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Yearly Archives: 2018

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MIT’s New Robot Taught Itself to Pick Things Up the Way People Do

Back in 2016, somewhere in a Google-owned warehouse, more than a dozen robotic arms sat for hours quietly grasping objects of various shapes and sizes. For hours on end, they taught themselves how to...

This AI Predicts Obesity Prevalence—All the Way from Space

A research team at the University of Washington has trained an artificial intelligence system to spot obesity—all the way from space. The system used a convolutional neural network (CNN) to analyze 150,000 satellite images...

How to Feed Global Demand for Seafood—Without Harming the Ocean

“You really can’t justify tuna in Chicago as a source of sustenance.” That’s according to Dr. Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic Society Explorer who was the first female chief scientist at NOAA. She came...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through September 15)

GENETICS Plan to Build a Genetic Noah's Ark Includes a Staggering 66,000 Species George Dvorsky | Gizmodo "As its name implies, this group had initially planned to sequence the genomes of at least 10,000 vertebrate species,...

New Technique Heals Wounds With Reprogrammed Skin Cells

People with severe burns, bedsores, or chronic diseases such as diabetes are at risk for developing wounds known as cutaneous ulcers, which can extend through multiple layers of the skin. Apart from being extremely painful,...

Why Rigetti’s New Quantum Hybrid Cloud Service Is a Big Deal

Despite their potential power, today’s quantum computers are still taking baby steps and need a fair bit of hand-holding from their conventional cousins. That’s why computing startup Rigetti has launched a hybrid cloud service...

A Model for the Future of Education

As kids worldwide head back to school, I’d like to share my thoughts on the future of education. Bottom line, how we educate our kids needs to radically change given the massive potential of exponential...

What We Have to Gain From Making Machines More Human

The borders between the real world and the digital world keep crumbling, and the latter’s importance in both our personal and professional lives keeps growing. Some describe the melding of virtual and real worlds...

How to Balance Experience and Youth for Powerful Leadership

Chip Conley is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and self-proclaimed “modern elder.” After nearly 25 years of founding and running one of the world’s most successful boutique hotel chains, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Conley joined...

Eternal Life Is No Good Without Eternal Youth

Longer lives seem attractive, but as we age we become susceptible to a host of late-life diseases that can prevent us from enjoying our later years. But science is beginning to create ways to...

Outdated Evolution: Updating Our Governments to Cope with Disruptive Technology

What happens when evolution shapes an animal for tribes of 150 primitive individuals living in a chaotic jungle, and then suddenly that animal finds itself living with millions of others in an engineered metropolis,...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through September 8)

TECHNOLOGY Google Turns 20: How an Internet Search Engine Reshaped the World Editorial Staff | The Verge "No technology company is arguably more responsible for shaping the modern internet, and modern life, than Google. The company that...

The 4 Waves of AI: Who Will Own the Future of Technology?

Recently, I picked up Kai-Fu Lee’s newest book, AI Superpowers. Kai-Fu Lee is one of the most plugged-in AI investors on the planet, managing over $2 billion between six funds and over 300 portfolio companies in...

This Battery Is Made of Paper and Powered by Bacteria

A team of scientists at the State University of New York has developed a paper-based, single-use battery that uses bacteria as a power source—all you need to add is water or even just a...

Tech Can Sustainably Feed Developing World Cities of the Future. Here’s How

In the next 30 years, virtually all net population growth will occur in urban regions of developing countries. At the same time, worldwide food production will become increasingly limited by the availability of land,...

This Breakthrough New Particle Accelerator Is Small But Mighty

Particle accelerators have become crucial tools for understanding the fundamental nature of our universe, but they are incredibly big and expensive. That could change, though, after scientists validated a new approach that could usher...

The New AI Tech Turning Heads in Video Manipulation

A new technique using artificial intelligence to manipulate video content gives new meaning to the expression “talking head.” An international team of researchers showcased the latest advancement in synthesizing facial expressions—including mouth, eyes, eyebrows, and...

