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DIY Gene Editing and Other Health News

Phil and Stephen discuss surprising medical developments.   After 15 Years in a Vegetative State, Nerve Stimulation Restores Consciousness Researchers have been able to restore consciousness to a…

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Computer Artists, Brain Hacks, and the Amazing Electric Bus

Phil and Stephen review a grab-bag of news stories indicating that the future will be here sooner than we think. It’s Getting Hard to Tell If a Painting…

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The Sentient Enterprise

How can businesses stay agile and competitive in the face of massive data volumes that are exponentially increasing in complexity and the growing need for real-time answers, decisions,…

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Future Wealth: Universal Basic Income and Alternatives

Phil and Stephen discuss variations on the idea of Universal Basic Income What is UBI? IGP’s Social Prosperity Network publishes the UK’s first report on Universal Basic Services…

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Cities of the Future

Futurist Thomas Frey joins Stephen Gordon in a discussion of the future of cities. Topics include: The technologies, social forces, and economic drivers that are transforming cities and…

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Self-Driving Cars: a Stranger Future than You Think

Futurist Thomas Frey joins Stephen Gordon in a discussion of his recent article: 25 Shocking Predictions about the Coming Driverless Car Era in the U.S. Are you ready…

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Peak Electricity and the Future of Power

Futurist Thomas Frey joins Stephen Gordon in a discussion of issues related to the future of power. We seem to consuming less electricity than we were before. Will…

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The Future for Better or Worse

Phil and Stephen add a positive spin to some otherwise gloomy future scenarios. Richard Dawkins: A.I. Might Run the World Better Than Humans Do Will A.I. take us…

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Unexpected (and Amazing) Breakthroughs

Phil and Stephen review some truly surprising developments in science and technology. Google Brain chief: AI tops humans in computer vision, and healthcare will never be the same…

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Kids These Days? Social Overload Meets New Realities

Phil and Stephen look at growing unease about the impact of social media and the ever-widening chasm between the generations. I used to think social media was a…

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Don’t Fear Technology

We conclude our three-part interview with novelist and futurist PJ Manney discussing her new book, (ID)entity. Here’s part 1. Here’s part 2. Topics include: Why a fearful approach…

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Attack of the Fembots!

Phil and Stephen continue their discussion with bestselling author PJ Manney about her new book (ID)entity. (Listen to Part 1 here.) Topics include: Equifax and security Would anyone believe this…

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PJ Manney and (ID)entity

Bestselling author PJ Manney joins Phil and Stephen for part one of a three-part interview discussing her new novel (ID)entity. In the guise of political revolutionary Thomas Paine, bioengineer…

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Older Than the Universe: Mysteries Big and Small

Phil and Stephen discuss mysteries both cosmic and small-scale. The Greatest Cosmic Puzzle: Astronomers Find Stars That Appear Older Than The Universe The oldest stars we’ve found in…

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Becoming the Gods We Once Feared

What’s next for humanity and artificial intelligence? Will we be the AI, and effective cogs in a machine? Will we be the owners of the intelligence — which…

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The Smartphone and Beyond

Phil and Stephen discuss the near, not-so-near, and distant future of the smartphone. Topics: The smartphone is eventually going to die, and then things are going to get…

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Where No Fanboy Has Gone Before

Phil and Stephen present a full Geek Out! show discussing the current state of big space and superhero movie franchises. What should we see from upcoming Star Wars,…

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Beyond the Twitter Decade

10 years ago Twitter was barely a thing used by a very small group of geeks. Today it’s a cornerstone of how our society communicates. (The President’s tweets…

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The Trouble with AI

Phil and Stephen discuss the chances that super-smart AI might be upon us and the risks we face even if it isn’t. Plus what do we do about…

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Living Forever (If They Let Us)

Phil and Stephen discuss progress in anti-aging treatments and the role that regulations play in making treatments available. Can Science Reverse Aging? Jose Cordeiro: In 30 years, I…

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Anywhere in Four Hours

Phil and Stephen discuss the eclipse, the top scientific discoveries of the year, a new spacesuit from SpaceX, and the airplane that may take us anywhere we want…

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A List of Lists of Positive Developments

Phil and Stephen work through three lists of positive developments and the forces that are driving them.

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Recalibrating the Possible

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss new technologies (and ideas for new technologies) that push the limits of the possible. A good example of something that’s possible: Sequencing…

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Exploring the Hype Cycle

Phil and Stephen explore emerging technologies using the 2017 Gartner Hype Cycle as a frame of reference. What’s new? What’s long gone but due for a comeback? And…

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Energy Unlimited with J Storrs Hall, Part 2

Phil and Stephen continue their discussion with J. Storrs (Josh) Hall. How do nuclear power, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence hold the key to a future of unlimited energy?…

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“Live” from Convergence 08 Part 2, Best of TWT

Phil and Stephen interview participants at Convergence 08, an “unconference” gathering of people interested in cognitive tech, nanotech, biotech, and artificial intelligence. The event was held in 2008…

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Energy Unlimited with J Storrs Hall, Part 1

J. Storrs (Josh) Hall joins Phil and Stephen for a discussion of his contribution to Visions for a World Transformed, “Let’s Get Back on the Henry Adams Curve.” How…

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“Live” from Convergence 08 Part 1, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. interview participants at Convergence 08, an “unconference” gathering of people interested in cognitive tech, nanotech, biotech, and artificial intelligence. The event was held…

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On the Other Hand…

Phil and Stephen revisit ideas from recent shows. Should we keep kids off their electronic devices? Does VR make us more vulnerable or stronger when it comes to…

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Dispatches from the Robo-Wars

Phil and Stephen discuss the good-new / bad-news of the robotics revolution. Our Minds Have Been Hijacked by Our Phones. Tristan Harris Wants to Rescue Them Harris is…

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Emergent Magic: Why Ideas Are Becoming More Valuable

Phil and Stephen discuss why ideas are becoming more valuable, along with other news from the future. Emergent Magic: Why Ideas Are Becoming More Valuable Is the value…

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Wow. History-Making News

Phil and Stephen review news stories that may change history. And they all broke this week. In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos…

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Hot Topics! Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss fast trains, future pets, global warming, cosmic mysteries, and solar energy. The future of dogs as pets. Will they be the only…

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The Semi-Automated Economy

Phil and Stephen continue their discussion with strategy expert Will Brown, exploring what role there might be for human workers in an increasingly automated world. Topics: Neanderpundit —…

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Should Jeff Bezos “Hire” Humanity?

Will Brown joins Phil and Stephen to outline an intriguing scenario for the future: how Jeff Bezos can hire humanity. Topics covered: Jeff Bezos is already having trouble…

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Convergence 08, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. welcome PJ Manney and Christine Peterson to discuss Convergence ’08 an unconference that evolved from the Foresight Nanotech Institute’s Topics for the unconference:…

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Is This the Real Life?

Phil and Stephen explore the increasingly blurry line between fantasy and reality. Are we on the verge of a reality crisis? Where Does Reality End and Imagination Begin?…

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Alternative Energy and the Future, Best of TWT

Phil and Stephen discuss the role that alternative energy sources will play in shaping the future. Topics: Unlocking the secret of how green plants efficiently split water to…

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Youth: Wasted on the Wrong People

Phil and Stephen review  recent anbti-aging news from the standpoint of the elderly. Is This the Anti-Aging Pill We’ve All Been Waiting For? A drug derived from an…

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The Social Singularity, Best of TWT

Phil and Stephen discuss the role that Internet technologies have played in changing society and speculate about what is coming next. Are we in for a Social Singularity? Future…

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The Comeback of Nanotechnology

Phil and Stephen discuss recent progress towards the original model of Nanotechnology as described by K. Eric Drexler in his book Engines of Creation. Eric Drexler’s Vision of Nanotechnology…

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Hyperloop Coming Soon?

