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Hangout on Air: The Naked Future - A World That Anticipates Your Every Move

  • Dec 15, 2013 · 7:00 PM

What kind of privacy will be left for people, in a near-future world of ubiquitous computing, with sensors everywhere, and with "big data" algorithms that draw alarmingly reliable inferences about our intentions and plans?

How will human psychology cope, with the "always-on" scrutiny of our every action?

Can legislation keep pace with the challenges posed by ubiquitous computing and big data, to prevent the erosion of human values?

This London Futurists Hangout on Air will feature a live discussion between an international panel of leading futurists: Patrick Tucker, Gray Scott, David Orban, Evan Selinger, and Rachel Armstrong.

The title of the event is taken from that of a forthcoming book, The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?

Scheduled for publication in March 2014, the book is written by Patrick Tucker, the director of communications of the World Future Society. It is described as follows on

>> A futurist’s in-depth look at the promise and perils of forecasting

An app on your phone knows you’re getting married before you do. Your friends’ tweets can help data scientists predict your location with astounding accuracy, even if you don’t use Twitter. Soon, we’ll be able to know how many kids in a kindergarten class will catch a cold once the first one gets sick. 

We are on the threshold of a historic transition in our ability to predict aspects of the future with ever-increasing precision. Computer-aided forecasting is poised for rapid growth over the next ten years. The rise of big data will enable us to predict not only events like earthquakes or epidemics, but also individual behavior. 

Patrick Tucker explores the potential for abuse of predictive analytics as well as the benefits. Will we be able to predict guilt before a person commits a crime? Is it legal to quarantine someone 99 percent likely to have the superflu while they’re still healthy? These questions matter, because the naked future will be upon us sooner than we realize. 

Live questions 

Viewers of the live broadcast on Google+ will be able to vote in real time on questions and suggestions to be discussed by the panellists as the Hangout proceeds. Give '+1' votes to the suggestions you most like.

Here are some examples of questions we may address (in addition to the ones listed earlier):

• What scope is there for people to become "digital outliers", resisting e.g. wearable computing?

• What are the benefits of undertaking "digital detoxes"?

• Can we prevent the consolidation of so much information about ourselves in the control of a small number of very large companies?

Event logistics:

This event will take place between 7pm and 8.30pm UK time on Sunday 15th December.

You can view the event:

• On Google+, via the page - where you'll also be able to vote on questions to be submitted to the panellists 

• Via YouTube (the URL will be published here 15 minutes prior to the start of the event).

There is no charge to participate in this discussion.

Note: There is no central physical location for this meetup.However, you may consider meeting with a few friends in the same locality, and watching the event together.

About Patrick Tucker:

Patrick Tucker is the deputy editor of The Futurist magazine, as well as director of communications for the World Future Society. His writing has appeared in The Sun (U.K.), Slate, MIT Technology Review, BBC Magazine, The Wilson Quarterly, John Hopkins MagazineEncyclopedia Britannica online and The Utne Reader, as well as various other outlets. He's a frequent contributor to television shows and radio broadcasts and has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, BBC World Service, Voice of America, as well as dozens of other radio shows and television broadcasts.

Patrick won the 2006 Barry Hannah Prize in short fiction and the 2006 Eugene Walter Award for the Novel. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

About Gray Scott:

Gray Scott is a futurist / techno-philosopher, speaker, artist and writer. Gray is a contributing blogger and writer for The Futurist magazine, a professional member of The World Future Society and founder /editorial director of SERIOUS the online futurist philosophy, technology and consciousness magazine produced by his media company SERIOUS WONDER™ based in New York City.

Gray is also co-organiser of the New York Futurists meetup.

About David Orban:

David Orban is a Hungarian entrepreneur, visionary, and analyst of the global high technology landscape. He was born in Budapest in 1965.

Currently, David is Chief Executive Officer of Dotsub, a US-based technology platform and services company that powers captions and translations as subtitles in any language in online videos to remove barriers to multi-cultural communications.

David was previously a founder and Chief Evangelist of WideTag, Inc., the OpenSpime technology company, providing the infrastructure for an open Internet of Things.

David was one of the founders of the Open Government Working Group, which developed a set of principles of open government data. David spoke at the Italian Parliament about open government data policies, calling for a wider adoption of transparent policies, and accountability, criticizing current legislation about freedom of information.

He is also an Advisor and member of the Faculty of the Singularity University, and former Chairman of Humanity+.

About Evan Selinger:

Evan Selinger is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is also Affiliated Faculty with the Golisano Institute for Sustainability and the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity (MAGIC). He’s also a Fellow at The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology.

