Saturday, January 09, 2016

In The Tech News (3)

Ray Kurzweil’s Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years
By the 2020s, most diseases will go away as nanobots become smarter than current medical technology. Normal human eating can be replaced by nanosystems. ...... By the 2030s, virtual reality will begin to feel 100% real. ...... By the 2040s, non-biological intelligence will be a billion times more capable than biological intelligence (a.k.a. us). Nanotech foglets will be able to make food out of thin air and create any object in physical world at a whim. ...... By 2045, we will multiply our intelligence a billionfold by linking wirelessly from our neocortex to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud. ..... Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” and of exponential technologies. ..... Each of these technologies DEMATERIALIZED, DEMONETIZED, and DEMOCRATIZED access to services and products that used to be linear and non-scalable.

The World in 2025: 8 Predictions for the Next 10 Years
In 2025, in accordance with Moore's Law, we'll see an acceleration in the rate of change as we move closer to a world of true abundance. ....... A $1,000 Human Brain .... A Trillion-Sensor Economy .... the IoE will generate $19 trillion of newly created value. ...... Perfect Knowledge ... you'll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. ..... 8 Billion Hyper-Connected People .... Disruption of Healthcare .... this lucrative $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with new business models that dematerialize, demonetize and democratize today's bureaucratic and inefficient system. ....... Biometric sensing (wearables) and AI will make each of us the CEOs of our own health. Large-scale genomic sequencing and machine learning will allow us to understand the root cause of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disease and what to do about it. Robotic surgeons can carry out an autonomous surgical procedure perfectly (every time) for pennies on the dollar. Each of us will be able to regrow a heart, liver, lung or kidney when we need it, instead of waiting for the donor to die. ........ Augmented and Virtual Reality .... The screen as we know it — on your phone, your computer and your TV — will disappear and be replaced by eyewear. Not the geeky Google Glass, but stylish equivalents to what the well-dressed fashionistas are wearing today. The result will be a massive disruption in a number of industries ranging from consumer retail, to real estate, education, travel, entertainment, and the fundamental ways we operate as humans. ........ Early Days of JARVIS ... In a decade, it will be normal for you to give your AI access to listen to all of your conversations, read your emails and scan your biometric data because the upside and convenience will be so immense. ..... Blockchain
The Internet Allowed Us to Learn Anything—VR Will Let Us Experience Everything
The Internet has liberated information from the constraints of the physical world and essentially made the sharing of information free and unlimited for everyone. From communicating with friends on free Skype calls to taking university-level classes on Coursera and Udacity, our current access and connectivity dwarfs anything we’ve seen before. ....... Massive open online courses have fantastic content, yet a very low percentage of students end up finishing them. It’s great to see my friend’s posts on Instagram and Snapchat, but nothing beats being together in person. And no matter how many times I’ve read about the Apollo 11 mission, I’ve never taken a step on the moon. ....... Just as the Internet and smartphones have enabled the rapid and cheap sharing of information, virtual reality will be able to provide the same for experiences. That means that just as we can read, listen to, and watch videos of anything we want today, soon we’ll be able to experience stunning lifelike simulations in virtual reality...... And just as the democratization of information reshaped society, this is going to have a massive impact on the way we work, live, and play......... one word: presence. Presence is the phenomenon that occurs when your brain is convinced, on a fundamental and subconscious level, that the VR simulation you are experiencing is real. ...... Want to watch the Super Bowl from the fifty-yard line? Be on stage at your favorite concert? Or just visit and explore a faraway country? Well, that’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg wants you to be able to do on the Oculus Rift. ..... Using 360-degree video and light field technology, we can now capture real-life events and distribute them to anyone, anywhere. ...... Soon you’ll be able to explore every city, watch every sports game, and explore the universe in VR. Content plus presence is an extremely potent combination. ..... Part of the great sadness of the modern world is being able to text, call, and video chat with friends and family from all over the planet but never truly feel like you’re with them. Sometimes this ghost of a connection can paradoxically be worse than nothing, being just realistic enough to make you miss your loved ones without feeling the true warmth of their presence. ......... Multi-user virtual reality can enable a specific kind of phenomenon—social presence. ...... social presence can convince your brain to believe that the other people in the VR experience are really there with you. ...... An average Tuesday night in the VR future could include dropping into a professional conference with a coworker of yours, watching a football game with your father on the other side of the country, then hopping into a VR concert with your best friend from high school—all without leaving the house.......

The rise of the Internet was one of the most profound developments of the past century. The Internet famously allowed the futurist Ray Kurzweil to conclude that “A kid in Africa has access to more information than the president of the United States did 15 years ago.”

