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Tech


Analysis and insight on tech. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends related to exponential and accelerating technologies.

Silicon Is Reaching Its Limits. Up Next: Carbon Nanotubes

Silicon has powered the information age, but it’s reaching its physical limits. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) hold a lot of promise as a replacement if we can get around some key obstacles—and the designers of...

The Internet Is a Force of Nature. It’s Our Job to Civilize It.

We’re a long way from the halcyon days of the early internet, when the promise of a decentralized digital communications network meant anyone could talk to anyone without appealing to the gatekeepers. Knowledge would...

Harvard’s Smart Exo-Shorts Talk to the Cloud to Help You Walk and Run

Exosuits don’t generally scream “fashionable” or “svelte.” Take the mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton that allowed a paraplegic man to kick off the World Cup back in 2014. Is it cool? Hell yeah. Is it practical?...

Watch China’s New Hybrid AI Chip Power an Autonomous Bike

When I lived in Beijing back in the 90s, a man walking his bike was nothing to look at. But today, I did a serious double-take at a video of a bike walking his...

How Tech Can Help Curb Emissions by Planting 500 Billion New Trees

Trees are a low-tech, high-efficiency way to offset much of humankind’s negative impact on the climate. What’s even better, we have plenty of room for a lot more of them. A new study conducted by...

Alphabet Releases Its Master Plan for Toronto’s New Smart City

Ever dreamed of living in a giant experiment? If so, Toronto may be the city for you. Sidewalk Labs has released blueprints for its proposed waterfront smart city and, depending who you ask, it’s...

Virtual Influencers Are on the Rise. How Far Will Their Influence Go?

In early April 2019, something was suddenly very different about Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Instagram account. In lieu of retro-style pictures of chicken, a decidedly 21st century Colonel Sanders with "Secret Recipe For Success" tattooed...

Facebook Claims Libra Offers Economic Empowerment to Billions—an Economist Is Skeptical

Facebook is joining the cryptocurrency craze. Should we be concerned? The social network site on June 18 said it’s launching a new cryptocurrency called Libra with the help of 27 partners, including MasterCard, Visa, ebay,...

From Miniature Satellites to Giant Sun Shields–the Extreme Technology Transforming Space Engineering

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing. This was possible thanks to an extraordinary acceleration of space technology. Within a remarkably short period of time leading up to the...

Graphene (With a Twist) Is Helping Scientists Understand Superconductors

Graphene is a highly unconventional substance. After all, how many other Nobel-Prize-winning breakthroughs are made by scientists messing around on a Friday night with some sticky tape? Since then, graphene—and a whole family of...

SpaceX’s Starlink Launch and the Race for Global Internet Coverage

I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them, but they were only satellites it’s wrong to wish on space hardware. – Billy Bragg There’s a mini-constellation of new satellites in the sky. SpaceX has launched...

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...

Revolt on the Horizon? How Young People Really Feel About Digital Technology

As digital technologies facilitate the growth of both new and incumbent organizations, we have started to see the darker sides of the digital economy unravel. In recent years, many unethical business practices have been...

Coming of Age in the Age of AI: The First Fully Digital Generation

The first generation to grow up entirely in the 21st century will never remember a time before smartphones or smart assistants. They will likely be the first children to ride in self-driving cars, as...

12 Ways Big Tech Can Take Big Action on Climate Change

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have invested $1 billion in Breakthrough Energy to fund next-generation solutions to tackle climate. But there is a huge risk that any successful innovation will only reach the market...

5G Is Here. What Does That Mean for Exponential Tech?

5G, hailed as the future of connectivity, is now a reality. Over the last months, the first 5G networks have been rolled out in South Korea and the US. While initial impressions are mixed,...

Solving a Math Problem Just Brought Holograms Closer to Reality

Holograms are a staple in science fiction, but creating ones detailed enough to have serious applications in the real world has proved difficult. While scientists have been slowly pushing the field of holographic projection...

A Bus-Sized Robot Will Soon Be Mining the Ocean Floor

Four kilometers below sea level between Mexico and Hawaii sit vast deposits of rare metals central to technologies like renewable energy and computing. The deposits have long enticed entrepreneurs while confounding engineers tasked with...

Intel Is Building the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer

A supercomputer capable of a quintillion operations a second will go online in 2021 after the US government handed Intel and supercomputer manufacturer Cray a contract to build an exascale computer called Aurora. This...

Top Takeaways From The Economist Innovation Summit

Over the past few years, the word 'innovation’ has degenerated into something of a buzzword. In fact, according to Vijay Vaitheeswaran, US business editor at The Economist, it’s one of the most abused words...

IBM Introduces ‘Quantum Volume’ to Track Progress Towards the Quantum Age

Quantum computing companies are racing to squeeze ever more qubits into their devices, but is this really a solid sign of progress? IBM is proposing a more holistic measure it calls “quantum volume” (QV)...

Where Is Amazon Headed With Its Self-Driving Car Initiatives?

The list of companies pursuing self-driving vehicles keeps on growing. On it, you find many companies that might initially come as a surprise—including Amazon. Amazon’s statement about its recent investment in self-driving vehicle startup Aurora...

The World’s Most Valuable AI Companies, and What They’re Working On

It recognizes our faces. It knows the videos we might like. And it can even, perhaps, recommend the best course of action to take to maximize our personal health. Artificial intelligence and its subset of...

Quantum Computing, Now and in the (Not Too Distant) Future

Fifty years ago, smartphones would have been the ultimate computing wizardry. Just as classical computers were almost unimaginable to previous generations, we’re now facing the birth of an entirely new type of computation, something...

