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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, technology, and the future. He is curious about pretty much everything, and sad he'll only ever know a tiny fraction of it all.

From This Author


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Beyond Sight: The Gadgets Bringing Our Bodies Into Virtual Reality

When it comes to virtual reality, seeing is believing. But after those first few fascinated moments, you realize something: Seeing is often all you’ll be doing. Although nailing virtual visuals is very likely the tipping...

We Can Shuttle Mind-Boggling Gobs of Data Worldwide in an Instant—But We Want More

“I have heard articulate speech produced by sunlight. I have heard a ray of the sun laugh and cough and sing.” – Alexander Graham Bell The speed of communication was once constrained by geography and...

The Artist Who’s Making Cybernetic Slime Mold Sing

Slime mold is fascinating. I like it for the same reason I like ant colonies—it’s made up of very simple (single-celled) creatures that collaborate when food is scarce to form a kind of collective...

Watch This Swarm of Simple Robots Do Surprisingly Complex Things

Hero worship is deeply engrained in the human psyche. From King Arthur to Luke Skywalker, we long for an unlikely leader to arise, pull sword from stone (or ignite lightsaber), and heal the land. It’s...

Forget Rocket Fuel: This Spaceplane Will Use Microwave Beams to Reach Orbit

Over half a century after the dawn of the space age, getting to space remains an epic challenge. Twice this year, the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket met a fiery end...

Pluto First Contact Immortalized in Iconic Image on Instagram (How Else?)

Yesterday, as the New Horizons spacecraft rocketed past Pluto on its closest approach, NASA posted the best image of the dwarf planet yet. Where? On Instagram. In the almost decade since New Horizons left Earth,...
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Watch the Complete Evolution of the Terminator’s Killer Robots

Many movies, books, and TV shows predict an AI and robot apocalypse. But which one first pops into your mind when you hear killer robots? We’ll wager it’s the Terminator. From its inception in 1984,...

Three Futuristic Mars Machines That Aren’t Rovers

Human exploration of Mars dates back to the beginning of the space age. Our first machine emissaries buzzed the Red Planet in the 1960s, and the first landers touched down in the next decade. The...

Will These Giant Robots Do Battle? American MegaBot Challenges Japan’s Kuratas Mecha

Two proud countries, two extraordinary warriors…one title. Just like Rocky IV. Only instead of Sly and Dolph, substitute a 15-foot, 6-ton American robot going toe-to-toe with a 12.5-foot, 5-ton Japanese mecha. In a YouTube...

Human Vs. Robot: Bricklaying Robot Can Place 1,000 Bricks an Hour

Building houses of brick is almost as old as human civilization itself, and over the millennia, we’ve perfected the art. The fastest bricklayers can mortar and place over 700 bricks an hour. Pretty fast. But...

This Touchable Midair 3D Laser Display Is Pretty Magical

If you’re a science fiction fan—you are well familiar with holographic displays floating in midair. Maybe it’s Princess Leia materializing above R2-D2 or Tony Stark designing his Iron Man suit with a few cinematic...

Smartphone-Sized Genetic Sequencer Transcribes Entire Bacterial Genome

Scientists first transcribed the genome—or complete genetic code—of a free living organism in 1995. Sequencing the bacterium H. Influenzae took a little over a year, cost about $1 million, and required a (then) significant...

These Robots Will 3D Print a Steel Bridge Over a Canal in Amsterdam

3D printing is stuck in a box. Most of the printers on the market are relatively small, and the scale of objects is limited by the print area. This is acceptable for parts, tools, or...

This Is What Happens When Machines Dream

When we let our minds wander, sleeping or waking, they begin mixing and remixing our experiences to create weird images, hallucinations, even epiphanies. These might be the result of idle daydreaming on the side of...

Watch This Open Source AI Learn to Dominate Super Mario World in Just 24 Hours

Recently, Google’s DeepMind—an artificial intelligence firm acquired for over $400 million in 2013—has been widely featured for demonstrations of an algorithm that teaches itself to play video games. In a paper, the DeepMind team said the...

Muhammad Yunus to GSP 2015: ‘Every Time I See a Problem, I Create a Business to Solve It’

Visiting Singularity University (SU) for the first time, social entrepreneur and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said he wasn’t sure what to expect. But on meeting this year’s Graduate Studies Program (GSP) participants at the...

