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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


Driverless Electric Trucks Are Coming, and They’ll Affect You More Than You Think

Self-driving and electric cars just don’t stop making headlines lately. Amazon invested in self-driving startup Aurora earlier this year. Waymo, Daimler, GM, along with startups like Zoox, have all launched or are planning to...

First Human CRISPR Trial in the US Aims to Cure Inherited Blindness

Gene editing is advancing at a faster pace than most of us can keep up with. One significant recent announcement was gene editing tool CRISPR’s application to non-genetic diseases thanks to a new ability...

Are Robots Coming for Our Jobs? Careful, It’s a Trick Question

The robots are coming, and they’ll probably take your job when they get here. Oh wait—have you heard that recently? As recently as, say, yesterday? In the news, or from a coworker, or in a...

The Biggest Offshore Wind Project in the US Is Underway

From the steady growth in market share of electric cars to continuous improvement and expansion of solar energy technology, it appears the world is going renewable—the age of fossil fuels is slowly but surely...

Inching Towards Abundant Water: New Progress in Desalination Tech

In early 2018, Cape Town, South Africa came dangerously close to being the world’s first major city to run out of water. People lined up for blocks to collect spring water. Stores sold out...

This Cool Artificial Reef Was Just Deployed in Sydney Harbor

Earth’s oceans have seen better days. They’re inundated with plastic waste, both whole single-use plastics and tons of plastic microparticles that find their way back into our food and drinking water. Their water temperatures...

This Lab-Grown Patch Could Repair Your Heart After a Heart Attack

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 735,00 Americans have a heart attack each year, and...

The New Science of Psychedelics: A Tool for Changing Our Minds

As our prosperity rises, our mental health is on the decline—and fast. Rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, addiction, and other psychological disorders have skyrocketed in recent years, and nobody knows what to do about...

What Would It Mean for AI to Become Conscious?

As artificial intelligence systems take on more tasks and solve more problems, it’s hard to say which is rising faster: our interest in them or our fear of them. Futurist Ray Kurzweil famously predicted...

7 Non-Obvious Trends Shaping the Future

When you think of trends that might be shaping the future, the first things that come to mind probably have something to do with technology: Robots taking over jobs. Artificial intelligence advancing and proliferating....

SETI Is Making a New ‘Mixtape for Aliens’, and You Can Contribute

For centuries, people have looked up at the sky and wondered whether we’re alone in the universe. Science fiction and popular media have imagined various ways humans might encounter and communicate with life from...

To Be Ethical, AI Must Become Explainable. How Do We Get There?

As over-hyped as artificial intelligence is—everyone’s talking about it, few fully understand it, it might leave us all unemployed but also solve all the world’s problems—its list of accomplishments is growing. AI can now...

Top Takeaways From The Economist Innovation Summit

Over the past few years, the word 'innovation’ has degenerated into something of a buzzword. In fact, according to Vijay Vaitheeswaran, US business editor at The Economist, it’s one of the most abused words...

Can the Sustainable Development Goals Be Measured by Satellite?

In 2015 the UN established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met by 2030. From universal access to clean water and education to gender equality and strong institutions, achieving the SDGs would mean...

The Verge’s ‘Better Worlds’ Sci Fi Series Launches Today

When you picture what the world will look like in 10, 20, or 50 years, what comes to mind? Most people probably envision a scenario that’s drastically positive or negative—a utopia or, more likely,...

Designer Babies, and Their Babies: How AI and Genomics Will Impact Reproduction

As if stand-alone technologies weren’t advancing fast enough, we’re in age where we must study the intersection points of these technologies. How is what’s happening in robotics influenced by what’s happening in 3D printing?...

5 Technologies Bringing Healthcare Systems into the Future

If you think you’ve got a bad case of the travel bug, get this: Dr. John Halamka travels 400,000 miles a year. That’s equivalent to fully circling the globe 16 times. Halamka is chief information...

Custom-Grown Bones, and Other Wild Advances in Regenerative Medicine

The human body has always been an incredible machine, from the grand feats of strength and athleticism it can accomplish down to the fine details of each vein, nerve, and cell. But the way...

Could Blockchain Voting Fix Democracy? Today, It Gets a Test Run

There’s no shortage of debate about the role tech has played in politics. From misinformation being spread via WhatsApp in Brazil to Facebook becoming a tool for hate speech in Myanmar to the Cambridge...

This Robotic Warehouse Fills Orders in Five Minutes, and Fits in City Centers

Shopping is becoming less and less of a consumer experience—or, for many, less of a chore—as the list of things that can be bought online and delivered to our homes grows to include, well,...

No Safety Driver Here—Volvo’s New Driverless Truck Cuts the Cab

Each time there’s a headline about driverless trucking technology, another piece is taken out of the old equation. First, an Uber/Otto truck’s safety driver went hands-off once the truck reached the highway (and said...

The Most Valuable Tool for Ending Poverty? Data.

The data revolution is under way, and data has impacted how we buy, work, live—even how we love. But there’s one field that remains largely unaffected, and that’s statistics—or, ironically enough, data itself. According to...

How Cryptocurrencies Can Influence the Future of Freedom

Bitcoin has steadily grown in popularity since its inception in 2009. We hear about how many people are getting rich quick from it, and how much energy it’s consuming, and how complex it is...

