A.I. Pilots Are Not The Solution To Preventing Airline Disasters

We're still trying to understand the horrific Germanwings tragedy. But already, some people are suggesting it could have been prevented if a computer had been flying the plane. But that's not the solution. We spoke to an expert about why an A.I. pilot would open up an entirely new set of risks and complications. » 3/27/15 11:45am Friday 11:45am

DARPA Wants To Solve Ebola With DNA, Money, And Institutional Knowhow

Colonel Dan Wattendorf is a program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office. His goal: To dramatically suppress Ebola, and infectious diseases like it, with a new, unconventional vaccine. And according to Wattendorf, the biggest hurdles he faces in accomplishing this mission "aren't scientific, but institutional." » 3/19/15 11:45am 3/19/15 11:45am

Kim Stanley Robinson Says Colonizing Mars Won't Be As Easy As He Thought

Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy filled us all with hope that we could terraform Mars in the 21st century, with its plausible description of terraforming processes. But now, in the face of what we've learned about Mars in the past 20 years, he no longer thinks it'll be that easy. » 3/13/15 10:44am 3/13/15 10:44am

This Short Movie About An Endless Future War Looks Unspeakably Great

Check out the trailer for The Shaman, a new short film debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival. As with a lot of short films we've seen lately, this has top-notch visual effects — but more than that, it looks like a thing of pure beauty. And it has an original story, with a concept I haven't come across before. » 3/11/15 11:55am 3/11/15 11:55am

These Futuristic Churches Will Fill Even Non-Believers With Awe

Who says churches have to look like monuments to an ancient architectural style? The greatest religious buildings have always reflected the aspirations of the time they were built. And these gorgeously futuristic houses of worship are no exception. Here are some of the most gorgeous futuristic churches in the world. » 3/10/15 3:00pm 3/10/15 3:00pm

The One Ebook You Have to Read If You Love Digital Books

You have not read a truly digital book until you've read The New World. The novella is about a woman trying to reclaim her dead husband's head from a cult-like cryogenics company. But more than that, it is the most ambitious attempt I've seen at exploring a future where books lack physical form and are better for it. » 3/10/15 2:43pm 3/10/15 2:43pm

Biggest Worldbuilding Mistake Made By Isaac Asimov And Frank Herbert?

Both Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels and Frank Herbert's Dune books imagine empires in space. But everything we know about technological change and development suggests that an empire could never spur rapid enough technological development to make it in space, argues an article in Time Magazine. » 3/09/15 9:00pm 3/09/15 9:00pm

What Futuristic Inventions Must We Never, Ever Build?

No one sets out to make a dystopia, but there are some futuristic inventions that seem ripe for unintended consequences. So set aside that killer robot you've been putting together in your garage and for goodness sake halt your lab work on that food replacement pill, and tell us about your own personal tech nightmares. » 3/02/15 7:00am 3/02/15 7:00am

When A Newspaper Gave Blade Runner's Replicant Test To Mayor Candidates

What if your city elected a Replicant as mayor and you didn't know it? There's only way to guard against this situation, and that's by administering the Voight-Kampff test to every single candidate during the mayoral election. One newspaper in San Francisco did that back in 2003, and the results were amazing. » 2/23/15 1:47pm 2/23/15 1:47pm

How Much Longer Before Companies Start To Run Themselves?

Increasingly powerful AI is poised to threaten many well-established professions. A strong case can be made that no industry or job is safe — including the upper echelons of corporate governance. The era is fast approaching when companies will be able to operate with virtually no human intervention. Here's how it… » 2/20/15 12:00pm 2/20/15 12:00pm

A Nerve-Wracking Glimpse At The Future Where Computers Think For Us

We already outsource our memories, calculations and a lot of our fact-checking to Google and other systems. But what happens when the computers start actually guessing what we're going to think before we think it? That's the subject of this unnerving flash fiction by Schlock Mercenary's Howard Tayler. » 2/19/15 10:51am 2/19/15 10:51am