........ Can we finally create a digital university that surpasses the quality of our oldest and grandest learning institutions?
Six Technologies That Hit Their Tipping Points in 2015
A broad range of technologies reached a tipping point, from cool science projects or objects of convenience for the rich, to inventions that will transform humanity. We haven’t seen anything of this magnitude since the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. ........ The Internet and knowledge ... As of 2015, however, nearly half of China’s population and a fifth of India’s population have gained Internet connectivity. India now has more Internet users than does the U.S., and China has twice as many. ....... Smartphones with the capabilities of today’s iPhone will cost less than $50 by 2020. By then, the efforts of Facebook, Google, OneWeb, and SpaceX to blanket the Earth with inexpensive Internet access through drones, balloons, and microsatellites will surely bear fruit. This means that we will see another three billion people come on line.

Never before has all of humanity been connected in this way.

....... Workers in the remotest villages of Africa will be able to offer digital services to the elite in Silicon Valley. ...... Doctors in our pockets ... Our $100 smartphones are more powerful than the supercomputers of the 1970s—which cost millions of dollars. ..... With better sensors, we can develop sophisticated medical devices, drone-based delivery systems, and smart cities; and, with A.I., we can develop self-driving cars, voice-recognition systems, and digital doctors. Yes, I am talking about applications that can diagnose our medical condition and prescribe remedies.
........ Apple released a watch that, using a heart-rate sensor and accelerometer, can keep track of vital signs, activity, and lifestyles ...... sensors and A.I.-based tools to do the work of doctors. ......... Bitcoin and disintermediation ..

The blockchain is not useful just for finance. It is an almost incorruptible digital ledger that can be used to record practically anything that can be digitized: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, medical records, contracts, and votes. It has the potential to transform the lives of billions of people who lack bank accounts and access to the legal and administrative infrastructure that we take for granted.

........ Engineering of life ..... CRISPR gene modification .. an ancient system that protects bacteria and other single-celled organisms from viruses, acquiring immunity to them by incorporating genetic elements from the virus invaders. ..... to edit the genes of plants to produce more-nutritious food and require less water. ...... The drone age ... You can expect Amazon and Walmart to deliver your groceries and Starbucks to bring you your morning latte via drone. And they will monitor traffic and crime, perform building inspections, and provide emergency assistance in disasters. ...... These are an even bigger deal for the developing world. Large sections of Africa don’t have roads; remote towns and villages can’t get medical supplies; and large cities are clogged with traffic—much of it for delivery of small goods. Drones will solve many of these infrastructure problems and reduce pollution and traffic. They will also allow the constant monitoring of the Earth’s changing climate and wildlife ecology. ......... Saving the planet with unlimited clean energy ...... Solar and wind capture are already advancing on exponential curves, installation rates regularly doubling and costs falling. .......

By, 2030, solar capture could provide 100 percent of today’s energy; by 2035, it could be free—just as cell-phone calls are today.

....... We are also seeing similar advances in battery storage. Combined with the advances in energy, large swaths of the planet that don’t presently have electricity have the potential to light up in the early 2020s. Having unlimited, clean energy will be transformative for the developing world—and the planet.
Stay Tuned for the Technological Transformation of Governance
Just as early waves of technological innovation in education and health care simply attempted to digitize old practices — putting an analog class into a MOOC or a patient’s file into the cloud — early forays into governmental technology involved bringing civil services online and enabling citizens to follow government protocols on websites instead of in buildings. .....

new governance technologies preparing to reroute lines of authority and change what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

....... Others are helping teams to build consensus and budget together, dynamically and elegantly. Still others are creating operating systems for political parties that are already winning seats in government. .....

Whether we're facing climate apocalypse on Earth or colonizing Mars, the deciding factor between human civilization being extractive and oppressive, or cooperative and generative, will be how much we as a species have practiced the skills of equitable collaboration on a day-to-day basis — hearing diverse viewpoints and synthesizing them, consciously understanding the flows of power dynamics, and designing in the key factors of human wellness.

......... Human beings have been sitting in circles listening to one another for millennia, but software and the internet allow us to scale up these practices in a way we never have before. ....... Cobudget for funding and Loomio for decision-making. ........ Many of the worst aspects of command-and-control, mechanistic, hierarchical governance are consequences of limited communications technologies. If we can make distributed cooperation just as efficient, the need for those old governance forms — which cause a lot of human suffering in the name of efficiency — could be obviated. ..... The key difference is: are you privatizing everything, or are you building the commons? The real distinguishing factor isn't the governing practices, which may be similar to a point, but the governing purpose. Are we building in service of the people and the community, deeply rooted in social values and human rights, or are we in service of private interests, which only answer to their own internal logic of profit and power? ....... Already, in our network, Enspiral, where we run businesses in service of positive social outcomes, we constantly have to 'hack' company structures to make them reflect how we actually want to work. We're sticking to the law, of course, but there's some legal gymnastics involved and we're constantly having to blaze a trail. Are we a community? A company? A charity? None of the current forms actually quite fit, and the distinctions seem contrived. ........ One of the protections against government corruption in democracies is that the moment of the vote is hidden and blind. ......

