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Monthly Archives: February 2018

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How Blockchain Is Helping Democratize Access to Credit

Inclusive and sustainable economic growth is goal 8 on the UN’s list of 17 sustainable development goals to be accomplished by 2030. Goal 8’s description emphasizes job creation, but acknowledges the fact that there’s...

Not Just Gene Editing—CRISPR Toolkit Expands With Trio of New Tricks

CRISPR, the superhero of gene editing, just got a little more super. In a trio of studies released last week in Science, leading CRISPR labs around the world unveiled some ultra-creative additions to the technique,...

Putting AI in Your Pocket: MIT Chip Cuts Neural Network Power Consumption by 95%

Neural networks are powerful things, but they need a lot of juice. Engineers at MIT have now developed a new chip that cuts neural nets’ power consumption by up to 95 percent, potentially allowing...

Artificial Photosynthesis Is Solar Energy’s Forgotten Cousin—and It’s Making a Comeback

In an article in Science published in 1912, Professor Giacomo Ciamician noted that “Coal… offers solar energy to humanity in its most concentrated form… but coal is not inexhaustible. Is fossil solar energy the...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through February 24)

COMPUTING Serious Quantum Computers Are Finally Here. What Are We Going to Do With Them? Will Knight | MIT Technology Review "'The thing driving the hype is the realization that quantum computing is actually real,' says Isaac...

Silicon Valley Is Winning the Race to Build the First Driverless Cars

Henry Ford didn’t invent the motor car. The late 1800s saw a flurry of innovation by hundreds of companies battling to deliver on the promise of fast, efficient and reasonably-priced mechanical transportation. Ford later...

How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience

There’s an unsettling premise at the heart of Joe Brewer’s life’s work. Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less...

The Quest to Transform End-of-Life Medical Care Into a More Human Experience

In an interview at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego, Shoshana Ungerleider spoke about the taboo topic we all eventually confront—death. Ungerleider is an expert in the field of end-of-life care and is working...

Cancer Vaccines May Overhaul Cancer Therapy in the Next Decade

The term “silver bullet” gets tossed around a lot, but cancer vaccines are just that. Unlike the flu vaccines that we’re familiar with, cancer vaccines are slightly different in that they don’t just seek...

New CRISPR Method Takes on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

The advance of CRISPR gene editing technology, which uses an RNA strand to guide an enzyme called Cas9 to cut a specific portion of DNA, has raised concerns and sparked debate as people envision...

The Democratization of AI Is Putting Powerful Tools in the Hands of Non-Experts

The shortage of qualified data scientists is often highlighted as one of the major handbrakes on the adoption of big data and AI. But a growing number of tools are putting these capabilities in...

What Roboticists Are Learning From Early Generations of Lifelike Humanoid Robots

You might not have heard of Hanson Robotics, but if you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen their work. They were the company behind Sophia, the lifelike humanoid avatar that’s made dozens of high-profile media...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through February 17)

BIOTECH In the Future We Won’t Edit Genomes—We’ll Just Print Out New Ones Bryan Walsh | MIT Technology Review “'Over the next 10 years synthetic biology is going to be producing all kinds of compounds and materials...

Influenza: The Search for a Universal Vaccine

The current 2017-18 flu season is a bad one. Hospitalization rates are now higher than in recent years at the same point, and infection rates are still rising. The best line of defense is...

The Power to Upgrade Our Own Biology Is in Sight—But Is Society Ready for Human Enhancement?

Upgrading our biology may sound like science fiction, but attempts to improve humanity actually date back thousands of years. Every day, we enhance ourselves through seemingly mundane activities such as exercising, meditating, or consuming...

We Read This 800-Page Report on the State of Longevity Research So You Don’t Have To

The longevity field is bustling but still fragmented, and the “silver tsunami” is coming. That is the takeaway of The Science of Longevity, the behemoth first volume of a four-part series offering a bird’s-eye view...

Why the Rise of Self-Driving Vehicles Will Actually Increase Car Ownership

It’s been a long time coming. For years Waymo (formerly known as Google Chauffeur) has been diligently developing, driving, testing and refining its fleets of various models of self-driving cars. Now Waymo is going...

Unleashing Some of the Most Ambitious Women on the Planet

At Singularity University, we are unleashing a generation of women who are smashing through barriers and starting some of the most ambitious technology companies on the planet. Singularity University was founded in 2008 to empower...

