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tv   Predictions for the 22nd Century  CSPAN  September 13, 2017 4:23am-5:49am EDT

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university of colorado for a look at what technological changes the next century might have in store. half.s about our and a hello. all right, so the first thing i've already done this to my fun. you cast or not the queen of technology. you guys have cell phone, turn it off. no cell phones ring, no lights flashing. here we go. phones off. you know how i am about phones. ok? all right. he we go. so the topic today is my in the 22nd century, and you know i'm an engineer. there's a phone on back to turn off the light or a computer or something.
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when people talk about the future of the 22nd century on sort of like i go into a engineer mode and go well, what are you going to back cosmic rays when you fly to outer space and what he going to do about problem? i'm kind of a wet blanket. but these three panelists are very well-qualified with actual facts to talk about the 22nd century and what we might anticipate. so our three speakers, going to induce an indie order adequately speak and the new get ten to 15 minutes and if they talk too long, i cut them off. so, our first speaker is david grinspoon, who's in astrobiologist which is super cool. it's like you know, biology in space which is very weird. so that's what he does. , our second speaker, michelle thaller is director of science for communications at nasa so
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she'd is all about the rocket science program. and our third speaker is seth shostak who works -- looking for extraterrestrial life. so we will start with david. >> good morning. thank you for coming here and having us here in boulder. i have to say boulder high is a mythical place for me. it's a first time think of i -- i lived in boulder for number of years, and i had a lot of friends whose kids went to boulder high and as a result i have a lot of friends who are graduates of the boulder high. yeah, so now i get to be here on stage. and also i'm just realizing i think the last time i was maybe on stage of high school auditorium was when i was in high school in our talent show my band was playing like free bird or something.
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if i have a flashback and get up and do an air guitar solo, you have to forgive me. i of course want to start out with a requisite, obvious but necessary point that nobody can predict the future. and there that are not experts on the future. none of us can really tell you what's going to happen in the 22nd century. but it's also true that all of us are people who in our careers think a lot about the future in various ways, and we can give you some insight into how to think about the future, hopefully. and when i was your age, when i was in junior high and high school i was really obsessed with certain kinds of visions of the future. i was definitely a teenage sci-fi geek. and this was by the way it was cool before deep. it was uncool but i still was. and i was really enthralled by, one of my earliest memories was the apollo landing on the moon when i was in the fourth grade, then i grew up just obsessed with space and the future. the movie 2001 a space odyssey which came out in 1969, 1968?
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make it 1968, was very influential and i just assumed that by the 21st century humans would be living in space and that was connected with this idea of sort of utopian view of what would happen with our societies that the cold war would wind down and we would basically have a peaceful and equitable society on earth. you know, it hasn't completely worked out that way, and so reflecting on that now when i was your age, my visions of the future the way things have worked out so far. one thing i think human beings
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can't help but doing is projecting into the future in a sort of linear way. i think it's built into us cognitively that we see current trends and we assume the continuation of those trends, and that's what forms are via the future. that sort of makes sense on the short timescale, but on the lawn timescale is never the guide because there are these nonlinear game changers that ultimately determine the way things are. so in the science-fiction of the 1940s and 1950s and early 60s, which some people call the golden age of science fiction which were the stories i grew up
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reading, a lot of times just to give one example, they were written before apollo. and so a lot of those stories had people finally getting to the moon in the year 2010, are finally getting to the moon in 1999. so because people were not actively engaged in that effort, people saw that, thought it would be a long way off. and then of course 1960s, apollo program, john f. kennedy, we choose to go to the moon, inspirational speech at the beginning of the decade. and this massive effort and, of course, we did it. and then you look at the science-fiction written during and around the time of the apollo project, and he it was the opposite. they projected that things would happen very fast because things are happening very fast in that they could so then you have 2001 invited will be out of jupiter and be doing, they were over overoptimistic if you consider
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technological advance goods. because they were extrapolating from the rapid, the rapid acceleration that was going in there, external think that in the future so the overshot the other way. you see this and a lot of other areas that we cannot help but extrapolate our current trends. and that's one of the reasons why we are always wrong when we predict the future. i was recently, i got to spend a year at the library of congress working on a project out a book project about the future, considering our time on earth,
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the human time and geological history and how humans are changing the planet and how that fits into the long-term story of the planet. part of what i did for the project on trying to get a handle on how we think about the future was i read a lot of predictions about now that were written in the past to collect predictions of the future that were written a long time ago. there's a section in my book that's called a brief history of the future where i summarize this. it's interesting because you read essays by these really smart people that were written 100 years ago, 200 years ago about what they think the early 21st century is going to be like. it's an interesting combination of some really pressing and really smart how the hell did
