News of The Future This Week: May 24, 2019

“Our aim is to develop affectionate robots that can make people smile.”– Masayoshi Son

What–he worry?  Ford’s delivery robot.

Will that thing to the left make you smile?  I have my doubts about that.  If you’re not familiar with the concept of the uncanny valley, you will be soon.  Welcome to the creepy future!

While you’re reading about all this week’s future-related  news, don’t forget that you can subscribe to Seeking Delphi™ podcasts on iTunes, PlayerFM, or YouTube (audio with slide show) and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Robotics–Just a few weeks after the CEO of Ford admitted they had underestimated the difficulty in deploying self driving cars,  IEEE Spectrum reported  on Ford’s self-driving vans, with door-to-door delivery robots.  Can the bots be considered unemployed before they are formally employed?

Future Business–Fast Company projects that the companies of the future will be sustainable and employee owned.   This mirrors the triple-bottom line approach espoused by John C. Havens in Seeking Delphi™ podcast #17.

NASA’s lunar gateway. Image: Maxar Technologies

Space/NASA–Up until now, NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon have been rather vague.  No longer.  A $1.6 billion infusion for its Artemis Lunar project has resulted in a firm target of 2024.  The plan includes an orbiting lunar space station.  Can they do it by 2024?  The New York Times reports that it’s unlikely.

–The Artemis 1 mission, won’t carry astronauts.  But it will carry yeast into orbit around the sun.  The mission will launch 13 cubesats next year, one of which will carry two varieties of yeast to test their survivability and growth in the radiation of deep space.   E.T. make bread?

–A team of USC students have accomplished a rocketry first.  They are the first students to design and build a rocket that reached the 100Km (62 mile) altitude that is defined by international law as the boundary of space.  The school’s report says it used a parachute to land safely after reaching it’s targeted height–but it doesn’t say where.  Oh well, to quote that old  Tom Lehrer song, “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department says Wernher von Braun.”  [See Video below]

Elon Musk–Tesla might be in all sorts of financial troubles,  but Elon Musk has landed some funding for his The Boring Company.  His tunnel-digging enterprise has just landed its first paying customer, The Las Vegas Convention Center.  The center’s board of directors, as part of a $1.4 billion expansion plan, has allocated $46 million for two tunnels beneath the 200-acre site.  They will be cut to provide passage for electric vehicles and pedestrians.

Anti-Aging–George Church and his Rejuvenate Bio team have been relatively secretive about their efforts, to date, to reverse the effects of aging in dogs and mice.  But maybe we will learn more this summer, as Church has been confirmed as a speaker at LEAF’s Ending Age-Related Diseases conference in New York,  July 11-12.

–LEAF (Life Extension Advocacy Foundation) released the first installment of its LifeXten Show.  YouTube link below.

Seeking Delphi™ podcasts are available on iTunes, PlayerFM, or YouTube (audio with slide show) and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook 

Podcast #31: Ethically Aligned Design in Autonomous Systems with John C. Havens

“With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.”–Elon Musk

 

Our thoughts–or theirs?

One might easily say about the notion of the ethics of disruptive technology–much like Mark Twain’s misattributed missive about the weather–that “everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything.”  But IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, is doing something.   Freshly minted from their Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems,  is the 290-page first edition of Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-Being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems.  If that title sounds like a mouthful, it ought to.  The issues that need to be addressed, to prevent the summoning of the demon that Elon Musk warns of,  are complex.

In Seeking Delphi podcast #31, host Mark Sackler talks at length with John C. Havens,  executive director of the initiative, about the massive effort, with hundreds of volunteers, that went into this volume.  Havens previously was a guest on  Seeking Delphi™ episode #17, to discuss the challenges of ethics in A.I. design and implementation.  He is also the author of Heartificial Intelligence on Emotion A.I.

You can download Ethically Aligned Design from the link below.

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 #31 Ethically Aligned Design with John C. Havens

YouTube slide show of episode #31

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News of The Future This Week: May 14, 2019

“I would love to have a robot butler.”–Brett Ratner

“I think I’d take a human butler over a robot one.”–Tom Felton

Want one of these?

