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Monthly Archives: October 2017

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The Huge Promise of Transparent Solar Cells—Turning the World’s Glass Surfaces Into Solar Panels

Sunlight is everywhere, but so far our efforts to harvest its energy have been restricted to solar farms and rooftop panels. A new analysis shows that transparent solar technologies that can be applied to...
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Why the Customer Is the Center of Everything in the Membership Economy

In an interview with Lisa Kay Solomon, chair of Transformational Practices at Singularity University, at SU’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Robbie Baxter described the concept of the membership economy, a business model that’s...

The Farms of the Future Will Be Automated From Seed to Harvest

Swarms of drones buzz overhead, while robotic vehicles crawl across the landscape. Orbiting satellites snap high-resolution images of the scene far below. Not one human being can be seen in the pre-dawn glow spreading...
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Einstein Was a Genius, But Was He Always Right?

Einstein was a genius, there’s no debating that. He was a Nobel Prize-winner who changed our understanding of nature more than anyone since Newton. Einstein is famous for his theory of relativity, his pioneering work...

Amazon Is Quietly Building the Robots of Sci-Fi—Piece by Practical Piece

Science fiction is the siren song of hard science. How many innocent young students have been lured into complex, abstract science, technology, engineering, or mathematics because of a reckless and irresponsible exposure to Arthur...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through October 28)

INTERNET OF THINGS Amazon Key Is a New Service That Lets Couriers Unlock Your Front Door Ben Popper | The Verge “When a courier arrives with a package for in-home delivery, they scan the barcode, sending a...

Does Regulating Artificial Intelligence Save Humanity or Just Stifle Innovation?

Some people are afraid that heavily armed artificially intelligent robots might take over the world, enslaving humanity—or perhaps exterminating us. These people, including tech-industry billionaire Elon Musk and eminent physicist Stephen Hawking, say artificial...

The World’s First Floating Wind Farm Is an Incredible Feat of Engineering

Wind turbines are a valuable source of renewable energy, but it can be hard to find a good place to put them. They need to be close to a populated area so that transporting...

This ‘Living Touch Screen’ Is Made out of Bacteria and Gold

When it comes to touch screen devices, “grow” isn’t the first verb that comes to mind. After all, smartphones and their silicon-based inorganic brethren are built. Growing, in contrast, is a superpower that graces...

Neuroeducation Will Lead to Big Breakthroughs in Learning

In recent decades we’ve seen the rise of an emerging interdisciplinary field that brings together neuroscientists and educators. As technologies like brain mapping and scanning continue to advance our understanding of the human brain,...
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The Internet of Things Needs to Be Intelligent, Not Just Connected

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Andreas Gal explained how his company is applying artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things (IoT). Gal is the former CTO of Mozilla and is...

DeepMind’s New AI Taught Itself to Be the World’s Greatest Go Player

The AlphaGo AI that grabbed headlines last year after beating a master of the board game Go has just been trounced 100-0 by an updated version. And unlike its predecessor, the new system taught...
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The Search to Find Another Earth Like Ours Is Heating Up

Are there other planets out there like our own? If so, could other forms of life, intelligence, or civilizations inhabit them? This age-old question is a key part of the study of exoplanetology, the scientific...

How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

At some point in the future—and in some ways we are already seeing this—the amount of physical stuff moving around the world will peak and begin to decline. By “stuff,” I am referring to...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through October 21)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Stunning AI Breakthrough Takes Us One Step Closer to the Singularity George Dvorsky | Gizmodo “A new paper published in Nature today describes how the artificially intelligent system that defeated Go grandmaster Lee Sedol in 2016 got its digital...

To Uber or Not? Why Car Ownership May No Longer Be a Good Deal

Every day there’s more news about the inevitable arrival of autonomous vehicles. At the same time, more people are using ride-hailing and ride-sharing apps, and the percentage of teens getting their driver’s license continues...

What It Would Take to Suck CO2 Back Out of the Atmosphere

If greenhouse gases are such a problem, can’t we just suck the carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere? It’s a perfectly reasonable question and an important area of technological research to pursue. The...

Better Than Smart Speakers? Japan Is Making Robot and Hologram Companions

While American internet giants are developing speakers, Japanese companies are working on robots and holograms. They all share a common goal: to create the future platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart...

Blockchain Will Be the Foundation of Trust in the Metaverse

“Virtual worlds are going to be one of the first killer apps for blockchains and perhaps the deepest users of them.” – Fred Ehrsam, Co-Founder, Coinbase Christian Lemmerz, a German-Danish sculptor who normally carves his...
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How Leaders Can Create Social Impact in a Complex World

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Adene Sacks discussed how social impact leadership is evolving in today’s world. Sacks said, “No one can go do it alone anymore. The social sector is not...