Elon Musk says he has a green light to build a NY–Philly–Baltimore–DC hyperloop Elon Musk just tweeted that his Boring Company tunnel project has received “verbal [government] approval”…

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What Will $700 Billion Buy You? Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss better options for spending the $700 billion bailout money that went to “solving” the 2008 financial crisis.   Seven Apollo programs?  70…

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Breakthroughs in Life Extension (with Aubrey de Grey)

Phil and Stephen continue their discussion with Dr. Aubrey de Grey, reviewing some of the very encouraging life extension research currently taking place How does the treatment of…

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FastForward Radio Anniversary Special, Best of TWT

A rare glimpse into the earliest days of the podcast — with a small bit of audio from literally the very first day!

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Living to 1,000 (with Aubrey de Grey)

Phil and Stephen welcome life extension researcher and visionary Dr. Aubrey de Grey to discuss the sometimes puzzlingly negative views much of the public seem to have about…

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Checking in on the Future

Phil and Stephen check in on some positive future-related stories that we’ve been tracking for a while now. Good News, Despite What You’ve Heard Just since 1990, more…

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A World Gone Right

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. review more “better all the time” news stories. Breaking News! About an hour-and-a-half prior to the show SpaceX put the Falcon 1 into orbit. The Chinese got into orbit and performed a space walk.

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Who’s a Technoprogressive?

Are you a technoprogressive? The answer might surprise you! James Hughes joins Phil and Stephen for a discussion of the meaning of technoprogressivism. How does it differ not…

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Better All the Time! Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss future-facing news stories that are (almost) too good to be true: Who would have thought that study of a potato virus would…

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The Virtues Control Panel (with James Hughes)

Can we program ourselves to be better people? Phil and Stephen welcome James Hughes to discuss his concept of a Virtues Control Panel: “What I imagine is a…

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Nikola Danaylov and Conversations with the Future

Nikola Danylov discusses his new book, Conversations with the Future. For generations, humanity stared at the vastness of the oceans and wondered, “What if?” Today, having explored the…

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Hadoop and the Future of Big Data

Data industry guru and analyst John Myers joins Phil Bowermaster for a discussion about the future of big data. Is big data, and Apache Hadoop in particular, experiencing…

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Going Full Geek (with PJ Manney)

Phil, Stephen, and PJ geek out, big time. Topics: Are science fiction conventions the key to solving all of the world’s problems? What surprises await us in PJ’s next…

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Whatever Happened to the Future?

PJ Manney joins Phil and Stephen for a special Fourth of July edition of the World Transformed. Topics: The Declaration of Singularity PJ’s contribution to Visions for a…

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Barely Distinguishable from Magic

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke Phil and Stephen review technologies so advanced they border on the magical. Craig Venter’s ‘Digital-to-Biological Converter’ Is…

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Disruptive Technologies: Bringing in the Big Bucks

Phil and Stephen review seven big-money disruptive technologies as described in this piece on Singularity Hub. These 7 Disruptive Technologies Could Be Worth Trillions of Dollars 1. Deep…

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All Stars Are Born in Pairs

Phil and Stephen review future-facing news on a variety of topics. Johns Hopkins researchers say they’ve unlocked key to cancer metastasis and how to slow it When the…

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How Memes Shape the Future, Best of TWT

Phil and Stephen explore the wonderful world of memetics. If our world is increasingly made of data, is it possible to overestimate the importance of these sticky, self-reproducing…

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Amazing Engineering Means Business

Phil and Stephen review stories about big engineering breakthroughs — and the big economic changes they may lead to. Engineer Creates Green Oasis by Growing Glaciers in the…

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Weathering Storms, Best of TWT

Weathering Storms; The Power of Inclusiveness; The Future of Work Phil, Stephen, and Michael S. discuss the future of civil rights, the future of technology in government, and…

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The Multi-Dimensional Brain

Phil and Stephen explore some wacky and practical implications of research suggesting that our brains may operate in up to 11 dimensions. Human Brain Discovered to Operate in…

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Getting Reality Wrong

Phil and Stephen discuss why “reality” is a trickier proposition than we think. A neuroscientist says your ‘reality’ could be entirely different from the person sitting next to…

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Longshot Futures (Part 2), Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael S. discuss MORE unlikely scenarios that will pay off big if they pan out. Topics discussed: Compressed air cars. Cognitive Enhancement — all time…

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The Return of Moore’s Law (and Other Amazing Developments)

Phil and Stephen discuss recent positive breakthroughs from a number of fields New Cancer Drug Is So Effective Against Tumors, the FDA Approved It Immediately A small but…

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Longshot Futures (Part 1) Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D discuss unlikely scenarios that will pay off big if they pan out. Using alpha lipoic acid (APA) as a weight maintenance tool. Blacklight…

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A Cure for Multiple Sclerosis?

Phil and Stephen discuss recent positive developments in science and technology. Chinese Experiment Reaches Space Station in Historic First A Chinese experiment is now on the International Space…

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Universes Colliding (and Other Stories)

Phil and Stephen review review a variety of future-related news items Could cold spot in the sky be a bruise from a collision with a parallel universe? Universal…

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The Power of Openness, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D discuss how openness improves any system that tries it. Governments, workplaces, educational institutions — any organization or loose affiliation of individuals benefits from…

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The Cell Atlas (and Other Breakthrough Technologies)

Phil and Stephen review the final three of MIT Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2017. The Cell Atlas Biology’s next mega-project will find out what we’re really made…

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Solving the World’s Problems — Part 2, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D set out to solve the world’s most challenging problems in the second of two podcasts. This time out they take on: Ending disease…

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360° Selfies, Hot Solar Power, and Gene Therapy 2.0

Phil and Stephen review the next three of MIT Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2017 The 360-Degree Selfie Inexpensive cameras that make spherical images are opening a new…

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Paying with Your Face, Spinal Repair, Self-Driving Trucks, Quantum Computing

Phil and Stephen review the first three of MIT Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2017. Reversing Paralysis Scientists are making remarkable progress at using brain implants to restore…

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Unlocking the Goddess Code

Visions for a World Transformed co-author Radhaa Nilia joins Phil and Stephen to discuss global happiness, fMRI-generated mental super-powers, and how getting in touch with the goddess within…

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Solving the World’s Problems — Part 1, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D set out to solve the world’s most challenging problems in back-to-back podcasts. First on the agenda: Eliminate crime Abolish hunger and poverty End…

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Hidden Mysteries: Dark Matter Worlds, Life in Crystals, Lost Civilizations

Phil and Stephen explore hidden mysteries that may change our understanding of the history and our place in the universe. Nasa revives ‘weird life forms’ trapped inside crystals…

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Isolating the Electron, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D discuss controlling quantum states of electrons for computing and other breakthroughs. Researchers have controlled the position of a single electron in a silicon…

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The Non-Zero Probability

What are the chances that you would ever have existed? That any of this would be happening right now? The odds against you and your life were worse than you…

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Space Colonization Made Affordable

Brian Wang joins Phil and Stephen to talk about building relatively low-cost human settlements in low earth orbit. Spacex will begin deploying low cost mass produced internet satellites…

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Electricity — the Ultimate Flex Fuel, Best of TWT

