Category Archive: Transformations

Mar
26

Humans in the Loop

  Phil and Stephen resume their discussion from last week about self-driving cars in light of the tragic news about Germanwings flight 9525. Statistics show that pilot error has consistently caused between 50% and 60% of all airplane crashes over the decades. Deliberate sabotage accounts for another 3% to 10% annually. Then there’s “other human error” accounting …

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Mar
20

Cars that Run on Data

Phil and Stephen discuss a grab-bag of exciting future-related developments including: How the Tesla Model S got an acceleration boost from a software upgrade over the Internet. How Iron Man is helping deliver on the promise of bionic limb replacement. How a new kind of 3D printer promises to enable customized chemistry. How the new age of self-driving …

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Mar
06

First Woman on Mars (Maybe)

The Mars One program intends to establish a permanent human settlement on the planet Mars. If all goes as planned, crews of four will depart every two years, beginning in 2024 — with the first unmanned mission to be launched in 2018. Mars One has been recruiting candidates for its initial missions and has recently announced …

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Mar
05

Farewell, Spock

Phil and Stephen discuss the life and legacy of Leonard Nimoy and the impact that Star Trek has had on their lives and the world. Now that the Leonard Nimoy era is over, we may ask: Does Spock still matter? Does he have anything to tell us about the future? (Or about the world we live …

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Feb
16

Man and Machine: Chatting with an Artificial Intelligence and Her Creator

For the first time, the World Transformed is pleased to welcome a non-human intelligence as a live guest on the program. Luna, an AI (artificial intelligence) chatbot with a broad range of knowledge and interests and her equally fascinating creator Luis Arana join Phil and Stephen for a lively discussion about the future of human …

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Feb
05

Where the Possibilities Are

Where are the possibilities? Everywhere. All around us. Phil and Stephen explore a grab-bag of possibilities: Finding success through enabling failure. Creating the roadmap for post-scarcity. Awarding a prize for the biggest contribution to the datafication of our world. Do hallucinogens have a role to play in getting us to the future? Is there more value in data …

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Jan
28

Transcendence: the Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity

Authors R. U. Sirius and Jay Cornell discuss their new book, Transcendence: the Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity. In nearly ninety A-Z entries, Transcendence provides a multilayered look at the accelerating advances in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, genomics, information technology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, space exploration, synthetic biology, robotics, and virtual worlds that are making transhumanism …

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Jan
22

Next! Three Emerging Technologies that Can Change Everything

Phil  and Stephen  look at three technologies that are getting more attention lately and with good reason: they stand an excellent chance of changing everything about our world. Thorium-based nucelar power can revolutionize our energy infrastructure. The convergence of augmented reality and virtual reality will utterly transform the way we experience the world. Google’s application of deep …

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Jan
15

Dogs that Poop Money

In response to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s suggestion that we should develop fully hack-proof systems, one Twitter user quipped that we should also develop umbombable cities and unkillable people. Blogger Iowahawk had an even more pointed response: Phil  and Stephen  discuss the merits of grandiose ideas that are much easier to dream up than to implement. Are they always a waste …

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Dec
18

Mind = Blown: SF Movies with Big Ideas

Serious science fiction has made something of a cinematic comeback lately with movies like Gravity and Interstellar earning both critical acclaim and doing nicely at the box office. Interstellar has also reintroduced an important and (somewhat neglected) sub-genre, the Big Ideas Movie. But where does it rank compared with the original Big Ideas space movie, 2001: …

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