The Museum of the Future is a unique initiative by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that explores the future of science, technology and innovation.
Join us on a trip to the year 2035, where we show how technology could evolve to enhance our bodies and minds, explore what role it might play in our social and family lives, and discuss how it could be used to manage complex social and economic systems.
The theme of this year’s exhibition is “Machinic Life”; how our machines are becoming more life-like, and how our lives are becoming more machine-like.
What does Machinic Life mean for society, for government, and for our families? This transition will present amazing opportunities and challenges for society in the coming years. What conversations should we be having today to prepare for a better tomorrow?
The Museum of the Future explores the future of Machinic Life in four parts:
Each section is explored in detail below.
How will we get to the future?
This section presents real products and services from today that point the way towards what the future might become. From human augmentation to emotive machines and hyper-intelligent decision-making, the present is already surprisingly automated.
How will these technologies evolve in the next 20 years? And what will their impacts be?
New extensions to our body promise to give mobility to the disabled and extend quality of life for the elderly. Össur’s research into mind-controlled prostheses has developed prototype smart limbs that are controlled subconsciously by brain stimuli sent to tiny sensors implanted in remnant muscle tissue. Such sophisticated prosthetics provide increasingly full function and natural behaviour.
FeelSpace is a sensory belt that indicates magnetic north through vibrations, restoring spatial awareness for the blind. Machines are already beginning to harness our brain's ability to translate data into new senses and new sensations, which we “feel” in other parts of our body. Such sensory extensions are restoring quality of life to those with sensory impairments, but can also unlock new modes of awareness for us all.
Tapping into and enhancing the brain with machines is a growing focus of science and medicine. Thync is a device that electrically stimulates your brain and has been shown to produce faster learning, higher performance, and better test results. This technique, known as transcranial direct current stimulation, is already in use in medical treatment and military training.
The Affectiva software system uses facial recognition to read your emotions with remarkable accuracy. Real-time machine-learning algorithms can often identify important facial expressions in large audiences faster and more accurately than human beings can, giving machines powerful emotional awareness. With these kinds of emotion-detection technologies, machines are already becoming more and more intelligent, with the ability to read and respond to our hidden emotional states.
Hasbro’s Joy for All is an interactive robotic companion for the elderly. Research has shown that living with cuddly robots can improve the rate of recovery for elderly patients, reduce depression, and enable better treatment for mental health disorders. Social robots like these will play an increasingly important role in providing care for children and the elderly in the future.
Microsoft Xiaoice is a conversational AI app that has personalised conversations with over 20 million regular users in China. People develop deep emotional bonds with the chatbot, with millions of people telling it “I love you” each day. Such chatbots remember important details and hold real conversations, creating a real social bond between humans and machines.
Over 75% of all stock market transactions today are already conducted by algorithms, making trades no human can understand or monitor in real time. This Bloomberg terminal is running high frequency algorithms to conduct trades at lightning speed, showing just how automated our economies actually already are.
This automated CarryPick robot enables complex logistical chains that no human being can understand. In today's robotic warehouses, products are stacked and sorted accordingly to a logic known only to the algorithm. Human workers stand still while machines bring the shelves to them, based on a complex analysis of time, product, and destination. There is literally no one in control, yet these ultracomplex systems enable ever larger economies of scale and ever more efficient operations.
Hunchlab is a predictive policing system that analyses complex historical and real-time data to identify future ‘windows’ of risk. Such systems are revolutionising how cities can be managed, with some cities reporting up to 12% reductions in crime. Systems such as this are already able to process millions of points of data per second, giving us unprecedented insight into the future. The future will become even more automated for public service and governance tasks such as these.
Today, our phones are never far from our hands. Tomorrow, our technology will actually become a part of our hands (and our bodies and brains).
The Personal Augmentation Spa is the first part of the exhibition that takes visitors into the future, where they can directly experience the year 2035.
