tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 24, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT
represents a face or talking face then a person would see that. we have done it in animals but not in humans yet. but i went to the fda three weeks ago and once i send the application in hopefully they will approve it and we can start a clinical trial in the beginning of 2017. >> you had good results with the animals? and you had good resul the animals. >> have a picture of that to give you a feel for why the code is so important. if you could show the picture of the baby's face, if anybody is -- >> i don't know if they could bring that back. but we'll work on that. let me go to john. john, this idea of tailoring our individual realities as related to what you and your colleagues are doing at meta, how does augmented reality work and how do you trick the brain to see this extra information. >> sure. augmented reality is taking the digital information connected to the physical world. we've created a headset that you put on and you could look through a visor and see the world and see digital information connected with the world. you could have infinite number of screens where you interact,
very similar to the movie minority report and have 3-d images from cad and manipulate it. here is an architect working on a 3-d building and pulling out pieces and you could have somebody else collaborate with it and have remote assistance if you need to fix your washing machine or a jet engine or do surgery, you could have someone looking at what you are doing and help you walk you through that. it is hands free. when i think of the typewriter pd and the keys that the "washington post" folks use a lot and it is based on movable type and the mechanical typewriters didn't get stuck it is like punch cards connecting with technology. i think the future of using eye sight and using gestures is a big leap forward. there is some reports that say there is $120 billion market opportunity to change the way we interface with computers. so we created a headset where you could look at the world and interact with it and you've seen
it rendered in movies like iron man and minority report and mission impossible. we are bringing it to the workplace and creating a tool -- not a toy. it is not based on gaming or entertainment, it is based on productivity. >> you said headset. so a lot of things -- we hear people saying this isn't practical, who will run out and get a headset and wear it around. walk us there when we can -- >> so at m.i.t. i taught the first class on making apps for google glass for the professor and it is a heads-up display and it doesn't track your hands, there is not a microsoft connect device that could see your hands and the heads up display with 2010 technology in 2013. i think it was great that google glass gave the hardware away but it was a public relations nightmare in terms of a.r. and oculus rift was bought by facebook and everybody is excited by virtual reality in
which you are submersed in digital information. i think augment reality is three times bigger and society hasn't gotten the memo on it. and the device we created it has a 90 degree field of view. it is a equivalent of a four-case screen. instead of 90 feet away, a movie theater, nine feet away, a television three feet away, a smartphone, we want to eliminate screens and create an office place where you don't have monitors and you are not hunched overlooking at these metaphors on a smartphone. as a society, we are more disconnected even though were are hyper connected and having glasses like ray bans to look out and see digital information on the world is a game-changer. does that answer your question. >> yes, it does. >> because i'm very excited about this and could you preorder the device and it is shipping in quarter three. >> and it is reasonably priced. >> and it is a third less than the microsoft thing. and the other thing about this is companies are sitting on tons
of digital information. and this is a tool to interact with it. and i think it could change health, design, manufacturing. >> thank you. >> and journalism. >> you are training your brain to be connected to the internet 24/7. what sort of information are you getting in there and is it -- is it sensory overload, what is that doing to your brain or our brains? what will happen? >> so the fact of having internet in my head allows me to receive colors from other parts of the world. there is five people that have permission to send colors so they could send colors any time of the day or night. in the beginning it was confusing. >> who are these people. >> five friends. one in each continent. so it is an eye in each continent. so if there is a beautiful sunset in australia and he could send it to my head and i will be experiencing the sunset while i'm here. if they send colors at night it asks my dreams. so if someone sends violet while i'm asleep and i wake up and i
realize i dreamt of a violet house but i know it was violet because of my friends. so my friends could intervene in my dreams an we could share dreams and senses and colors in this case. but my aim is to use the internet exclusively to receive colors from space. so we could use the innoceterne send it to space so instead of going to space, we could feel we are there without the struggle of physically going there. and when there are 3-d pictures that could print our dna we could see ourselves in other planets and have a second body there and connect via the internet. so the use of the internet as a sensory extension to explore space is my main goal and in 2019 i'll have the permanent connection to satellite. so we'll be sensory and explore space by sending our mind to space instead of physically going there and that is the beginning for myself. i'm just connecting to nasa international space station like two hours a day because i'm training my brain to get used to
this disconnection between body and senses. >> you are connecting to the space station two hours a day and the space station is working with you on that? >> it is live stream. anyone can do that. >> i see. >> there is live stream from nasa international space station and i connect there and i try to connect longer and longer each day. but it will take at least two or three years to have 24 hours connection because i need training because it is overwhelming -- the colors from space are much wider in the spectrum than here. so it is overwhelming when i connect. >> and you are hearing that? let me ask you a follow up to that. what are the implications of the human brain interacting with so much information in an immersive constant way? >> well, um, one has to control it in some way because it could be information over load. but he does it in a good way. not that you need my approval. but that you have the vibrations as you were mentioning so it is an extra sense without interfering with your normal
hearing and so a big part of what your nervous system does, evolution made your nervous system do is actually compress the information so that you could use it efficiently. so there is a lot of discussion about the power of big data. but i actually think there is downsides on big data. it is overwhelming. it is like going to your college classes simultaneously and having four professors talking to you, at some point you can't fence. sow want -- so your retina for example, you have 100 million photo receptors so you are taking in essentially every pixel on your computer monitor and then the circuitry gets -- compresses it and gets rid of the stuff you don't need and holds on to what you do need so you could maneuver. so i could get up on this stage before and never been here before and seen you before and get up and walk through and not crash into people and that is because of the simple way in a sense. >> so our braiif simplifying in a sense.
>> it has to learn how to simplify it, which is what neil was saying he has to do in stages. >> that's right. >> each person will have its own time of adapting to a new sense or a new organ. your body needs to either accept or reject the body part, like the material, and your brain might reject the new sense. there's two cases of possible rejections. >> that's what attention mechanisms do for you also. it allows you to pay attention to one thing rather than another thing, so evolution built a way for you to control what you're taking in. >> john, let me swing back to augmented r augment augmented reality. there are still people who think of it as entertainment. you can just walk us through a little bit about how this can help us in our every day lives,
function better, produce better, health care. any examples that you have that it is not just about a game. >> sure. so it's great to be on the panel with these pioneers. neil, you're a visionary artist finding ways to use new senses. cutting-edge research. we have created a tool. the founder and ceo is listed as a real thought leader for wanting to create an operating system that's much more connected with how the brain works. we have been in some ways held hostage to operating systems that are based on rectangles and the technology that we've used. and we want to create a device that we can manipulate 3-d hologra holograms. if someone is going to do a c e
coccoc cochlear implant for your child -- imaging to create a tool that can be an extension of the body. neil is an artist. we want to tap artists and other thought leaders to help us use this device. what would have thought solitaire helped get windows going. i'm excited to help facilitate partnerships with the design community, the manufacturing community, the journalism community to figure out how to use this technology that's coming. i love the media lab. i've worked there for a number of years, but i have decided i'm going to help create this tool that can really impact society. and i think the internet was big
in 2000. mobile phones was big in 2010. apple just had their first negative growth year of their smartphone. there's indications that we've reached a saturation point. i think the 2020s is going to be augmented reality. a lot of fortune 100s are going to have to figure out strategies, like in the 1990s what's our chinese strategy. >> i'm going to ask neil one more question. then i'd like to come to the audience. neil, why was it important for you to be recognized as a cyborg? >> it wasn't. i had an issue with the u.k. passport office. they didn't allow me to renew my passport. they said electronic equipment is not allowed on passport photos. they thought i was something electronic. i said this is a body part and i feel like i'm a cyborg. i explained to them that i felt cyborg. in the end, they said yes.
they allowed me to appear in the passport with the antenna. this allows me to travel because airports don't really like technology. if you are technology -- >> is it on your passport? does it say you can have the antenna? does it say you're a cyborg? >> the picture on the passport has the antenna. they have to accept it is an image that is part of me. >> it is you. >> i wasn't seeking for this. i was just renewing my passport. >> there you go. that tells us how to deal with passport offices. >> i'm now applying for swedish citizenship because the material in my head is swedish. if you have a sensory organ that's from that country and you've had it for several years why can't you be from that country? because part of my body is
swedish. i'm in conversations with the swedi swedi swedish government now. >> i love it. >> are there other cyborg people? are there others that are out there? is there a community? we had a discussion or presentation from the lgbt community. this is not a community that we've heard much about. i'm sure there must be some discrimination. can you talk a little bit about that side of it? >> yes, so we are a minority group. people who voluntarily have decided to add technology into their body to extend their senses. there's two types of cyborgs. there are cyborgs for medical reasons, regenerating preexisting body parts. my case is creating a new body part and a new sense. this is a minority now, but there's a woman who has a seismic sense. whenever there is an earthquake in the world, she feels it in her body. she's used to feeling the earthquakes in the world on the richter scale.
