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

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...

Outdated Evolution: Updating Our Governments to Cope with Disruptive Technology

What happens when evolution shapes an animal for tribes of 150 primitive individuals living in a chaotic jungle, and then suddenly that animal finds itself living with millions of others in an engineered metropolis,...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through September 8)

TECHNOLOGY Google Turns 20: How an Internet Search Engine Reshaped the World Editorial Staff | The Verge "No technology company is arguably more responsible for shaping the modern internet, and modern life, than Google. The company that...

China Is Building a Fleet of Autonomous AI-Powered Submarines. Here Are the Details

A fleet of autonomous, AI-powered submarines is headed into hotly-contested Asian waterways. The vehicles will belong to the Chinese armed forces, and their mission capabilities are likely to raise concerned eyebrows in surrounding countries. According...

AI Can Help Create a Better World—If We Build it Right

Society is rife with fears about the future of AI. For some, like Richard Branson and Ray Dalio, it’s AI’s exacerbation of the wealth gap and the looming social crisis it could bring about....

Could Machine Learning Mean the End of Understanding in Science?

Much to the chagrin of summer party planners, weather is a notoriously chaotic system. Small changes in precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind speed or direction, etc. can balloon into an entirely new set of conditions...

The Astounding Growth of Chinese VC—and the Tech It’s Flowing Into

Over the course of the next month, I will be releasing a series of China-centered articles, leading up to my webinar with Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, one of the most plugged-in AI investors on the planet and...

Graphene and Beyond: The Astonishing Properties and Promise of 2D Materials

Since graphene was first isolated in 2004, a Nobel Prize-winning feat that sparked a whole new exciting field of materials science research, 2D materials have had all kinds of suggested applications. Now, at the...

Are Maglev Trains the (Ultra-Fast, Levitating) Transit System of the Future?

When you see the Japanese L0 Series maglev train at full speed, it can be hard to spot the potential (extremely costly) failure. Some of that is down to speed. Propelled by superconducting magnets,...

This Mind-Controlled Robotic Limb Lets You Multitask With Three Arms

If you’ve ever juggled a situation where two arms aren’t enough, you’re in luck! Thanks to a new study published in Science Robotics, humans have the ability to mind-control a robotic arm on a...

How Technology Is Helping Close the Gender Gap and Empower Women

Gender inequality is not an issue that only affects women. When half of the human population is denied their full potential, the world as a whole is at an enormous disadvantage. Despite an increase...

4 Billion New Minds Online: The Coming Era of Connectivity

In the next 6 years, 4 billion “new minds” are about to be connected to the world wide web, at gigabit connection speeds, at near zero-cost. By 2024, we are connecting every person on Earth to the...

How Robots That Swap Out Their Own Parts Will Adapt to the World on the Fly

The science fiction multiverse is well populated by all manner of robots. Pick your favorite: Dr. Who fans may favor K9, the Time Lord’s mechanical mutt. Maybe the Transformers represent the coolest robots in...

From Here to Human-Level Artificial General Intelligence in Four (Not All That) Simple Steps

In the 15 years since I first introduced the term "artificial general intelligence" (AGI), the AI field has advanced tremendously. We now have self-driving cars, automated face recognition and image captioning, machine translation and...

Is the Rise of AI on Wall Street for Better or Worse?

May 6, 2010, is a date that should live in infamy. On that day, the US stock market suffered a trillion-dollar collapse. Do you remember it? In just 15 minutes from 2:45 pm, the Dow...

Why Most of Us Fail to Grasp Coming Exponential Gains in AI

By now, most of us are familiar with Moore’s Law, the famous maxim that the development of computing power follows an exponential curve, doubling in price-performance (that is, speed per unit cost) every 18...

Traditional Advertising Is Soon to Be History. Here’s What Will Replace It

This year (2018), the global advertising industry is projected to surpass $550 billion. Advertising revenues have driven Google’s valuation to >$700 billion, and Facebook to >$500 billion. All of that is about to change. What...

Flexible ‘Dragon’ Drone Autonomously Shapeshifts to Fly Through Tight Spaces

A group of roboticists at the University of Tokyo have created a flexible, flying "drone-robot" that could see a multitude of uses. The Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON, is...

Laws of Flight: As Drones Take Off, Regulation Lags

In 2014, a drone got tangled in the power lines outside a South Carolina prison carrying a small payload of marijuana and a cellphone. Police arrested a man in a nearby campsite who’d been...

The New Energy Storage Tech Gates, Bezos, Ma, and Branson Are Investing In

A group of billionaires including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Richard Branson have invested in Form Energy. The company, out of MIT, is designing a new type of battery, thought to be...
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VR Fireside Chat: Inside a Virtual World Full of Surprises

Two weeks ago, I gave my first virtual reality presentation—a virtual fireside chat with my friend Philip Rosedale, the CEO of High Fidelity and creator of Second Life. At the time, in conjunction with the...

This New Chip Design Could Make Neural Nets More Efficient and a Lot Faster

Neural networks running on GPUs have achieved some amazing advances in artificial intelligence, but the two are accidental bedfellows. IBM researchers hope a new chip design tailored specifically to run neural nets could provide...

Microsoft’s Wild New Project Puts Servers at the Bottom of the Ocean

Last week, a few miles off the northern coast of Scotland, a cylinder the size of a shipping container was carefully lowered to the bottom of the ocean floor. Sounds like a clever (if...

Why the Discovery of Room-Temperature Superconductors Would Unleash Amazing Technologies

Superconductors are among the most bizarre and exciting materials yet discovered. Counterintuitive quantum-mechanical effects mean that, below a critical temperature, they have zero electrical resistance. This property alone is more than enough to spark...

From Drone Swarms to Tree Batteries, New Tech Is Revolutionizing Ecology and Conservation

Understanding Earth’s species and ecosystems is a monumentally challenging scientific pursuit. But with the planet in the grip of its sixth mass extinction event, it has never been a more pressing priority. To unlock nature’s...

Holograms Can Now Program Brain Activity—Are Fake Experiences Next?

Optogenetics, neuroscience’s hottest mind-control tool, just got a major update. Projecting 3D-light holograms—yes, holograms!—directly onto a mouse’s cortex, engineers at UC Berkeley instantaneously gained control of dozens of neurons at once. That’s not the impressive part....

Leapfrogging Tech Is Changing Millions of Lives. Here’s How

Walking through any city in the US, you may not notice the evidence of centuries of technological progress around you. From the power lines snaking above to the people tapping away on their smartphones...

New Tech Marries the Best of Photonics and Electronics on the Same Silicon Chip

Optical communication has revolutionized long-distance data transfer, but scaling it down to microchips is tougher. Now, though, a new technique means optical components can be integrated into general purpose chips using standard manufacturing processes...

MIT’s New Voiceless Interface Can Read the Words in Your Head

The way we interact with the technology in our lives is getting progressively more seamless. If typing terms or addresses into your phone wasn’t easy enough, now you can just tell Siri to do...

IBM’s New Computer Is the Size of a Grain of Salt and Costs Less Than 10 Cents

The miniaturization of electronics has been progressing steadily for decades, but IBM just took a major leap. The company has created what it's calling the world's smallest computer, and it’s the size of a grain...

The Wild New Materials of the Future Will Be Discovered With AI

How materials for computer chips, solar panels, and batteries are developed looks to be in the early stages of a radical change. The same goes for research related to areas like superconductors and thermoelectrics. The...

Brain-Like Chips Now Beat the Human Brain in Speed and Efficiency

Move over, deep learning. Neuromorphic computing—the next big thing in artificial intelligence—is on fire. Just last week, two studies individually unveiled computer chips modeled after information processing in the human brain. The first, published in Nature...

The Next Generation of Cameras Might See Behind Walls

You might be really pleased with the camera technology in your latest smartphone, which can recognize your face and take slow-mo video in ultra-high definition. But these technological feats are just the start of...

This Awesome Robot Is the Size of a Penny and Precise Enough to Aid Eye Surgery

They say size isn’t everything, but when it comes to delta robots it seems like it’s pretty important. The speed and precision of these machines sees them employed in delicate pick-and-place tasks in all kinds...

Machines Teaching Each Other Could Be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI

“The easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens.” – James Burke, Science Historian During an October 2015 press conference announcing the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S, which allowed the car to...

Low-Cost Soft Robot Muscles Can Lift 200 Times Their Weight and Self-Heal

Jerky mechanical robots are staples of science fiction, but to seamlessly integrate into everyday life they’ll need the precise yet powerful motor control of humans. Now scientists have created a new class of artificial...

AI Uses Titan Supercomputer to Create Deep Neural Nets in Less Than a Day

You don’t have to dig too deeply into the archive of dystopian science fiction to uncover the horror that intelligent machines might unleash. The Matrix and The Terminator are probably the most well-known examples of self-replicating,...

The 7 Hub Stories That Got the Most Social Media Love This Year

I bet you think 2017 was a hot mess, a relentless series of tragedies and catastrophes that exposed humanity for what little it's worth. Let us re-instill in you a sense of optimism with...

Reality 2.0: A Way to Upgrade Your Perception of Reality

Imagine enhancing your perception of the environment around you, other people nearby, and even yourself. Imagine reliving past experiences as if they are happening right now. Imagine a crumbling border between physical and virtual...

Neuroscience Could Bring Us Eternal Bliss, But Is That a Good Thing?

What if the secret to eternal happiness is a brain implant? If you’re thinking that sounds like the premise of a Black Mirror episode, you’re not alone. Yet at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference...

Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Hand Restores 100 Realistic Touch Sensations

When Keven Walgamott reached out and grasped his wife’s hand, his face broke into an enormous smile. For the first time in 14 years, he could feel her soft fingers, pressing firmly into his prosthetic...

What We Can Learn From the Second Life of Google Glass

For every new piece of technology that gets developed, you can usually find people saying it will never be useful. The president of the Michigan Savings Bank in 1903, for example, said, “The horse...

Scientists Call Out Ethical Concerns for the Future of Neurotechnology

For some die-hard tech evangelists, using neural interfaces to merge with AI is the inevitable next step in humankind's evolution. But a group of 27 neuroscientists, ethicists, and machine learning experts have highlighted the...

New Plasmonic Device to Help the Internet Keep Growing and Getting Faster

The volume of data shuttled around the internet is growing unchecked, placing ever greater burdens on our communication infrastructure. But a new device that takes advantage of the unusual properties of plasmons could tackle...

3 Dangerous Ideas From Ray Kurzweil

Recently, I interviewed my friend Ray Kurzweil at the Googleplex for a 90-minute webinar on disruptive and dangerous ideas, a prelude to my fireside chat with Ray at Abundance 360 this January. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaOfLtoaKqw] Ray is my friend...
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How Is Technology Evolving Over Time?

What was humanity’s first invention? Some say it was the wheel, while others say it was fire. But perhaps it was our invention of communication. Without this, no tool can be conceptualized, built, replicated,...

Tech Is Becoming Emotionally Intelligent, and It’s Big Business

Many people get frustrated with technology when it malfunctions or is counterintuitive. The last thing people might expect is for that same technology to pick up on their emotions and engage with them differently...

Better Than Smart Speakers? Japan Is Making Robot and Hologram Companions

While American internet giants are developing speakers, Japanese companies are working on robots and holograms. They all share a common goal: to create the future platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart...

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