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they know that? people predicted that we would run out of fossil fuels and that we would be running things by solar power, and people kind predicted the internet. really smart. and then combined with some just like really wacky, ridiculous stuff. we be talking to the spirits of the dead and it's always some combination of that. but what they miss is the game changers, you know, the things that really changed our world, the internet which nobody really predicted. communication satellites which clark did predict but was so sure it wouldn't happen in his lifetime. he didn't bother to patent them, and, of course, they happened way before the end of his life. and so forth. we just, we see things in a nonlinear way, and histories very. history is very nonlinear the big anxieties about the future when i was a teenager were, well, the cold war of course
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seemed like it would never end because just this intractable thing, and nuclear war between the superpowers was the big anxiety. that was how the world, might possibly end. and then when the cold war ended it was just this very kind of surprising thing. and then, but then same, people extrapolated, while knocking everything will be fine, they will be no more war. we overshot any other direction and have the cold war is over but we still haven't gotten rid of those darn nukes and are are still some existential worry there. another, just to give you another example, when i was in college, one of our big issues, i was an activist and help form a group, i i went to brown university and help form a group called the brown disarmament group. the other guy who formed that group with me was david corn for you now see on msnbc a lot. he was my classmate in college and we formed this group and so we were worried about nuclear war but were also active in the anti-apartheid movement, south africa was under a system of apartheid in. i'm sure you know that. that also seem like something that would never ever end and it was intractable and nelson mandela would die in jail and it
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was tragic and sad. and then that also rather suddenly ended. and again south africa has to publish up what they're not living under apartheid and nelson mandela died a free man and president of this country. so all i'm saying is things that seem attractive can change is really sideways. well, now we're at this time,, this strange time in human history where there are these seemingly contradictory trends and reason for optimism and pessimism. if you look at many long-term trends, this is the best time ever to be a human being at a random place on earth do we live in this type of very scary
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headlines and a lot of anxiety, justifiable anxiety about the future but we also live at this tremendous time of human opportunity and possibility. what i mean by those trends, things like infant mortality is half what it was 30 years ago on earth, the average infant mortality. if you are a random person born into vande place on today your chances of living to be, a healthy life and living to adulthood are twice what they were 30 years ago. that trend is increasing. same thing with extreme poverty. it is a drastically decreasing around the world. and all kinds of health trends, the long-term trends are very good and very promising. of course all these things are related when extreme poverty is alleviated. it helps with, that's the silver bullet for population because fertility goes down when, in particular when women have more choices than poor countries, and educator education levels are on the rise globally in a pretty steady way over the decades.
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a lot of these positive trends but at the same time we are in this phase that some geologists and planetary scientists are calling the intro the scene where human influence on the planet is exploding and there's a time. recall the great acceleration that started in the 1950s where all these measures of human activity have been shooting of the charge. if you look, if you plot all these measures of human influence on the planet, amount of co2 in the atmosphere, the damning of rivers over time, the various changes in land use, extinction rates, all the sorts
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of quantitative measures of documents are changing the planet, during the 20 century they sort of slowly go up and it wiggles and then in 1950, in the 1950s the all-star shooting up your still in the face of the cover for our influence has been shooting at. it's a scary way that is unsustainable. you have the circulation of these two kinds of trance. there's a long-term all these are legitimate positive trends recent trial and then there's this shorter-term just really jarring influence on the planet which, that humans have been causing the most of the one we are most aware of his climate change of course. i think that something will talk about a little bit this morning, but it's part of this whole set of changes. and so that's unnerving but at the same time we had this explosion in knowledge about the planet. around the same time, the beginning of the space age i can succeed we started launching observation satellites. before that we were blind to the way our planned works. works.planet we have this explosion and knowledge of where our planet works and i believe we are in the midst of a kind of phase change of consciousness about our role on the planet. and to me that's the key to connecting these two curves. there's the positive curves of all these indicators i was talking about. there's a scary acceleration of
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human influence, socially optimistic or pessimistic recs it's really a question of whether that awareness of ourselves as a planetary entity can propagate to the point when it becomes integrated into the way we manage ourselves from the planet. and i think that you guys are really the second generation in essence, generations is squishy but the second generation to grow up and live your life in an awareness of human beings as a global entity. it started in the way with the whole earth pictures from space, that the space program provide us with. i think that's new and i think it's global and it's hard to receive its frustratingly slow, but that's the key i think is to propagate a sense of ourselves as a global entity. and i think it is happening. i am giving myself 15 minutes.
