The digital pioneer and visionary behind virtual reality has turned against the very culture he helped create
Well, that’s what my new book’s about. It’s called The Fate of Power and the Future of Dignity, and it doesn’t focus as much on free music files as it does on the world of finance—but what it suggests is that a file-sharing service and a hedge fund are essentially the same things. In both cases, there’s this idea that whoever has the biggest computer can analyze everyone else to their advantage and concentrate wealth and power. [Meanwhile], it’s shrinking the overall economy. I think it’s the mistake of our age.”
The mistake of our age? That’s a bold statement (as someone put it in Pulp Fiction). “I think it’s the reason why the rise of networking has coincided with the loss of the middle class, instead of an expansion in general wealth, which is what should happen. But if you say we’re creating the information economy, except that we’re making information free, then what we’re saying is we’re destroying the economy.”
More than 5 billion people will live in cities by 2030. Here's what needs to be in place before then to make cities run smoothly and efficiently.
You think cities are crowded now? By 2030, more than 5 billion people will live in urban settings. But before we get to that kind of population density, we have to optimize our cities. We need to make them smarter and better; technology can help.
Cities all around the world work with developers and contractors to make city living better, whether it's improving the timing of traffic lights or creating a useful app, which becomes more powerful as smartphone penetration continues to increase. Apps and well-implemented technology can help cash-strapped governments save money and, be more efficient. We put together a list of the technology that we want to see in every major city. If we missed the item on your urban tech wish list, leave us a note in the comments.
When something that is not originally digital is converted to digital form, that thing has been “digitized”—but what do you call it when something that is digital is converted to analogue or material form? There was a discussion to this effect in my Twitter feed a few months ago, but I don’t recall that we ever came to consensus about a) whether there is a term for this, and if not, b) what that term should be.
Whatever that term is or may be, it’s a term that I keep needing, so I’m hoping to identify it by reopening the discussion here. Without further ado, here are some of the recent digital/analogue crossovers that have inspired my question:
Roboy (credit: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich) Meet Roboy, one of the most advanced humanoid robots, say researchers at the
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich.
Their 15 project partners and over 40 engineers and scientists are constructing Roboy as a tendon-driven robot modeled on human beings (robots usually have their motors in their joints, giving them that “robot” break-dance look), so it will move almost as elegantly as a human.
Roboy will be a “service robot,” meaning it will execute services independently for the convenience of human beings, as in the movie Robot & Frank.
And since service robots share their “living space” with people, user-friendliness and safety, above all, are of great importance, roboticists point out.
Which is why “soft robotics” — soft to the touch, soft in their interaction, soft and natural in their movements — will be important, and Roboy will be covered with “soft skin,” making interacting with him safer and more pleasant.
Service robots are already used in a wide variety of areas today, including for household chores, surveillance work and cleaning, and in hospitals and care homes. Our aging population is making it necessary to keep older people as autonomous as possible for as long as possible, which means caring for aged people is likely to be an important area for the deployment of service robots, roboticists say.
To speed up the process, the AI Lab researchers set a goal to build Roboy in just 9 months (the project began five months ago). Roboy will be unveiled at the Robots on Tour March 8 and 9, 2013 in Zurich.
To make this ambitious schedule possible, they decided to finance the first grassroots robotics project via crowdfunding. To participate, see Make Roboy your friend.
The World We Explore-- Sir Ken Robinson, Educator. Curiosity encourages us to push boundaries into uncharted territories. Where can our hunger for discovery ...
The World We Explore-- Sir Ken Robinson, Educator. Curiosity encourages us to push boundaries into uncharted territories. Where can our hunger for discovery take us - both outside and inside ourselves?
A decade ago Wikipedia burst into a world not ready to comprehend it. Thousands of people cooperating effectively, without price signals to offer "incentives" or managerial hierarchy to direct efforts was an impossibility. And yet, it moves. And as it moved it combined with a deep shift across many disciplines, from biology and neuroscience to organizational sociology, experimental economics, and social psychology to paint a very different view of who we are, as human beings, and what we are capable of when we build and inhabit systems that rely on our better selves rather than on the cramped, pessimistic view of traditional economic modeling. A decade ago our explanations of Wikipedia depended on the uniqueness of the Net. Today, we are ready to learn the deeper lessons: that we are more cooperative than we came to believe in the last half century, and that our challenges lie in learning how to build a new field of cooperative human systems design not only online, but for our lives more generally as the kind of social human beings we really are.
