Technology affects every aspect of our lives. It affects the way we communicate, and how we travel, but it also determines how we learn, how we bank, and how we run our businesses. Futuristic speakers think about those changes and try to understand how they will affect us. Here are the top five problems faced by futurists and the areas they are paying a lot of attention to.

Top five issues faced by futurists
Stephen Hawking has warned about its dangers. > Elon Musk has called it humanity’s “greatest existential threat” and recently announced a new brain-computer interface to counter its effects. But artificial intelligence is coming, and some people are talking about what it means, what will it do?

What do we need to do to prevent future halls from closing themselves with airlock doors? Adam Cheer is not just a futuristic speaker. As one of the founders of Siri, he is also one of the people who helped create that future. Neil Jacobstein chairs the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics track at Singularity University and talks about AI and robotics.

Education
The future belongs to those who know. If robots can handle dull, repetitive tasks, most of the remaining tasks will require specialist knowledge. This means that improving education and training will be important. Phil Nosworthy is the Founder and Managing Director of Switch L+D, a bespoke learning and development company that helps teams level up.

Tan Le is the founder and CEO of EMOTIV, a “neuroinformatics company” that researches the human brain and creates brain-based wearables. While Phil Nosworthy focuses on how people should be using their brain, Tan Le looks at ways to make the most of it.

big Data
Every time we walk, shop, or open a website with our phone, we surrender personal data. As data continues to build up, companies will need to get better at keeping it secure. Governments will need to get better at regulating this. And we all need to get better at understanding it.

Mike Walsh is helping to understand that. He has written about the power of algorithms and how data is changing industries. François is the CEO of Bourdoncle FB&Cie, a strategy consultancy focused on transformation driven by Big Data.

fintech
The way we move banks and money has already changed. We had to queue for hours at local branches, balance check books and pay cash. We now do all our banking with our thumbs, from cashing checks to applying for loans. Blockchain has taken currencies out of the control of national banks, while companies like PayPal allow us all to pass money without more than a swipe.

As the future is increasingly cashless, Ayesha Khanna is helping us prepare. She wrote her first book on the subject in 2007. Fintech Asia calls her a major fintech influencer, and she continues to discuss the relationship between AI and finance.

Christer Holoman is the CEO and co-founder of finance platform Divido and has worked with companies including Visa and BMW. His talk on the future of finance is full of real examples and case studies.

clean energy
Are we leaving the age of fossil fuels? Can clean energy meet all our needs? What do we need to do for renewable energy to work, and how will a new energy source change our lives? As car companies focus on electric vehicles and researchers look for more efficient ways to power our homes from the sun, Peter Zeehan incorporates the energy sector into his geopolitical analysis.

Vivek Wadhwa has won many awards for his contribution to technology and has authored several books on the impact of technology on our lives. He has also written and talked about the rise of clean energy and what it will mean, especially in developing countries.

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