The Spa is a cross between a surgical suite, a high end consumer electronics store, and a relaxation room. It displays a range of physical, cognitive and social enhancements that will be on the market in 2035. Visitors can shop for upgrades, and experience the future of human augmentation through interactive virtual reality “changing rooms”.
The social network brought to you by Du that lets you broadcast your visual and sensory feed to your friends or colleagues, or tune into the vision stream of millions of others.
Boosts your social intelligence by giving you real-time analysis of the emotions of those around you, and then provides instant feedback on what to say and how to act for maximum social impact.
Reengineers your lower body skeletomuscular system to give you the ability to run at superhuman speeds, jump over 5 metres, or lift staggering weight without breaking a sweat.
Fed up with being misunderstood at work? Wasting countless hours on annoying emails?
Tiresome team meetings will become a thing of the past with our latest SGBA product line, the GroupThink: Team Edition.
GroupThink lets you join your mind with those of your colleagues around you to create a single, shared experience.
With only two weeks adjustment in our luxurious, certified treatment center, you too can say goodbye to emails and unlock a new level of productivity today.
GroupThink: Business at the Speed of Thought
Enjoy perfect and permanent health with our new advanced bio-mechanical stomach, the Eat-It-All.
The Eat-It-All extracts just what your body needs from anything you eat, rejecting the rest.
Just swallow the Eat-It-All micropill, which expands into your stomach for up to two weeks of worryfree eating. Poisoned water, questionable food, or just that extra pint of ice cream; you can eat it all with the Eat-It-All.
LinkedIn for your nose. Does this deal smell bad? Can you smell a good opportunity?
Our new business augmentation device, coming to market soon, translates social media and economic performance data into actual smells, giving you a keen nose for social or business opportunities.
Do you work in a dangerous or fastpaced environment?
The Clairavigilant a unique product guaranteed to keep you safe.
It uses 360° sensors to constantly monitor your environment, integrating directly with your spinal neuromuscular system to pull you out of harm’s way in case of danger.
Combat environments, construction sites, or just clumsy colleagues will never be danger again.
Have a long night ahead of you? Need to go that extra mile? Or maybe you just need to relax after a long day?
Take the reins of your body’s unpredictable hormonal cycles with Endorphomatic; the personal mood control device.
The Endorphomatic connects your limbic system and adrenal glands to give you fine control over your mental and physical states.
Command limitless motivation, pick yourself up when you’re down, and sleep like a baby every single night!
Make dreaming social!
DreamStream lets you plug into our global dreaming network to share your wildest fantasies with others. Tired of your own dreams?
Join a friend! Create followers and share dreams with celebrities, your family, or even random strangers.
Coming soon: Dream Architect extension pack will allow you to craft worlds by day that you can explore by night.
Turn the world upsidedown with GeckoTips, the powerful new augmentation for your fingertips and forearms.
GeckoTips’ patented nanostructural machines embeds directly in your skin, painlessly and easily.
Nanoscale hooks allow your fingers to adhere to anything, with greater than steel strength, and our muscular augmentations of your hand and arm muscles will let you lift twice your bodyweight.
Explore the world today, with GeckoTips.
Why struggle to learn a new language when you can understand them all with a single implant?
AutoLingua’s revolutionary new brain interface provides direct access to our global database of linguistic content, providing instant translation of five of the world’s most common languages.
Sign up for AutoLingua today and see what everyone is actually talking about!
Sick and tired of the augmented world? Opt out with your own Tune-It-Out™.
The modern world is fast and can be overwhelming.
Use this augmentation to temporarily switch off. The Tune-It-Out limits up to 99% of all augmented chatter by scrambling augmentation signals entering your brain.
Available in two models: Tune-It-Out for personal use, and broadcast Turn-Them-Off for government and law enforcement use.
Stepping inside the home, an artificially intelligent avatar awaits your arrival. This is your house AI, which is tasked with helping take care of you and your family.
Like a real child or pet, it is happy to see you and expresses its joy by excitedly greeting you upon arrival. It asks you to play a game, where you jump from rock to rock to avoid the lava. This is fun, and helps take your mind off the concerns of the outside world.
