Tracking the Future
45.0K views | +1 today
Follow
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
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The end of the Industrial Revolution

The end of the Industrial Revolution | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

What a privilege it is to be alive in these times, in such a significant period in human history. It’s not always easy to see moments of great historical importance when you’re in the middle of them. Sometimes they’re dramatic, like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the landing on the moon. But more often the really big ones appear, from within them, to be unfolding in slow motion. Their actual drama and speed then only becomes clear in hindsight.

That’s how it will be with this. But in the end we’ll look back at this moment and say, yes, that’s when it was clear, that’s when the end game began. The end game of the industrial revolution.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Watson turns medic: Supercomputer to diagnose disease

Watson turns medic: Supercomputer to diagnose disease | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

It is more than a year since Watson, IBM's famous supercomputer, opened a new frontier for artificial intelligence by beating human champions of the quiz show Jeopardy!. Now Watson is learning to use its language skills to help doctors diagnose patients.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Nanotechnology in Personalized Medicine

Nanotechnology in Personalized Medicine | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

As our ability increases to work with matter on the scale of nanometers, we are finding more and more applications for nanomaterials across a huge range of industries. The field of medicine will be amongst the most affected by the rise of nanotechnology, as it coincides with our increasing understanding of biology and medicine on the molecular scale.

Nanostructures, which are of a suitable size scale to interact directly with many biological structures and systems, are going to be a vital tool for physicians to gain better information about patient's bodies, and will allow them to work directly with the body to prevent and cure diseases.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Hacking humans: Building a better you

Hacking humans: Building a better you | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

'Man is something that shall be overcome,' wrote Nietzsche. He may have never envisioned today's efforts to re-engineer the body, but he looks prophetic as pioneers aim to push the envelope of human capability.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future

Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Access to clean, affordable and reliable energy has been a cornerstone of the world's increasing prosperity and economic growth since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Our use of energy in the twenty–first century must also be sustainable. Solar and water–based energy generation, and engineering of microbes to produce biofuels are a few examples of the alternatives. This Perspective puts these opportunities into a larger context by relating them to a number of aspects in the transportation and electricity generation sectors. It also provides a snapshot of the current energy landscape and discusses several research and development opportunities and pathways that could lead to a prosperous, sustainable and secure energy future for the world.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Why sex could be history

Why sex could be history | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

From artificial wombs to men and women being able to reproduce entirely alone, Aarathi Prasad says science is rewriting the rules of sex and human reproduction.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Technology & the Future of Violence

Technology & the Future of Violence | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

How should our defense strategy evolve in a world of easily accessible mini-drones, lethal nanobots, and DIY warfare?

more...
olsen jay nelson's comment, August 20, 2012 9:36 AM
This is a great one!
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry

New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Robots far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other industries are replacing workers in both manufacturing and distribution.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

3D Revolution Speeding Up

3D Revolution Speeding Up | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

3D printing, or additive manufacture as it is also known, creates objects from a digital design using a machine that looks not unlike a conventional ink-jet printer, but using materials instead of ink to build up the object.

One of the critical changes occurring is the growing sophistication of the equipment, but also the fall in price and size. The $500 3D printer has now been made; as has a truly portable one that fits in a suitcase. This changes the level of accessibility and affordability.

The scale of what we can 3D print is also changing. At one end, the potential to 3D print a house cheaply and quickly is emerging – an application would be the production of emergency housing made in situ – which could then also be designed to ‘fit’ local terrain. Such an approach could be adapted for low cost housing, radical house renovations or high end bespoke room fittings.

At the other end of the scale are the development of 3D nano-printing and the use of cells. A recent experiment ‘broke the record’ for nano-printing, by making a model of a formula 1 car at nano-scale. Being able to operate effectively at that scale could revolutionise not only material sciences but almost any area of manufacture.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Soon you'll be backing up your hard drive using DNA

Soon you'll be backing up your hard drive using DNA | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Think the memory card in your camera is high-capacity? It's got nothing on DNA. With data accumulating at a faster rate now than any other point in human history, scientists and engineers are looking to genetic code as a form of next-generation digital information storage.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Mapping The Future Of Education Technology

Mapping The Future Of Education Technology | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

If it’s true that 65% of today’s grade school students will work in jobs that don’t exist yet, then we better get ready for some drastically different learning environments.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

How To Build A Phononic Computer

How To Build A Phononic Computer | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The science of how light interacts with matter is called quantum electrodynamics or QED and the theory on which it is based is one of the crowning achievements of 20th century physics.