The Next Data-Driven Healthtech Revolution

Increasing your healthspan (i.e. making 100 years old the new 60) will depend to a large degree on artificial intelligence. And, as we saw in last week’s blog, healthcare AI systems are extremely data-hungry. Fortunately, a...

Programming Self-Driving Cars Makes People Less Selfish

Self-driving cars are just around the corner, but working out the rules that should govern them is proving tricky. Should they mimic often self-interested human decision making, or be programmed to consider the greater...

Are We Ready for a Sky Full of Drones? Recent Airport Attacks Say No

With just a week to go before Christmas, he might have been hoping for a quick getaway at the end of a long shift. That was when the airport security officer first noticed the...

The Most Surprising Tech Breakthroughs of 2018

Development across the entire information technology landscape certainly didn’t slow down this year. From CRISPR babies, to the rapid decline of the crypto markets, to a new robot on Mars, and discovery of subatomic...

Nvidia’s Fake Faces Are a Masterpiece—But Have Deeper Implications

‘Don’t believe everything you see on the internet’ is pretty standard advice, but it’s getting harder than ever to distinguish the real from the fake. A new algorithm from Nvidia could muddy the waters...

This Drone Seamlessly Transitions Between Swimming and Flying

It isn’t unreasonable to think of drones as pesky technological nuisances. Our modern digital ecosystem regularly infringes on traditional notions of privacy and bombards our limited attention spans with stimuli. A swarm of drones...

Research in Zero Gravity: 6 Wild Projects on the International Space Station

It’s been 20 years since the first components of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched from Earth. Orbiting the planet every 90 minutes at about 250 miles above Earth’s surface, the ISS has...

Britain Is Developing an AI-Powered Predictive Policing System

The tantalizing prospect of predicting crime before it happens has got law enforcement agencies excited about AI. Most efforts so far have focused on forecasting where and when crime will happen, but now British...

How Blockchain Is Changing Computer Gaming

Ripples of change are starting to spread throughout the $108.9 billion computer gaming industry, as blockchain technology looks set to change core aspects of games enjoyed by 2.2 billion people around the world. Better security...

Thanksgiving Food for Thought: The Tech Helping Make Food Abundant

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on the future of food. Over the last few years, we have seen a dramatic rise in exponential technologies transforming the food...

It’s Time For an Airport Security Tech Upgrade

We’re in the midst of one of the busiest weeks of the year for air travel, with 30.6 million passengers expected to fly on US airlines in the days leading up to and following...

Managing the Unintended Consequences of Technology

Last month, I attended the first annual Unintended Consequences of Technology (or UCOT) in San Francisco. I can’t say enough about the high quality of the content or the importance and timeliness of the...

The SpiNNaker Supercomputer, Modeled After the Human Brain, Is Up and Running

We've long used the brain as inspiration for computers, but the SpiNNaker supercomputer, switched on this month, is probably the closest we’ve come to recreating it in silicon. Now scientists hope to use the...

Follow the Data? Investigative Journalism in the Age of Algorithms

You probably have a picture of a typical investigative journalist in your head. Dogged, persistent, he digs through paper trails by day and talks to secret sources in abandoned parking lots by night. After...

Sci-Fi Movies Are the Secret Weapon That Could Help Silicon Valley Grow Up

If there’s one line that stands the test of time in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic Jurassic Park, it’s probably Jeff Goldblum’s exclamation, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they...

How Quantum Computing is Enabling Breakthroughs in Chemistry

Note: Mark Jackson is Scientific Lead of Business Development at Cambridge Quantum Computing  Quantum computing is expected to solve computational questions that cannot be addressed by existing classical computing methods. It is now accepted that...

Hacking the Mind Just Got Easier With These New Tools

For eons, the only way to access the three-pound mushy bio-computer between our ears was to physically crack the skull, or insert a sharp object up the nose. Lucky for us, these examples of medical...

The First Novel Written by AI Is Here—and It’s as Weird as You’d Expect It to Be

Last year, a novelist went on a road trip across the USA. The trip was an attempt to emulate Jack Kerouac—to go out on the road and find something essential to write about in the...

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...

This Robotic Warehouse Fills Orders in Five Minutes, and Fits in City Centers

Shopping is becoming less and less of a consumer experience—or, for many, less of a chore—as the list of things that can be bought online and delivered to our homes grows to include, well,...

What If Your Data Was Valued Like Currency? At This Cafe, It Is

At the Shiru Café close to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, students can get a cup of coffee without spending a dime. The currency here is information. Students can get free coffee if they...

Innovation Is on the Rise Worldwide. How Do You Measure It?

How do you measure innovation? Thanks to dropping costs, technology has become far more accessible than it used to be, and its proliferation has unleashed the creativity and resourcefulness of people around the world. We...

Technology and Compassion: A Conversation With the Dalai Lama

From how we get around to how we spend our time to how we manage our health, technology is changing our lives—not to mention economies, governments, and cities around the world. Tech has brought...

MIT’s New Robot Taught Itself to Pick Things Up the Way People Do

Back in 2016, somewhere in a Google-owned warehouse, more than a dozen robotic arms sat for hours quietly grasping objects of various shapes and sizes. For hours on end, they taught themselves how to...

Why Rigetti’s New Quantum Hybrid Cloud Service Is a Big Deal

Despite their potential power, today’s quantum computers are still taking baby steps and need a fair bit of hand-holding from their conventional cousins. That’s why computing startup Rigetti has launched a hybrid cloud service...

What We Have to Gain From Making Machines More Human

The borders between the real world and the digital world keep crumbling, and the latter’s importance in both our personal and professional lives keeps growing. Some describe the melding of virtual and real worlds...

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