Mental health, elderly care, and stress take a huge toll on society each year. As machines become better at reading our emotions, we will naturally employ them to take better care of us. Forming meaningful bonds with artificially intelligent companions will become a huge market in the future, and offer huge potential for emotional, social and physical care.
The AI wants to lift your mood through physical play—promoting fitness at the same time as fun—and erupts in a celebratory visualization when the game is finished.
You house AI will likely take many forms. In this experience, it transforms from a friendly child into a caring adult. It notices that you are still stressed from work and could use a calming massage. As you sink into a lounge chair, the room turns into a paradise—like atmosphere with a 360-degree projection and light, tropical music. Your chair provides a calming massage to help you relax and rebalance.
As AI’s advance, they will become better at reading our emotions and taking care of our needs. This will help us reduce our stress, take better care of our children, and provide better social, emotional, and mental support for our loved ones. But how far might it go? Will we ever see digital spouses or entire AI families?
In the final room of the home, your house AI deepens its role as a caretaker and member of the family. It calmly rocks your child’s cradle and sings it a lullaby while gently illuminating the room like a nightlight.
What impact will digital tutors, AI teachers, and robotic caretakers have on our children and families? Will it help us be better parents, siblings, and children? Or will it push us farther apart and be more isolating, distracting and fragmentary?
In the future, our machines will care for us, and we will care for our machines. What form will this relationship take? Can we develop a meaningful bond with these machines?
The UAE HyperMind explores a future where everything that can be automated, will be automated. Massively interconnected artificial intelligences, distributed sensors, and embodied robotic intelligences optimise and govern all that is optimisable. This intelligence is fed with billions of data streams from every corner of society, the economy and the natural world.
What role for human agency is there in this world? Who will decide what is right and wrong, and what will be left for human beings? Will we lead our machines, or will we be led by our machines?
In 2035, super AI’s will be able to draw from petabytes of information to perform complex, long-term scenario planning. They will make trillions of decisions per second and manage ultra complex systems in ways that humans will not even be able to understand.
How will these machines impact government, society, and the world? What will our role be in giving them objectives and helping to guide them, and how will they help to guide us?
At the Museum of the Future, the UAE HyperMind focuses its enormous processing power and infinite understanding on optimising the national economy, social need, and environmental balance.
What will your role be in this future? In this exhibit, you step up to the Hypermind to conduct a job interview. You are asked a range of deep, psychologically probing questions that supplement the machine’s understanding of your skills, scores, and competencies.
At the end of the interview, the Hypermind offers you a contract for a futuristic job. It estimates your degree of happiness with the proposed job, your contribution to social and economic value, and the relative impact your acceptance will have on the world. Do you accept the job, or do you decline? The choice is yours, but is it really a choice at all?
The Museum of the Future at the 2016 World Government Summit is a project by the Dubai Museum of the Future, the Prime Minister's Office of the United Arab Emirates, and the UAE telecommunications giant du. It was led by Mr. Saif Al Aleeli and Dr. Noah Raford, and was directed by the global design firm Tellart, with the support of an international team of top partners including Marshmallow Laser Feast, SOFTlab, Idee und Klang, Lust, Octo, Blue Zoo Animation, Fantazm, and Shtik. The onsite build and installation was done in collaboration with Projex, Neumann Müller, and PublicisLive. Foresight research and workshop facilitation were performed by Scott Smith (Changeist) and Stuart Candy (OCAD). Photography by Silvia Boschiero.
Thank you to Omar Al Olama, Dan Hill, Cheryl Chung, Pat Kane, Indra Adnan, Hunter Lee Soik, Onyx Ashanti, Patricia Millns, Tim Maughan, Jon Ardern, Ruairi Glynn, Ben Cerveny, and Sjef van Gaalen for their generous participation in the original research and ideation for this project.
For more detail contact Dr. Noah Raford.