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Vanessa Bates Ramirez

Vanessa Bates Ramirez

Vanessa is senior editor of Singularity Hub. She's interested in renewable energy, health and medicine, international development, and countless other topics. When she's not reading or writing you can usually find her outdoors, in water, or on a plane.

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From This Author


Toyota Is Building a Futuristic Prototype City Powered by Hydrogen

Most of the focus for making self-driving cars a widespread reality is on the cars themselves, specifically on the technology they require to safely perceive and interact with the world around them: sensors, cameras,...

How One Round of Gene Therapy Fixed 48 Kids’ Immune Systems

Gene therapy has shown promise in recent years for treating a range of diseases, including sickle-cell anemia, hemophilia, various forms of inherited blindness, mesothelioma, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A new success story may soon...
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Watch a Jet Suit Pilot Fly Onto a Ship to Trial the Tech for Fighting Pirates

Last year, a guy in a jet suit glided up a mountain to trial whether jet suits could be a useful tool for emergency responders in wilderness areas. It went pretty well; the jet...

AI Is Harder Than We Think: 4 Key Fallacies in AI Research

Artificial intelligence has been all over headlines for nearly a decade, as systems have made quick progress in long-standing AI challenges like image recognition, natural language processing, and games. Tech companies have sown machine...

This Powerful Tidal Turbine Will Power 2,000 Homes in the UK

Renewable energy is having its moment in the sun. And in the wind. And, lesser known but equally relevant, in the water. Tidal turbines don’t get as much buzz as solar and wind farms, and...

What Would We Do If an Asteroid Hit Earth? NASA Is Simulating It This Week

About a month ago, an asteroid that was estimated to be at least a quarter-mile wide zoomed past Earth at a speed of 77,000 miles per hour. Though it was 1.25 million miles away...

Scientist George Church Is Auctioning Off His Genome as an NFT

You’ve probably heard the acronym NFT over the last couple months. Non-fungible tokens have been all over the news, seeming to become a sensation—one worth a ton of money—almost overnight. Soon a new NFT...

Google Earth’s Amazing New Feature Is a 37-Year 3D Timelapse of the Entire Planet

Satellites are doing all kinds of amazing new things lately, from beaming high-speed internet to remote areas to capturing high-resolution images through clouds to taking 24 million images of every part of the Earth...

A Huge New Kroger Warehouse Is Staffed by 1,000 Grocery-Picking Robots

With the pandemic at long last starting to wind down, many of us are beyond eager to get back to “the way things used to be,” that is, being able to interact with other...

Epic Games Raised $1 Billion to Fund Its Vision for Building the Metaverse

If you saw the 2018 movie Ready Player One, you may remember the Oasis: a glitzy, fast-paced metaverse with gleaming cities, beautiful people (or, avatars, to be precise), and excitement of many varieties; in...

‘Deep Nostalgia’ Uses AI to Make Old Photos of Your Relatives Wink, Nod, Dance, and More

Genealogy services have grown in popularity in recent years. Ancestry.com and 23andMe let users analyze their DNA to show their ethnic makeup, connect with relatives they didn’t know they had, create online family trees,...

There’s a New Nirvana Song Out, and It Was Written by Google’s AI

One of the primary capabilities separating human intelligence from artificial intelligence is our ability to be creative—to use nothing but the world around us, our experiences, and our brains to create art. At present,...

This Huge Hologram-Like 3D Display Is Made of Thousands of Tiny LED Lights

Though we don’t quite have the technology to make three-dimensional holograms a reality yet, companies like PORTL and Microsoft are working on it. But a third company decided to forego the traditional approach and...

Boston Dynamics’ New Warehouse Robot, Stretch, Moves 800 Boxes an Hour

This week, Boston Dynamics (whose dancing robots video I still can’t watch without cracking up) unveiled the newest addition to its robot menagerie. Stretch is the less aesthetically pleasing but highly practical cousin of...

These Satellites Capture Ultra High-Res Images Even When It’s Dark or Cloudy

In late January of this year, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set a new record. It carried 143 spacecraft, the most ever launched at once, into orbit. It was SpaceX’s first SmallSat Rideshare mission...

