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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.

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...

California DMV Regulations May Kill the State’s Robocar Lead

Be careful what you wish for — yesterday the California DMV released its proposed regulations for the operation of robocars in California. All of this sprang from Google’s request to states that they start...

How a Robot in the Garden Might Save a Trip to Whole Foods

This summer, I started wondering what you might do to build a small farming robot to manage a home garden. I then discovered the interesting FarmBot project, which has been working on this for...

The Recipe for Generating Crazy, Innovative Ideas in Companies

Where do you get your most innovative ideas? How do you increase the rate of innovation in your company? It's probably the most important question a CEO or entrepreneur can ask. Today's post (part 1 of...
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Cybersecurity Wake-Up Call: When Kids’ Toys Get Hacked

It was not an auspicious beginning to the holiday season. On Black Friday, we learned that a hacker had broken into the servers of Chinese toymaker VTech and lifted the personal information of nearly five...

Singularity University Holiday Letter: 2015 Was Good, 2016 Will Be Great

Happy Holidays! As we reflect on 2015 and look forward to a New Year, I wanted to share updates on our progress here at Singularity University, our outlook for 2016, and to express our gratitude...
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As Technology Shakes Social Foundations, It Might Also Build New Ones [Video]

Dr. Guy Standing is a distinguished political philosopher and one of the world’s foremost experts on basic income, which he has researched and promoted since the 1980s—long before it began trending in the media. We...

The New Space Race Is Heating Up: Asteroid Mining, Reusable Rockets, and Water on Mars

Entrepreneurial space is looking up, way up. It's almost time to start drinking Tang again… This post is about three exciting developments and what they mean: The Asteroid Resource Law: President signs Asteroid Resource Law ...

Why We Need Government to Evolve as Fast as Technology

From deep learning to gene editing, the world of technology is moving fast. But at Singularity University, we believe amazing tech is only half the equation. Equally important is how we use technology. The...

Thanksgiving 2025: Technology Will Redefine What ‘Togetherness’ Is All About

This might be a controversial post. My Thanksgiving was one filled with texting, Snapchat, Skyping, Facetime, Beam robots and ringing phones. Some people HATE the way technology impacts their family at gatherings — people on digital devices...

How Recent Tech Success Stories Are Disrupting Disruption Theory

For a generation of CEOs, Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma was a guiding light on how to survive industry disruptions. His book educated business executives on where competition would emerge from and how to respond...

Hacking the Brain — Restoring Lost Abilities With the Latest Neurotechnologies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Ray Kurzweil's wild prediction that in the 2030s, nanobots will connect our brains to the cloud, merging biology with the digital world. Let's talk about what's happening today. Over...

Exponential Medicine: Healthcare Is Broken, Here’s How We’re Going Fix It

This week in San Diego, Singularity University is holding its Exponential Medicine Conference, a look at how technologists are redesigning and rebuilding today's broken healthcare system. (Editor's note: Singularity Hub will be covering Exponential Medicine...

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...

Are We Alone in the Universe? The $100 Million Search for an Answer

In the past six years, we have discovered some 1,030 planets circling distant stars, a number of which are in the "habitable zone" (i.e., not too cold, not too hot…able to sustain life). These planets, identified...

Universities Should Rethink Academic Ideals—Joining Industry Supercharges Research and Tech

The University of Virginia’s provost, Tom Katsouleas, once told me that less than one percent, by his estimates, of basic research is commercialized and that there may be as few as one near-term commercialization for...

This Is eSports: Where Pro Gamers Are YouTube Heroes and Entertainment’s New Rock Stars

As of last year, student athletes in the United States began attending universities on scholarship to play, get this, video games. I did not make this up, and if your forehead reflexively crunched in...

Why Tesla’s Autopilot and Google’s Car Are Entirely Different Animals

In the buzz over the Tesla autopilot update, a lot of commentary has appeared comparing this autopilot with Google’s car effort and other efforts and what I would call a “real” robocar — one that...

12 Industries Disrupted by Tech Companies Expanding Into New Markets

Can a company actually disrupt itself? I often say that businesses must disrupt themselves (before someone else does) to survive. The fact of the matter is: very few companies have actually successfully disrupted themselves. Instead, most successful...

Get Ready: Virtual Reality Is Arriving Well Ahead of Star Trek’s Far Future Forecast

In the television series Star Trek, virtual reality-chambers called “holodecks” take humans into computer-generated worlds where they interact with avatars — and with each other. Imagine being able to visit a distant planet or...

The Technologies ‘Back to the Future’ Got Right, Wrong, and Left Out Entirely

26 years ago, Marty McFly and Doc Brown climbed into their time-traveling flying DeLorean and set the controls to the distant future — October 21, 2015 — which happens to be this week. This is a fun...

Tesla Sends Highway Cruise Update to Recent Model S Owners

Some bigger news recently, though anticipated for a few months, was Tesla’s release of a highway cruise update for Model S cars from the last year. Tesla’s offering is not too different from what many other automakers...

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...

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