Foresight, Smart Agents, and Mediated Reality

My keynote (23 mins) on the Near-Term Future of Immersion for VRLA Summer Expo. It intros professional foresight, and new developments in Deep Learning (Natural Intelligence), Smart Agents & Mediated Reality.

It was supposed to be a 30 min talk, but the showrunner mistakenly thought I had only 20 mins, so I didn’t get into my VR and AR slides. Drats!

The full slides, with VR and AR as well, are here:
http://accelerating.org/presentations/SmartJ-FutureofImmersion-VRLAAug2016(32).pptx

What an amazing and disruptive world we’re co-creating!

Your Personal Sim: Part 1 — Your Attention Please

siri-ios-7A Multi-Part Series, Posted on Wednesdays on Medium

Part 1 — Your Attention Please: A New World Is Almost Upon Us

Summary (tl;dr)

  • This series will explore the five- to twenty-year future of smart agents and the knowledge bases they use and build. These may be the most socially important forms of AI that will emerge in the coming generation.
  • As we’ve seen in the headlines about deep learning since 2012, the AIs are presently awaking all around us, whether we want them to or not. They are also coming in our image — in their neural form and function — again whether we want them to or not. To paraphrase futurist Stewart Brand, “We are gaining superpowers, so we better get good at using them.”
  • A new kind of software agent called a personal sim is the most empowering and intimate form of AI on the horizon. We’ll soon be using sims that model our interests, goals, and values in their knowledge bases, and which act as our assistants and digital interfaces to the world.
  • In their early years we’ll likely think of sims as bright but slightly autistic children, much better at many tasks than we are, but still unschooled and unwise in many ways. At the same time, the knowledge bases our sims use will be full of errors, and won’t be sufficiently open at first.
  • The takeaway from this series will be that we will need to build and raise our sims and their knowledge bases well, with love and care, as they will be central to how billions of us live our lives in the 2020s and beyond.

Article

For the article and comments, see Your Personal Sim: Part 1 on Medium, thanks.

Author

John Smart is a futurist exploring the intersection of technology and culture from universal, acceleration, and evo-devo-based perspectives. These posts are excerpted from his new 15 chapter book on the foresight profession, The Foresight Guide. The Guide will posted free online, as a permanent, page-commentable blog, on June 30th at ForesightGuide.com. To be reminded when it goes online, leave your email address at ForesightGuide.com.

TFG New Cover

Investing as Foresight Practice

Do you invest? I hope you do, as investing, and teaching your children and friends to invest, is one of the classic ways people can and do put their futuring skills to the test. The great investors are all futurists to some degree, and a good study of their habits will help you improve your business and personal foresight skills as well. There are two types of investing, Conservative/Long-term and Speculative/Short-term (six months or less). Once you have enough saved and enough personal insurance to cover catastrophes, I hope you will choose to be involved in both. An asset mix that is commonly recommended is 80% conservative and 20% speculative.

9781118288252.pdfFor conservative investing, I have two main books to suggest for your edification. The first is Andrew Tobias’s brilliant The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need, 2011, which explores how saving, and cultivating a great understanding of the value of money, is by far the most important skill for any investor. For passive strategies, I highly recommend the The Permanent Portfolio, a modified version of which I’ve been following for several years now. A smartly asset-class-diversified approach like the permanent portfolio seems to me to be the best way to easily capture the growing financial value of our planet’s accelerating technical productivity, without being an active investor or trader. The Permanent Portfolio’s four asset classes are Index Stocks, Long-Term Treasury Bonds, Gold, and Cash. For some data on its performance, see Crawling Road’s 40-year retrospective study on its returns, which average 6 to 9% a year, depending on assumptions in calculations. This is nearly unbeatable for a passive investment strategy.

[Read more…]

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