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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 31, 2015 5:01am-7:02am EST

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there's something more important. >> there are things that are both refreshing and sort of probably would be disturbing the most people. i don't think most people would want to live their life completely like he does. as a kid he by the time he was 14 he may have read every science-fiction book ever penned. where some kids would sort of revel in the fantasies committee took this as his life's calling and internalized it and decided, i'm the guy who will do this .-ellipsis life really a low-levela low-level like know when i have ever seen, very utilitarian. have aa finite amount of time on this earth and going to maximize my time going after my goals. if that means i have to be
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rough on my employees, family life will implode, i have to lose every dollar and so be it. when he sold paypal he made $220 million. i don't think there is anyone near here who would sacrifice every last penny, which is what he did, burned through the entire 220 million building rockets and electric cars, like taking all your money and lighting it on fire, the two worst things you could possibly do. and he in 2008 both companies are going bankrupt. is going through divorce, lost a child, and he basically through sheer force of we will and chicanery gets through this period, and there are a few people that would have walked out of that let alone
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end up with ten of 13 billion a few years later that is why i wrote the book. he is passionate, level you rarely experience. >> there was a chapter in your book. rockets. >> it takes you on a tour de force. almost 50 years of a remarkable rise to future shape. the last question, some of you may know, is part of a group called the long now foundation. many others are involved, jeff basis one of them. but one of the projects which will sound strange is a 10,000 year clock that will be self winding up perpetuating, something to
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remind us we need to think more long-term and think more into the future. it will be housed in west texas in the cave. where do you see the future of innovation? it is in the story, but of themes or evolution. >> how they foster the creativity. >> one of the really interesting things about the human propensity to create is how it keeps accelerating. if you look at the 1st 50,000 years of human history and it was like about 10,000 years ago only that we started looking out for animals are domesticating animals.
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5,000 years before we got agriculture, writing emerged about that time. and now i've gone through seven models the last four years. elon musk has self driving cars all over the world and is flying rockets to space in that. what is driving the acceleration? there are far more of this now. everybody is created. the more people created more things could created. they are building on the knowledge of previous generations, taking advantage of the innovation. if you take that to the future we're going to be had about 10 billion people and 2100. that is more than twice what we have now. they are benefiting. were able to communicate with each other globally. so we have unprecedented
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creative ability. the tremendous social progress we've seen. the ability of more and more different people. that's going to accelerate. and we're waiting in parts of the world where people are not been able to create much before. it is an incredibly bright future, which you don't get to hear very often. it is so much easier to be pessimistic. that is not the whole story. >> please help me in thanking the two of them. [applause]
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i like to turn it to the audience. there's a microphone here in the center. please direct your question to either of the two authors or both of them and we will try to keep on schedule. >> my question is when you look at people that have had all moments do you see any pattern that goes around that, what might lead them up to that momentfor what they do when they have that moment? >> great question. they don't actually have those moments. if you are not familiar, the idea that when we mentioned mozart, mozart is alone in a
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good mood and suddenly as symphony appears in his head and he writes it down is done. one of the things from the book, that is a myth based on a letter that is a forgery. we have known it's a forgery for about hundred 50 years but you still see it enacted papers about creativity as if it were true. people like the myth. the reality is step-by-step process, someone with a lot of skill and experience trying and failing until they come to this wonderful feeling of finally finishing something. the 10,000 peace may be the one that feels the best but you have to put the others in 1st. that is the truth. it is a great feeling that comes at the end of a very long series. >> this is a question for both authors. i want to go see the new steve jobs movie. it was brilliant, but there is a theme for people like steve jobs, try to change
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the world. they seem to be a hassle's. >> this is public television. >> is there a way to change the world without being an acyl? >> we get it. by the way, that's the only time. >> i get asked this question a lot. he seems to rub people the wrong way. he has what i describe in the book is a strange sort of empathy. he is not very empathetic for what is going on in his employees daily lives. they come down and say, they have to miss some function because the kid is going to go to a soccer game. he really doesn't care about that at all. they get fired because of it. we would talk he was sort of honestly breakdown almost completely in tears when he
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would start talking about building a colony on mars and how important this was for mankind. i mean, he seems to viscerally feel the peril of the human species from some kind of unforeseen event. such a different way that it is hard to draw the shoot parallels. since steve jobs they're have been a tendency to glorify people that are jerks. although i have interviewed most of these guys and there does seem to be a propensity to be really hard on people. >> there are plenty of examples of people who change the world have had a great charm and grace social skill.
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the 2nd thing assays am sadly talking about a bunch of privileged white men. non-charming people. and many of them were not changing the world in any way. so i would say it's a coincidence. >> well put. very diplomatic. >> another question for both of you. can you talk a little bit about how he put together his team for tesla, specifically how many people he actually hired himself, interview and hire and then just a following question, after you get these e-mails
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from them having read the manuscript, did you make any changes? >> i can answer the 2nd one quickly. it was already printed by the time you read it. there is nothing factually that i would correct. i don't know if it's going to be as fulfilling because is a different story for tesla. he was founded by two other gentlemen. he was the original money men. they were responsible for hiring the initial team. what was remarkable about that, it was a small group of people on the over 40 engineers in silicon valley who had never done that before.
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they dug in. at space x that is his baby. he gets full credit. he interviewed every single employee after about the 1st 2,000. he would cold call, call people at stanford's in the aerospace visit i get no space company. i want you to come join. he was already pretty famous from paypal. no one believed in. he went to space race of the desert. he would chat of these kids and whoever seem interested, what you come by and do an interview. anger through some of these things. and so he was very good at finding.
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he does not like to pay people much money. he doesn't go to harvard or yale. he tries to find people a technical universities, engineering schools the bill something in high school or college. >> most of what i know i got from ashes book which is excellent. >> and from reading his e-mails. last question. >> how important do you feel when you get into the study of psychedelic experiences in terms of his impetus. >> you know, i know steve jobs experimented with psychedelics. he loves to go to burning man. as far as i know, i never found any conclusive proof,
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is not much of a drinker. he likes to go for the experience of it all. he is to burning and every year. he pay someone to build your accidents. but i would just be making something up. i have the idea to commemorate the 21st anniversary of21st anniversary of the art of the deal by the great donald trump but he was busy. these are engrossing and engulfing books. almost makes you feel like fiction world. you realize these are real stories and you imagine these are the folks crafting your future.
