News of The Future This Week: July 26, 2019

“Shoot for the moon.  You might get there.”–Buzz Aldrin

“Shoot for the moon.  If you miss you’ll end up in the stars.”–Artie Shaw

Questions of the day: 1. Is a manned return to the moon possible by 2024?  Is a fusion-generated power plant possible by 2025?  Will cyborgs rule the world in 2100?  Answers1. Maybe. 2. Maybe 3. Most of us are already cyborgs.    Read on for details.

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

Moon/NASA/SpaceX–Can NASA make it back to a manned landing on the moon by their target date of 2024?  Elon Musk  wants to do them one better, claiming his SpaceX may make a cargo landing on the lunar surface by 2021 and follow that up with a manned mission in 2022.  Take that with a grain of salt,  along with all of Elon’s other projections.

–One thing NASA will likely need, if American astronauts will make it back to the moon by 2024, is an updated space suit.  The current model dates to 1977.

Sustainable energy/fusion–The world’s first fusion powered reactor cleared a key hurdle on the road to projected commercial fusion energy by 2025.  It seems as if Fusion power has been 10-20 years away for the last 40 years. We’ll see…

Image: Shutterstock

Transhumanism–British scientist James Lovelock is predicting that the world will be ruled by cyborgs in the year 2100.  Really?  The definition of cyborg, according to Dictionary.com, is a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent on a mechanical or electronic device.  Based on the way most of us are welded to our smart phones, I’d say this has already happened.

Transport--Sorry Back to The Future fans, the hoverboard is still a work in progress.  Frenchman Franky Zapata failed in his attempt to fly a hoverboard of his own invention across the English Channle.  OK, who ever heard of a Frenchman named Franky? (video below)

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Artificial Intelligence–A new study commissioned by the Association for Psychological Science has some bad news for companies, big and small, that are selling A.I. that detects human intelligence.  They say it can’t be trusted.

Aging/Longevity–Nucleotide synthesis–or lack thereof–has been identified as a key factor in cellular senescence.   A study by researchers at the University of South Carolina suggest that preventing cells from losing nucleotide synthesi–which creates the building blocks of DNA–could slow the aging process.

Computing/chip technology–IEEE has issued a new roadmap for device design and manufacturing.  A varitey of technologies are discussed in the document which lays out a path to one nanometer devices by 2033.

The latest Seeking Delphi™ podcast features a conversation with Matt Ward, host of The Disruptors.

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

Podcast #33: The Disruptors with Matt Ward

“This is the age of disruption.”–Sebastian Thrun

“Innovations can only be disruptive in relation to something else.”–Clayton M. Christensen

 

Disruption.  It’s a term that’s frequently on the lips of just about anyone interested in technology.   Is it the technology, though, that’s disruptive? Or is it the individuals that are driving the technology?  Maybe all of us who latch on to the technologies are the disruptors.

I think it’s all three.  In the latest Seeking Delphi™ podcast, I speak with fellow podcaster, Matt Ward.  He’s an entrepreneur, angel investor, and host of The Disruptors.  In a kind of dueling podcasts, we interviewed each other for our respective programs.

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Episode #33: The Disruptors with Matt Ward

 

 

YouTube slide show for podcast episode #33

 

The Disruptors

Matt Ward bio

The Disruptors: Douglas Rushkoff episode

Book Review of Max Tegmark’s Life 3.0

Seeking Delphi episore #6 with Olle Hägstroömm

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News of The Future This Week: July 17, 2019

Returning after an extended summer break.

“I poured spot remover on my dog.  Now he’s gone.”–Steven Wright

Is your dog gone? Not to worry, it seems that similar technology to human facial recognition might help you find it.

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

Artificial Intelligence/Dogs–If you think being tracked by facial recognition is creepy, how do you think your dog will react to being tracked by its nose prints? A Chinese A.I. company is doing just that–for the expressed purpose of identifying lost dogs.

–If that sounds odd, a group of cognitive biologists and computer scientists wants to grant internet access to higher intelligence members of the animal kingdom like apes, elephants and dolphins.  And you thought human tweet storms were crazy?

 Transhumanism/Neuroscience–Elon Musk unveiled details of his Neurolink venture, and its plans to interlace the brain with a chip or sensors connected by hundreds of microwires.  The initial plan is to help individuals with neurological or sensory impediments;  the long range plan is…well…maybe the Matrix?  YouTube video of Musk’s presentation here.

