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Monthly Archives: January 2017

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When Electronic Witnesses Are Everywhere, No Secret’s Safe

On November 22, 2015, Victor Collins was found dead in the hot tub of his co-worker, James Andrew Bates. In the investigation that followed, Bates pleaded innocent but in February was charged with first-degree...

The Struggle to Make AI Less Biased Than Its Creators

The dirty little secret is out about artificial intelligence. No, not the one about machines taking over the world. That’s an old one. This one is more insidious. Data scientists, AI experts and others have...

When Intelligent Machines Cause Accidents, Who Is Legally Responsible?

The rise of artificially intelligent machines will come at a cost—but with the potential to disrupt and transform society on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Jobs will be lost, but new...

Young Blood Offered as Anti-Aging Therapy — But Is It Ready?

When 68-year-old Mark Thompson* walked into a private clinic on the outskirts of Monterey, California, $8,000 in hand, he had one hope in mind: to leave the clinic feeling physically and mentally back in...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through January 28)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AI Could Transform the Science of Counting Crowds Jeremy Hsu | IEEE Spectrum "Crowd counts for politically-charged events such as protests or presidential inaugurations can sometimes spark controversy...Newer AI methods such as deep learning could soon boost the accuracy...

Quantum Computing Progress Will Speed Up Thanks to Open Sourcing

In the quest for ever more powerful computers, researchers are beginning to build quantum computers—machines that exploit the strange properties of physics on the smallest of scales. The field has been making progress in recent...

The Ethics of Organoids: Scientists Weigh in on New Mini-Organs

Growing organs in the lab is an enduring sci-fi trope, but as stem cell technology brings it ever closer to reality, scientists are beginning to contemplate the ethics governing disembodied human tissue. So-called organoids have...

Make Sense of the Future With This Winter Reading List

It’s always jarring to society when we move from one way of doing things to another. Today’s rapid changes can leave us feeling like we’re confronting unprecedented madness, but change is one of the...

India Is Building the Infrastructure for a Truly Digital Economy

Silicon Valley fancies itself the global leader in innovation. Its leaders hype technologies such as bitcoin and blockchain, which some claim are the greatest inventions since the Internet. They are so complex that only a few...

6 Tools Entrepreneurs Must Master to Succeed in an Accelerating World

Being an entrepreneur today is vastly different than it was 20 years ago. Today, each of us has access to more capital, more technological tools, more information, more talent, and more computational power than the...

Machines Won’t Replace Us—We’ll Become Their Mentors

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” –John Culkin (based on Marshall McLuhan’s ideas) Something big is happening in design and engineering. For all of human history, we...

This Amazing Video Shows Just How Much Software Has Eaten the World

Software is a relatively recent invention in human history, but few things have had as much of an impact on the modern world. Things which used to be physical stuff are increasingly melting away...

Big Data Is Helping Us See Environmental Problems in a Whole New Light

You don’t have to be a member of Greenpeace to see that the planet, its ecosystems and its wildlife are under threat. Climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, pollution—the list of human-caused insults to the...

Could Having Too Much Become a Bigger Problem Than Having Too Little?

Years ago I traveled to Juarez, Mexico for work, staying across the border in El Paso, Texas and driving back and forth each day. On the Texas side, American life bustled on as usual:...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through January 21)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Microsoft Thinks Machines Can Learn to Converse by Making Chat a Game Cade Metz | WIRED "For Microsoft, winning the game of conversation means winning an enormous market. Natural language could streamline practically any computer...

Robots May Steal Our Jobs, but Not as Quickly as We Thought

Fear of job loss to automation is growing, with each announcement of exciting technological progress generating a backlash from those who could end up unemployed because of it. Amazon Go is eliminating the need...

Designer Babies Dilemma in Sharp Focus With Fast Moving Fertility Tech

Moral panic around “designer babies” is nothing new, but rapid advances in technology that allows adult cells to be reprogrammed into sperm and egg cells could bring the issue into sharp focus. Since the 90s...

Get Ready to Love Math With This Sweet VR Calculator

“Our universe isn’t just described by math, but it is math in the sense that we’re all parts of a giant mathematical object.” – Max Tegmark I knew virtual reality was going to make mathematical education...

Stem Cells Are Poised to Change Health and Medicine Forever

We are at the cusp of a stem cell revolution. Understanding and harnessing these unique cells may unlock breakthroughs in longevity and therapeutic solutions to all kinds of chronic diseases and regenerative opportunities. Last month, I...