‘Happiness Tech’ Is On the Rise. Is It Working?

We often get so fixated on technological progress that we forget it’s merely one component of the entirety of human progress. Technological advancement does not necessarily correlate with increases in human mental well-being. While cleaner...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through September 1)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Artificial Intelligence Is Now a Pentagon Priority. Will Silicon Valley Help? Cade Metz | The New York Times "The consultants and planners who try to forecast threats think AI could be the next technological game...

Would You Eat ‘Meat’ from a Lab? Consumers Aren’t Necessarily Sold on ‘Cultured Meat’

It’s been a busy summer for food-based biotech. The US Food and Drug Administration made headlines when it approved the plant-based “Impossible Burger,” which relies on an ingredient from genetically modified yeast for its...

It’s Time to Make Social Media More Responsible

The average person spends about two hours a day on social media platforms. If that sounds like a lot, it’s nothing compared to the nine daily hours the average teenager devotes to social media....

The Most Valuable Tool for Ending Poverty? Data.

The data revolution is under way, and data has impacted how we buy, work, live—even how we love. But there’s one field that remains largely unaffected, and that’s statistics—or, ironically enough, data itself. According to...

China Is Quickly Becoming an AI Superpower

Last year, China’s government put out its plan to lead the world in AI by 2030. As Eric Schmidt has explained, “It’s pretty simple. By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will...

For a Bright Future of Work, Focus on Purpose

Can you think of more than one industry whose workers aren’t worried about losing their jobs to robots or computers? Automation seems to be sweeping through companies relentlessly—canceling out obsolete jobs, creating new types...

New Study Is the Most Successful Attempt to Gene Edit Human Embryos So Far

In the quest for CRISPR supremacy, China just won another first. Last week, a team used CRISPR-Cas9 to correct a single mistaken DNA letter in over a dozen human embryos—and succeeded 16 out of...

How Cryptocurrencies Can Influence the Future of Freedom

Bitcoin has steadily grown in popularity since its inception in 2009. We hear about how many people are getting rich quick from it, and how much energy it’s consuming, and how complex it is...

Are Exoskeletons About to Go Mainstream?

Ever since the appearance of the power loader in the sci-fi classic Aliens, the idea that powered exoskeletons could let workers carry superhuman weights has enticed executives in heavy industry. Recent developments suggest the...

What Would It Take to Build a Tower as High as Outer Space?

The human desire to create ever bigger and more impressive structures is insatiable. The pyramids of Ancient Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—now the tallest edifice in the...

Tech Interfaces Need to Get Better. Extended Reality Can Help

Throughout history, we have used tools—hammers, canes, paintbrushes—as natural extensions of our bodies. These tools seem to disappear into our hands. But today’s electronic devices are unlike the simple tools of the past; they’re...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through August 25)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE God Is in the Machine Carl Miller | The Times Literary Supplement "Algorithms have changed, from Really Simple to Ridiculously Complicated. They are capable of accomplishing tasks and tackling problems that they’ve never been able...

Five Reasons to Forget Mars for Now and Return to the Moon

Hopes of colonizing Mars rest on the premise that we could terraform the red planet, making it habitable for humans with a breathable atmosphere and clement temperatures. However, a recent study cast doubt on...

4 Startups Using AI to Solve 4 Totally Different Problems

AI is one of the biggest buzzwords in tech (and in general) these days, and there’s no question AI gets a lot of hype, both for better and for worse. But the latest round...

The Future of Cars Is Electric, Autonomous, and Shared—Here’s How We’ll Get There

This week, Lyft announced they’d hit the milestone of their 5,000th self-driving commercial ride. The company has a fleet of autonomous cars in Las Vegas that mostly shuttle riders between different hotels on the...

