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Futurist


Optimistically envisioning a future that will arrive sooner than expected. Our futurist section has insight and perspective on how to think like a futurist.

Traditional Advertising Is Soon to Be History. Here’s What Will Replace It

This year (2018), the global advertising industry is projected to surpass $550 billion. Advertising revenues have driven Google’s valuation to >$700 billion, and Facebook to >$500 billion. All of that is about to change. What...

Plasma, the Mysterious (And Powerful) Fourth Phase of Matter

When I was in elementary school, my teacher told me that matter exists in three possible states: solid, liquid, and gas. She neglected to mention plasma, a special kind of electrified gas that’s a...

Is the Secret to Significantly Longer Life Hidden in Our Cells?

Once upon a time, a powerful Sumerian king named Gilgamesh went on a quest, as such characters often do in these stories of myth and legend. Gilgamesh had witnessed the death of his best...

Stephen Hawking: Martin Rees Looks Back on Colleague’s Spectacular Success Against All Odds

Soon after I enrolled as a graduate student at Cambridge University in 1964, I encountered a fellow student, two years ahead of me in his studies, who was unsteady on his feet and spoke...

What If the AI Revolution Is Neither Utopia nor Apocalypse, but Something in Between?

Why does everyone assume that the AI revolution will either lead to a fiery apocalypse or a glorious utopia, and not something in between? Of course, part of this is down to the fact that...

The Power to Upgrade Our Own Biology Is in Sight—But Is Society Ready for Human Enhancement?

Upgrading our biology may sound like science fiction, but attempts to improve humanity actually date back thousands of years. Every day, we enhance ourselves through seemingly mundane activities such as exercising, meditating, or consuming...

Why the Rise of Self-Driving Vehicles Will Actually Increase Car Ownership

It’s been a long time coming. For years Waymo (formerly known as Google Chauffeur) has been diligently developing, driving, testing and refining its fleets of various models of self-driving cars. Now Waymo is going...

Here’s the Tech That Could One Day Track, Boost, or Erase Human Memory

Human memories are notoriously fallible. We forget things, misremember things, and often don’t even know what we no longer know. What if there was a way to flip through the catalog of our precious memories...

Machines Teaching Each Other Could Be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI

“The easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens.” – James Burke, Science Historian During an October 2015 press conference announcing the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S, which allowed the car to...

If Work Dominated Your Every Moment Would Life Be Worth Living?

Imagine that work had taken over the world. It would be the centre around which the rest of life turned. Then all else would come to be subservient to work. Then slowly, almost imperceptibly,...

When Will We Finally Achieve True Artificial Intelligence?

The field of artificial intelligence goes back a long way, but many consider it was officially born when a group of scientists at Dartmouth College got together for a summer, back in 1956. Computers...

3 Dangerous Ideas From Ray Kurzweil

Recently, I interviewed my friend Ray Kurzweil at the Googleplex for a 90-minute webinar on disruptive and dangerous ideas, a prelude to my fireside chat with Ray at Abundance 360 this January. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaOfLtoaKqw] Ray is my friend...

How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

At some point in the future—and in some ways we are already seeing this—the amount of physical stuff moving around the world will peak and begin to decline. By “stuff,” I am referring to...

Why the World Is (Still) Better Than You Think—New Evidence For Abundance

Your mindset matters — now more than ever. We are in the midst of a drug epidemic. The drug? Negative news. The drug pushers? The media. As I wrote in Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, we pay...

The Coming Creativity Explosion Belongs to the Machines

Does creativity make human intelligence special? It may appear so at first glance. Though machines can calculate, analyze, and even perceive, creativity may seem far out of reach. Perhaps this is because we find it...

7 Critical Skills for the Jobs of the Future

We live in a world of accelerating change. New industries are constantly being born and old ones are becoming obsolete. A report by the World Economic Forum reveals that almost 65 percent of the...

The Future of Flying Cars: Science Fact or Science Fiction?