When the Worst Happens, These Amazing Robots Will Come to the Rescue

The attacks of September 11, 2001, will go down in American history for many reasons—the deaths of nearly 3,000 people chief among them. A footnote in that particular history book is of interest to us...

Aging and Death Are the Evolutionary Price of Complexity

Life’s ever-repeating cycles of birth and death are among the most fundamental principles of nature. An organism starts out as a single cell that grows and divides, develops into an embryo, matures and reaches...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through January 14th)

QUANTUM COMPUTING Quantum Computing Is Real, and D-Wave Just Open-Sourced It Klint Finley | WIRED "Qbsolv is designed to help developers program D-Wave machines without needing a background in quantum physics... today the company released Qbsolv as...

Cellular Reprogramming Rejuvenates Old Mice and Boosts Lifespans 30%

The quest for the fountain of youth is as ancient as humanity itself. Now, it appears scientists may have found the source. Using a process designed to “reprogram” normal adult cells into pluripotent stem cells—cells...

How the Most Successful Leaders Will Thrive in an Exponential World

We live in challenging times. Geopolitical turmoil, local and national social unrest, cycles of deadly natural disasters, cyber hacks, rising distrust of media and tech companies—many recent disruptive events have taken us by surprise. Nearly...

Forget Fillings: New Study Shows How to Regrow Teeth

Few of us are graced with a perfect mouthful of teeth. If it’s not braces or cavities, it’s wisdom teeth or root canals. Adding injury to insult, while medicine has made a lot of...

How Babies in the UK Can Now Legally Have DNA From Three People

From the beginning of time, conception has been a two-person process. Even in cases where there would have been a medical or genetic benefit to pulling in a third person, science hadn’t advanced enough...
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What You Need to See From CES 2017 in 6 Minutes [Video]

I just returned from Las Vegas, after walking 20,000 steps on the floor of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It’s huge. For reference, CES showcases 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space, hosts 180,000...

One Third of Americans Prefer a Software Robot Over a Human Boss

Digitization and automation are ever-growing topics in relation to the workplace. A famous Oxford study on the future of employment from 2013 estimated that up to 47% of American jobs may be automated by 2035;...

You Can Now Wear a Nanoscale Archive of 1,000 Languages Around Your Neck

The future depends on how well we've preserved the past. Tomorrow’s breakthroughs are built from today’s innovation. To continue the trend, we must keep preserving information properly for future generations. If we leave indecipherable...

Love Your Bot, But Know It’s Always Listening

In the 2013 movie “Her,” Theodore Twombly, a lonely writer, falls in love with a digital assistant designed to meet his every need.  She sorts emails, helps get a book published, provides personal advice...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through January 7th)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Google's AlphaGo AI Secretively Won More Than 50 Straight Games Against the World's Top Go Players Zheping Huang | QUARTZ "On Jan. 4, after winning more than 50 games against several of the world’s best Go...

‘New York 2140’ Is a Sci-Fi Vision of the World Reshaped by Climate Change

If a trip to Venice is your ideal holiday, then you’re going to love the future. Most of us, however, will be quite sobered by Kim Stanley Robinson’s upcoming novel, New York 2140, a near-future...

10 Tech Trends That Made the World Better in 2016

2016 was an incredible year for technology, and for humanity. Despite all the negative political-related news, there were 10 tech trends this year that positively transformed humanity. For this “2017 Kick-Off” post, I reviewed 52 weeks...

No Job Is Safe, But These Skills Will Always Be Valued in the Workplace

If you’d asked farmers a few hundred years ago what skills their kids would need to thrive, it wouldn’t have taken long to answer. They’d need to know how to milk a cow or plant...
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Watch a 91-Year-Old War Vet Revisit the Town He Helped Liberate in VR

What if you could travel around the world with the click of a button, the only requirement being a headset and internet connection? Virtual reality is already making this possible for those who seek...

The Technologies We’re Most Fired Up to Watch in 2017

Covering technology is exhilarating. Each year is filled with unforeseen surprises—advances we thought were years away, unexpected technology applications (like AI used for mental healthcare), and unlikely startups reimagining entire markets. These breakthroughs keep Singularity Hub's...

Is Virtual Reality the Surprising Solution to the Fermi Paradox?

“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 when we...

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