Tracking the Future
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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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The New Rules of Robot/Human Society

As technology speeds forward, humans are beginning to imagine the day when robots will fill the roles promised to us in science fiction. But what should we be thinking about today, as robots like military and delivery drones become a real part of our society? How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? And who is responsible for a robot's actions? As we look at the unexpected impact of new technologies, we are obligated as a society to consider the moral and ethical implications of robotics.

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Computer Chips in Your Brain

Computer Chips in Your Brain | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Imagine a world where information can be downloaded straight to your brain. It's not as unrealistic as you might think.

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Marcin Piotr Świderski's curator insight, November 25, 2013 4:08 PM

It sounds pretty insane - but just think of it - how cool would it be...

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Singularity Or Bust

In 2009, film-maker and former AI programmer Raj Dye spent his summer following futurist AI researchers Ben Goertzel and Hugo DeGaris around Hong Kong and Xiamen, documenting their doings and gathering their perspectives. The result, after some work by crack film editor Alex MacKenzie, was the 45 minute documentary Singularity or Bust — a uniquely edgy, experimental Singularitarian road movie, featuring perhaps the most philosophical three-foot-tall humanoid robot ever, a glance at the fast-growing Chinese research scene in the late aughts, and even a bit of a real-life love story. The film was screened in theaters around the world, and won the Best Documentary award at the 2013 LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood and the LA Lift Off Festival. And now it is online, free of charge, for your delectation.

Singularity or Bust is a true story pertaining to events occurring in the year 2009. It captures a fascinating slice of reality, but bear in mind that things move fast these days. For more recent updates on Goertzel and DeGaris’s quest for transhuman AI, you’ll have to consult the Internet, or your imagination.

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BBC Horizon Special - Tomorrow's World (2013)

Liz Bonnin delves in to the world of invention, revealing the people and technologies set to transform all our lives. She examines the conditions that are promising to make the 21st century a golden age of innovation and meets some of the world's foremost visionaries, mavericks and dreamers.
From the entrepreneurs that are driving a new space race, to the Nobel Prize wining scientist leading a nanotech revolution, this is a tour of the people and ideas delivering the world of tomorrow, today.

 

Original Broadcast Date: April 11th, 2013 Tomorrow's World: A Horizon Special - BBC

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The Mars Underground [HD]

Leading aerospace engineer and Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin has a dream. He wants to get humans to the planet Mars in the next ten years. Now, with the advent of a revolutionary plan, Mars Direct, Dr. Zubrin shows how we can use present day technology and natural resources on Mars to make human settlement possible. But can he win over the skeptics at NASA and the wider world?
‘The Mars Underground’ is a landmark documentary that follows Dr. Zubrin and his team as they try to bring this incredible dream to life. Through spellbinding animation, the film takes us on a daring first journey to the Red Planet and envisions a future Mars teeming with life and terraformed into a blue world. A must-see experience for anyone concerned for our global future and the triumph of the human spirit.
"This film captures the spirit of Mars pioneers who refuse to let their dreams be put on hold by a slumbering space program. Their passionate urge to walk the soil of an alien world is infectious and inspirational. This film is the manifesto of the new space revolution,” said James Cameron, director of Avatar, Titanic and Aliens.

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Brave New World w/Stephen Hawking Episode 1: MACHINES - Full/HD

with new working link

 

Excellent documentary with the great Stephen Hawkings as Stephen Hawking and others such as Professor Richard Dawkins and Professor Jim Al-Khalili examine how science is striving for humankind's next leap forward.
In Episode 1 the team showcase breakthroughs in technology and engineering that are creating a new generation of machines. Mark Evans fuses his brain with a computer in Switzerland to test a new breed of machine.
Kathy Sykes hits the streets of San Francisco to have the ride of her life as she experiences the future of transport in a driverless car. In Italy Jim Alei-Khalili comes face to face with a remarkable, baby-like robot called iCub, which learns like a child.
Joy Reidenberg discovers the extraordinary exoskeleton that can make the paralysed walk and give one man the strength of three. In the Canary Islands Maggie Aderin-Pocock visits one of the world's biggest telescopes, where they're searching for new planets in the furthest reaches of the universe - planets that we could one day colonise.

