future

invisibiliaThis is a big question with a multitude of answers. NPR’s new program/podcast Invisibilia answers with three stories. The first one looks at the big picture with questions about artificial intelligence, wearable computers, and the possibilities for human/computer co-evolution. The other two stories look at specific, personal, right-now examples of human character changes as a result of digital technology.

npr.org/programs/invisibilia/385792677/our-computers-ourselves

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The name “3D printer” doesn’t come close to evoking the transformative potential of this rapidly emerging technology. In this intriguing TED Talk, Avi Reichental describes how 3D printers are revolutionizing medicine, manufacturing, and more. How does it change our world when complexity is free?

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30 Years of Living in the Future

October 27, 2014

Nicholas Negroponte has been predicting—and creating—the future for decades. In this TED talk he walks us through those decades, pointing out what the future looked like from many vantage points in the past, and ending with a startling prediction.

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Can Computers be Intelligent without Feelings?

July 10, 2014

You may have heard the headlines: a computer passed the Turing test, fooling some judges into thinking it was a human. This short piece by NPR’s Goeff Nunberg puts the event into perspective, explaining why he believes that the machines we use aren’t anything like the compelling operating system portrayed by Scarlett Johansen in the film Her.

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Tomorrow’s Internet: Which Future Will It Be?

April 25, 2014

Predicting the future isn’t easy—especially when it’s coming so fast. But people still try. Which of these expert predictions about the Internet’s future ring true to you?

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What a Difference 30 Years Makes….

February 6, 2014

In 1984 Apple rocked the advertising world with a Superbowl commercial directed by Ridley Scott. The commercial depicted a futuristic dystopian dictatorship being challenged by a courageous young heroine with a vision; a not-at-all-subtle metaphor for the soon-to-be-introduced Macintosh computer. The commercial won countless awards when it was aired, and many of the revolutionary features of the Macintosh were quickly adopted by Microsoft, the company that the commercial suggested was the enemy of freedom. Three decades later, Apple is no longer a feisty young rebel.

This new Apple commercial, filmed completely with iPhones, captures a much more optimistic vision of the role of digital technology in our future.

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The Internet Isn’t Just for People Anymore

July 25, 2013

The Internet was conceived as a way of connecting computers, but its inventors quickly realized that the Internet was a way of connecting people. Now one of those founders, Vint Cerf, is working with Peter Gabriel, Diana Reiss, Neil Gershendfeild, and others to bring dolphins, bonobos, elephants, and other species into the Internet community. This TED talk gives us a peek at the early stages of a research project that could profoundly change our relationship with non-human inhabitants of our planet—and possibly other planets.

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The Man Who Lost his Jeopardy Title to a Computer

May 9, 2013

What’s it like to be the world Jeopardy champion and lose to a computer? Ken Jennings can tell you, and he does in this engaging TED talk. From his unique perspective, he suggests that we can—and must—make a choice about the kind of future we want to have. Which world do you want to live […]

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Is That a New Tattoo or a New Computer?

March 29, 2013
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The smart phone in your pocket is a computer that’s much more powerful and easy to use than the mainframes of yesterday. But if this research project pans out, that phone may eventually be a replaced by a small patch on the back of your hand.

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SciFi Invents the Future

September 27, 2012
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Many of our biggest technological breakthroughs have their roots in science fiction. This Wired piece, and the book that inspired it, explores the SciFi/Tech link with several real-world examples. What futuristic ideas are likely to graduate into everyday tech over the next decade?

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