there's one sense. there's the north sense. you can be implanted. you feel the magnetic north. it's senses that other species have, but humans don't have. we have a stage in history where you can design what species we want to be. i consider myself to be a trans species. you can add many more senses that other species have and organs that other species have. we'll start seeing these in the 20s. it is growing. it is happening underground. there are many surgeons willing to do the surgery anonymously in the same way in the 50s and 60s transgender surgeries were being done underground. cyborg surgeries should be allowed for everyone who wants to extend their perception of reality. >> it is great to be at "the washington post." i don't know if people realize, but journalism is trying to find
a business model that works. these are interesting times. i think we need editorial of the times more than ever. i think figuring out how new technology can help us interact with information is really important and what the future of the knowledge worker is. i think this community has heard a lot about internet of things, but i think it is internet of thinking things or internet of the brain. if we fast-forward 100 years, maybe people will be able to connect through esp. what are the tools that are going to help us be a collective community? i think often when people have technology added to their biology, it doesn't fit. i know a lot of people who have lost limbs have prosthetics that they don't wear because they're not comfortable. i think figuring out how to create technology that can work with us -- i think that's why neuroscience is so important. these are really exciting times to figure out what to do with some of the technology that's
coming. >> thank you. do we have another question? yes, right here in the front row. >> i'd like to know [ inaudible ] on the pigs and how you tested what they saw once you implanted what you did, if i understood it correctly. >> what we've done is recreating -- causing the neurons to fire just like they normally do. you can have a completely blind retina. we jump over and driver the output cells to fire, just like i was showing you in that picture. the problem is it is hard to check this in an animal. we've done this in mice. we can have them be blind mice like the song and they can track images. it is hard to do this in primates because there aren't blind monkeys and i cannot bear to blind a monkey just to test
it. so we're just going to go -- if we get permission, we'll just go into humans. the beauty of working with patients is they are very motivated. if you meet a smart blind patient, you can work together. you can send the signals in, as long as it is safe, then we can get the feedback from them as to how well it is working. if we're sending very close to the same signals they would normally get, they should be able to see this. mice can track images. and we showed what it was like to reconstruct an image from the firing patterns of a totally blind retina and compared that to what happens with the use of standard prosthetic right now, what's available. it is much better. i have a ted talk on this if you want to see the actual pictures. i think bloomberg news just did a story. it shows what it really looks like. >> we have time for one more. is there -- there we go. >> hello. two questions, please.
one would be why do you assume sensory is a bad thing? because normally people use very little of their brain capacity. i understand that's because -- what if for some reason somebody was born to filter massive amounts of data, not understanding everything, but being able to connect the dots and put that information to useful ends? again, why do you assume that's not possible? the other question would be do we really want to take evolution into our own hands? it's been working pretty well so far as it is. thanks. >> who would like to take that? the reason i say that is because if somebody could filter it, that would be amazing. right now being able to function
quickly -- as you're asking me a question, i'm listening to you. everybody in this room is going into my retina, but i've ignored it so i can focus on what you're saying because it is very, very hard. when you're multitasking, think about when you're driving and you text. it is just dangerous. we have to figure out ways, like he does, to be able to make use of the information and filtering is essentially what i mean. filter the information, so you take what you need and you can solve the problems that are in front of you. it would be the same with the augmented realities. finding a way to utilize it, not getting into a slaclash with yo own brain. we're not totally built for it yet. >> i can take in 10/8th bandwidths per second. we need to do it in a way that
we can be productive and cl collaborati collaborative. at the end of the day, human beings are a collaborative species. >> unfortunately, that's all we have time for for, so thank you all very much. this was enlightening. [ applause ] if you google any one of these three people, there is a wealth of information on them. now i will welcome my colleague jeremy gilbreath up.
>> good morning. i'm jeremy gilbert, "the washington post" director of strategic initiatives. i'm very pleased to welcome to the stage the director of the defense advanced research projects agency, better known as darpa. they are credited with the invention of the internet, driverless cars, and much, much more. he founded the technology office and spent more than a decade as a leading silicon valley venture capitalist. i'm also grateful to have gary king, who is a harvard university professor. gary is an elected fellow in eight honorary societies, has more than 150 journal articles, and 8 books. and what we're here to talk about this morning is numbers tell the truth. new tools that help make meaning from big data.
i want to start by asking our guests what it is they really think that means. >> i think both of us think big data is not actually about the data. the revolution is not that there's more data available. the revolution is we know what to do with it now. that's really the amazing thing. if you take social media, today there were 650 million social media posts that were written by somebody and available to researchers to see what people think. some people say it is the largest increase in the expressive capacity of the human race in the world. one person can write a post and potentially billions of other people read it, but how is any one person going to understand what billions of what other people say? the only way to understand for one day is to have automated methods that can understand this text, so the revolution is not about the data. it's about the analytics that we can come up with and that we now have to be able to understand what these data say.
>> gary is talking about, i think, one of the most interesting dimensions of the data explosion, which is the data that humans are generating as we express ourselves. the human race is my favorite species, so i like that kind of data for future, but i think data has become plentiful in many, many other areas as well. if i think about the work we're doing in cybersecurity where the data is the ones and zeros and the code and the work we're doing to understand the radio spectrum where the signal at each frequency and the wave form, that's the data, and i think about the work that we're doing even to understand the signaling of the brain, that's a different kind of data. we are in an era in which we're data rich. the opportunity space to start building the techniques that give us insights from that data
is vast. we see it commercially and in the research horizons. i think it is important to say as well as powerful as this data revolution is it also has some important limitations, at least today. i just want to make sure that we don't get into a world of buzz and hype and sort of overlook what those limitations are, so we should probably talk about both of those. >> why don't we start there, then? where are the limitations? what are the challenges associated with that? where is that space? >> there are lots of them. dive in. >> i think that's actually the space. that's actually data science, which is what we would probably rather call it, although i love the media invented the term big data because my folks think they understand what i do. it is a valuable thing. it resonated with people. people get a sense that it is important.
the data is important, but the analytics is where the revolution is. the point of it is to try to make sense of information that is complicated and error prone and doesn't speak to the questions you have. so what is it that we do? we do inference. inference is taking facts you have to learn about facts you don't have. that's the whole thing. it might be that the facts you don't have have everything to do with the facts you do have. it's never a sure thing, but we test and we test and we make ourselves vulnerable to being proven wrong. the idea this is a separate topic that may be data is sometimes error prone isn't really right because every datum has problems with it. >> maybe an interesting example of some of the limitations today -- really, i think there's so much that is going to be
possible here, but let's talk about where it runs out of steam. one of the areas where there is enormous progress with data is in machine learning. a really simple place that we all experience that is -- i don't know if you go on facebook or social media and an image pops up that you didn't know someone had taken of you and an algorithm has identified that's you in the picture, that's based on image understanding technology that's based on machine learning. these are essentially systems that learn by looking at hundreds of thousands of millions of images that are labeled, and from that, they learn this is what a person looks like. this is what this particular person looks like. over time, these machines have become very, very, very good at identifying the what's happening in a picture, who the people are, what the action is that's going on. they're now at the point where they're starting to get on a statistical level as good and
sometimes even better than humans looking at pictures, so that is pretty impressive. they are statistically better. they're not better. humans aren't perfect at that either. the machines aren't perfect either. i think the really important thing to recognize is that in this case, in machine learning for image understanding, when the machine is wrong, it's wrong in ways that no human would ever be wrong. it's just going to be a different kind of mistake. everything that we do is structured around the way humans make mistakes. so think about a self-driving car or in my world we just launched -- we just christened a self-driving ship. you can sense what's going on around you and learn and adapt and be able to operate without collisions, whether it is collisions on the road or collisions on the open ocean in our case. in both of those cases, i think you have to recognize that as powerful as these machine learning systems are there will be mistakes that happen. they won't be the kind of
mistakes that we currently indemnify for. when you start to try to ask why did the machine make a mistake that is different from a mistake i would make, today it is pretty much a black art how these machine learning systems work. they don't have a way of explaining how they've adapted themselves to be able to recognize pictures. and until we have deeper understanding of those systems, i think we just need to recognize that there will be places that we do wanto use that technology and other places where we're not going to yet be ready to use it. >> are you implying that we have almost too much faith and too much trust in artificial intelligence and in the machine generated learning algorithms that we have now? do you think the public presumes they are more trustable than they actually should be? >> i think sometimes. i think sometimes our narrative about these technologies is just extrapolating from the enormous gains we've made in the last few
years to a place that's not realistic, but in fact i think there are, you know, in my world to go from a new technology capable to a system that the defense department and our military will use and rely on, we have a very rigorous process to make sure that these systems work and that we can trust them before we turn decisions over to them. i'll give you an example. i think there are places where we're not going to be ready to have the machine just decide and go do what it needs to do. examples might be a self-driving ship in a very congested environment. we're still going to want to have a human in that decision loop. there are other places where i think we are ready to have machines make decisions for us. an example might be in cybersecurity. if you're trying to defend your network and attacks are coming in, we are at a point now where we think the power of machines looking at the patterns and the ones and zeros and the net flow
data, that those machines are going to be able to see the patterns of attack and discern what's happening and alert you so that you can do something about it in a way that humans can't. statistically if they guess wrong, the world doesn't end. it's going to be very, very valuable in starting to get a handle on cybersecurity. >> if you think of the kinds of methods that are developed to analyze data this in field, they range from fully human, which doesn't really work -- it works fine at the microlevel, but no human can process the amounts of d that that are coming in today. then you can go to a fully automated system that are extremely efficient and incredibly dumb. imagine a driverless car where you don't tell the human where to go. the best technology in most areas is human empowered and computer assisted.
