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Twelve proofs that the future is already here and we haven’t realized it yet

We are so focused on some media issues that we don't realize that some things that are really changing the world have already happened.

Often, the trees do not let us see the forest. We are so focused on some media issues such as Brexit, Donald Trump or the conflict between cabs and VTC that we do not realize that some things that are really changing the world have already happened.

This was explained by Ignacio Villoch, an expert in innovation and digital transformation, in a new edition of #lasmañanasdelMañana, the talk-debate on disruptive technologies organized by DigitalES, which this time focused on
digital polymaths in an epochal change.

This epochal change, Villoch explained, is not yet upon us, but has already begun, and as an example he cited some events that have gone somewhat unnoticed despite the substantial change they imply in our lives. Although it may seem so, these are not science fiction, but realities seen in 2018 and even in the early stages of 2019 that are set to transform our lives. 

1. A robot runs for election and comes in third. 

It happened in Japan, in a district of the Tokyo mayor’s office. The robot, with silvery forms and feminine features, was presented as an alternative to end corruption and almost came in second place. 

2. An artificial intelligence presents the news in China.

At first glance it looks human. He is able to read the news and gesticulate in front of the cameras and even blinks like a real person would. But it is an artificial intelligence program designed to deliver news uninterrupted throughout the day. 

11. Remote operations with 5G surgery

Operate remotely? It sounds like science fiction, but we already have the first success story. Dr. Liu Rong, located 50 kilometers away from the operation, was able to remove an animal’s liver for recovery. A liver lobectomy performed entirely over 5G networks, in what would be the first successful test of its kind. 

8. Cars with eyes to generate more confidence in pedestrians.

Jaguar-Land Rover has put eyes on its autonomous cars that look at the pedestrian before they cross, with the aim of generating greater confidence in this technology. The friendly-faced ‘eye pods’ have a vital job: to help determine how much information future driverless cars should share with users or pedestrians to ensure that people trust the technology. 

3. A robot obtains citizenship in Saudi Arabia.

Sophia, an android designed by Hong Kong company Hanston Robotics, has been granted citizenship of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This means it has more rights than Saudi women and migrant workers in that country, sparking a class debate between robots and humans for the first time. 

4. Robots that drive motorcycles at 200 km/h. 

Although they are currently unable to beat Valentino Rossi, Yamaha has already introduced robots that are capable of riding a motorcycle at 200 kilometers per hour. 

5. Facial recognition goggles to identify suspects 

Like a scene from Minority Report, Chinese police are already wearing glasses that allow them to identify suspects, or those who have already committed a crime.   

The system has been successfully tested in Zhengzhou, capital of the overcrowded Henan province. The agents, equipped with tinted glasses incorporating a small camera, are stationed at all entrances to the city’s high-speed train station. The camera is capable of capturing all the faces of passers-by, information that is cross-referenced with the police database and matched with the list of crime suspects. The results are available almost immediately on a mobile device similar to a tablet. 

6. The Retail Apocalypse intensifies

The expression has its own entry in Wikipedia. It refers to the massive closure of commercial establishments, which configures a new city model. Spain is no stranger to this phenomenon, which in the United States has already wiped out giants such as Toys’R’Us and Sears. In Bilbao one commercial premises was closed every day during 2018, in Madrid there are 14,000 empty premises and in Barcelona the figure rises to 11,000. 

7. Offices are already being built in 3D 

The first office building made entirely from a 3D printer and fully functional has opened its doors in Dubai. It occupies 250 square meters and cost 125,000 euros, which represents a 70% saving in production costs. 

9. Three paraplegics walk again thanks to an electronic implant.

A Swiss team has successfully enabled three patients who suffered cervical spinal cord injuries to walk with the aid of crutches or a walker thanks to rehabilitation protocols that combine targeted electrical stimulation of the lumbar spinal cord and weight-assisted therapy. 

10. Travel at 1,200 kilometers per hour. 

The hyperloop, Elon Musk’s futuristic project, is already a reality, and it is being built in Cadiz. The first passenger capsule, made of 90% carbon fiber, has been unveiled and is on its way to Toulouse for final testing. It is 32 meters long and weighs 5 tons. It will be capable of accommodating a small number of passengers, yet to be determined, to travel in a few years at speeds approaching 1,200 kilometers per hour through a sensorized vacuum tube. 

12. Life on the moon.

It lasted only a few hours, but it was achieved. A Chinese team has succeeded in germinating a cotton seed on the moon. The plant did not manage to survive the lunar night, with temperatures of 170 degrees below zero, but it is a big step for humanity and an open door to the hope of colonizing other worlds in the solar system.    

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