In ‘Klara and the Sun,’ We Glimpse an Eerie Future Through the Eyes of a Robot

In a store in the center of an unnamed city, humanoid robots are displayed alongside housewares and magazines. They watch the fast-moving world outside the window, anxiously awaiting the arrival of customers who might...

A Community of Swanky 3D Printed Homes Is Going Up in California

Last summer an Oakland, California-based startup called Mighty Buildings came out of stealth mode after raising $30 million in venture capital funding. One of the homebuilder’s first product offerings was a backyard house, or...

This AI Uses Your Brain Activity to Create Fake Faces It Knows You’ll Find Attractive

Looks aren’t everything. But they must be something, otherwise dating apps like Tinder and Bumble wouldn’t be having nearly as much success as they are. Unfortunately, you can’t tell just from someone’s appearance whether...

Four 3D Printed Houses Are Going on the Market in Austin

In late January of this year, one of the first 3D printed homes in the US went up for sale on Long Island. Now it’s being joined by four additional homes located in Austin,...

Microsoft’s Mesh Will Let Us Beam Ourselves to Work as Holograms

A little over a year ago, millions of people wouldn’t have been able to fathom doing their jobs without going into their offices (for months on end, at that). Yet a year after much...

Applications Are Open For a Free Trip Around the Moon on a SpaceX Rocket

Elon Musk wants to send people to space—lots of them. Besides the 100,000 he envisions sending to Mars each time it’s closely aligned with Earth, he’s determined to make commercial space flight a thing...

The World’s First 3D Printed School Will Be Built in Madagascar

3D printed houses have been popping up all over the map. Some are hive-shaped, some can float, some are up for sale. Now this practical, cost-cutting technology is being employed for another type of...

Flying Taxis Will Hit LA Skies by 2024, According to a California Startup’s Plan

Air taxis still seem like a far-off concept, especially in a time when a lot of people have stopped flying or using shared transportation altogether. But the technology has continued to advance nonetheless, as...

Facial Recognition Drones Will Use AI to Take the Perfect Picture of You

Facial recognition technology has been banned by multiple US cities, including Portland, Boston, and San Francisco. Besides the very real risk of the tech being biased against minorities, the technology also carries with it...

The First Endangered American Animal Has Been Cloned

Last summer a horse named Kurt was born in Texas. Kurt wasn’t just any horse—he was a clone made from DNA that had been frozen for 40 years and came from an endangered wild...

A 3D Printed House Just Went up on Zillow—for Half the Price of Its Neighbors

The 3D printed houses just keep coming. Last week we covered a home being built in northern Italy, unique because it’s made entirely of natural materials and shaped like a hive. Now there’s a...
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Bitcoin’s Blowing Up, and That’s Good News for Human Rights. Here’s Why

Bitcoin’s value reached an all-time high this week after Tesla announced it had bought $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency. After its launch in early 2009, Bitcoin has gone through a lot of ups...

This Hive-Like House Is 3D Printed, Carbon-Neutral, and Made of Clay

3D printing homes was a really big deal a few years ago; the idea was novel, unprecedented, and crushed records for the cost and time it took to build a livable house. Now 3D...

Scientists Want to Fight Climate Change by Blocking the Sun With Dust

In the past few years, scientists have hatched some pretty crazy-sounding schemes in the name of protecting Earth and its inhabitants. From building an underwater wall 120 kilometers long to try to save a...

How an Israeli Startup Is Using AI to Help People Make Babies

The first baby conceived using in-vitro fertilization (IVF) was born in the UK in 1978. Over 40 years later, the technique has become commonplace, but its success rate is still fairly low at around...
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Watch London’s Cool, Quirky Augmented Reality Art Exhibit at Home

It hasn’t been a great few months for museums, what with the pandemic shutting many of them down and forcing the rest to greatly limit visitors. But a new, well-timed art exhibit went on...

This Artificial Heart Will Soon Be on the Market in Europe

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in the US and Western Europe. Medical science has come up with some ingenious solutions to common heart problems, like...