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please join us a table 21 f you grab a copy. please thank you again. >> a lot there on the stage. anybody who wants one feel free. [inaudible conversations] >> three days of feature programming this new year's weekend. friday night at 8:00 o'clock eastern law enforcement officials activists and journalists examine the prison system. >> the 1st and primary reason is to punish people for antisocial behavior and to remove the threat from society, prisons keep us
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safe. whether they will rehabilitate the prisoner or deter future crime, those are secondary concerns. great if it happens, but the primary purpose is people who are not in prison, to keep society safe from the threats imposed. >> saturday night a little after 8:00 o'clock race relations townhall meeting with elected officials and law enforcement from areas experiencing racial tension with police. >> that is where it begins. they get the job say i am protecting the public. theytheir idea of the public is this a given the marching orders. that is us. we need to look at all of that. we need to look at those rules that they have and start using to engage themselves in the community. >> sunday evening at a discussion on media coverage of muslims and how american
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muslims can join the national conversation. 9:00 o'clock young people from across the united kingdom gather to discuss issues important to them. >> so much more. these people feeling disdained, deprived, and disillusioned. i look forward. when we go up they lose the smiley faces and forget to notice the swishing and the hawking. >> for a complete schedule go to >> up next we will hear from evolutionary biologist. her book is how to clone the mammoth, the science of the extinction. she talks about climate change and extinct species being introduced to the
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world. >> may or may not be able to hear me. hello. thank you for joining us. i am so delighted to welcome you to this evening's event. this evening stock is one of the many. events. this friday david roberts
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will join us with his new book, discoveries in the ancient southwest. tickets are still available, preventing the wright brothers later this month. to learn more visit us online. denies talk will conclude with questions after which we will have a book signing. we haveif copies of how to clone the mammoth at the registers. as always tonight's book is 20 percent off for part of how we say thank you. finally, quick reminder to silence your cell phones. we are pleased to have c-span book tv here typing this evening's event. when asking questions please no that he will be recorded and maybe wait a moment for
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the microphone. and so now i am pleased to introduce tonight's author, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the university of california santa cruz. in 2,009 a recipient of the macarthur award. scientific articles have appeared in many. tonight she will be presenting her new book. national geographic call that a sharp, witty, and impeccably argued book and scientific american rights in this lucid roadmap for the nations discipline of the extinction shapiro examines not only how we can resurrect long vanished species but when we cannot and should not. pleased to host you. please join me in welcoming. [applause] >> thank you. all right.
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thank you for inviting me thank you for coming. it is a beautiful day out there. what is going to be a wonderful spring and summer. thank you for spending an hour or so in here. anyway, one of the many hats i wear is as a national geographic emerging explorer which is a silly thing.a silly thing. i am not sure how i am emerging all i am emerging from but i would like to start with a video that describes the work that i do just to give you a taste of where we are so far. >> this is really cool. two, three, four pieces.
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still frozen. can't dig it out at all. the big splash of water back they're. that i get out of here. >> okay. the last part is a little bit silly. in my defense that water is really gross. what it is is there a lot of active plaster mining. a type of gold mining: the snow melts the waters collected and big holding ponds and pumped up using high-pressure water hoses. the minors wash away the permafrost. and then they wait a little bit, the sun heats it up and
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then they wash those inches down. their goal is to get rid of all the frozen dirt and get to the gold bearing gravel underneath. while they are doing at hundreds if not thousands of these impeccably preserved frozen bones are covered. we come along and collect them. i am a biologist, evolutionary biologist paleontologist,, geneticist. i have been called lots of different things. what does a biologist wall with frozen mammoth bones? well, my research is about climate change and as species and communities adapt and respond to climate change. what we hear about climate change we often hear about things like changes in precipitation patterns, large-scale changes in the distribution of plants and animals, changes in storm pattern that leave some people in dire straits in different parts of the world and species are potentially at the brink of extinction. when we read about this
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often what we get our incredible doomsday scenarios. one might wonder what we can do to stop this. if you are comfortable at all, climate change literature, one of the plots you are accustomed to seeing is this it looks a little bit like a hockey stick. what this is is the big line across the middle, average global temperature and then everything else is kind of relative to that. the temperature was pretty stable, maybe declining a little bit in the last couple hundred it increased by about one half degrees. people are predicting much more rapid and extensive increases in global climate. this is not the 1st time in its history that we have
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seen a very rapid and large-scale change in global temperature.temperature. if we extend this back to about 50,000 years ago we see this right here, 20,000 years ago, the peak of the last ice age and here is a transition, the interval we are in today. this particular transition this rapid increase probably happened over a century or less. so this is actually equally rapid equally potentially tumultuous climate change. so my research trust to go back in time, sample dna sequences and asked how did species and communities respond?
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so the field i work and is called ancient dna. pretty self-explanatory. mammoth bones preserved in permafrost. the part of the world here that you can see spanning from canada's yukon territory here across alaska and into siberia. you see the coloration under here and during ice ages is taken the sea level was a lot lower than it yesterday and those areas were exposed. they were incredibly rich and supported an enormous ecosystem. it was also an important corridor from movement.
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and information and north america. today this part of the world looks like this. and that helicopter. i'll show you an image of that. but in the ice age it looks more like this. we have things like mammoths and mastodons and camels and giant bears, 16 feet16 feet tall as they were on their hind legs. regular like you see today and kind of weird things. the 5-foot tall be. so this is the helicopter be used to fly out, particular expedition one out into the north-central part. you can see there are some windows missing in this helicopter. that was particularly useful.
