Play Lab_Micro Futures
Trend #1: The Political Reality Show
You may not love reality shows, but now’s the time to realize you’re living in one…We no longer know what it’s like to live in a state of non-entertainment…Campaigns have gone from public beseechments about governance to a subgenre of programming so successful that it is no longer limited to election years…And Election 2016: The Ratfuck Reality TV Show, costarring a genuine reality TV show host, is simply the end result of decades of primetime pump-priming.
— Rolling Stone
His behavior is in keeping with reality television, in which those who survive and win are those who know that fictional reality is more important than worldly reality.
— The New York Times
For more that a year, the Trump campaign has been run like a reality show. It has been filled with drama, controversy and interesting characters that often mask over the weaknesses of its golden-haired impresario. Despite his many apparent flaws, Trump was able to defeat all of his GOP opponents, every one of whom is more qualified than he to be president.
— Huffington Post
Trend #2: Emotional Expression Through Technology
With this new range of emotions, the next generation might be worse prepared than ever to fully and adequately express themselves through anything but emojis. The digital age has produced a lot of good, but perhaps self-reflexivity isn’t one of them. Facebook’s reaction system bastardizes emotions to an unsalvageable extreme, by which they become a component of a performative online identity, rather than a tool for meaningful interaction.
— Brock Press
Affective computing is a growing field that seeks to imbue electronic devices with emotional intelligence so that they can respond to our feelings. Emotional information is interpreted via sensors that analyze a person’s physical state, taking special note of bodily changes that are associated with different emotions. As the field continues to grow, a combination of video cameras, microphones and wearables will take into account everything from body language (facial expressions, posters, gestures), to speech patterns, to physiological changes (temperature, heartbeat, muscle tension, pupil dilation). All of the collected data will help to paint a detailed picture of our emotional makeup.
Trend #3: Technology’s Affect on Spatial Thinking
Like any technology, digital maps are changing our brains as well as our behavior. Traditionally, people get around their houses, neighborhoods and cities with the help of an internal “cognitive map.” But that system isn’t much of a map at all. It’s more like a personal library filled with discrete bits of knowledge, landmarks (a bus stop, a church, a friend’s house), and routes. When faced with a new wayfinding task, the brain assembles a plan from those elements. It’s hard work, and its exact mechanism remains a subject of dispute among neuroscientists.
The advent of self-driving cars, projected to make up a sizable share of the American auto market by 2030, represents the culmination of the cartographer’s ancient quest to eliminate human effort and error from navigation.