the computer doesn't tell us what an interesting idea is. although more and more it can help us get a sense of the potential interesting ideas, but it's only the human that is going to choose those. i give an example of social media a minute ago. one of the things we did is download all the social media posts in china, and we learned that we were able to download all the posts before the chinese government could censor them. we had all chinese language social media posts that were censors and that were uncensored. they're censoring it for a purpose. what's the purpose? you censor it anytime you're critical of the government. we used that lens to analyze this data and it didn't make any much sense because there was just as many censored posts that
were critical of the government that were supportive of the government. the ideas are the human part. we tried a lot of ideas. data, big data, and data a analytics don't make the process of coming up with ideas automated. nothing clarified until at one point my graduate students and i said, wait a second. we thought they were censoring criticism. maybe they're actually censoring protest and not censoring criticism. we all thought they were the same thing. once we separated the two and looked through those lenses, it became incredibly clear. they don't censor criticism. they censor protest. you can say to the leaders of china -- you can see in social media posts the leaders of this town are all stealing money, this is the bank accounts they're in, and they all have
mistresses and that is not censored. but if you see, by the way, and we're going to have a protest, censored. they don't care what you think of them. they're a bunch of dictators. they only care what you can do. if you have the power to move crowds, they're worried about you. they're not worried about foreign governments invading. they have nuclear weapons. they're worried about their own people. now those ideas didn't emerge from our terrific data analyt s analytics. i love our analytics. that's our contribution, but it only assists us in coming up with the ideas. then we can try out things and make ourselves vulnerable to being proven wrong. we can test the hypothesis. >> i think that's a great example of the human and the
machine together because you would have never done it without the data either, right? >> that's right. you need the data, but the data by itself isn't very good. the great thing it is empowering us. we were like astronomers they were like standing on our toes and stretching out our neck and squinting. now we have the photons and the equivalent of great telescopes. but that isn't enough if you don't have an idea of what you're seeing and the analytics. >> you were using tools to interpret a huge amount of information that would not have be been processable. >> absolutely. how did people study censorship before in china? well, there was one person that would write one post and notice that that one post was censored. humans are incredibly good at
seeing at patterns. look at the clouds when you walk outside today. you'll see animals and elephants and things like that. we're lame at seeing non-patterns. the way we studied censorship is one person would see one post. it was censored. they would generalize that the entire chinese bureaucracy. we had the first aerial view of this whole thing. it is the same example. we had the first aerial view where we could see millions and millions of posts. around 1300 were censored every day in different topic areas. once you see this, it reveals all kinds of different things. it reveals the intentions not only of individuals. it reveals the intentions of organizations. so think of this giant organization designed to suppress information in china. it's so large that it conveys a
lot about itself if you look at it at scale. it's like a big elephant tiptoeing around. it leaves big footprints. and when we look at scale, we can see the footprints. >> it is so interesting because if many ways we believe or know that the government is using similar artificial intelligence and analytic systems to try to understand what the public is saying. i think to bring out some of these sentiments. i guess it suggests that the tools can be used for very healthy and less healthy outcomes. how do you balance as you build these systems -- how do you ensure that they're used in ways that we feel ethically comfortable with? >> i think it is true of every powerful technology. human history says the technologies -- i'm a techno-optimist. i believe technology has advanced humanity over many
centuries, but how humans have used technology is for both good and ill. i think this is a question that has to be integral to all the work we do like at darpa. we have tried to address that question by first and foremost just getting those ethical issues on the table. it's been an interesting thing that i've observed. in the defense department, i have the privilege of working with a lot of senior military people in leadership positions. it is so woven into the training of what it means to be a war fighter, the ethics of that business, a very serious business, is something that is taught and learned and trained and discussed very, very openly and very, very seriously. it is sort of surprising as an engineer by training. i don't think we really talk about that in science and engineering. very little today and not to the degree we need to. we scientists and engineers
certainly don't own the answer, but i think we own the responsibility of getting these issues out on the table. the one you touched on is the first obvious one that happens when it is human being's data and that is about privacy. one of the things we're trying to do at darpa is come up with some of the technology tools that might allow us to essentially give people and organizations greater agency of their data. we believe, for example, as an individual i can share my health care data for medical research knowing who would see it and who wouldn't, knowing it would be available for only a certain amount of time, knowing it wouldn't be published to the world. i would be much more inclined to be open with my data if i had that kind of assurance and agency over it. i think that kind of answer is going to include technology components that can help. if we can somehow break a very
painful trade between privacy and security today, i think that would be a huge advance. i think it's also important to be clear there's never going to be a technology that's a magic wand and let's just sort of wave these problems away. they're deeply human societal issues that we'll all be grappling with for a long time. >> inside a university, we're under very strict rules. you don't have to worry about us. before we do anything, we have to get approval. but in the public, there is a debate that you're raising about there's more data, there's much better analytics, we can understand what people are doing, aren't they going to be privacy violations? absolutely. that's something to worry about. but don't forget the good. would you all be willing to give up some of your privacy to live ten years longer than your life expectancy? ask yourself that question because it is not an unrealistic question. it is not just live longer than
expected. it is live happier lives, safer lives. i'm saying there's two sides. and both sides effect every one of us. and we just shouldn't give away the good. we're on the research end of things, and so we see the good coming down the pike very vividly. and we don't want any of us to miss that. at the same time, we have to protect everybody's privacy because we're not going to be able to get access to the data to find out these wonderful things about the future of humanity. >> i want to pose one more question to our panelists and then i'll open it up to the room. given darpa's history and some of the things you have talked about, the use of robotic systems, artificial intelligence, was social science this kind of quantifiable -- is that a natural fit? does that telegraph darpa's intentions? >> it is one of many things that
we're looking into. i see a huge opportunity with people like gary and other leaders in this field. social science is being reinvented because of the availability of massive of data coupled with these very thoughtful techniques and the me methodologies that are developing. i think that is going to allow us to ask questions that have been dead ends in social science for a very long time. we have a new program called next genation social science that is specifically about building the tools and the methods that would allow for a new generation of social science research, research that could be done on a different scale than, you know, graduate students that are getting paid 20 bucks to do an experiment, research that could be reproduced and scaled, research that could be investigated and seen from the outside in a very different way. we've chosen that example. it's a very basic research program, but we wanted to have a
particular sample problem to work on. in that case, we chose the question -- the question we're posing are, what the key factors in collective identity formation. as you can imagine, this is something tt is essential in our world if you think about the stability operations that happened in iraq and afghanistan that we're still in many ways engaged with. these are some of the more core questions about any social group is when do a group of individuals believe that they are a collective whole and what causes that to break apart. i don't think we have very good answers to that. certainly we don't have practical answers to help anyone who is trying to do something on the ground today. our hope is through developing these techniques we get new insights in that area, but also develop methodologies that scale across many more areas. for our mission at darpa, which is breakthrough technologies for national security, i think it's actually very hard to imagine an area that's more important to national security than
understanding societal behavior. the fact that we have vast new opportunities told that i think is something we definitely want to tap into. >> fabulous. are there questions? all right. i think we probably have time for at least one, maybe two. >> with the incredible job that darpa is doing, do we need diux? >> it is an initiative in the defense department to try to connect the dod better to the commercial tech community, the first part of that activity is in the silicon valley area. i actually think this is a really important opportunity for the department. darpa is designed to be deeply engaged with the technical community. my 100 technical program managers are out in the world. they can't get their jobs done without talking to people in universities and defense
companies, small companies and large. much of the rest of the operations of the department are jobs that keep them in their offices and talking to each other. secretary carter has underscored how important it is. i actually think it is a very important initiative and one we hope to see making great progress. [ inaudible ]. well, darpa has had a 60-year history. i think it is really important for many other parts of the department, more of the operational parts of the department in particular, to start tapping where commercial technology can make a big difference. >> these are special cases of a general phenomenon that's happening. it used to be pretty much all the day in the world was inside
universities because we created it. now most of the day in the world is out there. it's in companies. it's in governments. the only way we can do our job, the only way you can do your job, the only way companies can do their job is to talk to each other, is to have way more connections than they had before. to have a treaty where companies can share their data without feeling privacy is violated is a really important topic for the politicians or for someone here to solve. >> well, i'm really sorry about this, but we are out of time. i would like you to join me in thanks our guests for coming. >> thank you. [ applause ] please welcome to the stage katie couric for the next
group and a self-described patriotic philanthropist. he has taken an interest in preserving and owning some of the nation's most prized historical landmarks, wendy schmidt, a founder of its 11 hour foundation focused on wise use of natural resources among other endeavors. she is also the founder and vice president of the schmidt ocean institute. and peter cobbler, the immedte past chair of pancan, the pancreatic cancer action network and the chairman of the board of the cobbler foundation. welcome to all of you. great to see you. i apologize in advance. i have a terrible cold. let's start by asking a little bit about -- talking a little bit about the way you were raised. i know, david, you grew up as an old child in a jewish
neighborhood in baltimore. your dad was a postal worker. your mom a stay at home mom. how were your ideas of philanthropy formed when you were a young man? >> while i wouldn't say my parents were against fill l philanthro philanthropy, they gave what they could to charitable things. i didn't get into this until later in life. don't make the mistake that i have. even if you don't have a lot of money -- philanthropy is an ancient greek word that means loving humanity. when i got money later in life, i decided to race through the latter part of my life in giving away the money. i'm now committed to giving it all away, but i wish i had been