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after we got off the french and russian decided that this might be a celebratory success. it might happen. they fly out there and incredible machines and staying five-star accommodations. john focusing my so you can see the depth of mosquitoes that we have to deal with. and we wonder along places where the permafrost is melting back in the yukon territory. washing down the permafrost with water hoses and people are kind of standing around wandering around. so a typical day we will pick up somewhere between five and maybe two dozen
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bags like this for bones that we have collected. there are lots of horses and mammoths and caribou. we get lucky and find carnivores, giant bears in different types of lyons, take a chunk out of the bones just a regular journal tool, take a chunk out and take it back to the lab and grind it up into a fine powder and extract. ..
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we've learned a lot of the past few months. we've seen bison and other animals that seem to peek around 40,000 years ago and start to decline after that. this is. this is interesting because the two hypotheses about what caused mammoths to go thanked his they did not like the peak of the ice age that humans turned up and killed them all. if the decline began 45000 years ago those like 15,000 years years before the peak of the last ice age in 20000 years before there is a lot of people in north america. that puts us off the hook for the early stages decline but not off the hook for the ultimate. we watch carnivores increase and decrease and move across the landscape. we have started to learn things
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like caribou have survived to the present day. they like to live where people don't, which is a good trick. and white cave lines went extinct. we give a lot of attention to the things that it's a published. we get lots of phone calls from the press and i'm super excited to tell them what we have learned and how it can apply to current problems. how can we use it in the present day. but they only ask me one thing. it's kind of annoying to be honest i decided to write this book. so the phrase that is being given are used to describe this type of work right now is d extinction. i don't think it's a great word but i think were stuck with it at this point. the seem to the taken over in the # world of twitter. we are kind of familiar with it,
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we remember how that went, it all went particularly well, but we're not talking about dinosaurs now, we all know that we cannot get the dna from dinosaurs. don't believe what you read in journals, dna and bones is all rock. there's no dna and rock. were going to talk about the mammoth. why why the mammoth because people kept asking me about it. i think the reason they keep asking about it is because we cannot clone dinosaurs. that's where we are. how are we going to bring the mammoth back to life? the first way that people think about is to clone a man myth. the problem is cloning is not an ambiguous thing.
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it's called somatic cell nuclear transfer. it's a science word for cloning. we basically have two to three types of cells in our body which is germ cells and somatic cells. normally what happens is a sperm and an egg come together, fertilize to get as i go, the zygote is a special kind to sell that can become every type of cell in the body. a somatic cell are it has a specific job and that's the only job it knows how to do, the trick to that is to convince the somatic cell to forget all of the instructions necessary to be the type of cell it is program to be and go back to some early state where it has the capacity to become every type of cell in the body and creates the whole organism. the first example a most famous example is experiment that was done by the rosslyn institute in
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scotland where they wrought and dolly the sheep. dally was clothed cloned using a mammary tissue cell. at the same time, they got an egg cell from a different type, a different breed and remove the nuclear material, including all the dna from that xl. so they had some empty xl and put these things together, the memory and cells break open a material from that stressed out cell dumps into the egg. the protein in that xl can actually do some magic and cause that sell to regress, to go back to that early state where it has the capacity to become every type of cell in the body. then you have a different type and eventually dolly was born.
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this technology does work, it's not particularly efficient. dolly was one of nearly 300 different eggs they attempted to use in the process. it has been shown to work in different sequences. dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs and things like that. so how would it work with the mammoth? we find a well-preserved mammoth remover cell, then insert into an cell, does its magical thing and then we implanted in a circuit host and we release it into the environment. pretty easy right? so we run into a stumbling block. we find some incredibly well-preserved things in the arctic. this is a horse straw that we
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found 50 or 60000 years old. we haven't nicely preserved mummies, a few summers ago this mommy was found and this had a liquid substance with it they don't not think that it was proven that it was blood but despite how well-preserved these things are, none have any living cells and no one is ever going to find summary mains to have living cells. when an organism dies, the cell and dna within them begins to dna. if it's a mommy, it heats up, lots of microbes and then that starts breaking down, dead cells cannot fix mistakes made by solar radiation. things like water, oxygen,
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hydrolysis, these are all chemical bombardments of the dna that breaks it down into smaller pieces until eventually there's nothing left. you'll never find a mammoth that has a living cell. if we never find a living cell of a mammoth, will never be able to clone a mammoth. thank you for coming. [laughter] so last week, a team of international researchers announced they had sequenced the complete genome of two different mammoths. plan b should be sequencing a mammoth and start there. so we have no a list that make up the genome. this provides us an instruction manual for making the gene and the proteins that make a man
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myth looking at like a mammoth. so let's get these into chromosomes and get the chromosomes into the cell, then then we can do this whole thing but the cell and go around here and then we have a mammoth right, done. straightforward. the problem, several problems, they reported that they had a complete genome sequence. that's kind of true. but it's not really complete in a way that means we could synthesize it in a lab. in fact, there is no vertebrate that can carry an organism that we have a complete genome sequence four. we have most of the human genome sequence. there are parts of the human genome that are made of these really tightly condensed
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repeatedly, mostly near the center and the ends of the chromosome is called hetero chromosome. there is no existing sequencing technology that allows us to get through that. so we could not actually go into the lab in sequence from one into the other even if we wanted to because we don't actually know the sequence. we don't know how important it is we don't know if it has any jeans, we don't know what it does. we do we do think it has some important regulatory information but we don't know. so, there you go. it's even worse for mammoths. there are a few reasons why it's really bad, really hard to generate complete genome sequences for something that is been extinct for a long time like a mammoth. first, goes back to something i just talked about, the sequences themselves are very short and very fragmented.
