Futurologists flock to Prague as Future Port Prague opens up

Future Port Prague 2017, photo: archive of Future Port Prague

Dozens of experts from all over the world gathered at a conference today, which opened up this year’s edition of Future Port Prague. The two day show, taking place in the Prague Market, will also feature a machine ethics symposium and a festival, showing many of the latest technological inventions to the public.

Future Port Prague 2017,  photo: archive of Future Port Prague
Last year’s experiment in popularising futuristic thought, known as Future Port Prague, saw positive feedback among the population and much of the media.

This year it is back with a bigger programme, transforming the Prague Market into an epicentre of futuristic visions and products for two days.

Yet rather than just seeing it as a show, Future Port Prague’s founder and CEO, Martin Holečko, insists his project has a wider mission.

“I hope Future Port Prague will help make a difference, because this is something we try to do. We aim to bring information about technology to the people and let them touch the future. We also want to let them talk to the companies that are creating all of these technologies, so that they can come home with ideas of their own and without fear from the unknown.”

Intending not just to display visions of the future, but actively to help in its creation, Holečko has invited renowned futurologist, Nell Watson, to lead a special symposium attempting to create a framework of machine ethics.

“This is becoming a very hot topic, for example think of the autonomous car, which has to decide all the time where it is driving. How do machines understand what human values are and what is ethical when they make an autonomous decision? Those are exactly the kind of questions we want to explore in our symposium.”

Future Port Prague 2017,  photo: archive of Future Port Prague
The largest segment of the two day event, is the open air festival, which aims to introduce visitors to various new products.

“We have twenty different nanotechnology companies on exhibit. Individuals working on Mars missions are here to present. There is also the Skoda Vision X, which is an amazing crossover futuristic product from this manufacturer. The list is so big I could go on for a long time.”

Visitors will also get a chance to meet British engineer Kevin Warwick, who became a cyborg after having an array implanted into his arm.

As part of the festival, workshops will offer the chance to learn new skills and learn about employment opportunities in the high-tech sector.