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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.

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...

The Future of Health and Medicine: In Your Pocket, Continuous, and Connected to the Cloud

Take a deep dive into the convergence of technology and the future of healthcare at Singularity University's sixth Exponential Medicine program November 9-12th at the magical Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. Join over 60 world class faculty, 50...

Robocars Are at Peak Hype: But What They’ll Actually Look Like Inside May Surprise Carmakers

Recently, I attended the “Silicon Valley reinvents the wheel” conference by the Western Automotive Journalists which had a variety of talks and demonstrations of new car technology. Now that robocars have hit the top of the...

These Technologies Will Shift the Global Balance of Power in the Next 20 Years

Governments, businesses, and economists have all been caught off guard by the geopolitical shifts that happened with the crash of oil prices and the slowdown of China’s economy. Most believe that the price of...

How to Find Something You Would Die for, and Live for It

This post is about achieving "significance" during exponential times. Significance is the feeling that your life (and your work) has had a meaningful and lasting impact. And today, during these exponential times, that impact can be greater...

A Genomics Revolution: Evolution by Natural Selection to Evolution by Intelligent Direction

Humanity is moving from evolution by natural selection (Darwinism) to evolution by intelligent direction. For most of human history, our average age was only about 26 years old. We would procreate at age 13, live just...

A Key Moment In Kenya: What Ed Tech Can Learn From the GMO Backlash

A trailblazing educational technology initiative backed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the World Bank has been stopped in its tracks by the government of Kenya. When it launched in 2009, Bridge International Academies served...

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will...

How VR and AR Will Reinvent Consumer Electronics, Education, and Retail

We live in an age of disruption — industries will be transformed. This post (part 2 of 3) is a quick look at three multibillion-dollar industries (consumer electronics, education, retail) that are ripe for disruption this decade...

Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences

In April 2015, a paper by Chinese scientists about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo rocked the scientific world and set off a furious debate. Leading scientists warned that altering...

The 3 Major Industries AI and Big Data Will Reshape This Decade

We live in an age of disruption — and that's a good thing. Industries will be transformed. Major companies will fall. Old systems will collapse as entrepreneurs figure out how to optimize and reinvent inefficient businesses, products,...

Question Everything: Your Company’s Biggest Problems Are Its Biggest Opportunities

The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities. This also holds true for you. This post is a fun formula for fixing your problems while at the same time creating incredibly powerful startups. Advice to CEOs...

Disrupting Regulation: Robot Cars, Blockchain and Robotic Pharmacies

In recent years, regulators and lawmakers have been caught off guard by quick-moving new technologies—3D printed guns, genetically modified glowing plants, new business models for sharing economy companies and drones. As the pace of technological innovation...

A Peek at Some of the Coolest Companies in the SU Universe

"Want to become a billionaire? Then help a billion people." "The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities." Both of these statements are the way I describe the premise of Singularity University's Graduate Studies...

We Can’t Find Any Alien Neighbors and Virtual Reality Might Be to Blame

“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...

Why Email Is Broken—and What Will Replace It

If you need to communicate something important to a friend, do you call? Visit? Email? Text? Skype? WhatsApp? Snap? Tweet? Message on Facebook or LinkedIn? How we communicate in exponential times is changing. This post is about...

Why Reorganizing Google Is Essential for Its Survival

It used to be that businesses could see their competition coming and anticipate the threats. Clayton Christensen, with his theory of “disruptive innovation,” taught that a new entrant attacked a market leader by launching...

You Have a Notification: Welcome to the 24/7 Work Culture

Netflix recently announced an unlimited paid-leave policy that allows employees to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. It is trying to one-up...

Learning in an Era of Abundant Information and Fleeting Expertise

How to learn is changing, and it's changing fast. In the past, we used to learn by doing — we called them apprenticeships. Then the model shifted, and we learned by going to school. Now, it's going...

3D Computer Interfaces Will Amaze—Like Going From DOS to Windows

Today, we spend as much time immersed in the digital world as we do the real world. But our computer interfaces are flawed. They force us to work in 2D rectangles instead of our...

The Billion-Dollar Trait Behind Airbnb, Instagram, and Pinterest

An overnight success… after 10 years of hard work. That's the story for my founding XPRIZE and co-founding Zero-G. It's also the story of Airbnb, Instagram, Pinterest and a lot of other startups. People often forget how...

How Stem Cells May Save Your Life—and Even Extend It

You are a collection of over 30 trillion human cells. Every one of these cells, those in your brain, lungs, liver, skin, and everywhere else, derives from a single pluripotent type of cell called a...

When Machines Can Do Most Jobs—Passion, Creativity, and Reinvention Rule

Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined...

What the Next Generation Needs to Thrive in Exponential Times

How do you raise kids today during these exponential times? Should they learn a second language… in a world of instant translation? Should they ever memorize any fact… in a world of ubiquitous Google? Will college even...

How Technology Is Crash Landing in Our Public Schools

Do we have an adequate system for sorting through the ten thousand plus different educational technology materials and programs available for integration into our public school systems? No. In fact, we do not have a...

Should We Redesign Capitalism to Address Our Jobless Future?

“There are more net jobs in the world today than ever before, after hundreds of years of technological innovation and hundreds of years of people predicting the death of work. The logic on this...

Will Robocars Vastly Increase Battery Life?

We know electric cars are getting better and likely to get popular even when driven by humans. Tesla, at its core, is a battery technology company as much as it’s a car company, and...

Why Entrepreneurs, Not Government, Drive Innovation

It's sad that the U.S. government doesn't fund risky research anymore. After all, "the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea"… and if you're not funding crazy ideas, you're stuck with...

Can We Control Our Technological Destiny—Or Are We Just Along For the Ride?

“Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world…” – Marshall McLuhan A standard assumption of technological progress is that new innovations are born in our mind, and we humans choose which of...

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