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just because of all that bombardment of uv light and enzymes that are breaking it down they get into these bones and chop it up into smaller and smaller pieces, so if i were to extract dna for something modern i would get a lot on lovely strand but were talking about agent dna, it's more like confetti. but not confetti that looks as good as this. like if you can find confetti at in the gutter the day after the parade after it rains. it's a bit bad. this is is not a good way. the dna is in terrible condition also, the samples are full of all sorts of stuff and not just mammoth dna. if. if i were to take a piece of my hair pretty much all of the dna sequences be able to get out there where my own dna because a modern i'm alive, there's not much contamination if i was involved with one of the teen
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that first use next generation sequencing technology, the ability to extract dna from something in sequence everything in that extract and we extracted dna from a mammoth bone those 40000 years old, i can imagine how old it was. we did shotgun sequencing. what we ended up with was 50% was mammoth dna. the rest was soil dna, environmental dna, unknown stuff that is more soil microbes some contamination, human and dog in there, domestic cat, all sorts of stuff gets in her sequences despite that we try really hard to keep them super clean. 50% was mammoth we were pretty
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bummed at the time, without this is not very good. how are we ever going to sequencing for all we ever get is 50% mammoth. it turns out this was a really well-preserved. the majority have five or 10% dna and that's from good places, the first neanderthal gino that was assembled from a few different bones and none of those had more than 1% neanderthal dna. the the rest were contaminants that had to be thrown away. so imagine that we have this confetti mix, this this dirty confetti mix of horrible dna. what we want to do is just fine like the purple one. how do we actually go about doing that. fortunately we do have several complete sequences from living species. we look at these as a map.
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if we want to map a broken damaged then we we use different genomes. what we end up as a partial genome that we met partial stop but it still can have some holes. another slight problem and challenge with this is that if there have been some big exchange like a duplication of the chromosome, what it's going to be like is having a book with missing pages. if we have the sequences in our nest of broken confetti and we map them against the elephant gino but there from a part that does not match we'll just assume that their microbial dna. as one might think we are really interested in finding the parts of the genome that are different
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between mammoth that these might be an important place to look. another problem is having a sequence even if we could generate the whole long sequence is not the same as having a living cell. were getting better at stringing together the fragments but we don't how to turn them into chromosomes yet in a way that would turn genes on and off. we don't how to put those into cells. so plan b is where were at. and were probably stuck at that first step. fortunately there is another way. this is the way that probably is going to be the path that people follow for going to do something that is to engineer ourselves a map. by engineer i mean something that is simple conceptually.
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like finding a place in a genome that we want to change cutting it and pasting in the bit that we want to change it to. pretty straightforward. we have the genome sequence of an asian elephant and some other mammals so we can start looking through and find out where asian elephants look at one thing and those are potential targets that we might want to change and an elephant gino if we want to use that elephant to create a mammoth. so imagine we had a machine that we could program identify a specific thing we wanted to change and we can get that machine a synthesized bit a mammoth dna. that matches the part of the genome that we want to swap out. we can insert this machine in this package into a cell, will
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go around and find the place that you're going to do, and it will stick the mammoth jerk version in place. we have that machine, it's not a machine, it's actually just an enzyme. protein complex that bacteria are use to combat disease and prevent cells from getting sick. this is a machine that you have probably heard about, there is a chinese team that uses particular system to edit embryos and caused a bit of a stir. this is an incredibly powerful and easy-to-use technology. it will be used, is is being developed for human genome engineering with genetic diseases and mine it is a type of technology that we could use. so this is our little machine in this blue thing is the part that
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recognizes the part of the mammoth dna that we wanted change. change. we put the elephant dna and the mammoth dna we make the cut. now cells don't like it when their dna is broken we want to harness cells own repair machinery to stick that elephant version, and getting my species confused here. but the mammoth version in place of where the elephant was and we'll and up with an elephant that is a little bit mammoth. so what do we change? we know mammoths and asian elephants have been converging for 6 million years. they are almost 99% identical. so there's probably around a million or so differences between them, we can't target all million, probably what we'll do is hone in on a few things that we think are really important. one of the first things that anyone found to be different
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between elephant was a hemoglobin gene. responsible for caring oxygen to the body. this was work done in a lab a few years ago. he found comparing the sequence between asian elephants and mammoths, their only three differences so he took cells in a culture and he made the three changes and measured what the purpose of the three differences were what was different about the protein that had the mammoth version versus the protein team with the elephant he found the mammoth was better at caring oxygen to the body at low temperatures. this is a pretty good target for something to change if we want to take a tropical adapted elephant and turn it into arctic mammoth. there's a team around the corner
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that has been working on this question compiled a list of genes that are different between elephants and mammoths. they have attempted to make 14 different swaps. to swap out 14 elephant jeans they have been successful in doing all of it. they have actually created a cell that is about 0.001% mammoth. that's pretty cool. it's a far cry from having a living, breathing, and elephant hybrid but it is a step in the right direction. we think hard about plan c, we see see that we have a complete genome sequence. we have the technology that would need to use to edit, swap out these jeans for things that we want to replace them with, what we have next is an elephant cell which would be alive, which means we could go ahead and use the cell transfer to create a living, breathing animal. course that next step is actually pretty hard.