What’s Disrupting How We Produce Energy—and How We Use It

“Where did solar energy get its start?” Ramez Naam asked in a presentation at Singularity University’s Global Summit. Naam, a computer scientist and award-winning science fiction author, has in recent years turned his attention...

Why the Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think

People have no idea how fast the world is changing. So said Peter Diamandis to the audience at Singularity University’s Global Summit, taking place this week in San Francisco. Diamandis believes the convergence of multiple...

Landmark FDA Approval Brings Powerful Gene Silencing Method to Market

Earlier this month, the FDA approved an entirely new family of drugs, one so powerful that it could put CRISPR-based gene therapy to shame. Backed by two decades of research and a Nobel Prize,...

Singularity University’s Global Summit Kicks off Today in San Francisco

Singularity University’s (SU) third annual Global Summit begins today in San Francisco, running through Wednesday, August 22. The Singularity Hub team will be there to give you a look inside the event with articles...

Newly-Decoded Wheat Genome Opens the Door to Engineering Superfoods

Tweaking the DNA of crops to make them hardier and more productive is one of the most promising applications of gene-editing technology. That’s not been possible with wheat because its complex genome has proved...

If We Made Life in a Lab, Would We Understand It Differently?

What is life? For much of the 20th century, this question did not particularly concern biologists. Life is a term for poets, not scientists, argued the synthetic biologist Andrew Ellington in 2008, who began...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through August 18)

FUTURE What the Year 2050 Has in Store for Humankind Yuval Noah Harari | Wired "Humankind is facing unprecedented revolutions, all our old stories are crumbling and no new story has so far emerged to replace them....

Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent: The Rise of China’s Tech Giants

Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT) are now valued at a combined $1 trillion USD. Alibaba and Tencent alone now account for almost one-third of the MSCI China Index, fueling its 47 percent gain in 2017. As of this...

Why Everything You Know About How Companies Learn Is About to Change

Chris Pirie is the general manager of worldwide learning at Microsoft, focused on creating a digital, flexible, and scalable learning agenda that meets the needs of its global workforce of nearly 124,000 employees. Pirie has...

China Is Building a Fleet of Autonomous AI-Powered Submarines. Here Are the Details

A fleet of autonomous, AI-powered submarines is headed into hotly-contested Asian waterways. The vehicles will belong to the Chinese armed forces, and their mission capabilities are likely to raise concerned eyebrows in surrounding countries. According...

Amazing New Brain Map of Every Synapse Points to the Roots of Thinking

Imagine a map of every single star in an entire galaxy. A map so detailed that it lays out what each star looks like, what they’re made of, and how each star is connected...

AI Can Help Create a Better World—If We Build it Right

Society is rife with fears about the future of AI. For some, like Richard Branson and Ray Dalio, it’s AI’s exacerbation of the wealth gap and the looming social crisis it could bring about....

A Student Took Down One of Quantum Computing’s Top Applications—Now What?

The possibility that quantum computing could turbocharge machine learning is one of the most tantalizing applications for the emerging technology. But an 18-year-old student just put that vision in doubt after finding a classical...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through August 11)

MIXED REALITY I Tried Magic Leap and Saw a Flawed Glimpse of Mixed Reality's Amazing Potential Adi Robertson | The Verge "Whether or not it’s cooler than most people think, the Magic Leap One is cooler than...

Could Machine Learning Mean the End of Understanding in Science?

Much to the chagrin of summer party planners, weather is a notoriously chaotic system. Small changes in precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind speed or direction, etc. can balloon into an entirely new set of conditions...

The Astounding Growth of Chinese VC—and the Tech It’s Flowing Into

Over the course of the next month, I will be releasing a series of China-centered articles, leading up to my webinar with Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, one of the most plugged-in AI investors on the planet and...

Waste Heat: The Overlooked Energy Problem, and How to Solve It

With the exponential increase in the number of data centers and electronic devices over the last decade, waste heat has become a big but overlooked environmental problem. It is frequently hidden away, out of...

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