The Future, This Week

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Consensus 2017: Even Academics Can't Keep Pace With Blockchain Change

As blockchain startups take off, where will they find their workforce?<p>The onus often falls on universities to develop young people with the requisite …

Bitcoin

Why I just sold all my bitcoin

The price of bitcoin is skyrocketing. In the past month it’s increased in value by 95 percent, hitting an all time high of $2,400. This inspires a …

Cryptocurrency

China is losing interest in the iPhone

Tim Cook hasn’t been shy about proclaiming China Apple’s future biggest market, but right now it’s causing the most problems.<p>According to analysts at Oppenheimer, Apple’s “Reality Distortion Field” is fading in China, as iPhone sales drop 20 percent. That’s at least twice as bad as any other market.<p>…

Apple

Dubai deploys first robotic police officer

We're not quite in RoboCop town, but the world's first robotic police officer is now on the beat in Dubai.<p>The first unit in Dubai's Robocop program has been rolled now been rolled out. It's not quite Paul Verhoeven's satirical vision of baddie-takedowns, though. A customised service robot from Pal …

Policing

Donald Trump, Our A.I. President

It is hard to imagine a more scathing indictment of our ability to read another’s thoughts and intentions than our inability to predict Donald Trump’s next move. From the gross pre-election misjudgments to postelection bafflement, the best pundits are at a loss to accurately anticipate his response …

Donald Trump

Inside Amazon’s first New York City Bookstore

Lawrence stood at the front of Amazon’s first New York City bookstore, momentarily startled by the applause.<p>He was the first shopper at Amazon’s newest "Amazon Books" physical retail location – and he wasn’t even shopping for books. Lawrence, who didn’t offer his last name, had basically wandered …

Amazon

Your Camera Wants to Kill the Keyboard

Snapchat knew it from the start, but in recent months Google and Facebook have all but confirmed it: The keyboard, slowly but surely, is fading into …

Machine Perception

The Quants Run Wall Street Now

Alexey Poyarkov, a former gold-medal winner of the International Mathematical Olympiad for high-school students, spent most of his early career honing algorithms at technology companies such as Microsoft Corp., where he helped make the Bing search engine smarter at ferreting out pornography.<p>Last …

Investing

Medicine Is Going Digital. The FDA Is Racing to Catch Up

When Bakul Patel started as a policy advisor in the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008, he could pretty much pinpoint when a product was going …

Digital Health

Uber uses artificial intelligence to figure out your personal price hike

The system has caused a wide discrepancy between how much you pay and what your driver receives.<p>Uber has admitted using artificial intelligence to …

Uber

Move Over Tesla, Europe's Building Its Own Battery Gigafactories - Bloomberg

Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a …

Energy

Facebook's secret guide on sex, violence, and hate speech leaked

The internal documents lay out the social media giant's stance on moral and ethical decisions related to user content.<p>Facebook's secret rules and …

Censorship

Google Has A New Favorite Phrase–Here’s What It Means

What is immersive computing? It’s a phrase that links all of Google’s interface experiments.<p>On stage this week at I/O, Google’s biggest event of the year, the company repeatedly used a term we haven’t heard Google–or anyone else–use very often: “immersive computing.”<p>It’s a phrase that Google is …

Augmented Reality

Has This Silicon Valley Startup Finally Nailed The Indoor Farming Model?

Indoor farming is a trendy startup space, but many of those ventures have recently failed. Plenty thinks its technology, model, and timing mean it’s the place that will finally turn greens into green.<p>“I like to call this the cathedral.” So says Matt Barnard, CEO and cofounder of the vertical …

Farming

The Barbarians Are at Etsy’s Hand-Hewn, Responsibly Sourced Gates - Bloomberg

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business,” the economist Milton Friedman famously wrote in 1962. And that is “to use its …

Etsy

Protecting our thoughts with human rights

Advances in neuroscience mean our minds may not be the last bastions of privacy we thought they were. Researchers from Switzerland have proposed the …

The Brain

Uber may charge you more based on where you're going

In a controversial move, Uber has started to charge riders a premium based on where they're traveling.<p>Uber generally determines pricing by taking into account a trip's distance and duration as well as the level of demand in the area in which it originated. Now, though, it's charging extra to …

Uber

American Express Debuts Its First Amazon Alexa Skill

Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, is getting a financial upgrade with a new skill from American Express.<p>The skill lets AmEx card members check their …

An Oral History of the #Hashtag

Whether you first knew # as a number sign, the pound symbol, or a tic-tac-toe board, its incarnation as the hashtag has changed language for millions …

Biz Stone

Elon Musk, I owe you an apology

Elon Musk, I owe you an apology. For years I've been suspicious about your plan to fill the world's roads with self-driving cars. I've sneered at the …

When Artificial Intelligence Rules the City

An expert panel ponders how AI will change our lives.<p>When we think of the city of the future, we might think about flying cars and scenes from “Star Trek” or “The Jetsons.” But coming new technologies are shaping deeper and more fundamental changes in our cities.<p>These changes are already well …

Artificial Intelligence

Corporate Surveillance Is Turning Human Workers Into Fungible Cogs

Emerging technologies are enabling more invasive management practices.<p>Common wisdom tells us that, with time, science fiction soon becomes reality.<p>The film <i>Gattaca</i> depicted a world of technological advancements in genetic manipulation such that genetic enhancements for offspring are commonplace for …

Sociology

Amazon’s profitless path to world domination

Twenty years ago this week, Amazon went public. Then an online bookseller, the company has since grown into a globe-spanning retail giant worth more than $430 billion in market cap.<p>That’s a 50,000% return (give or take a few thousand percent) if you bought Amazon’s shares when it first listed. The …

Amazon

Americans no longer have to register non-commercial drones with the FAA

Surprisingly, the drone industry isn’t thrilled.<p>If you buy a new drone in the U.S. to fly non-commercially, you no longer have to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a decision issued today by a federal court in Washington, D.C.<p>The court ruled that the FAA’s …

Drones

Say goodbye to the iconic MP3

When it was introduced in the late 1990s, the MP3—a then-novel digital audio coding format—shattered the dominance of physical CDs. It reduced audio file sizes by as much as 95%, suddenly allowing listeners to carry a massive amount of music around on tiny pocket-sized devices.<p>But in the 2000s, as …

Music

This balloon-powered internet is helping Peru during extreme floods

During natural disasters, the ability to communicate with loved ones and get basic information is vital. But communication infrastructure is often one of the first things to be knocked out by high winds, massive rain, and flooding — especially in remote and rural regions.<p>Massive jellyfish-like …

Project Loon

Uber Freight launches to connect truck drivers with available shipments

Uber is now the ‘Uber for trucking’ – Uber Freight is a new service from the ride hailing company that pairs up trucking companies, including independent operators, with loads that need to be hauled from one place to another. The app looks a lot like the main Uber app, but it’s targeted towards …

Uber

How Digital Technology Is Changing Farming in Africa

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050, and to feed that number of people, global food production will need to grow by 70%. For Africa, which is projected to be home to about 2 billion people by then, farm …

Agriculture

Tim Cook is testing a glucose tracker for the Apple Watch

CEO has been spotted wearing the device, according to a new report<p>Apple CEO Tim Cook has been wearing a prototype glucose tracker that pairs with the Apple Watch, according to a report from CNBC. The revelation adds weight to a previous report from CNBC, which said last month that Apple has hired a …

Apple