Science & Technology

Could Autonomous Cars and Trucks Be Coming Soon?

February 28, 2017

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Sunday she was reviewing self-driving vehicle guidance issued by the Obama administration and urged companies to explain the benefits of automated vehicles to a skeptical public. The guidelines, which were issued in September, call on automakers to voluntarily submit details of self-driving vehicle systems to regulators in a 15-point “safety assessment” and urge states to defer to the federal government on most vehicle regulations.

Will universities be responsible for the success of cities?

February 27, 2017

According to researchers around the world, there is increasing momentum from some of the world’s most innovative universities to align curriculum, research and overall mission to city development that specifically focuses on technology-based systems and services. In other words, progressive higher education is linking itself more than ever to the Internet of Everything.

Remembering Vera Rubin, a trailblazer at the telescope and beyond

February 25, 2017

When we stare up at the night sky, we see shimmering stars, fuzzy galaxies and faint clouds of gas and dust. It is what we cannot see, however, that will forever remind us of astronomer Vera Rubin. Rubin is best known for confirming the existence of dark matter and, along the way, serving as an advocate for women in science and an inspiration to those who wanted to become scientists. She died on December 25, 2016. She was 88.

Technology Subcommittee to Hold Its First Hearing of 115th Congress

February 25, 2017

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a subcommittee hearing on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. titled “Exploring the Value of Spectrum to the U.S. Economy.”

Around-the-World 24-Hour Conversation on the Future to Celebrate World Future Day

February 25, 2017

Washington, DC, February 27, 2017 ( - ​On World Future Day – March 1 - you can join futurists from around the world in a 24-hour conversation about the world’s potential futures, challenges, and opportunities. This online dialogue will start at 12 noon in Auckland, New Zealand and move across the world ending in Honolulu at 12 noon. 

“Whatever time zone you are in, you are invited at 12:00 noon in your time zone to click on and join the conversation. “This is an open discussion about the future, “ says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project. “People will be encouraged to share their ideas about how to build a better future.”

This is the fourth year The Millennium Project has done this. Previous World Future Days have discussed issues like:

  • Has the world become too complex to understand and manage?
  • Can collective intelligence and smart cities anticipate and manage such complexity? 
  • Will there be a phase shift of global attitudes in the near future about what is important about the future?
  • Can new concepts of employment be created to prevent increasing unemployment caused by the acceleration technological changes?
  • Can self-organization on the Internet reduce dependence on ill-informed politicians? 
  • Can virtual currencies work without supporting organized crime?
  • How can we break free from mental constraints preventing truly innovative valuable ideas and understand how brains might sabotage us (rational vs. irrational fear, traumatic memories, and defense mechanisms)? 
  • How can we connect brains to become more intelligent?

TIP: If you join the video conference and see that the limit of interactive video participation has been reached, you will still be able to see and hear, as well as type in the chat box, but your video will not be seen until some leave the conversation. You can also send a comment to @millenniumproj that facilitators will read live in the video conference.  As people drop out, new video slots will open up.  

Other international futurist organizations partnering with World Future Day are the World Futures Studies Federation, Association of Professional Futurists, and Humanity+.

The Millennium Project is an independent non-profit global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and universities. It has 63 Nodes (groups of institutions and individuals) around the world that identify long-range challenges and strategies, and initiate foresight studies, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training.  Over 4,500 experts have participated in The Millennium Project’s research since its inception, in 1996. The Project’s mission is to improve thinking about the future and make those insights available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the annual "State of the Future" reports, the "Futures Research Methodology" series, the Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies.  The Millennium Project was selected among the top think tanks in the world for new ideas and paradigms by the University of Pennsylvania’s GoTo Think Tank Index, and Computerworld Honors Laureate for its contributions to collective intelligence systems.

7 new Earth-like exoplanets discovered, NASA announces

February 23, 2017

Talk about lucky number seven. Astronomers have discovered not one, not two, but seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1. What’s more, three of them are in the habitable zone -- the happy place where liquid water can exist on the surface of rocky planets, as it’s not too hot or cold.

NASA to Host News Conference on Discovery Beyond Our Solar System

February 22, 2017

NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22, to present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website. Details of these findings are embargoed by the journal Nature until 1 p.m.

Finance chairman to propose overhaul of worker visas

February 17, 2017

Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force Orrin Hatch on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation to update the visa system for highly skilled immigrants. The Utah Republican said he is working on an update of his 2015 Immigration Innovation Act, or I-Squared, and plans to put forward the legislation "in the near future.”

Trade vs. Productivity: What Caused U.S. Manufacturing's Decline and How to Revive It

February 14, 2017

The prevailing narrative says automation was the main culprit behind U.S. manufacturing job losses in the early 2000s, and that automation is now powering an unprecedented manufacturing technology revolution that will continue to displace jobs. But the truth is trade pressure and faltering U.S. competitiveness were responsible for more than two-thirds of the 5.7 million manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010. And rather than entering a “fourth industrial revolution,” U.S. manufacturing productivity growth now is actually near an all-time low.

Trump eyes end to an H-1B system that favors largest outsourcers

February 13, 2017

The H-1B lottery favors large firms. In the 2015 fiscal year, for instance, the top 10 firms received 38% of all the H-1B visas in computer occupations alone. All these firms, except for Amazon and to a partial extent IBM, are outsourcers. These large companies have the resources to submit enough visa applications to help ensure they receive a bare minimum of approvals. The top 20 firms in 2015, which included more of a mix of outsourcing and technology firms, accounted for 46% of all the computer-occupation visas.


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