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Perspectives


Perspectives help us better understand how today’s accelerating and exponential technologies will impact us in the future. Get a new perspective on the future!

Augmented 2030: the Apps, Headsets, and Lenses Getting Us There

Today, adults in the US spend over 11 hours a day looking at screens. That counts for more than a third of our livelihoods. Yet even though they serve as a portal to 90 percent...

Introducing the Augmented World of 2030

Augmented reality is about to add a digital intelligence layer to our every surrounding, transforming retail, manufacturing, education, tourism, real estate, and almost every major industry that holds up our economy today. Just last year,...

A Brief Tour Through the Wild West of Neural Interfaces

To most of us, zapping neurons with electricity to artificially “incept” memories, sensation, and movement still sounds crazy. But in some brain labs, that technology is beginning to feel old school. As a new...

The Promise of Direct Air Capture: Making Stuff Out of Thin Air

Imagine making fuel, plastics, and concrete out of “thin air." That’s the promise of direct air capture (DAC), a technology that fundamentally disrupts our contemporary oil economy. Mimicking what already occurs in nature, DAC essentially...

The Value of Owning Your Business’s Values

Nikolay Storonsky, CEO of the UK’s hottest fintech startup Revolut, has been extremely vocal about his company’s values. “Ninety-five per cent of founders, they will bullshit you,” he told the Financial Times. “I’m not going...

Wait, What? The First Human-Monkey Hybrid Embryo Was Just Created in China

Last week, news broke that a prominent stem cell researcher is making human-monkey chimeras in a secretive lab in China. The story, first reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, has all the ingredients of...

The Age of Solar Energy Abundance Is Coming in Hot

Every five days, the sun provides the Earth with as much energy as all proven supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas. If humanity could capture just one 6,000th of Earth’s available solar energy, we’d be...

What ‘Chernobyl’ Can Teach Us About Failure

I’ve been watching the outstanding HBO series Chernobyl, which details the worst nuclear reactor meltdown in human history—an event that was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. What occurred...

The Pentagon’s New Laser-Based Tool Uses Your Heartbeat to Track You

The government’s hefty arsenal of surveillance tools just welcomed a powerful new member. Rather than monitoring an external device—a bug or a smartphone—or even the exterior features of your face, the new tech aims...

How to Deploy Tech Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenges at Scale

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” argued Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century US lecturer, philosopher, and essayist. In other words, if scientists and engineers invent...

The Futuristic Tech Disrupting Real Estate and Construction

In the wake of the housing market collapse of 2008, one entrepreneur decided to dive right into the failing real estate industry. But this time, he didn’t buy any real estate to begin with....

New Progress in Stem-Cell-Free Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine and stem cells are often uttered within the same breath, for good reason. In animal models, stem cells have reliably reversed brain damage from Parkinson’s disease, repaired severed spinal cords, or restored damaged...

5 Coming Breakthroughs in Energy and Transportation

The energy and transportation industries are being aggressively disrupted by converging exponential technologies. In just five days, the sun provides Earth with an energy supply exceeding all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas....

Forget the Anthropocene: We’ve Entered the Synthetic Age

One fact about our time is becoming increasingly well-known. No matter how far you travel, no matter in which direction you point, there is nowhere on Earth that remains free from the traces of...

The Challenge of Abundance: Boredom, Meaning, and the Struggle of Mental Freedom

As technology continues to progress, the possibility of an abundant future seems more likely. Artificial intelligence is expected to drive down the cost of labor, infrastructure, and transport. Alternative energy systems are reducing the...

Where Should We Draw the Line Between Rejecting and Embracing Black Box AI?

Deep learning is powering some amazing new capabilities, but we find it hard to scrutinize the workings of these algorithms. Lack of interpretability in AI is a common concern and many are trying to...

3 Practical Solutions to Offset Automation’s Impact on Work

In recent years, the media has sounded the alarm about mass job loss to automation and robotics—some studies predict that up to 50 percent of current jobs or tasks could be automated in coming...

How Three People With HIV Became Virus-Free Without HIV Drugs

You’re not entirely human. Our DNA contains roughly 100,000 pieces of viral DNA, totaling 8 percent of our entire genome. Most are ancient relics from long-forgotten invasions; but to HIV patients, the viral attacks are...

The Smart Cities of the Future Are Already Taking Off

By 2040, about two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa. Already, 1,000...

Why Should We Listen to Scientists?

There’s a game young children like to play when they’re just beginning to learn how to interact with the world, talk to others, and indulge their natural curiosity: it’s called the “Why?” game. Take...

Will These Massive Geoengineering Projects Fix the Earth—or Break It?

From planting continent-long forests to inducing rainfall, researchers have begun proposing, testing, and in some cases implementing large-scale geoengineering projects to radically transform the planet. These projects are designed to solve problems such as...

How Genome Sequencing and Senolytics Can Help Us Live Healthier, Longer

The causes of aging are extremely complex and unclear. With the dramatic demonetization of genome reading and editing over the past decade, and Big Pharma, startups, and the FDA starting to face aging as a...

To Extend Our Longevity, First We Must Understand Why We Age

Healthcare today is reactive, retrospective, bureaucratic, and expensive. It's sick care, not healthcare. But that is radically changing at an exponential rate. Through this multi-part blog series on longevity, I’ll take a deep dive into aging, longevity,...

Making Superhumans Through Radical Inclusion and Cognitive Ergonomics

Imagine trying to read War and Peace one letter at a time. The thought alone feels excruciating. But in many ways, this painful idea holds parallels to how human-machine interfaces (HMI) force us to...

The Milestones of Human Progress We Reached in 2018

When you look back at 2018, do you see a good or a bad year? Chances are, your perception of the year involves fixating on all the global and personal challenges it brought. In...