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in fact, this next step which i like to call phase ii of extinction, may even be harder than phase one. when we hear about extinction what we often hear about is the excitement generating that in the phase i without really venturing into what the challenges will be once we move into phase two. first we would have to do is find an appropriate surrogate host. for some species with a very close living species might be some simple. there are many animals and i've asked but they couldn't use it as a surrogate host because they couldn't get it down from the high levels, they were able to hybridize and use it as a surrogate mom to carry the developing embryos, they had
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living cells because they took the example from the last individual before she died. they are little further ahead with the cloning project than anyone is with the mammoth cloning project. as the evolutionary distance between the thing that you're trying to bring back in the thing that is a potential secured surrogate host increases we don't know how much distance will actually be tolerated. we'll probably be different depending on the lineage were talking about. another problem with surrogacy there some instances where the size difference between the thing that you're bringing back in the thing that is alive may actually be prohibitive. i say here that i do not want to include a picture, but i did include one because well here we go. this is a stellar, there's a scale at on the bottom that is afoot, this a big guy. he lived off the coast of california they went extinct a
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few hundred years ago. they they were hunted to death. one of these guy could beat a crew of 30 people for more than a few weeks. you can see why they may have been a source of food for travelers the closest living relative art do gonzo. they are much smaller animal. if you think about what the ratio between a newborn and a mom and assume it has the same ratio, a newborn is eager that's not to work. this is an example of something where there's a technical problem with phase ii that probably means it's not quite happen at least not without innovation that allows all this to happen outside the body of a living relative. another potential complication with surrogacy is we know now that we are more than the sum of what makes up our dna. in fact we're the combination of
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our genome sequence in the environment which we are exposed. we look at that with identical twins but as they get older they diverge from each other, both physically and the differences accumulate over time. by the time you have identical twins in their old age it is often hard to know that they are identical twins. that's because differences in the environment in which they are exposed. the differences begin in the womb. member talk about a species is who's genome is 99% identical. it's developing inside a mom elephant, how do we know that is not going to ruin whatever changes we have made and not allow them to be expressed. same is true after birth. elephants often eat the dung of their mom, this newborn elephant
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mammoth hybrid may establish an elephant microbial and it would live in an elephant community. and it would eat whatever it is they were fed in captivity. speaking of elephants in captivity, brings us to but i believe is one of the most serious challenges but an important fundamental problem for all the extinction projects. that is, there are serious ethical considerations to bringing things back. we know that elephants do not fare well in captivity. they often fail to reproduce, if they do get pregnant they sometimes injure or kill their young. until we know more about how to meet the physical and psychological needs of elephants in captivity, we should not have elephants in captivity at all, much less much less be using them in experiments to bring
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back mammoth hybrids. the ethical challenge will be different depending on the species was thinking of bringing back. they are extremely important to keep in mind. it be remiss of me not to acknowledge that the world has changed a lot since many of the species went extinct. in many cases, there may be nowhere to put them without having a significant terrible effect on the ecosystem and population of species that are ready there, this picture is the east coast. this this is the range of the passenger pigeon. it went extinct 100 years ago. this is a candidate of species for extinction but where would they go if we brought them back given how different their habitat is today than it was 100 or 200 years ago so can we do it
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, not yet. the technology technology is advancing at incredibly rapid pace. the time will come when somebody does this, they do change sequences from one species to look more like something else. should we do it? someone has written a book about this, i'm expected to have a concrete opinion about whether we should, i do, it is i don't know. i think it depends on what species we are talking about. there's a bunch of different species that have been proposed and being worked on by various groups the per chicken, the mammoth, there's also gastric brooding frog, the boccardo, all sorts of different species, each one of them has a separate list, ethical, and eat ecological challenges associated with bringing it back.
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i think that if we are going to use this technology to bring something back the fundamental question to answer before beginning is, why? why do we actually want to bring a species that is been extinct for a long time back to life? is there a compelling reason to do that? guilt which is the most common reason, to me is not a compelling reason. there has to be a good reason, a, a real reason to actually doing this work. alan by returning to the mammoth. i'm going to skip over the fact that it is technically not possible to bring a mammoth back to life and ethnic ethically a terrible idea, to talk about why think it's compelling. first, ecological. one reason to bring something back is by reestablishing it in its natural habitat you can restore interaction between species that used to exist but are gone, that has an
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overwhelming net positive effect on the entire community, not just the species you're bringing back. there's a place in northeastern siberia that has been established by russian scientists in the 1990s he started buying up land what he's doing is preparing a place for the return of the ice age animal, including mammoth. so far he has bison, horses and about five different species of deer, is waiting for the mammoth to come back, while these animals have been there, he's been performing some experiments to measure what their effect on the ecosystem and habitat is. there's a picture that he took an early spring last year or the year before, on 11 side he does not have grazing herbivores on the other side he does.
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on the side without grazing herbivores is a fairly on diverse bit of grassland, it can't support a large number of herbivore. on the other side of the fence you can see lots of different species of glass. they're tough sobrino all over the place. this is very early spring, before grass has been able to make a comeback. that means that by being on that landscape by just standing on that landscape, turning over the dirt these animals have created their own habitat. they have transformed this barren tundra into that grassland of the ice ages making their own habitat. not only are they doing well and thriving that he noticed that other species like the antelopes have come to visit the park because it's such a rich habitat for them.
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in this case he argues bringing back a mammoth which is clearly a top herbivore might speed up the recovery of this tundra much like elephants play an important role in maintaining their own habitat. the second reason is more sentimental. few of us can imagine a world without elephants. yet, asian elephants are endangered. their habitat is declining, or having trouble stopping them from being poached, elephants could disappear. every year there are fewer out once recorded. what if we could use this technology, not to bring back mammoth but to create an elephant that was actually capable of living somewhere cooler, maybe may be in europe or north america, or in siberia where there's lots of space and people who want them. we use this technology not to bring extinct species back to life but to save elephants? we don't have to think about just elephants. what if we could use the
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technology in a tool on biodiversity education today. what if we could take black footed -- that are almost extinct. they went extinct almost 20 years ago and now they are endangered and diseases killing them. they went through a tight population but there are some in the zoo and their blackfoot parents that are many years old. we could go to these black footed ferret genes. we could use this technology to swap out the identical version from some of these existing for old black footed ferret genes that evolution shaped but accidents, extermination by
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humans may go away. we could use this technology not to do something crazy, not to bring back a species whose habitat no longer exists, but as a powerful new weapon as our arsenal against diversity and extinction that we're facing today. thank you. [applause]. i'm happy to answer any questions you might have about how crazy i am. [laughter] for this stuff is. [inaudible] i was gonna ask if it's more important to save the things that we have now my first example of that was the polar bear, habitat is evolving, so so
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the question is if you have enough to do something with but where would you put them, their habitat was gone and part of that is can you engineer change. >> so this is a good question, the polar bear. you've asked the right person because this is a major theme of research in my lab. polar bears are special case. polar bears have almost no genetic diversity but there is a genome sequence that is 100,000 years old. that polar bear also has almost no genetic diversity of their lack of diversity is not because of any recent decline or recent
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climate change, they are a top predator that is very precisely adapted to their particular habitat. you're you're right, when that habitat disappears, they don't have any diversity which would allow them to adapt to different habitats that are around. the bears have an interesting strategy dealing with this. we discovered recently. not only that it's happening right now for climate change it every time the climate changes rapidly in the past, the same things happen. they breed with brown bears. they produce offspring that go live as brown bears. so the jeans and polar bears but polar bears as this discreet thing. this white bear that is precisely adapted to the arctic, it would disappear is engineering traits that would allow them to survive in other environments is not the case
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because they'll read with brazen live in that of environment but we still not have polar bears. but absolutely. the idea for other species might be you have some that are devoid of diversity in some way, can we increase the amount of diversity in them a genetic shot if you will. that is where this technology is the most powerful. it's what i was talking about in the black footed. ferret
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were really at the early stages of all of this. it's a technical challenge standing in the way of actually applying with real question. nonetheless, i think it does have the potential to be useful. >> i want to ask about honeybees and the recent issues they been having in their population. >> it would be great if we could find genes that made that resistance, find some bats that
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are resistant on them figure out what part of a genome and make that -- transplant that. that be fantastic in exactly the kind of good application of this technology. i'm not saying we have this and ought to do this, i'm just highlighting. i think that's a great one, areas where we should push this along because it would be incredibly useful. [inaudible] >> the question was how do we date the bones that we have given it stuff that is washed up with sediments. sometimes we get lucky and we find them in the stratigraphic context for their still frozen. in that case we get even luckier and sitting in between all canada cash layers that have been dated. often, we have to generate dates on every single bone.
