What’s going on at SciFoo this year?

Thanks to Deskarati’s friend George Ford for pointing out this interesting blog by Dominic Cummings. – Deskarati

Scifoo

Dominic recalls his experience at this years SciFoo Camp conference and lists some of the scenarios being discussed:

1) Extinct species are soon going to be brought back to life and the same technology will be used to modify existing species to help prevent them going extinct.

2) CRISPR  – a new gene editing technology – will be used to cure diseases and ‘enhance’ human performance but may also enable garage bio-hackers to make other species extinct.

3) With the launch of satellites in 2017/18, we may find signs of life by 2020 among the ~1011 exoplanets we now know exist just in our own galaxy though it will probably take 20-30 years, but the search will also soon get crowdsourced in a way schools can join in.

4) There is a reasonable chance we will have found many of the genes for IQ within a decade via BGI’s project, and the rich may use this information for embryo selection.

5) ‘Artificial neural networks’ are already outperforming humans on various pattern-recognition problems and will continue to advance rapidly.

6) Automation will push issues like a negative income tax onto the political agenda as millions lose their jobs to automation.

7) Autonomous drones will be used for assassinations in Europe and America shortly.

8) Read Neil Gershenfeld’s book ‘FAB’ if you haven’t and are interested in science education / 3D printing / computer science (or at least watch his TED talks).

9) Scientists are desperate to influence policy and politics but do not know how.

Read Dominic’s blog post here.

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