Benefits of Membership




Please see our weekly newsletter collection below. Our own staff and members contribute bits and bytes of interesting news and articles. They say that futurists make funny historians but we do our best to bridge that divide by illustrating our past themes and speakers as they develop and evolve. We hope that you enjoy reading these communications as much as we enjoy creating them for you. And if you have any news to share, please contact any member of our staff.

2017 February 3

The Super Bowl is Sunday, in regular 2-D television—and also VR.
Congratulations to TTIV member ExxonMobil. Their former Chairman & CEO, Rex Tillerson is the 69th United States Secretary of State.
Elsewhere in government … Is the President of the United States using an old, insecure Android phone that could be hacked and used to eavesdrop on classified briefings? Bruce Schneier (Austin, February 2001) thinks so. Maybe Trump needs something like the Blackphone! (Jon Callas, London, July 2014)
A TTI/V member is making strides for those with limited mobility with the Hyundai Medical Exoskeleton.
The science of detecting happiness and sadness in human conversation (Rodolphe Gelin, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Guy Hoffman, London, Jul 2014; Alex Reben, Boston, Apr 2014) took another step forward recently with the development of a real-time wearable system at MIT.
UK grocery chain Ocado has developed a working robotic arm “that can grasp grocery products, including individual apples and oranges, and pack them safely for delivery to customers.” (Sonia Chernova, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Daniela Rus, Boston, Apr 2014) “The hand is built with a spring-like mechanism, controlled by changing the air pressure, that automatically adjusts the grip based on the product it’s handling.” (Dustin Tyler, San Francisco, Dec 2016).
… And out on the streets of Boston, Gita, a 26”-tall delivery robot with a carrying capacity of 40 lbs., was introduced Thursday (Marc Raibert, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Steve Cousins, San Francisco, Dec 2015; Colin Angle, Boston, Apr 2014).
Chess, Jeopardy, Go …. And now poker. And not just any poker, but no-limit heads-up Texas hold 'em (Julian Togelius, Chicago, May 2011; Judith Donath, Dallas, Feb 2007; Paul Cohen, Los Angeles, Sep 2004).
Of the many uses for computer-brain interfaces (Rajesh Rao, San Francisco, Dec 2013; Tan Le, San Francisco, Dec 2013 and Rome, Jul 2008; Andrew Hibbs; Seattle, Dec 2012), surely none is more compelling than communicating with profoundly paralyzed individuals—those who cannot even answer a question with an eye blink.
Three teams (of 27 entrants) qualified to test their Hyperloop pods in a three-quarters-of-a-mile vacuum chamber at SpaceX this week (Steve Jurvetson, San Francisco, Dec 2013).
Apple has joined Amazon, Facebook, Google/Deep Mind, IBM, and Microsoft as a founding member of the Partnership on AI, a nonprofit group “dedicated to formulating best practices in artificial intelligence and educating the public about the field” (James Barrat, Boston, Apr 2014). Board members include Yann Lecun (Pittsburgh, Oct 2012) and Eric Horvitz (Seattle, Dec, 2006 and Sep 2001).
There are 12,000 U.S. graduate students from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, a majority of whom are in STEM fields. Stranded scientists are being offered temporary laboratory homes.

“All education is a continuous dialogue—questions and answers that pursue every problem on the horizon. That is the essence of academic freedom.”—William Orville Douglas

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