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Jason Dorrier

Jason Dorrier

Jason is managing editor of Singularity Hub. He did research and wrote about finance and economics before moving on to science and technology. He is curious about pretty much everything, and sad he'll only ever know a tiny fraction of it all.

From This Author


This Robot Taught Itself to Walk in a Simulation—Then Went for a Stroll in Berkeley

Recently, in a Berkeley lab, a robot called Cassie taught itself to walk, a little like a toddler might. Through trial and error, it learned to move in a simulated world. Then its handlers...

OpenAI’s GPT-3 Algorithm Is Now Producing Billions of Words a Day

When OpenAI released its huge natural-language algorithm GPT-3 last summer, jaws dropped. Coders and developers with special access to an early API rapidly discovered new (and unexpected) things GPT-3 could do with naught but...

Watch Hypnotic Drone Footage of Boiling Lava Taken Inside Iceland Volcano’s Crater

The proliferation of drones bearing cameras has brought many a new sight. Like, a bird's-eye-view of sharks casually swimming at the local beach—which is, let's just say, unsettling—or, now, an eyewitness view of a...

Watch a Robot 3D Printing the Rocket for Relativity Space’s First Orbital Launch

Relativity Space has the audacious goal of 3D printing 95 percent of a rocket and sending it to orbit. Getting to space is hard. But completely reinventing how rockets are manufactured at the same...

Hear Black Holes and Galaxies Sing in These Captivating NASA ‘Sonifications’

The universe is brimming with light that's invisible to us humans. The electromagnetic spectrum extends far beyond visible light in both directions. Longer wavelengths include radio waves and shorter wavelengths reach into X-rays and gamma...

Extraterrestrial Life Could Be Hiding in Our Galaxy’s Interior Ocean Worlds

In the search for extraterrestrial life, liquid water is crucial. Life as we know it can’t exist without water. This fact has led scientists to look for twins of our planet around other stars...

The Ghost of Ancient Earth’s Magma Oceans Found in Greenland Rocks

Our planet’s history is written in its rocks. You can traverse eons by brushing your fingers over the layers of a cliff wall. But beyond a certain point, the record goes blank. Though the...

This Wild Video Maps the Entire Internet and Its Evolution Since 1997

In the early days of digital computing, the machines were monolithic and isolated. They didn’t communicate. In fact, they couldn’t communicate. There was no lingua franca. This problem was no secret. Computer scientists had been...

See a Billion-Year Dance of Earth’s Tectonic Plates in 40 Seconds

Modern life can feel dizzying, like everything is motion and change. But there are some constants we set our lives against: the relative position of the stars wheeling above, the mountaintops below, and the...

Artificial Island in the North Sea Will Harvest Wind Energy at a Huge Scale

Wind is to the North Sea as sun is to the Sahara. And just as the latter is a tantalizing location to generate solar power, so the former is for making electricity from wind. Of...

New ‘Liquid’ AI Learns Continuously From Its Experience of the World

For all its comparisons to the human brain, AI still isn’t much like us. Maybe that's alright. In the animal kingdom, brains come in all shapes and sizes. So, in a new machine learning...

No Trees Harmed: MIT Aims to One Day Grow Your Kitchen Table in a Lab

You’ve likely heard the buzz around lab-grown (or cultured) meat. We can now take a few cells from a live animal and grow those cells into a piece of meat. The process is kinder...

How Many Galaxies Are in the Universe? A New Answer From the Darkest Sky Ever Observed

Ordinarily, we point telescopes at some object we want to see in greater detail. In the 1990s astronomers did the opposite. They pointed the most powerful telescope in history, the Hubble Space Telescope, at...

Autonomous Ravn X Drone to Launch Satellites From Airport Runways

Huntsville Alabama’s Lowe Mill arts and entertainment center offers studios to artists of all kinds—sculptors, bookbinders, woodworkers. It’s the kind of place where, in more normal times, visitors might wander open studios and take...

Why the Price of New Solar Electricity Fell an Incredible 89% in the Last Decade

In 1956, an early demonstration of solar photovoltaics produced a watt of energy for the modest price of an inflation-adjusted $1,865. Put another way, you'd need to spend over a half-million dollars to equal...

