Governments Shut Down the Internet Hundreds of Times in 2019 – Futurism

Fake News

According to a new report by digital rights group Access Now, dozens of world governments intentionally shut offthe internet more than 200 times last year, affecting tens of millions of people world wide.

This kind of harm may on its face look less damaging from the standpoint of scope, reads the report. Yet these silenced voices may be absolutely crucial for alerting the public to human rights violations and abuse, and for getting help to those impacted.

According to the new report, India had the most shutdowns in 2019: 121 occasions, the majority of which occurred in the disputed Kashmir region. Venezuela, the second on the list, only shut down the internet 12 times.

Access Now also found an increasing number of shutdowns were smaller, but targeting specific groups of people.

In 2019, there were at least 14 cases of internet providers significantly slowing down the connection, rather than a complete blackout. The idea is to stifle sharing of multimedia, particularly over social media. Most of these cases ended up in a complete blackout eventually.

The shutdowns often appeared to be responses to public protests, according to the report, which framed them as an overreaching method to stifle dissent.

It seems more and more countries are learning from one another and implementing the nuclear option of internet shutdowns to silence critics, or perpetrate other human rights violations with no oversight, Access Now told the BBC.

READ MORE: What happens when the internet vanishes? [BBC]

More on the internet: In the Face of Climate Change, the Internet Is Unsustainable

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Governments Shut Down the Internet Hundreds of Times in 2019 - Futurism

Anti-Coke Lawsuit: "Plastic Is Set to Outweigh Fish in the Ocean" – Futurism

Environmental group Earth Island Institute filed a lawsuit in California last week against Coke, Pepsi, Nestl, and a number of other plastic polluters for knowingly misleading the public about how much of their produced plastic is being recycled (and landing in the ocean instead), VICE reports.

These companies should bear the responsibility for choking our ecosystem with plastic, said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute, in a statement sent to The Guardian. They know very well that this stuff is not being recycled, even though they are telling people on the labels that it is recyclable and making people feel like its being taken care of.

At this rate, plastic is set to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, the complaint reads, as quoted by VICE. The complaint also alleges that the ten companies named in the suit are guilty of engaging in a decades-long campaign to deflect blame for the plastic pollution crisis to consumers.

This is the first suit of its kind, Phillips said in a statement. These companies are going to have to reveal how much theyve known about how little of this stuff is being recycled.

According to 2017 numbers, the US only recycled roughly nine percent of all produced plastic with the rest ending up in incinerators (about 12 percent), or the landfill.

And that was before China, formerly Americas largest importer of recycling materials, banned most types of plastic imports in 2018. The ban recycling programs across the globe to stall and landfill to pile up.

Beverage companies shot back saying that they were already working on a solution, of course:

Americas beverage companies are already taking action to address the issue by reducing our use of new plastic, investing to increase the collection of our bottles [], and collaborating with legislators and third-party experts to achieve meaningful policy resolutions, read a statement by an American Beverage Association spokesman, as quoted by Bloomberg.

READ MORE: Coke and Pepsi sued for creating a plastic pollution nuisance [The Guardian]

More on plastic: China Announces Plan to Ban Single-Use Plastics

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Anti-Coke Lawsuit: "Plastic Is Set to Outweigh Fish in the Ocean" - Futurism

A top Silicon Valley futurist on how AI, AR and VR will shape fashion’s future – Vogue Business

Key takeaways:

Entrepreneur and investor Peter Diamandis predicts that the future of shopping will be always on, thanks to ubiquitous augmented reality.

Artificial intelligence is in position to streamline and personalise the process, while virtual reality shopping can be successful if it creates a more social experience.

Brands should prepare for far more data collection by asking the right questions and using AI to correlate more details.

SAN FRANCISCO Heres the future of shopping, as Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Peter Diamandis sees it: augmented reality glasses will present an always-on shopping mode, artificially intelligent digital assistants will know your taste better than you and clothing will be made exactly to your measurements.

And it could happen faster than one might think, he says. Diamandiss book, The Future is Faster Than You Think, out today and co-written with Steven Kotler, outlines his vision for how a number of converging innovations will drastically and imminently change industries like retail and advertising.

Diamandis is in the business of looking toward the future. In 1994, he founded the X Prize Foundation, which rewards technological development and whose board of trustees include filmmaker James Cameron, media mogul Arianna Huffington and Google co-founder Larry Page. In 2008, he co-founded Singularity University, the Silicon Valley innovation school that counts Moncler among its pupils.

