TEDx Hollywood

I sat on the edge of the future at Tedx Hollywood at UCLA's campus in West Hollywood. 

I will be sharing some of the talks from the conference.

Check out my vlog here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxOxWYPJlpI

Brian David Johnson (futurist): Dark Future Precedents: How Science Fiction Will Save Business w/ Arizona State University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNqkcoSmJ3I

Johnson is a futurist who models positive visions of the future and works with organisations to get there. Where are things going?

His prediction for the next 5-10 years:


  • We will have Industrial Grade - Artificial Intelligence. This won’t be AI owned by large corporations like IBM’s Watson - it will be AI in your pocket/AI that you encounter all the time. 
  • The Proliferation of the Internet of Things - we will be able to turn anything into a computer. As we move into the future, we will be surrounded by things that are smart, intelligent, sensing and talking back and forth. 
  • The Global Spread of Smart Cities - cities that are aware/smart grids/smart citizenry - we will be living inside massive computers. We will be able to optimise our city for things - not just safety and security and sustainability - you can use it for making people laugh, holidays, togetherness, community. We will be able to optimise our environments. 
  • Meaningful use of Big Data and Data Science - take all the information from smart cities and internet of things and make use of it. Not just to sell more stuff, but to make lives better - healthier, happier, more productive. 
  • Normalization of Autonomous Transportation - not only on the ground, but in the sea and the air. More autonomy around us - cars, drones, ships. 
  • Everyday Encounters with Robots. 

What does the constellation of all these things mean? What will that world look like? What is the thing after the thing? What happens when this is all normal? What will the church look like? 

The Coming Age of Sentient Tools:

10-15 years, we will have tools that are aware - aware of where they are, aware of themselves. Smart tools that can think/think for us; tools that will be social and be able to interact with us. 

There will be no aspect of our lives that will be untouched by these tools. They won’t replace human beings, they are just artificial intelligence. What will that feel like to live in the age of sentient tools? 

It will not look like the robot image we have in our mind. What we imagine, when we think about this amazing future coming, is important. We should not be driven by fear.

The sentient tools are average / like hammers, spanners, screwdrivers - everyday ‘tools’. Tools are only interesting when you use them to do something. A hammer is only interesting when you use it to build a house. 

Human Imagination will Save The Future:

Nothing great was every built by people that wasn’t imagined first. The most under-utilised tool is the imagination. 

The vessel for that imagination is STORIES: human beings are story believing machines. Stories can show us the future we want to have/avoid. A story is a person in a place with a problem. 

Stories allow us to have a conversation about the future. Our power of imagination sets us apart from technology. 

Stories are real not stories until they are told.