Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com

Google’s New Chip Is a Stepping Stone to Quantum Computing Supremacy

John Martinis has given himself just a few months to reach a milestone in the history of computing.<p>He’s leader of the Google research group working …

Quantum Mechanics

Why Blockchain May Be Your Next Supply Chain

Blockchain technology may be shaking up a supply chain near you. It’s smarter, it’s faster, and it gets more participants on board.<p>In a recent piece at <i>Harvard Business Review</i>, Michael J. Casey and Pindar Wong observe that blockchain — an online globally distributed general ledger that keeps track …

Bitcoin

How Western civilisation could collapse

Some possible precipitating factors are already in place. How the West reacts to them will determine the world’s future, says Rachel Nuwer.<p>The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth. Should …

Economics

Silicon Valley’s finest are finally developing a code of ethics

Resistance begins at home. For Silicon Valley, that means transforming an unprecedented protest movement against US President Donald Trump’s young presidency into something more than signs and slogans.<p>To do so, software engineers and executives in the Valley are writing a set of civic values they …

Silicon Valley

Toyota just unveiled a massive, hydrogen-powered truck — here's what we know about it

When it comes to hydrogen-powered vehicles, Toyota is thinking big.<p>Toyota officially unveiled a massive, hydrogen-powered truck on Wednesday that will transport cargo within the Port of Los Angeles. The 18-wheeler is part of a larger feasibly study that will assess how the emerging technology …

Hydrogen

Tomorrow's Cities: Singapore's plans for a smart nation

<b>Singapore is aiming to be the world's first Smart Nation - but what does that actually entail?</b><p>You know what it's like. You're waiting for the bus on your way to work and inevitably, you're late. Enter Singapore's Smart Nation solution, which aims to merge technology into every aspect of life on the …

Singapore

Louisiana's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Disappearing Coastline

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency over the state's rapidly eroding coastline.<p>It's an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and speed up the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects.<p>"Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising …

Climate

Are 'machine values' replacing our principles?

"We are losing empathy, compassion, truth-telling, fairness, and responsibility and replacing them with all these machine values," says Michael …

Robots

Walmart Wants To Cut 1 Billion Tons Of Emissions Out Of Its Supply Chain

Project Gigaton aims to help the retail giant’s vast supply chain be more sustainable. And when Walmart says jump, the companies it works with tend to ask: “how high?”<p>For better and worse, Walmart shapes the world. The mega-retailer has 11,695 stores internationally, more than 100,000 suppliers, …

Sustainability

As the U.S. retreats, China is taking the lead on green energy

Donald Trump's "let's go with coal" strategy is giving China a massive opening in the future of electricity<p>Finance ministers from across the world will converge on Washington this week for the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF.<p>At last year’s annual meetings, these ministers pledged to …

Renewable Energy

A Chinese car startup trying to take on Tesla just unveiled a stunning electric SUV

Electric car startup Nio just made a huge move to challenge Tesla in China, which is rapidly becoming the most important market for companies pursuing battery-powered vehicles.<p>Nio unveiled its electric SUV, the Nio ES8, at the Shanghai motor show on Wednesday. The startup said the vehicle will go …

Tesla

Shanghai is getting an entire ‘farming district’ with towering vertical farms and seed libraries

Shanghai may be known for its towering skyscrapers, but a large part of the city will soon have towering vertical farms that grow fruit and vegetables.<p>The city is planning a 250-acre agricultural district, which will function as a space to work, live, shop, and farm food. Called Sunqiao Shanghai, …

Urban Planning

Mark Zuckerberg just signed the death warrant for the smartphone

It's no secret Mark Zuckerberg is pinning Facebook's prospects on augmented reality — technology that overlays digital imagery onto the real world, like Snapchat's signature camera filters.<p>At this year's F8 conference, taking place this week, Zuckerberg doubled down on the company's ambitious …

Augmented Reality

The Silent Crisis of Retail Employment

What to do when department-store jobs—or mining and manufacturing jobs—go away<p>Brick-and-mortar retail is having a meltdown, and economists are starting to see the effects in the job market.<p>Overall retail employment has fallen every month this year. Department stores, including Macy’s and JC Penney, …