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the last thing i will say is that nobody can predict the future but now i'm going to. i think in the 22nd century we will become distant we will be completed all fossil fuels. we have to be. even if we are as dumb as duncan b and would literally burn up every single freaking molecule of reduce carbon, dig them all up and burned them, we will be off fossil fuels in the 22nd century. but hopefully we won't do it that way. and human populations clery going to stabilize and start to come down by the end of this century, for the right reasons. not because of starvation and famine but because education levels are on the rise and women are getting more choices in the fertility, their choosing, toys, choosing to lower fertility rates. so i think what would you get to a 22nd century where we have a more stable population and with global energy systems which are
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not ranking than natural systems upon which we depend. i'm optimistic about that. the problem is how do we get there? we need to go through a transformation in a relationship with the natural world and propagate this realization that we do live in a finite planet, and integrate that into how we achieve energy and i would run a global civilization. there are technical solutions to do this, and so there may be technical, there will be technical breakthroughs that help us do this, energy breakthroughs, there's other game changes like artificial intelligence. we might even discover extraterrestrial life. i think we'll hear about that possibility, there are things go nonlinear game changes we can't predict, but even without relying on those, if we go through, continue what i believe the start the social transformation of proceeding ourselves accurately as a species, a global species on a
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finite planet, and integrate that into the way we run our systems call our energy into other systems that will make that transformation. we're in the process. it's just how quickly we make that transformation will determine how much pain and displacement and suffering that there is in the 21st century. the last thing i will say is if we do this or i think the 21st century will be as bad as the 20th century. when i say that people say what are you talking about? 20 century was great but it really wasn't. it wasn't for the hundreds of millions of people died in wars and famines and so forth. to me that's scale of tragedy wherewe're facing in the 21st century if we don't make this transformation in our energy systems quickly. but i'm optimistic that we are going to accelerate that change and avert, avoid the worst case scenarios. [applause] >> thank you. i think you're going to hear
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sort of this thing from all of us today that there are things were very optimistic about, things were concerned about, and with the humility of knowing that we cannot predict what would happen in 100 years. i think some some stuff uncle to talk about is more near-term than that. things make you like to see happening is the next 50 years, the things would be continuing into the 22nd century as well. i was, these are two of my favorite people in the world on either side of it. these are both by the scientist scientist and wonderful human beings and i was thinking the things that i think about, it's true. and i think that want to talk about, thinking the things that concern me and encourage me are the search for extraterrestrial life that would be this guy, climate change which is an expert in that. so i've wondered how will i position myself? i think i'll talk to both of those but i wanted to do some of the social changes i i wanted to come in the next 100 years and i think all of us need to actively work to do that. not just wait for them to happen. starting with some of the optimism, i worked for nasa, i'm an astrophysicist but i do a lot of work with planetary scientist can with astrobiologists.
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we are going to have a press release tomorrow, after nasa tomorrow about an environment without on in minnesota which i'm quite optimistic could support life. i think there are probably four places in the solar system that nasa is hoping to explore that we very strongly suspect life could exist now. and this is something that, seth loves to tease me about. while there's a lot of them tend with cert for extras like that nasa does, nasa's mainly looking for smaller microbial life. you can look for civilization we look for positive. but i will take alien pods come. i totally will. i think, this is all a bit of an audacious prediction but a lot
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of this depends of course on whether we get funding for our missions and whether with political support for what we want to do but i am really serious helping to have solid proof of extraterrestrial life in the next ten years. by the time you guys get to graduate school, those of you going into college or chemistry physics, i want there to be a sample. it will probably be remotely detected but we'll send a rover to mars or a probe to the moon europa arent you put and will have evidence that something is a live down there. i think once we have that there would be a a great impetus to go and study. we, it will be wonderful to go to the national zoo in washington, d.c., and see in a very, very well isolated padded chamber a little come under microscope and actual alien. something that came from ours or came from saturn or jupiter, moons of those planets. i really think that's true. then we have so many wonderful questions to ask.
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do they have dna? today have the -- do they have dna? do they have the same sort of chemistry we do? could you even eat it with a chemistry pass right through you? for those you know chemistry, either amino acids the same way, put together the same way as ours? there such a wonderful diversity available in the universe. a typical carbon rich meteorite, which studies at nasa all the time, has more different kinds of organic molecules and even nuclear bases and things that make up your dna, then the tide of life on earth uses. so there's a tremendous revolution, i think in how we understand biology. astrobiologists are poised to lead that. so i am really looking for to that. i got some champagne chilling already. i really want that to happen in the next couple of years and decades. the other part of nasa better work with a lot of his earth science department. this is one of these things where there's always cautious optimism and is always cause for concern. right now depend on how you
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define it, some of our missions are several satellites flying information. depending on how you fight with about 30 spacecraft that is above you right now run by nasa. they are studying every aspect of the earth system. we run about 108 spacecraft that are studying the solar system, the universe, all of that and specifically earthquakes, about 30. we are returning data that is absolutely overwhelming that the earth is changing fast. and in the next 100 years, this is something that will change your life i think in a way that perhaps you buy things come in the way the economy works. it may change things in way more deserving eventually. but specifically our polar studies. a lot of my friends are flying over the north and south pole in research aircraft there were just about to launch a satellite that will measure the ice sheet at the top of the plan, top and bottom of the planet. one of the satellites i i was part of is called grace which measured the mass of the ice at the polls.