Special guests Tobias Buckell and Suraya Yahaya Bowermaster join Phil and Stephen to discuss a variety of technology and future-related topics. Suraya Yahaya on how to avoid being…

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Coffee, Cheese, and VR Chickens: the Need for Something More

Phil and Stephen discuss hard-wired behavior — including our efforts to make the world a better place. Cheese triggers same part of brain as hard drugs, study finds…

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The Silent Singularity, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss the the silent singularity and a wide range of other futuristic topics. The 100th anniversary of the Tunguska event. Movie reviews: Hancock…

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Computing Breakthroughs: Quantum Computers, AI Drug Discovery, and Desktop Deep Learning

Phil and Stephen discuss computing breakthroughs. Are new paradigms emerging? China adds a quantum computer to high-performance computing arsenal Quantum computers have already been built by companies like…

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Anti-Aging Gets Real

Phil and Stephen discuss encouraging trends in developing treatments to combat aging One of China’s Top Investors Just Put $25 Million Into a US Anti-Aging Company ChromaDex, the…

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The Future of Fit, Best of TWT

Panelists Brian Wang, PJ Manney, and Shawn Phillips discuss the future of fitness The future of nutrition: vertical farming, genetically modified foods, vat meat, and a computerized nutritionists that resides “onboard”…

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CRISPR and the New Biotech Revolution

Phil and Stephen discuss medical breakthroughs enabled by the new gene “word processor,’ CRISPR CRISPR and the Dawn of the New Biotech Revolution CRISPR genome editing will transform…

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The Future of Fun, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. talk about the future of fun. Will our fun future be jeopardized by peak oil? Will we allow ourselves to enjoy the great future once…

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Airships to Orbit

Phil and Stephen discuss sending lighter than air craft into orbit via slow acceleration Can Giant Airships Accelerate To Orbit (JP Aerospace’s Idea)? Their airships would be constructed…

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Super Projects: A Voyage to Saturn, Computer-Brain Interfaces, and Optimistic TV

Phil and Stephen discuss more super projects, including the Cassini mission, plans to connect human brains directly with computers, and new tech-positive version of Black Mirror. Cassini beams…

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Our Future in Space with Rand Simberg, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. chat with aerospace engineer and blogger Rand Simberg. What is the future of the future of space travel? Are manned missions to Mars…

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Super Projects: Airships, Bugs that Eat Plastic, Robot Overlords

Phil and Stephen explore more super projects, including building airships and saving the planet with a caterpillar that eats plastic bags. Google’s Sergey Brin said to be working…

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Speculist Essentials, Best of TWT

Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss “Speculist Essentials.” What have been the key influences towards developing our unusual outlook on the future? Each host plus audience members named…

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Super Projects: A Billion Oysters, a Time Machine, and a Cure for Aging

Phil and Stephen discuss world-transforming projects including restoring the oysters to New York Harbor, building a time machine, and curing aging.   The Billion Oyster Project The Billion…

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Thomas Frey and the Future of Wealth

Thomas Frey joins Phil and Stephen in a discussion about the future of wealth. First off, a story with a provocative title You are Richer than John D….

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Is Time Travel Possible? Best of TWT

Phil and Stephen discuss whether time travel is possible, including serious (?) efforts to achieve it. Memorial Day Weekend Will the LHC Enable Time Travel? Or end the…

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Thomas Frey and the Future of Retail

World-renowned futurist Thomas Frey joins Phil and Stephen in a discussion of the future of retail. What comes after the shopping mall? Is transitory and even mobile retail…

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Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems, Best of TWT

A Panel Discussion on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems. Underpinning most discussions about nanotechnology are two driving questions: 1. When will we see widespread implementation of technologies…

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Ending Poverty: Multiple Approaches

Brian Wang joins hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon to check in on his concept of basic power — a plan to provide solar energy to the world’s…

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Ivan Kirigin and the Future of Money, Best of TWT

A discussion on the future of Money from 2008. Missing from the discussion back then? Bitcoin! Blockchain! Topics: Micropayments Payments via Social Networks The post-scarcity currency Whuffie in…

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Elon Musk, Mars, and the Gravitron

Is Elon Musk working to build a colony on Mars that would provide earth-like gravity via massive spinning cities? At least one pundit believes that he is. Blogger David…

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The Speculist Manifesto, Best of TWT

The Speculist Manifesto (The Short Version): The Human Imperative is improvement of the human condition. Throughout human (and pre-human) history, we have worked to increase human intelligence and…

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World Transformed 600th Show: A Celebration

Phil and Stephen celebrate their 600th show with a roundup of amazing futuristic news. How the Ancient ‘Method of Loci’ Can Improve Your Long-Term Memory Nasa announces one…

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The Golden Age: Latest Developments

Phil and Stephen explore news stories that indicate we are, indeed, living in a golden age. Goldman Sachs: space-mining for platinum is ‘more realistic than perceived’ Goldman Sachs…

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The Golden Age: Why Don’t We See It?

Phil and Stephen explore why negativity and pessimism not only persist but remain dominant in a time of tremendous technological and social progress. News stories discussed: Why can’t…

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Past Futures and Weird Futures, Best of TWT

[This show first aired April 21 2008. The live program experienced technical difficulties, some of which have been edited out.] Phil Bowermaster, Stephen Gordon, and Michael Darling discuss…

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The Return of the Sexy Immortal Billionaires with Superpowers

Phil and Stephen review negative reactions to the idea of Sexy Immortal Billionaires with Superpowers story and discuss what it means and why it’s probably it’s right. Super…

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Engines of Disruption: How Data Is Changing Everything

What does it mean to say that data is changing everything? Is the world really turning into data? Or maybe it’s better to ask whether we are turning…

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Mammal-Free Diets and Soylent Green: Future Ethics, Best of TWT

[This show first aired 4/14/2008] Topics Yuri’s night. [Correction: Gagarin was married to Valentina Goryacheva, not Valentina Tereshkova. ] Tales of the Paranormal: “Mutants live in the underworld of…

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You Are Now Free to Move About the Solar System

Phil and Stephen ask the question: has the space age truly begun? SpaceX makes aerospace history with successful launch and landing of a used rocket After more than…

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Looking to the Far Future, Best of TWT

This program first aired April 7, 2008.] Phil, Stephen, and Michael D. discuss the distant future. Listen close — this MAY be the first show ever to use the phrase “the world transformed” — or at least something like it!

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True Stories: News Not Dated April 1st

Phil and Stephen discuss news that is strange, but absolutely true.   Plunging price of renewable energy makes end of fossil fuels inevitable, says report And it highlighted…

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Let Us Eat Cake: Time to Get Happy Again

Phil and Stephen offer remedies to the happiness shortage   Happiness is on the wane in the US, UN global report finds   Whole-body vibration may be as…

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Basic Power: an Alternative to Basic Income?

Brian Wang outlines a new idea that can accelerate the end of poverty worldwide. Brian’s Basic Power plan would bring inexpensive, off-the-grid electricity to the world’s poorest people,…

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Wayne Radinsky and Future Salons, Best of TWT

[This show first aired March 30 2008.] Futurist Wayne Radinsky explains the importance of future salons. Wayne became a futurist in 1997 when he was working as a…

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Big Future Now! (It’s Really Happening)

Phil and Stephen discuss world-transforming changes that are occurring right now Ray Kurzweil claims singularity will happen by 2045 (An update to last week’s confusion about whether Kurzweil…

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What’s the Brain For? Best of TWT

[This show first aired March 24, 2008.] What’s the brain for? Why is the brain the way it is? What can we do with it that we haven’t…

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Risky Business: Watching Your Step in the Digital Age

Phil and Stephen examine different kinds of risks that technology enables.   A Lithuanian phisher tricked two big US tech companies into wiring him $100 million The scammer,…

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Thomas Frey and Epiphany Z, Part 1

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon welcome futurist Thomas Frey back to the World Transformed to discuss his new book: Epiphany Z: 8 Radical Visions for Transforming Your Future….

