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Yearly Archives: 2014

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Women Working on the Frontiers of Technology

Are women starting companies in the most cutting edge fields and keeping pace with the future? Although many are now learning coding and engineering in school, working for global internet companies and building their...

Singularity University’s Top Six of 2014

From launching hardware to the International Space Station to hosting events in San Diego, New York City, and Amsterdam—it was a big year for Singularity University. The summer's Graduate Studies Program inspired 21 team projects,...

Global Citizenship: Technology Is Rapidly Dissolving National Borders

Besides your passport, what really defines your nationality these days? Is it where you were live? Where you work? The language you speak? The currency you use? If it is, then we may see the idea...

Future of Work: Why Teaching Everyone to Code Is Delusional

Since 2005, I’ve been grappling with the issue of what to teach young people. I’ve written curricula for junior high students in the US, for a UNICEF program reaching students in a dozen countries,...

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Will Revolutionize Transportation, But That’s Only The Beginning Of The Change It’ll Bring

San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes flat—that was the dream of the Hyperloop. Back in 2013, Elon Musk introduced the world to this dream a 60 page white paper. The paper caused a...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Dec 27)

Even though we're in the middle of the holidays, a number of great articles have been written in an effort to sum up the tech progress of 2014. Although we're awash in "Top 8" articles, the following articles...

These Thought-Controlled Robotic Arms Are Beating Paralysis and Amputation

In 2012, University of Pittsburgh researchers released a video of Jan Scheuermann feeding herself a bite of chocolate. This, of course, wouldn't be noteworthy but for one thing: Scheuermann is paralyzed from the neck...

Coming Data Deluge Means You’ll Know Anything You Want, Anytime, Anywhere

We're heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. Soon you'll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. Why is this happening? And what are the implications?...

Cyborg Superpower: Man Can Hear the Internet

Television, cellphones, radio, WiFi—modern civilization converses in radio waves. Most of us need some kind of device to translate the signals into something we can consume on a screen or through a speaker. But in...

A 3D Printed Moon Base: Science Fiction or Science Fact?

One day everything in space will be made in space, and this will radically increase the potential for human space exploration. I recently read a novella that explores this very idea (see below for an...

One Small Experiment in Learning and Memory, One Giant Leap for Mankind

Benjamin Storm, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz , recently ran an interesting experiment in memory and technology. Storm took twenty college students and gave them a pair of computer files, call...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Dec 20)

As this is the last curation post of the year, I want to extend our team's thanks and appreciation to readers of Singularity Hub. Your support has allowed us to continue to grow and craft...

Future of Work: What Skills Will Help Us Keep Pace?

From Elon Musk’s tweet that artificial intelligence may be more dangerous than nuclear weapons to the growing clamor of voices warning robots will take away our jobs, it is clear we are focusing more...

How Technology Brought Us Closer to the Future in 2014

As the year draws to a close, it’s worth glancing over our shoulder. What technologies and themes were brightest in 2014? Read on. (And keep in mind, attempting such a summation is ambitious to the extreme—let us...

Mobile, the Metatrend of the Decade

Four billion people are buying new smartphones every two years, massively outpacing the PC industry (where we buy 1.6 billion PCs every five years). Our desire for the most powerful, newest tech in our pocket...

Worm ‘Brain’ Uploaded Into Lego Robot

Can a digitally simulated brain on a computer perform tasks just like the real thing? For simple commands, the answer, it would seem, is yes it can. Researchers at the OpenWorm project recently hooked a...

Humans 2.0: Seeing Ourselves Anew in ‘Algorithmic Cascades of Data’

Sensors are cheap and abundant. They’re already in our devices, and soon enough, many of us may elect to carry sensors in and on our bodies, and embed them in our homes, offices, and...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Dec 13)

Enjoy this week's stories on technological progress and the resulting tension caused! ROBOTS: Does the Halting Problem Mean No Moral Robots? Michael Byrne | Motherboard "The general idea under consideration is whether or not a robot can make an...

Disney’s Exquisite Digital Eyes Bring Avatars to Life

When you meet someone, where does your gaze first fall? Usually, you’ll find you look for their eyes. And maybe this is partly why some digital characters can seem alien—their eyes are approximations of...

Artificial Enzymes from Artificial DNA Challenge Life As We Know It

In the decade or so since the Human Genome Project was completed, synthetic biology has grown rapidly. Impressive advances include the first bacteria to use a chemically-synthesized genome and creation of a synthetic yeast chromosome. Recently,...

Can AI save us from AI?

Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence might just be the most debated technology book of the year. Since its release, big names in tech and science, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have warned of the...

Detecting Alien Planets With Your ‘Run-of-the-Mill’ Digital Camera

Astronomy is no stranger to citizen scientists. Amateur stargazers are credited with the discovery of comets, asteroids, and even planets. That said, while amateurs don’t use multi-million dollar observatories, it’s still an expensive hobby....

What Google Glass Has in Common With an Iconic Apple Fail

Not long ago, I attended two tech conferences. AI, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology—both were future focused. But the most curious thing I saw there wasn’t on stage. It was more subtle, more about negative...
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Short Film “Memories 2.0” Envisions Reliving the Past Through Virtual Reality

One of the hard truths of human existence is that though we are able to move freely through space, we are mercilessly constrained by time. Each moment of life arrives then rapidly passes, seemingly lost forever. In an attempt to capture information...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Dec 6)

It's a fairly universal truth that things can always get better. But gains in computing don't guarantee that technological advances immediately translate into lifestyle improvements. In time, problems introduced with technology tend to sort themselves out, but in an age when everything is accelerating, we...