more involved in philanthropy as a young person. >> i knew you grew up in shore hills, new jersey. born in orange. your parents owned an interior design shop. you are the second of five children and athe only girl. was philanthropy something your family emphasized? what kind of values did your parents instill in you that might have helped kind of promote the notion of philanthropy later in life? >> i was raised to work hard. my grandparents were philanthropists of some note in their day. but our family was not really focused that way. i maybe different from other people in my family. i've had a different kind of life and certainly different opportunities. philanthropy came to me kind of a necessity after google went public. we had a responsibility to think about what do you do with this. how do you not just make
contributions to things, but how do you help to help transform the world? that's the motivation. >> peter, i know that your grandfather and parents started the cobbler foundation in 1967. tell us the genesis of that foundation. >> my grandfather and father did very well in business. the jim beam bourbon was the name of the company. >> can i just say thank you to them? >> you and i together. they did pretty well. and they were very fortunate. the money from that was the origin of the cobbler foundation. fill l it was mainly in jewish interests. to me, two very strange things happened. what a strange thing to be born
into a family where there was these assets and these foundations and where -- but the second strange thing that happened to me, which was very improbable, was death from pancreatic cancer in my family when i was a teenager. suddenly my father dmother diedn my grandfather died. then i was in the middle of two very unusual circumstances being linked to a foundation and being linked to a very terrible disease, which later in life i've tried to take on. >> you obviously got involved for extremely personal reasons in this cause. >> like in your family -- i know it's well known the suffering in your family and how you have tried to turn that suffering into something -- into productive channels. i personally and our foundation has also tried to make a difference in that way. >> david, i know that you have been incredibly generous. universities, hospitals,
cultural organizations, but the majority has gone to something called patriotic giving. tell us what the definition of patriotic giving is. >> it gets more attention than the other things i do because not as many people are doing it. most of my money goes to medical research and education, but it gets a lot of attention because a lot of people aren't doing it. i'm trying to get more people to learn more about our history and our heritage so they can be better citizens. if they know more about our history, they can be more informed citizens. we can have a better democracy. that's a theory. i've bought history documents like the magna carter, the emancipation proclamation, where people can see them. by seeing them in real life, i think they may be inspired to read more about history and to learn more about it. it is designed to make these places more attractive and make
sure people more go to them and learn more about the history. >> what inspired you to do that, to get into that area? >> like most things in life, it's by serendipity. i happened to be at a place where the magna carter was being auctioned off. i decided to buy it and give it to the country. then it led to buying other documents. when the washington monument had earthquake damage, i said i didn't want to wait for congress to fix it up. that led to other things. more and more people thought it was a good thing. and i tried to encourage other people to do it. the national parks service has $11 billion of unfunded needs, and i don't have that kind of money to do that. i'm trying to get other people to be involved in the parks service which controls the washington monument and the lincoln memorial. it is just something that i think is a good way to give back to our society. i came from very modest means. with my last name, i'm not sure
in other countries i would have risen up to what i am today. >> and you have something called the mother standard. >> yes. when i was building my company, i'm sure my mother was happy, but she didn't call me every day and say you're great. you're going to make more money. this is great. when i started giving away the money, she started saying that's a good thing. you're finally doing something useful with your money. if you can make your mother happy, particularly if it is a jewish mother, it is a very good thing. >> meanwhile, wendy, much of your work has focused on awareness and research and programs, which i know are important to you, around preserving natural resources, environmental causes, overall sustainability. what was it about that arena that made you think this is where i want to invest? this is where i think i can make a big difference. >> we had to make a decision
when we were making our family foundation what we were going to focus on. eric is very focused on technology and about how the world is changing. we met in the 1970s. since that time, everything we do is different because of the microprocessor revelation and becau the way we communicate and network. that model is so important. i looked outside and thought we need to use those tools. we need to look at a system that we inherited after world war ii that has transformed the world in very good ways, but has left environmental degradation behind. particularly when we look at the oceans. the oceans are so big, so vast. when my mother was born in 1931, there were 2 billion people on the planet. now we're almost 8. the pressure of humanity, the
human footprint on the resources of the planet, is something we need to address today and understand how to live within the living systems that we can see. i don't know if you saw the tree of life article a couple weeks ago about where the human branch fits in. this is something darwin introduced. scientists have been looking at this other time. some berkley scientists came out with the newest tree of life based on the coding of dna. plants, animals, people are over here. the bacterial branch is quite large. the single-celled organism brarg branch is very, very large. when you look at the systems we live in, we're very, very small. what do we need? what do we need to preserve? what can we use? what do we need to regenerate in a more circular economy rather than a wasteful one?
>> take me to a micrmicro level how deciding where the money is going to go and the criteria about making decisions about who is going to get what. >> i've had the opportunity to chair two organizations. one is the pancreatic action network. it has just surpassed breast cancer as the third leading cause of cancer death in america. sadly, there's not very much funding either from government or from the private sector. but it's juried. they don't make decisions arbitrarily. they respect one another's
dedication and excellence. it's not specific to a particular university because, s as we know, universities have a preference for their own people. it's a way to work out that preference problem. the other organization, which i'm proud to chair, has been the bloom cobbler family foundation. that has also dedicated excellence. a little more risk taking because you can be more of a risk taker in a private foundation than you can be in a public corporation or than you can be in a public charity. we'll do cultural things, sort of like patriotic. we'll do health things. you get to take a little more risk in a private foundation, but excellence is still -- it's the mother factor, but it's also known as excellence. >> i know you helped fund stand up to cancer, an organization i started. the emperor of all maladies,
which was ken burn's series on pbs. >> what stand up to cancer did for emperor of all maladies was to put cancer on people's -- to get it front and center. ken burns, brilliant filmmaker. couldn't be more proud than to have the cobbler foundation to help underwrite stand up to cancer and that brilliant documentary. >> wendy, what about you and david? when you're thinking about what you're going to place your donations and your work and your effort and your oversight, what are the things you're looking for in terms of the organizations that you want to support? >> well, you ask are they moving the dial. if we look at energy and climate centers and agriculture and
human rights, we look for organizations that are going to be transformative. and we take the risks. risk is a huge thing. i think philanthropy can afford to take risks that government certainly won't take, particularly in the sciences. we've seen a drop of 40% or more in government funding for scientists since 2010. there's a huge role for us to play to step into doing that. you mentioned films. these are projects where we're very interested in involving the general public in some of these more abstract understanding about what's going on in the planet and to bring what is far away, or was when i grew up, something happening in the democratic republic of congo, into your consciousness. >> how do you measure success? >> first, i don't have a foundation. i do it all myself. i don't have a staff.
>> can i interrupt you for two seconds? >> sure. >> it is interesting these two individuals do and you don't. i'm curious why not. >> i know what i want to do with the money. i write a check and that's it. >> saves you some on overhead. >> i'm afraid if i had a staff they would convince me to do what they want to do, so i just do it myself. i'm not critical of people who have different situations. probably at some point i should do something more professional. my standards are will my money make something happen that wouldn't otherwise happen, would my money complete something that otherwise wouldn't get completed, and do i have enough money and time to get something don't that wouldn't get done? i'm looking for things that i can actually see get done. i would like to see some
progress while i'm alive. i'm 66 years old. i would rather see it while i'm alive. my goal is to kind of get things done while i'm alive, do things that have an impact, and that are measurable. do i see people getting some better use of the resource aye given? is life somewhat better for people? i don't have a profit and loss kind of metric. no one really does. all of us here could give away all of our money today if we took all the requests that we had because there's an infinite amount of good causes in the world. we could fill up our checkbooks. i get $50 million of requests a week. like most people in life, i like my ideas better than somebody else's ideas. 95% of the money i give away is something that i came up with. they might not be perfect, but i like my ideas better than
somebody else's. generally, i like what i'm working on. i focus on it. i call people up and ask them if they will take the money as opposed to waiting for them to come to me. >> there's been a little bit of blowback about private individuals and philanthropy. in a 2014 piece in the new york times, for better or worse, the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shapeless by national priorities or by peere review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money. so i guess i think critics have a problem with this for a number of reasons. they say the money goes to elite universities at the expense of poor ones, that -- and that is not spreading the wealth literally, geographically, economically, racially among the nation's scientists. they say the social contract is at stake and it ignores basic
science for, quote, a jumble of popular feel good fields like environmental studies and space exploration. i'm just curious what you think about some of these critics and scientists who are saying this isn't really great because it disincentivizes government and it makes for an unfair playing field. >> i'm jump in on that. like david, i once served in the executive branch of the united states government. i think the author has made some very good points. the numbers are much smaller than what the u.s. government can do. the u.s. treasury overwhelming in significance what an individual can do. also there's an element of fairness frankly. so i think the author is right. something that's juried or reflects the point of view of the american citizenry has
enormous advantages. and philanthropy is wonderful, but it doesn't have that level of integrity. >> the atlantic wrote an article entitled, is philanthropy bad for democracy? thoughts on that, david? >> it sounds like that is written by somebody who doesn't have the money to give away. look, if you do anything in life, anything, you will be criticized. there's always a critic. there are 7.5 billion people on the face of the earth. trying to please all of them is impossible. if you're going to be frozen because you're afraid somebody will criticize you, you'll never get anything done. in the end, you have to make your own judgment. we have a small amount compared to what the government has. the government can do whatever it wants. getting decisions from the government is not that easy.
