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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


A Community of 50 3D Printed Homes Is Under Construction in Mexico

Last year, the first permitted 3D printed house in the US went up in Austin, Texas. The house was a buzz-generating proof of concept, a wacky example of the cool things tech can do....

Silicon Valley’s China Paradox: What It Is, and How It Will Shape the Future of Tech

Silicon Valley has long been the world leader in tech innovation. It’s the cradle of startup culture, a hub for venture capital, and the home of dozens of global tech titans that are not...

Will Cultured Bacon Be Delicious? A Dutch Startup Is Developing the First Lab-Grown Pork

The food chain has always worked roughly like this: sunlight feeds plants. Plants feed insects. Insects and plants feed animals. Plants and animals feed people. Then eventually—not to get too morbid here—people feed the...

An AI Debated Its Own Potential for Good vs. Harm. Here’s What It Came up With

Artificial intelligence is going to overhaul the way we live and work. But will the changes it brings be for the better? As the technology slowly develops (let’s remember that right now, we’re still...

How Selfish Are You? It Matters for MIT’s New Self-Driving Algorithm

Our personalities impact almost everything we do, from the career path we choose to the way we interact with others to how we spend our free time. But what about the way we drive—could personality...

To Reinvent Healthcare, Stop Treating Patients and Start Building Communities

It’s not news that healthcare costs in the US are sky-high. What might be news to some, though, is that year over year, we’re spending more money to treat illness and disease, but getting...

We Should Use AI to Rescue Modern Medicine From Itself

Labor unions have been around since the mid-19th century, and they’ve helped many a teacher, government employee, electrical worker, and others gain fairer pay or better working conditions. Unions give workers a chance to...

Why Medicine Needs a New Hippocratic Oath—and What It Should Be

Somewhere along the road from sickness to health, the American medical system took a wrong turn—a big one. The cost of care in our country is sky-high, yet our population health outcomes tend to be...

We’ll Soon Be Able to Prosper and Save the Earth at the Same Time. Here’s How

Life is pretty different today than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Smartphones and the internet have changed the way we do business, interact socially, and spend our free time. As tech...

Can Tech Hack World Hunger? It’s Trying

The feats technology is accomplishing these days have become so impressive and fantastical that real headlines often seem like fake news. Robots can play sports like basketball and soccer. Human-monkey hybrid embryos were recently...

The End of the Chinese Miracle Is in Sight. What’s Next?

Governments around the world are rushing to keep up with emerging technologies. No one wants to be left behind as more industries and facets of life are impacted by the transition from analogue to...

Driverless and Electric, or Car-Free? The Cities Cutting Out Cars, and Why

It’s common consensus in the tech industry that the days of cars as we know them—powered by gas, driven by humans, and individually owned by all who want and can afford one—are numbered. Imminent...

Tech Is Fueling the Hong Kong Movement. Here’s How, and Why It’s a Huge Step for Freedom

Over the past two months, Hong Kong has roared into global headlines. Its seven million citizens have increasingly taken to the streets (and the capital building, and the airport) to protest China’s move to...

These Are the Meta-Trends Shaping the Future (at Breakneck Speed)

Life is pretty different now than it was 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. It’s sort of exciting, and sort of scary. And hold onto your hat, because it’s going to keep...

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...

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