Johnny Depp's new film Transcendence has had futurist fandoms in a lather for months.
For a long time, I was a crusty critic of twitter, I would now say wrongheadedly so.
In a recent conference promoting not only their latest gizmos but their company's animating vision as well, Google executives declared they were working toward a future in which technology "disappears," "fades into the background," becomes more "intuitive and anticipatory." Commenting on this apparently "bizarre mission for a tech company," Bianca Bosker warns that their genial and enthusiastic promotional language masks Google's aspiration to omnipresence via invisibility, an effort to render us dependent and uncritical of their prevalence through its marketing as easy, intuitive, companionable.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, celebrity tech CEO Peter Thiel is upset that movies like The Matrix and Avatar make technological innovation seem "destructive and dysfunctional."
It isn't easy to understand why the American response to comparably lethal mass-casualty events involving bombs and involving guns are so very different -- the one seeming to result always in more citizens under more surveillance, the other seeming to result always in more guns on the streets -- but in the aftermath of the latest illustration of this rather joyless and surreal ritual pairing of re
In works like Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World, Tim Wu has written clear and incisive critiques of a whole generation's conjoining of facile to flabbergasting market libertarian/ crypto-anarchist/ neoliberal assumptions and aspirations and conceits to an irrationally exuberant, digi-utopian, techno-triumphalist hype endlessly promising an end to borders, nation-states, identities, limits-to-growth. Of course, by 2006 the writing was really on the wall as far as the crypto-anarchistic Extropian no death! no taxes! Cyberspace home of mind crowd went -- and, gee, just sayin', some of us were already pointing out how imbecilic this sort of vision was in 1996, if not well before then -- but, the point is, Tim Wu was a critic of a prevailing techno-utopian ideology that symptomatically played out in variations and in levels of intensity across layers of discourse from the pages of WIRED to B-movie plots to ad copy to editorials to DARPA reports.
Over at the IEET, the Institute for Ethics (where actual ethics are rarely discussed) and Emerging Technologies (where the technologies are rarely actually emerging), futurologist Dick Pelletier has penned another of his incomparably desolating consolations, this one entitled (I kid you not), Overpopulated Earth?
Paul Krugman is right to say that the cancellation of Google Reader provides yet another demonstration of the failure of private profitability to provide for the maintenance of public goods, even though I disagree that it seems hard in the least "to envision search and related functions as public utilities," which is i
Claiming he has "lived with the shadow of the fall of Rome, [and] the failure of its intellectual culture," Tim O'Reilly fears that too many today "lack the will and the foresight to face the world's problems squarely, but will instead retreat from them into superstition and ignorance." More specifically, he warns that "conservative, backward
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In Our Final Invention (St. Martin’s Press 2013), documentary filmmaker James Barrat presents three scenarios for the long-term future of Artificial Intelligence. Unfortunately, as a skeptic he provides no preferred scenarios.
One of the advantages of being around for a long time is perspective. In particular, perspective in the field in which I chose to work many years ago – organizational and social transformation. I’m not talking about transforming a company or a city; I’m talking about transforming the whole world.
The latest resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by SpaceX, Elon Musk's private company, met several milestones last week. First it delivered almost 3,500 pounds of supplies, including a space garden for growing vegetables, and legs for the on-board robot, Robonaut-2. But even more interesting was what happened at the back end of the launch.
Last night I watched an HBO documentary called "Questioning Darwin." It took an in-depth look at those who reject Darwin's theory of natural selection on grounds of faith in the words of the Judeo-Christian Bible. At the same time it presented the personal journey of Darwin from his roots to his presentation of his theories in the book, "The Origin of the Species," in which he described the mechanism of natural selection, the theory upon which our scientific understanding of how life evolves on this planet.
Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, has predicted that we will reach a technological singularity by 2045, and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge is betting on 2029.
Sometimes simple ideas work, and this one is pretty simple.
There’s a new study out which, press outlets are telling me, shows that the United States is now an oligarchy, ruled by the rich and powerful, and perhaps that the US has been sliding in this direction for decades.
Which will it be? Will we regenerate organs using stem cells and switching on genes to rebuild diseased or damaged organs? Or will we take a patients own cells and bio-print organs using 3D printers? Both technologies are showing promise based on recent reports.