Today, it lies at the heart of an emerging technology called circuit-QED, in which photons trapped on a silicon chip are made to interact with superconducting devices called artificial atoms, which have various energy levels just like real atoms.

This is a promising tool for quantum computation. Circuit-QED devices manipulate quantum information as it is transferred from light to matter and vice versa. And the fact that this all takes place on a single chip allows unprecedented control.

But there is another way of doing this kind of quantum information processing that could be just as promising. Instead of relying on light, this uses quantum packets of sound called phonons

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The Singularity is not coming

The Singularity is not coming | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Given that you are tech-savvy, by that point you have almost certainly come across the idea of the Singularity  as defended by futurists like Ray Kurzweil and Vernor Vinge. As a reminder, it is the notion that, when we are at last able to compile a smarter-than-human artificial intelligence, this AI will in turn manage to improve its own design, and so on, resulting in an out-of control loop of “intelligence explosion” with unpredictable technological consequences. (singularists go on to predict that after this happens we will merge with machines, live forever, upload our minds into computers, etc).

What’s more, this seemingly far-future revolution would happen within just a few decades (2040 is often mentioned), due to the “exponential” rate of progress of science. That this deadline would arrive just in time to save the proponents of the Singularity from old age is just a weird coincidence that ought to be ignored.

Objection, your honor. As a scientist, I find the claim that scientific progress is exponential to be extremely dubious. If I look at my own field, or at any field that I am vaguely familiar with, I observe roughly linear progress —a rate that has typically been going on since as far back as the field’s foundation. “Exponential progress” claims are usually supported by the most bogus metrics, such as the number of US patents filled per year (essentially a fashion utterly decorrelated from scientific progress).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Technological Singularity fact or fiction?

Aubrey De Grey discuses whether the Technological Singularity is fact or fiction?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Who should pay when your robot breaks the law?

Who should pay when your robot breaks the law? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Robots are unquestioningly getting more sophisticated by the year, and as a result, are becoming an indelible part of our daily lives. But as we start to increase our interactions and dependance on robots, an important question needs to be asked: What would happen if a robot actually committed a crime, or even hurt someone — either deliberately or by mistake?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Taking over from evolution: how technology could enhance humanity

Taking over from evolution: how technology could enhance humanity | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Human brains evolved over the last four million years in response to the interaction between environmental challenges and behaviours that enabled us to overcome these challenges. But the future of the brain may be more directly in human hands.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

How long before robots can think like us?

How long before robots can think like us? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Will this summer be remembered as a turning point in the story of man versus machine? On June 23, with little fanfare, a computer program came within a hair’s breadth of passing the Turing test, a kind of parlour game for evaluating machine intelligence devised by mathematician Alan Turing more than 60 years ago.
This wasn’t as dramatic as Skynet becoming self-aware in the Terminator films, or HAL killing off his human crew mates in 2001, A Space Odyssey. But it was still a sign that machines are getting better at the art of talking – something that comes naturally to humans, but has always been a formidable challenge for computers.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Neuroevolution: an alternative route to Artificial Intelligence

If you were to ask a random person what the best example of Artificial Intelligence is out there, what do you think it would be?

Most likely, it would be IBM’s Watson.

In a stunning display of knowledge and accuracy, Watson blew away the world Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter without blowing a fuse, and ended with Jennings proclaiming, “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.”

IBM’s Watson represents the current popular approach to AI: that is, spending hundreds of hours hand-coding and fine-tuning a program to perform exceedingly well on a single task. Most people in the field of AI call machines like Watson an expert system because they are designed to be experts at a single task. This approach has been wildly successful lately, producing machines that drive cars and fly UAVs by themselves, beat world chess and Jeopardy champions, and even fool some people into thinking they’re human.

However, imagine how hard it would be to hand-code a system that could do everything the human brain is capable of. Do you think that sounds impossible? That’s the reason why the field of neuroevolution was born: scientists wanted to harness the creative power of evolution to design the programs that could achieve human-level intelligence.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Accelerated returns in food production

Accelerated returns in food production | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Ray Kurzweil’s “law of accelerating returns” is a very viable economic theory that can be used to address many of the issues that economists are facing in our times, but unfortunately most university departments of economics pay very little attention to it, whereas the old economic theories are not able to answer issues that global economy has been facing since the inception of computer revolution of the last thirty years.

