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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.

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...

How the Next Wonders of the World Will Be Built in Space

On April 12th, 1961 Yuri Gagarin launched into space on a Vostok rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, becoming the first person ever to leave the planet. Here’s the crazy thing: today’s astronauts travel to space...

The Secrets of X: These 5 Principles Will Help Your Company Make Moonshots Happen

This post explores the inside workings of "X" (formally Google X, Google's R&D factory) through conversations with my friend Astro Teller, chief of moonshots. If you want to create a successful, hyper-growth company around solving tough...

Four Key Ingredients Startups Need to Get Right (Hint: They’re All About Culture)

If you want to create a successful, hyper-growth company, you've got to focus on creating the right culture and learning how to rapidly experiment. In this blog, I discuss these two key subjects with Jeff...

What Made These Amazing Companies So Disruptive? They All Built Platforms

A trait shared by the fastest growing and most disruptive companies in history — Google, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and eBay—is that they aren’t focused on selling products, they are building platforms. The ability to...

The Next Water Crisis Is Looming—How Can Tech Help?

Have you ever wondered if the water in your house is safe to drink? While many have been angered by the news that children in Flint, Michigan were exposed to abnormally high amounts of...

No One Plans Our World—and That’s a Good Thing

“If there is one dominant myth about the world…it is that we all go around assuming the world is much more of a planned place than it is.”—Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything For those...

6 Reasons Why Industry Needs to Be Agile as Software to Survive

On hearing words like “industry” and “manufacturing” most of us probably picture sprawling assembly lines, heavy machinery, groaning metal, and flying sparks. Few of us likely envision gazelles or fighter jets—agility and manufacturing don’t...

Robot Revolution: These Are the Breakthroughs You Should Watch

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (sixth in a series of seven) is a look at robotics. Be sure to read the first five posts if...

How 3D Printing Is Transforming the Way We Make Things

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (five of seven) is a look at 3D printing. Future posts will look at other tech areas, and be...

As Technology Barrels Ahead—Will Ethics Get Left in the Dust?

The battle between the FBI and Apple over the unlocking of a terrorist’s iPhone will likely require Congress to create new legislation. That’s because there really aren’t any existing laws which encompass technologies such...

Google’s Robot Car Crash Is a Very Positive Sign

Reports released reveal that one of Google’s Gen-2 vehicles (the Lexus) has had a fender-bender (with a bus) with some responsibility assigned to the system. This is the first crash of this type —...

Drones Have Reached a Tipping Point—Here’s What Happens Next

Unexpected convergent consequences...this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (four of seven) is a look at drones. Future posts will look at other tech areas, and...

The Near Future of VR and AR: What You Need to Know

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the third of seven) is a look at virtual and augmented reality. Future posts will look at...

In the Future, Ownerless Companies Will Live on the Blockchain

Among niche groups of computer scientists, the buzz surrounding blockchain has reached levels normally designated for Elon Musk. The technology is in its early and technically complicated stage of development, but experts say it’s...

Where Artificial Intelligence Is Now and What’s Just Around the Corner

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the second of seven) is a look at artificial intelligence. Future posts will look at other tech...

When the World Is Wired: The Magic of the Internet of Everything

Unexpected convergent consequences: This is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. An expert might be reasonably good at predicting the growth of a single exponential technology (e.g.,...

Ready to Change the World? Apply Now for Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program

I’m putting out the call for brilliant entrepreneurs who want to enroll in Singularity University’s GSP (Global Solutions Program). The GSP is where you’ll take your existing startup idea, or a new one you create,...

‘Wait But Why’: Elon Musk’s Favorite Blog Makes Good Ideas Available to Everyone, With Cartoons

“The more 1000% authentic you are, the more you have monopoly over what you’re doing. Just be your weird self, and just be all of that. Either the world loves it, and there is...

Bitcoin Is Damaged Beyond Repair, and We Badly Need a Replacement

Not long ago, venture capitalists were talking about how Bitcoin was going to transform the global currency system and render governments powerless to police monetary transactions. Now the cryptocurrency is fighting for survival. The...

The Top Technology Stories You’ll Be Reading in 2016

For the past century, the price and performance of computing has been on an exponential curve.  And as futurist Ray Kurzweil observed, once any technology becomes an information technology, its development follows the same...

Why Is Tech Accelerating? We Use Already Powerful Tools to Build Even Better Ones

No doubt you've heard of Moore's Law. What you might not realize is that Moore's Law only refers to the exponential price-performance improvements of integrated circuits (over the last 50 years). Did you know that exponential...

Facebook’s First Effort at Free Internet Is Just Another Walled Garden

Mark Zuckerberg is taking intense fire in India over an initiative that his organization Internet.org launched, to provide limited Internet access to the masses. He seems genuine in his desire to bring digital equality...

10 Most Exciting SciTech Advances of 2015

As we near the end of 2015, here are my top 10 picks for 2015 technology breakthroughs. These genius inventions are sending us careening into a world of abundance, bold visionaries and accelerating exponential change. My...

Six Technologies That Hit Their Tipping Points in 2015

To the average person, it may seem that the biggest technology advances of 2015 were the larger smartphone screens and small app updates. But a lot more happened than that. A broad range of...

Rumored Google-Ford Deal, Low-End Robocars, and Tesla’s Backslide

Yahoo Autos is reporting rumours that Google and Ford will announce a partnership at CES. Google has always said it doesn’t want to build the cars, and Ford makes sense as a partner —...

Apple Pay Poised for Dominance and What That Means for the Future of Credit Cards

Apple Pay was launched last year, with lots of fanfare and support by the credit card industry. Partnering with the banks that issue credit cards overcame the resistance that early entrants in mobile payments...

On the Origin of Truly Innovative Ideas

Last week, I wrote about increasing innovation in your company. This week, in Part 2, we'll talk about how to create the right environment and incentives for innovation to flourish. Today's post outlines a few key ideas...
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Stay Tuned for the Technological Transformation of Governance

For a decade or more, many people have understood that educational technologies are likely to change how we teach and how our schools work. People can also see how medical technologies will impact the...

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