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Thomas Frey and Epiphany Z, Part 2

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon welcome futurist Thomas Frey back to the World Transformed to discuss his new book: Epiphany Z: 8 Radical Visions for Transforming Your Future. Topics:…

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The Singularity is Ever Nearer

Phil and Stephen consider whether humanity is about to enter a new historical epoch. Quick recap, singularity defined: The Singularity is an era in which our intelligence will…

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Lights in the Sky: Metal Asteroids, Big Rockets, and Aliens?

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon review interesting developments in space exploration and development. Scientists claim to have found language of ancient Indus civilisation Blue Origin releases details…

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Brain Weirdness: Knowledge Uploads, Quantum Consciousness, Back from the Dead

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon explore a collection of brain stories that are just this side of “Tales of the Paranormal.” Brain activity appears to continue after…

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Breakthrough Computing Technologies: AI and Quantum Computers

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon review recent developments in AI and quantum computing. AI’s PR Problem  It might be easy to mistake the drumbeat of stories about…

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The Chinese Super-Fleet: a World That Might Have Been

Phil and Stephen imagine a what-if world in which 15th-century China did not abandon its naval dominance. 500 years ago, China destroyed its world-dominating navy because its political…

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Ancient Martian Fossils, Self-Growing Computers, and Flowers that Cure Cancer

Phil and Stephen  review amazing developments in a variety of scientific and technological fields Oldest Fossil Ever Found on Earth Shows that Alien Life on Mars “Likely” It’s life,…

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Revisiting the Robot Good News / Bad News

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon debate whether AI and automation represent a coming economic boom or meltdown Which story gets ir right? Robots won’t just take our…

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Don’t Fear the Robots (or Should We?)

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon discuss positive and worrying trends related to artificial intelligence Reinforcement Learning Related: Playing Atari with Deep Reinforcement Learning Fear Not the Robots…

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Human Lifespan X 10 (and Other Amazing Stories)

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon celebrate Amazing Wednesday — and Future Day! — with some very encouraging developments Endless nuclear power can be found in the seas…

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Back to the Moon (and on to the Stars)

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon discuss recent big news touching on space exploration. Is a return to the moon imminent?   Nasa discovers new solar system TRAPPIST-1…

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How Elon Musk Can Become More Interesting

Phil and Stephen provide unsolicited advice to Elon Musk.   Elon Musk Is Really Boring Elon Musk: Humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in AI age…

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New Space Race Plus Pizza-Delivering and Tax-Paying Robots

Phil and Stephen review a grab-bag of future-facing news. Uber CEO predicts humanoid robots will deliver pizza, AI chatbots to be in self-driving cars Trump administration investigating the…

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The Hackable Human: Frontiers of Human Augmentation

Phil and Stephen review current news indicating that the age of the hackable human is upon us. New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function Australian researchers have come…

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World Transformed Book Update

Big news: at long last, the World Transformed Book is finished and will be available soon as a kindle eBook via Amazon.

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Drop Everything and Work on Artificial Intelligence

Phil and Stephen discuss the coming of artificial general intelligence and what it could mean to each of us.   Drop Everything and Work on Artificial Intelligence A…

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Preventing the Economic Robot Apocalypse

Phil and Stephen discus the economic consequences of rampant automation. Chinese factory replaces 90% of human workers with robots. Production rises by 250%, defects drop by 80% Also…

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Getting Closer to the Final Frontier: On to Mars and the Stars

Phil and Stephen discuss colonizing Mars and exploring interstellar space. Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has made…

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Hydrogen Metal, Fractal Books, and Spacesuits Just Like in the Movies

Phil and Stephen explore a grab-bag of future-related topics.   Hydrogen turned into metal in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionise technology and spaceflight Metallic hydrogen could…

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What Will Things Be Like in Five Years?

Phil and Stephen review predictions for the year 2022 and make a few of their own. IBM just posted 5 predictions about what life will be like in 2022…

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Affordable Health Care: What Will REALLY Work

Phil and Stephen explore the role technology may play in making healthcare more abundant and affordable. Scientists May Have Found A Way To Regenerate Our Teeth The King’s College…

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Nature: It’s Out to Kill You and Your Children

Is it true that nature wants five of your seven children dead and wants YOU dead by age 50? Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon debate the proposition that nature is hostile to life.

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The Robots: Taking Our Jobs, Writing Our Books, Treating Our Illnesses

Phil and Stephen continue their analysis of Thomas Frey’s 72 stunning things in the future that will be common ten years from now that don’t exist today – this…

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Getting There: the Amazing Future of Transportation

Phil and Stephen continue their analysis of Thomas Frey’s 72 stunning things in the future that will be common ten years from now that don’t exist today – and add…

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72 Reasons to be Excited About the Future

Phil and Stephen explore futurist Thomas Frey’s 72 stunning things in the future that will be common ten years from now that don’t exist today Working their way more or…

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We Aren’t Saying It’s Aliens…

Phil and Stephen discuss how we might find aliens via astronomical observation. The So-Called Alien Megastructure Just Got Even More Mysterious By carefully examining all the full-frame images…

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Amazingly Wrong: the Future is Not What We Expect

Phil and Stephen provide examples of just how wrong we can be in our thinking about the future (as well as the present and the past.) While a…

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Somebody’s Got a Good Case of the Mondays

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon let loose with a torrent of good news to brighten everybody’s Monday. This Tiny Computer has no Battery, Powered Wirelessly from Radio…

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The Amazing Future Is Here, Part Two

Phil and Stephen continue their  review of amazing advances that have taken place since they first started podcasting. Private Space Development This private company just became the first…

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The Amazing Future Is Here, Part One

Phil and Stephen continue their 500th show celebration with a review of amazing advances that have taken place since they first started podcasting. Extrasolar encyclopedia lists 3500 (3489)…

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500 Shows and Going Strong

Phil and Stephen reflect on 11 years of podcasting with their 500th show. Questions to be addressed: Why do you do this show? Some possible answers: We’re going…

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Why You’re Wrong About the Universe

Phil and Stephen discuss recent perspective-changing discoveries in astronomy. How Many Suns Can a Planet Have? So far three is the most we’ve found for any, but there…

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Hacking Humanity: Amazing New Medical Treatments

Phil and Stephen review several new human “hacks” that will save and lengthen lives. Artificial Pancreas Is First To Raise $1 Million Under New Crowdfunding Rules A company…

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Let’s Get Smarter for the Future’s Sake

How smart are we, and how smart do we have to be?  Phil  and Stephen  review some recent developments that show why our thinking has to get better…

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Cockroach Milk and Other Super Geeky Stuff

Phil and Stephen further establish their unparalleled geek cred with some news stories so geeky they might just make you sick! Scientists think cockroach milk could be the…

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Amazing Results: Doing More with Less Is Really Starting to Add Up

Phil and Stephen discuss how we’re making more happen with less money, less effort, and less time — and where that’s leading us The whole trip to Pluto cost…

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Another Fine Mess

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon discuss why big problems call on us to get better at thinking. We’ll Only Have a Year to Prepare For a Cataclysmic…

