What We Like This Week: Investing in Futures

by Mouncey Ferguson

From the farm to the office, from the construction site to the movie studio, advances in technology are changing how industries work and how our world gets built.

Honey, we’re moving to Wakanda. Vibranium may be more fiction than science, but we loved the way that Black Panther mixed bold futurism with traditional African motifs. Go behind the scenes with FX Guide to learn how they built the world of Wakanda using the latest CG technologies, including 3ds Max.

Credit: Marvel Studios


The augmented office. Your cubicle is about to get a major upgrade, thanks to augmented reality. According to WIRED, we’ll soon use AR glasses to see the apps, windows, and assets we need all around us, and meetings will become like multi-player events. Game on.

Not just for replacements parts anymore. You can’t make planes out of plastic (yet), but as 3D printing deploys new alloys and advanced materials, additive manufacturing becomes a viable way to make many parts for aerospace. The 3D-printed fuel nozzle in GE’s LEAP engine is just one example.

Construction revolution. The construction industry hasn’t always been the first off the blocks to adopt new technologies (it’s one of the least digitized industries, according to McKinsey). But that’s beginning to change now as drones, on-site robotics, and digital collaboration tools transform how and what we build for the better. Forbes has the analysis.

Making AI more fair. Just because a computer does the thinking doesn’t mean that it’s without cultural bias, as Autodesk’s own Danny Guillory has been saying for some time. This thought-provoking piece from writer Will Byrne at Fast Company discusses how we can make sure AI behaves fairly, now that it’s used in everything from loan decisions to law enforcement.

Robots got milk. As the crackdown on illegal immigration reduces the agricultural workforce, farmers turn to automation. Bloomberg reports that the dairy industry is ramping up the use of robotics for milking cows, and apparently the cows don’t mind.

Self-driving slippers. If you needed any more proof that we live in future times, these adorable self-tidying slippers from Nissan’s ProPILOT Guesthouse in Ryokan, Japan should do the trick. As Dezeen explains, they use the same technologies you’ll find in self-driving cars to they put themselves away when you take them off. (Self-driving floor cushions are also on hand.)