, here’s the new brainmail (issue 105 no less).

Issue links:
Or re-sized to read on your phone

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Stumbled upon…

Not too far from what I was thinking….

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Predictions for 2018 (from 1968)

Lovely article in The New Yorker (part above) about what a bunch of smart people in 1968 thought 2018 might look like. Lots of things way off the mark, but a few, especially around climate change and computing, that are more or less on the money.

The bext bit is the end bit. Let’s worry less about what might happen 50 years into the future and worry more about affecting change in the present. Amen to that.

Full article.

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List of Disruptive Technologies

It’s almost done! (although hard to believe with this image).

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Happy Christmas

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