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The Future of You

Author: Tracey Follows

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Hello, welcome to the Future of You podcast. 

Here we’re going to investigate and analyse all the ways emerging technologies are going to affect our identity. We used to argue about whether personal identity was in the mind or in the body; but now that psychology of the self and the biology of self has been joined by a third dimension - the technology of the self. 

In a digital, data-driven world, Facebook gets a say in verifying who we are, medical science can alter our genetic make-up, and AI will help us create our digital twin - just how many identities do we need in the multiverse? How is 21st Century technology changing who we are? 

I set out to research exactly that, when I wrote my book The Future of You. That turned out to be only the start of my journey into our changing identity in a digital world. And I thought rather than continue to research this on my own, I could invite you along too. 

I’m Tracey Follows, I’m a futurist and founder of Futuremade, the futures consultancy, and I’ve helped brands and businesses like Virgin, Google, Diageo and Farfetch spot trends, develop strategic foresight and fully prepare for what comes next.

 I believe identity is the defining issue of our generation. So every fortnight I’ll be releasing new episodes, featuring panels of experts as we delve into topics such as how we use media to express our selves, the emergence of the extreme self, transhumanism and the augmented self; anonymity, genetics, biometrics, mind clones, and the digital afterlife - these are just some of the innovations, and controversies, we’ll cover. 

Join the community, buy the book at thefutureofyou.co.uk or connect with me on twitter at @traceyfutures. Please come with me on this journey to explore identity in the digital world, as we investigate the future of me, and the future of you.

