The year is 2027 and Winston, a newly born house-bot charged with doing a number of domestic chores including cleaning, meal prep, laundry, and building maintenance, has been programmed to not only perform the work, but also restock supplies once they reach a certain level.
What’s the value of a human life?
For some of you this is a very disconcerting question because it attempts to put a dollar value on a person, something we value in far different ways.
The thought occurred to me that mounting a video projector to a flying drone could give it unusual capabilities.
Today, many voice long-familiar concerns about technological unemployment, where computers, robots, and machines are automating our jobs out of existence. In fact, some have gone so far as to call this the “robot jobs Armageddon.” So is this time truly different? Here are six overarching shifts in the world that are causing many to say, “Yes, this time may really be different!”
The year is 2024. It seemed like a piece of nostalgia to open a new bank account and get a free toaster, but this wasn’t any ordinary toaster, and it certainly wasn’t any ordinary bank. The new Internet of Things Toaster was one of the coolest gadgets of all times, and the Global Bank of Bitcoin was a charter member of Bitcoin’s new Central Bank based in Luxembourg.
Unlike our not-so-distant-past, the world’s most important information is no longer solely in books. Whenever a great idea forms in our head, we look for a place to put it. Is it something useful, that we can turn into a product, add to a document, tell to our friends, include in a presentation, or attach with magnets to the front of our refrigerator?
Much of the world around us has been formed around key pieces of infrastructure. Most see this as a testament to who we are as a society, and part of the cultural moorings we need to guide us into the future. In general, infrastructure represents a long-term societal investment that will move us along the path of building a more efficient, better functioning, society. And usually it does… for a while.
When we look into space we are actually looking back in time. This is because we are looking at old light traveling towards us at 186,000 miles/second. We already know that if someone is watching us through a large telescope on the Moon, they’re seeing events that happened 1.3 seconds earlier because that’s how long it takes light to reach Earth. Using this as a very crude proof, we already know that information does indeed transcend the here and now, but can we ever access it and reassemble it into a useful form?
On a recent driving trip, my wife and I became immersed in the audio version of one of Tom Clancy’s last novels, titled “Threat Vector.” Without giving away too much of the plot, a Chinese super-geek villain has hatched a plan to hack into our most secure networks and blackmail people with their darkest secrets to subversively cause chaos and disruption for the American government.
Today, the amount of time it takes to build ships and skyscrapers, create massive data storage centers for all our growing volumes of information, or produce global wireless networks for all our devices has dropped significantly. But along with each of these drops is a parallel increase in our capabilities and our expectations.
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April 17, 2015 - The title of this posting is the same as the title of Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler's sequel to "Abundance," a book I reviewed some time ago.
April 16, 2015 - What will stop humanity from continuing to pursue energy sources, even those that pose a great risk to the planet? It doesn't seem too far fetched to say, "almost nothing." Canadian energy companies continue to process bitumen even though the intensive nature of production contributes a significant amount of climate changing greenhouse gases.
April 15, 2015 - A few days ago, Canada's Environment Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, chided Canadian provincial leaders for not submitting carbon reduction strategies to the federal government so that it could submit an emission-reduction commitment to the United Nations.
April 13, 2015 - In the recent NextSTEP announcements at NASA two partners were awarded contracts for cubesat development.
April 12, 2015 - Shareholders resolutions by climate-conscious investors have been proposed to both British Petroleum (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell.
April 11, 2015 - The picture below is of summer on Ellesmere Island in Canada's far north. Here ice even in the mid-summer period still can be found floating on inland lakes. But Ellesmere has a past that is far different from what you see here.
April 10, 2015 - Part of NASA's recent NextSTEP announcement included the awarding of projects to a number of companies focused on developing habitats for Deep Space missions.
April 10, 2015 - Japan is the latest major economy to pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from current levels by 2030.