Advancing Technologies

Why 2017 is the year of the bot

In the 2013 movie “Her,” Theodore Twombly, a lonely writer, falls in love with a digital assistant designed to meet his every need.  She sorts emails, helps get a book published, provides personal advice and ultimately becomes his girlfriend.  The assistant, Samantha, is A.I….

The transport systems of Science Fiction will be here sooner than you think

Picture the commute of the future: You live in Palo Alto, Calif., but work 350 miles away in Los Angeles. After your morning latte, you click on a smartphone app to summon your digital chauffeur. An autonomous car shows up at your front door…

What Stephen Hawking gets right and wrong about ‘the most dangerous time for our planet’

In an essay in The Guardian, the renowned theoretical physicist wrote: “Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in…

Fake news is just the beginning

Facebook is on the defensive after the elections, with accusations that it helped spread misinformation.  For days, Mark Zuckerberg was adamant that his network had not affected the election results, calling that “a pretty crazy idea”.  But after a torrent of criticism from his employees…

These 6 new technology rules will govern our future

Technology is advancing so rapidly that we will experience radical changes in society not only in our lifetimes but in the coming years. We have already begun to see ways in which computing, sensors, artificial intelligence and genomics are reshaping entire industries and our…

Why technology may prevent Trump from delivering on his jobs promise

As the election results rolled in last night, it became increasingly clear that America — and the world — would never be the same. The American people overlooked all of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s faults and elected him to office in the belief that he…

The government failed U.S. workers on global trade. It must do better on technology.

Co-authored with Edward Alden of Council on Foreign Affairs Global trade and investment have been great engines of progress for much of the world.  Over the past two decades, poorer countries reduced the gap between themselves and their richer counterparts for the first time…

Future medical breakthroughs may come from an unexpected industry

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recently announced a $3 billion effort to cure all disease during the lifetime of their daughter, Max. Earlier this year, Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker donated $250 million to increase collaboration among researchers to develop immune therapies for cancer. Google is…

Robots could eventually replace soldiers in warfare. Is that a good thing?

Coauthored with Aaron Johnson, who is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and writes about the moral implications of technology. The United States has on its Aegis-class cruisers a defense system that can track and destroy anti-ship missiles and…

The renegade whose dream started the latest space race

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origins have grabbed the headlines in the space race, both of them building rockets and spacecraft.  But there is fascinating backstory on how this race and the private space industry came into existence.  It is the…

Why China won’t own next-generation manufacturing

After three decades of dramatic growth, China’s manufacturing engine has largely stalled. With rising salaries, labor unrest, environmental devastation, and intellectual property theft, China is no longer an attractive place for Western companies to move their manufacturing to. Technology has also eliminated the labor…

I already live in the future — and so should you

I live in the future. I drive a Tesla electric vehicle, which controls the steering wheel on highways. My house in Menlo Park, Calif., is a “passive” home that expends minimal energy on heating or cooling. With the solar panels on my roof, my energy bills…