Pregunta a un Experto | Ask an Expert

Episode 1: Energy

In its debut, questions about energy that were tweeted to @singularityu with the #AskSU hashtag are answered by Gregg Maryniak, the Energy and Environmental Systems Chair at Singularity University. Questions include:

  • What's preventing widespread adoption of renewable energy?
  • What can I do locally to support renewable energy use?
  • Do toilet turbines actually work?

Episode 2: Autonomous Vehicles

In this video, we dive into the subject of autonomous vehicles and their impact on the future of transportation. Brad Templeton, Singularity University's Networks and Computing Chair, answers questions about robocars from Twitter on such topics as cargo transportation, speeding, and which use model will ultimately prevail.

Episode 3: Will Robots Take Our Jobs?

Ready or not, another episode Ask an Expert is already here...about as fast as robots are showing up in the workplace.

This episode, in fact, is all about robots and how they will affect humans. Walking us through the implications of the robot revolution is Rob Nail, CEO and Associate Founder of Singularity University. Having launched startups in robotics and automation, Rob brings a balanced perspective to Tweeted questions related to technological unemployment and even the film, Robot & Frank.

Episode 4: Is Bitcoin the Largest Ponzi Scheme of All Time?

People sure are abuzz about bitcoin — after all, it's not every day that a new currency pops on the scene. But the buzz has more to do with what you can do with bitcoin then where it come from. Increasingly, retail stores, doctors, and even colleges are all allowing consumers to pay with the cryptocurrency.

But does that mean it's actually safe or is some larger scheme going on that all the bitcoin believers are buying into?

This episode of Ask an Expert addresses fundamental concerns about how bitcoin works thanks to Catheryne Nicholson, CEO and co-founder of BlockCypher, a blockchain platform for developers.

Episode 5: Is the Future of Drones Dastardly or Daring?

Perusing the news, one might think the world of drones has quieted down. But hovering in the minds of those concerned about the impact of drones on society for better or worse are questions that that continue to arise.

In this episode of Ask an Expert, a slew of drone inquiries are fielded by David Roberts, chairman of global drone services company, HaloDrop. Topics include solar-powered and Amazon delivery drones as well as the impact of drones on the insurance and tourism industries.

Episode 6: Future Forecasting

We're all excited about the future, but maybe you've had some of these lingering thoughts:

  • Will increased longevity challenge people's religious beliefs?
  • How will our lives change over the next decade due to virtual reality?
  • Will we soon live in a world of extinct animals like in Jurassic Park?

In this week's episode of Ask an Expert, Paul Saffo replies to questions like these about the future implications of the technological changes we're witnessing today.

Paul is a forecaster with over three decades experience helping stakeholders understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He teaches at Stanford and advises governmental and corporate clients worldwide. Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Episode 7: Virtual Reality

"Virtual jobs are going to be a dominant part of our future...they'll probably be the biggest place that we work." 

As the momentum of virtual reality builds, many claims about its future success have been made, some of which boil down to plain wishful thinking. But in this week's episode of Ask an Expert, Philip Rosedale provides a more seasoned optimism about the popularity of the coming virtual worlds. He discusses concerns and hopes about virtual reality and his motivation behind building entirely new universes for humans to both work and play within.

Now Rosedale isn't just a wild conjecturer—he's the founder of Second Life, one of the most successful Internet-connected virtual worlds created. Additionally, Rosedale founded High Fidelity Inc in 2013 to build the next generation of virtual worlds utilizing the latest in virtual reality technology.

Episode 8: Space

Watch just about any science fiction movie and the allure of space is mesmerizing. It's open, seemingly infinite, and full of unknowns. It is the final frontier.

But would you be willing to venture off to explore space if it meant you might die out there? Some say absolutely!

Just ask Anousheh Ansari. Nearly a decade ago, she became the first Muslim woman in space as a spaceflight participant spending more than a week on the International Space Station. Since then, she has become an advocate for space exploration. In this episode, she answers questions regarding what her experience was like and what it would mean to head off planet possibly never to return.

Episode 9: Biotech

What Will ‘Drag and Drop’ Gene Editing Do for You?

Biotechnology is moving blindingly fast: From $1,000 human genome sequencing to CRISPR gene editing, we're approaching an era when scientists can edit and rewrite the source code of life. Physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson beautifully put it like this: "A new generation of artists will be writing genomes as fluently as Blake and Byron wrote verses." The prospect terrifies some and excites others.

But is "drag-and-drop" gene editing overhyped? And what can biotechnology do for us?

Raymond McCauley, chair of the biotech track at Singularity University and co-founder and chief architect of Biocurious, answers questions about biotechnology and bioinformatics and digital biology. Some of the topics covered this week include CRISPR gene editing and biohacking our way out of poverty.

Episode 10: Neuroscience

When will we understand the brain?

In an era of scientific progress and emerging technologies, one would think that we were on the cusp of finally answering this age-old question. Not so fast. Understanding the anatomical structures and physiological functions of the brain is one thing; being able to reverse engineer it to achieve consciousness is on an entirely different level.

In this week's episode of Ask an Expert, Divya Chander dives into the topic of building a brain, the neuroscience of decision-making, and what can be done to therapeutically rewire the brain.

Dr. Divya Chander is a faculty member in the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University and serves as Medicine and Neuroscience faculty at Singularity University. Having received her training at Harvard, UCSD, and UCSF, she now specializes in the study of consciousness. r. Chander aims to utilize the understanding of neural mechanisms to develop improved algorithms for brain monitors.

Episode 11: Our Star Trek-like Future

If you consider how much of our world's systems revolve around scarcity — from basic needs like food and shelter to quality-of-life improving desirables — it's no wonder that the resource-abundant world of the Star Trek universe would seem like utopian fantasy. But every day, advances in science and technology take a step closer to a future that in a word can be described as abundant.

In the season finale of Ask an ExpertPeter Diamandis discusses a future of abundance along with asteroid mining robots and how technology affects his daily life. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which launches incentive prizes to drive technological breakthroughs for humanity's benefit. He is also the co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Singularity University.

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Last modified: Saturday, 3 October 2015, 1:04 PM