Friday Futures: conscious AI, disruptive drones, living in the moon

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Half the fun – indeed, most of the fun – of writing about disruptive technologies is being able to see what hot technology ideas are coming down the pipeline. And we don’t mean the usual analyst forecasts that look five years ahead in terms of 5G revenues or how much money vendors will make from selling AI-powered things. We’re talking about the really cutting-edge visionary R&D stuff that has the potential to reshape or even rewrite the paradigms that are already being rewritten. If you think the industry is being disrupted now, wait til you see what the next wave of disruption has in store. 

Which brings us to this – the first installment of Friday Futures, a weekly compendium of stories from around the web to provide you with a glimpse of The Future that is being hammered out by boffins worldwide. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. 

How far away is conscious AI?

Today, many of the world’s leading companies are in a one-of-a-kind race: To bring artificial intelligence to life. Already, machine learning systems are the core of many businesses, so it’s no surprise that updates about this AI or that neural net often pop up on our newsfeed. Such headlines typically read along the lines of, “AI beats human players in video game” or “AI mimics human speech” and even sometimes things like “AI detects cancer using machine learning.” Read more…

… And how real are the concerns about AI, or even AGI?

AI has become a global buzzword, and investments in AI, machine/deep learning and many related fields are exploding. The excitement is clearly infectious yet many leading scientists and technologists have voiced grave concerns about controlling AI, or rather, AGI (artificial general intelligence), and an AI-arms-race between the US and China seems almost inevitable. Watch AI videos from Gerd Leonard.

There will be more than a billion drones by 2030: Thomas Frey

Drones will become the most disruptive technology in human history, American futurist Thomas Frey says, predicting that by the year 2030, there will be 1 billion drones in the world doing things people cannot yet imagine. Drones already deliver goods, fight climate change, monitor reefs, supply humanitarian aid, and take part in take part in races. Read more…

Scientists think we will live in the moon

Because the moon has no atmosphere and is home to a host of unfriendly occurrences like extreme temperature variation, radiation, and meteorite impacts, astronauts who venture to our nearest neighbor will need to find proper shelter before they can accomplish anything outside of their vehicle. The answer: lava tubes! Read this from Futurism.

Robots are coming to medicine faster than you think

The advancement of intelligent machines isn’t all that miserable. Indeed, some advancements presently making waves will save lives. Enter the Senhance System, a surgical robot recently cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in minimally-invasive surgeries. Read the article.

Hyperloop One will start being built before 2020 – the question is where?

The chief executive of Virgin Hyperloop One, Rob Lloyd, has confirmed that the company expects to start building before 2020. “Somewhere in the world we are very confident that we would begin construction in 2019 with initial testing at production level in 2021,” said Lloyd. (Somewhere, he says.) Learn more…

How to almost lose $30,000 by forgetting your Bitcoin PIN

“In January 2016, I spent $3,000 to buy 7.4 Bitcoins. At the time, it seemed an entirely worthwhile thing to do. I had recently started working as a research director at the Institute for the Future’s Blockchain Futures Lab, and I wanted firsthand experience with Bitcoin. I had no way of knowing that this transaction would lead to a white-knuckle scramble to avoid losing a small fortune.” Read more… 

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