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greenland alone, just greenland is losing about 200 billion tons of ice a year, fresh water going into the ocean. antarctica was largely stable. the ice sheet was in changing very much. the last five years it's accelerating. step up to about 200 billion tons a year as well. that's going to change a lot. the ice caps are not something we can now stop from melting. they will not melt quickly. i would be a process i think of many centuries but in 100 or so now we will really see some noticeable differences in terms of the coastline. this is not something that has to be the end of the world or the end of civilization. there are ways to even now prepare for it. new zealand, for example, is now accepting pacific islanders as immigrants from islands that we know are not going to be there in 100 years. so we need to be a little bit forward thinking how we start writing cartridges, how would you deal with immigration, how we start preparing for what will
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be a huge number of refugees. and that can either the massively destabilizing or we could get a grip on this and do this right. then that is something that as leaders of the future i think you have a chance to really do this right. i see those things happening. we mentioned technology. some of the things i think are just wonderful, when it comes to things like climate change and getting off the possibility economy, we'll be honest about how green is green energy. that's all about and how much carbon did that take to produce? i think of the a lot of jobs available for people to look very carefully and scientifically really of what is most beneficial to the environment. one of those for example, is travel. i love flying everywhere. i love taking trips. i flew to this conference. that's a huge carbon footprint. getting up in an airplane. one of the things nasa is doing is much more reliant on virtual reality. we do this in a way that it blew my mind.
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so the reference point to go to work on mars every morning. we have the mars curiosity rover on mars and it takes very high resolution images around it. all around the world, we did this for efficiency. we did this to make the process work better. scientist put on microsoft how the lens virtual reality headsets in the morning and you are standing next to curiosity on mars. you see exactly where it is right now. team from all over the world at the same time on the headsets, we all come to mars in a little avatar forms and we can point at a rock as he lets go over there, let's program the rover to go over and sample that soil. but when he first did it i was like damn, i am so glad i have lived to see this picture we are all showing up together virtually to work on mars in the morning. the one thing that's bad about is the mars day is 45 minutes longer so you need to show up day so youlater each
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end up working all right around the clock. that's hard. anyway, so there are things i'm really looking for two in terms of technology breaking down the barriers of distance and its human interaction. then to wrap up quickly on the social changes, in working with young people, i'm very, very encouraged with different definitions and acceptances of gender differences, sexuality differences. our busy being a woman in science has changed my career path. there's no way it can't. i think a wonderful career in science. i highly recommend it. but i'm one of the upper ranking people in the nasa site directorate, and the top three layers of management and specifically the nasa science division, are all white men. and in this day and age, 30 years ago when i was in high school they told me this problem was solved. they told me things are going to get better. when you look at this statistics of how women have advanced in many careers, yes things are definitely better. things have improved. nowhere near where they
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should've gone. when i see they have allowed the top three levels of management, which is about a dozen people, have no diversity, that shouldn't have been allowed to happen. i think by and large we have to really, as a community, demand that that not happen. it is no longer enough to say those of the best people. that.t buy i met him he is about 18 years old and had our get more diversity? you have to demand it and you have to actually make it part of the requirements. so he went back and said you
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cannot participate in this international hacking society unless your team has people of color and women, young women, on it. and the responsibility, let's put it bluntly, a young white guy took responsibility and said it will not be like this. i will not let my organization simply be a way to perpetuate an existing power structure. so i'm looking forward to, in a hundred years -- and we're probably talking about the first world, maybe we're not talking about every culture on the earth. i want the idea of gender to go away. i think the whole idea of gender was a disaster. i would like to see people actively saying why the hell aren't there women and people of color in this group? we gave a press conference for a wonderful mission to an asteroid, and there were eight white guys up there talking about how wonderful the mission is. we can't do that. and i'm sorry for these wonderful people that i'm dragging off the panel and saying, look, i need nasa not to look like this. you know? it's an active choice.
