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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


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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OpenAI’s GPT-3 Wrote This Short Film—Even the Twist at the End

OpenAI’s text generating AI has gotten a lot of buzz since its release in June. It’s been used to post comments on Reddit, write a poem roasting Elon Musk, and even write an entire...

How Future AI Could Recognize a Kangaroo Without Ever Having Seen One

AI is continuously taking on new challenges, from detecting deepfakes (which, incidentally, are also made using AI) to winning at poker to giving synthetic biology experiments a boost. These impressive feats result partly from...

NASA’s About to Try Grabbing a Chunk of Asteroid to Bring to Earth—and You Can Watch

If you’ve seen the movie The Martian, you no doubt remember the rescue scene, in which (spoiler alert!) Matt Damon launches himself off Mars in a stripped-down rocket in hopes of his carefully-calculated trajectory...

Alphabet’s New Moonshot Is to Transform How We Grow Food

In the 1940s, agronomist Norman Borlaug was tasked by the US government with improving the yield of wheat plants in Mexico. The thinking was that if America’s southern neighbor had better food security, relations...

A Ridiculously Huge New Solar Farm Just Came Online in China

The Chinese economy has suffered as a result of the pandemic, but one sector that’s forging full-steam ahead is energy. Last week saw the opening of a massive new solar farm—the second-largest in the...

A New Factory in France Will Mass-Produce Bugs as Food

Though the world’s population is no longer predicted to grow as much as we thought by the end of this century, there are still going to be a lot more people on Earth in...
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These Robotic Virtual Reality Boots Make It Feel Like You’re Walking While You Stay in Place

Last year I did a VR experience meant to simulate what it’s like to be at the US-Mexico border wall. The tall, foreboding wall towered above me, and as I turned from side to...

This Tiny Electric Car Is Selling Like Hot Cakes in China

Though far too many sectors of the economy have suffered enormous losses during the coronavirus pandemic, a few are doing alright. One of those is car sales. It’s sort of counter-intuitive—because with everything closed,...

‘The Social Dilemma’ Will Freak You Out—But There’s More to the Story

Is social media ruining the world? Dramatic political polarization. Rising anxiety and depression. An uptick in teen suicide rates. Misinformation that spreads like wildfire. The common denominator of all these phenomena is that they’re fueled in...

Airbus Just Unveiled Three New Zero-Emission Concept Aircraft

Air travel has plummeted during the pandemic; not only do a lot of people not feel safe being in airports or on planes, but with everything we used to do being closed or canceled,...

Microsoft Had a Crazy Idea to Put Servers Under Water—and It Totally Worked

A little over two years ago, a shipping container-sized cylinder bearing Microsoft’s name and logo was lowered onto the ocean floor off the northern coast of Scotland. Inside were 864 servers, and their submersion...

This Startup Is Growing Sushi-Grade Salmon From Cells in a Lab

As the ills of factory farming become more pronounced, people are increasingly gravitating towards vegetarian or pescatarian diets. Besides producing a large percentage of our total greenhouse gas emissions, raising livestock uses up a...

Walmart Is Piloting Drone Delivery in North Carolina

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to quickly adapt to circumstances that were unimaginable a year ago. Companies are finding new ways to do business, and in the process we’re seeing an acceleration of...

Uber Wants to Go All-Electric by 2030. It Won’t Be Easy

The coronavirus pandemic has been an all-around nightmare, but there are a few silver linings. One of these is a renewed focus on the environment. Emissions plummeted worldwide when countries went into lockdown in...

Microsoft’s New Deepfake Detector Puts Reality to the Test

The upcoming US presidential election seems set to be something of a mess—to put it lightly. Covid-19 will likely deter millions from voting in person, and mail-in voting isn’t shaping up to be much...

Waymo Just Started Testing Its Driverless Trucks in Texas

It’s been almost four years since Uber shipped 50,000 cans of beer across Colorado in a self-driving truck. It was the first-ever commercial shipment completed using self-driving technology. Now competitor Waymo is launching a...

Facebook Wants to Make Smart Robots to Explore Every Nook and Cranny of Your Home

“Hey Alexa, turn on the kitchen light.” “Hey Alexa, play soothing music at volume three.” “Hey Alexa, tell me where to find my keys.” You can ask an Alexa or Google home assistant questions about facts, news,...

6G Will Be 100 Times Faster Than 5G—and Now There’s a Chip for It

Though 5G—a next-generation speed upgrade to wireless networks—is scarcely up and running (and still nonexistent in many places) researchers are already working on what comes next. It lacks an official name, but they’re calling...

A Norwegian Startup Is Turning Dry Deserts Into Fertile Cropland

The UN population forecast predicts that by 2050 there will be almost 10 billion people on the planet. They’ll live mostly in cities and have an older median age than the current global population....

These Sleek Houses Are 3D Printed, and They Fit in Your Backyard

If you’d told me ten years ago that I could go live in a house built by a giant concrete-spitting 3D printer, I not only would’ve thought you were crazy, I wouldn’t have known...

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