33 Episodes
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In the age of AI is proof of personhood more important than anonymity?In this episode of The Discussion I speak with Steven Boykey Sidley about cryptography, identity and ownership in the digital world.We discuss privacy, anonymity and personhood in the digital age and the importance of crypto regulation, touching on the debate around central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the need for stable, decentralised alternatives like stablecoins. We think about how people in emerging markets can ...
How is the digital age affecting our identity?In this episode I explore the impact technology and social media are having on how we express ourselves and connect with others. Initially given as a presentation on identity, I talk about the fluidity of identity and our shift in awareness from the “authentic self” to the “complex self”.I also think about Meta’s launch of celebrity likeness AI chatbots and the debate raised there over ownership and control. As well as how digital media has shifte...
Increasingly we’re using facial recognition to do everything from unlock our phone to make payments. But what might the long-term impact of giving away our facial data be? In this episode I talk to New York Times technology reporter and author of “Your Face Belongs To Us”, Kashmir Hill. We talk about the impact of facial recognition technology, the potential for misuse of the tech and its limitations. We also discuss the importance of data privacy and what’s happening to the billion...
#SwarmIntelligence #Avatars #MotionPrintsThis week I’m talking to Louis Rosenberg, CEO and chief scientist of Unanimous AI and the chief scientist of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance.We discuss the impact of conversational AI on our everyday interactions and whether marketing will be morphing into manipulation as virtual salespeople become a reality. We also discuss the data hidden in our movements and the work being done to protect our motion privacy. The conversation ends with a disc...
Interactive experiences like Roblox are giving children the chance to explore their identity like never before. In this episode I speak with kids media consultant Jo Redfern about the intricacies of Gen Z’s digital identity, self-expression, and the power children have in the 21st century to shape their virtual personas.We discuss the new Barbie movie and the intersection of merchandising and identity. As well as thinking about the future of education and the alternative the learning paths th...
Will brands have their own wallets for customers? Will customers have their own wallets that they give brands access to? How will digital wallets reshape the data we store? And what’s the difference between personal and personalised wallets?In this episode of The Briefing I discuss all of this and more with Jamie Smith, founder of Customer Futures.This episode also features an announcement about the future of this podcast. The Briefing will only be available to members in future. To find out ...
In this episode of The Discussion I speak to Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO of iProov, the world leader in biometric face verification. We discuss the importance of keeping ahead of security in biometrics, the advantages of face biometrics over the iris or palm - and what he thinks about the future of anonymity.I also speak with Bronwyn Williams, a futurist and economist based in South Africa. We discuss the issues that could arise from a single company becoming the centralised global infrastruc...
In this episode of The Briefing I talk with Ian Crocombe of Superheroic about the creation of TF14 (my “synthetic self”). We discuss how TF14 was made, the tools and platforms employed, and the use cases for digital representations such as this.I also talk about the launch of Worldcoin, the pros and cons of is-a-person solutions and explore security threats around biometrics.BBC News article on the launch of Worldcoin https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-66128111Vitalek's essay https:/...
Let’s dump the doomerism and take a positive look at AI. In this episode I’m speaking with audience expert David Boyle. As co-author of ‘Prompt’ David has quite literally written the book on how AI can be used to enhance the creation of all types of content across a variety of sectors. I also chat with Matthew Kershaw, VP of commercial strategy at D-id.com, about the rise in the creation of digital avatars, the anthropomorphism of digital assistance and what it means for our future digital se...
In this episode of The Briefing I consider how AI is impacting art and artists. We drop in on the Stanford event around Creativity in the Age of AI, we consider some of the news making headlines about China and AI. And we end up at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, in Warsaw, from where I spoke about AI and the Death of the Artist. Tracey's book 'The Future of You: Can Your Identity Survive 21st Century Technology?' available in the UK and US China Inc. Shows How Ge...
In this episode of The Discussion I’m joined by Josh Muncke - Commercial Director, Retail & Consumer at Faculty and Sam Gregory - Executive Director at Human Rights Organisation, WITNESS.We cover generative AI models, what they are and how they're changing the customer experience. Testing and iterating as a process, and how the field of prompt engineering is going to evolve. Also shallow fakes versus deep fakes, the novel ability to create new media content from existing data, the n...
In this episode of The Briefing I’m joined by Chris Holmes, Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE. He gives me the inside track on digital ID in the UK, where it’s going and how it compares to approaches in other jurisdictions.I also cover some new threats in biometrics and give you a sneak peek into the next episode on Generative AI, where we debate the implications for both consumers and citizens.https://chrisholmes.co.ukhttp://faculty.aihttps://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2023/05/22/generative-ai-identi...
In this episode of The Discussion I’m joined by Commercial Director, Europe, Digital Trust Services at Gen, and all-round Digital Wallet and Innovation expert Andy Tobin for a detailed conversation about digital wallets.We go deep into what the European identity system (eIDAS) is, how it works and why we need it. We cover the difference between identity cards and digital wallets and the role of verifiable credentials. We also explore why digital credentials are more secure than paper document...
In this episode of The Briefing we cover several news topics around technology of identity and the digital self, primarily focusing on voice tech; voice design,re-voicing and voice cloning. We look at digital wallets and digital credentials in Europe with the EU ID scheme, and we revisit the current status of theTwitter blue checkmark. I’m also joined by Nik Badminton to talk about his new book, “Facing Our Futures: How foresight, futures design and strategy creates prosperity and growth.”&nb...
In this episode of The Discussion I’m joined by digital identity thought leader Dave Birch and Senior Principal at Liminal, and host of the State of Identity podcast, Cameron D’Ambrosi to discuss the digital identity landscape. We cover the push towards integrated identity platforms, the vision for reusable identity and the differences between centralized and decentralized systems and how those often reflect national culture. What is the state of Digital ID in the UK? Will the wallets of...
In this episode of The Future of You: The Briefing I’m joined by neurotech expert Dr Cody Rall to talk about Grimes getting a Neurosity Crown for her birthday. I also cover the latest news around motion prints, age verification, and speak with author of The Currency Cold War Dave Birch about the launch of Fed Now; the new instant payment system being introduced in the US.Episode 13 The Future of You, ‘Brain Data and the Sovereign Self’ with Nita Farahany https://pod.fo/e/1706b7Jeff Delaney/Fi...
We start Season 3 by exploring brain data - what is it? How can it be collected and used? And who has access to it?In this episode I’m joined by Nita Farahany; author of The Battle For Your Brain and Professor at Duke University. We discuss how brain data is already being collected and used as well as the importance of cognitive liberty. I also find out more about the technology being used to collect brain data. I talk with CEO and Co-founder of Neurable Dr. Ramses Alcaide, and Co-founde...
The Manifesto of You

The Manifesto of You

2023-03-2703:08

“To be or not to be I.T.….. That is the question”As we prepare for the start of Season 3 of The Future of You podcast, listen to The Manifesto of You.Follow this podcast now to make sure you don’t miss an episode - they will be released every second Thursday starting March 30.
In this third season of The Future of You podcast, I’ll be talking about a new dimension to the self. Along with the biology and the psychology of the self, we now have the technology of the self.I’m Tracey Follows, Futurist, Founder of Futuremade and Visiting Professor of digital futures and identity at Staffordshire University. This season continues with a new format. We stick with two episodes being released every month but now you’ll hear The Discussion and The Briefing.Expect deep conver...
Today, I'm joined by Prof. Dr. Beth Singler, Assistant Professor in Digital Religion(s) at the University of Zurich and Rev. Dr. Joshua K. Smith, Pastor and Theologian, to discuss digital religion, and our spiritual identity online.This episode of The Future of You covers:The trends in digital religionHow people are developing communities and ideas about technology onlineHow AI shapes and molds what we are doing spiritually. Our perspective bias at the dawn of a new millenniumAnthropomor...
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