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Strange New Worlds: Stranger and Newer

Phil and Stephen discuss big developments in astronomy. We’re learning more about new worlds every day. Saturn’s biggest moon could support a new kind of alien life Researchers…

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Amazing Materials, Amazing Products, Amazing Industries

Phil and Stephen discuss accelerating progress in producing materials and finished products How synthetic biology will make more money than the entire computer industry This company plans to…

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Changing Our Minds: Rethinking How We Think

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon look at why we aren’t just changing our thinking — we’re changing HOW we think. The End of Theory: The Data Deluge…

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Robo-Drivers and Robocops: Life, Death, and Artificial Intelligence

Phil and Stephen reminisce about the good old days when “killer robots” was just a joke. Deadly Tesla Crash Exposes Confusion over Automated Driving Amid a federal investigation,…

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The (Amazing) 16-Year Leap: The Immortality Paradox Part 2

Phil and Stephen discuss some “serious” ideas for life extension — including Ray Kurzweils’ upgrade on when immortality starts — which are somehow more aggressive than the “crazy”…

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Head Transplants and Frozen Brains: The Immortality Paradox Part 1

If we are going to achieve immortality — and how exactly do we define that? — do we need extreme interventions or a more modest approach? Phil and Stephen…

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Total Geek: Real Aliens, Fake Star Trek and Other Geeky Goodness

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon do some erious geeking out. Yes, There Have Been Aliens In our recent paper, Professor Sullivan and I did this by shifting…

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The Declaration of Amazing 2016

Phil and Stephen review the Declaration of Singularity and amazing stories that indicate we will probably be making it sooner than some might expect. The Declaration of Singularity A…

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The Future and Unlimited Possibility

Phil and Stephen discuss three varieties of possibility and list examples of each: 1. The Adjacent Possible The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the…

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Why Dumb Ideas Matter (and Can Be Amazingly Powerful)

Phil and Stephen talk about the surprising usefulness of dumb ideas. The 10 Craziest Startup Ideas Of All Time Blippy LayoffSpace Gamecrush Audioo Honestly.com Agester Chat With a…

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Schooling Bezos: Debating with (and Giving Suggestions to) the Founder of Amazon

Phil and Stephen examine whether they agree or disagree with Jeff Bezos on some points he made in a recent talk: 6. Gawker’s opponents need a ‘thick skin’…

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Artificial Intelligence Is Here and It’s (Wait for It) Amazing

The AI future seems to be arriving sooner than expected. Phil and Stephen review some amazing recent developments. Long Promised Artificial Intelligence Is Looming—and It’s Going to Be…

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Arguing (and Agreeing) with Elon

Phil and Stephen provide a reality check on some recent seemingly outrageous statements about the future by Elon Musk. Will we really be on Mars in less than a…

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Miracle and Wonder: Amazing Developments in Medicine

Phil and Stephen review some recent (amazing!) news from the world of medicine. Researchers created a robotic hand that is eerily human-like and can learn on its own…

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Space: Final Frontier or Next Big Thing?

Phil and Stephen discuss how our perception of outer space may be shifting. Still a realm of great mystery and scientific curiosity, space also promises to be a…

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Superhero Smackdown! (And Other Geeky Goodness)

Phil and Stephen go full fanboy with their combined reviews of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. Warning: spoilers and more spoilers! A few topics: Everybody…

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Amazing Engineering: Disruptive Technologies Are Transforming Everything

Phil and Stephen present a roundup of amazing news stories showcasing big steps forward in engineering. Augmented Reality Market Worth 117.40 Billion USD and Virtual Reality Market worth…

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The Winds of Robowar: Countdown to the AI Takeover

Are the robots really planning to take over? If so, how will they do it? Phil and Stephen use current news stories to show how the plan may…

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Would You Marry a Robot? (And Other Geeky Questions)

There are some questions that only a geek would ask.  Phil  and Stephen review some of these and, being geeks, attempt to answer them. Why can’t dying patients…

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Is Technology Out to Get Us?

…or out to save us? Phil and Stephen review some recent news stories to confront the hard question of the overall value of technology. Is it good for…

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Outshining the Milky Way: Big Developments in the Final Frontier

Phil and Stephen discuss recent developments in space. Boeing TV Spot, ‘You Just Wait Nuclear Power Can Make Rocket Engines Twice As Fast Nuclear thermal rockets could be…

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The Big, Fat Amazing: Fast Trains, Giant Robots, Universal Translator

Phil and Stephen provide a roundup of amazing news stories: We’re about to see a mind-blowing demographic shift unprecedented in human history MegaBots raises $2.4 million to create…

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The Robot Executive

Phil and Stephen discuss the tremendous career progress that robots seem to be making. Here’s the first demo of Viv, the next-generation AI assistant built by Siri creator…

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The Great Unknown: Perplexing Cosmic Mysteries

Phil and Stephen discuss cosmic (and not-so-cosmic) puzzles that defy explanation. Parallel Universes:Theory and Evidence A Dozen Black Holes Are Mysteriously Spewing Energy In the Same Direction Which…

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The Age of Awesomeness: Amazing Developments and Discoveries

Phil and Stephen discuss amazing developments and discoveries. Skin and Hair recoloring Stretchy Second Skin New headset allows the nonverbal to communicate using their brainwaves IBM wants everyone…

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What Will We Do with all the Old People?

Phil and Stephen discuss some interesting recent developments related to life extension. An anti-aging startup hopes to elude the U.S. Food and Drug The product contains a chemical…

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Big Fixes: Solutions to Some of Humanity’s Most Daunting Challenges

Phil and Stephen discuss solutions, currently under development, to some of humanity’s biggest problems. Zuckerberg sees ‘better than human’ AI in next 10 years Computers will delve into…

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It’s the End of the World? Let’s Go to Mars!

Phil and Stephen discuss why the end may be near. Is it time to book passage to Mars? How virtual reality can save humanity Truc de Ouf’s Gentry…

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Where Will You Be in a Thousand Years?

Phil and Stephen discuss the prospects for extreme life extension. We will soon live to 1,000: British scientist who has dedicated his life to the quest for eternal…

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Turning into God’s What?

Phil  and Stephen  pose the question: rather than asking what it means to become gods, maybe we should focus on a more basic question. How do we become…

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Amazing Stuff and More Amazing Stuff

Phil and Stephen  talk about cool gadgets and inventions and world-changing technologies. Nanotubes assemble! Rice introduces ‘Teslaphoresis’ Molecular mechanical computer design 100 billion times more energy efficient than…

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It’s the End of the Job as We Know It

It’s past time to talk post-employment in a serious way. Is universal basic income the answer? Buckminster Fuller on Employment Rutger Bregman’s ‘Utopia for Realists’ Shows Us Why…

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Imagination: the Critical Future Skill?

Can imagination make the difference in terms of what kind of future we experience? What are the indications that imagination is THE critical skill for the future? Phil…

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Until It’s Yet — The Future Is Closing In Fast

Phil and Stepehn discuss changes that are happening sooner than many expected. 3-D Printers: now they are just another ad that show up in your search results. Photon Propulsion…

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The Universe Is Full of Surprises

Phil and Stephen discuss cosmic mysteries. The Perseus Signal — “What We Found Could Not Be Explained by Known Physics” We could be “looking at” dark matter here….

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Zootopia and the Trouble with “Perfect” Futures

Phil and Stephen talk about perfect worlds and why we never seem to get to them. Or, when we do get to them, why they aren’t really perfect….

