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Monthly Archives: April 2016

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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 30)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Inside OpenAI, Elon Musk’s Wild Plan to Set Artificial Intelligence Free Cade Metz | WIRED "In the rarefied world of AI research, the brightest minds aren’t driven by—or at least not only by—the next product...

What Would Happen If Elon Musk Ran Apple?

Apple’s dismal earnings announcement shows why it badly needs to rethink its innovation model and leadership. Its last breakthrough innovation was the iPhone — which was released in 2007. Since then, Apple has simply...
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These New Technologies Will Be Both Powerful and Planet Friendly

Did you know there is a 25% chance your cause of death will be due to environmental pollution? According the World Health Organization, some 12.6 million people—or nearly 1 in 4 worldwide—died in 2012 due...

How to Run Wild Experiments Just Like (Google) X

This post explores how to run great experiments in your company, based on recent conversations with my friend Astro Teller, Chief of Moonshots at "X" (formally Google X, Google's R&D factory). X's mission is to invent and...

VR Developers Have High Hopes for This Year—But Are They Right?

As much as the headlines proclaim “virtual reality is here,” it has also only just arrived. Samsung Gear VR was released in November; this month is the initial launch of the HTC Vive and Oculus...

How the Next Wonders of the World Will Be Built in Space

On April 12th, 1961 Yuri Gagarin launched into space on a Vostok rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, becoming the first person ever to leave the planet. Here’s the crazy thing: today’s astronauts travel to space...

How the Power to Control Objects With Our Minds Stopped Being Science Fiction

The recent announcement that a young paralysed man in Ohio in the US named Ian Burkhart managed to regain the use of his fingers after having a chip implanted in his brain is an...

Why Hubble Still Blows Our Minds After a Quarter Century in Space

To celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 26th anniversary in space, NASA released a series of images, videos, and simulations of an object known as the Bubble Nebula. In the main image, a giant star is blowing...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 23)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Let Artificial Intelligence Evolve Michael Chorost | Slate "For billions of years, aqueous information systems have had to contend with extremely complex environments...And the biochemistry going on in one cubic millimeter of dirt, or a...

Meet the Nanomachines That Could Drive a Medical Revolution

A group of physicists recently built the smallest engine ever created from just a single atom. Like any other engine it converts heat energy into movement — but it does so on a smaller scale...

The Last Frontiers of AI: Can Scientists Design Creativity and Self-Awareness?

Is creativity a uniquely human trait? What about self-awareness or intuition? Defining the line between human and machine is becoming blurrier by the day as startups, big companies, and research institutions all compete to build...

Ray Kurzweil Predicts Three Technologies Will Define Our Future

This is the last in a four-part series looking at the big ideas in Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near. ​Be sure to read the other articles: Will the End of Moore’s Law Halt...

The Secrets of X: These 5 Principles Will Help Your Company Make Moonshots Happen

This post explores the inside workings of "X" (formally Google X, Google's R&D factory) through conversations with my friend Astro Teller, chief of moonshots. If you want to create a successful, hyper-growth company around solving tough...

This Droplet of DNA Could Store 600 Smartphones Worth of Retrievable Data

To most of us, DNA stores the code of all living things. But according to computer scientists, DNA may one day become the preferential storage medium for all things. Earlier this month, a team of scientists...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 16)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Neural Networks: What Are They, and Why Is the Tech Industry Obsessed With Them? John Brownlee | Fast Company "Combine them with conversational interfaces, and neural networks can make true artificial intelligence finally possible—a revolution...
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The Coming Robot War Is Our Fault in Short Film ‘Rise’

Speculating what will cause our ultimate demise has been the stuff of science fiction for years—if it’s not aliens wiping out the human race, it’s probably robots. This is a proven trope that keeps moviegoers...

How to Launch a Rocket Into Space…and Then Land It on a Ship at Sea

On Friday 8 April 2016, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched a mission to deliver a spacecraft called Dragon with its payload of supplies and experiments into a trajectory towards the International Space Station (ISS)....

How Microfactories Can Bring Iterative Manufacturing to the Masses

Humans manufacture a mind-numbing amount of stuff each year—ever wonder how we do it? In the past 100 or more years, it’s been all about economies of scale. This means you should make a lot of...

Watch Google X Unleash an Awesome Two-Legged Robot on Tokyo

It’s been a little over two years since Google jumped into robotics with both feet. In 2013, the company (since reorganized as Alphabet) bought eight of the most interesting robotics companies in the world....

Four Key Ingredients Startups Need to Get Right (Hint: They’re All About Culture)

If you want to create a successful, hyper-growth company, you've got to focus on creating the right culture and learning how to rapidly experiment. In this blog, I discuss these two key subjects with Jeff...

New 3D Printed Ovaries Allow Infertile Mice to Give Birth

It might be time to rethink fertility treatment. Here’s the scoop: scientists at Northwestern University 3D printed a functional ovary out of Jello-like material and living cells. When implanted into mice that had their ovaries...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 9)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: What Will Destroy Us First: Superbabies or AI? Danielle Teller and Astro Teller | QUARTZ "Even if we could build an AI that is similar to humans but smarter, there’s no evidence that being smart...

Twisted Light Could Dramatically Boost Internet Speeds

Fiber optics allow for the communication of data at the speed of light. But the amount of data that can be sent along any optic fiber is limited by how much information you can encode...

Why We Should Teach Kids to Code Biology, Not Just Software

Almost ten years ago, Freeman Dyson ventured a wild forecast:  “I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next fifty years at least as much as the domestication of...

Augmented Reality, Not VR, Will Be the Big Winner for Business

Sometimes exponential technologies hide in plain sight. Their innovation speed, market size, and number of practical uses seem to be progressing linearly, until suddenly they tilt upwards and turn on the boosters. A case can...

How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future

This is the third in a four-part series looking at the big ideas in Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near. ​Be sure to read the other articles: Will the End of Moore’s Law Halt Computing’s...

CRISPR Dispute Raises Bigger Patent Issues That We’re Not Talking About

The worlds of science, technology and patent law eagerly await the U.S. government’s decision on who deserves patents on what many have referred to as the biotechnology invention of the century: the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing...

Is the Brain’s Awareness of the World All or Nothing?

We often think of consciousness as binary: you’re either fully aware of something, or you’re not. Yet according to a team of cognitive neuroscientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, conscious awareness is gradual....
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 2)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: How Google Plans to Solve Artificial Intelligence Tom Simonite | MIT Technology Review  "It’s supposed to be just an early checkpoint in an effort Hassabis describes as the Apollo program of artificial intelligence, aimed at...

What Made These Amazing Companies So Disruptive? They All Built Platforms

A trait shared by the fastest growing and most disruptive companies in history — Google, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and eBay—is that they aren’t focused on selling products, they are building platforms. The ability to...

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