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BBC HD Horizon: The Hunt for AI

BBC Horizon: The Hunt for AI with new link!

Marcus Du Sautoy wants to find out how close we are to creating machines that can think like us: robots or computers that have artificial intelligence.
His journey takes him to a strange and bizarre world where AI is now taking shape.
Marcus meets two robots who are developing their own private language, and attempts to communicate to them. He discovers how a super computer beat humans at one of the toughest quiz shows on the planet, Jeopardy. And finds out if machines can have creativity and intuition like us.
Marcus is worried that if machines can think like us, then he will be out of business. But his conclusion is that AI machines may surprise us with their own distinct way of thinking.

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The quantum future is crystal clear: Tiny crystal revolutionises computing

Computing technology has taken a huge leap forward thanks to a tiny crystal of trapped ions used in experiments by Dr Michael Biercuk, from the University of Sydney's School of Physics and ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, with US and South African colleagues.

The ion-crystal is poised to become one of the most powerful computers yet developed, with the results published in the prestigious journal Nature on 26 April 2012.

 

read more : http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=9081

 

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The 3D Printing Revolution

3D printing will soon allow digital object storage and transportation, as well as personal manufacturing and very high levels of product customization. This video by Christopher Barnatt of ExplainingTheFuture.com illustrates 3D printing today and in the future.

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A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked. The Story Behind Corning's Vision.

In 2011, Corning Incorporated shared its vision for the near future in “A Day Made of Glass.” The video captured the imagination of millions with a glimpse into how glass, partnered with companion technologies, will help shape our everyday lives.

Today the story about a more connected world continues with “A Day Made of Glass 2.” This video is still a day made of glass, but it expands Corning’s glass innovations into a few different places and applications.

Set on the same day, “A Day Made of Glass 2” follows the same futuristic family as they journey through day, but instead focuses on the father and two daughters. As the characters work, learn, and play, the applications for specialty glass extend into the classroom, hospital, and home of the near future.

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Playing God - BBC Horizon

Adam Rutherford meets a new creature created by American scientists - the spider-goat. It is part goat, part spider, and its milk can be used to create artificial spider's web.

It is part of a new field of research, synthetic biology, with a radical aim: to break down nature into spare parts so that we can rebuild it however we please.

This technology is already being used to make bio-diesel to power cars. Other researchers are looking at how we might, one day, control human emotions by sending 'biological machines' into our brains.

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Deus Ex: The Eyeborg Documentary

To celebrate the launch of critically acclaimed video game DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, Square Enix has commissioned filmmaker Rob Spence aka Eyeborg (a self proclaimed cyborg who lost an eye replaced it with a wireless video camera) to investigate prosthetics, cybernetics and human augmentation. How far are we from the future presented to us in DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION?

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The future of food

The future of food | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

When three continents witnessed food riots in 2007 and 2008, we saw the international food system is not as stable as it looks. There’s unprecedented competition for food due to population growth and changing diets. Experts predict that by 2050, if things don't change, we will see mass starvation across the world.

In this documentary, George Alagiah travelled the world to unravel the complicated web of links that binds the world's food together, bringing it from farm to table. It reveals a growing global food crisis that could affect the planet in the years ahead. What can we do to avert this?

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aanve's curator insight, February 16, 2014 9:53 PM

www.aanve.com

 

RuthHoward's curator insight, February 17, 2014 6:38 AM

BBC doco link below regarding overconsumption on the one hand and inability to maintain the enormous variety and stocks of food that the recent food markets have enjoyed into our future. I'm a meat eater BTW. I'm not advocating everyone stop eating meat, although some do. But I do think its a worthy problem to help solve.
There will be so many solutions already being developed, how to cultivate and develop a long term plan to develop diversification of crops not reliant upon heavy oil and water production and use, that sustain populations through unpredictable climate changes with responsive agility to markets? In my mind a plan that doesn't rely on super farms, but responds to the small farmer and the local market as much as to export demand is preferable and more resilient. On that note I know the robots cometh. How to factor all of those exponential technological leaps in, to include them but not at human expense.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140206-the-future-of-food

My notes here. Earth Policy Institute Lester Brown foresees food security as the number one challenge for affluent and non affluent countries. He's been an environmental and agricultural analyst for 50 years.

