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SU Faculty


Analysis and insight from Singularity University’s faculty. Stay updated as SU faculty discuss and provide insight on many topics.

Love Your Bot, But Know It’s Always Listening

In the 2013 movie “Her,” Theodore Twombly, a lonely writer, falls in love with a digital assistant designed to meet his every need.  She sorts emails, helps get a book published, provides personal advice...

10 Tech Trends That Made the World Better in 2016

2016 was an incredible year for technology, and for humanity. Despite all the negative political-related news, there were 10 tech trends this year that positively transformed humanity. For this “2017 Kick-Off” post, I reviewed 52 weeks...

Is Virtual Reality the Surprising Solution to the Fermi Paradox?

“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 when we...

Exponential Growth Will Transform Humanity in the Next 30 Years

As we close out 2016, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to take a risk and venture into a topic I’m personally compelled to think about… a topic that will seem far out to...

This Bitcoin-Eating Plant Robot Hires Artists to Make Its Babies

This is a thing that exists in the world: a bitcoin-eating plant robot (called a plantoid), made of self-executing computer code which owns itself and hires artists to make its babies. If that sounds...

If Robots and AI Steal Our Jobs, a Universal Basic Income Could Help

Some fear that robots and AI will steal our jobs. They probably will (in the near-term, at least half of them). If that happens, what will we do for a living? How will we earn money? In...

The Brain Tech to Merge Humans and AI Is Already Being Developed

Are you scared of artificial intelligence (AI)? Do you believe the warnings from folks like Prof. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others? Is AI the greatest tool humanity will ever create, or are we “summoning the...

Will VR Disrupt the Airline Industry? Sci-Fi Show Meets Press Virtually Instead of Flying

A proposed benefit of virtual reality is that it could one day eliminate the need to move our fleshy bodies around the world for business meetings and work engagements. Instead, we’ll be meeting up...

Forget Building Walls, Technology Is Tearing Them Down

With all the talk of building walls, it seems to me that technology has actually been rapidly tearing down walls. Besides your passport, what really defines your nationality these days? Is it where you were live?...

6 Big Ways Tech Is Rewriting Society’s Rules

Technology is advancing so rapidly that we will experience radical changes in society not only in our lifetimes but in the coming years. We have already begun to see ways in which computing, sensors,...

Overhauling How We Teach Our Kids in a World of Accelerating Change

Here in L.A., it’s kind of insane that a great kindergarten requires a competitive application and tuitions that exceed most colleges. I started asking myself, given the fact that most elementary schools haven’t changed in...

5 Big Tech Trends That Will Make This Election Look Tame

If you think this election is insane, wait until 2020. I want you to imagine how, in four years' time, technologies like AI, machine learning, sensors and networks will accelerate. Political campaigns are about to get...

Medicine Will Advance More in the Next 10 Years Than It Did in the Last 100

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recently announced a $3 billion effort to cure all disease during the lifetime of their daughter, Max. Earlier this year, Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker donated $250...
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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...

Introducing the New Singularity University

To reflect everything we have become since our founding in 2008, and more importantly, to showcase and accelerate our bold vision for our future, Singularity University has undergone an extensive company-wide rebrand. We’ve updated our website...

Faster Fashion: How Making Clothes Has Become Like Making Software

Since the factory days of the Industrial Revolution, the apparel business has built up a planet-spanning supply chain with an enormous global footprint. Today, many of its manufacturing procedures, relics of its industrial past,...

Massive Disruption Is Coming With Quantum Computing

Next year, we may see the launch of the first true quantum computers. The implications will be staggering. This post aims to answer three questions: What are quantum computers? What are their implications? Who’s working on...

Now Is the Time to Ban Terminator-Like Robots

The United States has on its Aegis-class cruisers a defense system that can track and destroy anti-ship missiles and aircraft. Israel has developed a drone, the Harpy, that can detect and automatically destroy radar...

Designer Babies and the New Technology of Having Children

Recently, we looked at how exponential tech impacts sex and dating. In this post, we'll look at: Reproduction without sex Freezing your eggs to extend your reproductive timeline Designer babies Making babies without eggs Imagine a...

5 Tech Forces That Will Change Insurance for Good

Massive reductions in insurance costs are coming, along with a wave of disruption. Traditionally, insurance premiums are determined by actuaries, a function of big numbers, statistics and probabilities. That's what you have to do when you...

How Private Spaceflight Went From Impossible Dream to Epic Space Race

Elon Musk’s rocket-building company SpaceX and Jeffrey P. Bezos’s similar Blue Origins have grabbed the headlines in the space race. But there is a fascinating backstory about how the private space industry came into being. It...

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...

3 Big Trends Shaking Up the Energy Industry

We are at the cusp of an energy revolution. This post is a look at how three technologies — solar, batteries, and electric vehicles (EVs) — are poised to disrupt a $6 trillion energy industry over the...

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...
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Why No Aliens? They Live in Video Game Universes Like a Future ‘No Man’s Sky’

Evidence suggesting that our universe is tailor-made for habitable planets — ones that could reasonably support life — continues to pile up. And as humanity flings cosmos-observing technologies further into the sky, we’re developing...

Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems Are Within Our Reach

At Singularity University (SU) we believe it is possible to solve today’s most pressing problems within the next couple decades. We call these the global grand challenges (GGCs). Our ambition and optimism stem from...

Can We Meaningfully Improve Government With Experimentation?

