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London Futurists Hangout On Air: Will science & technology save the world? Thumbnail

The green revolution in agriculture has freed hundreds of millions around the world from the risk of starvation. The Internet is providing knowledge-on-tap to people as never before. Lifespans have doubled due to remarkable progress in medicine. New desalination techniques are poised to solve problems of shortage of fresh water. Our remaining resource problems can be solved by synthetic biology, nanoscale molecular manufacturing, and asteroid mining. The threat of climate change can be tamed by carbon capture and geoengineering. Although doomsayers are distracted by rolling news stories that highlight human failings in graphic terms, the big picture is that science and technology are changing the world into a much better place. Right? Not every futurist is convinced by this techno-optimistic narrative. Here’s a forceful critique by renowned speaker, blogger, and interviewer, Nikola Danaylov: I am tired of hearing that science [...]

Jaguar I-PACE EV Guns for Tesla Thumbnail

Jaguar I-PACE is the company’s first all-electric car. With zero tailpipe emissions, no CO2 and no particulates, it moves humanity closer to a vision of a clean, safe and sustainable future. With their first EV, Jaguar set out with a clean sheet approach to harness new battery electric technology with an architecture engineered from the outset to optimize performance, aerodynamics and interior space. The result is the I-PACE – a true Jaguar and a truly driver-focused EV. For I-PACE customers – fuel stations are a thing of the past, after overnight charging they’ll wake up every morning with a ‘full tank of fuel’! Jaguar I-PACE: The Story of Creating the World’s Finest Electric Car From the very first sketch, Jaguar I-PACE has been destined to be the front-runner in a transport revolution. Built from the ground up to embrace the new design [...]

On Tech Unemployment and the Labor vs Capital Balance of Power Thumbnail

Capital needs labor to operate, to create a return on investment and, ultimately, to grow. Labor needs capital for wages. Each needs the other and none can do it alone. So labor needs capital as much as capital needs labor. And, while the labor vs capital balance of power has fluctuated closer to one or the other throughout history, classical economics claims that, given their mutual co-dependence, in the long run, we end up [more-or-less] in an equilibrium. This equilibrium is, at least in theory, an ideal win-win scenario where capital is happy that its return on investment is growing and labor is happy that its wages are rising. The baby boomer generation in North America is among the best examples of the above case. Especially from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, which was the most prosperous period [...]

Yuval Harari at the World Economic Forum: Will the Future be Human? Thumbnail

Some of you may know I’m a big fan of Prof. Yuval Harari’s and, at this point, it is fair to say that his books Sapiens and Homo Deus have had a more profound effect on me than those of Ray Kurzweil. Last week Yuval Harari made his Davos debut at the World Economic Forum annual meeting. He presented at multiple events, which were live-streamed or filmed and can now be watched online. Taking to the main Congress Hall stage directly after Angela Merkel’s speech and before Emmanuel Macron’s, Prof. Harari spoke about the big challenges presented by data in the era of technological revolution. In my view this talk is a must watch because it raises many of the major issues surrounding the rise of big data that we will have to resolve if we are to prosper in [...]

Technology is the How, not the Why or What Thumbnail

Technology is the new religion, Silicon Valley is the new chosen land and entrepreneurs are the new chosen people. They promise a future that is better than we think – a techno-heaven of abundance and, naturally, immortality. And we are all believers now. But we seem to forget that technology is merely the how and never the why or what. It is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end. And that we should always start with why. At least this is the etymology of the word: technology comes from two Greek words – techne and logos. Techne means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained. Logos means word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed, a saying, or an expression. So, literally, technology means words or discourse about [...]

GoodAI launches “Solving the AI Race” round of the General AI Challenge Thumbnail

General AI research and development company GoodAI has launched the latest round of their General AI Challenge, Solving the AI Race. $15,000 of prizes are available for suggestions on how to mitigate the risks associated with a race to transformative AI. The round, which is open to the general public and will run until the 18th of May 18 2018, will ask participants to suggest methods to address the potential pitfalls of competition towards transformative AI, where: Key stakeholders, including developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilization The fruits of the technology might not be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected few The round is the latest of the General AI Challenge which will be giving away $5million in prizes in the coming years, to advance [...]

On Singularity University and the Danger of Being Exponential Thumbnail

Singularity University [SU] has a religious fetish for its sacred words – disrupt, innovate and, most of all, exponential. Just listen to any recent SU alumni and you can’t help it but hear disrupt here, innovate there and, most of all, exponential everywhere. This is not surprising since, even before updating its Massively Transformative Purpose [MTP] to “Be Exponential,” SU was the temple proselytizing the gospel of exponential technology. The problem with such shallow-minded slogans is that people might end up doing just that. And it could be the end of us all. Because, while necessary, technology is not enough. You see, the Black Death – aka The Great Plague, was exponential. The Spanish Flu was also exponential. [And we were very lucky that neither SARS nor Ebola went exponential during their respective outbreaks a few years ago.] Al Qaeda was pretty [...]

Is the Singularity Steering us Toward the Greatest Inequality in History? Thumbnail

The basic idea of the technological singularity is simple: the rate at which technology progresses increases as time moves forward. If we believe the technological singularity is happening, then we as a species should inspect its impact on human equality. This phenomenon is pushing our human ship toward a waterfall of technological innovation. Is it also pushing open the gaps between people, classes and whole societies? The basic premise of the singularity can be seen using a graph of major technological advancements throughout the history of our species on Earth. Check out the now famous graph below, most often credited to Theodore Modis, showing major turning points in “canonical milestones.” On the x-axis is the amount of time that has gone by since an event has occurred, and on the y-axis is the amount of time separating that event from the one [...]

Must Watch: “Slaughterbots” Short by Stop Autonomous Weapons Thumbnail

Looking like a creepy TED Talk, this sci-fi short film from Stop Autonomous Weapons looks at a possible near future of autonomous slaughterbot drones trained to kill a specific human target. It’s created by Stop Autonomous Weapons, a group dedicated to bringing pressure to update the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to explicitly include autonomous weapons. They even set up a creepy StratoEnergetics slaughterbot manufacturer website ;-) If this future isn’t what you want, please take action at http://autonomousweapons.org/   Related Articles Dawn of the Kill-Bots: the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Arming of AI (part 1)

We’re All Truck Drivers Now: Nikola Danaylov @ DES2017 Thumbnail

The year rolled away so quickly and I completely forgot that in May I was a keynote speaker at the DES 2017 Conference in Madrid, Spain. Luckily, a fan dug out this video from the depths of the internet and, since she liked it very much, I thought I’d share it with you on Singularity Weblog. The interview runs about 12 minutes long and we cover a variety of topics such as: why in an age when answers are free questions are priceless; the technological singularity or what if your toothbrush is smarter than you; whether we should fear or not fear the singularity; artificial intelligence, technological unemployment and why we are all truck drivers now; chatbots and why technology is a magnifying mirror; why I’m not worried about AI going evil; why technology is no God…

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