Todays modern farming techniques wont feed us by 2050 unless we double productivity/yield. The finite arable land wont support this.
In addition changing weather is destined to reduce all crop yields world wide which will increase food prices.

-Richard Warburton head of Bidwells Agribusiness predicts food and water wars.

-Maasai Chief Saamy Ole Terakuai states weather has changed. He cant use his cattle for sale, for food, nor for milk, nor use their hides. Based upon Kenya, Australia in particular is at risk.

-Waitrose Farmer UK recounts volatility in grain market in part due to climate changes.
-Oil is used in intensive agriculture for fuel, fertilisers, pesticides, packaging, processing. 100g of cheese requires 140ml of oil. One tomato grown in a greenhouse uses more than a third of a litre of oil. Oil prices inflate food prices let alone affect food production.
Cuba's economy collapsed due to their reliability upon oil. A fuel shock fuels a food shock.
A very important part of this discussion documents that fuel crops (biofuels) are replacing food crops! At huge cost to locals, workers and future food security. Demonstrating that competition between fuels (cars) and food (for people) needs monitoring, especially as it is further exacerbating the divisions between rich and poor, developed and undeveloped worlds.

-Water is then tackled as a diminishing resource. Obviously essential for food production.

-Overfishing is next. World stocks of seafood could collapse by 2048. 90% of bottom fish (bottom trawls) are already gone! 80% of UK fish species are under threat. Meanwhile the market demand for fish in the UK is greater than ever, sourcing from outside including poorer countries such as Senegal, who themselves have food shortages. Senegalese are forced to share their waters with modern european fleets-Trawlers. Actionaid who monitor overfishing, observe the unlimited trawling by europeans who are profiteering from and at the expense of the Senegalese. 3/4 global fish stock are overexploited.

-Milk and meat consumption are expanding unsustainably as developing world's incomes rise. The film states that there's not enough land to produce the meat that both the developed and developing world require. 2.3kg of grain to produce 1 kilo of chicken, 15kg of grain to produce 1 kilo of beef.

 

Celest Ybarra's curator insight, March 29, 2014 9:25 PM

Title: The Future of Food

Author: BBC

Main Idea: Prediction that if eating habits don't change now, there will be a mass food scarce in the future

Summary:

1) The world is constantly changing and evolving over time, and if things don't change soon then we could be in serious trouble

2) A growing global crisis means that's there's competition for food and could affect the planet years ahead

3) Since food has become a commodity in other countries it makes it hard to believe that we could possibly run out in the future

Opinion: No, its factual.

Question: Why do researchers believe this theory? How can we help change this idea?

Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it can help us figure out how to not make this come true since food is such an important factor, and key, to our survival.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140206-the-future-of-food

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What will the future be like? – Future Dimensions – Aeon Film

What will the future be like? – Future Dimensions – Aeon Film | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The present is surreal and one thing is for sure, the future will be weirder still. Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford and other thinkers mull over whether humans might become the pets of intelligent machines; what threat does epidemic disease pose, and why we feel such a need to predict the future anyway.

Director Biography:
Ryan Harding is a photographer and film maker based in London.

Director: Ryan Harding
Producer: Marianna Petrilli

Running Time: 11 minutes
Language: English

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The Rise of Artificial Intelligence | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

Artificial intelligence is an ever evolving goal for researchers, and the object of endless fascination for writers, filmmakers, and the general public. But despite our best science fiction visions, creating digital intelligence is incredibly difficult. The universe is a very complicated place, and humans have had millions of years to evolve the ability to navigate and make sense of it. Contemporary attempts to create AI have us looking more at how our own brains work to see how a computer could simulate the core activities that create our intelligence. No matter how we get there, it is certain that artificial intelligence will have tremendous impact on our society and economy, and lead us down a path towards evolving our own definitions of humanity.

