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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


The 3D Printed Homes of the Future Are Giant Eggs on Mars

Last month, a 3D printed house that can float on a pontoon was unveiled in the Czech Republic. Last year, work started on a community of 3D printed houses for low-income families in Mexico....

The Tour de France Is Going Virtual, and It Starts This Weekend

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do things, big-time. The events, places, and activities we were used to enjoying have been canceled, closed, or in some cases, permanently shut down. Virtual versions...

This Tiny House Is 3D Printed, Floats, and Will Last Over 100 Years

One of the world’s first 3D printed houses went up in China in 2016. At 400 square meters in size and 2 stories tall, the house took 45 days to print—and at the time,...

Your Personal Data Is Worth Money. Andrew Yang Wants to Get You Paid

Contact tracing has been a somewhat controversial tool for fighting coronavirus in the US. American consumers wanted privacy to be preserved, so Apple and Google set about devising an API that could help track...

SpaceX Wants to Build Floating Spaceports for Daily Starship Launches

The coronavirus pandemic stopped a lot of things, but it hasn’t done much to slow down SpaceX and Elon Musk. The company sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station last month in...

OpenAI’s New Text Generator Writes Even More Like a Human

In early 2019 OpenAI, a startup co-founded by Elon Musk devoted to ensuring artificial general intelligence is safe for humanity, announced it had created a neural network for natural language processing called GPT-2. In...

New Record-Crushing Battery Lasts 1.2 Million Miles in Electric Cars

Electric cars had their biggest year ever in 2019. As of the end of the year, 2.5 percent of the world’s total cars were electric. It’s a small percentage, but represents significant growth for...

Fixing What’s Broken: If We Build a Moral Economy, the Future Will Be Better

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we've been eagerly awaiting a return to normal. We want to be able to go out again, see our friends, and be in public places without feeling like we're risking...

Artificial Kidneys Are a Step Closer With This New Tech

10 percent of the global population suffers from some form of kidney disease. That includes 37 million people in the US, 100,000 of whom pass away each year awaiting a kidney transplant. Our kidneys are...

A Human-Centric World of Work: Why It Matters, and How to Build It

Long before coronavirus appeared and shattered our pre-existing “normal,” the future of work was a widely discussed and debated topic. We’ve watched automation slowly but surely expand its capabilities and take over more jobs,...

4 Non-Obvious Trends That Matter During This Pandemic

Last year at South By Southwest, author and entrepreneur Rohit Bhargava spoke to a packed auditorium about trends that, though they may not be obvious, are playing a serious role in shaping the future....

The US Government Just Invested Big in Small-Scale Nuclear Power

Amid the coronavirus lockdowns around the world, one of few positive pieces of news we’ve heard is that carbon emissions have dropped dramatically. The clearer skies and cleaner air have led to a renewed...

Forget Exercise—These Mice Got Ripped With Gene Therapy

Trying to hack fitness is a multi-million-dollar industry; we’ve all seen at least one ad featuring a purported miracle product that claims it can make people lose weight and look great—without even trying. From...

The World Food Program’s Coronavirus Fight—and How You Can Help

The coronavirus outbreak has thrown the world into turmoil. On top of the infections and deaths it’s caused, there have been significant knock-on effects on financial markets, supply chains, businesses, and livelihoods. One of the...

A Chinese Startup Is Selling Glasses for Virus Detection to US Businesses

When will lockdowns end, and what will life be like when they do? These are the questions on most of our minds today; we’ve accepted that even once restrictions ease, society won’t go back to...

This Group of Scientists Is Making Sure We’re Ready for the Next Pandemic

Ask just about anyone how the US is doing on its response to the coronavirus pandemic and you’ll get some variation of the same answer: poorly. From a shortage of tests and medical supplies...

NASA’s Plan to Build a Base Camp on the Moon Sounds Like Sci-Fi, But It’s Real

If we’re ever going to make Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars a reality, we first need to figure out an essential component of the plan: how to get there. After all, it’s somewhere...