On the fashion front, Diamandis outlines three key developments on his radar: shopping through virtual reality, in which an AI fashion advisor is there to guide you; AR shopping that is supercharged by AI and 5G; and 3D printing and just-in-time manufacturing.

The proliferation of AI and AI assistants, he says, will play a significant role in intuiting what people want and influencing purchasing decisions.

The question is, can AI ultimately become a better fashion adviser to me than any human can?I believe the answer is going to be yes because AI will know me even better than myself, he says. But this decade is less about AI displacing humans [and] more about AI-human collaboration.

Here is what Diamandis thinks fashion should be thinking about in the 2020s. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

AR and VR are two of your core pillars influencing fashion, but it seems that AR has so far been leading the charge.

If you look at comments by [Apple CEO] Tim Cook and others, they expect that augmented reality will be 10x the opportunity of VR. That's true.

We talk in the book about turning on shopping mode, so as you're walking down the street [wearing AR glasses], rather than seeing what the shop owner puts in the window, your AI knows what you're shopping for, your size and your favourite colours. Imagine looking into a window and seeing what's in the store that you might actually like. Even more interesting is if youre looking at a friends dress or jacket, and if you've got shopping mode on, the price and the designer pops up, and you can buy it right then.

What I find fascinating is being able to determine how the world sees you. Like [having] different ringtones depending on who is calling, imagine having a digital wardrobe so that when this group of friends sees you, you're wearing [one outfit], when strangers see you, youre wearing [something different].

Diamandis's new book, co-written with Steven Kotler, discusses how technological convergence could increase the pace of change in transportation, retail, advertising, education, health, entertainment, food and finance.

So why hasnt fashion been successful with VR? Three years ago, everyone in fashion was really excited about it.

VR has failed from the lack of being a social experience. But that's going to get solved. When you walk into a VR store, an AI fashion attendant will say, What are you looking for? And you can see in front of yourself a fashion show where everyone on the runway is you.

And there's also a digital twin of everything you own, which is fascinating. You can say, What is that going to look like with my shoes, my handbag, my tie? or whatever it might be.

A lot of these technologies are years away from becoming mainstream. Are there any specific technologies that a fashion brand should invest in now?

It's all about data and asking great questions, and I can start to ask AI to analyse it.

There is already a combination of sensors and networks, and we're heading toward a world where it's going to be possible for you to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere. Now, you can look up the GDP of Ghana in about 30 seconds, but if I asked you how many red sports cars have driven down the street in the last half hour? That's unlikely but the information is there.

Were heading toward what I call a trillion sensor economy which means that there will be cameras everywhere. So if I'm a fashion designer, I can ask, What colours are most popular today walking down Madison Avenue? Does it correlate with the temperature or the weather? Does it correlate with any fashion campaigns or Vogue covers?

While some of this technology might already exist, customers might not be ready to adopt it. How can brands navigate that without moving too fast?

The reality is for consumers to adopt; there really needs to be a 10x better price-performance improvement. It can't be a little bit better. It has to be a lot better. Sometimes you have to do that at your own cost to get people to shift over.

Amazon prioritised speed, cost and variety over profitability, but they won the world.But, its important to note, the adoption rate for technologies is accelerating.

Your book references the success of Amazon, but it hasnt yet mastered luxury fashion. Is Amazon well-positioned to offer luxury concessions?

Amazon's brand stands for cheaper, faster, more variety which is the opposite [of luxury]. Amazon is a global fulfilment house and a front-end for search. They'll have to do luxury goods through someone else's brand.

I mentor CEOs about software as a service and AI as a service. Every company today needs to rethink how they're building their organisation. You're not hiring the same old groups of people and building a giant org chart stuffed with people. You're now building an organisation where you have layers of software. Your fulfilment layer may be delivered by Amazon; your customer service layer may be provided by Amazon; your marketing may be provided by Amazon. And you're really at the top of the stack deciding what products you want to provide, shaping your brand.

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A top Silicon Valley futurist on how AI, AR and VR will shape fashion's future - Vogue Business

‘Futuring’ can help us survive the climate crisis. And guess what? You’re a futurist too – The Conversation AU

Editors note: Today, on Trust Me, Im An Expert, we hear from Clare Cooper, design lecturer at the University of Sydney, on how futuring techniques can help us think collectively about life under a drastically hotter climate. Her accompanying essay is below.

Australians, no matter where we are, are coming to acknowledge that our summers and our autumns, winters and springs are forever changed.

