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The Future Needs Futurists

October 10, 2005

Prospects for professional futurists are starting to look quite promising. As companies and government agencies grapple with the seemingly scorching rate of technological innovation and change, more are engaging the services of self-described futurists for advice on how to adapt.

The Future Needs Us!

February 3, 2003

Freeman Dyson has written a libertarian response to Michael Crichton’s novel Prey and Bill Joy’s advice to relinquish research in genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics.

Dyson is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the School of Natural Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

‘The Future of Aging’ makes the scientific case for biogerontology

November 2, 2009

The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension has just been announced by Springer.

The 40 authors make the scientific case that a biological “bailout” could be on the way, and that human aging can be different in the future than it is today. Based on the future therapeutic potential of biogerontology, their paradigm-breaking proposals include sirtuin-modulating pills, new concepts for attacking cardiovascular disease and cancer, mitochondrial rejuvenation,… read more

The Future of AI

June 12, 2006

To explore the future of AI, IEEE Intelligent Systems invited well-known AI scientists to contribute articles speculating about where AI is headed and how we might get there.

This special issue commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Dartmouth summer workshop, which brought together the field’s lead¬ing researchers.

Articles may be downloaded free.

The Future of Babies: Artificial Wombs and Pregnant Grandmas

July 28, 2008

In a special Nature report, “Making Babies: The Next 30 Years,” scientists predict that artificial wombs and experiments on human embryos grown in the lab will be commonplace (and no big deal ethically) in 30 years, human embryos will be made from sperm and egg cells derived from pluripotent stem cells (can develop into any of the body’s cell types), labs will be able to generate sperm and eggs for… read more

The future of biomedicine: virtual humans

March 18, 2008

Scientists have recently provided a sneak preview of the future of biomedicine with a range of projects seeking to assemble virtual humans–or parts of them–on computers and “labs on a chip.”

The technology could usher in a new era of personalized medicine in which rapid tests tell doctors which treatments have the best chances of success for individual patients.

In addition, copying the brain’s chemistry is important for… read more

The future of brain-controlled devices

December 31, 2009

Researchers are using brain-computer interfaces to aid the disabled, treat diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and provide therapy for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Work is under way on devices that may eventually let you communicate with friends telepathically, give you superhuman hearing and vision or even let you download data directly into your brain, a la “The Matrix.”

Note: A New York Times article says… read more

The Future of Business Intelligence

June 22, 2004

Within three years, companies and governmental agencies will be able to successfully run analytics within a centralized data warehouse containing 1 petabyte or more of data — without performance limitations.

Over the next five years, automated banking systems will become increasingly complex by considering customer financial status and wealth, transactional history, and even family and business relationships, to produce complex man/machine interactions that resemble artificial intelligence.

The Future of Calamity

January 3, 2005

Future catastrophes — from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, mudslides, droughts, malaria, AIDS, crop failures, global warming and other causes — may be far grimmer than the recent Asian tsunami.

The future of chip manufacturing

July 1, 2011

Researchers at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) have developed a way to get the resolution of high-speed e-beam lithography (commonly used to prototype computer chips) down from 25 to just nine nanometers, allowing for smaller, faster chips.

Combined with other emerging technologies, it could point the way toward making e-beam lithography practical as a mass-production technique.

The Future of Computing

December 7, 2011

The New York Times has special coverage on the future of computing today. Here are the stories we found most interesting.

Taking Faster and Smarter to New Physical Frontiers, By Drew Endy

From scheduling conference rooms to rooting out incipient tumors, computers that can go to the information that we care greatly about

Leave the Driving to the Car, and Reap Benefits inread more

The Future of Computing, According to Intel

September 26, 2007

Andrew Chien, director of Intel Research, is exploring terascale computing, in which machines with tens or hundreds of cores perform trillions of operations per second.

The big idea he’s exploring is the role of inference and sensors as missing pieces to make ubiquitous computing come to fruition. One of the initial steps is to build systems that understand what we’re doing and understand the importance of different activities in… read more

The future of cryonics debate between physicist Michio Kaku and Alcor CEO Max More

December 22, 2013

ALCOR2

In response to a question, “What are the practical applications of cryogenics today, and what potential improvements can we expect 20 to 30 years down the line?” Michio Kaku, PhD, replied with a critique.

Max More, PhD, CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation, offered this response, noting that cryonics is “affordable by regular people. Ice does not form inside cells… read more

The future of e-paper: The Kindle is only the beginning

June 9, 2008

Displays on devices like the Kindle and its rival, the Sony Reader 505, are beginning to provide the contrast and resolution of traditional ink on paper.

But the technology is rapidly moving to plastic substrates that will make e-paper almost as flexible as paper, and color e-paper displays, expected to be available in two or three years.

The future of education eliminates the classroom, because the world is your class

March 25, 2013

Hypercities (credit: UCLA et at.)

Technology can turn our entire lives into learning experiences via “socialstructed learning,” an aggregation of microlearning experiences drawn from a rich ecology of content and driven not by grades but by social and intrinsic rewards, suggests Marina Gorbis, Executive Director at the Institute for the Future, in Fast Company.

“Today’s obsession with MOOCs is a reminder of the old forecasting paradigm: In the early stages of technology… read more

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