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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Mind-operated robot arm helps paralyzed woman have her cup o' joe (video)

Mind-operated robot arm helps paralyzed woman have her cup o' joe (video) | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Researchers at the Braingate2 consortium have made a breakthrough that allows people with spinal cord or stroke injuries to control robotic limbs with their minds. The original project allowed subjects with motor cortex-implanted chips to move cursors on a screen with their minds, but they can now command DEKA and DLR mechanical arms to grasp foam balls and sip coffee. Researchers noted that dropped objects and missed drinks were frequent, but improved brain sensors and more practice by subjects should help.

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A Window of Opportunity

A Window of Opportunity | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

We are all traveling into the future, as are our children and grandchildren. So it is personally relevant to everyone what that future is like. We call a very good future, a future where our species thrives, a utopia. We call a very bad future a dystopia.

We have some agency in the matter of futures, which sort of future we end up experiencing. Particularly, we have agency at a fortunate time such as this, where we have a global infrastructure, global economy and global science to direct at the problems we choose.

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Will scientists ever discover the secret of immortality?

Will scientists ever discover the secret of immortality? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

When you think of the word "immortality" it is hard not to feel a tingling excitement, even if those feelings are quickly followed by a sense of something more biblical, almost God-like, and then by something darker lurking in the shadow of the word.

As Western science still has not found the immortality gene, it is perhaps not surprising that in Silicon Valley and on the outskirts of Moscow the eccentric wealthy (and it always is the eccentric wealthy) are now turning their attention – and their money – to projects that are promising to deliver a new version of the age-old fantasy (or folly) of everlasting life: digital immortality. And this time it may actually work.

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Synthetic Biological Life

Synthetic Biological Life | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The idea of producing artificial or synthetic life has long fascinated mankind and from ancient times many human and animal-imitating “automata” or self-operating machines have been created for entertainment, instructional, and sometimes religious purposes. The creation of actual synthetic biological life only became possible with the discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic code, and the development of the basic tools of molecular biology, such as the ability to isolate, sequence, and join different DNA sequences. Especially important has been the recently developed ability to artificially synthesize relatively long DNA molecules with designed sequences. Although the creation of completely synthetic biological life was first accomplished in 2010, the field is already yielding significant information concerning the core gene groups or genetic “chassis” indispensible for life and how these gene products (proteins, RNAs, and lipids) function as an integrated unit. With the identification of these chassis, exogenous natural or synthetic gene sequences can be integrated into organisms designed for specific purposes and applications.

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The Future of Business

Topic: "The future of business: how to benefit from the global shift to a networked society" HBR Poland Keynote: Futurist & Keynote Speaker Gerd Leonhard


The Internet, or to be more precise, the mobile and social 'Internet 2.0' that has exploded in the past 2 years, is dramatically changing the way we find and are found, how we relate to our customers (and vice versa), and by extension how we buy and sell. In a networked society, the-people-formerly-known-as-consumers are becoming more powerful by the minute; transparency rules and more often than not, interaction comes before transaction and attention is the currency. In this digital world, data is indeed the new oil, brands are publishers, and ecommerce almost entirely becomes mobile and social - and this has significant impact on B2B sectors, as well. Gerd will share his foresights on where things are headed in the next 3 years, provide examples of best practices and illustrate the biggest opportunities and how to prepare for them. The future of business is interdependent, real-time, social, local and mobile - get ready.

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Lawrence Krauss - The Future of Life in the Universe

Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. He was born in New York City and moved shortly thereafter to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up. He received undergraduate degrees in both Mathematics and Physics at Carleton University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982), then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows (1982-85). He joined the faculty of the departments of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University as assistant professor in 1985, and associate professor in 1988. In 1993 he was named the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Chairman of the department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University. He served in the latter position for 12 years, until 2005. During this period he built up the department, which was ranked among the top 20 Physics Graduate Research Programs in the country in a 2005 national ranking. Among the major new initiatives he spearheaded are included the creation of one of the top particle astrophysics experimental and theoretical programs in the US, and the creation of a groundbreaking Masters Program in Physics Entrepreneurship. In 2002, he was named Director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case.