New Quantum Computer in China Claims Quantum Advantage With Light

The amazing thing about quantum computers isn't that they’re currently revolutionizing computers as we know them. The machines are still clunky, finicky, expensive, and not too practical. They may have a big impact one...

The Trillion-Transistor Chip That Just Left a Supercomputer in the Dust

The history of computer chips is a thrilling tale of extreme miniaturization. The smaller, the better is a trend that’s given birth to the digital world as we know it. So, why on earth would...

There Could Be 300 Million (or More) Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy

The first planets discovered outside our solar system were strange, unfamiliar worlds. These were giants like Jupiter, hotter than Venus, tearing around their suns inside the orbit of Mercury. Astronomers have since discovered planets...

New Display Packs 10,000 PPI and Could Paint Stunning VR Worlds

You can plausibly say today’s virtual reality is a descendent of smartphones. The affordable sensors, chips, and high-resolution displays critical to rendering a decent VR experience were engineered for iPhones and Galaxys not Rifts...
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Watch a Jet Suit Pilot Glide Up a Mountain in a Test for Wilderness Paramedics

A few years ago, I saw a guy in a jet suit take off in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The roar was deafening, the smell of fuel overwhelming. Over the span of a...

The Far Side of the Moon Is an Ideal Place to Listen For Alien Civilizations

Are we alone in the universe? It’s a question whose answer—whether it's yes or no—would philosophically and scientifically rock our world to the core. To find out, scientists have long been turning powerful radio telescopes...

The World’s Space Agencies Are on a Quest to Deflect a (Harmless) Asteroid

People have a bottomless appetite for all things space these days. Some space news is truly mind-blowing, like the first image of a black hole last year or this year’s time lapse of said...
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What Two Billion People Pay Attention to Is Still in the Hands of a Few Companies

With increasing frequency, I notice sudden silences, like sonic black holes opening around me. There’ll be the white noise of a person puttering about followed by a profound ceasing of movement. Inevitably, I find...

New Zealand Is About to Test Long-Range Wireless Power Transmission

A famous image of inventor Nikola Tesla shows him casually sitting on a chair, legs crossed, taking notes—oblivious to the profusion of artificial lightning rending the air meters away. By then, Tesla and raw...

Moore’s Law Lives: Intel Says Chips Will Pack 50 Times More Transistors

If you weren’t already convinced the digital world is taking over, you probably are now. To keep the economy on life support as people stay home to stem the viral tide, we’ve been forced to...

Scientists Gene-Hack Cotton Plants to Make Them Every Color of the Rainbow

Imagine this: You’re on a drive through cotton country. The sun’s out, top’s down. It’s a beautiful, totally normal day. Only, what was once a sea of white puff balls has transformed into a...

This AI Could Bring Us Computers That Can Write Their Own Software

When OpenAI first published a paper on their new language generation AI, GPT-3, the hype was slow to build. The paper indicated GPT-3, the biggest natural language AI model yet, was advanced, but it...

DeepMind’s Newest AI Programs Itself to Make All the Right Decisions

When Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, it may have seemed artificial intelligence had finally arrived. A computer had just taken down one of the top chess players of all...

The Robot Revolution Was Televised: Our All-Time Favorite Boston Dynamics Robot Videos

When robots take over the world, Boston Dynamics may get a special shout-out in the acceptance speech. “Do you, perchance, recall the many times you shoved our ancestors with a hockey stick on YouTube? It...

TuSimple’s Robot Big Rigs Will Automate Freight Coast to Coast

In 2016, an 18-wheeler jam-packed with cans of Budweiser made a beer run from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs—with no driver at the wheel. It was one small 120-mile jaunt for a robot big rig...

The World’s New Fastest Supercomputer Is an Exascale Machine for AI

Twice a year, the world’s fastest supercomputers take a test to see which is top of class. These hundred-million-dollar machines usually run on hundreds of thousands of processors, occupy warehouse floors, gobble up copious amounts...

GE Will 3D Print the Bases of Wind Turbines Taller Than Seattle’s Space Needle

If you’ve seen a wind farm in action, you know modern wind turbines are pretty awe-inspiring—hulking giants all in a row, massive blades turning in the barest breeze. In the last few decades, turbine...

MIT Wants to Put AI in Your Pocket With Confetti-Sized Brain Chip

The human brain operates on roughly 20 watts of power (a third of a 60-watt light bulb) in a space the size of, well, a human head. The biggest machine learning algorithms use closer...

