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Monthly Archives: August 2016

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Are There Other Intelligent Civilizations Out There? Two Views on the Fermi Paradox

Scientists have now discovered a few thousand planets orbiting other stars and, based on these observations, believe there may be as many as 8.8 billion potentially habitable Earth-sized planets in the Milky Way alone....

5 Big Ideas From Singularity University’s 2016 Global Solutions Program

Something big recently happened at Singularity University. 79 participants from 49 different countries graduated from Singularity University’s 10-week flagship Global Solutions Program (GSP). Over 30 team projects were launched during GSP, each focused on using exponential...

Peter Diamandis: We’ll Radically Extend Our Lives With New Technologies

How long do you think you’ll live? You probably have some idea, and no doubt, you can easily imagine a maximum limit. We humans tend to make it to 70, 80, or 90. The...

How Self-Driving Cars Will Change It All—From Energy to Real Estate

In a presentation at Singularity University’s first annual Global Summit, Brad Templeton informed attendees, “Self-driving cars are going to change the world.” You may have heard that before—but if anyone has the credentials to back...
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7 Key Factors Driving the Artificial Intelligence Revolution

Under, behind and inside many of the apps we use every day, a revolution is underway. It's a revolution that started decades ago but today is empowering companies to deliver better, smarter services with greater ease...

Engineering Will Soon Be ‘More Parenting Than Programming’

"What's a crazy idea you believe in that others don't agree with?" Peter Diamandis posed this classic question (which originated with Peter Thiel) during an interview with Steve Jurvetson at Singularity University's first ever Global Summit. A successful venture...

“We’re Living During the Most Extraordinary Time Ever in History”

Today, Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation Peter Diamandis kicked off Singularity University’s first ever Global Summit here in tech capital, San Francisco. The energy is pulsing (what else would you expect in Silicon Valley?), and so...

Singularity University Comes Home: Global Summit Kicks off Today in San Francisco

Singularity University’s inaugural Global Summit is kicking off today in tech capital San Francisco and running through August 30th. The Singularity Hub team will be on the ground, covering some of the best speakers, and...

6 Perspectives on How Tech Is Transforming the Economy

In early 2015, Singularity Hub ran a series of articles on the Future of Work. Sveta McShane kicked the series off by asking (and answering) the following question: "Have we already entered an era where exponentially growing technologies, among them...
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FarmBot Will Grow Your Food For You; Just Press Go

What if you could grow food in your backyard with little to no understanding of gardening? A new robotic system may make this a reality for everybody. Farmbot Genesis is an open source, autonomous...
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Ray Kurzweil Explores How Self-Driving Cars Will Choose Between Life or Death

Driving a motor vehicle requires making tough choices in the heat of the moment. Whether slamming on the brakes in traffic or speeding up before a light turns red, split-second decisions are often a...

Master Your Own Destiny: An Interview on Entrepreneurship with Pascal Finette

In case you haven’t noticed, entrepreneurship is on the rise. In the US, 2015 had the most startup growth seen annually in over 20 years. Some attribute this growth to the recovery of the US...

The End of Meaningless Jobs Will Unleash the World’s Creativity

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's usually a piece that was popular back then and we...

The Future of Healthcare Is Arriving—8 Exciting Areas to Watch

As faculty chair for Medicine and Neuroscience at Singularity University and curator of our annual Exponential Medicine conference (apply to join us this Oct 8–11th), I cross paths with many technologies which have potential...

Paralysis Partially Reversed With Virtual Reality Tech in Surprising New Study

On June 12th, 2014, the world watched in awe as a young paraplegic kicked off the World Cup in Brazil with the help of a robotic exoskeleton controlled by his brain. Now, the team behind...

5 Incredible Ways Scientists Are Merging Our Brains With Machines

I've been reading Ramez Naam's fantastic book "Nexus," which is set in a near-future where a powerful nano-drug allows human minds to connect together. In the story, a group of enterprising neuroscientists and engineers...