Watch NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Buzz Dwarf Planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt

This March, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft became the first explorer to visit a dwarf planet. Primarily a science mission, Dawn will map the surface of the asteroid belt’s largest citizen, Ceres, to learn more about what...

This Injectable Brain Implant Can Record and Stimulate Individual Neurons

For those who need them most, brain implants have made inspiring strides in recent years. One implant eases the involuntary tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Another allows completely paralyzed patients to manipulate robotic arms. This...

When It Comes to Robots, Slow and Clumsy Can Still Be Captivating

For fans of flesh-and-blood feats of strength and agility, last weekend was heaven. Added to the NHL playoffs and NBA finals, race horse American Pharoah took the Triple Crown for the first time in 37...

Exponential Finance: Who Will Be the Instagram or Uber of Finance?

Come to Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of finance and technology as we bring you coverage of Singularity University and CNBC's Exponential Finance Summit. I spent the week in New York City, attending Exponential...

Exponential Finance: Financial Advice In the Age of AI and Long Life

Ric Edelman is one the top financial advisors in the US. His firm, Edelman Financial Services, has 41 offices across the country. And he thinks, all things constant, most financial advisors as we’ve known...

Beyond Bitcoin: The Real Power Is In the Blockchain

The Bitcoin saga is worthy of Homer. Heroes, priests, and prophesies. From humble origins on the fringes, the cryptocurrency has reached stratospheric highs and been knocked down a peg for its hubris. But there’s another...

Exponential Finance: Our Children Won’t Know a Bank Teller from a Chimney Sweep

We're in New York this week to bring you coverage of Singularity University and CNBC's Exponential Finance summits. Bitcoin, blockchain, mobile banking, peer-to-peer lending, AI financial advisors, insurance and driverless cars, and more: The financial world will...
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Four Superb Robot Videos to Kick Off Your Week

Last week was packed with robot videos. It was a diverse bunch: Robot cheetahs jumping hurdles, an origami bot moved by magnetic fields, another teaching itself to walk after losing a leg, and an odd...

Forget Google Glass—It’s All About Google Pants

Wearable technology is the future. There’s just one problem. No one wants to wear the stuff. One potential solution? Make it invisible. Weave it into already existing products so seamlessly no one will even know...
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Virtual Worlds: Visit Van Gogh’s Masterpiece ‘The Night Café’ in Virtual Reality

I open my eyes to a gritty, urban skyline dotted with airships. Looking down, I find my feet, the rooftop’s edge, and a vertiginous drop to the street below. Seconds later, I’m transported to...

Watch This Robot Learning to Play with Legos Like a Kid

If you’ve ever watched a child trying to fit a shape into a cut-out, you might get a flash of déjà vu in the following robot video. It takes some repeated smashing together of...

Infographic: Trillion-Fold Rise in Computing Puts a 1985 Supercomputer on Our Wrists

You’ve probably heard we carry the equivalent of a 1980s supercomputer around in our pockets. It's a pretty amazing thing to consider. And, as it turns out, it's already outdated. Moore’s Law moves fast. According...

L’Oreal Goes After 3D Printed Human Skin to Test Beauty Products

In Lyon, France, cosmetics company L’Oreal is growing human skin. Each year, some 60 scientists cultivate 100,000 paper-thin skin samples in nine varieties simulating different ages and ethnicities—and then they test beauty products on them. Long...

It’s Friday: Watch Jason Silva Talk Tech, Creativity, and Flow With a Few of His Heroes

Jason Silva isn’t a scientist, he’s a synthesizer. And he is a quoting machine. Kevin Kelly, Freeman Dyson, Ernest Becker, Erik Davis, Steven Johnson. These are Silva’s heroes, and he aims to infect us with...

What Is the Metaverse? Philip Rosedale’s Big Dream for Immersive Virtual Worlds

What is the metaverse? It’s Philip Rosedale’s second crack at playing god—at least in the virtual sense. Rosedale created his first virtual world, Second Life, in 2002. Now, he and his new company, High...

Watch Surgical Robot Deftly Suture a Grape

We've covered Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci surgical robot for years. In fact, to some, the system's long history—1.5 million surgeries dating back to 2000—may be one of its most surprising attributes. But this video really...

How Artificial Intelligence Is Primed to Beat You at Where’s Waldo

By their second birthday, children are learning the names of things. What’s this? Cat. And this? Whale. Very good. What’s this color? Red! That’s right. You love red. The human brain is good at making...

