After exploring the health of the planet and it’s people on day 1, The Association of Professional Futurists turned toward the heavens on day 2. Recorded live at the Boeing Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA, July 29,2017. Here is a brief overview of what we heard, from the visionaries we heard it from: Brian Tillotson and Marna Kagele, both scientists at Boeing; Jeff Roberts, director of launch programs for Space Flight Industries; and Chris Lewicki, president and CEO of Planetary Resources.
The most common question that I get asked, when I tell somebody I’m a futurist, is “what is a futurist?” From now on, I’ll tell them to listen to this podcast. From the Association of Professional Futurists annual meeting, Seattle, Washington, July 27, 2017.
Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada have unveiled an ambitious project. They are attempting to develop a 3D printer that can make copies of itself. A replicating machine. Why would anyone do something like that? In a word: space. It’s difficult, dangerous and expensive to launch mass of any kind into space. If lunar and asteroid mining are ever to become a reality, let alone colonization of Mars, the ability to use materials in situ to construct many automata, from an initial compact package, would be paramount to affordability and perhaps even viability. Is this possible? No less a personage than John von Neumann said that it is–and supposedly proved it mathematically. What are the challenges, can we control them if we make them, and what happens if we can’t control them? This is the subject of William Mitchell’s 2013 science fiction novel, Creations. And he is my guest of Seeking Delphi™ podcast #14: Replicating Machines.
Links to relevant stories appear after the audio file and embedded YouTube video below. A reminder that Seeking Delphi is available on iTunes, PlayerFM, and has a channel on YouTube. You can also follow us onFacebook.
“All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.”–Christopher Morley
A Jetsons future?
Where will you live in 2050? What will the cities of the future look like? Tomorrowland? The Jetsons? Waterworld? Maybe they will look pretty much the same, but feel very much different. To sort out some of the possible scenarios, I sought out an expert on the urban landscape of the future. Cindy Frewen, Ph. D., is an architect and an adjunct professor in the University of Houston’s graduate foresight program. She designs near-term urban futures, and constructs scenarios for possible longer term futures.
Links to relevant stories appear after the audio file and embedded YouTube video below. A reminder that Seeking Delphi is available on iTunesand PlayerFM, and has a channel on YouTube. You can also follow us onFacebook.
“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”–Roger Ebert
In episode #11, futurist Ian Pearson spoke to his assertion that artificial intelligence will create jobs. One of the main reasons for this, he believes, will be the need to provide an emotional human interface between A.I. and its intended beneficiaries, be they patients, consumers, or business clients. But the field of affective computing is rapidly developing artificial intelligence that can read and respond to human emotion. They are systems with emotional intelligence. In episode #12, I talk with author Richard Yonck. His new book, Heart of the Machine, provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of development in emotional A.I., while providing cogent scenarios projecting where it might lead us in the future.
Links to relevant stories appear after the audio file and embedded YouTube video below. A reminder that Seeking Delphi is available on iTunes andPlayerFM, and has a channel on YouTube. You can also follow us onFacebook.
“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.”–Eliezer Yudkowsky
One of the hottest topics in foresight today is artificial intelligence. And while many of the most visible forward thinkers have been stressing over potential existential threats to all of humanity, there is a more mundane threat to all of us. That would be our world of work. As automation on the assembly line replaces more and more unskilled labor jobs, there lies the looming threat of artificial intelligence taking on skilled, professional jobs. Will A.I. kill your job? Create you a new one? Both? Neither? While the media is full of pessimism on this account, at least one prominent futurist is cautiously optimistic. Author, speaker and blogger Ian Pearson, of Futurizon thinks that, at least in the short term, A.I. will create more jobs than it kills. I talk to him about these views, as well as the longer range existential effects of A.I., in this week’s Seeking Delphi Podcast.
Links to relevant stories appear after the audio file and embedded YouTube video below. A reminder that Seeking Delphi is available on iTunes, and has a channel on YouTube. You can also follow us onFacebook.
Podcast #11: Will Artificial Intelligence Kill Your Job?