I often speak about the importance of experimentation. What about experimenting with how we govern ourselves? As we enter election season, I'm struck by the question, can we run meaningful experiments with government: how we vote,...

This Is How the World’s Poor Are Pioneering the Future of Energy

What if it took you four hours a day to cook all your meals because, in addition to cooking, you also had to search for firewood? What if you could only work and study...

This Is the Olympics On Technology—When Enhancement Is the Norm

For the purpose of this post, I'd like to suspend moral and ethical considerations for a moment — let’s call this a fun thought experiment. As we enter Olympics season, I find myself thinking about what...

Why the Cost of Living Is Poised to Plummet in the Next 20 Years

People are concerned about how AI and robotics are taking jobs, destroying livelihoods, reducing our earning capacity, and subsequently destroying the economy. In anticipation, countries like Canada, India and Finland are running experiments to pilot...

The World Depends on Technology No One Understands

“We are in a new era, one in which we are building systems that can’t be grasped in their totality or held in the mind of a single person.” – Samuel Arbesman As a teenage...

Carpool Apps Are on the Rise—Here’s How to Make Them Go Big

The cell phone ride hail apps like Uber and Lyft are now reporting great success with actual ride-sharing, under the names UberPool, LyftLines and Lyft Carpool. In addition, a whole new raft of apps...

In a Future of Rapid Change, These 7 Things Will Stay the Same

I'm constantly inquiring about the impact of exponential change over the next 20 years. An equally important question is, what won't change over the next two decades? For entrepreneurs, understanding what is constant and what is changing can...

Man Dies in Collision While Being Driven by Tesla’s Autopilot System

A Tesla blog post describes the first fatality involving a self-drive system. A Tesla was driving on autopilot down a divided highway. A truck taking a left turn off the highway crossed into the...

Why the World Is Better Than You Think in 10 Powerful Charts

When I published Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think in February 2012, I included about 80 charts in the back of the book showing very strong evidence that the world is getting...

This Is the Tech That Will Make Learning as Addictive as Video Games

The way we learn today is just wrong. Learning needs to be less like memorization, and more like…Angry Birds. Half of school dropouts name boredom as the number one reason they left. How do we get our kids to...

Future Urban Cars Will Be Simple, Self-Driving, and Super Cheap

With Mobility on Demand, you don’t buy a car, you buy rides. That’s certainly Uber’s plan, and is a plan that makes sense for Google, Apple and other no-car companies. But even Daimler, with...

Long Promised Artificial Intelligence Is Looming—and It’s Going to Be Amazing

We have been hearing predictions for decades of a takeover of the world by artificial intelligence. In 1957, Herbert A. Simon predicted that within 10 years a digital computer would be the world’s chess...

Vital Lessons on Disruption From the Demise of Corporate Giants

This post is about how to not to be disrupted and, perhaps more importantly, how to disrupt yourself before someone else does. I had the chance to sit down with Ed McNierney, who came out of...

Machine Learning’s Next Trick Will Transform How Research Is Done

Though research is a slow moving and rigid process, one study shows that the rate of scientific study has exploded in the last 50 years. According to the paper, humanity’s scientific output now doubles...

The Hyperloop Is One Step Closer to a Full Scale Test Later This Year

Would you like to have Hyperloop in your city? I'm proud to be a founding board member of Hyperloop One (the new name for what was formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies). Last week, I was in...

Self-Driving Trucks Are Coming—Here’s Why They Make Sense

Today sees the un-stealthing of a new company called Otto which plans to build self-driving systems for long haul trucks. The company has been formed by a skilled team, including former members of Google’s...

Nanorobots: Where We Are Today and Why Their Future Has Amazing Potential

This post is a status update on one of the most powerful tools humanity will ever create: nanotechnology (or nanotech). My goal here is to give you a quick overview of the work going on in...

Fighting Developing World Disease With AI, Robotics, and Biotech

While CRISPR, nanobots and head transplants are making headlines as medical breakthroughs, a number of new technologies are also making progress tackling some of the toughest age-old diseases still plaguing millions of people in...

Solar Power Is Ready to Dominate Energy Thanks to New Tech

In the next 20 years, between 50 percent to 100 percent of the world's energy production could come from solar. Today, the global oil and natural gas industry is about a $4 trillion business. It's big...

Disruption’s Dark Side: Lessons From the Misadventures of a Tech-Savvy NBA Executive

“Negative advice is vastly more important than positive advice.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb Sam Hinkie, an NBA executive known for his love of advanced sports technologies, just quit his job — ending one of...

Design Sprints — the Secret to Rapidly Developing Products Customers Actually Want

This post will teach you the process of running a design sprint — a method developed by Jake Knapp, a partner at Google Ventures — to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five...

What Would Happen If Elon Musk Ran Apple?

Apple’s dismal earnings announcement shows why it badly needs to rethink its innovation model and leadership. Its last breakthrough innovation was the iPhone — which was released in 2007. Since then, Apple has simply...
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These New Technologies Will Be Both Powerful and Planet Friendly

Did you know there is a 25% chance your cause of death will be due to environmental pollution? According the World Health Organization, some 12.6 million people—or nearly 1 in 4 worldwide—died in 2012 due...

How to Run Wild Experiments Just Like (Google) X

This post explores how to run great experiments in your company, based on recent conversations with my friend Astro Teller, Chief of Moonshots at "X" (formally Google X, Google's R&D factory). X's mission is to invent and...

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