Graphene Armor Would Be Light, Flexible and Far Stronger Than Steel

Who needs science fiction? Nature is a wealth of imaginative plot twists. Take carbon. Carbon is common. It’s the fourth most abundant element in the universe. And yet, carbon is also exceptional. It’s the elemental...
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Short Space Film “Wanderers” Reminds Us We Are All Explorers 

Wanderers is an inspiring vision of humanity’s expansion beyond planet earth, showing digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from photos and maps that we might find if we remember that we...

Should scientists attempt to create artificial life?

The idea of creating life from scratch is deeply rooted in the imagination, from ancient mythology up to modern science fiction. Yet recent scientific advances in understanding what defines life at the molecular level has...

The Day You’ll Prefer Robots to Humans

Finally, the robot revolution is arriving. There's a Cambrian explosion in robotics, with species of all sizes, shapes and modes of mobility crawling out of the muck of the lab and onto the terra firma...

Technology Is the Beauty and Terror of the Human Mind Turned Inside Out

In a recent video, Jason Silva says the goal of humanity is to turn our minds inside out, to actualize our imaginations in the real world through technology. He terms humankind’s unique ability to...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Nov 29)

News trends make sense when they can be traced back to specific events, developments, or monumental moments. Other times, the minds of journalists and writers seem to collectively coalesce around some idea that is difficult to point to. Over...

Two Crowdfunded Machines Make Biotechnology Accessible to All

“I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next fifty years at least as much as the domestication of computers has dominated our lives during the previous fifty years.” Freeman...

Made In Space Transports and Replicates First 3D Printed Object on Space Station

In September, Made In Space and NASA partnered to deliver the first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS). And now this week, another first. The ISS astronauts fired up the printer to...
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Groundbreaking Microscope Makes 3D Video of Living Cells in Real Time

The saying goes, “Lightning never strikes the same place twice.” But what's in a saying? Dr. Eric Betzig recently showed creating one revolutionary new microscope doesn’t mean he can’t create another. Betzig, a physicist and engineer...

Summit Europe: Chip Implants Easy as Piercings

“I am bleeding just a little bit,” said Raymond McCauley. “Might I ask for a little assistance?” McCauley, chair of Singularity University’s biotechnology and bioinformatics track and a biohacker, had just implanted a microchip...
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Short Film “Doubles” Is a Humorous Take on the Nightmare of Parallel Universes Colliding

We've all wondered how our lives would be different if things had gone another way. Would we be the same person or someone we wouldn't even recognize? The truth may be that we don't really want to know. Each...

Summit Europe: To Anticipate the Future Is to Abandon Intuition

In the evolution of information technology, acceleration is the rule—and this fact isn’t easy for the human brain to grasp. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t at least intuitively aware of the...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Nov 22)

We're getting closer to the end of 2014 and it's natural for writers to start reflecting on what this year has brought. Technology has advanced further than ever before, and we're more aware of both...

Summit Europe: Robots Are Still Toddlers—But They’re Growing Up Fast

You've probably read somewhere recently that robots are coming to take your job. It's true, they probably are. But they’ve got some growing up to do first, says Rob Nail, CEO and associate founder...

Summit Europe: Art Meets Tech in Glowing Roads and a Smog Eating Machine

There’s a stretch of Dutch highway that glows like Tron; a path of radiant tiles swirling like Van Gogh’s "Starry Night"; a lotus dome of a hundred unfurling smart flowers; a jungle of genetically...

Summit Europe: Artificial Intelligence Evolving From Disappointing to Disruptive

Neil Jacobstein, Singularity University’s co-chair in AI and Robotics, has been thinking about artificial intelligence for a long time, and at a recent talk at Summit Europe, he wanted to get a few things...

Summit Europe: When Will We Let Go and Let Google Drive Us?

What technology has the most world-changing potential in the next decade or two? Brad Templeton, Singularity University’s networks and computing chair, thinks it's driverless cars. Then again, he would. Templeton has worked with Google on...

Summit Europe 2014: Tech’s Pace Is Like a Dozen Gutenberg Moments Happening at the Same Time

From sunny San Diego last week for the Exponential Medicine conference to the rainy and overcast Netherlands for Summit Europe this week—I’m on the road with Singularity University. At the DeLaMar theater in central...

Does humankind’s progress depend upon the even distribution of technology?

"The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." This quote, credited to sci-fi writer William Gibson, is popular among futurists and technologists because it dismantles the notion that certain technologies are out of...

Aeromobil’s Flying Car Is a Sci-fi Dream Getting Closer to Reality

Since the invention of the automobile and powered flight in the early 1900s, the idea of a flying car has inspired dreams in tech enthusiasts, gear heads, and those who just wish to beat...

Exponential Medicine: Data Deluge to Disrupt Healthcare This Decade

You can’t really boil down four days, 59 speakers, and a few lovely musical interludes into a single word—but here goes. If there was an overriding theme to this year’s Exponential Medicine it was,...
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Short Film “SYNC” Imagines Robot Couriers As the Defense Against Cyberterrorism

Hacking and cyberterrorism are modern-day realities, and the more connected we become, the more vulnerable we are. While this is true for individuals, it's much more grim for corporations who have millions and even billions to lose....

Optics Matter: New Vision Research Suggests Peak Performance Is Only A Jump To Warp Speed Away

Scientists from Scripps Research Institute just discovered that optic flow—the technical term for the temporal rate at which objects move past the eye—helps us map our world. And their discovery sheds new light on...

Exponential Medicine: Braingear Moves Beyond Electrode Swim Caps

If the last few decades in information technology have been characterized by cheaper, faster, and smaller computer chips, the next few decades will add cheaper, faster, and smaller sensors. Chips are the brains. Now...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Nov. 15)

It was a busy week on Hub as we profiled Singularity University's Exponential Medicine conference in detail in the midst of historical landing of a spacecraft on a comet. But the Hub team still found...

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