fiphilanthropists can get something started and the government can catch up later. elite universities are elite because they're very good. they make enormous changes to our country. i think one of the greatest assets our country has is or highest education system, particularly the good public and private schools. they are the envy of the world. if we say to them don't give them money because they already have money, we'll be starving them a bit and they won't be the envy of the world. in the end, i'm not as concerned about these kind of criticisms. i'm more concerned about my mother than i am these people. >> i can also say i think the opportunity we have as philanthropists is to create new models. that's not going to come from government. we have a research organization that we have opened up to scientists around the world to share. we have research labs. we have a super computer.
we have ship to shore communication and sicientists express their interest to be on these cruises. this is transforming the practice of marine science and maybe government will follow. the point is we need good reference points to develop good policies. >> are you pretty optimistic that the good data and the results of philanthropy will in fact change public policy, because all the fill l-- philanthropy can be destroyed by bad policy? >> wealthy people who have made money are not all that smart and they'll have a worse policy for the government by people who are not financially successful. if wealthy people have given away money, it's they do have s intelligence, they do have some
ideas that might make the country a slightly better place. on the subsidy issue let's suppose we eliminated the subsidy for charitable deduction which is motivating a lot of people to give away money, we give away more money in this country than any other country per capita, but i think actually most of the philanthropists in this country would give away largely the same amount of money they're giving away now because what can you do with the money? you can't be buried with it like the pharaohs were buried with it. >> you said you don't want to be the richest guy in the cemetery. >> i don't. so if the charitable deduction were eliminated i don't think it would appreciably change the wealthiest people's giving away money. they have to give it away. what are they going to do with it? it may change other people's -- and i suspect that deduction won't be eliminated. but clearly i think it does motivate some people to give away money but i think for the largest philanthropists in the united states they're not motivated by the tax deduction. >> without disagreeing with wendy and david let me say something on behalf of government funding particularly for science. it was franklin roosevelt who stashted the national cancer
institute. richard nixon and subsequent presidents over the last two generations that have accelerated funding for cancer, i believe vice president joe biden is now the leader of a major project called moonshot project which we hope will make it through congress. if the united states government gets behind something in the sciences, and today you're having somebody from nasa, it is spectacular what the results can be. so we can admire philanthropy, and i'm so honored to be part of that world and to be here with wendy and david, but the federal gets there, boy, it's historic. >> well, to that end, peter, are you worried that somehow the government will be let off the hook or disincentivized to do more if in fact we see an increase in private philanthropy going to various issues and causes? >> it depends. that's not the favored answer. but it depends on the engagement of citizenry. if citizens get involved and ask their elected legislators or the
next president to do this, they will do it. our group as one example in 2012 pancreatic cancer action network there were 10,000 bills introduced. only 200 passed. one of them was ours to instruct the national cancer institute to start a program, a framework to take on pancreatic cancer. it can be done, but people can't sit back and watch tv and tweet. they've got to really get involved. >> how important is your philanthropic efforts and the things that you've done in terms of your legacy? obviously we know how your mom felt. but for you personally, what does it mean? >> well, obviously, when you think you're doing something to make the world a slightly better place, you feel good about yourself. we're only on this earth for a very short period of time and all of us want to feel we're doing something to make the world a better place and it's not clear that just by making more money you're making the world a better place so i think i feel better what i've done the last couple years thaun i did in
the previous 20, 30 years just making the money but everyone has to make their own judgment of what makes them happen and i what makes them feel self-satisfied. but i think i'm very happy with it. my biggest regret is i'm 66 years old and i'm not going to have another 66 years to do what i now enjoy doing. >> what has given you the most satisfaction of all your efforts? >> well, i guess it's probably the feeling that i get very often wherever i am i get people in this country coming up to me saying thank you for what you're doing to help our country in many ways and while what i'm doing is very modest people feel giving back to the country is a good thing to do. i guess it's a pleasure out of hearing from people i don't really know so well about their pleasure at what they see i'm doing and hopefully they're going to be motivated to do the same. >> what about you, wendy? what's the difference between recognition and legacy and -- >> i would answer that by saying i believe we are living through a revolution right now. we may not recognize it but we are. and we are going to end up making things differently. we're going to use resources
differently. we're going to see enormous opportunity in front of us if we can seize this moment. i'm very focused on the transformation of the systems we live in that can create a much healthier world. products that are healthy for people. practices that are healthier for people. and for the environment around us. we need to move away from the systems of the last century and invent new ones. i'm very focused on innovation, and i'm sure that will continue into the future. >> and do you think that will be your legacy, helping this transition? >> i would love that to be my legacy. yes. >> and peter, obviously, you come from a family from really instilled these values. i'm curious how you're doing that for your children and how all of us, regardless of our means, can sort of instill those values of philanthropy to our children. >> i hope i've instilled them. there's no one more proud of their sons than i am. i have a lawyer son who's a public defender and does philanthropy as classically
defined, not as a foundation director. and i have another son who's a surgical resident and i'm hoping that he will one day be using his -- at johns hopkins and i'm hoping thael one day be using his skills to do medical philanthropy. one other point not covered today, much less glamorous, much more about nuts and bolts, patriotic environment, cancer, all important but one aspect of philanthropy we really need in the country now is more nuts and bolts, direct services. a lot of people in the country are really suffering. inner city, rural, opioid addiction, lots of things. the more money that can be given to direct services so clinics can take care of people medically, food for people really hungry in the country. that's a subject for another day. >> now, we were talking about that, my colleague and i on the way down from new york, and we were saying some of these less glamorous causes. glamorous in quotations. sometimes don't get the intention and the funding. so maybe we can -- maybe you all
can make them glamorous. david. >> i don't know about that, but the question you addressed earlier. what do you do with your children? if you're fortunate enough to have a fair amount of money and you don't give it all away or you die before you give it all away, your children have a fair amount of money, what are they supposed to do with it? and trying to instill in children a philanthropy and a philanthropic gene is important. at the give and pledge meetings much of the conversation we have amongst people who sign the giving pledge is whether or not you should give your children their own foundation. how do you get them involved in philanthropy? how do you make sure you don't spoil them but also teach them about the importance of philanthropy. it's a very complicated subject and very few people have figured it out. i don't say that i figured it out perfectly either. and i still struggle with how much money do you give your children, when do you give it to them and how much freedom do you give them to give it away and do you guide them? these are complicated subjects. fortunately we're in the position to be able to deal with it but it's a subject that
hasn't been satisfactorily resolved by anybody. >> what about you, wendy? you have two girls. tell me about their role in philanthropy. we're almost out of time. in fact, we've been out of time. sorry, you guys. we're almost done. but what kind of lessons have you tried to show them or do you kind of want them to follow your example and what you do? >> i think that's up to them. this is relatively new in their lives. i've only been working at this for a decade. so they are growing into adulthood and they are watching what we do. and they're involved as observers. and hopefully practitioners at some point. but david raises all the same issues that we'll all face with the legacy. >> that may be for our next panel another day. thank you all for being here so much. david and wendy ledder, thank you so much. we're going to take a break and be back in 15 minutes. >> thank you very much. >> thanks.
the libertarian party is holding its national convention this weekend in orlando, florida. c-span will have live coverage when presidential candidates hold a debate saturday night at 8:00 eastern. then on sunday morning the party chooses its presidential and vice presidential nominees. that starts at 9:45 a.m. eastern. so far the libertarian party is the only third party that's on the national ballot in all 50 states. >> madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states -- ♪
we now return to the "washington post" transformers summit. for a look at commercial space travel and the impact of online communities. in this portion nasa administrator charles bolden and other space leaders share their thoughts on what commercial space travel will look like. the ceos of twitch and reddit discuss how their sites have changed how people communicate online. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> achieving a goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.
>> four, three, two, one. zero. we have a lift-off. lift-off on apollo 11. >> the space race inspired a generation of scientists and innovators. it's contributed to immeasurable technological advance that's have improved our health and well-being from satellite navigation to water purification, from aerospace manufacturing to medical imaging. this exploration will once again inspire wonder in a new generation, sparting passions and launching careers. >> my name is chris not davenport. i'm a reporter at the "washington post." our next panel is about space and particularly commercial space. it's a really interesting time right now where too many people i think when the shuttle retired in 2011 they think there's not
that much going on but in fact there's so much going on at nasa and in the commercial sector, enough probably to fill a book for one of our panelists here. let me introduce everyone here. next to me is charles bolden, who's the nasa administrator. we have julie van creek, the vice president of aerospace and launch at rocketdyne. andy weir of "the the martian," and george whiteside, ceo of virgin galactic and the spaceship company. all of these people are involved in space in various ways but something extraordinary is going to happen in a year or two, administrator bolden, and i want you to talk to us about it. we're going to have a launch from a government site at kennedy space center or cape canaveral. we're going to launch nasa astronauts to the international space station. but they are going to be launched on a commercial vehicle. >> absolutely. >> this is a very big deal. how did this come about?