Uber has shaken up the taxi industry and is trying to put driverless cars on our roads. Now the company aims to have flying ride-sharing vehicles in our skies by 2020. Uber is not alone...

If We Can See the Future We Want, We Can Shape It Too

Alida Draudt and Julia Rose West are not only co-authors, business partners, and best of friends, but most importantly, they have differing points of view—which is ideal for two budding Silicon Valley futurists. Alida currently...

How Leaders Dream Boldly to Bring New Futures to Life

This article is part of a new series exploring the skills leaders must learn to make the most of rapid change in an increasingly disruptive world. The first article in the series, “How the...

The Cities of the Future Are Smart, Green, Connected Innovation Hubs

Humanity has come a long way since the very first cities began to emerge about ten thousand years ago. Today, places like New York, Tokyo and Dubai are centers of innovation and human progress....
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Answers to 4 Big Questions About the Future [Video]

I give over 50 keynotes per year. My favorite part is fielding the crazy questions at the end. In fact, I love answering questions about exponentials and abundance so much that I've been encouraging my...

The Future of Sex, Dating, and Finding a Mate

Sex is one of the most powerful, fundamental human drives. It's caused wars… built and destroyed kingdoms. It occupies a significant percentage of most people's thoughts. As such, it's worth a conversation about how exponential technologies will...

The Future of Healthcare Is Arriving—8 Exciting Areas to Watch

As faculty chair for Medicine and Neuroscience at Singularity University and curator of our annual Exponential Medicine conference (apply to join us this Oct 8–11th), I cross paths with many technologies which have potential...

Ray Kurzweil Predicts Three Technologies Will Define Our Future

This is the last in a four-part series looking at the big ideas in Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near. ​Be sure to read the other articles: Will the End of Moore’s Law Halt...

How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future

This is the third in a four-part series looking at the big ideas in Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near. ​Be sure to read the other articles: Will the End of Moore’s Law Halt Computing’s...
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Future of Learning Series Wrap-Up: 8 Takes on How Tech Is Impacting Education

Over the past several weeks, we have been writing about how technology is impacting education as part of our 'Future of Learning' series. Our contributors explored the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly fast-paced digital...
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Argentina’s Plan to Grow a Culture of Innovation From the Classroom Up

Last week, the people of Argentina elected a new president. Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, billed himself as the candidate of change during his presidential run, even naming the alliance of parties supporting...

Higher Ed Has Failed Students—Here’s How We Plan to Fix It

Higher education, in general, fails students in three ways. It does not prepare students to succeed in life after college. The cost is significant and students often go into debt or work to put...

Automation Is Eating Jobs, But These Skills Will Always Be Valued In the Workplace

If you’d asked farmers a few hundred years ago what skills their kids would need to thrive, it wouldn’t have taken long to answer. They’d need to know how to milk a cow or plant...
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How Would Today’s Smartest Teens Overhaul Education? We Asked Them

What happens when you gather 14 of the world’s brightest teenagers at Singularity University and ask them to design the future of education? During last summer’s Exponential Youth Camp  (XYC) pilot here at SU,...
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3 Ways Exponential Technologies Are Impacting the Future of Learning

“Simply put, we can’t keep preparing children for a world that doesn’t exist.” -Cathy N. Davidson Exponential technologies have a tendency to move from a deceptively slow pace of development to a disruptively fast pace. We...

Online Education in 2025: Here’s What to Expect

What will online education look like in 10 years? That's a good question, and we're about to make some predictions. But first, to keep our perspective, let's talk about a few predictions that in hindsight,...
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LIVESTREAM: ‘Future of Learning’ Event Live Tonight at 6pm PST

If you can't join us in person for our Future of Learning event this evening at Singularity University, don't worry. You can watch the livestream from the comfort of your own home or office. During this fun evening...