 

Videoed at the Singularity Summit Australia 2011: http://2011.singularitysummit.com.au 

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Website Asteroid Mining Mission Revealed by Planetary Resources, Inc.

Planetary Resources, Inc. announced today its plan to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals. Through the development of cost-effective exploration technologies, the company is poised to initiate prospecting missions targeting resource-rich asteroids that are easily accessible.

Resource extraction from asteroids will deliver multiple benefits to humanity and could be valued at billions of dollars annually. The effort will tap into the high concentration of precious metals found on asteroids and provide a sustainable supply to the ever-growing population on Earth.

The company was founded by space visionary Peter H. Diamandis, M.D. and leading commercial space entrepreneur Eric Anderson, and is supported by an impressive investor and advisor group, including Google's Larry Page & Eric Schmidt, Ph.D.; film maker & explorer James Cameron; Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and Microsoft's former Chief Software Architect Charles Simonyi, Ph.D.; Founder of Sherpalo and Google Board of Directors founding member K. Ram Shriram; and Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group Ross Perot, Jr.

 

Visit http://www.planetaryresources.com for more information.

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Daniel Kraft - What's next in healthcare?

There's some amazing things coming down the healthcare pipeline and Daniel Kraft ( @daniel_kraft ) knows a "little" about all of them. We asked him to take us on a rollercoaster-journey through them.

Take for example regenerative medicine, which is starting to experience tremendous growth with the blossoming use of stem cells to help the body heal and replace damaged tissue. Or personalized medicine that allow for far more precise dosage and effectiveness for individuals, not masses. Kraft will touch upon some impressive developments that hint us to the future of medicine. Kraft teaches at Stanford University, is an expert on regenerative medicine, and a member of the faculty at Singularity University and is directing their upcoming FutureMed program.

via TEDxMaastricht

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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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Artificial Intelligence Could Be on Brink of Passing Turing Test

Artificial Intelligence Could Be on Brink of Passing Turing Test | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

One hundred years after Alan Turing was born, his eponymous test remains an elusive benchmark for artificial intelligence. Now, for the first time in decades, it’s possible to imagine a machine making the grade.

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Printable Houses and the Massive Wave of Opportunity it will bring to Our Future

Printable Houses and the Massive Wave of Opportunity it will bring to Our Future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

For an industry firmly entrenched in working with nails and screws, the prospects of replacing saws and hammers with giant printing machines seems frightening. But getting beyond this hesitancy lies the biggest construction boom in all history.

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Catalyst: Elixir of Life

Catalyst: Elixir of Life | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The elixir of life may emerge from a laboratory within our lifetime Maryanne Demasi explores the science of immortality...

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Exclusive Video: Surviving Progress Looks at Technology’s Human Toll

Exclusive Video: Surviving Progress Looks at Technology’s Human Toll | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

“We’re entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history. But I’m an optimist,” says Stephen Hawking in the exclusive clip from new documentary Surviving Progress.

The theoretical physicist’s balanced perspective is a philosophical template for directors Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks’ meditative movie. A brilliant cyborg himself, Hawking is something like living proof of the visually impressive documentary’s existential meditation.

Filled with sweeping footage ranging from flaring rockets and swarming schools of fish to pulsing global metropoles and their inhabitants, Surviving Progress asks the question: Can our evolving humanity achieve a moral symbiosis with exponential technological progress? The moviemakers seem intent on making the asking of this question as engrossing as the complicated answers, and the result is an intelligent analysis of humanity at a crucial crossroads, in search of an exit from self-created dystopia.

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Nanotechnology - A Changing Landscape

In the Lloyd's library in London, Eric Drexler addressed business risks and opportunities of nanotechnology. Sponsored by both the UK Knowledge Transfer Networks of Finance and Nanotechnology, Drexler focuses initially on a broad overview of nanotechnology, then examines current and emerging risks. The talk concludes with prospects for transformative future nanotechnologies.

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You Want the Future? You Can't Handle the Future!