>> it's a huge deal. and it actually started back in 2003 after we lost "columbia." and long story short, the decision was made -- recommendation was made to the president at the time to phase out of the space shuttle for a number of reasons. one, we wanted to explore. and the shuttle was a low earth orbiting vehicle. but we felt that nasa had worked with our industry partners long enough and that they were fully capable of providing transportation for cargo and crew to low earth orbit. so we struck out. we didn't invest in commercial crew initially. we were kind of lukewarm to it. president obama provided 9 impetus. he said we're going to do it when he spi came into office. we started in earnest and now we're a year, year and a half away from launching american astronauts from u.s. soil. and that's going to be incredible. >> but can you take us back to that early point? because to have even cargo and to rely on the commercial sector in that way, that was a really sort of bold and daring bet. did people tell you you were
crazy? >> yeah. but that's okay. i get told i'm crazy all the time. we talk about -- andy may not know this. we talked about mars when i first came in, and that was not very popular in 2009. that was sort of a verboten topic here in washington, d.c. for reasons beyond my belief, but it was not until the president actually said okay, this is what we are going to do. and he did it in what i consider to be a major space policy address to the nation, to the world at the kennedy space center in april of 2010. and nobody paid any attention to it. but that was when he gave us two challenges. one was to put humans on an asteroid by 2025. that's still a strong challenge. and put humans on mars in the 2030s. so we're well on the way to doing both of those things now. >> i want to yum top george for a minute at virgin galactic, which is sort of different than a pure commercial entrepreneurial venture.
backed by of course richard branson and part of this what's called new space where you've got elion musk and jeff bezos and sir richard as well. what he wants to do is create the world's first commercial space line. i just like saying that. >> so do i. >> it's amazing. talk to us a little about what the vision is and what you're going to be doing. >> what we want to do at virgin galactic is to open space up to the rest of us. and i think that's an inspiring thing. an interesting thing is do people know how many people have ever been to space? just guess. >> about 600. >> you can't answer, andy. >> administrator bolden might be able to -- >> nobody on stage can answer. anyway. the answer is about 550. and i'm sure you were about to say that. which seems like a remarkably small number given that we've been going to space for 50 years. what we want to do is break that
open and provide the opportunity to travel into space to people but also to give rides to this new category of satellites called small sflooits satellites because that's a really interesting area. and we think by opening up that experience to more people and to more satellites the benefits of space can accrue down to earth and that's what we're hoping to do. >> can you talk for a minute as a leader in the entrepreneurial space that we're seeing, you know, i wonder if we're going to look back at this time in 10, 20 years from now and say this was really an extraordinary time when all of the space flight that nasa and the government's done bleeds over into the private sector. >> you know, i think it is an extraordinary time. and i think it's due -- i think a lot of credit goes to administrator bolden and the president but also the congress and others for taking smart moves to open up innovation in the american launch industry.
and the reason why it's important is because we're getting started on a cycle of innovation that should feed on itself over time. that is to say, hopefully we can get the price lower to space access that then leads to more activity in space, which then drives lower cost, and he with start getting on this wheel of innovation. and that's what's so exciting about this with the reusable launches of spacex and what we're hoping to do and julie's hoping to do. all these things i think will have hopefully a cycle to them that drives innovation so that we actually end up in a place, you know, ten times cheaper, 100 times cheaper in the future than where we are now. >> i should note, too, there's a side goal of this panel, and that's to provide andy with material for his next book. >> actually, i did -- i did an analysis once. i presented it at a convention in the bay area. but basically, i said what if the commercial space industry had the same overheads as the modern commercial airline
industry? so the commercial space industry is in its infancy, and it's just getting started. and it's -- you know, it's an extremely expensive venture. it costs a lot of money to work out these technologies. but i thought, okay, what if it ended up like having the same efficiency as the modern commercial airline industry, which has had like, you know, decades and decades of competition and like refinement and stuff like that. and it worked out. i said i needed some numbers to work with. so i said like, well, let's say they have the same fuel overhead ratio. in other words, what percentage of all the money that a commercial airline makes, how much of that do they spend on fuel and how much do they spend on everything else? and it works out to be pretty much across the board every commercial airline company spends between 16% and 17% of all the money they make on fuel. so you map that forward and you say like okay, let's say that were the same for the commercial
space industry. then you start to get down to freight costs in the range of like between $30 and $50 a kilogram to low earth orbit which is unthinkable to us today. >> tell everybody what it is today. >> oh, it's thousands. thousands of dollars per kilogram. >> like $20,000 to $50,000. >> yeah, well, the falcon 9 is -- i think it's less than 10,000 per kilogram. but if the falcon heavy is successful, then it will be -- that will be the most efficient non-subsidized price l.e.o. at about $1,600 per kilogram. >> falcon heavy at spacex is a big rocket they're building. i've heard you say before, andy, that i think you started writing "the martian" before the sort of new space movement really kind of took off and that if you were going to write the book again you might include some of that. is that true? >> that's definitely true. and also -- well, i'm not 100% sure on that because when i
wrote "the martian" the way i -- that's my guy. the way i wrote it was like -- my job is to entertain. like that's my only focus, my only goal when i'm writing a book. it doesn't have to be 100% realistic or anything like that. when i was writing "the martian" i shamelessly took advantage of people's nostalgic feelings for the apollo era. sought aries program in the book is very similar in feel and style to the apollo era program. in real life i'm sure our first manned mission to mars will have -- probably everything will be put into low earth orbit by commercial space industries via government contracts. i think it will be a large multinational effort. it won't look anything like it looked in the movie. >> so julie, aerojet rocket dyne makes so many of the systems and components that go on these vehicles. you guys are really pushing the
edge in terms of the innovation and technology, which is what sort of today is all about. things like solar electric propulsion, another thing i like saying. so blow our hair back. give us a sense of what you guys are working on that's really cool and how it fits into all this. >> well, we're working on -- like you said, we support government, we support commercial, and we do primarily propulsion, which is engines, big engines, motors, those type of things as well as power. neat things we're work on today, we're doing ion propulsion, which is a form of electron propulsion and it reduces the mass. you talk about bringing the cost down. everything we throw off the planet now has to go on a rocket that costs quite a bit of money. sought smaller you can make it's cheaper it gets. we have solar electric propulsion that will be putting on these next missions, working the technology on nasa contracts and internal. and it will half or 1/10 the size depending on how we do that. it looks like you see the blue
glow from the old star trek, it looks just like that and it is like that. so we're working on -- we're printing rockets now. we're doing 3-d printing of whole rockets. and a number of people are doing it p and the hard thing -- >> does that mean i can illegally download a rocket? >> you know, you -- well, we probably shouldn't talk about this. rocket technology's still protected. >> but it gets to that. you get a model and you can do that. the really big ones you can't do yet. but you can certainly dot smaller ones. we talk about the small sats. we can print a whole cube sat propulsion system in one pass. and those are things that bring down not just the cost of the product. they're more efficient. they bring down time. and all of this just continues to fuel the cycle as george was saying it. it's really a transformative time. we're building off the things we put in place for the last few decades, but now we can actually take them that next step. >> andy talked about what he
thought the martian would be like. you know, with commercial space available. and he's absolutely right. and if you look at what nasa's doing today, a big part of my life is spent growing international partners, looking out for what we call non-traditional partners, countries that want to be spart of the sfas program but either don't have the financial resources or don't have the technical knowledge but they have other things they can contribute. working in partnership with commercial space, commercial entities has been incredible. nasa has never built a big rocket. and that's a misconception. julie's been building rockets for nasa since she was a kid. but that's just the way it was done. but they were built under contract where we own the rocket. we don't own the rocket anymore. we buy a service. and that's what george is talking about. so if i want to send my astronauts to space i say look, i want to send four astronauts, a crew of four, and i talk to spacex and boeing today and they say okay, we've got a vehicle for you. each of them. the big thing is we have two.
because competition is absolutely critical. if we go down to one there's absolutely no competition. what george and his community is doing is giving us competition that gets the price down. it's giving us resilience, which allows us to do what we did two years ago when we lost three vehicles boom, boom, boom. we lost a spacex vehicle, we lost an orbital cargo vehicle and a russian vehicle. under ordinary circumstances that would have put us dead in the water. we didn't lose a beat. the japanese had a vehicle, the europeans had a vehicle and in the time they were flying ow american partners and the russians were getting themselves back on their feet, so we're back to normal now. >> so when you stood up those programs are now flying leo, low earth orbit, just to the international station about 250 miles or so above the earth. but these entrepreneurs, they think big. elon mus k and richard branson. elon's talking about going to mars. >> he is.
