NEXT: The Future of Schools

It would appear that artificial intelligence will soon be going to school. Researchers are devising new machine learning techniques that involve what’s termed as “grounded language.” Deep learning today involves feeding an algorithm a lot of data and allowing the algorithm to identify patterns in that data. Some computer scientists are investigating the idea of having […]

-David Staley

December 12, 2019

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NEXT: Mechanized Warfare

The videos are certainly impressive, and just a little creepy. If you go on YouTube and search “Boston Dynamics,” you can see some of their work. Boston Dynamics is developing robots—both four-legged and bipedal—that are capable of impressive feats of locomotion and balance. One example includes a four-legged robot that can maneuver over a variety […]

-David Staley

November 12, 2019

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NEXT: Conversations with Alexa

If I want to know last night’s baseball scores, I can type my query into Google. Up will come a number of search results, from ESPN.com to CBS Sports Network, to the Major League Baseball site, to the sites for the local teams’ newspapers. Getting to the top of that search is, of course, big business. Now […]

-David Staley

October 15, 2019

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NEXT: Purpose-Driven Capitalism

On August 19, the Business Roundtable—that club of 200 CEOs from large and influential American companies—announced a redefinition of the purpose of a corporation. The updated “Statement of Purpose of a Corporation” announces that a company should seek to benefit many stakeholders, not simply maximize the profits of shareholders. This means: Delivering value to customers Investing […]

-David Staley

September 16, 2019

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NEXT: The Politics of Trees

Two notable events in the news the past few days involved our stewardship of trees. Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, fired the Director-General of his country’s National Institute for Space Research because the agency revealed that deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has increased dramatically. Since Bolsonaro took office in January 2019, there has […]

-David Staley

August 13, 2019

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NEXT: The Future of Food

I’ve started tracking trends in agriculture and the production and consumption of food, and there are some significant trends that I have been following. It is possible that in the near future we will expand the number of plant species we consume. Today, almost half of the calories we consume come from just three grains: […]

-David Staley

July 17, 2019

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NEXT: The Future of Robocalls

I was on the phone the other day with the cable company, trying to deal with a billing issue. After clicking through several menu items, I was finally connected to a human being somewhere who answered my questions to my satisfaction. As I think about a potential future where more and more jobs are automated, […]

-David Staley

June 18, 2019

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NEXT: Can We Gauge Social Mood?

In the iconic graphic novel The Watchmen, the evil genius Adrian Veidt gazes at a wall of scores of television screens, each tuned to the world’s media, news reports, entertainment. (This is set in the 1980s, don’t forget.) As Veidt scans all the visual chatter, his mind sees patterns across the screens. At one point […]

-David Staley

May 13, 2019

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NEXT: The Labor Force’s Cognitive Divide

Almost as soon as the World Wide Web was unleashed in the early 1990s, commentators began to talk about a “digital divide.” This was a reference to the regional and socioeconomic differences in access, speed and technical capacity for using the Web. Rural areas, for example, were identified as one area where this digital divide […]

-David Staley

April 16, 2019

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NEXT: Why I am a Futurist

I was reading a book the other day by a pioneer in artificial intelligence, and came upon a passage that just floored me. He was describing the potential risks of developing artificial intelligence, and the concerns some have expressed about the threat artificial intelligence poses to humanity. “This is not the first time an emergent […]

-David Staley

March 18, 2019

Read the full article on the Columbus Underground site.