The Future of Cars Is Electric, Autonomous, and Shared—Here’s How We’ll Get There

This week, Lyft announced they’d hit the milestone of their 5,000th self-driving commercial ride. The company has a fleet of autonomous cars in Las Vegas that mostly shuttle riders between different hotels on the...

Why the Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think

People have no idea how fast the world is changing. So said Peter Diamandis to the audience at Singularity University’s Global Summit, taking place this week in San Francisco. Diamandis believes the convergence of multiple...

Elon Musk’s Boring Company to Build 150 mph Chicago Loop to O’Hare

What’s the best way to get to and from the airport? The subway is cheap, but it means hauling your luggage around and sitting there through all the stops that aren’t yours. Cabs and...

Microsoft’s Wild New Project Puts Servers at the Bottom of the Ocean

Last week, a few miles off the northern coast of Scotland, a cylinder the size of a shipping container was carefully lowered to the bottom of the ocean floor. Sounds like a clever (if...

The Epic Project to Record the DNA of All Life on Earth

Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have brought rapid progress in the fields of medicine, food, ecology, and neuroscience, among others. With this progress comes ambition for even more progress—realizing we’re capable of, say,...

Leapfrogging Tech Is Changing Millions of Lives. Here’s How

Walking through any city in the US, you may not notice the evidence of centuries of technological progress around you. From the power lines snaking above to the people tapping away on their smartphones...

Robots Can Swim, Fetch, Lift, and Dance. But Can They Assemble an Ikea Chair?

Robotics has come a long way in the past few years. Robots can now fetch items from specific spots in massive warehouses, swim through the ocean to study marine life, and lift 200 times...

Tiny Tooth Sensor Tracks What You Eat, and It Could Help You Be Healthier

The South Beach diet. The Atkins diet. Eating paleo. Cutting out gluten. Going vegan. The list of fad diets and health crazes goes on, yet health statistics in the US and around the world...

MIT’s New Voiceless Interface Can Read the Words in Your Head

The way we interact with the technology in our lives is getting progressively more seamless. If typing terms or addresses into your phone wasn’t easy enough, now you can just tell Siri to do...

This 3D Printed Electric Car Will Enter Production This Year

Cars have gone from a “get me from point A to point B by burning gas” mode of transportation to a dream project for innovative techies. Cars can now run on electricity, be summoned...

Watch This Lifelike Robot Fish Swim Through the Ocean

Earth’s oceans are having a rough go of it these days. On top of being the repository for millions of tons of plastic waste, global warming is affecting the oceans and upsetting marine ecosystems...

This 3D Printed House Goes Up in a Day for Under $10,000

There aren’t a ton of ways to build a house other than the way houses have always been built, which is to say, by putting up four walls then adding a roof. This ages-old...

If Energy Becomes Free in the Future, How Will That Affect Our Lives?

Technology is making the cost of many things trend towards zero. Things we used to have to pay a lot for are now cheap or even free—think about how much it costs to buy...

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...

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 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...

Chinese Scientists Just Cloned a Monkey—Here Are the Details

In 1996, Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned from a somatic cell. Twenty years later, scientists have succeeded in using the same technique on primates—as detailed in a study published...

New Research Brings Us Closer to Cheap, Transparent, Organic Solar Cells

The age of fossil fuels is coming to an end, and the age of renewable energy has dawned—or, it will be dawning soon. In 2014 the World Bank estimated that over 80 percent of...

This Neural Network Built by Japanese Researchers Can ‘Read Minds’

It already seems a little like computers can read our minds; features like Google’s auto-complete, Facebook’s friend suggestions, and the targeted ads that appear while you’re browsing the web sometimes make you wonder, “How...

World Poverty Has Plummeted—But Will It Ever Disappear?

Few will deny 2017 was a rough year. But believe it or not, we’re still living in the best time ever to be alive, and the world as a whole is better off than...

Digitized to Democratized: These Are the 6 Ds of Exponential Technologies

“The Six Ds are a chain reaction of technological progression, a road map of rapid development that always leads to enormous upheaval and opportunity.” –Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Bold We live in incredible times....

This Self-Driving AI Is Learning to Drive Almost Entirely in a Virtual World

I don’t have to open the doors of AImotive’s white 2015 Prius to see that it’s not your average car. This particular Prius has been christened El Capitan, the name written below the rear...

The Surprising Ways Social Media Is Making Us Healthier

When you go to the doctor or the hospital and get your vitals checked, it’s safe to assume they’re recorded and processed as data. The same goes for your weight, imaging procedures like X-rays...

Why the Best Healthcare Hacks Are the Most Low-Tech

Technology has the potential to solve some of our most intractable healthcare problems. In fact, it’s already doing so, with inventions getting us closer to a medical Tricorder, and progress toward 3D printed organs,...

The Age Wave Is Transforming Longevity—and It’s Just the Beginning

Do you want to live to be 100? If your immediate answer was yes, here’s a follow-up question: if you could live to 100, what conditions would you want to accompany your longevity? You would probably...

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci to Unlock Your Creative Potential

“You are gifted with virtually unlimited potential for learning and creativity,” said author Michael Gelb. In a keynote presentation at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine Summit in San Diego this week, Gelb shared his insights for maximizing...

The World’s First Floating Wind Farm Is an Incredible Feat of Engineering

Wind turbines are a valuable source of renewable energy, but it can be hard to find a good place to put them. They need to be close to a populated area so that transporting...

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