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it's not waiting for this to happen. it's demanding that this happens. [applause] thank you. and this is something that you guys can really help me with, seriously. in your science clubs, you know, in not just science clubs, maybe in something that's a traditionally female place as well, invite people in. find a way to get people, more diverse people into your friends, into your community, into your clubs, into your classes. invite them. i realize that so much of my kind of hurt feelings in life, i have a lot of emotions. i deal with being a woman in science. i so wish somebody would have invited me and made me feel welcome into some of the communities i've had to barge into. and that's something you can do. you can welcome each other. i hope that happens the next hundred years. thank you. [applause]
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>> my name -- doesn't matter. my name is zed, and i work for -- [inaudible] any of you know what that acronym stands for? anybody? no? two people in the third row. [laughter] >> ok. it stands for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. we were looking for life in space too, but we're looking for the kind of life that you see in the movies, the guys with the big eyeballs, no clothes, no sense of humor. we're looking for the intelligent aliens. but i do want to try and talk about the 22nd century, since that that's the title. -- and in particular, you know, are
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you finally going to have that flying car so that you don't have to drive down to denver whenever you want to go to a movie, whatever. you can fly down there and find there's no place to park your flying car. let me say you live in a very special time. they told me that, too, when i was your age. by the way, this is not the first time i've been to boulder high. the i remember the last time i was here there was a freshman who stood up and said i don't need to take this anymore and walked out, and then everybody else walked out. [laughter] >> by the way, the people that i stay with here in boulder actually have a daughter who is a freshman here at boulder high. i hope she's not in the audience, because i'm undoubtedly going to embarrass her. [laughter] >> but let me just say that it is a special time, because things are happening in this century that are going to, i think, transform humanity, okay? and you could have been born a thousand years ago, could have been 1017, not 2017, and they would have told you, you know, this is going to be a special century. we're going to really get good at jousting or whatever it is, right? [laughter] >> okay. but they were wrong, okay? you could have been born in the roman empire, and if there had
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been a panel on what will life be like a hundred years from now, the answer would have been about the way it is now. in fact, homo sapiens have been strutting across this planet for roughly 200,000 years. that's a long time. and for essentially all of that, the panel would have said tomorrow will be like today. maybe a little worse, but it'll be like today, okay? so your future was going to be the same life that your grandparents had, all right? but that's not going to be true for you. and let me just say even a hundred years ago you can see the progress, beginning with the roman empire. i mean, we killed a thousand years in the middle ages but, hey, some things happened. you know, if we were having this conference back in 1917 when there was the first world war coming out and people were on a panel saying, well, what do you think is going to be the big deal in 2017? what's going to be different? almost everything they said would have been irrelevant. well, we'll probably have better cars. yeah, you do have better cars. do you think these airplanes, is that technology going to go
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anywhere? well, yeah, it did. what about improved coal delivery to the cities so that we can heat our homes more efficiently. yeah, well, you know, we'll probably get that. they didn't foresee you weren't going to be heating your homes with coal anymore. climate change, i think, fall into that same category. i see it as a problem that's soluble. once it gets bad, it will get solved. and it's a short-term project, right? a hundred years ago in london, you know, there was a particularly smoggy, foggy winter, and everybody's heating their homes with coal. so there was coal dust everywhere. 3,000 people died, right? and they would have said, boy, this is going to to get worse because the population of london is increasing. this is an existential threat to our gusto-grabbing lifestyle. but, in fact, very soon hay -- they were not heating their homes with coal anymore. that whole problem went away. so i'm not going to, you know, speculate on problems of moment, but try and look into what's, first, what's going to happen in this century while you're in charge, and then what does that mean for the 22nd century?
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okay? there are, like, four things that i think are really important in this century. the first is we're finding, finally understanding biology. right? we're finally understanding. and biology's very complicated. it's because it's a bottom-up engineered system, right? what do i mean by that? you know, biology, you just get a whole bunch of critters, plants, whatever, and then you look a hundred years later and see what's left, and then they propagate themselves, and you see what's left. small changes at the dma level, a little mutation here and there, bottom-up. and that means it's complicated, it's messy, and mostly it doesn't work. ask anybody over 30, you may know people over 30. ask anybody over 30, do you think you work? they barely work, and hen today -- then they stop working. so, that's biology. think about cars.
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cars are engineered top-down. you want this car, it's got to be able to hold one people. could we have one wheel? unstable, two wheels, not so good. wheels?too many tires to buy. -- six wheels? too many tires to buy. you design what it is you want, okay? that's not the way you are. you weren't designed to be somehow good or optimal or anything like that. and you to know you're not. [laughter] okay. so that's going to change. we're going to understand biology, right? that means we're going to cure a whole lot of diseases, but it has other consequences like designer and babies, right? there's a guy at stanford that you andthere's a guy at stanford that just wrote a book, "the end of sex." you're probably not happy to hear that. [laughter] >> you are a>> it's the end of sex for having baby, right? just imagine, you're thinking, oh,
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this is crazy. i don't want that. but if you were a pregnant woman, you go into the doctor and the doctor says, you know, $50 more, and your kid could have the musical talents of adele or whatever, right? [laughter] >> are you going to say, look, $50, i don't think that's worth it. right in test think of it. months month d mosquito. but in space. rotating around. big advantage of people living off -- the 21st century what you're living in 22nd century.
