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Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Drones Have Reached a Tipping Point—Here’s What Happens Next

Unexpected convergent consequences...this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (four of seven) is a look at drones. Future posts will look at other tech areas, and...
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Why Prospecting Asteroids for Precious Resources Is Now Possible [Video]

Today’s world is built on a foundation of material objects, and Earth is the only place to obtain the natural resources that modern life depends on. But maybe not for much longer. Most of the...

Eye on the Cure: Can Algae Genes Restore Vision in First Optogenetics Human Trial?

In the next month, scientists from RetroSense Therapeutics will inject a virus deep into the retina of legally blind human volunteers. The virus will carry what is perhaps the most monumental payload in modern neuroscience...
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Space and Technology: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Does life exist beyond Earth? Scientists have a few reasons to be optimistic. For one, there are an estimated 100 billion billion Earth-like planets in our universe. That should get most people’s hopes up. Further, we're...

Have We Finally Achieved Information Immortality?

The way information is stored and shared may now be forever changed thanks to a recent major five-dimensional (5D) digital data recording and retrieval announcement. Scientists from the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre...
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Atlas Robot Is More Capable (and Human) Than Ever in Latest Video

If you aren’t convinced the pace of robotics is accelerating, you need only check out the new video from robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics. The group's latest humanoid robot tramps through the snow, stacks boxes, and...
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Sci-Fi Short “Lost Memories 2.0” Weighs the Price of the Digital Life

"In your virtual world, everything is smooth." — from Lost Memories 2.0 In our Digital Age, we are experiencing the coming together of physical and digital worlds. Yet, it is still unclear whether this convergence will be more harmonious unification...

The Near Future of VR and AR: What You Need to Know

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the third of seven) is a look at virtual and augmented reality. Future posts will look at...

Why Big Tech Companies Are Open-Sourcing Their AI Systems

The world’s biggest technology companies are handing over the keys to their success, making their artificial intelligence systems open-source. Traditionally, computer users could see the end product of what a piece of software did by,...

All the Brain-Boosting Goodness of Exercise…in a Pill?

Lets face it: Love it or hate it, exercise is good for our brains. Feeling stressed? Hit the trails: running boosts the fight-or-flight brain chemical norepinephrine and enhances our body’s ability to respond to stress....

Don’t Be Alarmed: AI Won’t Leave Half the World Unemployed

Recent alarmist headlines this week claim artificial intelligence (AI) will put half of us out of work. These headlines—and there were several—stem from comments by Rice University’s computer scientist Moshe Vardi who at the weekend...
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Space and Technology Review: Asteroid Detection and Mining

Scientists have only catalogued 1% of near-Earth asteroids. At the current pace, it would take 1,000 years to find all near-Earth asteroids. New laws make asteroid mining potentially insanely lucrative. Millions of rocky objects...

This Remarkable Robot Hand Is Worthy of Luke Skywalker

Most of today's robot hands can perform easy tasks. They’re uber-practical grippers, simple and useful. But is it really so much to ask for robotic masterworks as dextrous as Luke Skywalker’s bionic hand in Star Wars?...

China’s Curious Dream of Floating Nuclear Plants on the Ocean

The family of nuclear reactors found on the seven seas is about to grow—China recently announced plans to build a floating, ship-based nuclear power plant. Construction of the ship will begin next year, and...

In the Future, Ownerless Companies Will Live on the Blockchain

Among niche groups of computer scientists, the buzz surrounding blockchain has reached levels normally designated for Elon Musk. The technology is in its early and technically complicated stage of development, but experts say it’s...

Where Artificial Intelligence Is Now and What’s Just Around the Corner

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the second of seven) is a look at artificial intelligence. Future posts will look at other tech...
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An Inside Look at the SU Labs Startup Accelerator: The Entrepreneur’s Journey

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur aspiring to launch a startup? Increasingly, you’re not alone. Developing technologies are opening entrepreneurship up to more people, while successful new startups are popping up around innovation hubs...

Denying Death: Is Radically Longer Life Good for Society?

