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Monthly Archives: August 2015

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We May Soon Have a Lifelong, One-Shot Flu Vaccine — and Halt the Next Pandemic Before It Starts

The battle with flu is a seasonal struggle, and one we don’t always win. The effectiveness of flu vaccines vary tremendously from year to year, and the reason is simple. There are three major types...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Aug 29)

ROBOTICS: Rise of the Robotic Workforce Melody Guan | Harvard Political Review "Human employability optimists also tend to view robotics as powerful but fundamentally inadequate tools that aid rather than replace humans. 'Humans are better than robots at abstraction,...

Hacking Talent in the Age of the Exponential Human

“If you’re going to stay around and be safe for your whole life, then you’ve never really lived, and you’re already dead.” - Travis Rice, pro snowboarder  At the core of the Law of Accelerating Returns is...
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Philip Rosedale on the Future of Virtual Worlds on This Week’s Ask an Expert [Video]

"Virtual jobs are going to be a dominant part of our future...they'll probably be the biggest place that we work."  As the momentum of virtual reality builds, many claims about its future success have been made, some of which...

Disrupting Regulation: Robot Cars, Blockchain and Robotic Pharmacies

In recent years, regulators and lawmakers have been caught off guard by quick-moving new technologies—3D printed guns, genetically modified glowing plants, new business models for sharing economy companies and drones. As the pace of technological innovation...

A Maker’s Guide to the Metaverse

The virtual reality renaissance that is now underway is creating much excitement surrounding the potential arrival of the “metaverse.” As I write, four great technology titans are competing to bring affordable head-mounted displays to...

A Peek at Some of the Coolest Companies in the SU Universe

"Want to become a billionaire? Then help a billion people." "The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities." Both of these statements are the way I describe the premise of Singularity University's Graduate Studies...
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Beyond Games: Why VR Will Soon Be Vitally Important to Healthcare

Virtual reality (VR) is the new buzzword , capturing the imagination of a new generation of early adopters, technologists and gamers. With its early roots in the 1950s simulation community, there have been...

How We’re Battling Virtual Reality’s Dreaded Simulator Sickness

Like many other eager early adopters, my first encounter with virtual reality headsets began with heart-pounding excitement, and ended in nightmarish nausea. To an unfortunate subpopulation of people, virtual reality’s side effects are no joke....

A Grand Unveiling: Inside the Big Ideas Hatched at the 2015 Graduate Studies Program

Only 10 weeks ago, 80 individuals from 43 countries around the world arrived on Singularity University’s campus here in Silicon Valley to embark on SU’s flagship Graduate Studies Program. Over the course of the program,...

Why This Neural Net Thinks the Starship Enterprise Is a Waffle Iron

Artificial neural networks have been all the rage lately. A neural net called DeepDream, built by Google and later released publicly, became an internet sensation for its trippy, dreamlike images. Google and Microsoft boast neural...

We Can’t Find Any Alien Neighbors and Virtual Reality Might Be to Blame

“If the transcension hypothesis is correct, inner space, not outer space, is the final frontier for universal intelligence. Our destiny is density.” – John Smart Only decades into our “age of cosmology” — the moment...

How You Watch Sports Is About to Change Forever With Virtual Reality

We live in an era of unprecedented global interest in live sports. The 2015 Cricket World Cup quarter final between India and Pakistan drew an estimated TV audience of 1 billion people, or 14% of...
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Interview: Nonny de la Peña “Godmother of VR” on How VR Will Transform News and Journalism

Nonny de la Peña has been called "The Godmother of Virtual Reality." Facebook's acquisition of Oculus may have spawned a VR goldrush among tech giants and start-ups alike, but Nonny de la Peña was in the...

Why Email Is Broken—and What Will Replace It

If you need to communicate something important to a friend, do you call? Visit? Email? Text? Skype? WhatsApp? Snap? Tweet? Message on Facebook or LinkedIn? How we communicate in exponential times is changing. This post is about...

Step Inside the Virtual Universe—How VR Will Transform the Web

A little over a year ago, a small team was formed within Mozilla's research arm with a mandate to explore the intersection of virtual reality and the open web. What would the combination of...

Are You a Thinking Thing? Why Debating Machine Consciousness Matters

“I think therefore I am.” In 1637, when he published, The Discourse on Method, René Descartes unleashed a philosophical breakthrough, which later became a fundamental principle that much of modern philosophy now stands upon. Nearly 400 years...

First 3D-Printed Drug Ushers in Era of Downloadable Medicine

3D-printed widgets are taking the medical world by storm. Polymer-based skull implants? Check. Doughnut-shaped Tylenol pills? Check. Totally rad-looking prosthetic arms with a $150 price tag? Check again. These, and plenty other medical novelties, clearly...

Stories From Around The Web: The Challenges Facing Virtual Reality

For all the enthusiasm about virtual reality, there are still plenty of unsolved challenges — technical issues, cultural worries, and questions about market fit and timing. The articles below tackle these issues and ask: Does today's...
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Paul Saffo Forecasts the Future on This Week’s Episode of Ask an Expert [Video]

We're all excited about the future, but maybe you've had some of these lingering thoughts: Will increased longevity challenge people's religious beliefs? How will our lives change over the next decade due to virtual reality? Will...