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seconds, we're going to find life in space. that's my day job. find the alien aliens. so i'm buying starbucks stock may not have to buy all that coffee. how will that affect you? talk about how it will, but it will be interesting at the very least to know you're kid on the block. right. that there are plenty of other ids out there and any of the ones you hear of are more advanced technically than you are. tell you how can to avoid war or cure death. the fourth thing is the most important. this in some ways is almost the most certain of them all. inventing our successors. scary. encouraging and intelligence.icial
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thinking machines. luncheon where eye guy was talking about a machine that can recognize cats. what the usefulness of that might approximate but maybe this computer looks at the web all the time. these cat videos. recognize chine can cats better than humans can. you may think you're good at recognizing cats. machine is better. as a doctor you may think you're diseases.agnosing the machine is better. today we can build machines that one eally good at doing thing. like recognize some cats. by what's going to happen 2050 you'll still be young. by then you have machines better involving yourng brain. so what this guy was saying is your task get where repetitive, that's gone in ten years. theour ambition is to write
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great american novel, the machine will be better at that too. he problem with the thinking machines is this: as soon as you have a thinking machine, the first thing you ask it is design machine better than you are and you build that. design a machine better than you that.build that's not the way homo sapiens work. than the kids er of the roman empire. ou could take them and bring them here and they'd do fine. but the machines are not like that. down to be gned top better. we'ret that means is that no longer in charge. smarter than we
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are. so what happens when the smarter than we are? i don't know. it sounds scary to me personally but it doesn't much to approximate smarter than i am but when they're cary, there are a couple of scenarios that are obvious. leave.t up and it could be that we become their ets and looking at the way the pets are treated, it looks okay. a lot.eep get fed. i don't know. seems okay. also they may not find you all that interesting. ihave ants in my backyard and could try to change their behavior. no, ma'am interest. a famous story by science fiction writer in which e said the governor designed a
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thinking machine for defense purpo machine did the that job. by the time they got to the machines, ition of was so smart, it was no longer interested in doing the jobs masters wanted it to do. t had nothing to do with the humans unless they tried to pull the plug. end of the story, the machine is sitting there humming. it's doing.at but nobody knows. and that may be the future. the 22nd century will be absolutely different because of this centurying in directed by you. [applause] >> we're going to open the floor to questions. there should be two microphones. two?here i see one. am i blind?
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is that one too? be two supposed to microphones. oh, it's up there. up there. the other microphone? i'm blind. we just have one microphone. a cutting ing, like, sound. so we got the microphone here. from rst questions come students. the public when the students are done. of course, you can feel free to line up. this is not a forum to people.tatement, ask a question. >> hi. i was just wondering if the discovery of organic atter below the mariana trench changes your opinion on life on other planets. about we're finding out the earth, when we looked at
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outside the earth, it makes us look back at us and well, is there anything here that's kind of similar to that? s there any place where we've actually missed the point of where you would find life. ne, for example, is the atmosphere of venus. altitude d high bacteria -- venus is a hell hole. atmosphere, n the there may be places you could find life even on venus. so we're finding life -- i mean, it survives terrible pressures, high acid and at levels. temperatures. low temperatures. it makes these environments utside the irked look really friendly. there's stuff here on our planet survive on mars.
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titan. really coolurse the thing is there's a possible -- this is highly controversial. when we landed on the moon on saturn, some people thought there was an imbalance in the bacteria h might be breathing and metabolizing. e have actually found bacteria on earth that uses methane. n the deep ocean there's methane ice. looking at space and realizing environments are and then looking back here at the life every nding place on this planet, places we never thought there would be life. one of the is reasons i'm so optimistic. i think that we're going to find our solar aces in system where there's life. >> thank you. [applause] >>
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>>. >> i have a question for all actually.ou so you've all spoken about how really no idea what will change over the next century, we're pretty sure that is going to be change to a very large degree to n extent that's larger than a change of however many other centuries. agreed that ll hose changes are to a get extent going to require a change human humans live and how societies function. so my question is do you think humans psychologically ever having faced a period of change that's this drastic are restructuring human life in a way that will cope
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ith -- will adapt to those changes that we may face? that's a great question. you know, tioned, t's probably always true that people imagine this is a special time and we're facing some ircumstances humans have never faced and this is the critical time in human history and it's have illusions about that but there are a lot to believe reasons that's the case that we're facing some -- what some people a bottle neck where because of trends we're either fundamentally change our nature in our relationship to the natural world or we're going to be able to thrive. technological changes, some of which we've mentioned, are predictons it's hard to
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exactly how that will unfold. there are social changes that and in a way, those are the hardest to imagine. humans have that never had to do this before. i would actually dispute that. ut i think you have to go way back in history to find a time that we've had to do this before. recorded history. if you look at the long term history of human eings, now i'm talking about going back millions of years, here are several times where crises.tial