Harvard Biologists Just Demonstrated the Most Extensive Reengineering of a Genome Yet

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have "radically rewritten" the genome of bacteria E. coli. The team has replaced 7 of its 64 codons (3-letter sequences which correspond usually to a single animo acid.) The lab, led by George...

The Synthetic Biology Era Is Here—How We Can Make the Most of It

We are entering an era of directed design in which we will expand the limited notion that biology is only the ‘study of life and living things’ and see biology as the ultimate distributed, manufacturing...
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Why No Aliens? They Live in Video Game Universes Like a Future ‘No Man’s Sky’

Evidence suggesting that our universe is tailor-made for habitable planets — ones that could reasonably support life — continues to pile up. And as humanity flings cosmos-observing technologies further into the sky, we’re developing...
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Why Ray Kurzweil Believes We Are Becoming More God-Like [Video]

People tend to ask Ray Kurzweil all manner of questions about technology and the future. But they also want to know about his own personal philosophy. In one session last summer, a questioner asked...

The Tiny Brain Chip That May Supercharge Your Mind

How will we interact with the intelligent machines of the future? If you're asking Bryan Johnson, founder of startup Kernel, he'll tell you those machines should be implanted inside our brains. His team is working with top neuroscientists...
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Adorable Robot Assistant Pepper Now Available in the US

For the first time, SoftBank Robotics' Pepper, the adorable and tiny humanoid robot helper, will be available to purchase in the US. Pepper reads human emotion, follows your motion with her eyes, and costs less than a high-end television set. She...

Scientists Hoped to Have Cloned a Living Woolly Mammoth by Now — Why Haven’t We?

Five years ago, we wrote about a team of Japanese scientists who predicted they would successfully clone a woolly mammoth within five years. So, why don't we have a living mammoth yet? Even though the...

Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems Are Within Our Reach

At Singularity University (SU) we believe it is possible to solve today’s most pressing problems within the next couple decades. We call these the global grand challenges (GGCs). Our ambition and optimism stem from...

Paralyzed Patients Able to Move After Using a Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton

Researchers at Duke University were surprised to find that the process of learning to use a brain-machine interface (BMI) and exoskeleton led to neurological recovery in paralyzed patients who had suffered spinal cord injury. While...

Your Conscious Brain Directs Your Actions Less Than You Think

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

Build What Matters and Get Sh*t Done: Unfiltered Insights for Entrepreneurs

Here in Silicon Valley there is no shortage of advice available to aspiring entrepreneurs. But finding quality advice, well, that’s a completely different story. Pascal Finette, vice president of Singularity University (SU) Labs and entrepreneurship...

We’ve Been Wrong About the Origins of Life for 90 Years

For nearly nine decades, science’s favorite explanation for the origin of life has been the “primordial soup.” This is the idea that life began from a series of chemical reactions in a warm pond...

IBM’s New Artificial Neurons a Big Step Toward Powerful Brain-Like Computers

Thanks to a sleek new computer chip developed by IBM, we are one step closer to making computers work like the brain. The neuromorphic chip is made from a phase-change material commonly found in rewritable...

8 Takes on the Rise of AI and Its Implications

In recent years, it's been exciting watching advances in AI like IBM's Watson smashing humans at Jeopardy and Google’s AlphaGo AI beating champions at the game of Go a decade earlier than expected. But the...

We’re About to Be Lampooned by Seth Rogen

Earlier this week on the Nerdist podcast Seth Rogen said that he and writer/producer Evan Goldberg would be making a comedy series based entirely on Ray Kurzweil’s theories from The Singularity is Near. Said Rogen of...

This Engineer Found His Own Brain Tumor Thanks To Open Medical Data

Doctors often worry that giving patients too much information will be overwhelming or harmful. However, a study by OpenNotes is showing the exact opposite. After giving 20,000 patients access to doctor’s notes through the OpenNotes platform, patients...

