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Back to the future

In the year 2013, Spike Jonze’s film Her explored the extent of impact technology has in our personal lives. The story traced the life of a heartbroken man named Theodore, who begins a passionate love affair with an operating system. It’s only been three years since, but with the rate of advancement in our exponential technologies, the idea seems achievable. Beginning today, SingularityU Summit, delves into how life, society and industries will soon be disrupted and reshaped through emerging technologies.

Silicon Valley-based Singularity University (SU) was founded by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil at the NASA Research Park, California. It offers educational programmes for companies, entrepreneurs, non-governmental organisations and government leaders, with the aim of advancing technologies to take on humanity’s challenges such as water scarcity and energy consumption. In association with INK, a platform that exchanges cutting-edge ideas, the SingularityU Summit is the first in Asia, and will see 15 speakers from the fields of science and technology. They will introduce projects and discussions to facilitate changes in genetics, neurosciences, and technologies that can enhance our quality of life.

National award-winning filmmaker Anand Gandhi is closely involved with the event; he sees himself as a facilitator who encourages talks on scientific and technological advancements. “My work as a filmmaker is an extension of the role I play as a scientific communicator and thinker. I knew I would either be a filmmaker or a scientist, and soon I realised that they don’t have to be independent of one another,” he says. Gandhi believes that as sciences evolve exponentially, the future will see us with memory chips in our bodies, information from Wikipedia transferred to our minds as we think, nanobots flowing through our bloodstreams, and an access to an abundance of resources with a higher possibility of equal distribution.

The summit will feature talks by Diamandis; Rob Nail, Associate Founder and CEO, SU, Neil Jacobstein, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Co-chair, SU, and designer Stefan Sagmeister, among others.

“It is important to simplify narratives of science and technology so that the information is easily accessible to everyone,” says Gandhi. The summit also aims to tackle challenges in health, learning, prosperity, food, energy, security, environment, space, water, governance, and disaster resilience through growing technologies.

Platform for education

Exponential technologies can comprise artificial intelligence networking and computing, robotics, design, digital health, cybersecurity, crowd-sourcing, and digital finance amongst other things. The event stands as a platform for education and action that focuses on understanding how exponential technology can be leveraged to drive global impact. Gandhi says, “If we ask informed questions, we can aim at curing disparity across the globe with inventions that will available to everyone. As we advance, we have the possibility to be infinite.”

The author is a freelance writer

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:09:29 AM |

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