Sean Carroll recently did a podcast interview of futurist John Danaher on the issue of increasing automation, and what it might mean for future society. Danaher sees automation taking away jobs, jobs that won't come back. In this common view, we're heading for a post work society, where the machines do everything, and we need … Continue reading Our coming automated utopia?
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. Niels Bohr If you're a science fiction writer, one of the things you do is try to predict what future technologies will come along. If you're not writing hard science fiction, this is relatively easy. You just come up with a cool capability and throw in some … Continue reading Predicting far future technologies
I read a lot of books, and as I've posted about before, the lion share of those books these days are Kindle e-books. E-books aren't for everyone, but for the last several years they've been my preferred way to consume a book. I love the way I can buy a book and immediately start reading it, the … Continue reading Kindle Oasis: a quick review
Michael Chorost has an article at Slate about artificial intelligence and any dangers it might present. I find myself in complete agreement with the early portions of his piece, as he explains why an AI (artificial intelligence) would be unlikely to be dangerous in the way many fear. To value something, an entity has to be able … Continue reading Let artificial intelligence evolve? Probably fruitless, possibly dangerous.
I found this TED talk on self driving cars interesting, particularly the time frame mentioned at the end that Google is aiming for. If it comes to fruition, it could revolutionize travel by the 2020s. Personally, I'm looking forward to being able to surf the web, read, or just get a head start on emails … Continue reading How a driverless car sees the road
Mars One, a non-governmental plan to send colonists on way trips to Mars starting in 2025, has been in the news a lot over the last year. While I'd love to see us establish a human presence on Mars, the Mars One project has always struck me as a flawed plan, with far too many optimistic assumptions. It … Continue reading Mars One and done?
A reminder that quantum computing isn't necessarily the only way forward in processor technology: IBM spending $3 billion to rethink decades-old computer design - Computerworld. IBM will pour US$3 billion into computing and chip materials research over the next five years, as it rethinks computer design and looks to a future that may not involve silicon … Continue reading IBM spending $3 billion to rethink decades-old computer design
When I first saw the title of this article, I thought it might be an alarmist piece of some kind about passenger safety from higher radiation doses while in the air, but it's actually about a broader and more serious problem: The $8.5M Race to Protect Planes From Cosmic Rays. It’s an invisible, but looming threat … Continue reading Cosmic rays becoming an increasing problem for microchips. Threat to Moore’s Law?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq-mRNaV-sc I found this to be an interesting primer on quantum computing. One take away for me is that quantum processors will be useful for specific purposes, not necessarily as general purpose devices. This implies to me that we might someday have computers with separate quantum processors with specific jobs delegated to it by the classic … Continue reading Quantum computing 101with D-Wave’s Vern Brownell
When pondering how likely life is to develop on other worlds, or what types of life might develop, we always have to always bear in mind that we currently only have one example to work with. And that example has one extremely unusual attribute, a large moon, at least large in relation to the size … Continue reading Did a cosmic fluke make life on land possible?