The era of hacking humans

Anastasia Nazarova
Sep 4, 2018 · 4 min read

We’re living in the freakin’ future now. You never know, which of technologies will change the curve of our life. But it’s a great opportunity to fantasize what next thing or usual process of doing smth will be replaced completely in the future?


Education

What the year 2050 has in store for humankind

Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is published on August 30

In this “extract from extract from this new book, we tried to reveal what skills you should start to develop straight away after your morning coffee tomorrow.

Part one: Change is the only constant

The best skill to teach children is reinvention. The last thing — to give more information. They already have far too much of it. Instead, people need the ability to make sense of information, to tell the difference between what is important and what is unimportant, and above all to combine many bits of information into a broad picture of the world. If this generation lacks a comprehensive view of the cosmos, the future of life will be decided at random.

Part two: The heat is on

So what should we be teaching? Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching “the four Cs” — critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. More broadly, schools should downplay technical skills and emphasize general-purpose life skills. Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, to learn new things and to preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations. In order to keep up with the world of 2050, you will need not merely to invent new ideas and products — you will above all need to reinvent yourself again and again.

“Who am I?” will be a more urgent and complicated question than ever before. Given that life expectancy is likely to increase, to stay relevant — not just economically, but above all socially — you will need the ability to constantly learn and to reinvent yourself, certainly at a young age like 50.

Part three: Hacking humans

You might have heard that we are living in the era of hacking computers, but that’s hardly half the truth. In fact, we are living in the era of hacking humans. The algorithms are watching you right now. They are watching where you go, what you buy, who you meet. They are relying on Big Data and machine learning to get to know you better and better. In the end, it’s a simple empirical matter: if the algorithms indeed understand what’s happening within you better than you understand it, the authority will shift to them.

To succeed in such a daunting task, you will need to work very hard on getting to know your operating system better. To know what you are, and what you want from life. This is, of course, the oldest advice in the book: know thyself. If you want to retain some control of your personal existence and of the future of life, you have to run faster than the algorithms, and get to know yourself before they do.


Privacy

Google and Mastercard are secretly tracking your offline purchases

Google has quietly been providing select advertisers a “stockpile” of offline credit card transaction data.

It works like this: a person searches for “red lipstick” on Google, clicks on an ad, surfs the web but doesn’t buy anything. Later, she walks into a store and buys red lipstick with her Mastercard. The advertiser who ran the ad is fed a report from Google, listing the sale along with other transactions in a column that reads “Offline Revenue” — only if the web surfer is logged into a Google account online and made the purchase within 30 days of clicking the ad. The advertisers are given a bulk report with the percentage of shoppers who clicked or viewed an ad then made a relevant purchase.


Design

NASA’s Mars Habitat Design Competition

NASA held a contest for the best 3D-printed habitat that might actually work on Mars.

That was in 2014. The first two phases of the project required teams to submit renderings, and come up with material technologies. Now, four years after launching the contest, NASA has narrowed the finalists to just five brilliant designs. The fives teams, which hail from a handful of American universities and companies that specialize in architecture or construction, have now come up with an entire structure that takes advantage of autonomous 3D printing on the surface of another planet; they will also share a $100,000 prize. For the next phase, each team will have to create a third-scale model of their designs.

First place: team ZOPHERUS

VR

VR can now help you see the world through an animal’s eyes

London-based design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast is using VR to let us reconnect with nature.

With headsets, you can see a forest through the eyes of different animals and experience the sensations they feel. Female mosquitoes see carbon dioxide, which is how they identify their next victim. Dragonflies see the full spectrum of light, and so their view of the same forest would be completely different. But how does that look?


Stay tuned and know yourself!

H A Things

Random thoughts about digital transformation and the future of web design

Anastasia Nazarova

Written by

H A Things

Random thoughts about digital transformation and the future of web design