The 21st century has been an interesting point in the digital revolution and development of computers. Think back to the 50’s and 60’s and we thought that the world would be full of flying cars by 2020. Obviously, we know that’s not the case. But we still have that same mindset. New concepts and technologies are constantly being released, claiming to the be the next big thing. How do we really know what is going to be the next big thing? Perhaps that’s why there’s an entire industry surrounding tech blogging and speculation. This week is more focused on how technology and science have shaped and will shape our future. Obviously, two little articles can’t even come close to representing the complexity of our world, but it’s a fun start.
The title makes it pretty clear. Unless you are a fan of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” it’s likely you have never heard the name of Clair Patterson. It’s a shame really. We all learn about Darwin, Magellan, Einstein, or Edison, but it is rare to learn of Patterson. Because of him, you have probably noticed that friendly little “unleaded fuel only” sticker on your car. But, he did more that just tell us how much we were poisoning ourselves with leaded fuel, he figured out the age of the earth. No big deal.
Another milestone has been achieved in the development of artificial intelligence. This time, it’s not autonomous vehicles or drones, it’s games and strategy. There have been quite a few weird experiments with AI in the past few years. Many scientists agree that AI could be a massive milestone in the advancement of humanity. Others, think it will trigger a doomsday event. Whether or not you are fearful of the day singularity is achieved, it’s a fascinating subject that will likely change the way we work forever. This time, AI has mastered the Chinese game of Go.
It’s easy to forget that behind every successful album, artist, or over-the-top concert is a group of talented artists working together to create something that scratches a creative itch. A project of NPR, Tiny Desk Concerts are a great way to take a peek behind the curtain and see the passion carried by musicians.