Watch GE’s 3D Printed Jet Engine Fire at 33,000 RPM

GE just 3D printed a jet engine—complete and functioning. It’s a pretty cool trick. The engine, about the size of a football, is a much-simplified version of something you might see on a commercial jet. But...

Visions of London’s Garden Bridge: A Futuristic Greenway Over the Thames

In William Gibson’s latest book The Peripheral, he describes 22nd century London. Beyond the ubiquitous nanobot assemblers, the cosplay zones, and the puppet-like peripherals—Oxford Street has been turned into a greenway. Well, as it happens, London already...

Are Google’s 11 Driverless Car Accidents Scary—or Really Impressive?

If you drive enough, chances are you’ll be involved in an accident. For the best drivers, perhaps it’s more likely than not the other car’s at fault. But most of us will have occasional lapses....

Watching This Simulated Star Die Is Mesmerizing…and Good Science Too

Traditionally, we’ve done science by observing nature in person or setting up experiments in the lab. Now, a relatively new scientific technique is proving a powerful tool—simulating nature on supercomputers. A few years ago, Caltech...
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A Quantum Computer Is a Delicate Beast: Video Tour of D-Wave’s Black Box (Part I)

Quantum computing is an old idea. But in the practical sense, it’s still very early days. If you actually want your own ready-made quantum computer—you won’t have to do much comparison shopping. The D-Wave series of quantum computers have been...

Daimler’s Driverless 18-Wheelers Approved to Cruise Nevada’s Highways

This summer, while road tripping through Nevada, you may pull up to the sleek silver cab of an 18-wheeler, and get a shock—the driver isn’t looking at the road, and his hands aren’t on...
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Video: For ATRIAS Robot, Walking Like a Human Is a Stroll in the Park…Literally

Humans evolved over millions of years into today's upright, bipedal walkers. Now, the evolution of some robots is on a similar track. Only the pace is much faster. In recent decades, we’ve gone from...

First Look: Oculus Rift Shipping in Early 2016

Since the first Oculus Rift virtual reality headset prototype, people have breathlessly asked, “When will a consumer version be ready?” Oculus played coy and stuck to its guns. When we think it’s ready, they said. Well,...

How Excited Would Buckminster Fuller Be at the Prospect of 3D Printed Buildings?

The Experimenters is an excellent new web series of animated interviews with some of the great minds and original thinkers of the last century. Its first episode highlights Buckminster Fuller, best known for his...

Virtual Body Swap Experiment Maps Out-of-Body Illusion in the Brain

With the help of modern brain scanning technology, scientists have begun methodically mapping the brain by asking people to perform tasks or inducing experiences in a scanning machine and recording brain activity to see...
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Stanford Virtual Reality Lab Ditches $40K Rig for $350 Oculus Rift

Ever since the Oculus Rift first started blowing minds a few years ago, virtual reality hasn’t just been a hot topic, it’s inspired a $2 billion Facebook acquisition and a mob of competitors. Immersive...

Digitizing DIY: Lowe’s to Offer 3D Printing Services at Orchard Supply Hardware

We’ve all been to a hardware store, questing for that weirdly sized screw or bolt. Led by some DIY guru, and after navigating aisles with hundreds of grey plastic drawers, we find just what...

Watch Tiny Gecko Robots Haul Loads Up to 2,000 Times Their Own Weight

Biologically inspired gecko-bots? They aren’t as rare as you might imagine. We’ve been covering them since 2009, and they’ve existed since at least 2006. That said, the latest generation, out of Stanford, comes in more sizes—and...

Celebrate 25 Years of Hubble With This Warp Speed Tour of the Spectacular Gum Nebula

When our ancestors looked up at night, they saw the star-studded dome of heaven. It’s easy to understand why they thought this. Even today, gazing at the sky, the stars appear fixed on a gently curved surface. Of...

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

If you look closely enough, Earth has rings. NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites...

They’re Alive! Watch These Mini 3D Printed Organs Beat Just Like Hearts

There’s something almost alchemical going on at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Scientists there have genetically transformed skin cells into heart cells and used them to 3D print mini-organs that beat just...

Looking Ahead as Moore’s Law Turns 50: What’s Next for Computing?

On April 19, 1965, Intel cofounder Gordon Moore (then of Fairchild Semiconductor) published a paper on the fledgling technology of integrated circuits. In the paper, Moore noted that the number of components (diodes, capacitors, resistors,...

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