the very idea that our key moment of agency as a citizen is ticking a box every three or four years is the insane part

..... Our 'democratic' system is another example of something developed a couple hundred years ago because of very limited communications technology — election dates in the US are still determined by how long it took people to go on horseback between cities. ..... What's actually incredible is when you create a society where people not only feel safe being open about their political opinions, but they genuinely discuss them with different people, and their opinion can evolve through that interaction — they can change their minds.

When citizen deliberation is possible, that's when truly amazing solutions can emerge, from synthesizing different views.

......... What can users of SMS-enabled mobile banking in Africa teach us about how our apps could work? People in warzones and disaster areas know a ton about decentralized networks, because centralised infrastructure fails them. Activists threatened by oppressive governments have heaps to teach us about privacy, identity, and leveraging online communications tools for effective action and resistance. ....... most people in this space are running completely analog processes using technologies like neighborhood meetings and science-fair like exhibitions of citizen-generated ideas. They are willing to pound the pavement.
Cosmology Is in Crisis — But Not for the Reason You May Think
a growing zoo of subatomic particles...... We still have no idea what the vast majority of the universe is made of. We struggle to understand how the Big Bang could suddenly arise from nothing or where the energy for “inflation,” a very short period of rapid growth in the early universe, came from. But despite these gaps in knowledge, it is actually human nature — our tendency to interpret data to fit our beliefs — that is the biggest threat to modern cosmology. ....... explanations for the nature of dark energy range from proposals to scrap Einstein’s theory of relativity, the addition of a new fundamental field of nature, or even that

we may be seeing the effects of neighboring parallel universes

. ....... only those papers that agreed with the status-quo were being accepted by journals. ...... Blind analysis is the most straightforward and obvious thing to do ..... By using these three approaches — blinding, systems engineering and transparency — the next generation of cosmology experiments should be able to convince people that confirmation bias is not a factor in understanding the cosmos. Without them,

by looking to the heavens, the most interesting thing we may find is ourselves.

On the Origin of Truly Innovative Ideas
The day before something is truly a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea....... But few companies actually try crazy ideas — especially the most successful ones...... The same conditions that increase the rate of biological evolution also drive the greatest rate of idea generation. ...... "speciation" is very similar to "ideation," or the formation of new ideas. ..... High-pressure environments incentivize people to try crazy 'Hail Mary' ideas, and while most fail, if one works, it is usually a true innovation. ..... Place your "innovation team" outside the mother ship, far away from the hordes that will tell them how "crazy" their ideas are. True innovation is massively disruptive and the average employee hates disruptive change. Steve Jobs isolated his Macintosh team far away from the rest of Apple and proudly flew a pirate flag above the building.
The Recipe for Generating Crazy, Innovative Ideas in Companies
it's important for "ideas to have sex." ..... This is how new ideas are made — I merge your idea and my idea and it becomes something new and valuable. ...... if new idea generation is a function of "idea interaction," then the rate of people interacting matters a lot. ...... In the 1950s, 7% of the population lived in cities..... Today, a little over 38% of people live in cities.....By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities........

doubling a city's population drives a 15% increase in income, wealth and innovation.

...... Jobs was very particular about where the bathrooms were placed in Pixar's office because he wanted "serendipitous personal encounters" to occur. ...... ask people to pick a spot and sign up to give a 10-minute talk on any subject, personal or professional. ..... Make sure you have a communication outlet that allows ideas to bubble up from anywhere, across disciplines and layers of the organization. ....... when you ask them to deliver 10x performance, with severely limited resources (i.e. 1/10th the budget and 1/10th the time), it drives invention and innovation. ...... Musk did this with Tesla, creating an epic car company with no legacy, no unions, no old factories and no old approaches. ....... Create hyper-constraints on your team. Set a difficult goal driven by a powerful massively transformative purpose and incentivize them to try new ways of attacking the problems you want solved ....... if you want true innovation, give the hardest, craziest challenges to the youth (or at least youthfully minded) in your company. ...... At what age do you think most Noble Laureates do their prize winning work? Not win their medal, but actually publish the research? .... Turns out, it's in their mid to late twenties...... "The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible… and achieve it, generation after generation." ...... Where in your organization do you allow your teams to try crazy ideas?

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