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we do that with carbon. it's a typical approach. that means were limited by the resolution, the rated carbon which was in the last 50 years. we know we can get dna from stuff older than that. the oldest oldest genome is from a horse that we found in the klondike, in this location of north. it was found with volcanic ash layer that we know is 700,000 years old. the only reason it has any dna surviving and it is the permafrost is that old. the dirt that it was deposited in his presence and the horse tie. that's the only reason it survive that long. we have to know how old it is for looking up population change through time. that's a challenge. >> thank you all very much for coming. [applause].
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>> has 2015 wraps up, c-span presents congress, year in review, look back at the newsmaking issues, debates, and hearings that took center stage on capitol hill this year. join us thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern as we revisit mitch mcconnell taking his position as senate majority leader. the historic address to the joint session of congress, the resignation of house speaker john boehner, and the election of paul ryan. the debate over the nuclear deal with iran, and reaction from congress on mass shootings here and abroad. good here and abroad. good control, terrorism, the rise of isis, congress year in review, on c-span, thursday 8:0. >> this new year's weekend, american history tv on c-span three has three days of feature programming.
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beginning friday afternoon at 310 eastern, pamela smith hill, editor pioneer girl, the annotative autobiography. discusses life of laura ingalls wilder, comparing and contrasting the tv show book series to the real-life of laura ingalls wilder. >> all wanted to write about people, places, memories that were not only to her personally but would resonate with adult readers. so, as a reviewer they pointed out pioneer girl indeed contains dark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk on whiskey. then saturday evening james swanson compares the assassinations of president abraham lincoln and john f. kennedy. highlighting similarities and differences between both tragedies. at ten p.m., the the 1965 nbc's meet the press interview with daniel moynahan, who assistant
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labor secretary authored a report on the causes of black poverty in the united states. >> i believe what president johnson said in his howard university speech, you cannot keep a man and change for three centuries, take the chains often say you're free to run life. people have to be given the opportunity to compete with effective resources. i believe we should make a special effort. sunday night at 930, a visit to the park in washington d.c. about a new national world war i memorial for its upcoming 100th anniversary. for a complete schedule go to >> , science and technology reporter john markoff on his book, machines of loving grace.
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the grace. the quest for common ground between humans and robots. he spoke at the computer history museum in mountain view, california. >> john markoff has been seen around the corners of the future is one of the nation's top technology writers since he joined the new york times in 1988. in 2013 he won the pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting, as prize for explanatory reporting, as part of a team of new york times reporters. is everyone host a moderator for a revolutionary series and we love john for all those reasons. but, we have a special affection for john for other reasons as well. he is a child of silicon valley. he grandpa went to high school here. he started covering he started covering technology in silicon valley in 1976. his book, what the dormouse said, illuminated the influence of the 60s counterculture of the valley on the personal revolution and he did so in a way nobody else had or has. once
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more he looks around the corner toward a new future of technology with his brilliant book, machines of machines of loving grace, the quest for common ground between humans and robots. if you're keen enough to catch the literary reference in the phrase, what the dormouse said, you may also understand the cultural reference of this book's title, it comes from a 1967 poem by richard brautigan which and in its entirety said this. i would like to think, it has to be of a cybernetic ecology where we are free of our labors and return to our mammals brothers and sisters and i watched over by machines of loving grace. that was brautigan's vision almost 50 years ago, we are here tonight to probe the provocative question loving grace, or something else? else? please chime in walking mean john markoff [applause].
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welcome. thank you. you are among friends, this is the home team [applause]. i don't know anything about this, you're the expert. i mention that you are a child of silicon valley and you have mentioned it a lot while you have been here. i just wanted to ask you, what does it mean to you to be a technology writer was so much of your personal dna coming from silicon valley? >> what does it mean to me? it took me a long time, as a kid i did not realize i was in a special place. i had no idea. actually played in the hewlett's
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house when eyes in first grade. virginia was a classmate all the way through. i delivered papers at the house of steve jobs, i would like to say there goes the neighborhood. i wrote my last book, dormouse because i left the day for almost a decade. it was an anti- biography. i came back and i discover there is an amazing new industry and i wanted to find out how it got there. it started as a serious in world history which i love doing. it's part of the air i breathe in a sense. i grew up with it. it's also so generational. i grew up with a particular generation and now things have
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moved on. the wonderful piece of research that was done about a year ago and what he did with cgl located the center silicon valley, once upon a time in the early 80s now it's at the foot of the trail hill. you can feel it, scott from a manufacturing center and it's in a different place. generationally i feel i can barely touch with it. i went up to the section in 2010, i look at it -- i grew up as a reporter it was like swimming in the sea. i was part of a group of people, now i'm distant from that which is still very real.
