Capability forecasting

A lot of work has gone into what is sometimes called “technology forecasting” – attempting to understand how semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, proteomics etc will evolve over the coming years. Such research is valuable and interesting – and can be interestingly contrasted with something we could call “capability forecasting”. Capability forecasting is focusing not on the technology as much on what we will be … Continue reading Capability forecasting

Risk and Opportunity – the simplest framework

All organizations occasionally should stop and consider the risks and opportunities facing them, and discuss both mitigation options for the risks and exploitation options for the opportunity. There are many different ways of doing this, but one of the simplest frameworks is the tried and tested impact / probability matrix. What you do is list all possible risks (or opportunities) first in a small group. … Continue reading Risk and Opportunity – the simplest framework

The re-emergence of wargaming

Wargames have a cold war-feel to them, and are sometimes associated with cynical and military men turning the tragedy of war into a calculation. So it seems confusing that the practice of wargaming should have regained some of its popularity no, long after the cold war disappeared – but a few recent articles suggest that this is indeed the case. The use of wargames is … Continue reading The re-emergence of wargaming

Practicing predictions (Mental models IX)

Predicting is hard, especially the future, as Yogi Berra supposedly pointed out. But it is interesting – but not necessarily for the reasons we originally think. Predicting the future is interesting not because you want to find out if you are right, but you want to use the predictions you make to tease out the narratives that are organizing your understanding of the world. I … Continue reading Practicing predictions (Mental models IX)

The importance of red team storytellers

In an Edge-seminar held by Tetlock recently there was an interesting back and forth about the value of predictions. One view – held by Danny Hillis – could be simplified as: people do not think in predictions, they think in stories and so when people are wrong about the future they are in fact not wrong about predictions, but about what story we are in. … Continue reading The importance of red team storytellers

The long arc of uncertainty bends towards…?

The IMF has published an update of its interesting uncertainty index. Noone will be surprised to find that the Covid-19 pandemic and the presidential elections drove uncertainty up, but the real scoop in the chart is the overall slant of the curve we can construct: If the upward slope of the curve suggests that independent of the actual events the world is getting more and … Continue reading The long arc of uncertainty bends towards…?

Uncertainty and the range of possibilities

The storming of the Capitol yesterday was in many ways an instructive event. The political repercussions will reverberate through the coming years and we have most likely not seen the last of president Trump yet. Furthermore, the tech policy questions around platform responsibility are now likely to be even more in bipartisan focus in both the US and elsewhere — politicians in other countries will … Continue reading Uncertainty and the range of possibilities