J.J. Abrams' Pet Peeve: When Futuristic Stories Use Present-Day Jargon

Sunday sees the first episode of Almost Human, the android-cyborg buddy cop show from some of the peeps behind Fringe. Co-creator J.J. Abrams has been doing interviews to promote the show, and he brought up the biggest thing that annoys him in future-set stories: anachronistically present-day references. » 11/14/13 9:40am 11/14/13 9:40am

No, we didn't just create an AI that’s as smart as a 4-year old

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago recently IQ-tested an AI system to see how intelligent it really is. Results showed that it's about as smart as the average 4-year-old —with some important caveats. Indeed, some very, very important caveats. » 7/16/13 1:23pm 7/16/13 1:23pm

Will humans continue to evolve during multigenerational space missions?

Scientific American has posted an interview and podcast with Portland State University anthropologist Cameron Smith about the ways in which humans might evolve during extended missions in space. Given the intense timeframes involved, Smith speculates about the various ways in which Darwinian pressures will continue to … » 12/20/12 12:30pm 12/20/12 12:30pm

How do you end racism? Transform black people into white people!

Science fiction pioneer and futurist Hugo Gernsback was a man who dared to dream big. And making big predictions meant that he was going to whiff huge every now and again. » 10/04/12 8:40am 10/04/12 8:40am

This prophecy about North America's super-mega-earthquakes in 1998…

Remember how the North American continent was torn asunder in the late 1990s by geological forces beyond all comprehension? Remember how Denver became a seaport and Long Island was lost to the ocean? Those were the days. Let's recollect these halcyon years of tectonic upheaval with precognitive futurist Gordon Michael… » 9/26/12 8:50am 9/26/12 8:50am

Why Star Trek's Vision of the Future is Out of Date

Without a doubt, no show has done more to promote a positive vision of the future and a limitless sense of possibility than Star Trek. It's a series that has inspired several generations of fans, and helped to spur the development of actual technologies we now take for granted. » 5/01/12 12:14pm 5/01/12 12:14pm

According to a 1918 science magazine, the Earth would transform into a …

In the May 1918 issue of the youth science and current events periodical My Magazine, an unnamed author played it particularly fast and loose with geophysics when he declared that the planet was slowly becoming a pyramid. "What sort of people will live on the tetrahedron?" screamed the author in the headline, somewhat… » 3/12/12 11:50am 3/12/12 11:50am

Will Ray Kurzweil make Roland Emmerich's Singularity movie even more…

Roland Emmerich has pushed bad science to its limit before, most notably with the amazing 2012. But for his upcoming movie Singularity, he's actually enlisting the help of Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near, to help him revise the script. On the one hand, this means the movie will accurately reflect… » 11/10/11 4:16pm 11/10/11 4:16pm

In the future, we'll undergo tests to avoid marrying frigid hubbies and …

Hugo Gernsback is famous for being a science fiction publishing titan, being the namesake of the Hugo Awards, and his no-holds-barred futurism. He was less renowned for his Clockwork Orange-style views on marriage, which are equal parts horrifying and gut-busting. » 2/28/11 7:51pm 2/28/11 7:51pm

Ray Kurzweil uses math to prove that we have no energy crisis

Futurist and singularitarian Ray Kurzweil recently told PBS' Lauren Feeney that we don't need to worry about peak oil or carbon emissions. That's a relief. He's applied his "law of accelerating returns," developed to describe the way consumer electronics improve exponentially, to the field of solar power. Kurzweil tells… » 2/22/11 7:40am 2/22/11 7:40am