Pop-Up Coronavirus Labs and a 5-Minute Test Take Aim at the Testing Void

Two and a half months after the first confirmed novel coronavirus case in the US, the virus has invaded the country’s east and west coasts and is quickly making its way into the center...

Do We Have to Give Up Our Personal Freedoms to Beat Coronavirus?

In late December 2019 Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, sent a WeChat message to his medical school alumni group telling them that seven people with severe respiratory and flu-like symptoms...

After Coronavirus the World Will Never Be the Same. But Maybe, It Can Be Better

Life has changed a lot in the past few days, weeks, or months, depending where you live. As efforts to contain the novel coronavirus ramp up, it’s likely going to change even more. But...

Coronavirus May Mean Automation Is Coming Sooner Than We Thought

We’re in the midst of a public health emergency, and life as we know it has ground to a halt. The places we usually go are closed, the events we were looking forward to...

Scientists Just Proved These Two Brain Networks Are Key to Consciousness

Consciousness is one of the greatest mysteries of the human species. Where and how does it originate? Why do we have it? Is it even real, or just an illusion? These questions aren’t just hard...

Tesla Is Building Its First European Factory—But It Has to Clear a Forest First

Tesla is having a banner year, and we’re not even two months in. After reaching what was an all-time high in December at a value of $393.15 per share, last Wednesday the company’s stock...

Elon Musk’s Boring Company Finishes First Tunnel for 155mph Vegas Loop

Last month I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas. I had a list of all the tech I wanted to see, talk to someone about, or try for myself, and I spent...

This Is What an AI Said When Asked to Predict the Year Ahead

“What’s past is prologue.” So says the famed quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, alleging that we can look to what has already happened as an indication of what will happen next. This idea could be...

The Weirdest, Wildest Ways We’re Using Drones—and What’s Ahead

Drones haven’t made too many headlines over the past few months, but they came back with a vengeance this week and last, with all sorts of new uses being reported. Some have the potential...

World’s Biggest 3D Printed Building Opens in Dubai

Just a few years ago, the idea of a house being spit out by a 3D printer would’ve sounded absurd to most of us. But not only have houses been 3D printed in multiple...

Microsoft’s Moonshot Plan to Reverse Its Lifetime CO2 Emissions by 2050

The alarming headlines about Australia’s bush fires over the last couple weeks have heightened the global outcry over climate change, and companies, NGOs, and governments are taking action. One of the most ambitious targets was...

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Will Power 4.5 Million Homes

Renewable energy statistics just keep topping each other. Solar power is getting cheaper. Battery storage capacity is getting better. And wind farms are getting bigger. 2019 saw the world’s biggest (at the time) offshore wind...

How Google’s New Weather AI Will Make Sure You Never Get Caught in the Rain

Among the many things we’ve become addicted to on our smartphones is checking the weather. If you’re anything like me, you open a weather app at least twice a day: in the morning to...

The Weird, the Wacky, the Just Plain Cool: Best of CES 2020

As you know if you've ever been to, heard of, or read about the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, there's no shortage of tech in any form: gadgets, gizmos, and concepts abound. You...

The Standout Tech Trends From CES 2020

Sensor-laden underwear. A toilet-paper-transporting robot. Headwear, wristwear, and bedside gadgets guaranteed to improve your sleep. These are just a few of the weirdest, wildest pieces of technology on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show...

Could Having Too Much Become a Bigger Problem Than Having Too Little?

Years ago I traveled to Juarez, Mexico for work, staying across the border in El Paso, Texas and driving back and forth each day. On the Texas side, American life bustled on as usual:...

Would You Want a Personal AI That Knows Everything About You?

A couple years ago I took part in a marketing video where I was recorded answering questions about my career path, interests, and goals. The next day, the videographer offered to show me the...

How Two Robots Learned to Grill and Serve the Perfect Hot Dog

The list of things robots can do seems to be growing by the week. They can play sports, help us explore outer space and the deep sea, take over some of our boring everyday...

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...

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