Evan’s research addresses ethical issues concerning technology, science, the law, expertise, and sustainability. A prolific academic author, Evan also cares deeply about public engagement, writing for popular magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including: WiredSlateThe Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The NationThree Quarks Daily, Huffington Post, and The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology.

About Rachel Armstrong:

Rachel Armstrong is Co-Director of AVATAR (Advanced Virtual and Technological Architectural Research) in Architecture & Synthetic Biology at The School of Architecture & Construction, University of Greenwich, London.

Rachel is also a Senior TED Fellow, and Visiting Research Assistant at the Centre for Fundamental Living Technology, Department of Physics and Chemistry, University of Southern Denmark.

Rachel is a sustainability innovator who investigates a new approach to building materials called ‘living architecture,’ that suggests it is possible for our buildings to share some of the properties of living systems. She collaboratively works across disciplines to build and develop prototypes that embody her approach.

This leads Rachel to disbelieve in a deterministic world - one which could reliably anticipate our every move. She instead believes in a world that negotiates our every move … a world that is shaped by our actions but does not control us.

Join or login to comment.

  • Joanna B.

    Really sorry I missed this -- just found the window I had open for it! Do g+ invite me next time if you have time.

    December 28, 2013

    • David W.

      Hi Joanna - I'm going to experiment with a G+ invite, ahead of the next scheduled Hangouts on Air (Jan 12th). Google seem to be continually modifying/improving the interface to these live events.

      The video recording of this HOA, like those for the other ones which have already happened, is available at http://londonfuturist...­.

      December 29, 2013

    • Joanna B.

      Yeah, I watched it last night, it was great! Especially liked Evan's points, but the whole topic is very important.

      1 · December 29, 2013

  • Michael N.

    Most interested in the discussion on implications to personal identity (around 1h10m). Suggestion; a future Hangout on "personal identity" and technology i.e. as illusion, or 'what gets uploaded' etc.

    3 · December 17, 2013

    • Calum

      Chris Armstrong's article is very good. Very fertile ground for a hangout!

      December 19, 2013

    • Michael N.

      As a long-time meditator, another aspect would be to bring into the discussion insights on 'personal identity' from the realms of meditative insight.

      December 23, 2013

  • Ken Y

    Watched it with my tween son and enjoyed the discussion that ensued.

    1 · December 15, 2013

    • David W.

      I'm keen to hear of more examples of people meeting in small groups to watch these live events - I think this will add an extra community dimension to them.

      2 · December 16, 2013

  • Peter M.

    Very interesting discussion. Thanks to the panelists and David for moderating.

    2 · December 15, 2013

  • David W.

    The event can be viewed on YouTube at and will be accessible on Google+ at

    2 · December 15, 2013

  • terence f.

    I may be late or worse absent following a pre-Christmas carropusal

    December 12, 2013

    • David W.

      Terence - Your carropusal sounds like fun. Hopefully you'll find a way to prioritise The Naked Future, though!

      December 14, 2013

  • Oxana P.

    My first London Futurists event this. What's the location please?

    December 14, 2013

    • David W.

      Hi Oxana - Welcome to London Futurists!

      We run two kinds of meetings:
      (1) "In real life" events, which have a physical location;
      (2) Hangouts On Air" (like this one), which don't.

      See the "Event logistics" section of this meetup description for how to connect into this meetup online, via Google+ or YouTube. You can also share comments with fellow attendees in real-time online. The questions that get the most +1 votes from the audience are introduced into the panel discussion.

      Our next "in real life" event will be in January. The details are still being finalised.

      December 14, 2013

  • vhb

    Looking forward to the discussion

    1 · December 9, 2013

  • Giuseppe L.

    In a world where we are flooded by notices only intelligent and creative informations can create occasion of thinking

    December 5, 2013

    • Nicole P.

      Hi David. I signed up to attend.. but I can only attend on line.. Is that possible? I am in Switzerland. Last time I was at your event , I noticed that some people were following the event online. Can I do that as well?

      December 6, 2013

    • David W.

      Hi Nicole, events (like this one) which are described as "Hangout on Air" can only be attended online. For these meetings, there is no physical meeting place as well.

      As for the other events, currently any real-time online participation remains experimental, so no-one should rely on that for the time being.

      December 6, 2013

  • Nicole P.

    I specialise in results and goals coaching. Where by we learn how to create ideas and visions , and then 'internally' SEE them become reality. So all work of the FUTURE is fascinating to me.

    December 6, 2013

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