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>> so in that see, because you have seen other oceans around the world as you cover technology, before we get to the robots part of this, have you ever been able to discern what it is about silicon valley that sets it apart from so many other places that are trying to capture this mojo? >> there have been moments. personally the moment i got silicon valley, there is a point in time when i thought i understood it. it was probably a 1981, there is something called the big blue computer company -- big blue it was a computer hobbyist group -- big blue something. it was an ibm pc computer group. it mad at dyson and sunnyvale. it had the same flavor as the home group at the ibm pc was the new thing on the block. i went to a meeting, there
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crunch was walking around the back room, this 300 guys in white shirts and pocket protectors. there are guys. richards got up on states and she was a really a great reporter, she she basically interviewed this audience of people like you, won't she said, how many of you people want to start your own company? three quarters of the hands went up. and i said oh i get it. at that point is very clear that people felt deeply of if they had a good idea they could start a company and as part of the dna of silicon valley. there's other bits of history. i used to tell the story, why did silicon valley happen to the first point is that shockley
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came back because his mother was here. then there is this other point which i think is important, that that is the first at&t antitrust lawsuit, one of the deals that at&t made with the government in the 1950s was a mandatory free licensing of transistors. that hadn't happened, no silicon valley. then there's this thing and congress that allowed the creation of venture capital is inches the synergy of those three things -- i've always said that is what the valley is about. it's about learning something new from david brock who wrote the biography of gordon rower. this is in my book because he was in the archives looking through newspaper and he stumbled across a memo that shockley wrote probably in 1952.
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he made this case for bell labs to build something like he called the automatic trainable robot. rod brooks who started, we think of robotics baxter he just gave his employees the text of this document known could tell what the date was. he laid out the notion of whatever google might be doing now. so the connection is it makes important for silicon valley's that he went to beckman interest remits, he did not go there to make a transistor company, transistor company, he went to ask a robot company. there are robotics at the root of silicon valley. i didn't know that. he wanted beckman to build the robot size. in that kind of evolved into a transistor.
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the original vision was about robots. so here we are 50 years later. >> what a perfect said way into the whole discussion of robots. this book seems to have captured the national imagination. your your book tour has been extensive. you have been at a lot of places. it's doing well. what is it about our current fascination with robot has met your expertise as a writer. why do you think that is right now? >> my last book to her about driving to san jose. much smaller. so, i have a theory and i can't do it but i'll throw it out there. you know how we make fun of the japanese for being robot crazy, i actually think americans are
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as obsessed with robots as japanese we just do not acknowledge it. the differences we we have a love-hate relationship with robots. you see it everywhere. you you can turn around without seeing some sort of robot obsessed component, science fiction, movies, the whole thing. i think it's episodic. this has happened periodically since the invention -- initial computers, the book cyber -- there is this alarm about the arrival of automation. he had some very clear views about that. than a decade later, there is another sense of alarm in the united states and people wrote them manifesto, there's a full on government investigation on automation. the vietnam war happen and it went away because
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we got distracted. then of the last three or four years it has gone up again because this new way of technology that is starting to work. ai, as a field is overpromised and under delivered so many times over its history. so it's created anxiety. >> i want to get to the rise and fall of ai. right up front you say something sobering. you say how we design and overact with our intelligent machine will determine the nature of our society and our economy. it will increasingly determine every aspect of our modern world whether we live in a more or less stratified society to what it means to be human. she john, to betty then pick a book with some higher stakes. you deliver again and again in
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the book with that observation. >> the other day someone asked me what it is to be human? i i kind of have an answer to that question. humanity is rooted in the interaction between individuals, what is human is this thing of culture. now we are getting these machines and increasingly intelligent. as a species we talk to everything, we talked our cars, we talked our pets. as machines we are building talk back to us you're going to have to have a relationship. it is very clear that people will treat these things as autonomous beings, whether they are not. it's already happening. i wrote a story in the book
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about this microsoft experiment that is going on right now in china called gel ice. at the chat box. it's a chat bot. you type, and it response to you. they have gradually gotten better over time, now we are applying the internet, deep learning, big data, there is sort of an uptick. i've been dealing with since 1991, none are very believable. both siri and quintana are productivity tools. the designers of siri was to get something done. you ask a question i do get something done. gel gel ice is designed as a companion. 20,000,000 registered users, users, 10 million use it intensively, multiple conversations per day. 25% of gel ice users have set i
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love you too gel ice, 5050% have said thank you. it was even creeping up the microsoft designers. then i have this interesting conversation with a woman who is the former ibm researcher, she is chinese, she said you know when we come to your country it feels quiet. in china, interactions are so densely, people in contacts all the time. her her view is gel ice is private space. they call it toilet time. they go to the bathroom and have long conversations with gel ice. this is real. this is the world of her, were stepping into her. >> it sounds like her, does. as we get into this, there's another another important definition that you make early on in the book about artificial intelligence.
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you talk about those who believe a. i. will replace humans replace humans and those who believe a. i. will augment human capability. it's at the very root of the case. explain why it's important to understand that. >> it's a dichotomy and i'll talk about that. it's a dichotomy and paradox. there is no easy way out of it. i notice when i was writing dormouse that in the early 60s there were two labs on the side of the campus. john mccarthy created in 1962, at that time he believed building a working ai to take a decade. on the other side of campus, doug engelbert set out to build
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technology to augment human beings. their philosophical glia post. i struck by that because those two labs really touched on two separate communities in the computing world. the ai community and the human augmenting. i realized they to use ai technologies that are designed to augment humans as opposed to displacement. look for examples throughout the book of people who have crossed over. >> ..
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>> >> have we been expecting that we are human and would replace us
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>> >> there was almost no autonomy there l all. but it's with a small amount of autonomy that you would seek to draw a circle on the screen then the machine could grab the door knob. but it that had some behavior that was autonomous. and there are technologies that are out there but is statistical with the perception is in technology but i don't think it will come as quickly as they
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think in they are getting increasingly familiar with that human of augmentation and questioned and to say awad autonomy was like to say but what will happen relatively soon with that social benefit. is that right? >> i continue to evolves but those are real killers that keep us from complete the selfie drive the cars for a long time. that is somebody to do -- ruth teetoo dinner i would pay for dinner. google went down that path
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it is almost 1 million miles and to their branch point to say there are problems that we cannot solve. to get in to a different regulatory regime and what did they get enough attention when they hit the bicyclist they may not kill them which i hear that nothing is perfect. then they ran to the handoff. but with those professional drivers and then they began
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experimenting at the end of a long day that was distracted behavior. that is a handoff problem you will not solve. i am sorry. there is no way anyone can solve that problem for a long time and until we are entirely at of the loop and those that did not crash. en next year we will have super cruz and largely they had this on the market already. but it's the slow speed
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driving system faugh where the car drives by itself up to and including comedy miles an hour then though lawyers got involved so of those technologies that will make driving safer. >> yew hedges given some statistics that 34,000 people died in car accidents and those with commercial drivers in there is that much displacement would is up with that?