–In a somewhat related sphere, Intel reports that its most advanced neuromorphic system now consists of 8 million neurons, and will reach 100 million by 2020.  (Compare that, though, to the 100 billion neurons in a human brain).

Space/Moon/Apollo 11–As the U.S. celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a Gallup poll shows that for the first time public opinion swings in favor of a manned mission to Mars.  In the mean time, Fast Company reminds us that the Apollo program was unpopular enough, at the time, for Eisenhower to call JFK “nuts.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that India’s population is “pumped” in anticipation of its first unmanned lunar launch, which was scheduled for this week.   Unfortunately, technical glitches have delayed the mission until at least late July.

–In the mean time, Engadget reports that France is creating a “Space Command” to defent its satellites.  The venture will be part of the country’s air force.

Ready for prime tme? Image: Boston Dynamics

Robotics–Boston Dynamics’ robots are getting ready to leave the lab.  The Verge asks whether the world is ready.

 

Longevity Extension–While telomeres and telomerase may not turn out to be the holy grail of aging, they certainly have their role in the diseases of aging.  Dr. Maria Blasco, one of the presenters at the second annual Ending Age-Related Diseases conference held July 11 and 12 in New York, is seen below in an impromptu news conference, talking about some of her work.

(Video credit: Mark Sackler for Seeking Delphi™)

Coming soon to the Seeking Delphi™ podcast, Matt Ward on disruptors.

 

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

Podcast #32: Reimagining Our Tomorrows with Joe Tankersley

“We should celebrate when optimism and hard work triumph over cynicism, lethargy, and fatalism.”– Sadiq Khan

 

Bad news sells news.   Chaos sells movies and television series.  What hope is there for the future of humanity?  But for all the gloom and doom, there are probably as many positive indicators of the future as there are negative ones.  For an objective view of that notion, go back and listen to Jerome Glenn on the Millennium Project’s State of The Future report in Seeking Delphi™ episode #24

For a more subjective, imaginative way to look at what our collective better futures might hold, listen to episode #32 (links below) with Joe Tankersley, author of Reimagining Our Tomorrows, Making Sure Your Future Doesn’t Suck.

You can request and excerpt from the book HERE.

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episode #32 Reimagining Our Tomorrows with Joe Tankersley

 

 

YouTube slide show of Episode #32

 

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News of The Future: June 4, 2019

“Mars is there, waiting to be reached.”–Buzz Aldrin

“President Bush announced that we were landing on Mars today … which means he’s given up on Earth.”–Jon Stewart

Will we find microbes on Mars?  Can we make breathable Oxygen on Mars? I guess we’ll find out sometime between now and when we get there.  I’m not betting on Elon Musk’s aggressive timetable, and I’m certainly not expecting to go there myself.  But I do have a ticket to send my name there.

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

Mars/Moon/SpaceA team of researchers from Caltech has come up with a process by which breathable Oxygen might be generated from Carbon Dioxide for the benefit of future Mars explorers.  This is probably preferable to having it shipped there by Amazon.

–If you’re looking for life on Mars, you might want to look for pasta-shaped rock formations.  According to a University of Illinois scientist, a microbe that forms such growths lives in extremely harsh, low oxygen environments on Earth, and might be able to thrive on Mars.

–Neither you nor I are likely to be going to Mars anytime soon–if ever.  But you can send your name there.  NASA is inviting individuals to submit their names to be etched in a microchip headed there on the 2020 rover.  (Thanks to Eric Klein of the Lifeboat Foundation for providing me with the ticket below).

Future Transport–Back on Earth, Elon Musk’s latest promised gimmick will be to  produce a Tesla roadster powered by SpaceX rocket thruster technology–by next year.  Warning: do not exceed the sound barrier.

–The Canadian province of British Columbia is not taking climate change lying down.  They will phase out gas-powered vehicles, requiring 10% to be emission free by 2025 and banning gas-powered vehicles entirely by 2040.

–Wanna buy a flying car?  Listen to Seeking Delphi™ podcast #27.  Want an emission free vertical take-off-and-landing vehicle (VOTL)?  See the video below.

 

Sustainable Energy–If you’re seeking the holy grail of renewable, clean energy, there’s bad news.   Cold fusion, once and for all, is not it.  Google has blown more than a few bucks chasing that unicorn the last four years.

Biotechnology–Therapy delivering nanobots have moved one step closer to becoming reality.  IEEE Spectrum reports that South Korean scientists have propelled stem-cell carrying magnetic nanobots through a live mouse.

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

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 

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