When visionary engineer J.C.R Licklider published Man-Computer Symbiosis in 1960 — a paper outlining how man’s intellectual productivity can, and should be significantly increased when partnered with a computer — the creative problems of...
When visionary engineer J.C.R Licklider published Man-Computer Symbiosis in 1960 — a paper outlining how man’s intellectual productivity can, and should be significantly increased when partnered with a computer — the creative problems of contemporary artists were perhaps furthest from his mind. But during the 1960s, a digital fever struck the art world. Large numbers of enthused European and North American artists, curators, and theorists focussed their attention on the creative potential of computing. Software, systems, and concepts were tried and tested, and a decade’s worth of activity culminated in two landmark exhibitions: Jasia Reichardt’s Cybernetic Serendipity at London’s ICA and Jack Burnham's Software: Information Technology at New York’s Jewish Museum.
Two artists with retrospectives currently showing in the UK caught that initial wave of innovation: German born and New York-based Manfred Mohr, and British born, and still UK-based Ernest Edmonds.
A short film that explores trends in UI, Interaction, & Experience Design. View the full film on the website.
The 18 minute "Connecting" documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry's thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming "Internet of things." Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a "super organism" capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.
n 2006, Rick Falkvinge, a Swedish software entrepreneur, founded a new political party centred around the subjects of file sharing, copyright and patents. He called it the Pirate Party and it rose to prominence after a government crackdown on the file-sharing site, the Pirate Bay. Since then, the Pirate Party has swept Europe and beyond to become an international political movement, active in 40 different countries with representation in the European parliament. In Sweden, it's the largest party for voters under the age of 30 with 25% of the vote, and in September 2011, the German Pirate Party won an unprecedented 8.9 per cent of the vote and now has several members in the Berlin state parliament. Focused on the subjects of government transparency, internet privacy and copyright law, the Pirate Party hosts Wikileaks on its servers and uses new technology to leverage political power in new and interesting ways. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine called Falkvinge one of the top 100 global thinkers.
The documentary 'Thinking Cities' deals with one of the most dramatic societal trends happening today: urbanization. The world population is expected to soar to more than 9 billion people by 2050, with roughly 70 percent living in cities. At the same time, Information Communications Technology (ICT) is extending its reach.
These parallel trends are intersecting at a time in which the world faces serious economic, environmental, and social challenges in achieving a more sustainable development. Thinking Cities explores the challenges and opportunities of urbanization in the Networked Society.
This video maps out Kurzweil's SIX EPOCHS OF EVOLUTION showing the exponential progression in the way the universe stores and processes information... what we see is a bootstrapping recursive complexification leading us towards some kind of intelligence singularity.
TED Talks A decade ago, Robin Chase founded Zipcar in the US, now the largest car-sharing company in the world. Now she's exploring the next level of car-sharing: Buzzcar, a French startup that lets people rent their own cars to others.
The details are fascinating (how does insurance work, exactly?), and the larger vision (she calls it Peers, Inc.) points to a new definition of ownership and entrepreneurship. With Zipcar, Robin Chase introduced car-crazy America to the concept of non-ownership. Now she's flipping that model with Buzzcar, which lets you rent your own auto to your neighbors
In San Francisco, you can find the “Airbnb-of-everything." Just as Airbnb capitalized on the fact that many of us have a spare bed, bedroom, or even apartment from which we’d gladly make some money, many other industries have followed suit.
Today, you can earn money by filling the spots in your car on a road trip, being a personal tour guide for out-of-town visitors, lending your car out when you’re not driving it, or doing odd jobs for people in the city.
At Collaborative Fund, the fund I founded to invest in collaborative businesses, we are helping to support a cultural shift away from excess, hyper-consumption, and ownership, and toward access, sharing, and efficiency. We hear about new stories that exemplify this shift all the time, like programmer Avi Flombaum quitting his day job at a startup where he was CTO because his hobby teaching Skillshare classes earned him $100,000 in one year. Few teachers make that much in traditional schools.Or Curtis Chong, who earned $5,300 in a year letting others drive his Honda Civic worth $4,800 on RelayRides. These marketplaces enable people with excess supply to find demand, unlocking viable economic activity.