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Miracle Meds and Meat? Marvelous!

Phil and Stephen review some interesting developments in medical and biotechnology that point to an amazing future unfolding. They discuss: New stem cell treatment using fat cells could…

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What Do We Do When Machines Start to Think?

Phil and Stephen discuss a major breakthrough in artificial intelligence: IBM’s resistive computing could massively accelerate AI — and get us closer to Asimov’s Positronic Brain From the…

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Brain Zapping (and Other Stories)

Phil and Stephen discuss several recent news stories that speak to disruptive changes occurring right now: Brain Zapping Can we really make ourselves faster, smarter, more productive, even…

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It’s a Toy: Skepticism and New Technologies

In previous shows, Phil and Stephen have discussed how some emerging technologies are dismissed off as impossible. Then when these technologies begin to look possible, there is this…

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Elon Musk: the Man Who Built Tomorrow

Stephen shares his review of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Elon Musk: Co-founder of Paypal Founder of Tesla Motors Founder of SpaceX…

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Franchises Revisited: Star Wars and the X-Files Are Back

They say you can’t go home again. Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon challenge this idea as they geek out over the huge return of Star Wars to…

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Artificial Intelligence Changes Everything

Phil  and Stephen Gordon discuss rapid progress in artificial intelligence and how AI is fundamentally reshaping our world.  Topics include: AI Researchers Solve Go Go champion Lee Se-dol…

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Lighting up the Universe

Phil and Stephen  discuss people and ideas who are lighting up the universe, both figuratively and literally. First two news stories that are all about light: Matter will…

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Moon Music, Chicken Teeth, and the World’s Simplest Language

Phil and Stephen present a sampler plate of curiosities — a few recent news stories that indicate what a truly weird (and therefore truly wonderful) world we live…

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More Proof We Live in the Matrix: Jim Elvidge on Digital Reality

Jim Elvidge returns to The World Transformed to discuss his ideas about the digital nature of reality and the possibility that consciousness is separate from the brain and…

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Why the Pessimists Are Wrong (and They Are)

A recent Motley Fool essay by Morgan Housel raises a question we have asked many times before: Why Does Pessimism Sound So Smart? (Especially when things are so good.)…

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Ninth Planet, Extinct Aliens, and Dimming Stars

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon delve into some interesting recent space news. Is there a ninth planet out there beyond Neptune? And even if not, what can we expect…

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Best Days Behind Us? Or Before Us?

Writing for the New York Times, Eduardo Porter claims that America’s Best Days May Be Behind It. Citing Robert J. Gordon, author of The Rise and Fall of American Growth,…

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Falling to Earth: David Bowie’s Legacy for SF and the Future

World Transformed favorite PJ Manney joins Phil and Stephen to discuss the life and legacy of musician / artist / polymath David Bowie. Beyond the world of the…

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Happiness Is Solving the World’s Problems

Phil and Stephen welcome philosopher and artificial intelligence researcher Andrés Gómez Emilsson to discuss the Hedonistic Imperative and Andres’ recent piece on Solving the World’s Problems which lays out four scenarios…

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The Best Time Ever to Be Alive

Phil and Stephen discuss a recent article in the Atlantic claiming that 2015 was The Best Year in History for the Average Human Being. A few highlights: In the…

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The Year in Review: 2016, 2066, 2116

Sure, a lot of shows are doing their Year in Review episodes this week, but how many are willing to take on NEXT year in review? Phil and…

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Why Star Wars Matters

Phil and Stephen talk about the lasting impact of Star Wars on popular culture. How did a series of space fantasy movies change everything? Topics: A long time ago…

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Doing Everything with Nothing

R. Buckminster Fuller famously predicted that technological advancement will allow us to do “more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing.”…

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Airships, Reusable Rockets, and Programmable Matter

We’ve got all the cool stuff you need — right here! For example, Lockheed is moving ahead with its airship. Jeff Bezos has introduced a fully reusable rocket And…

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The Power of Gratitude

Phil and Stephen kick off the holiday season with a special Thanksgiving-week discussion of one of this program’s most enduring topics: what we have to be thankful for….

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Another Week, Another Cure for Cancer

Last time out, we talked about how some clever researchers had essentially figured out a way to get malaria to fight with cancer. Now the Food and Drug…

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Amazing Things

Phil and Stephen  discuss some of the amazing things that might happen in the future. For example, We might do experiments that put us in touch with parallel universes….

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Under Construction

Somewhere between Cygnus the Swan and Lyra the Harp sits a star with a big secret. A whole lot of something is orbiting that star, and it is unlike…

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Good News, Bad News: Getting the Balance Right

Phil and Stephen demonstrate the World Transformed Pareto Optimism Principle with four stories that speak to an amazingly bright future and one that goes in a very different direction….

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The Tower of Possibility

Phil  and Stephen   return to one of their favorite topics — The Adjacent Possible — “a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present…

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Nuke Mars! (and Other Reasonable Ideas)

How do we know whether an idea is so crazy that it just might work or so crazy that we shouldn’t go near it with a 10-foot pole?…

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Shifting Realities

There are those who believe that they are not living in the same universe they used to. They have moved from one reality to another. Their evidence for…

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Declaration of Awesomeness

Phil and Stephen missed their annual Fourth of July Declaration of Singularity show this year, so instead in honor of Bastille Day they present the Declaration of Awesomeness….

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Mission to Pluto

First it was a planet that wasn’t there. Then it was a planet. Then it got demoted. Some people were okay with that; some were kind of ticked….

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You Can’t Handle the Truth!

My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. J. B. S. Haldane Phil and Stephen take you…

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News from the Neighborhood

Phil and Stephen discuss a wide range of future-impacting topics all originating right here in our own neighborhood. Topics include: Tiny probes going to Mars — No they…

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(R)evolution with PJ Manney

Phil and Stephen welcome their good friend PJ Manney back to the World Transformed to discuss her new techno-thriller, (R)evolution available today. About the book Bioengineer Peter Bernhardt…

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Make Everything Free

Some pundits are saying that a complete reset of the the economy is in order or is perhaps even inevitable. Phil and Stephen argue that nobody is thinking nearly…

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How to Worry Wisely

Phil and Stephen explore future-related developments beginning with a piece from the Economist on why we should move forward (cautiously) with artificial intelligence. If you want a quick lesson…

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Past Performance: Why Failed Ideas Succeed Later

A decade and a half ago, WebVan, a same-day grocery delivery service, crashed and burned in what was probably the most spectacular failure of the original dot-com bust. Many…

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10 Things You Don’t Know About the Future

Think you know the future? Well, think again. Phil and Stephen present a list of 10 potentially startling, mystifying, and some downright shocking things that are in your…

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Robots Are Everywhere

Yes it is our second robot-themed show in as  many weeks. But there’s no keeping up with them. We could do a robot-themed show every day and we…

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Robots That Won’t Kill You (and Other Things to Look Forward to)

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon present a grab-bag of future-related topics, including: Efforts to turn the corner in human / robot relations. How do we go from seeing…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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…

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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….

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WT 100: Transforming the World One Podcast at a Time

Phil and Stephen have done more than 400 podcasts about the future over the years. Tonight marks the 100th show since this program changed its name from FastForward…

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Modern Problems: On Comet Landings and Battery Life

Phil and Stephen discuss the triumph that is this week’s historic landing of the Philae space probe on comet 67P, and the odd circumstances by which unwanted shade and low…

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The End of Space Tourism?

