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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An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web

An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The inventor of the world wide web believes an online "Magna Carta" is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee told the Guardian the web had come under increasing attack from governments and corporate influence and that new rules were needed to protect the "open, neutral" system.
Speaking exactly 25 years after he wrote the first draft of the first proposal for what would become the world wide web, the computer scientist said: "We need a global constitution – a bill of rights."
Berners-Lee's Magna Carta plan is to be taken up as part of an initiative called "the web we want", which calls on people to generate a digital bill of rights in each country – a statement of principles he hopes will be supported by public institutions, government officials and corporations.

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Can we build an artificial superintelligence that won't kill us?

Can we build an artificial superintelligence that won't kill us? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

At some point in our future, an artificial intelligence will emerge that's smarter, faster, and vastly more powerful than us. Once this happens, we'll no longer be in charge. But what will happen to humanity? And how can we prepare for this transition? 

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The Future of Society and new ways of learning - Federico Pistono @ University Of Life Sciences Oslo

The pace of technological innovation is speeding up at an ever increasing rate. This is bringing unprecedented and incredibly rapid changes to the economy and society at large, particularly in the job market. 
Automation is removing jobs like never before, while comparatively few new jobs are being created by the new digital economy. This might be one of the greatest challenges that we've ever faced, but it could also represent our biggest opportunity. What can people and companies do right now to avoid being swept away by the exponentially increasing technologies that are coming to the market? What can governments do to provide for their people? What will be the future of work and of society? What will the transition look like, who will benefit from it, and who will be left behind? 

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J Craig Venter sequenced the human genome. Now he wants to covert DNA into a digital signal

J Craig Venter sequenced the human genome. Now he wants to covert DNA into a digital signal | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

J Craig Venter has been a molecular-biology pioneer for two decades. After developing expressed sequence tags in the 90s, he led the private effort to map the human genome, publishing the results in 2001. In 2010 the J Craig Venter Institute manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium, creating the first synthetic organism.
Now Venter, author of Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life, explains the coming era of discovery.

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Fighting the fuel giants for a fully renewable future

Fighting the fuel giants for a fully renewable future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The viability of a fossil fuel future is rarely connected to the human rights abuses required to sustain it. How often do we think about where oil and gas is obtained? Are the Europeans or Americans any more aware? This deliberate depoliticisation of our energy present, by the vast majority of politicians, journalists and self-described public intellectuals, is leading to an environment that is both unsustainable and dangerous for the planet.

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Artifice Earth: Adam Rutherford on the Promises of Synthetic Biology

Artifice Earth: Adam Rutherford on the Promises of Synthetic Biology | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In the basement recording studio of the journal Nature scientist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford sat down with speculative architect Liam Young to discuss the mythical beasts of synthetic biology. Rutherford recently worked with the BBC on a series called the ‘Gene Code’ which explored the consequences of decoding the human genome. Recognizing the potential externalities of communicating science poorly, Rutherford works at conveying the poorly understood field of synthetic biology to a broader audience.

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Renewable energy use gaining worldwide: IEA

Renewable energy use gaining worldwide: IEA | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Renewables like solar and wind represent the fastest-growing source of energy power generation and will make up a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, the International Energy Agency said in a report Wednesday.
The IEA said that in 2016 renewable energy will overtake natural gas as a power source and will be twice that of nuclear, and second only to coal as a source of power.

Szabolcs Kósa's insight:

download the report via this link: http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/MTrenew2013SUM.pdf

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The Pros and Cons of Killer Robots

The Pros and Cons of Killer Robots | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The United Nations on Thursday was dealing with a surprisingly pressing issue: killer robots.
In Geneva, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, called for a moratorium on the development of drones that are programmed to target and fire without human intervention. “War without reflection is mechanical slaughter,” he said. “In the same way that the taking of any human life deserves at the minimum some deliberation, a decision to allow machines to be deployed deserves a collective pause, in other words, a moratorium.”