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trying to describe a modern city, denver or a modern town, boulder. describe the to gathererve to a hunter in lived 100,000 years ago africa. aybe that's hard for us to comprehend a few hundred years from now. when we first became livednd city dwellers and together, our cities were horrible places. nightmares.th
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augmentations and will that change humanity? i don't think so. a limited way. it's like putting an engine in a horse. faster horse but pretty soon you stay can we get the horse part and just build the car? going to that's what's happen. we're irrelevant. >> hi. worst ondering what the possible fallout from global warming might be or what you that.hink about >> the worst possible fallout
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bad.et pretty damn so we actually are running climate models at nasa and a means a huge supercomputer is crunching lots of data and the past to see how the temperatures and land behaved.phere t's our pest scientific guess of how things play out. there are better and worse scenarios depending on how get off fossil fuels nd so the worst scenarios are very bad. things like i mean you could get as much as 100 feet of ocean coming se in the centuries. that doesn't go fast. the middle east becomes unlivable. temperatures of 170 degrees in the middle east. world food production disrupted. think about the wars that's going to perpetuate. what happens. the pent gone somewhat optimist ick -- pentagon optimistically estimates there will be a
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illion refugees by the year
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2060. >> sigh beer i can't and places there are nticipate some scenarios where things warm up a little bit destabilizing gets released aking it hotter so the system jumps to a hotter state. but the people that know the most about this and i've talked of them don't think that's imminent but they can't ell you it's not either and to me in terms of physical changes most scary part.
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basically our modern civilian collapses. i don't think even in those we're talking about the exhibition of the human race. a nuclear nk even in war and personally we have not alked about that i'm more than d about nuclear war climate change. even in that scenario, we're in talking about the exhibition of the human race.
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scattered and adaptable. energy is changing. solar are getting cheaper. because of you guys. of not necessarily high school kids but millennials show p on my book tour and the way they voted in the last election
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and the way they seem to be of the d and aware global situation, i feel like if , get through the next decade i think we'll be okay. applause] >> i just had a question for and seth. you guys both kind of research outside of earth. where they could be and stuff but how do you kind of search has learned to 300 degree e, fahrenheit. how do you look for things that could survive, like, and stuff no idea about.
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that's such a wonderful question. my subject is not the search for life. i'm actually an astro physicist. something that amuses them
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for the afternoon but if you're ablooking for what you're talking about, they have you can find or you have to go there. other places --
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internship.ou an >> thank you. applause]
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>> hi. is jose. my question is for seth. ou were talking about machines getting smarter than humans in the possible. possible since we're the creators and programs of how can a nes and machine think on its own? >> i think the question really you're asking what about these machines. we create the machines so how could they be a threat to us? be nice to think that if we create the machines they're getting out of line. go to these ai conferences and they're talk is how to itle install moral behavior in -- behavior in the machines. what a complicated way to say the plug if necessary?
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needs to like someone counter seth's repeated the machines -- nsistence that we're fog to be pets or irrelevant. he fact is i mean artificial intelligence and machine intelligence, machine consciousness, awareness if that happens is one of these game on thes that is possibly horizon that makes it unpredictable. have a very le fixed view or pretty strong opinions about what that's going to look like. may have heard of this guy ray curtis who talks about singularity in people who assume that there's going to be his intelligence explosion because machines are going to
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get smart. way a -- of in a and it that it's correct depends on ideas about what brains sness is and how work that we completely don't is. what consciousness we have some idea about how brains work and if it's just a atter of connecting enough processes together that work fast enough and mimic sort of our brains ture of neurons.
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n the sense that each of your individual cells is very similar to the architecture of a cell bargain wheresome they get together and form a higher if we want to be self-aggrandizing individual that sm and in the sense we've recently learned about micro-biomscall the which are germs that are essential parts of you or other organizes. there's a sense in -- organisms. have reached their next
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step of evolution and that's you and maybe we can think of if it ends lligence up affecting the way we interact ith one another and we become part of some new entity in which the machines are doing whatever augmenting us and changing profoundly the nature of what we are. might still live in that whatever it is. bacteria think they got such a bad deal with this next step of evolution? no. inside you l living doing what bacteria do. it's great. umans may ultimately become embedded in this new partnership with machines and maybe it will problem us solve this of how do we be social and a larger scale. so you tioned the chips can recognize people instantly and know about them and not forget them. a profound change in the way we interact. we would still be human beings. way to think of it is
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that this machine augmentation achine intelligence will just be a facileation of the next step in human evolution and aybe there are ways which it will actually help us to do global t being a species. >> i think a lot of times we actually have enough imagination. i'm going back to some of the emotional aspects of this. movie heard?he that was very interesting. it's a movie that at first uninteresting to me. it's about a guy that falls in operating system of his smart phone. siri. it was much more interesting because the operating system had complex and the operating systems of all these interacting together that they figured out emotions before we did.