>> i wonder does that put him in competition with nasa? >> no. >> explain to me. >> it is not a competition at all. and i think most people in the audience are quite aware that we recently -- or spacex recently announced that they were entering into a partnership with us for what they call the red dragon. what he's looking at that we want. we look at them coming back and landing on a barge or coming back to the cape and landing on a mat somewhere. that's what we call hypersonic or recei or supersonic retropropulsion. we're not investing in that but we don't need to if our commercial partners are doing it. we talk about reducing the cost to the taxpayer. if spacex can land a vehicle on mars, that's one of the most critical challenges to us, is what we call entry descent and landing. how do you get big masses on the surface of mars? that is all good information that we need. and it means we don't have to do one, two, maybe three tests we off to do if nasa were doing it
all along. >> the trucking analogy, it keeps coming up over and over again and makes sense. it's like hostess makes twinkies but every grocery store in america, they need to deliver twinkies to every grocery store in america. clearly hostess to schget to work inventing a truck. no. you let other people invent the trucks. you make them a truck, then they'll buy the truck. >> i think the complexity of going to mars, when you look at all the things you have to do to keep humans alive and have them there, you're going to need a lot of trucks. there's a lot of stuff to take and there's room for -- no single entity is likely to do it. it's going to be a collaboration of a number of both foreign as well as commercial. nasa i think is going to take all of that to really achieve that. >> or you can send people you don't really like. >> one-way mission? yeah. don't bring anybody with them. >> i'll tell everybody who has watched the movie "the martian," it is fantastic. but you need to go back and read
the book because when you find is mark watney and his crew didn't land on mars and have all this stuff land with them. they had been building that up over a period of decades. and that's exactly what nasa's doing today. we've been flying what we call precursors. so they're lead things that we need to do on orbit satellites for navigation, communications, re relay. landers that can go out and survey. we've been on mars 20, 30 years. >> wasn't it just this year maybe where they selected about 50 potential human landing sites? >> i'm not sure the number but we hay big where we came up with potential landing sites. looking at where's the water. still follow the water. you can't do that. you can't make that determination if you don't have
orbiting imageers. and that's what we've had with the europeans and ours. now even the indians. so when you talk about non-traditional partners, they were incredible. first time ever that somebody had attempted to go to mars and gotten there on the first attempt. we work with them. we feel that we contributed to their success. and that's really, really, really important. >> mongdeleon -- i can't pronounce it. >> you can call it mom. mars orbiter mission. >> mongleon. administrator bolden, you've been -- >> it's charlie. >> charlie. nasa's been doing this for a long time. and you've got now these new entrants, new innovation, new money, disrupting the industry. i wonder, george, if you could talk a little bit about, because you work for charlie as his chief of staff. a little bit about the cultural differences between the sort of ethos at a place like virgin or
blue oirnlg or spacex versus nasa. how are they different? how are they similar? >> charlie is the captain of an aircraft carrier. >> we turn slow. >> and it's an amazing organization that has a lot of different capabilities. what the new companies are dpog are trying to do one or two things well. i think it's the most exciting time to be a young aerospace engineer than in decades. and the reason i say that is because there are so many different opportunities, whether it's inside nasa or at virgin galactic or in some of these other companies, julie's, where young and older and middle-aged, all kinds of engineers, can climb on board and get involved in a real way with real hardware that gets built quickly. we've got some of these new
machines as well. what they can do is just spectacular. whereas before maybe you go work inside some company and work on a bolt for five years or something now you can build whole subsystems and do that really quickly. by the way, we're hiring if anybody -- >> so are we. >> it's something i'm required to say in every appearance. >> we're saving money for the taxpayer. >> i think the key thing is that sense of innovation and that no matter where you are you have to move quickly and i think that's a great thing to have embedded in our community now. i think charlie said it really well. competition and innovation is what america's great at. and to have that inside of our aerospace community, it's not easy to design the entry conditions for that from a policy perspective. but i think we're doing pretty
good right now and hopefully we can maintain that spirit as we go forward because we're going to innovate more if we do. >> andy, i'm wondering, from your standpoint because you're somewhat of an outsider but you're very familiar with it, with nasa and the commercial space. if you had charlie's job, what would you do differently? i'm promoting you. >> first off i'd probably drive nasa into the ground. i think charlie's job takes a certain amount of skills i don't have. if i -- well, if i were king of nasa, i guess, if i had even charlie has to work with a whole bunch of people, but if i could just make edicts and have things go the way i wanted, i would concentrate on the commercial space side, get as much of my money, nasa, me, my money, me, into the commercial side as possible because they will very quickly drive down the price to l.e.o. and then that makes the
extra -- the sis lunar and mars-related missions affordable and brings the price point down such that it fits in nasa's budget rather than having to go to the hill and ask for more money. in terms of the first mars mission i would go a little non-traditional. i would -- the biggest benefit to having an afrns on the surface in terms of science is that an astronaut has a brain and that an astronaut doesn't have a five to 20-minute layncy in communicating what he or she wants to do on the surface of mars. i think the very first humans to mars area of mission i suspect will be a whole bunch of rovers on the surface of mars and humans in orbit controlling them. >> what do you think? >> he's absolutely right. when you talk about visioning -- and we don't talk about a lot of stuff because you get in trouble, to be quite honest, if you go too far ahead because
people say, well, as nasa is a government agency you're just not organized. well, we are. you've got to be thinking 30, 40, 50 years out. and andy is right. i tell people all the time the very first things on the surface of mars are going to be robots. think about what we do for american forces today around the world. we don't send soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines often into a very hot area first. we try to get in and make the environment safe for them using robots or whatever. >> we send missiles in first. >> but i imagine there's going to be a fleet of robots, maybe humanoid. they don't have to look like humans. they're going to establish the habitat. they're going to go in because with 3-d printing we can put a fleet of robots on the surface of mars. we may find based on what we know about the radiation environment that we want to go underground rather than have huts on the surface and get blown away in the wind that doesn't exist. but that was a critical part.
i tell my wife, it's a movie. okay? very, very important part. but it may be that robots dig under -- you know, go subterranean and establish the habitat. anybody ever do, you know -- build houses for charitable reasons, you don't go there, there are no 2 by 4s on the lot. there are prefab structures sow get eaves and walls. and that's what we're going to do on mars. but we're going to print, it i think. >> also i was just saying in addition to that in terms of the pure science and analysis is humans in orbit controlling robots on the surface gives you a zero latency communication with those robots and it's basically like driving a remote control car instead of what they're doing right now, what are we going to tell the robot to do today? if the roeblt issues a decision point it has to stop. now it's just going to be like -- >> you don't have to tell it the
night before. you want to be able to have a human in orbit or on phobos or demos. >> some people don't even think we have people in space right now. but we're on the way to mars now. we're building the systems that can lift things off right now, the capsules. again, there's a lot of different ways to do it but the country's putting in fl ing iti that infrastructure right now and it's a lot closer than you think and we will launch in a couple years. again, the plan will be just like you said, put stuff around it and go control from up -- circling mars first before you go down, but it's within our reach. it's not that far away. >> there are a lot of technologies. the one that stands out to me, charlie, it's what's on the international space station right now. the beam. this is a habitat thaex pands out. it's going to be tested while on the station. and they have plans for bigger ones. do you see the day when the international space station is replaced or there are other
stations -- >> i don't see the day. it's inevitable. it's it is a human-made structure that has a lifetime. and today we think it's maybe 2028. so we are working feverishly to help george and others build this low earth orbit infrastructure that is commercial so that nasa doesn't have to invest taxpayers' money in maintaining -- building and maintaining this low earth orbit infrastructure. that's the depot from which we're going to go to deep space. but that should not be nasa. should not be government. commercial entities have the full capability to do that today and that's what we're looking at with a lot of our -- we go out and ask for bids and ideas. we're going therefrom there. >> the inflatable habitat, that's absolutely critical because for the first time now we'll be able to escape the tyranny of the launch vehicle diameter. that's basically what it comes down to. right now everything that's in space has to fit inside of the
launch vehicle. but if you have some big inflatable thing you get an awful lot of volume for your surface area. >> when you think about space, we talk about launch and space tour and habitats. but one of the biggest things that's happening now is this small sat, cube sat revolution. you think of satellites you think they're just massive. but now they're developing satellites the size of a shoebox. and i know aerojet is doing a lot of this. talk to us about that and what you guys are working on. >> we're actually printing entire subsystems like that. we're using typically satellites have always used toxic propellants too but we're using green propellants. we developed in collaboration with nasa a new kind of propellant that can be around all the time unlike a lost propellants we have to fly today. it is revolutionary -- revolutionizing things because the smaller the mass the smaller the launch vehicle. and as you do that you drive down costs. not just the product is cheaper
because it's printed but the launch vehicle's cheaper. you get into that cycle which is going to be necessary to have true commercialization. so it's an interesting time. i've been in this industry a while. and there is -- like charlie said, the industry does build a lot of the stuff for nasa. but it's been under a different kind of model. now many of these things are mature enough now that they can be purchased as services. so it's cool to be part of something that's transforming like this. nasa can still do and sponsor the really hard stuff and the new technologies, but then you're starting to migrate over. nasa pioneered the technology back in the '90s. mr. bigelow picked it up. and it's amazing what he's doing there. >> that's the great way this can work. you have -- >> when you talk about small sats or cube sats, when you talk about a revolution, i don't know whether there's anybody out there who has a son or a daughter who goes to st. thomas
moore elementary school in northern virginia, first elementary school to send a spacecraft into space this week. >> elementary school? >> elementary school. it was launched off the international space station. it was among a lot of cube sats that was sent to station on a probably orbital or a spacex vehicle because we have room to do that. so there's an elementary school in northern virginia that can now brag about my spacecraft is up there doing stuff. and once you get that into kids -- i did science fairs. my seventh grade science teacher turned me on to science fairs, and i never looked back. i can guarantee you these kids at st. thomas moore, they are never going to be told we can't do that because they're going to say when i was in elementary school i made a satellite. what do you mean you can't do that? >> can't top that. >> elroy jetson. >> this is an area where nasa doesn't get enough credit because the iss and to a certain extent ames and other centers
have really pushed the ball forward on the small sat front. and through iss has been sort of seeding the small sat market. but you can't launch into all the different orbits frichlt ss. what we'll able to do with our vehicle launcher 1 is to put the satellites into other orbits. but what i think is interesting is the u.s. is now leading a new area which is the small satellite sector and you know, we're going to see tremendous growth. the geostationary -- the number of geostationary satellites getting launched into orbit isn't really growing right now. but you're going to see this huge growth in small satellite constellations over the coming years that will establish essentially a new information skin for planet earth. that helps us with navigation and communication and weather and remote sensing. i think it will be eventually a permanent new skin around the
planet. a lot of that is being catalyzed by the work that was done inside nasa labs and now inside the national lab at iss. >> and you're talking about hundreds if not thousands of small satellites in orbit swarming around -- >> yeah. we have as a customer a company called one web which has some offices here in d.c., and they aspire to build the initial deployment is about 800 satellites, which will bring basically broadband connectivity to everywhere in the world. >> just a note on cube sats. we keep usiing different terms. i say cube sats. they're basically an idea whose time has come. and i think the main reason is because as always the space industry takes advantage of the knock-on effects of unrelated industries. the reason cube sats are possible is because of your cell phones. the minute churization of computer technology because of
the market demand for people to have these, these can absolutely be the brains of a cube sat. and before -- just even go back in time like 15 years, before mobile phones had to be like stand-alone computers, before smartphones. even the smallest, most compact computers were these clunky laptops. so that's -- this is why it's great to take advantage and leverage existing technology rather than reinvent the wheel in every single way, which was -- i heard people from nasa say the apollo program was the best and worst thing to ever happen to the space industry. >> i want to ask george, going back to space tourism for a minute because i think there's a lot of focus on that. the idea of democratizing space, making it accessible to the masses. you've got something like 700 people who bought tickets. more people who have actually been to space as you said
earlier. where do you see the demand? do you see there's really a demand and a market for that, that this is going it grow? >> i'll answer the question two ways. one is i think the demand far outstrips the supply, at least for the foreseeable future because it's going to be hard to fly these vehicles, you know, at the start and we want to do it really carefully and safely. and so i think it's going to be one of these markets where for a long time to come there are more people who are going to want to do it than we have seats available. and so i think that's a good thing. that means we can take our time, fly everybody safely and we'll have a very profitable business with the people that we fly. and i should say our customers are really amazing people. they're successful people who really believe that they're helping to catalyze something to bring about something new because they know that if they don't put their money down this thing isn't going to happen. but where does it go? i mean, i think that's an interesting question. and it's one of the things that we think about at galactic.