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Mathematicians Predict the Future With Data From the Past

Mathematicians Predict the Future With Data From the Past | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In Issac Asimov's classic science fiction saga Foundation, mathematics professor Hari Seldon predicts the future using what he calls psychohistory.

Drawing on mathematical models that describe what happened in the past, he anticipates what will happen next, including the fall of the Galactic Empire.

That may seem like fanciful stuff. But Peter Turchin is turning himself into a real-life Hari Seldon — and he’s not alone.

Turchin — a professor at the University of Connecticut — is the driving force behind a field called “cliodynamics,” where scientists and mathematicians analyze history in the hopes of finding patterns they can then use to predict the future. It’s named after Clio, the Greek muse of history.

These academics have the same goals as other historians — “We start with questions that historians have asked for all of history,” Turchin says. “For example: Why do civilizations collapse?” — but they seek to answer these questions quite differently. They use math rather than mere language, and according to Turchin, the prognosis isn’t that far removed from the empire-crushing predictions laid down by Hari Seldon in the Foundation saga. Unless something changes, he says, we’re due for a wave of widespread violence in about 2020, including riots and terrorism.


Via Wildcat2030
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Christophe CESETTI's curator insight, April 11, 2013 5:34 AM

it's said...but not expected "Unless something changes, we’re due for a wave of widespread violence in about 2020, including riots and terrorism"

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Are We Paying Enough Attention to Information Technology’s Dark Side?

Are We Paying Enough Attention to Information Technology’s Dark Side? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

For centuries, the threat and selective use of brute force has steered the international balance of power. In the last couple decades, the system has increasingly accommodated economic power as a means of non-violent leverage between states. Now, says Singularity University’s Marc Goodman, we must add technology into the mix.
Technological power is not new, of course, but information technology’s exponential pace and declining cost is changing how the global game is played and who the players are. Control of technology is passing from the richest states and governments to smaller groups and individuals, and the results are both inspiring and terrifying.
As Goodman says, “The ability of one to affect many is scaling exponentially—and it’s scaling for good and it’s scaling for evil.”

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How can we govern new life forms?

How can we govern new life forms? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

‘Synthetic biology’ is an emergent scientific field with enormous potential for development and technological advancement. However, it also carries an equal capacity for risk and for harmful results to derive from the advancement of the science. Consequently, it is widely recognised in academic papers, political documents, and public discourse as requiring regulation on national and global levels, on both an ethical plane and as a safeguard.

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Technology and Politics in the 21st Century – New Governance, New Micro Nations, New Experiments

Technology and Politics in the 21st Century – New Governance, New Micro Nations, New Experiments | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The impact of 21st century technology is just starting to be felt in the political realm. The Internet and social media sites have spawned political movements built around social causes. Political parties from countries all around the world are wrestling with these new phenomena. If Facebook were a nation today it would be the third largest in the world only surpassed by China and India.
For micro-nations at sea it won’t be the Internet that leads to experiments in new governance. This will come from the founders of these communities and from the homesteaders who are attracted to the new frontier it represents. Designed to be self sufficient, seasteads may produce a new Athens or a new Sparta, a libertarian or theocratic mini-state. Once again the world will have a new frontier but it won’t be in space. It will be right here on the surface, not on terra firma, but rather at sea.

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Biotech is thrusting us into new political territory

Biotech is thrusting us into new political territory | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Nobody is immune from the feeling that change is accelerating with each passing year. This sense of "future shock" is perhaps most closely associated with information technology. We've all experienced the anxiety, frustration and resentment that accompanies the introduction of a new version of software on which we depend, or the realisation that people younger than ourselves have adopted a new technology that makes their lifestyle seem very different from our own.

Worries about rapid change also bubble up in response to scientific progress, especially when it raises moral questions. We've seen this time and again with controversies over evolution, reproductive rights, the origin of the universe and nearly all issues in science that relate to human values.

Biology is an especially volatile source of sensitivities. The old biology was mainly observational, but the new biology, or biotechnology - including stem cells, embryo research, synthetic biology and reproductive technology - has unprecedented power to change basic life processes.