The Clock’s Ticking on Climate Change, and It’s Time to Get Real About Tackling It

If you’re an insomniac, this situation will probably be familiar to you. It’s the night before a big exam or job interview. You go to bed with plenty of time to spare, but sleep...
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How to Unlock Creative Collaboration With Presence and Play

Dan Klein is an improviser, performer, and educator. For the last 20 years, Dan has been teaching classes on improvisational theater, creativity, and storycrafting to Stanford students and executives around the world. He believes...

Why Google DeepMind Is Putting AI on the Psychologist’s Couch

Artificial intelligence can now carry out many of the same cognitive tasks humans can, but we still don’t really understand how AIs think. Google DeepMind plans to train long-standing tests of human cognitive skills...

This Startup Is Dreaming of a Global Brain on Blockchain

Artificial intelligence is one of the most celebrated and hyped concepts today. From science fiction to the nightly news, AI has been making record headlines, whether it will become the most dangerous technology around...

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Launch Was a Smashing Success—What’s Next for Space Travel?

Last Tuesday, Elon Musk and the rest of the SpaceX team launched their most powerful rocket yet, leaving the entire world stupefied. The Falcon Heavy carried cargo consisting of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster with...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through February 10)

SPACE Falcon Heavy Rocket Makes History With Successful First Launch Michael Greshko | National Geographic “'I'm still trying to absorb everything that happened. It seemed surreal to me,' SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a post-launch press...

What Global Challenges Will We Solve With Exascale Supercomputers?

Though nearly seventy percent of Earth’s surface is comprised of water, only three percent is considered fresh and drinkable—and most of that striking minority is trapped in glaciers or polar ice caps. Juxtapose the...
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The Future of Digital Health: Personalized Health Care Beyond the Doctor’s Office

In an interview at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego, Leslie Saxon, founder and executive director of the USC Center for Body Computing, spoke about the Virtual Care Clinic her team is building. The concept for...

How Swarm Intelligence Is Making Simple Tech Much Smarter

As a group, simple creatures following simple rules can display a surprising amount of complexity, efficiency, and even creativity. Known as swarm intelligence, this trait is found throughout nature, but researchers have recently begun...

Brain-Like Chips Now Beat the Human Brain in Speed and Efficiency

Move over, deep learning. Neuromorphic computing—the next big thing in artificial intelligence—is on fire. Just last week, two studies individually unveiled computer chips modeled after information processing in the human brain. The first, published in Nature...

Why Startups Must Break the Failure Fetish and Focus on What Works

There is something curious going on in startup land: From learning to accept failure as part of the creative process we seem to have gone into overdrive and fetishized failure as something which is...

Elon Musk Is What Happens When These Three Traits Get Together in One Human

I did an interview recently where I was asked to deconstruct Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success. Having known Musk for 17 years, I’ve had the chance to watch his meteoric rise into someone who is arguably...

The 10 Grand Challenges Facing Robotics in the Next Decade

Robotics research has been making great strides in recent years, but there are still many hurdles to the machines becoming a ubiquitous presence in our lives. The journal Science Robotics has now identified 10...

How Netflix and Amazon Earn Customers for Life

Robbie Baxter helps companies reinvent their businesses by shifting relationships with customers from transactional to long-term membership. Leaders in this approach, like Amazon and Netflix, are successful and resilient because they clearly identify a...

Let’s Talk About Bitcoin’s Insane Energy Consumption

Cryptocurrency fever is heating up. Even the less-than-legitimate websites that hawk opportunities to buy the latest coin are struggling to keep up with its price. Whatever societal or technological value blockchain technology may have...

Are Accelerators the Secret to Building Truly Great Startup Hubs?

Since Y Combinator’s appearance in 2005, accelerators have been viewed all over the world as magical catapults for taking tech startups to the next level. But are accelerators the silver bullet solution to turning...

The Biggest Tech Takeaways From the 2018 World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland wrapped up last week. The WEF exists to improve the state of the world by fostering cooperation between governments, NGOs, and the private sector. In...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through February 3)

CRYPTOCURRENCY Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico Nellie Bowles | The New York Times “Dozens of entrepreneurs, made newly wealthy by blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are heading en masse to Puerto Rico this winter…And these men—because they are almost...

You Thought Quantum Mechanics Was Weird: Check out Entangled Time

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of...

Why Quantum Computers Will Be an Amazing Tool for Social Innovators

While most people think quantum computing is still a few years off, your next taxi ride in Bangkok may be attached to a quantum computer. Toyota Tsusho and Denso recently announced plans to use...

This ‘Cosmic GPS’ Tech Will Help Us Explore the Furthest Reaches of Space

Anyone who has tried their hand at sailing, or even read about the exploits of maritime explorers, understands the importance of the lighthouse. Indeed, the solitary beam of light emanating from a lighthouse’s crest...

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