Get personal with your future
I’m not really big on “resolutions” but I do love goals and aspirations (and goodness knows I never met a colorful marker I didn’t enjoy…LOL). Ran across this beautiful piece called “How to Do a Growth Inventory” from my friend and futurist Vanessa Mason (follow her on Twitter at @vanessamason for great ongoing futures posts!) and it reminded me about this process. After a year of big endings and transitions, my sabbatical and the start of some big new adventures…this feels particularly personal and important. It’s a more intimate side of futures work right? I’ll be jumping in to this kind of activity during these quiet winter months. Want to join me?
Regulating Big Tech
What is the right amount of latitude to use when regulating big tech? Enough to ensure human rights, privacy and social well-being but not too much so that innovation gets stifled? This article makes a pitch that we can most definitely still make it happen…let’s do that!
Your AI Doctor Will See You Now…
Here’s a thoughtful piece about the future of medicine – the pros, cons, questions and reflections that will chart this course in the coming years. Here’s another recent piece reflecting on another future trend in medicine – “hospital at home.” These ideas are reminiscent of so many ideas I heard at my recent adventure at the 2019 Exponential Medicine conference.
What Exactly is Machine Learning?
I love a good primer and consider them massively underrated. Since these forces are all around us and running through our lives…our literacies need to also expand and deepen. I found this little piece about “machine learning” and found it super helpful and interesting. Check it out! (In case you’re interested in another clarifying piece that dives into the differences between machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning…you might like to explore this one!) . Here’s another on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence, and another about its widespread realities now and in the coming years. Note: I have a whole page on this blog (and another page on algorithmic racism/justice) dedicated to this topic – both of which I need to revise soon. They have definitely been among the most widely visited on this blog…so I know folks around the world are curious and learning about AI and social work, mental health, health and other social service/care fields.
AI and Caregiving
Here’s a company (Cherry.AI) that has as its tagline: “The AI that cares for your loved ones.” OK, I’m listening…with a blend of curiosity, humor, concern, and (some) openness. Most agree we have a caregiving capacity crisis and it is going to be getting worse as populations age globally. Is this the solution? I see strengths in some of this, and still I worry (privacy, surveillance, control, loss of human connection, loneliness). We will be seeing more of and talking more about this kind of thing. Check it out.
5G is Coming…What Does This Mean?
Here’s another area for which there is a lot of buzz. 5G is coming, almost here and on the verge of “changing everything?” What does that mean and for whom? This article breaks it down (at least from one author’s viewpoint).
Social Work and Climate Change – New Roles!
Shout out to Teixera, Mathias and Krings (2019) for a fine piece stretching our social work thinking about new roles as we grapple with climate change and how we can focus our social work strengths in this direction. More from the archives on this topic here.
Virtual Reality – Jumping In!!!
I know that I may be late to the party – I’ve *watched* and studied VR for a while (like almost everyone) but broke down and gifted a system to my family for the holiday so we spent some of Christmas day leaning around awkwardly on the couch, saying “ooh” and “ahh” a lot while on a series of virtual adventures in nature, history and roller coasters! I GET IT. Lots of fun, here it comes and what a wild, wild ride (literally). Here’s a piece from the New Yorker that is a good one for newbies like us. Here’s another piece about more ways we’ll see this tech showing up around us in the world. This piece discusses the emerging ethics/privacy issues that VR is introducing and some ideas about how to manage them. I ended up with 200 questions/ideas about how this might work in the future of social work – and yes – that includes a lot of ground to cover in ethics. So much more to learn in this space.
Here’s a most interesting piece about the history and impact of the last ten years of “Black Twitter” and some imaginings about what comes next.
Let’s Talk About Drugs
As a person who has spent much of her career working in the addictions space…two articles caught my eye about the “future” of mind-altering substances. First is a piece about psychedelics in general (and their long association with Silicon Valley). The second is a piece about a popular startup that is a nose spray device for psilocybin as well. Many are suggesting that increasing legalization and the resultant expansion of markets, practices, testing and related dialogue is on the way.
The Green New Deal
I ran across a lovely little video about the “Green New Deal” and the ways in which it could intersect a number of key issues: climate change, the economy and housing. Very well done – let’s get there in the coming years!!
How ICE Uses Social Media to Surveil and Arrest Immigrants
So many good things are possible with our social media ecosystem. This is not one of them. More to worry and be concerned about.
Mad Max come to life…sadly, I fear we will see more of this. We are going to need to learn how to take care of each other and share/protect water differently in the years to come.
Nerd Alert! Data Visualization
I can’t deny I love a good infographic, chart, etc. I had an awesome time achieving a personal milestone – my first infographic – just in the last few weeks. Here’s a sharp article that dives into all the different kinds of data visualization. It’s got me inspired!! More to come in this department!! As the world gets more complicated…I think that these types of tools help us communicate more effectively and be kind to EVERYONE’S overwhelmed cognitive load!
Browse the Archive!
If you’ve enjoyed this hop around Twitter for futures topics – check out some previous posts along these lines. These are literally and intentionally a bit of a “wander” – just a variety of items that I see pop up that interest me and I think might of value to my social work, social change and/or higher education colleagues. Enjoy!