How Nanotech Will Lead to a Better Future for Us All

How do we gain the immense benefits of advanced nanotechnology while avoiding its potential misuse? This was Christine Peterson’s big question when she co-founded the Foresight Institute, a non-profit think tank focused on nanotechnology, three decades...

Meet the Reactors Accelerating Us Toward Fusion Energy

The old joke about fusion is that it is 30 years from becoming a reality — and that’s been the case for the last 50 years or more. It’s a joke that may quickly...
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Ray Kurzweil: The Future Offers Meaningful Work, Not Meaningless Jobs

In a future where automation has taken most human “jobs,” will humans stop working? It all depends on how you define work, says Ray Kurzweil. He favors the idea of a universal basic income...

Why Big Data Is Much More Personal Than You Think

Most people think of big data as some amorphous cloud of information. Even a definition everyone agrees on is hard to pin down. What makes data ‘big’? Most rely on the three V's to define it:...

A Look at IBM’s Watson 5 Years After Its Breathtaking Jeopardy Debut

The year was 2012, and IBM’s AI software Watson was in the midst of its heyday. Watson beat two of Jeopardy’s all-time champions a year earlier in 2011, and the world was stunned. It was...

Your Invitation to the Future: 2016 Global Solutions Program Closing Ceremony

Join Singularity University on August 26th at the Santa Clara Convention Center for the 2016 Global Solutions Program Closing Ceremony—an exciting night of inspiration, impact, and innovative pitches for 20+ new startups aiming to...

Can We Meaningfully Improve Government With Experimentation?

I often speak about the importance of experimentation. What about experimenting with how we govern ourselves? As we enter election season, I'm struck by the question, can we run meaningful experiments with government: how we vote,...

How Today’s Jungle of Artificial Intelligence Will Spawn Sentience

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's usually a piece that was popular back then and we...

What If Intelligent Machines Could Learn From Each Other?

Take a look around and you’ll see evidence of the widespread adoption of wearable sensors for health and fitness, such as the Fitbit, Garmin or other devices. What many people may not know is that...

No More Pills? Tiny Nerve-Zapping Implants to Fight Disease

Imagine a future where we can treat diabetes or autoimmune disorders with an electrical zap delivered by a device no larger than a speck of dust. The device, implanted through microsurgery, sits silently on a...
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5 Future Visions to Fuel Your Imagination of What’s Possible

Through the lens of imagination, humankind has the ability to see far beyond the present. The strongest of these guiding visions tend to coalesce and together steer the trajectory of where we’re headed—even if...

How AI Will Redefine Love

Artificial intelligence is beginning to disrupt entire industries from finance to medicine. Yet the most revolutionary application has yet to arrive—and it’s an existential one. As thinking machines become more integrated into our lives, we...
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Ray Kurzweil Explains Why Radical Life Extension Will Be Better Than You Think

According to Ray Kurzweil, we’re approaching a time when humans will begin to radically extend their lifespans. This sounds good on the surface, but will we have enough resources to support everyone? And won’t...

The Doomsday Vault: An Insurance Policy For the World’s Food Supply

In Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is buried deep permafrost well within the Arctic Circle. The vault was created as a means to preserve human agriculture for an uncertain future. We first wrote...

We Might Live in a Virtual Universe — But It Doesn’t Really Matter

You might have heard the news: Our world could be a clever computer simulation that creates the impression of living in a real world. Elon Musk brought up this topic a few weeks ago....

These Amazing 19th Century French Postcards Predicted Our World—See How They Did

If you've ever struggled to imagine how life will change over the next century thanks to technology, take comfort -- you're not alone. Over 100 year ago, some French artists tried to do the...

Your Dinner Is Ready To Be 3D Printed

Over the last few decades, a new wave of science has been infused into the world of food in the form of molecular gastronomy. By definition, food preparation and cooking involve physical and chemical...

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