Future

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Liber8 BB-8!

My on-the-fly take was that there was a conceptual problem: if we made machines smart enough to provide all our services, wouldn’t those machines effectively be people, deserving freedom from servitude?

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Fifteen years ago the CIA tried to predict the world in 2015

Many of their conclusions were uncontroversial: water would still be wet, sugar would still be sweet, and ethnic and religious tensions would continue to drive conflict in nations where governance is poor.
But other predictions have fallen flat – such as the notion we’d all be eating cloned beef burgers, or that North and South Korea would be unified.

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The future of Anchorage

That’s because, although Anchorage is experiencing unusually balmy winters right now, the city is positioned to actually benefit from climate change. “Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century,” Camilo Mora, a University of Hawaii geographer told The New York Times last year. A study he published in Nature backed that idea up by suggesting that Anchorage won’t face extreme temperatures until 2071.

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Air Force One is old.

​No, “Air Force One” is not actually a plane, but rather the callsign assigned to the plane the President of the United States is currently on. But the two planes that don the moniker most frequently are ancient, and while replacements are on the way, they won’t arrive for a while.

According to The New York Times, the Department of Defense is currently trying to button up a contract for the next iteration of Air Force One mainstays. The current pair—first flown in 1987—are modified Boeing 747-200Bs, a model that was initially introduced way back in 1971 but hasn’t been in production since 1991. Replacement parts are no longer manufactured, leaving the Air Force with the trouble of having them custom made.

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The Future of News Is Not An Article

Creating news for the current and future media landscape means considering the time scales of our reporting in much more innovative ways. Information should accumulate upon itself; documents should have ways of reacting to new reporting or information; and we should consider the consumption behavior of our users as one that takes place at all cadences, not simply as a daily update.

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Why alien life will be robotic

This will be especially true in space, which is a hostile place for biological intelligence. The Earth’s biosphere, in which organic life has symbiotically evolved, is not a constraint for advanced AI. Indeed it is far from optimal—interplanetary and interstellar space will be the preferred arena where robotic fabricators will have the grandest scope for construction, and where non-biological “brains” may develop insights as far beyond our imaginings as string theory is for a mouse.

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