i think it's frustrating to all of us, or it's frustrating to me at least, that you know, we're still going mach point 8 in our commercial air travel and we've been basically going that speed since the dawn of the jet age. in fact, the average speed has maybe even gone down slightly. i think it's conceivable for us to start thinking about things that would enable us to go transpacific in an hour or two. go across the continents in a short amount of time. is that going to happen in a year or two? no. it's a really hard technical problem. but what i like to say is the technologies that we're working on with spaceship 2 will feed into that. so how do you fly people safely in these high-speed journeys? how do you build highly reusable space vehicles? how do you create highly reusable propulsion systems, thermal protection systems, guidance systems. how do those things integrate into air spaces? those are the nuts and bolts. how do you insure them? how do they fit into regulatory in those are all the questions
that we'll essentially be dealing with with suborbital travel and then we'll be in a much closer place to be able to reach things that we've been dreaming about for a long time, which is getting to asia in an hour. >> and i want to ask you about that. i also want to note that we can take a few questions from the audience. we have a couple minutes left. so if you start thinking about that, there are people coming around with mikes. >> i just want to add one thing on the commercial side. in terms of demand. the true space boom will happen when the price point to going into space is within the reach of middle-class americans. so it's like you in the audience, raise your hand if you could go into space and spend a week in a space hotel for 10,000 bucks. >> there are some hands. lots of hands. >> so there's your market. >> we're working on it. >> i want to take advantage of one opening george gave me because i know this is about space. but in the president's budget proposal for the coming year a
critical part of it in aeronautics is what we call new aviation horizons. nasa is not going to build the supersonic airplanes in which people like george are going to fly, but we're working on the regulatory end because today it's illegal to fly supersonic over the ground in the u.s. and in many other countries. we believe that we have now worked with industry in a design of a vehicle that will break the speed of sound, fly supersonically but instead of getting a big sonic boom you get a rum, sort of a rumble. it's because you change the shape. you have to remember we're talking about energy. sound is nothing but energy. and it just comes off in a big spike and it's like a boom. we think because we demonstrated it that you can really smooth it out. and so you that just get a rumble. and that's a part of the new aviation horizons. the first vehicle, the first x plane that's going to be built in this program we awarded a contract to lockheed. but you've got companies like
boeing, gulfstream who have plans on the drawing board. they just need the regulation to change. and they're all in. and that's what nasa's job is, to give the data to the faa so that they can say okay, game's on. you can now fly supersonic over the ground. nasa has done its job. >> do we have any questions from the audience? we have a mike? yes, go ahead. >> quick question. as the world's already -- space and communications, they're already dependent on the world, who's going to manage all the satellites, all the countries, all the microsatellites going up? who's going to be managing all that so we don't have a catastrophic failure of some tien kind? >> this year congress passed several very important commercial space pieces of legislation, and one of them has mandated that nasa and other agencies will come together and decide how we put into place the
instruments tore what we call orbital traffic management. just like the faa manages air traffic today and nasa provides them with tools to do that, we're going to work with d.o.d., noaa, commercial entities to come up with orbital traffic management. it won't happen this year, but by the time we have people who are ready to do it we'll have a system in place for managing the traffic and controlling it on orbit. >> and that affects all of those hundreds if not thousands of satellites. >> everything. >> once again, where there's a profit motive there's a way. >> exactly. >> because international air travel, the planes manage mostly not to crash into each other. this is a problem that's been encountered before. you have a bunch of independent countries flying their own planes over international waters but they still collaborate, cooperate so as not to have anything bad happen. >> one of the challenges of these hundreds and thousands of small sats, or cube sats, is they're free flyers. they don't have propulsion
systems today. julie and other propulsion companies are working on microjets. microrockets. in a cube sat that has the brains from andy's telephone and a camera that came out of his telephone, it's going to have a little microjet -- >> i'd really rather you got your own phone. >> they're going to be able to maneuver around but most importantly they're going to be able to comply with a law that says when you put a vehicle in space it's got to be able to be controlled for a controlled re-entry where it will not harm anybody on the ground. we're going to be able to do that. >> time for one more quick one. >> nasa has been the driver for education. i'm a teacher from the apollo 11 program. will that continue and will these companies also contribute? because we need a lot of help in some areas. >> i'm going to let them talk about how they contribute, but they do immensely. i tell people nasa today has a $19.3 billion budget and that's a $19.3 billion budget that's focused on stem education. there is not a single thing that
we, do whether it's aeronautics, science, human space flight, space technology, that we don't get into classrooms somehow so that teachers like you can use that material to excite kids. cube sats. that's getting kids interested in science, math, aerodynamics, you name it. and is that an education program? technically, no. but does it promote education? you bet it does. so i tell people all the time, i don't care what the line says in the budget. i've got a line for education, it's skimpy. but we improvise. so we spend 19.3 billion on stem education. >> you think it's a collaborative thing too? our company is involved in education since i actually joined many years ago. and it's both grassroots, we get our rocket guys out and they go talk to schools, local schools in the area, and that is great. we have the kids' day where we let them come on plant carefully. we don't let them out in the
test area but we do let them come on plant. and then we have a number of formal programs too. some of this is self-serving. we sponsor a number of scholarships and programs at colleges and high schools because we want those employees, you know, as they grow up we're always looking for those smart young people to come in and be that next generation of rocket engineers. and most of my industry counterparts are very similar. it's a key thing. and as you look at going to mars it's not hard to sell that one. you go out and talk about it. and you get a pretty good following. >> the martian classroom edition now available. it's the same as the normal edition but with all the swear words replaced with -- no, seriously. it's a thing. it's for sale. get it for your classrooms. you should get several copies per student i think. >> it can relate -- i have three kids. two of them are more sciency. and one of them, my oldest
daughter's a psychology major. and she never liked science with me. and then i was reading she saw "the martian," the book in my living room and i said, hey, honey, you might like this. and she goes, what, snom so -- and then she said okay, i'll read it. and she comes home and says i read that in two days. she goes, that was so cool. that's the kind of thing that's so neat about now, is exciting people to do space again. that's what all the entrepreneurs -- this is the best time that's ever been in the space industry. a lot more excitement than there's been the previous few decades. >> while we have him here i want to press andy because you're writing a new book. >> yeah. >> i'm sorry, george, did you want to get in -- >> talk about education. yeah. we're big into education. we just did a thing where we got all the sixth-graders in las cruise es, new mexico to do a thing with our engineers. it's fun to do. and it's the right thing to do
as well. we do scholarships. we have an organization called galactic unite, which is really focused on that. we're going to go buy all andy's books now. >> i want to hear about the next book. what can you tell us? >> the next book takes place in the 2080s, 2090s time frame. it's another scientifically accurate hopefully story. takes place in a city on the moon. and i came up with an economic reason why there's a city on the moon. and i think it's pretty solid. the main character is a woman who was sort of a low-level criminal there. so i'm going for the lovable rogue archetype. and it is told in the first person smart-ass narrative style that i do. >> when's it published? >> probably comes out middle of next year. >> looks like that's all the time we have for today. i want to thank our panelists for -- [ applause ] they're really great. really appreciate it.