TRANSHUMAN:  A Documentary by Titus Nachbauer
Jan31

TRANSHUMAN: A Documentary by Titus Nachbauer

Peter Philosopher Anders Sandberg does not accept death as a foregone conclusion. According to him it

Read More
Will there be a Battery Singularity by 2025 ?
Jan26

Will there be a Battery Singularity by 2025 ?

Share BY BRIAN WANG Ramez Naam, author of The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, recently explained that lithium-ion batteries have a fifteen year history of exponential price reduction. Between 1991 and 2005, the capacity that could be bought with $100 went up by a factor of 11. The trend continues through to the present day. SolidEnergy calculates that its materials could be used to make battery packs that cost $130 per kilowatt-hour, in line with U.S. Department of Energy goals for making electric vehicles affordable. Battery pack costs are typically kept secret, but estimates range from $250 to $500 per kilowatt-hour for packs in commercial electric vehicles. The 85 KWh battery pack for a Tesla S would go from $20,000 to $40,000 down to about $11,000. Lithium ion could get even cheaper (if only from economies of scale from factories that are ten times larger in China). Lithium Sulfur batteries are getting close to commercialization. They have the potential to drive costs to about $60 per KWh. This would be about $5000 for a Tesla S battery pack. The Tesla model S was picked as the Car and Driver car of the year. If it could be made three times cheaper and the follow on generation 3 is planned to be half the price of the model S. The Battery singularity would be the electric car singularity. Batteries (and electric engines) that replace gasoline (and combustion engines) but at lower lifetime costs have the potential to completely replace combustion engines. I believe the costs will be brought down and the factory construction and scaling of the supply chain will take until about 2025. We could get to 10 million electric cars per year by about 2020 and then to 100 million by 2025. This would likely mean that Tesla with its large lead in electric cars would likely be selling as many cars as Toyota now and possibly 2 to 3 times as many. This would be 10 to 30 million cars. Tesla would be worth $300 billion to $2 trillion depending upon the price earnings multiple. Elon Musk has about 27-28% of Tesla. He would be worth $100 billion to $600 billion depending upon exactly how big and profitable Tesla becomes. This would also mean that Elon Musk would be able to fund all of his smaller businesses like Spacex with their reusable rockets from his own pocket. Elon plans on creating a supersonic electric passenger plane. The battery singularity with cheap high energy density lithium sulfur or lithium air batteries would make those possible too. The follow on technology enabled by the...

Read More

Singularity University to launch 50 million venture fund to tackle the world’s grand challenges

ShareSigne Brewster Forward-looking startups will have a chance at $50 million later this year when Singularity University, an education center and accelerator based at Mountain View’s NASA Ames Research Center, launches its first venture fund. The university will begin raising capital during the second quarter of 2014, according to managing director of new venture development Sandy Miller. The fund will focus on companies launched by SU students, alumni and faculty. Everything SU does is tied to pursuing “exponential technologies:” tools that are developing so fast that small teams of people can now use them to accomplish tasks that once required a large company. Examples include robotics, biotech and nanotechnology. SU challenges these fields to put their work toward solving major world problems like poverty, education and security. SU has used these principles to populate its accelerator, which is separate from the venture fund, with an interesting mix of companies; an approach it will apply to the fund as well. “The (accelerator) companies have to use an exponential technology as part of their product solution in markets, applications that are addressing at least one or more of the grand challenges,” Miller said in an interview. “Being one or more years ahead of the market, that’s something that I see working with some of the companies in our portfolio.” SU was started in 2008 by X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil. It has grown to encompass educational programs aimed at executives and graduate students and the accelerator. Getaround, Made in Space and Modern Meadow are among the participating startups. It also has a new program that pairs its startups with established companies like Lowe’s, Coca-Cola, Unicef and Hershey’s. Miller said said that while the accelerator currently only accepts companies associated with its alumni, it plans to begin accepting outsiders in six to nine months. While interest in exponential technologies is growing, they can still face a harder time finding funding than an Instagram-type startup. Their final goal can be years away. But Miller emphasized that many find commercial prospects earlier than they thought. Modern Meadow, for example, which eventually plans to print edible meat, is already looking into markets for 3D printed leather “A lot of things are changing far faster than most of us realize and we’re living in a world that has problems and capabilities that will not be solved by the infrastructure from hundreds and thousands of years ago that we’re currently using,” CEO Rob Nail said in an interview. “There’s a critical need for us to be aware of how technology is shifting our lives and the world we live in, but also there’s a gigantic opportunity to take advantage of those...

Read More
Why ‘Her’ Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity
Jan15

Why ‘Her’ Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity

Share BY ADARIO STRANGE The pop-culture tuning fork known as the Academy Awards will reveal its film nominations on Thursday, and if the recent Golden Globes win by Her on Sunday for best screenplay is any indication, the film’s writer and director,Spike Jonze, may score his first-ever Oscar win.But the film, which depicts a man in the not-too-distant future who falls in love with his computer operating system, may be less important as an epic love story and far more relevant as the best and most widely accessible film we’ve seen about an idea known as the Singularity. Popularized by science fiction author Vernor Vinge as well as inventor and now Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil, the Singularity is a theoretical point in future history when artificial intelligences exceed the power of the human mind, become self-aware and dramatically change the balance of power on the planet while simultaneously transforming the very nature of humanity itself. Films like 1999’s The Matrix showed us a world struggling in aftermath of the Singularity in which seemingly malevolent artificial intelligences enslaved humanity. But perhaps the earliest cinematic conflict applying sentient qualities to an mechanized construct is a film that celebrated its 87-year anniversary on Friday: 1927’s Metropolis. The film tells the tale of a scientist who transforms a metallic robot into a flawless copy of a kidnapped woman named Maria. Spoiler alert: the robot is later burned at the stake and human Maria is set free. One of the central differences between these three films is how they reveal humanity’s relationship to technology at the time. In the technologically naïve 1920s that created Metropolis, humanity can easily defeat technology through the same means used to dispatch human criminals. The Matrix, on the other hand, was released during the mainstream explosion of the Internet and all the uncertainty it fostered. In the film, technology appears as something out of our control, with only one “magical” human (Neo) given the ability to meet the sentient computers on equal footing. But in Her we’re given a far more mature look at what the Singularity may really look like when and if it comes to pass. While many were alternately enthralled and creeped out by the subtlety and charm of the emotional interaction between Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and his operating system, OS One by Element Software, later known as Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), few among the film’s enthusiastic reviewers have explored how the relationship ends. It’s at this point that we’ll warn you to look away if you don’t want the plot spoiled. Read More at Mashable: Why ‘Her’ Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity  ...

Read More