Special guest Jimmy Fallon welcomes our new robot overlords.Photo: Peter Yang Imagine that 7 out of 10 working Americans got fired tomorrow. What would t
t’s hard to believe you’d have an economy at all if you gave pink slips to more than half the labor force. But that—in slow motion—is what the industrial revolution did to the workforce of the early 19th century. Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm. Today automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of their jobs, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines. But the displaced workers did not sit idle. Instead, automation created hundreds of millions of jobs in entirely new fields. Those who once farmed were now manning the legions of factories that churned out farm equipment, cars, and other industrial products. Since then, wave upon wave of new occupations have arrived—appliance repairman, offset printer, food chemist, photographer, web designer—each building on previous automation. Today, the vast majority of us are doing jobs that no farmer from the 1800s could have imagined.
The World We Dream-- Peter Diamandis, Chairman & CEO, X Prize Foundation. Putting a man on the moon was once simply a dream. What are some of today's most in...
The World We Dream-- Peter Diamandis, Chairman & CEO, X Prize Foundation. Putting a man on the moon was once simply a dream. What are some of today's most innovative and thought provoking visions for our future?
We are all familiar with the coming of the Google glasses: At the same time competition arrives in the form of the TTP “Developed as a prototype by TTP (The Technology Partnership), a technology development company, the glasses incorporate a...
Some members of our latest list of young innovators from around the world have developed consumer Web services you might have used, such as Spotify or Dropbox. Others are making more fundamental breakthroughs that have yet to be commercialized, such as more efficient engines or improvements in optical communications. And a few are blazing trails in fields that didn’t exist before, like pop-up fabrication of tiny machines, or cameras that can see around corners. But all 35 of them have something significant in common: their work is likely to be influential for a very long time. We hope that these stories about them surprise and inspire you. —The Editors
1) Embrace the Swarm. As power flows away from the center, the competitive advantage belongs to those who learn how to embrace decentralized points of control.
2) Increasing Returns. As the number of connections between people and things add up, the consequences of those connections multiply out even faster, so that initial successes aren't self-limiting, but self-feeding.
3) Plentitude, Not Scarcity. As manufacturing techniques perfect the art of making copies plentiful, value is carried by abundance, rather than scarcity, inverting traditional business propositions.
4) Follow the Free. As resource scarcity gives way to abundance, generosity begets wealth. Following the free rehearses the inevitable fall of prices, and takes advantage of the only true scarcity: human attention.
As the sharing economy picks up momentum, its reach has become global. In cities and towns around the world, people are creating ways to share everything from baby clothes to boats, hardware to vacation homes. There are also groups emerging that consciously identify with the big-picture sharing movement. These groups focus on education, action and community-building, and advocate for a cultural shift toward widespread sharing.
From neighborhood-level cooperatives to global organizations, these groups work to bring sharing into the mainstream. They see sharing as a new paradigm; a means to a more democratic society, and they understand that sharing is not a new fad but an ancient practice that technology is reinvigorating.
What follows is a far-from-exhaustive list of sharing advocacy groups around the world. There are, certainly, many others. Ideally, this list will serve as a springboard for connecting with a sharing community near you, or one that is aligned with your vision for a shareable world. Or even better, encourage you to start one.
The National Intelligence Council has just released its much anticipated forecasting report, a 140-page document that outlines major trends and technological developments we should expect in the next 20 years.
Among their many predictions, the NIC foresees the end of U.S. global dominance, the rising power of individuals against states, a growing middle class that will increasingly challenge governments, and ongoing shortages in water, food and energy. But they also envision a future in which humans have been significantly modified by their technologies — what will herald the dawn of the transhuman era.
Thanks to Incisive events for making this available. See more details about the event here: http://www.online-information.co.uk/static/programme-overview My topic was this: everybody is talking about 'data is the new oil' aka big-data. SoLoMo (social local mobile) is the battle cry of the day. Human-machine interfaces are rapidly evolving and may quickly become commonplace (think Google Glasses, MSFT Kinect), artificial intelligence is the geek-phrase-of-the-day, and Kurzweil says the singularity is near/here. So how will our world really change in the next 5 years, i.e. the way we communicate, get information, create, buy and sell, travel, live and learn? What are the biggest threats and the hottest opportunities - not just in financial terms, but also in societal and human terms? Futurist Gerd Leonhard will share his foresights and explore the key 'networked society' scenarios"
Luis von Ahn, the man who brought the world CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA unveiled his newest and most innovative project to date: Duolingo. How can you translate the entire internet and do it for free? Duolingo will be a revolutionary product in which millions of internet users from around the world will work together to translate the internet and learn a new language at the same time. All for free.
Luis von Ahn is the A. Nico Habermann Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He builds systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone.