Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the patenting of natural genes is a major milestone in patent law and has significant implications for the future of technology.
In futures thinking as in life, often it’s important to look back in order to look ahead. This week marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, offering the perfect opportunity to do both.
If you could improve your body, would you do it? It seems a simple enough question with a simple enough answer.
But what if that improvement meant incorporating a mechanical device into your body? Suddenly the question isn’t so simple, is it? And if that integration required the prior removal of a limb, say an arm or a hand, that decision becomes even more complex and controversial.
It seems a day doesn't pass that we don't hear of yet another advancement that will change and improve our lives. Unfortunately, such advances can also have a very negative impact on the welfare of the people and society they should be improving.
At the closing plenary of WorldFuture 2011 in Vancouver, Thomas Frey of the DaVinci Institute presented Eight Grand Challenges for humanity. It was a thought provoking presentation, though not without its critics.
Recently, SF author Charles Stross posted his thoughts on why he doesn't think the Technological Singularity will happen. Here's why I think he may be wrong.
Today TOP500 released their latest rankings, which put Japan's K Computer in the number one spot with 8.162 petaflops, a jump of more than three times the performance of the now number two Tianhe-1A. How was such a sharp increase realized and what does it mean for supercomputing in the future?
The last few years finally saw the arrival of supercomputers capable of petascale performance. In all, seven systems from the US, China, Japan and France achieved the milestone of processing a million billion floating point operations per second (flops) by the end of 2010. But even before this target was reached, computer scientists and engineers were setting their sights on an even loftier goal: Exascale computing.
I consider myself a techno-optimist, but Watson's performance in Jeopardy's IBM Challenge has definitely exceeded my expectations. While I did predict Watson would win the competition, I didn't think it would be so dominant.
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Every year I get my influenza vaccine. So does my wife. We do this because our daughter was born with heart disease and we want to ensure that we don't give her an unneeded bout of the flu which could compromise her health. But every year those who make the flu vaccine or using a best guess approach in formulating the serum.
Futures thinking seems essential in our times. With so many uncertainties about water, food and energy for 9 billion people in the next forty years, and so many exciting new technologies on the way, futurists can help to see new possible futures and support decision makers. However, futurists are not clairvoyants or wizards.
Preview of Things to Come in July! A WorldFuture Sneak Peek. For this issue of THE FUTURIST, we invited several of our 2013 conference participants to offer us a preview of their forthcoming presentations at WorldFuture 2013: Exploring the Next Horizon:
With all these coal-fired and fossil-fuel driven power plants in the world the quest for capturing CO2 continues in research laboratories all over the world.
When the White Queen tells Alice that in her land "memory works both ways," Alice tries to argue with the Queen, saying "I'm sure mine only works one way...
Smartphones are too smart for their own good. Users have come to rely on them so much that they constantly need recharging. The batteries just can't keep up with the usage.
“Thus the centre of the system of the world is immovable.”
Isaac Newton Principia Mathematica (Book 111) (1687)
Only in a centrally controlled economy could you pull off what China is attempting to do by moving a quarter billion of its people from rural villages and farms to new urban centres. This begs the question - why?