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>> of course, all the drivers say they're still doing research for the workers but it is called the earth is a to there is a study at columbia, blood dash comparing the economics of robot)=>
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the. >> about two and half million jobs. so in jerry jobs or technical jobs it is a much more complicated subjects.
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if it was my reporting in 2010 reporting on the fact that $35 an hour paralegal to be displaced that kicked off the frenzy. and at one point in my hair was on fire of the impact of the robotics in china. what happens when the robots come to china? the economist says he don't get it they are coming justin time. that china is a rapidly aging economy believe robots in their work force than if you're looking at china or japan in japanese society is
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imploding on a self. book at europe which is also aging very rapidly. >> spending $1 billion and if you look at those outtakes you don't want those robots anywhere near grandma. [laughter] we have a lot of work to do. so the people who are worried so how do explain right now in america 140 million people the labor force participation is declining.
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with the main street because of this technology is a small part of it. >> let me remind everybody in the audience if you want to be involved in the discussion. there is a great chapter in our book for the human race that could be a bad year what is supposed to happen? >> his view of the acceleration is that we are absolutely. i grew up in silicon valley
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in the they get faster faster and cheaper faster. and at this point to to be accelerating as fast as i can. end one generation where is all of that curve. in the wars lot is doubling at two years in a row so for a long time is so they went
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to parallelism. most recently we have slipped there is dark silicon the you cannot turn off all the transistors at the same time or it will melt third. >> furthermore that the cost of transistors that if that is true you would get to the design and with free performance and lower cost everybody but until says that is broken or has stopped. so those exponential is around the corner i am super
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skeptical. >> that is the year's 2045? >> data now where they are now but it was 2027. >> so i have this wonderful moment at the stanford resilience this summer in the former pentium designer was talking about these problems and at the end of of reading every added to a computer architect and was absolutely giddy to slow down to rely on the creativity is the architects turn. cool things may happen but not the way until has done 25 years. it just may become more
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episodic. >> that you tell about robotics where is the most wars important work being done? to spend a lot of mobile applications software was happening again d iphone happen to and i still expect at some point the will scale to though whole world. >> what is driving us?
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>> the dean of the information in school i cannot remember her name right now but with us in networking fax it a culture you cannot duplicate anywhere else. it is still very much alive. in red we talk about the search for a truly personal assistant to draw a distinction and then to talk about that here but the other is from microsoft. we all remember the of my -- the paper clip.
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end of every are and then coming from some work from stanford to believe in this concept isn't as much as people edsel levy filed the paper clip there are some things that microsoft could have done there was a cultural disconnect that undermine did it ak bader research developments hated it. they call a dead a -- clown. they hated it but it turns out the code that would make it less obnoxious there was not enough room of the distribution desk.
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also there was some design issues with social interaction which was fundamentally wrong. nice try but it put setback to agency a decade. [laughter] and too early that google blast from the reality. [laughter] but seriously it had a similar impact but i think to design their systems there is the tremendous amount of potential. >> apple recently said 5% speech recognition that is suppose to be but cubans do.
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but the system does get better over the decade as we use them. but just talky into syria is standing. i remember so with that speech recognition called the admirals' advisor. you could say left or right it may get their right to. that is in the space of 30 years to have these conversational systems that says is close to being human beings. and those of you with the give maybe better than it is. are we just being patient? >> it is coming very quickly. with those steep learning
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technologies that will get better quickly. >> what is holding us back? i don't think i have done enough reporting. but i can see that progress. but the point double life to make about syria and then decide that i was proud of in the book but the two architects are affected by the navigator. if you are familiar with that the shooting video that was put together that the chief visionary left the company to compete with apple so he went to alan to come up with the book and he
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did not think that it existed yet. in the notion which spawned it and the number but i said where is the idea? he said i was just titillate nicholas negroponte. and to i went to dick ... to save rare did you get this idea? it came from gore did. and it was this cyber-- a cyberscientists have any doubt at m.i.t. in the '80s
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it had a notion that human intelligence that i found a very compelling idea. that was the idea. >> the first question will be the next question i would ask that is robots as tools. you write cubans can be completely designed in that seems to be the central debate. >> i have stayed away from that and about. in the u.s. in the soviet era and then to find targets without human intervention. and that weapons system of
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that missile back into the arsenal. is about chided a strategic power and then to stay farther away so they designed a weapons system with that capability to fly 300 miles that is entirely out of context. the set maya autonomous weapons system. is involved in the targeting operation. to split the hairs. in that weapons systems makes that decision and intervention there are
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dozens of countries it is anti-radiation. if it matches the template. and i see that technology. with those devices that are a boy during overhead. but now there are too blebs hanging above washington d.c.. to do 24 hour surveillance with the cruise missile attack.
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but with that system in the future i don't want to do think about their. so i went to the conference and a well-known roboticist can make the case for autonomous weapons of the world's best robot designers. with that component technology they were deciding to do like the rescue profit -- robot but that is an important point. so here we designed this technology with warfare by drums.
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and dad is great when we have the technology. sold 80 into arms races. with small groups of dictators get the weapons. and i see those scenarios that are dark earth mbb particularly inevitable. >> now lets light said that up. sova touche driver changes in the area with the artistic and cultural forms like hollywood?
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>> with the two best examples of that budget to pioneer the roboticist but that may i come pretty both of them went into a i envisage the reaction that we had so as a space odyssey so with the rainbow's end about of materiality to be
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highly recommended then i said while. so in the books i write magically called industrial perception. and he did not go to google with the expressed intent of personal computing. if you walk down the street 50% will look down at the palm of there he and. that cannot be the end point of human evolution of. [laughter] and basically


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