China Wants to Be the World’s AI Superpower. Does It Have What It Takes?

China’s star has been steadily rising for decades. Besides slashing extreme poverty rates from 88 percent to under 2 percent in just 30 years, the country has become a global powerhouse in manufacturing and...

NASA Will Soon Choose One of These 3 Landers to Go Back to the Moon

America’s going back to the moon. It’s been over 50 years since the Apollo missions, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon in 1969. Both NASA...

These Futuristic Flying Ambulances May Soon Be Zooming Around New York

Ambulance use surged in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as emergency medical service providers struggled due to the revenue hit they took from delayed and canceled elective procedures. While we’re fervently hoping...
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Start the New Year Right: By Watching These Robots’ Awesome Dance Moves

2020 was a tough year. There was almost nothing good about it, and we saw it off with a “good riddance” and hopes for a better 2021. But robotics company Boston Dynamics took a...

Amazon’s New Robotaxi Has No Steering Wheel, But It Can Drive for 16 Hours Straight

After almost a year of limiting our contact with the people in our lives and humanity in general, it’s hard to imagine a future where we freely move about our cities and towns going...

Algorithms for Love: Japan Will Soon Launch an AI Dating Service

Every year for the last 13 years, Japan’s population has shrunk. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and not enough babies are being born to replace an aging...

Europe’s Biggest Vertical Farm Will Be Powered by Wind and Planted by Robots

From cultured meat to plant-based foods to robotic kitchen assistants, tech seems to be infiltrating every corner of our food system. And it’s a good thing, because we’re sorely in need of ways to...

This Wild Electric Car Needs Little Charging, Because It Runs Partly on Sunshine

The number of miles electric cars can go on a single charge is slowly climbing, but it’s still almost invariably less than how far a comparable car can go on a tank of good...

Not All Sunshine and Rainbows: Waymo’s Self-Driving Cars Take on Inclement Weather

How do you train self-driving software to safely pilot a vehicle through city streets? There are a few options; the first that probably springs to mind for most people is to spend countless hours actually...

This Company Wants to Put a Human-Size Hologram Booth in Your Living Room

Over the last several months we’ve gotten very used to communicating via video chat. Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and the like have not only replaced most in-person business meetings, they’ve acted as a stand-in...

A 3D Printed Apartment Building Is Going Up in Germany

3D printing is making strides in the construction industry. In just a couple years we’ve seen the tech produce single-family homes in a day, entire communities of homes for people in need, large municipal...

McDonald’s Is Making a Plant-Based Burger; You Can Try It in 2021

Fast-food chains have been doing what they can in recent years to health-ify their menus. For better or worse, burgers, fries, fried chicken, roast beef sandwiches, and the like will never go out of...

You Can Buy This Electric Car for $7,999 in California

A tiny electric car that costs just $4,200 has been all the rage in China this year. The Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV generated over 15,000 orders within 20 days of its release in...

A New and Improved Burger Robot’s on the Market—and Everyone Wants One

No doubt about it, the pandemic has changed the way we eat. Never before have so many people who hated cooking been forced to learn how to prepare a basic meal for themselves. With...

This Baby Horse Was Cloned Using DNA That Was Frozen for 40 Years

When Dolly the sheep was born in 1996, she instantly achieved worldwide fame for being the first-ever animal to be cloned from an adult cell. Since then, she hasn’t had many competitors for the...

Japanese Towns Use This Robotic Wolf to Scare Off Bears, and It’s Terrifying

Halloween weekend is upon us, and as millions don costumes and visit haunted houses (as if real life wasn’t scary enough right now), several towns in Japan won’t be seeing any evil creatures, real...

This Flying Car Costs $599K—and It’s Now Street Legal in Holland

We’ve all had the experience of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic with nothing but miles of red taillights ahead, wishing we could somehow break away from the pack and zoom off to our destination traffic-free....

Impossible Foods Wants to Make Milk That’s Creamy, Tasty, and Totally Cow-Free

Animal-free foods seem to be steadily growing in popularity. Whether for health reasons or as part of a commitment to the environment, more people are opting to go vegetarian or at least to be...

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