Collective Intelligence Is the Root of Human Progress

Many of us intuitively think about intelligence as an individual trait. As a society, we have a tendency to praise individual game-changers for accomplishments that would not be possible without their teams, often tens...
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Should We Edit Human Genes? What You Need to Know

There’s a difference between editing genes in a person’s somatic cells and germline cells. Editing somatic cells, which are differentiated (e.g., skin cells) and non-reproductive, impacts them alone. In contrast, editing germline DNA means changes...

What It Will Take for the World to Keep Getting Better

Compared to life 100 years ago, life these days is pretty good by many measures. You’ve probably heard the statistics: poverty and infant mortality are down, life expectancy is up, and infectious diseases are...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through October 14)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Google's Learning Software Learns to Write Learning Software Tom Simonite | Wired “In a project called AutoML, Google’s researchers have taught machine-learning software to build machine-learning software. In some instances, what it comes up...

Can You Be Hacked by the World Around You?

You’ve probably been told it’s dangerous to open unexpected attachment files in your email—just like you shouldn’t open suspicious packages in your mailbox. But have you been warned against scanning unknown QR codes or...

Why the World Is (Still) Better Than You Think—New Evidence For Abundance

Your mindset matters — now more than ever. We are in the midst of a drug epidemic. The drug? Negative news. The drug pushers? The media. As I wrote in Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, we pay...

Does Our Survival Depend on Relentless Exponential Growth?

Malthus had a fever dream in the 1790s. While the world was marveling in the first manifestations of modern science and technology and the industrial revolution that was just beginning, he was concerned. He...

AI Is Easy to Fool—Why That Needs to Change

Con artistry is one of the world’s oldest and most innovative professions, and it may soon have a new target. Research suggests artificial intelligence may be uniquely susceptible to tricksters, and as its influence...
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What Gaming Giant EA Knows About Bridging Creativity and Profit

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Andy Billings spoke to us about how he’s bridging the gap between the creative and business sides of Electronic Arts, one of the world’s leading video game...

How Technology Is Transforming the Way We Teach and Learn

Our education system is in need of reform. Most students are not taught to be self-motivated lifelong learners, nor do they come out of the school system with the skills, mindsets, and values required...
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Here Are 3 Good Reasons Why It’s Time to Return to the Moon

Since 1962 when President John F. Kennedy declared, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade,”moon exploration has sparked the imagination. Today, Peter Diamandis says, moon exploration is as exciting as Alaska...

Building the Blockchain to End All Blockchains

Bitcoin, the first practical implementation of blockchain technology, was the buying opportunity of all time. The price of bitcoin has risen faster than any other asset in history, including tulips at the height of...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around The Web (Through October 7)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Google Has Built Earbuds That Translate 40 Languages in Real Time Dave Gershgorn | Quartz “The last part of that process is traditionally done by putting together pre-recorded words or word fragments. However, DeepMind, Alphabet’s AI...

How Analogy Can Help You Find the Solution You’re Seeking

Analogy is well used in startups and most boardrooms around the world to simplify and find parallels between two different things, but the method is often overlooked for more complex tasks surrounding innovation. Analogous thinking...

Could We Build a Blade Runner-Style ‘Replicant’?

The new Blade Runner sequel will return us to a world where sophisticated androids made with organic body parts can match the strength and emotions of their human creators. As someone who builds biologically...

These Autonomous Delivery Drones Will Soon Dot the Swiss Skies

As much as commodities and data have been digitized over the last few years, we still need to send an awful lot of physical items hither and thither. The logistics of doing so have...
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The ‘Tesla of Ecovillages’ Is Building Self-Reliant Villages for the Coming Billions

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, James Ehrlich shared insights on how combining lessons from nature with new technology is pushing sustainable housing into new frontiers. Ehrlich is the founder...

New Photonic Synapses Mimic the Brain and Compute With Light

Computing with light and designing brain-inspired hardware are at the experimental fringes of technology research. But they both come with potentially enormous advantages, so a group of scientists has decided to combine them. Neuromorphic computing...

How Artists Are Using Tech to Shape the Future

The capacity for creative expression is one of the defining qualities of being human. Our innovative imagination and ability to express it in so many different ways is unparalleled by any other living being. However,...
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The Most Powerful Solutions Are Born When Uncommon Partners Unite

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, SU associate founder and CEO Rob Nail discussed the power of bringing diverse groups of people together to address the world’s biggest problems. Nail is a...

Researchers Develop New Tech to Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier Than Ever

It is one of the top 10 deadliest diseases in the United States, and it cannot be cured or prevented. But new studies are finding ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages,...
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Now That Anyone Can Hack Biology—Should We Be Afraid?

Biohacking is a relatively new field of amateur and professional scientists conducting “do-it-yourself” biology experiments. The word “hacking”may bring up images of cybercrime, but the majority of biohacking projects are focused on helping society as...

The Coming Creativity Explosion Belongs to the Machines

Does creativity make human intelligence special? It may appear so at first glance. Though machines can calculate, analyze, and even perceive, creativity may seem far out of reach. Perhaps this is because we find it...

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