Virgin Galactic’s Spaceflight and the Power of Grit

Moonshots are hard. Sometimes they take decades, or cost billions of dollars, and sometimes they take human life. Early this week, I jumped in my plane and flew up to the Mojave Spaceport at 5am to...

How the Spatial Web Will Fix What’s Broken About the Internet

Converging exponential technologies will transform media, advertising and the retail world. The world we see, through our digitally-enhanced eyes, will multiply and explode with intelligence, personalization, and brilliance. This is the age of Web 3.0. Last...

Our Voting System Is Hackable. Here’s How to Secure It

The November 6, 2018 midterm elections are being widely regarded as a referendum on President Trump, but they will also serve another, less obvious purpose. The integrity of our election infrastructure is being tested....

5 Projects That Show How STEAM Can Shape the Future

We tend to compartmentalize our understanding of the world into “subjects.” From a very young age, we are misled to believe that science is separate from art, which is separate from history, which is...

Will Tech Make Insurance Obsolete in the Future?

We profit from it, we fear it, and we find it impossibly hard to quantify: risk. While not the sexiest of industries, insurance can be a life-saving protector, pooling everyone’s premiums to safeguard against some of...

Could Tech Make Government As We Know It Irrelevant?

Governments are one of the last strongholds of an undigitized, linear sector of humanity, and they are falling behind fast. Apart from their struggle to keep up with private sector digitization, federal governments are...

Instilling the Best of Human Values in AI

Now that the era of artificial intelligence is unquestionably upon us, it behooves us to think and work harder to ensure that the AIs we create embody positive human values. Science fiction is full of...

A Model for the Future of Education

As kids worldwide head back to school, I’d like to share my thoughts on the future of education. Bottom line, how we educate our kids needs to radically change given the massive potential of exponential...

How to Balance Experience and Youth for Powerful Leadership

Chip Conley is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and self-proclaimed “modern elder.” After nearly 25 years of founding and running one of the world’s most successful boutique hotel chains, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Conley joined...

Outdated Evolution: Updating Our Governments to Cope with Disruptive Technology

What happens when evolution shapes an animal for tribes of 150 primitive individuals living in a chaotic jungle, and then suddenly that animal finds itself living with millions of others in an engineered metropolis,...

The Astounding Growth of Chinese VC—and the Tech It’s Flowing Into

Over the course of the next month, I will be releasing a series of China-centered articles, leading up to my webinar with Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, one of the most plugged-in AI investors on the planet and...

Graphene and Beyond: The Astonishing Properties and Promise of 2D Materials

Since graphene was first isolated in 2004, a Nobel Prize-winning feat that sparked a whole new exciting field of materials science research, 2D materials have had all kinds of suggested applications. Now, at the...

In the Future, We’ll Know Everything—Thanks to This Tech

We’re rapidly approaching the era of abundant knowledge—a time when you can know anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want. An era of radical transparency. By 2020, it’s estimated we’ll have 50 billion...

From Here to Human-Level Artificial General Intelligence in Four (Not All That) Simple Steps

In the 15 years since I first introduced the term "artificial general intelligence" (AGI), the AI field has advanced tremendously. We now have self-driving cars, automated face recognition and image captioning, machine translation and...

Laws of Flight: As Drones Take Off, Regulation Lags

In 2014, a drone got tangled in the power lines outside a South Carolina prison carrying a small payload of marijuana and a cellphone. Police arrested a man in a nearby campsite who’d been...

What Makes People Distrust Science? Surprisingly, Not Politics

Today, there is a crisis of trust in science. Many people—including politicians and, yes, even presidents—publicly express doubts about the validity of scientific findings. Meanwhile, scientific institutions and journals express their concerns about the...

Leading With Purpose: How to Turn Your Mission Into a Movement

Jennifer Dulski is an entrepreneur, social impact change agent, and business leader. Dulski is currently the head of Facebook Groups, which helps more than a billion people participate in communities that matter to them,...

Why We Need to Fine-Tune Our Definition of Artificial Intelligence

Sophia's uncanny-valley face, made of Hanson Robotics’ patented Frubber, is rapidly becoming an iconic image in the field of artificial intelligence. She has been interviewed on shows like 60 Minutes, made a Saudi citizen,...

The Biggest New Laws to Regulate Tech Giants—and Why They Matter

The world’s first stop sign appeared in Michigan around 1915, decades after the first privately owned passenger car came into being. Ever since, laws and regulations have piled up concerning everything from insurance requirements...

Is It Moral to Seek Immortality? A Discussion at the Vatican

Earlier this month, I participated in a discussion/debate at the Vatican on the topic of “The Morality of Immortality.” The discussion was moderated by CNN medical anchor Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and included Rabbi Dr. Edward...

The Power of Unsafe Thinking to Bring Bold, World-Changing Ideas to Life

Jonah Sachs is a storyteller, entrepreneur, and “unsafe thinker.” Sachs is the founder and former CEO of Free Range studios, a pioneering creative firm that helped create some of the first viral marketing campaigns around...

Will Europe’s Looming Tech Rules Prove to Be a Template for the World?

There was a time when people bought most of the software on their computer, but this is, of course, now ancient history. Some software you still buy, but much of today’s most-used software is...

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...

3 Major Shifts Are About to Transform Manufacturing as We Know It

We are on the verge of transforming one of society’s most fundamental building blocks: manufacturing. As new technologies enable manufacturers to customize everything, these same agents are quickly turning consumers into inventors. Following the agricultural revolution some 5,000 years ago,...

Tech Optimists See a Golden Future—Let’s Talk About How We’ll Get There

Technology evangelists dream about a future where we’re all liberated from the more mundane aspects of our jobs by artificial intelligence. Other futurists go further, imagining AI will enable us to become superhuman, enhancing...

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