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Jason Dorrier

Jason Dorrier

Jason is managing editor of Singularity Hub. He cut his teeth doing research and writing 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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Tour a Century of Sci-Fi Film in Just Four Minutes

I just watched over a hundred years of sci-fi crunched into four minutes. (See below.) And beyond a fun trip down memory lane, I noticed a few things. The effects have radically improved, but the themes...

3D Printed Electronic Devices Are Coming

The handheld computers we carry in our pockets represent almost unimaginable complexity. Batteries, sensors, chips, circuits, and touch displays in a space age shell, all painstakingly assembled by thousands of workers and shipped globally. Smartphones have disrupted...
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If We Made ‘Back to the Future II’ Today: What Would 2045 Look Like?

It’s officially 2015, the year Marty McFly and Doc Brown visited in their souped up DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future Part II. There’s been a flurry of press comparing the iconic...

Sand Art Robot Rakes Giant Beach Sketches

San Francisco artist Andres Amador makes monumental designs on the beach with naught but a rake and some wet sand. He’s mindblowingly good at sand art—but he’s got competition. A small, orange Disney robot...

Can DNA Nanobots Successfully Treat Cancer Patients? First Human Trial Soon

“No, no it’s not science fiction; it’s already happening,” said Ido Bachelet to a somewhat incredulous audience member at a London event late last year. Bachelet, previously of Harvard’s Wyss Institute and faculty member...
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Robot ‘Iron Chef’ Sharpens Skills With YouTube Cooking Videos

If robots and AI are our technological children (and of course they are!), what's the best way to teach them about the world? Why, the internet, of course. Using the popular deep learning programming technique, computer...

How Our Inventions Reinvent Us

In two recent videos, Jason Silva visits the idea of ontological design—that as we design our tools, so our tools design us in return. We devise and engineer computers and the internet, and now computers...

These Thought-Controlled Robotic Arms Are Beating Paralysis and Amputation

In 2012, University of Pittsburgh researchers released a video of Jan Scheuermann feeding herself a bite of chocolate. This, of course, wouldn't be noteworthy but for one thing: Scheuermann is paralyzed from the neck...

Cyborg Superpower: Man Can Hear the Internet

Television, cellphones, radio, WiFi—modern civilization converses in radio waves. Most of us need some kind of device to translate the signals into something we can consume on a screen or through a speaker. But in...

How Technology Brought Us Closer to the Future in 2014

As the year draws to a close, it’s worth glancing over our shoulder. What technologies and themes were brightest in 2014? Read on. (And keep in mind, attempting such a summation is ambitious to the extreme—let us...

Worm ‘Brain’ Uploaded Into Lego Robot

Can a digitally simulated brain on a computer perform tasks just like the real thing? For simple commands, the answer, it would seem, is yes it can. Researchers at the OpenWorm project recently hooked a...

Humans 2.0: Seeing Ourselves Anew in ‘Algorithmic Cascades of Data’

Sensors are cheap and abundant. They’re already in our devices, and soon enough, many of us may elect to carry sensors in and on our bodies, and embed them in our homes, offices, and...

Disney’s Exquisite Digital Eyes Bring Avatars to Life

When you meet someone, where does your gaze first fall? Usually, you’ll find you look for their eyes. And maybe this is partly why some digital characters can seem alien—their eyes are approximations of...

Can AI save us from AI?

Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence might just be the most debated technology book of the year. Since its release, big names in tech and science, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have warned of the...

Detecting Alien Planets With Your ‘Run-of-the-Mill’ Digital Camera

Astronomy is no stranger to citizen scientists. Amateur stargazers are credited with the discovery of comets, asteroids, and even planets. That said, while amateurs don’t use multi-million dollar observatories, it’s still an expensive hobby....

What Google Glass Has in Common With an Iconic Apple Fail

Not long ago, I attended two tech conferences. AI, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology—both were future focused. But the most curious thing I saw there wasn’t on stage. It was more subtle, more about negative...

Graphene Armor Would Be Light, Flexible and Far Stronger Than Steel

Who needs science fiction? Nature is a wealth of imaginative plot twists. Take carbon. Carbon is common. It’s the fourth most abundant element in the universe. And yet, carbon is also exceptional. It’s the elemental...

