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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!

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...

Are ‘You’ Just Inside Your Skin or Is Your Smartphone Part of You?

In November 2017, a gunman entered a church in Sutherland Springs in Texas, where he killed 26 people and wounded 20 others. He escaped in his car, with police and residents in hot pursuit,...

How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience

There’s an unsettling premise at the heart of Joe Brewer’s life’s work. Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less...

Unleashing Some of the Most Ambitious Women on the Planet

At Singularity University, we are unleashing a generation of women who are smashing through barriers and starting some of the most ambitious technology companies on the planet. Singularity University was founded in 2008 to empower...

The Clock’s Ticking on Climate Change, and It’s Time to Get Real About Tackling It

If you’re an insomniac, this situation will probably be familiar to you. It’s the night before a big exam or job interview. You go to bed with plenty of time to spare, but sleep...

Why Startups Must Break the Failure Fetish and Focus on What Works

There is something curious going on in startup land: From learning to accept failure as part of the creative process we seem to have gone into overdrive and fetishized failure as something which is...

How Netflix and Amazon Earn Customers for Life

Robbie Baxter helps companies reinvent their businesses by shifting relationships with customers from transactional to long-term membership. Leaders in this approach, like Amazon and Netflix, are successful and resilient because they clearly identify a...

You Thought Quantum Mechanics Was Weird: Check out Entangled Time

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of...

Why Quantum Computers Will Be an Amazing Tool for Social Innovators

While most people think quantum computing is still a few years off, your next taxi ride in Bangkok may be attached to a quantum computer. Toyota Tsusho and Denso recently announced plans to use...

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