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Idealog year in review: Box's Dan Heyworth

Box director of new projects Dan Heyworth shares his views on the year that was and the years that could be.

What was the most interesting New Zealand company that caught your eye?

Soul Machines – an enterprise focused on creating ‘digital humans’ that learn and react in real time. New Zealand on the frontline of AI.

What about internationally?

Patagonia. The anti-growth company that urges its customer to buy less - and they just buy more.

What was the most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?

It’s not exactly a new technology trend but this year there seemed to be a lot of chatter about Blockchain (a platform to trade digital currencies). I’m both fascinated and confused. What the hell are we going to do with it?

Most exciting project you worked on this year?

Pitch to Kiwibuild to transform the New Zealand construction industry through off-site house manufacture at scale. We have the opportunity to use a crisis to design a world-leading off-site manufacturing business model.

What public event that impacted on or affected you the most?

IPCC Special Report Oct 2018. We’re screwed.

What was your favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/ magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of 2018?

Book: Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

TV Show: Tin Star

Performance enhancing drug: more sleep

Heroes?

Anyone who works as a volunteer at hospices and care homes. Please remember me when the time comes.

Villains?

Sophists. (Politicians, most academics, most journalists…)

Your own personal highlight?

Re-discovering my love of drawing.

Biggest learning for you?

Talk less, do more.

Going into 2019, what’s the change you want to see in the world?

Urgent focus on environmental issues. Surely, it’s basic risk management?

What should be invented and/or un-invented in the next year?

Fortnite (online game where 100 players fight to the death) – un-invented

Is it the robots we should be worried about, or the humans?

Humans. They design the robots.

How long before we have:  

DNA modification?

It’s here. Too late.

Driverless cars?

Hopefully before my kids start learning (3 years please)

Immortality?

Never, we’ll be dead by then.

Cities that all look like Venice?

There were many – Atlantis was one.

No animals farmed or eaten?

Once we’ve stopped killing and eating each other.

Medical cannabis sold at the chemist?

A generation.

Non-human, AI lovers?

A few years, in the non-physical sense.

Chips implanted in our brains?

Unlikely, we can’t agree on national ID cards.

Colonies on Mars?

Two generations.

Secure bunkers to protect us from the zombie apocalypse?

They’re among us (bunkers built by zombies).

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