Your Doctor Can Now Examine an Exact 3D Replica of Your Heart in Virtual Reality

Not so long ago, the only way to see what was going on inside a person’s body involved something sharp. Now, we can image the body’s organs without a single incision. However, though we’ve made...

Why Reorganizing Google Is Essential for Its Survival

It used to be that businesses could see their competition coming and anticipate the threats. Clayton Christensen, with his theory of “disruptive innovation,” taught that a new entrant attacked a market leader by launching...

How Can Virtual Reality Improve the Quality of Life for People Around the World?

Every so often we post discussion questions here on Singularity Hub hoping to drive an interesting conversation. Today, I’d like to do a different type of discussion: a brainstorm session. Since the beginning of August, we’ve...
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Beyond Sight: The Gadgets Bringing Our Bodies Into Virtual Reality

When it comes to virtual reality, seeing is believing. But after those first few fascinated moments, you realize something: Seeing is often all you’ll be doing. Although nailing virtual visuals is very likely the tipping...

You Have a Notification: Welcome to the 24/7 Work Culture

Netflix recently announced an unlimited paid-leave policy that allows employees to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. It is trying to one-up...

Learning in an Era of Abundant Information and Fleeting Expertise

How to learn is changing, and it's changing fast. In the past, we used to learn by doing — we called them apprenticeships. Then the model shifted, and we learned by going to school. Now, it's going...

Will Virtual Reality Headsets Transition from Gaming Accessories to Cybernetic Devices?

“A well designed game can even transcend reality and transplant the player into the world of the game, putting us into different bodies, different times, and different places.” — Dave Beaudoin It’s hard to discuss the...

Are Artificial Neural Networks the Key to Unravelling the Mysteries of Autism?

Autism is a tough nut to crack. Part of the reason is complexity: The disorder manifests in a bewildering array of symptoms — everything from basic perceptual disturbances to high-level cognitive and social deficits. Because...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Aug 8)

ROBOTICS: What you need to know about artificial intelligence, and the imminent robot future Luke Westaway | CNET "Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted in a 2005 book that a model of human intelligence would be achieved as soon...
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Experience These Four Cutting-Edge VR Demos For Yourself

As part of our month-long Future of Virtual Reality series, we want to highlight the most interesting, innovative work in VR today; and we want you to try it for yourself. Chris Milk’s content company VRSE...
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Stories From Around the Web: Virtual Reality Is the Ultimate Empathy Machine

From the earliest plays and novels, artists have created mediated experiences for their audiences to entertain, teach and expand perspectives. The best of these have catapulted audiences into magical worlds and deep into the...
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Is the Future of Drones Dastardly or Daring? This Week’s Ask an Expert Is Now Airborne [VIDEO]

Perusing the news, one might think the world of drones has quieted down. But hovering in the minds of those concerned about the impact of drones on society for better or worse are questions that that continue to arise. In this...

How Virtual Reality Can Unleash the Greatest Wave of Creativity in Human History

“Think about virtual reality like uranium. It can heat homes, and it can destroy nations.” – Jeremy Bailenson What would you do if you could do anything? Would you be a rockstar, playing a sold out arena?...

Making Ideas Tangible: How 3D Printers Will Transform the Classroom

When Windsor Boy’s School in England got a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer three years ago, its first contribution to the Design and Technology department was a ball of plastic spaghetti. Said ball was not exactly...

Is It Really So Bad If We Prefer Virtual Reality to Reality?

As I've been developing this series, I've gotten to spend time with people who are working on the coolest innovations in virtual reality. Surprisingly, whether they're the CEO of a haptics company or an academic...

3D Computer Interfaces Will Amaze—Like Going From DOS to Windows

Today, we spend as much time immersed in the digital world as we do the real world. But our computer interfaces are flawed. They force us to work in 2D rectangles instead of our...

The Billion-Dollar Trait Behind Airbnb, Instagram, and Pinterest

An overnight success… after 10 years of hard work. That's the story for my founding XPRIZE and co-founding Zero-G. It's also the story of Airbnb, Instagram, Pinterest and a lot of other startups. People often forget how...

Virtual Reality Will Let You Experience the Awe Only Astronauts Have Known

Virtual reality will entertain us, connect us, open up new digital worlds—but can it revolutionize our view of the real world too? Maybe. By making us all astronauts for a day. The Overview Effect is...

Think Your Conscious Brain Directs Your Actions? Think Again

Think your deliberate, guiding, conscious thoughts are in charge of your actions? Think again. In a provocative new paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a team led by Dr. Ezequiel Morsella at San Francisco State University...

Should You Buy the Hype? An Inside Look at the Virtual Reality Landscape

When 19-year-old Palmer Luckey launched an ambitious virtual reality Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, in no way could he have dreamt up a scenario that involved reawakening a billion-dollar industry, grabbing Mark Zuckerberg as...

Future of Virtual Reality Series Launches Today

If you’ve ever watched someone experience virtual reality for the first time, you know it can involve screaming, flapping arms, and occasional falls. On one level people know their bodies are safe on the stable...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Aug 1)

ROBOTICS: We Should Not Ban ‘Killer Robots,’ and Here’s Why Evan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum "The problem with this argument is that no letter, UN declaration, or even a formal ban ratified by multiple nations is going...

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