In light of the recent Spaceship 2 disaster, Phil and Stephen discuss the past and future of space toursim. The discovery of the oldest map of the cosmos is…

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The Hoverboard Imperative: Why Some Technologies Insist on Coming into Being

Next year is not only the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Back to the Future, it is the year that Marty and Doc travel to at…

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The Philosophy of Mind Uploading

Phil and Stephen welcome author Keith Wiley to discuss his book: A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind Uploading. One day soon we may be able to transfer human minds…

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Is Technology Just Using Us?

From a recent TechCrunch piece by Christian Cantrell: This is only one example of how technology has a tendency to self-propagate; to use humans as a vector to create copies…

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The Little Blue Light that Changed the World

Phil and Stephen discuss a wide variety of topics that show just how quickly, and completely both the world and our understanding of it are changing. Why the inventors…

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Fountain of Youth: Right in Front of Us?

Phil and Stephen discuss the possibility of achieving significant human life extension via existing, commonplace drugs. What if the cure for aging was right in front of us all along?…

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Flipping the Switch

Maybe transforming the world doesn’t have to be so much work. Maybe we can make some of the biggest and most sweeping changes with the flip of a…

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The Ghosts of Evolution

Phil and Stephen examine the mysteries of time encoded in living beings all around us. What do present-dayspecies tell us about life in the distant past? And there…

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Are We Living in a Science Fiction Story?

Sure the world is getting weirder, but is it getting Sci-Fi weird? Is it getting Philip K. Dick weird? Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon explore evidence that…

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Life Discovered in Space

What are these mysterious organisms living on the hull of the International Space Station? How did they get there? And how can they survive in space? Is this evidence…

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Your Wish Is Her Command

The Web has been all abuzz about Viv, the new personal assistant agent from the creators of Apple’s Siri. Word is that Viv will be able to do “anything…

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A Tale of Two Engines

What’s more impressive: a proposed engine that could power neighborhoods (and even individual residences) or one that could potentially take us to the stars? The answer isn’t as simple as…

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It’s Inevitable!

We look at a lot of scenarios for what might happen in the future — cool technological developments, major advances in science, new evolutionary developments for humans and for…

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10 Years in the Future

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of Phil and Stephen’s collaboration. This week they look back over a decade of tracking the future. Here’s a small sample of…

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People Are Stupid

It’s not a question of whether people are stupid. The real question is how fast is it happening? How long before the movie Idiocracy comes true? Hosts Stephen Gordon…

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Declaration of Singularity 2014

  What’s the difference between the original Delcaration of Independence and the Speculist’s Declaration of Singularity? Obviously one has already happened, and one has yet to happen. But…

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Declaration of Singularity

IN CONGRESS, SOME UNSPECIFIED DATE IN THE FUTURE The unanimous Declaration of the new posthuman civilization We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men human beings sentient…

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The Future of Taxes

Phil and Stephen discuss the future of taxation. Will the coming years show us more of the same or some new model for separating us from our hard-earned money?…

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Future Limited?

Phil and Stephen discuss the limitations that can most seriously impact the future: Resources — We’ve been warned about these limits many times. Capability — Do we have…

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The Book Is Dead; Long Live the Book

Phil and Stephen take a close look at the reading revolution that is currently taking place. Books are being replaced by electronic devices at a rapid clip. Is…

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Life Extension and Resurrection

Phil and Stephen discuss new developments that promise to extend human life and to revive previously extinct species. Join us.

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Weird Energy

Phil and Stephen discuss two promising, if somewhat offbeat, energy sources: Genetically modified plants Solar power collected in outer space Will our future energy demands be met by trees or…

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Unexpected Solutions

Phil  and Stephen discuss novel solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. Monitoring the wrold’s oceans — with a fleet of drone sailboats. Treating migraines — with an…

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A Day in the (Future) Life

Phil and Stephen examine life in a world that’s not that far off. Let’s start with where you might wake up. From there we’ll look at where you might work and,…

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Is Big the New Small?

As we move into the future, is the trend for things to get smaller or bigger? Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon consider some interesting developments: A tiny…

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Internet of Things or World Made of Data?

The Internet revolution is the story of an explosion of information and connectivity. We are all producers and consumers of vastly growing datasets. Our lives and our very…

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Accelerating Medicine

Phil and Stephen review some interesting developments in the world of medicine: Fast and Easy Cancer Diagnoses Spare Body Parts vis 3-D Printers Curing Cancer with Our Own Immune…

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Humanity’s Next Steps: the Path to Obselescence

Phil and Stephen explore the increasingly complex relationship between humanity and our machines. We know that machines are performing very complex and difficult tasks for us such as exploring space….

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Humanity’s Next Steps: The Evolutionary Path

Phil  and Stephen discuss the process of do-it-yourself evolution, including: Genetically modified babies Curing aging with stem cells Learning to learn faster What are the forces that are…

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The Final Frontiers

Compare these very different news stories Billionaire investors looking beyond earth vs. Game designers building computers inside games Phil and Stephen ask the question: which way is the…

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Missed Opportunities

What if the future we’re planning for never arrives because we don’t take advantage of the opportunities that would get us there? For example, did we miss the…

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Misplaced Priorities

Getting the future right may be harder than we think. There are numerous initiatives in place to address problems with health care, the environment, employment and other challenges…

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Human Downgrades

A recent news story that has recieved quite a bit of attention tells us about a woman who claims she wants to become a living Barbie doll. To achieve that…

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The Idea Machine

Picking up where last Friday’s show left off, Phil and Stephen discuss the changes that are reshaping our world — most of which started out as good ideas. A…

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Singularity When?

Phil and Stephen discuss the timing of the Technological Singularity: …a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically…

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The $3.5 Million iPhone

Last Week Business Insider ran a story calculating what an iPhone would have cost if one had been assembled in 1991. Once you add up the 1991 prices for…

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A Matter of Days

Phil Bowermaster demonstrates how quick and easy it can be to write a chapter for the book version of The World Transformed by composing his in real time on…

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Quantum Consciousness

Phil and Stephen  explore the relationship between consciousness and the physical world. Can our thoughts determine physical outcomes? Is consciousness itself a quantum phenomenon? What can a physiscist tell us about…

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From Here to “Her”

Phil and Stephen  discuss the possibility that we will soon be interacting with intelligent agents like Tony Stark’s digital assistant Jarvis in the Iron Man movies or Joaquin…

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Humanity Revised

Phil and Stephen  review two breakthrough biotech developments that promise to enable powerful human modification capabilities: Simplified editing of DNA Simplified production of Stem cells Human modification will…

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The Art of Prediction

Predicting the future is a daunting task. One area where would-be knowers of the future are making signficant progress is in predicting human behavior. Not to put to…

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Building the Future

What is the future made of? Hopes, fears, dreams, possibilities. But also…stuff. Phil and Stephen explore an emerging network, a collection of energy technologies, and an ambitious engineering project which combine to…

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The Nine Billion Names of God

Taking  a cue from George Dvorsky’s The 7 Most Intriguing Philosophical Arguments for the Existence of God, hosts Phil and Stephen discuss the relationship between convergence, accelerating change, transcendence,…

Wearit

The Age of Wearable Computers

It isn’t enough that we have computers in our phones, our cars, our refrigerators, our coffee makers. Now we have them attached to our faces — or elsewhere on…

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Step Forward, Step Back

Phil and Stephen discuss a number of developments that may be moving us closer to the future we’re hoping for, as well as some which seem to be…

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Responding to Radical Change

Phil and Stephen  apply the  four basic strategies for / responses to transformation to some of Thomas Frey’s  33  dramatic predictions for the year 2030. Let’s review the four…

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Being There (In Person or Via Robot)

Why actually travel anywhere when you can beam yourself into a robot that’s already there? Phil and Stephen discuss the emergence of the telepresence robot phenomenon. How important…

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Spike Jonze’ Her: What Is Real?