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Toward Intelligent Humanoids | iCub 2012

Director / Screenwriter / Voice Over: Mikhail Frank
Co-Director / Cinematographer / Editor: Tomás Donoso (tomasdonoso.com)
Music: Magnus Birgersson aka Solar Fields (solarfields.com) Ultimae Records (ultimae.com)

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Brave New World w/Stephen Hawking Episode 2: HEALTH - Full/HD

The experts examine how scientists are fighting for our survival by battling the world's big killer diseases.

Biologist Aarathi Prasad joins virus hunters in the jungles of Africa, Robert Winston sees first-hand how the surgeons of the future could be robots, capable of operating round the clock, and Richard Dawkins investigates the way brain disorders might one day be treated using laser light and genetically modified brain cells.

Anatomist Joy Reidenberg discovers two possible solutions to the killer disease malaria and - most extraordinarily of all - Aarathi Prasad meets a woman whose life has been saved by a revolutionary new cancer treatment, in which every patient gets an individually tailored cocktail of drugs.

From the jungles of Cameroon to the quads of Oxford, the programme celebrates the work of scientists striving to extend and save our lives.

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Brave New World w/Stephen Hawking Episode 3: TECHNOLOGY - Full/HD

Brave New World w/Stephen Hawking Episode 3: TECHNOLOGY - Full/HD

The experts explore how 21st-century technology is shaping our future by changing the way we live, the way we communicate and our perception of the universe.
Physicist Kathy Sykes explores how our mobile phones can give experts access to our every habit and action: a brave new world in which it's hard to keep a secret but where urban planners can build cities around our needs.
Designer Max Lamb witnesses the dawn of a new era in manufacturing where lasers are printing objects in 3D, and Stephen Hawking charts the rise of the former internet entrepreneur who is transforming space exploration.
Environmental scientist Tara Shine visits an experimental new city in the desert where the citizens get about by unmanned pod car, and Kathy Sykes descends two kilometres underground to explore how scientists are using technology to study the most mysterious particles in the universe.
From spaceship factories in California to one of the world's largest subterranean laboratories, in northern Canada, the programme uncovers the technology that is shaping our future.

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Robot Revolution

The race is on to build robots for the consumer market. But are there consequences to co-existing with humanoid machines? 16x9 speaks to some of the world's most brilliant people while exploring the Geminoid Project, Nao Robot, Baxter and Dr. Robot.

 

http://www.globalnews.ca/robot+revolution/6442730162/story.html

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I lost my job - a short documentary about technological unemployment

I Lost My Job is a short documentary film which sets out to explore the phenomenon which is affecting and due to affect many people's lives - namely, technological unemployment. The documentary also examines what we can do about it as a society through the analysis of a transitional direction.

Particular questions need to be raised about this subject. What are the social consequences of ongoing technological unemployment within our current economic system? How do we handle such a situation when this process is inevitable with the ongoing emergence of machine automation and new technologies taking over repetitive jobs?

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Engineering human evolution

Cyborgs, brain uploads and immortality - How far should science go in helping humans exceed their biological limitations? These ideas might sound like science fiction, but proponents of a movement known as transhumanism believe they are inevitable.

In this episode of The Stream, we talk to bioethicist George Dvorsky; Robin Hanson, a research associate with Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute; and Ari N. Schulman, senior editor of The New Atlantis, about the ethical implications of transhumanism.

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Fault Lines - Robot wars

What is the role of robots and drones in wars and how will they shape the future of the US military?

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Bluebrain | Year Two

Henry Markram is attempting to reverse engineer an entire brain, one neuron at a time, on IBM supercomputers. This piece is the Year Two preview to director Noah Hutton's 10-year film-in-the-making that will chronicle the development of The Blue Brain Project (bluebrain.epfl.ch), a landmark endeavor in modern neuroscience, culminating in a documentary feature in 2020.

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