Friday Futures: Bitcoin pollution, swarm intelligence and KFC escape pods

bitcoin future
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Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of  The Future from around the web. This week: Bitcoin is ruining our language and the environment; clairvoyant swarm intelligence; reversing the ‘arrow of time’; and KFC internet escape pods!

Cryptocurrencies are ruining the English language

Not everyone is so thoughtful, though. Lately on the internet, people in the world of Bitcoin and other digital currencies are starting to use the word “crypto” as a catch-all term for the lightly regulated and burgeoning world of digital currencies in general, or as shorthand for “cryptocurrency”—which is annoying the hell out of cryptography experts. Read on…

How Bitcoin could cost us our clean air future

Bitcoin’s creators envisioned it as a replacement for money itself — a decentralized, secure, anonymous method for transferring value between people. But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind Bitcoin could one day become. Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. Find out why…

Swarm intelligence predicts Time’s Person of Year – again

For the second year in a row, Unanimous AI’s artificial swarm intelligence has predicted Time’s Person of the Year (or persons, in this case). With a 100% success rate, swarm AI proves that it’s capable of absorbing human insight in real-time for an optimized choice. Find out how…

Your next pet might not be flesh and blood

Robotic dogs and cats have garnered the love and attention of owners around the world, and are increasingly used for therapy purposes. What does our connection with these robots tell us about ourselves, and what could replacing living animals with robots do to humans? What will you cuddle next….

Here’s a wristband that can control hot flushes

Having noticed a gap in the market for menopausal relief products, Loughborough University graduate Peter Astbury has created a wristband for menopausal women, which is designed to regulate and alleviate hot flushes. Find out more…

Scientists just reversed the ‘arrow of time’

Through a remarkable experiment, an international team of scientists has found that it is possible to reverse the arrow of time without violating the second law of thermodynamics. Their research confirms that we still have much to learn about the world around us. Brief yourself now…

KFC can kill the holiday noise, in a Colonel Sanders pod

KFC wants to rescue you from the holidays with the latest addition to its branded merchandise lineup. The $10,000 “Internet Escape Pod” aims to help a fan of the chicken chain “escape the holiday-related technological noise.” It looks like a space-aged silver dome, and comes with a chicken leg-shaped door handle. No, really, look …

(Compiled by Alex Leslie; Edited by John C Tanner)

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