What keeps me up at night: Monster Valley’s Karl Sheridan

Monster Valley director Karl Sheridan discusses what keeps him up at night as a part of a series in conjunction with Tech Futures Lab.

What worries you the most about technology?

That people will forget how to communicate to each other in-person; forcing us all to live in our perfectly prescribed online profiles.

What excites you the most?


What’s your scariest prediction for the future?

That the robotic T-Rex from Jurassic Park will be upgraded and rebooted.

If you could go back in time, what’s one technology advancement you would rave about to your great-grandparents?

Personal computers.

What do you think New Zealand will look like as a country in 2038?

Less farmland and more native regeneration. Tourism and sustainable energy technologies will be our leading markets.

What’s your social media usage like?

A couple of hours per day – mostly on our @monstervalley accounts. It’s better the devil you know…

Do you try limit how much personal information is available about you online?

Yes, for what I can control. I only personally upload what I’m happy with people downloading. Isaac Newton knew what he was talking about when he said: “What goes up must come down.”

What will be dead in the next five years? (Products, companies, trends, etc)

Facebook. The revolution has already begun.

What does your ideal robot look like?

HAL 9000. There are already too many products on earth so software over hardware would be my preference. And it would double as a cool little night-light. 

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all?

If we program them that way, then yes.

How likely is it that we’re living in a simulation?

Maybe the question should be ‘How would you feel knowing you are living in a simulation?’ because either way, we all just need to get on with it.

How far should we take human enhancement? (Bionic limbs, computer chips in brains, designer babies)

All the way! ‘The path to knowledge is fraught with consequences’ – Rango, 2011

What’s the best use of a chatbot you’ve seen?

Again, HAL 9000. Sorry Dave.

How would you feel about interacting with a chatbot fuelled by a deceased loved one’s texts and social media posts?

No thanks. ‘The circle of life’ theme song just wouldn’t work if the lyrics were ‘The endlessness of death’.

What about being a part of a social credit system, Black Mirror style?

We are already there. It’s the original reason social media exists and the real reason we are all still on it today. Like if you agree.

Want to make a change in 2018?

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To read what’s keeping other industry folk awake at night, click here.

This story is part of a content partnership with Tech Futures Lab.

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