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Monthly Archives: January 2015

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As the Powerful Argue AI Ethics, Might Superintelligence Arise on the Fringes?

Last year, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking admitted they were concerned about artificial intelligence. While undeniably brilliant, neither are AI researchers. Then this week Bill Gates leapt into the fray, also voicing concern—even as a chief of...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Jan 30)

Some news stories are about iterative steps, others about significant strides. Then there's this week's batch of stories that, one way or another, are all about moonshots. We know that the future will be radically different but to...

The Radical Implant That Enables Paralyzed Rats (and Maybe One Day Humans) to Walk Again

Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland recently unveiled a flexible spinal implant called the electronic dura (or e-Dura) that they say may greatly improve spinal injury rehabilitation. In a paper published earlier this...
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Google Pledges $3 Million to Singularity University to Make Graduate Studies Program Free of Charge

Google, a long-time supporter of Singularity University (SU), has agreed to a two-year, $3 million contribution to SU's flagship Graduate Studies Program (GSP). Google will become the program's title sponsor and ensure all successful direct applicants get...

Tomorrow’s Technology Depends on Today’s Physics

Did you know that you already love physics? Consider the technology around you. Your computer’s microchips were built from transistors using quantum physics. GPS navigation? Sensitive to nanosecond calculations derived from Einstein's general theory of...

Drones Will Be Everywhere Watching, Listening, and…Planting Millions of Trees?

More and more people are getting to know drones, and not just the military kind. Drones were one of the hottest gifts over the holidays because they’re not only getting easier to fly (though not...

Ray Kurzweil’s Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years

In my new book BOLD, one of the interviews that I’m most excited about is with my good friend Ray Kurzweil. Bill Gates calls Ray, “the best person I know at predicting the future of...
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If You Upload Your Mind to a Computer—Are You Still You?

One of the most mind-bending far future predictions you'll hear from some futurists is this: Eventually, the technology will exist to copy your brain (every bit of data that makes you, you) onto a computer. Technical details and...

The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now

Isn’t it time we start telling the truth about addiction? What is that truth? That we are all addicts and all the time. For this to make sense, it helps to first understand that our ideas...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Jan 24)

Enjoy this week's stories! COMPUTING: A Graphene Discoverer Speculates on the Future of Computing Katia Moskvitch | Scientific American "I call it 'materials on demand' because, depending on your application and what you want to achieve, you can...

Overhauled Atlas Robot Ready to Square Off Against World’s Elite Robots This Summer

For two days this summer, the world’s elite robots will be gathered in one place. Darpa, the advanced technology and innovation wing of the US military, is hosting a $3.5 million competition to see...

We Need a Manhattan Project for Cyber Security

Of the 6,494 words President Obama uttered in his January 2015 State of the Union address, only 108 of them were dedicated to the topic of our growing technological insecurity. Sure the leader of...

Quiet Seagoing Cuttlefish Robot Is Highly Maneuverable and Propeller Free

We’ve covered all manner of biologically inspired robots over the years. Turns out nature has had a bit of a jump on us in the engineering department. So, why not steal a few designs?...

What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need to Succeed?

Yesterday marked the end of Google’s Glass Explorer Program. First released with much fanfare in 2013, Google marketed Glass to developers and early adopters. For $1,500, they would get the device and a chance to...

Working Lab-Grown Human Muscles to Serve as ‘Clinical Trials in a Dish’

A team of researchers out of Duke University recently announced they’ve grown human skeletal muscle in a dish. The muscle responds to electrical impulses, biochemical signals, and drugs just like muscle tissue in our...
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Top 5 Videos in Elon Musk and SpaceX’s Quest For Reusable Rockets

A week ago, in the open ocean off the Florida coast, the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket nearly made history. SpaceX is attempting to recover, refurbish, and reuse its rockets to...
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Tour a Century of Sci-Fi Film in Just Four Minutes

I just watched over a hundred years of sci-fi crunched into four minutes. (See below.) And beyond a fun trip down memory lane, I noticed a few things. The effects have radically improved, but the themes...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Jan 17)

This week saw a slew of stories about how well computers are getting to know us and how that will be good for everyone...depending on your point of view, of course. Enjoy this week's stories! FACIAL RECOGNITION: Computers are...

3D Printed Electronic Devices Are Coming

The handheld computers we carry in our pockets represent almost unimaginable complexity. Batteries, sensors, chips, circuits, and touch displays in a space age shell, all painstakingly assembled by thousands of workers and shipped globally. Smartphones have disrupted...

Take a Tour of Hubble’s Mind Blowing High Definition Snapshot of the Andromeda Galaxy

Recently, NASA and ESA released the most detailed image yet of Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor at 2.5 million light years away. Andromeda—which is expected to collide and merge with our own Milky Way...
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Have a World Changing Startup? Apply Now For Inaugural SU Labs Accelerator

The Fall '15 Class of Singularity University's Startup Accelerator launches September 28th. Learn about the SU Startup Accelerator here, and submit your application to take part by June 30th.  To change the world, it helps to have a good...
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If We Made ‘Back to the Future II’ Today: What Would 2045 Look Like?

It’s officially 2015, the year Marty McFly and Doc Brown visited in their souped up DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future Part II. There’s been a flurry of press comparing the iconic...

Sand Art Robot Rakes Giant Beach Sketches

San Francisco artist Andres Amador makes monumental designs on the beach with naught but a rake and some wet sand. He’s mindblowingly good at sand art—but he’s got competition. A small, orange Disney robot...

New Malaria Meds Aim to Fight Drug Resistance

According to the World Health Organization, over half a million people died from malaria in 2013, 75% of which were African children under the age of five. Despite these grim numbers, there has been...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Jan 10)

Enjoy this week's stories! ROBOTS: The Robotification of Society is Coming Rhett Allain | WIRED "The best plan is to educate in a way that is perpendicular to the direction of robotification....at first robots will take over simple...

5 Mind-Bending Sights: Finally, The Future Is Starting To Look Like We Thought It Would

2015—that just sounds like the future, right.  But does it look like the future? Because, that’s the thing, right—we all know technology is advancing at exponential rates. We are making soaring progress in a...

Can DNA Nanobots Successfully Treat Cancer Patients? First Human Trial Soon

“No, no it’s not science fiction; it’s already happening,” said Ido Bachelet to a somewhat incredulous audience member at a London event late last year. Bachelet, previously of Harvard’s Wyss Institute and faculty member...
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Robot ‘Iron Chef’ Sharpens Skills With YouTube Cooking Videos

If robots and AI are our technological children (and of course they are!), what's the best way to teach them about the world? Why, the internet, of course. Using the popular deep learning programming technique, computer...

These 11 Technologies Will Go Big in 2015

If you thought 2014 was thrilling, here's a look at what I'm most excited about for 2015. Here are 11 of the most exciting new technologies moving from deceptive to disruptive this year. 1. Virtual...

How Our Inventions Reinvent Us

In two recent videos, Jason Silva visits the idea of ontological design—that as we design our tools, so our tools design us in return. We devise and engineer computers and the internet, and now computers...
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Virtual Reality to Push Limits of Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival

After decades of setbacks, false promises and unfulfilled expectations, virtual reality is finally on the tipping point of becoming a widely adopted technology and artistic medium—and it would appear filmmakers are embracing VR's potential. Later this month,...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Jan 3)

It's a new year, one that promises significant strides in technology and major accomplishments along the frontier of science and medicine. While this year will likely be dominated by the rise of wearables and artificial intelligence along with the drama...

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