Technology Is the Beauty and Terror of the Human Mind Turned Inside Out

In a recent video, Jason Silva says the goal of humanity is to turn our minds inside out, to actualize our imaginations in the real world through technology. He terms humankind’s unique ability to...

Made In Space Transports and Replicates First 3D Printed Object on Space Station

In September, Made In Space and NASA partnered to deliver the first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS). And now this week, another first. The ISS astronauts fired up the printer to...

Summit Europe: Chip Implants Easy as Piercings

“I am bleeding just a little bit,” said Raymond McCauley. “Might I ask for a little assistance?” McCauley, chair of Singularity University’s biotechnology and bioinformatics track and a biohacker, had just implanted a microchip...

Summit Europe: To Anticipate the Future Is to Abandon Intuition

In the evolution of information technology, acceleration is the rule—and this fact isn’t easy for the human brain to grasp. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t at least intuitively aware of the...

Summit Europe: Robots Are Still Toddlers—But They’re Growing Up Fast

You've probably read somewhere recently that robots are coming to take your job. It's true, they probably are. But they’ve got some growing up to do first, says Rob Nail, CEO and associate founder...

Summit Europe: Art Meets Tech in Glowing Roads and a Smog Eating Machine

There’s a stretch of Dutch highway that glows like Tron; a path of radiant tiles swirling like Van Gogh’s "Starry Night"; a lotus dome of a hundred unfurling smart flowers; a jungle of genetically...

Summit Europe: Artificial Intelligence Evolving From Disappointing to Disruptive

Neil Jacobstein, Singularity University’s co-chair in AI and Robotics, has been thinking about artificial intelligence for a long time, and at a recent talk at Summit Europe, he wanted to get a few things...

Summit Europe: When Will We Let Go and Let Google Drive Us?

What technology has the most world-changing potential in the next decade or two? Brad Templeton, Singularity University’s networks and computing chair, thinks it's driverless cars. Then again, he would. Templeton has worked with Google on...

Summit Europe 2014: Tech’s Pace Is Like a Dozen Gutenberg Moments Happening at the Same Time

From sunny San Diego last week for the Exponential Medicine conference to the rainy and overcast Netherlands for Summit Europe this week—I’m on the road with Singularity University. At the DeLaMar theater in central...

Exponential Medicine: Data Deluge to Disrupt Healthcare This Decade

You can’t really boil down four days, 59 speakers, and a few lovely musical interludes into a single word—but here goes. If there was an overriding theme to this year’s Exponential Medicine it was,...

Exponential Medicine: Braingear Moves Beyond Electrode Swim Caps

If the last few decades in information technology have been characterized by cheaper, faster, and smaller computer chips, the next few decades will add cheaper, faster, and smaller sensors. Chips are the brains. Now...
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Exponential Medicine: This Is Your Brain on Prescription-Strength Video Games

Video games encourage violent behavior. They’re a symptom of our culture’s collective obsessions and neuroses, a sign we have too much time on our hands. You’ve likely heard a rant like this—video games can’t...

Exponential Medicine: Meet Bionic Amputee, Nigel Ackland

In 2006, Nigel Ackland had an accident. Working as a metal smelter a the time, his right hand was crushed in an industrial mixer. The hand was so severely damaged that six months later...

Exponential Medicine: Paul Stamets Unravels the Link Between Mushrooms and Cancer Treatment

The largest living organism on the planet is a mushroom. You can make a hat out of a boiled mushroom called Amadou, or as our ancestors once did, you can use it as tinder...

Exponential Medicine: Crowd Science Will Accelerate Scientific Progress to the ‘Speed of the Internet’

Scientific research of the body is broken, says Jessica Richman, cofounder and CEO of uBiome. Our data is narrowly focused on a subset of humans—western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic (WEIRD) people. Sample sizes are small...

Exponential Medicine: Craig Venter Estimates 5 Million Complete Human Genomes Sequenced by 2020

Researchers finished the first draft of the human genome in the year 2000. Although the decreasing cost of the technology has far outpaced Moore’s Law since then, we have yet to fully leverage all...