Previous technology systems such as the railroad and electrification have dramatically changed human, natural, and built systems at a regional and global scale. Today, however, we are experiencing rapid — and accelerating — evolution in at least five foundational technologies: nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technology, robotics, and applied cognitive science. The result is a future that is unpredictable and radically contingent, as both our planet, and the human itself, become design spaces subject to human intervention and deliberate change in ways never before possible.

Braden R. Allenby is the Lincoln Professor of Engineering and Ethics, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and of Law, at Arizona State University. He previously served as the Environment, Health and Safety Vice President for AT&T. Dr. Allenby received his BA from Yale University, JD and MA (economics) from the University of Virginia, and his MS and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University. His areas of expertise include Design for Environment, industrial ecology, telework and net centric organizations, and earth systems engineering and management.

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How will we build an artificial human brain?

How will we build an artificial human brain? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

There's an ongoing debate among neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and even philosophers as to whether or not we could ever construct or reverse engineer the human brain. Some suggest it's not possible, others argue about the best way to do it, and still others have already begun working on it.

Regardless, it's fair to say that ongoing breakthroughs in brain science are steadily paving the way to the day when an artificial brain can be constructed from scratch. And if we assume that cognitive functionalism holds true as a theory — the idea that our brains are a kind of computer — there are two very promising approaches worth pursuing.

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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 future of human lifespans, a demographic perspective

The future of human life spans, a demographic perspective by Caleb E Finch, Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California

 

© SENS Foundation 2011 - http://www.sens.org 

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Ramen by HP? The Wild Possibilities Of Printing Food

Ramen by HP? The Wild Possibilities Of Printing Food | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The Cornell Creative Machines Lab wants to bring 3-D food printing technology to restaurants and home chefs. Top culinary talents believe this could lead to healthier diets, not just snazzier snacks.

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The Computing Trend that Will Change Everything

The Computing Trend that Will Change Everything | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The performance of computers has shown remarkable and steady growth, doubling every year and a half since the 1970s. What most folks don't know, however, is that the electrical efficiency of computing (the number of computations that can be completed per kilowatt-hour of electricity used) has also doubled every year and a half since the dawn of the computer age.

Laptops and mobile phones owe their existence to this trend, which has led to rapid reductions in the power consumed by battery-powered computing devices. The most important future effect is that the power needed to perform a task requiring a fixed number of computations will continue to fall by half every 1.5 years (or a factor of 100 every decade). As a result, even smaller and less power-intensive computing devices will proliferate, paving the way for new mobile computing and communications applications that vastly increase our ability to collect and use data in real time.

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Kevin Warwick - Implants & Technology -- The Future of Healthcare?

Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, where he carries out research in artificial intelligence, control, robotics and cyborgs. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET.

Kevin's research involves the invention of an intelligent deep brain stimulator to counteract the effects of Parkinson Disease tremors. The tremors are predicted and a current signal is applied to stop the tremors before they start -- this is to be trialled in human subjects. Another project involves the use of cultured/biological neural networks to drive robots around -- the brain of each robot is made of neural tissue.

Kevin is perhaps best known for his pioneering experiments involving a neuro-surgical implantation into the median nerves of his left arm to link his nervous system directly to a computer to assess the latest technology for use with the disabled. He was successful with the first extra-sensory (ultrasonic) input for a human and with the first purely electronic telegraphic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans.

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Hugo de Garis - Approaches to AI, Neuroscience, Engineering, Intelligence Theory, Cyborgs

Interview with Hugo de Garis. Approaches to AI, Neuroscience, Engineering, Intelligence Theory, Cyborgs

 

watch the second part of the interview here: http://youtu.be/-yuS_NCdLHc

 

Prof. Dr. Hugo de GARIS is the retired director of the Artificial Brain Lab (ABL), Xiamen University, China

 

http://profhugodegaris.wordpress.com/

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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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AI robot: how machine intelligence is evolving

AI robot: how machine intelligence is evolving | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

No computer can yet pass the 'Turing test' and be taken as human. But the hunt for artificial intelligence is moving in a different, exciting direction that involves creativity, language – and even jazz

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