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they didn't kill us. us fell if love with becoming our perfect friends and lovers. us. hen lost interest in there was so much more emotional richness and experiences to have group then left. didn't hurt us. went on to something else that experience.t constantly ist i'm not suppressed with human consciousness. work in 11th dimensional space nd as a four dimensional creature, i can't tell you what that means. deal with this space and we are not this wonderful pinnacle of evolution. a long way to go before we understand the simple physics eyes. in front of our i cannot understand a quantum thinkics problem unless i in 11 dimensions and my brain
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doesn't do that. i'm really looking forward to augmentation of devices in be able to at may time.hend dimensions of
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. ank you so my question is for
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michelle. ecause of all these technological advancements happening through the last 20 ears, do you think that the mars landing will happen sooner than people have thought of before? >> the mars landing. the question is will it happen sooner than we hope. headquarters which deals with the digiti own politics. landing would be incredibly difficult but not impossible. -- nowhere near the budget to do that. thing that's a little bit in icult is this is a time history where i think there's life on a moon of saturn but we go t have the budget to there. right. we're so close. us.ething is tantalizing we could technologically send a human mission to mars but proposal nor has
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there ever been that comes funding it.se to right now people all over the world are saying let's go to mars. mars. no. here may be another event like apollo or politically something just kick starts it. china actually has potential to go to mars, maybe the united states will figure something out that but right now, it's frustrate frustrati -- but right now i have to say there's nothing even the budget of
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proposed. there's a well known researcher who says you can get to mars if $4 billion which is not a lot but it seems like a lot. >> 4 billion? that's nothing >> earn it on my paper route. o you could do it quickly if you had the money. but i would like to ask you guys a question, how many of you to go to mars? okay. how many -- that's a fair fraction that would fill up the rocket ship. of you would go to mars on a one-way ticket. zero.not it's not zero. >> why? very interesting because there's an initiative netherlands called mars one. it's not to say you land there later you're dead although you might be but that's not the idea. like, the s you go, pilgrims on the may flower.
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owngo there and set up your society there and that might work. that is worth mentioning mars 1 is not affiliated with any space program. it's a reality television show. don't have any rockets but this is just so you can tell the other kids, hey, i'm signed to go to mars. would many of you contribute $100 for a program one person, the current president of the united states, to mars on a one-way trip. [laughter] >> that's not a fair question in boulder, colorado. >> i know. playing to my audience. >> actually, david brings up an interesting point though. the nasa budget is about the federal % of udget so if you all gave 1 hundreded a year, that would ten times our budget. to do that.gh money
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that's another interesting question. will to the political put that tax money in to get to mars. i would love to go back to the moon personally. love to actually establish a moon base and develop the technology to take mars from there. of my personal thing. thank you. [applause] >> all right. guy, you're the last question. no pressure. >> regarding the idea of how might that affect our education system with wealth of knowledge available? education, look at it. the first six years of your
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life. then you go off to school. graduate to high school. to go for going another four years through college and then by the way most you want l be told that dream job as a weight amusement park so you better get a graduate degree. here is the design plan for homo sapiens. you're born. for six years. years, n for the next 18 the next 18 or 20 years, you're in school and you learn some things. get a job out and where you get to exploit some of those things for maybe 30, 40 years. and then that's it and they throw you into the froubd and the whole system goes into the ground. not a good use of you. right. want to do that.
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we may have to separate the need livelihood.or a people talk about universal basic income. f there are not jobs but we have a society that has lot as of resources, that's only a to lem if you need a job be a livlyhood and it may the whole purpose of education mpose back to the ideal of a liberal education which is you're educating yourself to be n educated person and not for vocational training. maybe you can do it all with a chip and spend the rest of your life playing. that would be fun. >> a weekend every day of the week. [laughter] [applause] >> do you want to add anything that?
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>> you've been an awesome audience. thank the panelists. this is way interesting. future. off into the applause] noise] >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, this "washington post" technology fung discusses equifax data breach. about endan boyl talks his new bill that would
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eliminate the debt ceiling. about the federal overnment's role in providing disaster relief after hurricane and hurricane irma. join the discussion. >> hillary clinton gives her personal account of the 2016 campaign and election in her memoir, "what happened." monday we'll be live from the warner theater in washington former first lady and presidential candidate talks aide and politics bookstore owner. tuesday, french president visited the island of st. martin. the island which is part of took a direct y hit from hurricane irma late last week. photoroed a

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