We are, bit by bit, reviewing our assumptions. Whether we need to radically rethink our calendars, or question where and how we rebuild homes and towns, we face a choice: collective, creative adaptation or increased devastation.

How might this time next year feel - anxious, hot and sticky? How might it smell - like bushfire smoke? How might it taste - would seafood and berries still be on the menu in future summers as our climate changes? (One of my favourite placards at a recent climate rally was shit climate = shit wine).

When we think about this time next year, are we freaking out, or are we futuring?

Read more: Why we should make time for remembering the future

Futuring is sometimes called futures studies, futurology, scenario design or foresight thinking. It has been used in the business world for decades.

Futuring means thinking systematically about the future, drawing on scientific data, analysing trends, imagining scenarios (both plausible and unlikely) and thinking creatively. A crucial part of the process is thinking hard about the kind of future we might want to avoid and the steps needed to work toward a certain desired future.

But futurists arent magical people who sweep in and solve problems for you. They facilitate discussions and collaboration but the answers ultimately come from communities themselves. Artists and writers have been creatively imagining the future for millennia. Futuring is a crucial part of design and culture-building.

My research looks at how futuring can help communities work toward a just and fair transition to a drastically warmer world and greater weather extremes.

Collaborative futuring invites audiences to respond to probable, possible, plausible and preposterous future scenarios as the climate crisis sets in. This process can reveal assumptions, biases and possible courses of action.

Read more: How we forecast future technologies

Futuring is not predicting futures.

Its a way of mixing informed projections with imaginative critical design to invite us to think differently about our current predicaments. That can help us step back from the moment of panic and instead proactively design steps to change things for the better not 20 years from now, but from today.

If you peeked into a futuring workshop with adults, you might see a lot of lively conversations and a bunch of post-it notes. For kids, you might see them making collages, or creating cardboard prototypes of emerging technology.

You might have done some futuring today, talking with friends and family about changes you might make as it becomes obvious our summers will grow only hotter.

Ive seen futuring occur at my daughters school, where children are invited to imagine being on the other side of a difficult problem, and then work out the steps needed to get there.

Read more: 'This situation brings me to despair': two reef scientists share their climate grief

When we are imagining this time next year, are we limiting our (mostly city-dwelling) thinking to how we avoid the conditions we faced in this summer?

For example, are we thinking about staying away from bushfire-prone areas, or buying air purifiers and face masks? For those who can afford it, are we thinking about booking extended overseas holidays?

Or are we challenging each other to think beyond such avoidance strategies: to imagine a post-Murdoch press and a post-fossil fuel lobby future? Can we imagine ways to respond to extreme weather beyond individual prepping?

Including a diverse range of voices, especially Indigenous community members, is crucial to a just transition to a warmer world. We cant allow a changed climate to mean comfortable adaptation for a wealthy elite while everyone else suffers.

Many of us have joined climate protests in recent months and years.

But more work needs to be done and bigger questions asked. What steps are needed to meet demands for public ownership of a renewable energy system: more support for those battling and displaced by bushfires? How do we work toward First Nations justice, including funding for Indigenous-led land management, jobs on Country, and land and water rights?

It is not enough to pin an image of our future to a wall and pray we get there.

Short term fixes in the form of drought or emergency relief wont address the fact that extreme weather events are not going away.

Responsible, useful futuring mixes equal parts of imagination and informed projections. Its not wild speculation. Futuring practitioners draw on scientific and social data, and weave it with the stories, concerns and desires of those present to find new ways into a problem.

Read more: What would a fair energy transition look like?

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating last year criticised the Morrison government for what he saw as a lack of vision:

If you look, there is no panorama. Theres no vista. Theres no shape. Theres no talk about where Australia fits in the world.

Prime Minister Scott Morrisons performance during the unfolding bushfire horrors widely perceived as lacklustre suggests growing thirst for bolder vision on dealing with the new normal.

In their book Design and the Question of History, design scholars Tony Fry, Clive Dilnot and Susan Stewart argue that we should speak of catastrophe in order to avoid it.

Polish-born sociologist Zygmunt Bauman wrote

prophesying the advent of that catastrophe as passionately and vociferously as we can manage is the sole chance of making the unavoidable avoidable and perhaps even the inevitable impossible to happen.

We owe it to those worst affected by the climate crisis and to ourselves to dedicate time to collaborative futuring as we rethink life in an increasingly hostile climate.