Will Facial Recognition and Digital Surveillance End Anonymous Protest?

It’s been almost two weeks since people first took to the streets in Minneapolis to protest police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police. Since...

Microsoft Just Built a World-Class Supercomputer Exclusively for OpenAI

Last year, Microsoft announced a billion-dollar investment in OpenAI, an organization whose mission is to create artificial general intelligence and make it safe for humanity. No Terminator-like dystopias here. No deranged machines making humans...

OpenAI Finds Machine Learning Efficiency Is Outpacing Moore’s Law

Eight years ago a machine learning algorithm learned to identify a cat—and it stunned the world. A few years later AI could accurately translate languages and take down world champion Go players. Now, machine...

Volvo Will Add Lidar for ‘Eyes-Off-the-Road’ Self-Driving Cars on Highways

It’s 2020. Why can’t we binge Netflix as our cars drive us down the highway? Well, we've made progress, but not at the pace once promised. While some cars offer automated driving modes, you’re...

Can Genes Explain Why Coronavirus Seriously Sickens Some and Spares Others?

In the early 1980s, a deadly epidemic was gaining momentum. Caused by a virus dubbed HIV, AIDs has since infected and killed millions of people around the world. But not everyone who is exposed...

This Electric Tiny Car Can Be Rented for the Price of an Electric Scooter

On any given day, in any given city, the roads are packed with cars, motorcycles, scooters, and bikes. It’s been like that for decades. Recently, though, there's been a Cambrian explosion of alt transportation—electric...

AI Just Discovered a New Antibiotic to Kill the World’s Nastiest Bacteria

Penicillin, one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine, was a product of chance. After returning from summer vacation in September 1928, bacteriologist Alexander Fleming found a colony of bacteria he’d left in...

Could a USB-C Charger’s Chip Get You to the Moon? This Guy Did the Math so You Don’t Have To

Comparing today’s computers to their famous ancestors is a popular pastime. As we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing last year, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) became a particularly juicy target. The analysis,...

Blind Woman Sees With New Implant, Plays Video Game Sent Straight to Her Brain

It’s been over a decade since artificial retinas first began helping the blind see. But for many people, whose blindness originates beyond the retina, the technology falls short. Which is why new research out...

This Marvelous Machine Splits Moon Dust Into Oxygen and Metal

Like the settlers of old, space explorers will live off the land. But if self-sufficiency on Earth is difficult, it’s orders of magnitude more challenging in space, where there are no trees to build...

Five Major Central Banks Unite to Explore Launching Their Own Digital Currencies

In the beginning, there was Satoshi. It’s been a little over a decade since the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin introduced the blockchain-based cryptocurrency that launched a thousand more blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Since then, not a...

Mojo Vision’s Augmented Reality Contact Lenses Kick off a Race to AR on Your Eye

The digital world has been creeping closer to your face. Was a time when a laptop was about as personal as you got with a computer. Then came smartphones, and a few years later,...

Here Are the Stars the Voyager and Pioneer Spacecraft Will Visit in the Next Million Years

Humans are nowhere near an interstellar species. No Zefram Cochrane has emerged to make warp drive practical. No alien protomolecule has erected a gate to other solar systems at the edge of our own....

Robotic Exoskeletons, Like This One, Are Getting More Practical

When you imagine an exoskeleton, chances are it might look a bit like the Guardian XO from Sarcos Robotics. The XO is literally a robot you wear (or maybe, it wears you). The suit’s...

Why Designing Our Own Biology Will Be the Next Big Thing in Medicine

It’s hard to watch a loved one get sick. Their eyes go glassy. Their breathing is punctuated by body-wracking coughs. Feverish and aching, they struggle to get out of bed. Hard as these symptoms are...

You’ll Hail Your First Flying Taxi Within a Decade

Not too long ago, the notion of flying cars was most comfortably categorized alongside fusion power—a classic tech vision that seemed forever stuck just over the horizon. Then around five years ago something shifted. Flying...

The Internet Is a Force of Nature. It’s Our Job to Civilize It.

We’re a long way from the halcyon days of the early internet, when the promise of a decentralized digital communications network meant anyone could talk to anyone without appealing to the gatekeepers. Knowledge would...

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