“I don’t believe in a conspiracy to hide the existence of extraterrestrial life.”–David Duchovny
“Where are they?”–Enrico Fermi
This week’s stories include some plausible explanations for Fermi’s paradox. Conspiracies–or an indifferent kid with a cell phone–are not among them. There is one chilling theory that the story leaves out, though, and a link to that is also provided.
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, MyTuner, Listen Notes, or YouTube (audio with slide show) and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Hear Seeking Delphi™ host Mark Sackler’s views on the future, and how we should think about it, on Matt Ward’s podcast, The Disruptors, episode #131.
E.T./Fermi Paradox–Enrico Fermis asked “where are they?” Singularity Hub provides a brief podcast with some explanations, But they left out the chilling dark forest theory–best described in Cixin Lui’s novel, The Dark Forest. It’s explained here.
Space/Moon/Mars–Too difficult to launch rockets to the moon on a regular basis? No problem–build an elevator there. A new approach just might be feasible.
–Never mind the Moon. Elon Musk continues to focus on Mars. There are a myriad of engineering and biological problems he’ll need to solve before he can send humans there–but with help from NASA, his SpaceX is already looking for the ideal landing site.
–Speaking of SpaceX, they have some issues much closer to Earth. Fast Company reports that they are playing what amounts ot a game of chicken with their StarLink satellites. And they made the European Space Agency blink first.
–Starlink, of course, intends to provide wireless global internet access from space. But there’s plenty of competition. And now, aerospace startup OneWeb claims it will be able to reach virtually the whole planet–even the artic–with an array of 650 satellites and a few ground stations, by sometime next year.
Sustainability–Recycling? Sustainable energy, food production, and waste processing? They sound like great ideas. But beer made from recycled toilet water? Ewww.
Artificial intelligence–A Seattle-based research lab has reached a milestone by creating an A.I. that can pass an 8th grade science test. Great. Now all we need to do is invent an 8th grader that can pass it.
–On a more practical note, Alex Zhavornkov, and his InSilico Medicine have developed an A.I. program that has shown promise in designing drug molecules. In partnership with the University of Toronto, their program created compounds that have shown promise in the lab.
Self-Driving Technology–Cars….trucks….busses…boats…flying taxis. Just about any kind of autonomous vehicle imaginable is being developed somewhere by somebody. But a self-driving golf ball? Why would anyone do that? Nissan did it–apparently because….they can!