Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


quinta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2009


terça-feira, fevereiro 03, 2009

Singularity University


Starting this summer, some of the world's leading thinkers in exponentially growing technologies will be gathering annually at NASA Ames Research Center, in the heart of Silicon Valley, for 10 weeks of discussions on how to change the future. And you could join them.

The gatherings will be part of what is known as Singularity University, a brand-new academic institution co-founded by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, X Prize chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis, and former Yahoo Brickhouse head Salim Ismail, and anyone can apply.


To Kurzweil, Singularity University is a place to problem-solve and talk about the results of the most recent iterations of the exponentially growing technologies that have shaped modern life. Among them, he said, are vacuum tubes, integrated circuits, chips and microprocessors.

Now, he said, we are on the threshold of an explosion of the newest such technology, including 3D and self-organizing molecular circuits. And to Kurzweil, the ability to bring together the leaders in this wide range of fields is a rare opportunity to jump-start the future. (The program's name is based on the theories Kurzweil popularized in his best-selling book The Singularity is Near.)

For Diamandis, who previously co-founded the International Space University (a space studies program on which Singularity University will be modeled), the idea of building an interdisciplinary academic institution around the concepts of exponentially growing trends seemed natural--and powerful.

So, after bringing together 50 leading thinkers for a founding conference at NASA Ames, Kurzweil, Diamandis, and Ismail got the backing of Ames' director, Pete Worden, and a commitment of space at the center--a highly visual Silicon Valley landmark along highway 101--for the annual summer programs.

In addition to the core 10-week course, which will be open to graduate and post-graduate students, Singularity University will also offer 3-day and 10-day executive programs. The shorter version will be targeted at CEOs and CTOs, while the 10-day program will be aimed at rising-star executives who want to add to their knowledge and networks.

"These programs are there to give executives a look at what's in the lab today," said Diamandis, "and what is likely to hit the marketplace in the next 5 to 10 years."

This summer, Singularity University will kick off with just 30 or so students and will piggyback on the International Space University, which will host 120 students at NASA Ames. But in following years, the new institution is expected to expand to about 120 students, each of whom could be the next Larry Page or Sergey Brin.

"If we do our job correctly," Diamandis said, students "will meet, (discover their) common visions, and start companies together. They'll have a chance to match a nanotech expert from Russia with an AI expert from Silicon Valley and see what magic happens at the boundaries."

A stellar faculty
As evidence of how seriously many people in the fields of focus take Singularity University, it has pulled together what can only be described as a very impressive roster of faculty.

Among them are The Sims and Spore creator Will Wright; George Smoot, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics; Dan Kammen, co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize; Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist; and Stephanie Langhoff, NASA Ames' chief scientist.

Befitting the serious nature of the program, its curriculum is not for the faint of heart. The first phase, said Diamandis, is a series of plenary lectures in which all students take the same coursework and learn together about each of the 10 disciplines.


Ultimately, the results of Singularity University won't be known for some time. But given the people behind it and the likelihood of a steady stream of highly talented students, the odds of it producing the kind of deep thinking and world-changing technology the founders hope for are good.

"I have no doubt that society gets ever more complex, and the consequences of ever-growing technology become ever more difficult to anticipate and respond to," said Saffo. "So having a 10-week program of smart, committed people looking at the challenges from an interdisciplinary point of view can only be a good thing."



segunda-feira, fevereiro 02, 2009



From opera in cinemas to audio books for judo-players: the expanding market for intelligence is certainly unexpected. But what does it really amount to? Is it a profound cultural change or a mild shift upmarket? Here are three tentative conclusions. First, the growth of a market for intelligence may not imply anything about the quality of art being produced. Artists and patrons do separate, if related, things. Accusations of dumbing down are legion. On the other hand, the LA Times’s view that this is a golden age for serious television might be applied more widely. It is hard to believe that those who accuse arts institutions of dumbing down would want audiences to be smaller.

Second, the growth of intelligent interest may help resolve an argument that exists in universities between those who say culture is really all about class or income, much as it always was, and those who say that, no, sweeping statements about class are no longer relevant, and that these days personal taste, not class or money, is what matters. The new audience suggests both schools are partly right (or wrong). Taste has become fantastically heterogeneous: people do indeed watch and read whatever they want; intellectual snobbery is breaking down. But as Drs Wing and Goldthorpe have shown, one group--those with university degrees--read more, watch more and mix and match more than anyone else.

Third, what does all this say about the widespread view that societies are dumbing down, educational standards are crumbling and people’s ability to concentrate is collapsing? The reply must be that it cannot be true across the board and that for a significant number, the opposite is the case: people want more intellectually demanding things to see and hear, not fewer. Surely both things are happening at once: part of the population is dumbing down, part is wising up. But something has changed. H.L. Mencken, the so-called sage of Baltimore, said: “No one in this world...has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” A growing number of people are proving him wrong.

domingo, fevereiro 01, 2009

Expectável mas estimulante : Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Outlet


The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as an outlet for national and international news.

Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers (35%). Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for national and international news, at 70%.

For young people, however, the internet now rivals television as a main source of national and international news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online; an identical percentage cites television. In September 2007, twice as many young people said they relied mostly on television for news than mentioned the internet (68% vs. 34%).


Pew Research: Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Outlet

Outra referência: Pew / Internet


The Future of the Internet III

A survey of internet leaders, activists and analysts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, artificial and virtual reality become more embedded in everyday life, and the architecture of the internet itself improves.

They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives.
Pew Internet Project