Latest XPRIZE Winner Unleashes the Health Data in Your Blood

Today the XPRIZE Foundation announced the winner of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, the global competition aimed at accelerating the availability of hardware sensors and software sensing technology as a means to smarter digital health solutions. The winning...
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Exponential Medicine 2014 Conference Kicks Off in San Diego

The weather is fine and the future on display. I'm in San Diego covering Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine conference through Wednesday. The four-day event kicked off yesterday at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego,...

Computers Are Writing Novels, But Do You Really Want To Read Them?

It’s 10pm, November 30th, 2013. An author, aiming to finish a novel in November, takes up his laptop and begins typing furiously. By midnight, he’s completed I Got a Alligator for a Pet. A world...
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Ex Machina Brims With Robot Fun and Mind Games

In upcoming sci-fi film, Ex Machina, writer and director Alex Garland gets ambitious. All we’ve got is a trailer so far. But it’s a tantalizing clip that manages to run through a range of cinematic...
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Students Link Brains to Fire Video Game Cannon

You know how Professor X wears that funny helmet to amplify his brainwaves whenever he uses Cerebro to find mutants in X Men? Of course you do. (And if not—go here.) Turns out, that...

The Internet of Things Should ‘Rattle the Imagination’

We’ve often written about the “Internet of Things.” This is the idea that as chips get smaller, more energy efficient, and more connected, we’ll embed them in everything around us to enliven inanimate objects and...

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Lost Over Mojave Desert

The European Space Agency recently made a short film to celebrate the Rosetta mission to visit and land on a comet. The film is aptly titled, “Ambition." What is space exploration if not ambitious?...
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Service Robots Will Now Assist Customers at Lowe’s Store

Most folks don't interact with robots every day, so unless you work in a factory, the tech can seem remote. But if you’re a San Jose local? Welcome to the future. Orchard Supply Hardware just...

Are Efforts at Total Brain Simulation Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

Since it was awarded a one billion euro, decade-long research grant last year, the Human Brain Project has been the center of extreme excitement and heavy criticism. The project aims to simulate the human...
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Travel to a Black Hole’s Edge and a Far Future Where Humans Are Just the Same

Astrophysicist Kip Thorne—whose book on black holes sits on my shelf—recently teamed up with director Christopher Nolan of Dark Knight fame to build the perfect CGI black hole for the film, Interstellar­. As we’ve never...

Desktop Machine Carves Metal and Wood Like Butter

How many desktop 3D printers have we seen on Kickstarter in recent years? Too many to count. But 3D printing is only half of the digital manufacturing promise. Where 3D printing is additive—CNC machines,...

Next-Gen Diagnostics, Nanotechnology, and Bioengineering Begin Taking the Fight to Cancer

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer claimed 8.2 million lives worldwide in 2012. Perhaps no other disease highlights the need for improved diagnostic and treatment options better than cancer—which is why it’s...

When the Internet Sleeps

The internet is a little bit like an organism—a really huge organism, made up of over four billion IP addresses networked across the globe. How does the internet behave day to day? What are...

With Mindware Upgrades and Cognitive Prosthetics, Humans Are Already Technological Animals

In recent years, the surprising idea that we’ll one day merge with our technology has warily made its way into the mainstream. Often it’s couched in a combination of snark and fear. Why in...

AI Algorithm Masters Space Invaders in All-Night Gaming Session

Remember Space Invaders? The arcade game and later Atari hit pitted a lone pixellated laser cannon against a swarm of equally pixellated descending aliens. Maybe you enjoyed the game occasionally, or maybe you stayed...

Million Robot Revolution Delayed—iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn Hires More Humans

Terry Gou is CEO of electronics manufacturer Foxconn. He’s also a big proponent of replacing humans with robots in factories. Gou said Foxconn would replace human workers with a million robots in three years....

Navy’s Boat Drones Pack Hunt Like Wolves on Water

The US military is building a droid (er, drone) army. You’ve likely heard of flying drones—but the robot arms race won’t end there. The Navy recently demonstrated a pack of autonomous boats performing defensive...

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