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Entries in SciFi = Sci Fact (9)


Abundance Is Our Future With Peter Diamandis

We visited Peter Diamandis at X-Prize Headquarters in Playa Del Rey. His new book with Steven Kotler, Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, documents how progress in AI, nanomaterials, digital manufacturing, infinite computing, and a number of other areas, will move humanity out of a world of scarcity - into a world of abundance. 

Join the Abundance Hub!

 ... over the last hundred years the world has gotten extraordinarily better, by almost every single measure. Childhood mortality is down by a factor of ten. Per capita income adjusted for inflation globally has tripled. Lifespan has more than doubled. Cost of food has come down thirteen-fold, cost of energy twenty-fold, transportation one-hundred-fold, communications at a thousand-fold... people below the poverty line in the United States are living still the lives of kings and queens of a hundred and two hundred years ago... When I think about abundance, I am trying to change people's perspective of scarcity. Scarcity is contextual. Something is scarce until technology comes along and makes it abundantly available.

Peter Diamandis 
 Radio Cut


 Extended Edition Coming Soon...

Peter's TED Talk

Peter's 2012 TED Talk from Abundance Book on Vimeo.



Explore The Final Frontier With Kicksat

We spoke with Zac Manchester, a graduate student in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell, about his project, Kicksat, which he hopes will give us average Joe's and Jane's the ability to explore space.

I think the biggest thing people would do, for the average person is just open up the possibility of average people putting things in space and exactly what they'll do with it... I have no idea. I really think it's a fundamentally different ball game - when you talk about being able to put a satellite into Earth's orbit for a few hundred dollars vs now the cheapest satellite is on order of one-hundred thousand dollars.

Zac Manchester


Best Explanation Of Quantum Computing... EVER!

In conversation with Dr. Daniel Lidar about "one of the coldest, most magnetically shielded places on earth." Dr. Lidar is the Scientific and Technical Director at the USC Lockheed-Martin Quantum Computing Center at Information Sciences Institue in Marina Del Rey. The USC Lockheed-Martin Quantum Computing Center received the world’s first commercial, operational quantum computer from D-WAVE.

We discuss the difference between quantum computing and classical computing, how it works, and what it will mean for the world. Hey, maybe we should coin it "Quantum Beach"?

Quantum computing is never going to solve problems that are in principle unsolvable on classical computers … it's not that we can solve problems that we cannot solve classically, it's just that we can solve things faster and sometimes problems which are impractical to solve on classical computers become practical on quantum computers.


With quantum computers we should be able to solve such problems [protein folding] in a matter of hours, instead of… the age of the universe.

Dr. Daniel Lidar

Who Knew? Quantum Mechanics Will Enable Secure Cloud Computing 

The second of our three part series on the future of computing. We spoke with Stefanie Barz from the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology about her recent paper in Science, which demonstrated that quantum computers are perfectly secure in the cloud. 

Privacy is guaranteed by the laws of physics - so it's guaranteed by the fundamental laws and as long as these laws are valid our concept is absolutely secure.

Stefanie Barz


The Human Computer To The Quantum Computer

We talk about the beginning of computers - humans doing trajectory calculations during World War II - to the future - utilizing the properties of the quantum world to take computing out of this universe.

Quantum computing... it's like computing across the multi-verse.

Brandon Barney



2012: The Beginning Of The New World

We discuss the Star Trek-ification of the future and what's coming... the tricorder, the replicator (3D Printing), warp drive, the holodeck... and how we're winning the future. 

William Gibson said, "The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed." We're optomistic that 2012 will be the start of the distribution.

Some people say that the world is coming to an end... and I actually believe that - I think that a new and better world is coming... This world is coming to an end, but something much better and brighter is before us.

Brandon Barney & Brittney Gallagher


Quicklaunching off Earth With Dr. John Hunter

We spoke with Dr. John Hunter, physicist turned president of QuickLaunch about their goal to deliver propellant (and other necessities) to space at less than 10% of the current cost. Think Jules Verne's space gun in From the Earth to the Moon - but instead of launching people - they're launching fuel and freight (which is responsible for 90% of the weight of a traditional space craft). 

...See guys like me - a lot of the hardcore space guys - really think we should get off the planet and at least explore Mars and the moon... and put scientific groups on those locations... Who knows what you're going to find - that's the nature of exploration.  You go out there and jump into the deep end and hopefully you make it back to the side of the pool.

Dr. John Hunter

Intro Video:



AI Learning To Win Civilization... By Learning Language

Oh the language games we play... well now, not just us huamns are doing it, but AI as well.  S.R.K. Branavan is a graduate student at MIT's Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab - where they taught a machine how to win the strategy game civilization by reading the manual. Just imagine if robots are able to interpret human language, then they can learn how to do tasks they have not previously come into contact with.

If you'd like to read the original paper, click here.

If you'd like to setup the virtual machine, click here.

The idea is that giving a computer access to information recorded in human language can significantly improve its chances of doing well in whatever task you want it to do... it's what humans do... Also, you don't need to know language beforehand to be able to leverage the information encoded in human language...

S.R.K. Branavan


Leaving The Realm Of Science-Fiction... Entering Reality

Alex Lightman is an author, entrepreneur, and futurist. We spoke with him about the future of Digital Culture and what the implications of IBM's Watson are, the future or radio programming, Transhumanism, merging with machines (a la Borg), the DIY revolution, and more... all in eight minutes!
It sounds like the Borg is coming... that we're the Borg home world...
Brittney Gallagher