Tell me. Are you a robot?

Recommended Thinking

Future-gazing, trends, identity, GDPR and the foundation of an entirely new US healthcare paradigm. Quite a lot in our first newsletter of the year.

“Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

Jeff Bezos

It’s a good motto for any project, but Jeff is only talking about the foundation of an entirely new US healthcare paradigm. 

Note this important point: “The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions…..” If you were going to start an NHS in America, this is probably how you would do it. Three very big partners who you’d back to make it work, but what will those ‘technology solutions’ be?

We’ve been working with our friends at Brightpearl for a while now, and we’re delighted that that’s going to continue this year.

Tell me. Are you a robot?

A recent BBC headline asked “Could this feature have been written by a robot?” The answer is yes, because more and more news articles are generated not written, and for the most part you’d never be able to tell. How would you know if this newsletter had been written by a human hand, or generated by a painstakingly educated matrix of algorithms?

When Isaac Asimov wrote his three laws for robots, with a Sci-Fi author’s gift for prescience, he was imagining rules to prevent physical machines from doing physical harm to humans, but he would surely have smiled to see that our most intelligent robots are not identifiable C3POs – but now are invisibly hiding in plain sight behind names like Alexa, Siri, Watson and Deepmind.

Should the first rule now be ‘Robots must be identifiable’ ?

Pulling the web out of the screen.

They said that nobody saw it coming, but we had a go. Voice Control, Spatial Computing, Machine Teachers, Nano-yolk batteries and of course Blockchain, or something like it. Our team suggested what we should be looking forward to for 2018’s tech breakthroughs.

Zero UI

“The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way.”

The rise and rise of Zero UI
Spatial computing

Whether or not you’re convinced people will wear smart-glasses in the future, spatial computing is already transforming the way we work, learn, and spend our leisure time.

“Never mind autonomous driving, we need better batteries first, and fast.”

Charge in seconds, last months and power over the air? A good round up of what the next power surge will/might look like.


The UK government is serious about supporting the development of “Distributed Ledger Projects.” Interesting to see the avoidance of the B word, but they’ve found £19 million to put into an investment pot.

My Blockchain

Who owns and validates our digital identities? How can we take control of and protect our personal data, particularly our financial transactions and histories? Is this the arena where Blockchain starts to make sense? Civic is having a go at making it work.

Civic’s verified identity idea using decentralized Blockchain technology seems like a good idea, but …what could possibly go wrong?


Asks (and answers) this article.

“The objective of this new set of rules is to give citizens back control over of their personal data, and to simplify the regulatory environment for business.”

The EC’s theory is that consumer trust is essential to fostering growth in the digital economy. And it thinks trust can be won by giving users of digital services more information and greater control over how their data is used.

The Trending 2018 Technology Trends

Society will promote its desire for transparency, validity and absolute truth”

Everyone agrees that we all want clarity. Not everyone agrees that “What it means to be “manly” will be refuted while reconsidering traits and styles…” The big analysts agree on most things we should see developing this year.
Top 20 Overlapping Cultural Trends From 13 Reports.
“We live in a hybrid data and compute world, requiring flexibility and new architectures with sophistication to span edge to core, enabling distributed machine learning systems to distill end-to-end data insights.”

There is a lot of jargon in this piece, but it’s also extremely insightful, and although there are a lot of different ideas, there’s lots of synergy and synchronicity in their thinking.

CIO Priorities For 2018: IT Thought Leaders Share Their Predictions.

Azure, Chrome, Electron, CSS Grid a React thing called FoodTruck and a whole lot more. The first Devs toolbox of the year is a good one. Open up the box and pick a tool.

Small now – but will be huge soon. Pictures in the air: 3D printing with light.

Nobody saw it coming….

The last two paragraphs from our vision for 2018 are a good place to end:

‘All crystal ball gazing should come with the reminder that there’s always some mad genius working on something in a garage or university lab, that will just march in and take over. iPods, iPhones, Teslas…. All these were secret products we had no idea we needed until they arrived all bright and shiny, and within five minutes they were everywhere.

So our final prediction comes verbatim from our man Paul who pithily predicts that there will be, “Endless talk about Autonomous Vehicles with nothing of value to a consumer delivered this year (or maybe ever). My hunch is that Autonomous Vehicles will be completely sidestepped by something nobody saw coming.”

How exciting. We can’t wait to see what it could be.

If you want help planning for your organisation’s intelligent mobile future, please do get in touch.

And finally, put your headphones on and relax…. Something soothing for your mind, ears and eyeballs..…winter can be very beautiful.


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