Futurist Thomas Frey: I’ve been closely watching the debate on artificial intelligence with people like Rodney Brooks saying it’s only a tool, and others like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking giving bone chilling warnings of how it could lead to the destruction of all humanity.
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Demographers, teachers and politicians will stop talking about the population pyramid and start referring to the population dome in 2015. The change in terminology will reflect a profound shift in the shape and structure of societies. This is a shift that has been going on for 50 years and is only half complete.
Futurist Thomas Frey: A few weeks ago I got into a discussion with some friends centered around this question. “What, in your mind, will be the most powerful entity in the world 100 years from now?”
The shrinking government workforce doesn’t mean that government spending is at record lows. It’s hard to believe the federal government now employs the fewest people since the mid-1960s. Yet according to jobs report earlier this month, the federal government now employs 2,711,000 people (excluding non-civilian military). Among the economy’s largest job sectors, it was the only […]
There seems to be bad news everywhere you look these days. Sometimes it seems like the world is falling apart. Between Ebola, climate change, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and the ongoing war in Iraq and Syria.
Futurist Thomas Frey: Whatever happened to that young child you were not so many years ago? As a baby, life was all about eating, sleeping, and dry diapers. Even though you are learning new things quickly, not much else really mattered.
Fletcher’s paradox A statement or problem that either appears to produce two entirely contradictory (yet possible) outcomes, or provides proof for something that goes against what we intuitively expect is called a paradox. Paradoxes have been a central part of philosophical thinking for centuries, and are always ready to challenge our interpretation of otherwise simple […]
This portrait was woven using a Jacquard loom. Before IBM, before punch-card computers, before Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, one of the very first machines that could run something like what we now call a “program” was used to make fabric. The machine was a loom and could process so much information that the fabric it produced […]
Caesar Augustus died two thousand years ago, on August 19, 14 AD. He was Rome’s first emperor, having won a civil war more than 40 years earlier that transformed the dysfunctional Roman Republic into an empire. Under Augustus and his successors, the empire experienced 200 years of relative peace and prosperity. Here are 40 maps […]
(Some) people have grown taller People are getting taller and they are also fatter than ever and live longer than at any time in history. And all of these changes have occurred in the past 100 years, scientists say.