Are you disappointed that we still don’t have flying cars?  Well then, you might also be bummed out that we don’t have robot butlers, either.  And while one company is trying to provide those robot butlers by an odd hybrid operated by human remote-control, I’m thinking it’s still a bit premature.  I won’t be letting a robot handle a bottle of ’83 Lafite Rothschild any time soon.

While you’re reading about all this week’s future-related  news, don’t forget that you can subscribe to Seeking Delphi™ podcasts on iTunes, PlayerFM, or YouTube (audio with slide show) and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Robotics–If Alexa, Siri, or even a Roomba, is not enough for you, the Japanese firm MIRA may have just the answer.  They plan to launch the world’s first robot butler service. But there’s a rather odd catch, and it’s maybe a bit creepy.  The robots won’t operate autonomously. They will be operated by remote control by employees of MIRA.

–Robots in the home might have a ways to go.  But robots in the hospital?  Those are here now. (see below)

5G/mobile technology–Even as the U.S. and China square off in a battle dominate the emerging 5G segment of cellphone technology,  Russia is making a desperate play to make up for it’s own lagging effort.  They want to scare US consumers into thinking it’s dangerous. Will anti-5Gers become the kindred spirits of anti-vaxxers?

Future Thinking–Ever notice that experts are often spectacularly wrong in forecasting the future of their fields?   According to the Atlantic magazine,  that’s because they view things too narrowly, and they cite a study to prove that broad thinking generalists often make better forecasters.

Fast Company says China’s propensity to take the long view will win in the end, economically.  They aim to be the global center of trade and commerce, and a divided, short-term oriented U.S. government may be no match for them.

Uber–Also for the Atlantic,  a word of caution on Uber.  Their tepid IPO might just be a reponse to their risky view of the future.

Lunar Exploration–The Trump administration wants the U.S. to return astronauts to moon by 2024.  They even have shifted some money to NASA for the project.  But the ultimate cost of said missions is still not been made public.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin have unveiled the desgin for their Blue Moon  lunar lander, which they also target for a 2024 touchdow.  It’s an impressive looking structure, but methinks the name Blue Moon might have some I.P. issues.

This is what Blue Moon conjures up for me.

 

Seeking Delphi™ podcast/coming attractions:  John C. Havens on IEEE’s new volume, Ethically Aligned Design, laying out their proposed framework for the safe and beneficial development of A.I. and other automated systems.

Seeking Delphi™ podcasts are available on iTunes, PlayerFM, or YouTube (audio with slide show) and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook 

Podcast Special Edition: X Prize Future of Longevity Impact Roadmap

“The challenge is that the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. And crazy ideas are very risky to attempt”–Peter Diamandis

 

Peter Diamandis addresses the Future of Longevity Impact Roadmap workshop at the X Prize Foundation, April 29, 2019.

If you want to know the raison d’etre of the X Prize, you need go no further than the Peter Diamandis quote above.  It’s all about pushing the boundaries of science and technology.  It’s about achieving the heretofore unachievable.

The Future of Longevity X Prize Impact Roadmap workshop was held at the X Prize Foundation headquarters in Culver City, CA, April 29-30. 2019.  It brought together dozens of diverse thought leaders across science, industry and longvity advocacy.   Sponsored by X Prize board member, and Longevity Vision Fund founder, Sergey Young, its aim was to brainstorm ideas for a longevity X Prize.     This Seeking Delphi™ special edition podcast features interviews and commentary from the workshop.

 

 

Special Edition Podcast:  Future of  Longevity Impact Roadmap

 

 

 

 

Ending Age-Related Diseases conference (click image for details)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sergey Young Bio

Steve Horvath Bio                        Horvath Epigenetic Clock

Keith Comito Bio

David Perlmutter Bio

X Prize home page

LEAF home page

 

In case you missed it:

 

Highlights of 2019 Undoing Aging

 

LINKS FOR UDOING AGING

2019 conference at Undoing-Aging.org

Program           Speakers             

SENS Research Foundation

Forever Healthy Foundation

Aubrey de Grey bio

Nir Barzilai bio

José Luis Cordeiro bio

Vadim Gladyshev bio

 

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