Until January 3, 2019, no human being had ever set eyes on the “dark side” of the moon — the side always facing away from the Earth. It was a mystery. But no longer. China’s National Space Administration successfully landed a lunar lander, Chang’e-4, at South Pole-Aitken, the moon’s largest and deepest basin. Its lunar rover Yutu-2 is sending home dozens of pictures so that we can see the soil, rocks, and craters for ourselves. Seeds it took on the journey also germinated (before freezing to death), making this the first time any biological matter from Earth has been cultivated on the Moon. Continue reading
In the near future, a young couple in a hospital clinic is going to be presented with a harrowing choice: they can choose to have their baby the normal way, as it always has been done – or they can pay extra to guarantee that their child will have extra intelligence, good looks, and live a life free of disease. Continue reading
Globally renown sociobiologist and futurist, Rebecca Costa, announced today that she has joined the Advisory Committee of the Lifeboat Foundation.
The Lifeboat Foundation is a consortium of leading scientists, experts and business leaders dedicated to helping humanity survive global catastrophic risks due to the potential misuse of technology. Other members serving on the Board and Advisory Committees include futurist and Google Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, and Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman, Eric S. Maskin, Richard J. Roberts and Wole Soyinka. In addition to traditional funding, The Lifeboat Foundation is the world’s first bitcoin endowment fund. Continue reading
Your refrigerator will talk to your toothbrush, your gym shoes, your car, and your bathroom scale. They will all have a direct line to your smartphone and tell your digital doctor whether you have been eating right, exercising, brushing your teeth, or driving too fast. I have no idea what they will think of us or gossip about; but I know that many more of our electronic devices will soon be sharing information about us— with each other and with the companies that make or support them.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fancy name for the increasing array of sensors embedded in our commonly used appliances and electronic devices, our vehicles, our homes, our offices, and our public places. Those sensors will be connected to each other via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile-phone technology. Continue reading
Welcome to the age of increasing complexity, volatility, interdependence, diversity, ambiguity, flux and more. Bring it on…
Affected by many conflicting yet interdependent factors that demand constant adaptation and speed of response, organizations of all sizes are being required to deal with what are now very complex decision making environments. Companies are being challenged by unexpected competitors, attacked by cyber-criminals, and talked about by unpredictable customers constantly. Are most structures set up to deal with such a barrage? Continue reading
What is risk? What compels most of us to avoid it while others run straight into the fire? Is risk a necessary component of progress? And more importantly, can risk ever really be eliminated? If so, how?
In the insurance industry, risk is all about math. Premiums are based on complicated actuarial tables, the cost of medical care, survival rates, the demographics and mix of participants, and so on. Similarly, in times of war, military leaders also rely on statistical analysis to assess risk. Continue reading
There is nothing like a near-death experience to make you acutely aware of how much we rely on medicine and the healthcare system. I suffered a massive heart attack in March 2012 and nearly died. The doctors saved me. Since that terrifying event, I have tracked developments in technology, medicine, and wellness carefully. All along, I wondered why so much health care aimed at saving us after we fell ill rather than at keeping us healthy and spotting the problems well in advance. People in the healthcare sector call such an approach wellness care, or preventive medicine.
GE’s Chairman and CEO, John Flannery, and Flux Group founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, Robert Safian, discuss the future of additive manufacturing and its potential to transform the world of industrial manufacturing at Industry in 3D. This is a fascinating dive into the thinking of the leadership of a major company that is navigating it’s way thru a quickly changing business landscape.
I got my first glimpse of Apple’s newest product as the sun was coming up. It was just after 7 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, two days after Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, began moving into Apple Park, the company’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. As I was escorted around the gleaming structure, it occurred to me that it embodied everything Apple’s products represent: a glimpse of the future, and yet also something familiar—not science fiction, but a tangible vision made real.
At a recent ACG Silicon Valley event, Carnegie Mellon University instructor Tarun Wadhwa discussed the future of bitcoin and the potential power of Blockchain. Blockchain technology has a large potential to transform business, being both a disruptive innovation as well as one of the newest foundational technologies. That potential is already is already bearing fruit in many important industries, along with the growing pains. Tarun touches upon the future possibilities as well as the hurdles.
The biggest story in the ecosystem of blockchain is tokenization – the ability to turn physical and digital objects into a cryptographically secured digital representation of a set of rights. In other words, a string of code that can be tracked, traded, and split up into micro-fractions. We saw the first wave of excitement with ICOs, which are tokenized company equity, but that’s just the beginning.
Tokens will play a critical role going forward in virtually any digital exchange of value. And the implication of this is the creation of massive, entirely new markets. Assets that couldn’t be sold can now become liquid…it will soon be possible to buy shares in a house or an art painting just as you would stock in a company.
Yet to explore the real opportunities, we must also examine the hurdles that might hamper the growth of blockchain use. It is complex by nature, which make it hard for many users to understand. It lacks oversight thru regulation, which makes it risky. It can be an arduously slow system, which makes it less attractive for simple uses. It uses massive computing power for its checks and balances algorithms, which makes it dependent on large amounts of electrical power. And it promises to remove all the middle men, which also discards the value of expertise and dispute resolution that middle men delivered throughout history.
It is important to understand both the possibilities and the hype. While the vast majority of use cases we hear about today are going nowhere, there is something larger going on. Blockchain or some other form of partially distributed ledger, will ultimately be transformative in defining the future of how we own and exchange things.