Activists Stage Anti-AI Protest At SXSW

With chants of "I say robot, you say no-bot!", a group of protesters took to the streets in Austin, Texas to warn against the rise of artificial intelligence. The movement, though small in number, may be the start of a larger trend. » 3/16/15 7:40am 3/16/15 7:40am

Why Some Things Get Better After A Disaster

Normally, the things around us become damaged after experiencing an unexpected disruption or shock. But there are aspects to our world that actually get better after a setback. Here's why things that don't kill us can sometimes make us stronger. » 2/19/15 10:15am 2/19/15 10:15am

Bill Gates has joined the growing chorus of concern over the potential risks of artificial superintelligence. He shared his thoughts in a recent Reddit AMA, writing: "I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned." He has now added his name to an open letter… » 1/29/15 3:40pm 1/29/15 3:40pm

11 Ways The Future Could Turn Out Differently Than You Expect

Many of us, owing to an intuitive sense of where technological and social progress are taking us, have a preconceived notion of what the future will look like. But as history has continually shown, the future doesn't always go according to plan. Here are 11 ways the world of tomorrow may not unfold the way we expect. » 1/29/15 10:30am 1/29/15 10:30am

Prominent Scientists Sign Letter of Warning About AI Risks 

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and many other prominent figures have signed an open letter pushing for responsible AI oversight in order to mitigate risks and ensure the "societal benefit" of the technology. » 1/14/15 7:00pm 1/14/15 7:00pm

What Do Bhopal And Chernobyl Have To Do With Artificial Intelligence?

Everything, actually. Artificial intelligence is poised to accompany humanity for the rest of its existence. We have a responsibility to make it safe. While we still can. » 1/08/15 2:20pm 1/08/15 2:20pm

Stephen Hawking is once again warning about the perils of AI. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," he recently told the BBC, adding that "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate...Humans, who are limited by slow biological… » 12/02/14 6:00pm 12/02/14 6:00pm

How The Search For Aliens Could Save Us From Environmental Collapse

It's hard to assess the sustainability of our civilization when climate scientists and ecologists have nothing to compare ourselves to. Which is why we need to learn from the success — and potential failures — of distant alien civilizations. » 11/18/14 9:00am 11/18/14 9:00am

The Myth of AI Is More Harmful Than AI Itself

Artist and computer scientist Jaron Lanier has penned a longread for The Edge where he argues that the biggest threat of artificial intelligence comes from the fact that it's an elaborate fraud, and that it introduces religious thinking to what should otherwise be a technical field. » 11/14/14 2:20pm 11/14/14 2:20pm

Could Game Theory Be Used To Prevent Human Extinction?

Game theory is a powerful tool for understanding strategic behavior in economics, business, and politics. But some experts say its true power may lie in its ability to help us navigate a perilous future. » 10/23/14 11:20am 10/23/14 11:20am

Are We Overthinking the Dangers of Artificial Intelligence?

Futurists and science fiction authors often give us overly grim visions of the future, especially when it comes to the Singularity and the risks of artificial superintelligence. Scifi novelist David Brin talked to us about why these dire predictions are often simplistic and unreasonable. » 10/07/14 11:14am 10/07/14 11:14am

Are The Threats From Synthetic Bioweapons Being Exaggerated?

The advent of synthetic biology and DNA synthesis has raised concern that amateurs will use these technologies to turn pathogens into weapons of mass destruction. But as experts point out, this may be far easier said than done. » 9/19/14 10:30am 9/19/14 10:30am

10 Horrifying Technologies That Should Never Be Allowed To Exist

As we head deeper into the 21st century, we're starting to catch a glimpse of the fantastic technological possibilities that await. But we're also starting to get a grim sense of the potential horrors. Here are 10 frightening technologies that should never, ever, come into existence. » 9/16/14 10:10am 9/16/14 10:10am

The Pre-Holocene Climate Is Returning — And It Won't Be Fun

Our planet has been witness to plenty of strange weather happenings recently, from devastating floods to the polar vortex. These events are providing a glimpse of what it was like during the pre-Holocene era — a time of volatility and destruction. But it could also be a demonstration of where climate change is taking… » 7/24/14 8:40am 7/24/14 8:40am

What Europe Will Look Like In 2035 If Russian Tabloids Have Their Way

Two years ago, the Russian tabloid Express Gazeta published a series of maps depicting its vision of Europe 23 years hence. Given the recent tensions in Ukraine and elsewhere, the maps are proving disturbingly prescient a mere two years later — which hasn't gone unnoticed by Russian nationalists. » 6/09/14 7:30am 6/09/14 7:30am

Creating Mutated Versions Of Viruses Not Worth The Risk, Say Scientists

In the wake of an experiment to see if a mutated form of the H5N1 bird flu could be made transmissible to humans, a pair of biologists are now speaking out about the potential risks posed by such endeavors; they say there's a much greater chance that these viruses could escape from the lab than we've been led to… » 5/21/14 2:20pm 5/21/14 2:20pm

These Are The Surprising Jobs You'll Be Doing By The 2030s

As our technological and sociological realities change, so too do our jobs. But just what, exactly, will we be doing 15 years from now? Here are some completely unexpected jobs you've almost certainly never heard of—but likely will soon. » 5/16/14 8:00am 5/16/14 8:00am

A Visualization Showing Where Asteroids Have Hit The Earth Since 2001

A new visualization produced by the B612 foundations reveals 26 significant explosive events recorded from 2001 to 2013 that were not the result of nuclear detonations — but rather asteroids hitting the Earth. That's a surprise, to say the least. » 4/22/14 3:08pm 4/22/14 3:08pm

New Poll Shows The U.S. Is Extremely Confused About The Future

A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of Americans are optimistic about the future. But when asked about specifics, they demonstrated a pronounced nervousness about some of the most plausible and beneficial advancements. » 4/17/14 4:00pm 4/17/14 4:00pm

A Massive Solar Superstorm Nearly Blasted The Earth In 2012

Back on July 23, 2012 a furious solar magnetic storm just grazed our planet. Had it erupted just nine days earlier, it would have hit us, causing extensive damage to our technological infrastructure. It would have been a geomagnetic catastrophe the likes of which we've never seen. Scientists say the close shave should… » 3/20/14 8:00am 3/20/14 8:00am