In fact, when the global economy is struggling with issues such as chronic unemployment and the traditional economists are consulted about it, their answers are repeating the same solutions that have failed over and over again, whereas Kurzweil’s theory opens a new way of thinking to fix the economy.

It may be a good idea to address specific issues from the angle of the law of accelerated returns and ask economists to respond and start a dialogue on this new futurist approach of Kurzweil to seek solutions for the problems facing humanity in our times. Challenges of food production in the global economy, at the time when some countries in Africa are facing famine year after year, show the need for a new understanding to help us to come up with working solutions.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Don’t Believe the Techno-Utopian Hype

Don’t Believe the Techno-Utopian Hype | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Are you a technoptimist or a depressimist? This is the question I have been pondering after a weekend hanging with some of the superstars of Silicon Valley.

I had never previously appreciated the immense gap that now exists between technological optimism, on the one hand, and economic pessimism, on the other. Silicon Valley sees a bright and beautiful future ahead. Wall Street and Washington see only storm clouds. The geeks think we’re on the verge of The Singularity. The wonks retort that we’re in the middle of a Depression.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Future Phrases | Quotes About The Future

Future Phrases | Quotes About The Future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Explore the future through the words of culture’s most prolific and influential minds. Our collection of quotes and phrases promises to activate, captivate, renovate, and motivate your perspective on the world of tomorrow…

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The Trouble of Discounting Tomorrow

The Trouble of Discounting Tomorrow | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

No challenge facing humanity is broader in scope and importance than achieving a sustainable future. Every dimension of our lives is affected, and every discipline and sector of society must be involved in meeting the challenge. Yet we consistently place less importance on distant events than on those close to us in time (as well as in other dimensions). This so-called discounting of our future makes more difficult our ability to achieve sustainability. Although arguments over the correct “social discount rate” have long occupied a central place in economic thinking, too little has been done to confront the issues of equity that discounting implies.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

David Hanson on the Future of Arts, Design and Robotics

David Hanson on the Future of Arts, Design and Robotics | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

An Interview by Natasha Vita-More

------

David Hanson and I share a similar background in media, art and design. We both value new possibilities for human platforms for life extension. Where we are different is in our focus: I designed “Primo Posthuman” as a future body prototype for exploring theoretical ideas regarding regenerative media, nanorobots and AGI. Alternatively, David is actually building humanoid robots — including the Robokind commercial robot humanoid, and a variety of extremely realistic robot heads, incorporating unprecedentedly realistic facial expressions and voice. This interview covers some of David’s work in this area, including its exciting broader implications.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Fusion: The quest to recreate the Sun’s power on Earth

Fusion: The quest to recreate the Sun’s power on Earth | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Cadarache: In the dusty highlands of Provence in southern France, workers have excavated a vast rectangular pit 17 metres (56 feet) down into the unforgiving rocks. From my raised vantage point, I can see bright yellow mechanical diggers and trucks buzzing around the edge of the pit, looking toy-like in the huge construction site. Above us, the fireball Sun dries the air at an unrelenting 37C.

These are embryonic stages to what is perhaps humankind's most ambitious scientific and engineering project: to replicate the Sun here on Earth.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Danny Hillis talks Proteomics & Personalized Medicine

During his lecture at Singularity University, Hillis explained how scientific medicine is beginning to revert back to more ancient, ayurvedic lessons about healthcare. The approach is to treat the body as a system, where balance is the foundation for good health and disease and sickness are the externalities of imbalance. With advancements in proteomics and computing we can begin creating models of what a healthy bodily state looks like. In the same way we might use environmental models to analyze the global climate, we can isolate specific variables that can inform the larger picture. As the data piles up, preventative medicine will become a quantitative endeavour. Hillis believes the doctors visit of the future will be a simple blood test that measures proteins, lipids and some other key signals, which can then be plugged into a systematic database to help us treat diseases long before any symptoms arise. It is a huge upgrade in efficiency, one that could save millions of lives and alleviate the indebted healthcare system in the process.

more...
No comment yet.