The Virtual Reality Renaissance: How Learning in VR Will Inspire Action Like Never Before

Humanity is standing on a precipice. We have never been closer to achieving a world where everyone has the ability to live and thrive. Biotech, nanotech and AI promise to reshape the world and...

How Tech Can Make Entrepreneurship Safe for the Poor

What is the future of learning? That will depend on where you live and how old you are. In high-income countries for school-aged youth, it might come in the form of adaptive, digital content...

Future of Learning Series Launches Today

Join us at Singularity University on Thursday, November 5 for an interactive panel and workshop on the Future of Learning.   In a study released in 2003, the Berkeley School of Information found that in the...

Ray Kurzweil’s Wildest Prediction: Nanobots Will Plug Our Brains Into the Web by the 2030s

I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person. Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing. He has also made...

Put Down the Textbook: How VR Is Reimagining Classroom Education

We’ve spent the last month investigating many angles within virtual reality—from its implications on the web, to how VR can create peak emotional experiences on demand, to discussing whether it is okay if we...

A Maker’s Guide to the Metaverse

The virtual reality renaissance that is now underway is creating much excitement surrounding the potential arrival of the “metaverse.” As I write, four great technology titans are competing to bring affordable head-mounted displays to...
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Beyond Games: Why VR Will Soon Be Vitally Important to Healthcare

Virtual reality (VR) is the new buzzword , capturing the imagination of a new generation of early adopters, technologists and gamers. With its early roots in the 1950s simulation community, there have been...

How We’re Battling Virtual Reality’s Dreaded Simulator Sickness

Like many other eager early adopters, my first encounter with virtual reality headsets began with heart-pounding excitement, and ended in nightmarish nausea. To an unfortunate subpopulation of people, virtual reality’s side effects are no joke....

We Can’t Find Any Alien Neighbors and Virtual Reality Might Be to Blame

“If the transcension hypothesis is correct, inner space, not outer space, is the final frontier for universal intelligence. Our destiny is density.” – John Smart Only decades into our “age of cosmology” — the moment...

How You Watch Sports Is About to Change Forever With Virtual Reality

We live in an era of unprecedented global interest in live sports. The 2015 Cricket World Cup quarter final between India and Pakistan drew an estimated TV audience of 1 billion people, or 14% of...
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Interview: Nonny de la Peña “Godmother of VR” on How VR Will Transform News and Journalism

Nonny de la Peña has been called "The Godmother of Virtual Reality." Facebook's acquisition of Oculus may have spawned a VR goldrush among tech giants and start-ups alike, but Nonny de la Peña was in the...

Step Inside the Virtual Universe—How VR Will Transform the Web

A little over a year ago, a small team was formed within Mozilla's research arm with a mandate to explore the intersection of virtual reality and the open web. What would the combination of...

Your Doctor Can Now Examine an Exact 3D Replica of Your Heart in Virtual Reality

Not so long ago, the only way to see what was going on inside a person’s body involved something sharp. Now, we can image the body’s organs without a single incision. However, though we’ve made...

How Can Virtual Reality Improve the Quality of Life for People Around the World?

Every so often we post discussion questions here on Singularity Hub hoping to drive an interesting conversation. Today, I’d like to do a different type of discussion: a brainstorm session. Since the beginning of August, we’ve...
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Beyond Sight: The Gadgets Bringing Our Bodies Into Virtual Reality

When it comes to virtual reality, seeing is believing. But after those first few fascinated moments, you realize something: Seeing is often all you’ll be doing. Although nailing virtual visuals is very likely the tipping...

Will Virtual Reality Headsets Transition from Gaming Accessories to Cybernetic Devices?

“A well designed game can even transcend reality and transplant the player into the world of the game, putting us into different bodies, different times, and different places.” — Dave Beaudoin It’s hard to discuss the...
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Experience These Four Cutting-Edge VR Demos For Yourself

As part of our month-long Future of Virtual Reality series, we want to highlight the most interesting, innovative work in VR today; and we want you to try it for yourself. Chris Milk’s content company VRSE...

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