Equality

How the ‘Internet of Things’ is creating smart cities around the world

Image: Shutterstock/PKphotograph<p>Image: Shutterstock/PKphotograph<p>WHETHER IT’S THE INTRODUCTION of free (albeit patchy) Wifi on otherwise …

The First Wave of Corporate AI Is Doomed to Fail

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic right now. Driven by a fear of losing out, companies in many industries have announced AI-focused initiatives. Unfortunately, most of these efforts will fail. They will fail not because AI is all hype, but because companies are approaching AI-driven innovation …

Machine Learning

5 Ways China Is Becoming the Global Leader on Climate Change

By Bridgette Burkholder Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt called the Paris agreement a " bad deal ." He …

Renewable Energy

Caterpillar's driverless dumpsters drive disruption in Australian mines

While much of the media is focused upon driverless cars, industrial vehicle makers have forged ahead, developing autonomous vehicles capable of …

Driverless Cars

Alibaba targets Silk Road train route for European push

Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba is taking to the new Silk Road with a search for warehouse locations along the route of the recently launched China to UK rail link.<p>The retailer is understood to have approached property developers across the continent who have buildings in locations which are …

China

A Chinese warehouse reportedly cut its labor costs in half with a fleet of tiny robots

It’s a disconcerting narrative to the American government, but the US is being outspent and out-scaled by the implementation of robots in China. Asia produces more robots than the rest of the world combined, and Chinese workers fear unemployment at the hands of robots more than anyone else. Even …

Robots

Multiple Routes Between China And Europe Is Why The New Silk Road Is A Real Game Changer

The power and potential of the Belt and Road — aka the New Silk Road — lies in its versatility. This emerging network of revitalized transportation routes and new trading hubs which stretch between China and Europe finds efficiency, security, and healthy competition in the fact that it is not a …

China

How the convergence of automotive and tech will create a new ecosystem

As the high-tech and automotive worlds merge—with four disruptive technology trends driving change—a complex ecosystem is creating new rules for …

Innovation

What to Expect When Innovation Accelerates

If you're thinking of working with an accelerator, here's what it might look like.<p>Like the perfectly in-tune members of a symphonic orchestra, or graceful ballet dancers on pointed toe performing in Swan Lake, real innovation breathes effortless class and synergy (despite the years of …

Innovation

Self-taught artificial intelligence beats doctors at predicting heart attacks

Doctors have lots of tools for predicting a patient’s health. But—as even they will tell you—they’re no match for the complexity of the human body. …

Artificial Intelligence

How AI Is Like Electricity—and Why That Matters

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘artificial intelligence’? For those raised on a steady diet of big budget Hollywood sci-fi, …

Artificial Intelligence

Here’s how to civilise Uber, and make the other ‘death stars’ work for us too

If we want the tech behemoths to start behaving themselves we must tear our transfixed gaze from their exploits, and start using our brains instead<p>Pretty much everyone who has seen the 1990 sci-fi movie Total Recall remembers Johnny Cab, the sardonic robot taxi driver. A quarter of a century on, …

Uber

The World Could Reach Peak Coal And Oil In Three Years, Thanks To Cheap Renewables

We’re not running out of fossil fuels, they’re just not going to be worth it.<p>The world could reach peak oil and coal in as little as three years–not because either is close to running out, but because of the falling cost of solar power and electric cars and stronger climate policy.<p>A new report from …

Renewable Energy

Volvo will make its first electric vehicle in China

Volvo will produce its first electric vehicle in China, <i>Automotive News Europe</i> says, citing people familiar with the process whom it didn't identify. The company will debut sales of the yet-to-be revealed model in 2019. Volvo will also export the model globally.<p>The automaker plans to announce …

Transportation

New York Intends To Revolutionize The Electric Power Grid As We Know It

<b>New York’s Richard Kauffman: planning for the emerging energy economy</b><p>In March, Austin Texas hosted the Energy Thought Summit, a gathering focused on the topic of designing for our energy future. Among the attendees was Richard Kauffman, the designer-in-chief of New York’s revolutionary REV …

Renewable Energy