It’s no longer a radical question. The aging literature is replete with treatments that could prolong lifespan by 20-40%, at least in lab animals. Interventions such as caloric restriction, rapamycin and metformin have been studied...
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Sci-Fi Short Imagines How Brain-Computer Interfaces Will Make Us “Connected”

Social life is defined by connections, and more than ever, the fabric of our social lives are woven digitally. Before the Internet picked up speed, local hubs like neighborhoods, churches, and community centers provided a variety of opportunities to develop...
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Space and Technology Review: The Race to the Moon and Mars

It’s an exciting time for space exploration. NASA, private companies, and several countries are all racing to colonize space. Soon we hope to become a multi-planetary species. But why? This post explores why we’re racing...

Five Startups to Watch From Singularity University’s 2015 Global Solutions Program

For 10 weeks each summer, a group of impact-driven individuals from around the world come to Singularity University’s Silicon Valley campus to embark on our flagship Global Solutions Program (GSP). Seven weeks into the program,...

Robots in Health Care Could Lead to a Doctorless Hospital

Imagine your child requires a life-saving operation. You enter the hospital and are confronted with a stark choice. Do you take the traditional path with human medical staff, including doctors and nurses, where long-term trials...

Inside SU’s First Salon: Lab-Grown Organs, Cybersecurity, and AI Music Apps

“We will find new things everywhere we look.” –Hunter S. Thompson At the rate of 21st century technological innovation, each year brings new breakthroughs across industries. Advances in quantum computers, human genome sequencing for under...

When the World Is Wired: The Magic of the Internet of Everything

Unexpected convergent consequences: This is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. An expert might be reasonably good at predicting the growth of a single exponential technology (e.g.,...

How to Never Forget a Name? In the Future, We’ll Just Google Our Brain

Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you where there? Or while in the middle of conversation forgot a person’s name? Or briefing your boss on a project, only to stumble...

UK Will Use CRISPR on Human Embryos — a Step Closer to Human Genome Editing

"It is human nature and inevitable in my view that we will edit our genomes for enhancements.” —J. Craig Venter This week, Kathy Niakan, a biologist working at the Francis Crick Institute in London received the...

How Google’s AI Beat a Human at ‘Go’ a Decade Earlier Than Expected

Last week, news broke that the holy grail of game-playing AI—the ancient and complex Chinese game Go—was cracked by AI system AlphaGo. AlphaGo was created by Google’s DeepMind, a UK group led by David Silver...
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Space and Technology Review: Our Home Among the Stars

At Singularity University, space is one of our Global Grand Challenges (GGCs). The GGCs are defined as billion-person problems. They include, for example, water, food, and energy and serve as targets for the innovation...

The Digitalization of Prosthetics Is Transforming How Wounded Service Members and Veterans Recover

Sitting on Dr. Peter Liacouras’s desk is a razor, a stick of deodorant, and a partially built prosthetic arm. Behind him, several 3D printers buzz away, creating contraptions in plastic, nylon, and titanium. Today...

Virtual Workplaces Will Liberate Talent, Dissolve Borders, and Rewrite the Source Code of Innovation

Innovation is the currency of the modern world. Naturally, we want to figure out how innovation happens and how to get more of it. The current recipe is to gather smart, passionate people together...

Japanese Robotic Farm’s First Harvest Next Year—Half a Million Lettuces a Day in Five Years

In modern times, farming's gone from humanity's top job to a sliver of the economy—a trend that continues today as fewer young people choose to farm. For every farmer under 35 there are 6 over 65, and a quarter of...

Ready to Change the World? Apply Now for Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program

I’m putting out the call for brilliant entrepreneurs who want to enroll in Singularity University’s GSP (Global Solutions Program). The GSP is where you’ll take your existing startup idea, or a new one you create,...

Why Can’t We Predict When a Volcano Will Erupt?

We started 2016 with a bang. Both Chile and Indonesia saw a clutch of volcanoes erupting after laying dormant for a decade or more. This followed an eruption in April 2015, when Calbuco volcano...

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