The Wired World

The Wired World 2018

From the creative minds behind WIRED, the recognised authority on the future, THE WIRED WORLD IN 2013 is a new annual trend report that covers a broad range of topics across eight sections; from science to arts, politics to medicine and culture to the environment. With over 100 articles by associates from the far reaches of the WIRED network, this is an invaluable guide to the year ahead for the knowledge-hungry.

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United Kingdom
Conde Nast Publications Ltd

en este número

2 min.

DAVID BAKER “The WIRED World has always been a barometer – not only of the innovations we will see but also of the challenges we will face. And, looking over this issue, it’s clear that a big topic in 2018 is going to be how we manage the interface between technology and humanity. From AR to ethical algorithms and an artificial pancreas, we will be asking ourselves what it means when tech and human beings start to merge. It’s a scary thought for some, but the only way we will get it right is by sharing our ideas of the future – and that is what The WIRED World is all about.” HELEN LEWIS The New Statesman’s deputy editor Lewis predicts that we will teach machines to learn without prejudice: “Algorithms will continue…

2 min.
from the editor

THE WIRED TEAM SPENDS ITS DAYS TALKING TO innovators – the thinkers, entrepreneurs, designers and scientists who are driving meaningful change in the world. The result is a growing multi-platform portfolio of reporting, storytelling and analysis that enables our readers to understand what’s coming next. Over the past six years, we’ve embarked on an ambitious annual project that enables us to exercise a specific muscle: one that requires predictions about the year ahead. Clearly, what futurist Kevin Kelly refers to as “inevitable” technologies, like artificial intelligence or virtual reality, will shape our world in the coming years; but quite when – and how – is hard to determine, so we ask some of the experts in the WIRED network to make one definite prediction about the coming 12 months. Our contributors gamely…

3 min.
we will teach machines how to learn without prejudice

IN THE EARLY DAYS OF COMPUTING, THERE WAS A useful acronym to describe our interactions with machines: GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. Artificial brains are only as clever – and as moral – as the people programming them. That dynamic will be even more vital in 2018, as algorithms continue their steady transformation of everything from healthcare to commerce. Already, automated programmes set prices on websites, recommend films to us, make stock-market trades and decide which news sources we will see on Facebook. “The most important moments where people interact with large bureaucratic systems involve an algorithm in the form of a scoring system,” wrote Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction, in July 2017. “Getting into college, getting a job, a credit card or insurance, voting and even…

5 min.
augmented reality will hit the mainstream

IT’S EARLY 2018. YOU DECIDE YOU’RE SICK OF drinking swill and buy a fancy new espresso machine. But there are so many knobs and buttons! No worries; there’s an augmented reality (AR) app that shows you how to use it. Just point your smartphone camera at the machine and the app shows you, on screen, what all the buttons do. Then it walks you through a friendly tutorial showing you how to make your first macchiato. It’s not a YouTube video; it’s an interactive walk-through that recognises – from all angles – the specific buttons and the actual state of the machine. The camera can tell if the water reservoir needs filling and if the coffee capsule has been inserted correctly. The app has instructions for dozens of coffee drinks, cleaning…

4 min.
talking will replace typing on our devices

FOR YEARS WE HAVE INTERACTED WITH MACHINES the way they have dictated, by touch – using a keyboard, screen or mouse. But this is not the natural way for humans to communicate. As humans, we prefer voice. In 2018, we’ll see more machines learn to communicate the way humans do, with the potential for technology to become more ingrained into our lives than ever before. We’re at the beginning of a voice-fuelled technology transformation where new types of devices and services, such as the Echo and Alexa, allow us to communicate more naturally. They are being embedded into everything from cars to home automation services to the factory floor. Ford, for example, has integrated Alexa into its vehicles, allowing its customers to engage in a more intuitive way with its cars. Drivers…

4 min.
hearables will become more than just the latest fun gadget

LAST WEEK I WAS GRASPING FOR THE RIGHT words to explain to my local ferretería owner what I needed for a DIY project. He doesn’t speak English and my Spanish knowledge doesn’t stretch to “long-handled mole grips”. I found myself wishing for a Star Trek-style universal translator. In 2018, I might just get one. The hearables market has been steadily growing for years, with devices such as the Dash by Bragi, Here One and, most recently, Apple AirPods offering wireless headphones that can also monitor biometrics, filter out unwanted noise and help you interact with your phone. In the US, this smouldering market could ignite next year, due to new legislation allowing anyone to sell hearing assistance devices directly to consumers, without the onerous regulations that treated them as medical devices. The…