More pointedly, how much of what we experience day to day is sufficiently clear of biases, subjective filters, and preconceptions that we can say with confidence that it…

Her

Spike Jonze’ Her: Love and the Machine

Phil and Stephen discuss the movie Her and what it may be telling us about the future relationship between human beings and technology. Is this a love story?…

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A User’s Guide to the Future

Phil and Stephen kick off a new year explaining why thinking about the future is important, and why taking action is even more important. If the future is defined…

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The Year in the Future

Phil and Stephen review the top future-making news stories of 2013 and make their predictions for the year 2014 and beyond. Join us: Find Additional Technology Podcasts with…

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World Transformed Meets Singularity Network

The World Transformed presents the November Singularity Network video hangout. PJ Manney, Jason Xu, Stephen Gordon, Philippe Van Nedervelde, Nikola Danaylov and others will be on hand to…

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Making Big Things Happen

We live in what is sometimes called the Age of Possbility, and sometimes the Age of Capability. We have more information, resources, and connections to other people at…

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The Transhumanist Wager

Best-selling author Zoltan Istvan joins Phil and Stephen for a discussion of his widely acclaimed and controversial novel The Transhumanist Wager. This near-future thriller tells the story of a…

OldCovers

Positive Stories

Giulio Prisco joins Phil and Stephen to talk about optimistic science fiction. Why are fictional views of a better world so important? And why are they so hard…

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Dangerous Visions

This week Phil and Stephen venture out of the comfort zone and talk about some disturbing possibilities for the future. How weird can things get? Unfortunately, the answer…

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Lost Planet

In the news this week is the discovery a lonely, starless planet floating on its own out in interstellar space. Where did it come from? Where is it going?…

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What Can You Do with a Robot?

Phil and Stephen present a user’s guide to future stuff. Sure, robots have been used in industrial settings for years and we anticipate that soon they’ll be driving…

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The 20,000 Year Leap

Futurist Ray Kurzweil is on the record predicting that humanity will move forward 20,000 years in the 21st century. Just to provide a little context, 20,000 years ago we…

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Ramez Naam and Crux

The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck.  The world will never be the same. Ramez Naam joins Phil and Stephen to discuss…

BigBook

World’s Longest Book

Phil and Stephen expand on their idea to publish a collection of world-transforming ideas written by people all over the world. How many great ideas can one book…

MoonLanding

The First Step

Sure, we talk a lot about transforming the world, but how does one actually make it happen? This week Phil and Stephen talk about the critical juncture between…

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Games Conquer the Universe

What’s more fun than playing games? One possible answer: systems that let you build your own games! Especially if you have to become something of a hacker to get the…

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Living with the Shocking Truth

Last week’s show about the Shocking Truth opened up some interesting discussion. Are things really getting better? This week we review the good news (or not so good…

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The Return of the Shocking Truth

Can you handle the truth? Most people can’t. When we face the facts, the world is different than a lot of us expect it to be. A LOT…

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The Men Who Sold the Moon

A recent piece in the Financial Times explores the role that billionaire entrepreneurs are playing in pursuing world-transforming technologies and business models: The futuristic ideas that have been pouring…

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Infinite Universes WT027

New findings suggest that our universe is not the only one. It may be one of many, or one of an infinite number of universes. Phil and Stephen…

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The Future of Isms WT024, WT026

The future isn’t just about technological change. Some of the biggest changes we have ever seen and can expect ever to see occur in the realm of ideas….

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Dumb Movies, Smart Futures WT025

Phil and Stephen discuss the future of humanity as portrayed in some of the summer’s biggest movies as well as some older films. How have movies from years…

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Mind Blowing Technologies WT 023

Futurist George Dvorsky joins hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon to discuss his recent io9 piece: 10 Mindblowingly Futuristic Technologies that Will Appear by the 2030’s. Are we really…

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Live to See It; Live to Do It WT021

Today people are embracing new capabilities and possibilities faster than at any previous time in human history. We can know more, do more, and be more than any…

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The Once and Future Future WT020

Here we are more than a decade into the 21st century, and still no sign of a lot of cool future stuff: Moon colonies Underwater cities Rocket Airliners…

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The Joy Explosion WT 019

Why are we interested in the future? We want to know what happens next. We want to avoid bad things that might happen and make the most of…

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The Road to Radical Abundance WT 018

Phil and Stephen discuss Drexler’s new book, which outlines how atomically precise manufacturing will utterly transform our world. Skeptics say that Drexler’s vision of atomically precise manufacturing is a pipe dream that has been ridiculously hyped for too long. Drexler maintains that we are much closer than most people realize, and that progress is taking place in some unexpected quarters. Who is right? And if APM is on its way, will it be the ultimate example of catastrophic success or will it lead to an economic boom of unprecedented proportions?

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Red Pill or Blue? WT 017

Imagine this choice: you can live in the real world with all its limitations and shortcomings or you can live in a perfect simulation of reality…where “perfect” means…

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The OTHER Other 99% WT016

It’s not about politics. It’s about what we know and what we don’t know…yet. Speaking on the subject of genetics, geneticist and synthetic biologist Craig Venter recently stated:…

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Will We Ever Upload? WT014

Special guests Ben Goertzel and David Pearce join Phil and Stephen to examine the question of mind uploading. Is the human mind ultimately a sophisticated piece of software…

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Reality Plus

What’s better than reality? How about augmented reality — applications that interact with the world around us to provide startling new insights and capabilities. Special guests Jospeh Rampolla…

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Unexpected Futures

  Think you have a handle on what’s going to happen next? Well, think again. Phil and Stephen discuss 10 future developments you might not have considered, but…

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The Great World Transformed Debate

  The future is on its way. What will it be like? Phil and Stephen debate some pivotal questions about what may unfold in the years to come:…

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Our Thinking Transformed — Best of WT

Your hosts are observing spring break this week, so enjoy this great discussion from 2011:  David Brin, P.J. Manney, and Thomas McCabe talk about how our thinking must…

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Next Week in Science

  Babies cured of HIV! Sharks with chainsaw jaws! Earth-Like planets closer then we thought! Ancient languages reconstructed! Rats with their brains wired together! Phil and Stephen review…

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Humanity and Transcendence

Futurists Samantha Atkins and PJ Manney join Phil and Stephen  to discuss whether there is anything truly new in the movement known as “transhumanism.” Was there ever a…

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Super Beings

What would you like to do…leap tall buildings in a single bound? Change the course of mighty rivers? Bend steel with your bare hands? Well hang on: the…

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How Good Can It Get?

Everybody agrees that things could be better than they are…but how much better? Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon talk about transforming the world into a better place….

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What Are You Scared Of?

An era of profound opportunity can’t help but also be one of tremendous risks.  Climate change. Killer viruses. Economic collapse. Zombie apocalypse. No to mention really bad storms!…

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The Series

A new 10-Part Series on FastForward Radio A series of panel discussions and individual interviews dedicated to the major transformations occurring in our world. One major transformation per…

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The World Transformed 2 on FastForward Radio

Starting June 29, 2011 FastForward Radio presents The World Transformed 2. We’ll be talking to 30 futurists, visionaries, and otherwise fascinating people in an attempt to assemble a…