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The onrushing wave

The onrushing wave | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less. But things can change
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Christian Verstraete's curator insight, February 3, 2014 1:33 AM

Technology Innovation and jobs.

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The Bio-intelligence Explosion – David Pearce

The Bio-intelligence Explosion – David Pearce | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

How recursively self-improving organic robots will modify their own source code and bootstrap our way to full-spectrum

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Will Work For Free | OFFICIAL RELEASE | 2013

Will Work For Free is a documentary by Sam Vallely on the subject of technological unemployment.

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Biology's Brave New World

Biology's Brave New World | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

All the key barriers to the artificial synthesis of viruses and bacteria have been overcome, spawning a dizzying array of perils and promises. But as the scientific community forges ahead, the biosecurity establishment remains behind the curve.

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Mario Gonzalez's curator insight, January 6, 2014 12:32 AM

Reading this article astounded me and reasured my intrest in Biology and is just ridiculously interesting

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Keeping Science in the Right Hands

Keeping Science in the Right Hands | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Cutting-edge scientific research such as synthetic biology has brought extraordinary advancements for society, but also terrifying dangers.


Via Integrated DNA Technologies
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Very interesting and sometimes heated conversation with Michio Kaku

The technological revolution of the 20th century has brought the world unprecedented prosperity as well as unimaginable horrors. Will science liberate humanity or shackle it like never before? To hash out these issues, Oksana is joined by Dr Michio Kaku, a world-renowned theoretical physicist and author.

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Augmented reality comes into focus for government -- GCN

Augmented reality comes into focus for government -- GCN | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Think of viewing the world through the Terminator's eyes.  As you scan the scene, data pops up informing you about peoples' weight, exit routes from a building, the composition of liquid in a jar.

That's the picture painted by a report from Deloitte Consulting, "Augmented government: Transforming government services through augmented reality."

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Zero State Founder Amon Kalkin on Singularity 1 on 1: Reject Apathy!

Zero State Founder Amon Kalkin on Singularity 1 on 1: Reject Apathy! | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Amon Kalkin is a cognitive scientist, electronic artist and founder of Zero State. He is 40 years old, born in New Zealand and living in the UK, where he spends his time raising a young family and gardening when he isn’t working to create a sphere of influence for positive futurist values.

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an interview by @singularityblog

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Global Information Technology Report 2013

Global Information Technology Report 2013 | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The Global Information Technology Report 2013, the 12th in the series, analyses the impact and influence of ICTs on economic growth and jobs in a hyperconnected world. Read the full news release for more information.
At the core of the report, the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the preparedness of an economy to use ICT to boost competitiveness and well-being.
The report highlights the lack of progress in bridging the new digital divide – not only in terms of developing ICT infrastructure but also in economic and social impact. Despite rapid adoption of mobile telephony, most developing economies lag behind advanced economies due to environments that are insufficiently conducive to innovation and competitiveness. On the other hand, the report shows the progress that countries are making to fully use ICT to boost higher productivity, economic growth and quality jobs in the current economic environment. Finally, the report reveals an apparent investment threshold in ICT, skills and innovation beyond which return on investment increases significantly.

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When will we finally have a world government?

When will we finally have a world government? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Political scientists and science fiction writers alike have long been taken with the idea that humans would one day form a global government. Yet few of us take this prospect very seriously, often dismissing it as an outright impossibility or very far off in the future. Given the rapid pace of globalization, however, it would seem that humanity is inexorably headed in this direction. So how long will it take us to build a world government?

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The ends of humanity

The ends of humanity | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Socialism is dead, and the transhuman future looms. Is there any way to recover a sense of global purpose?

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Seven Themes for the Coming Decade

Seven Themes for the Coming Decade | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Understanding long-term trends is an important tool in identifying opportunities and risks. STEEP analysis looks at the world through five different perspectives – Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political.

The following are the major themes that are presently shaping the future...

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