The next time youre having a chat about this time, next year, are you collectively fretting or collaboratively futuring?

Everything you need to know about how to listen to a podcast is here.

Additional audio credits

Kindergarten by Unkle Ho, from Elefant Traks.

Not Much by Podington Bear, from Free Music Archive

Above Us by David Szesztay, from Free Music Archive

Pshaw by Podington Bear, from Free Music Archive

Podcast episode recorded and edited by Sunanda Creagh.


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'Futuring' can help us survive the climate crisis. And guess what? You're a futurist too - The Conversation AU

The fashion futurist: how Vogue’s wartime editor revolutionised women’s lives – The Guardian

Amid the rubble of a bombed building stands a woman, immaculate in hat and gloves, wearing the kind of nipped-in suit that screams 1940s chic.

Her back is to the camera, her expression unreadable as she surveys the wreckage. But the caption reads: Fashion is indestructible. Even in the midst of horror, this image by the legendary fashion photographer Cecil Beaton is saying, womens lives go on. Yet they cannot be untouched by the world around them, nor unchanged by it.

The picture was conceived for British Vogue in 1941 by its wartime editor Audrey Withers, and, as a new biography by the historian Julie Summers makes clear, captures something of her pioneering beliefs. Dressed For War tells the story of a woman who brought frontline war reporting to her pages alongside features on spring hats, arguing passionately that female readers should be equally curious about both. It is simply not modern, she wrote in 1946, to be unaware of or uninterested in what is going on all around you.

But like many women whose horizons expanded dramatically during wartime, Withers struggled with the pressure to retreat back into a traditional role afterwards. The editor who had the ear of powerful men in government, and often proofed her pages from a makeshift office in the cellar as bombs fell overhead, had thrived on the idea of doing something meaningful. When she was putting Vogue to bed, she was in her element, says Summers. She was being bombed, but she was doing this, and at that moment she realised that Vogue had a purpose beyond promulgating fashion. It was really about influencing womens lives. Not for nothing did the head of the board of trade once call her the most powerful woman in London.

Summers first became fascinated by her while researching a book on wartime fashion for the Imperial War Museum, only to discover a more personal connection. I was having lunch with an uncle and I told him how enthused I was about this woman, and he just leant back in his chair and went: Darling, didnt you know she was Grandpas cousin? And I didnt know. It was, she explains, a big family but she hadnt heard the story before: Withers was not one to blow her own trumpet.

Withers was born in 1905, into an unusually free-thinking family. Her mother, Mary, had been university-educated, while Summers describes her father, Percy, a doctor who had stopped work through ill health, as a very liberal father who fostered self-reliance in his daughters. The young Audrey read English at Oxford, worked in a bookshop and then got a job in publishing before being made redundant, on the grounds (then perfectly legal) that the company wanted a man instead. She was devastated, but that led her to answer a newspaper ad for a subeditor at Vogue, where she flourished. She was only 35 when, with her American boss stranded overseas by the war, she stepped into the editors chair.

The practical challenges of publishing in wartime were daunting. Paper was rationed and, by 1941, so were clothes, an existential problem for an industry built on craving the new and pretty. (Were she alive today, Withers would surely recognise the pressure on glossy magazines to stop pushing fast fashion because of its impact on the planet; Summers thinks she would have been all over current thinking with remodelling and reusing clothes: for environmental reasons). Staff were bombed out of their homes and the magazines Old Bond Street headquarters was hit at least once. The idea of writing about hemlines amid such death and destruction may seem incongruous, but maintaining some semblance of normality on the home front was seen as an important act of defiance against the Nazis. Besides, it soon emerged that Vogue had a role in the war effort.

Withers met regularly with the Treasury and the Ministry of Information, who saw magazines as a better channel than newspapers for communicating with women about the sacrifices that would be needed. And Vogue was seen as particularly important, because its readers were influential women who could set trends. Initially, the message was they should keep shopping for the benefit of the economy, but all that changed in 1941; clothing factories were making military uniforms, rationing came in, and women were urged to make do and mend old clothes. (Even Withers rewore the same few outfits endlessly; Summers says her wardrobe consisted of little more than three suits and some blouses for work, one wool dress for evenings, and slacks and a jumper at weekends).

Vogue commissioned designers to show what could be done with utility clothing, a government-approved range available to buy with ration coupons. It ran features on growing your own vegetables and even promoted short haircuts, amid fears about female factory workers getting their hair tangled in machinery.

But Withers wasnt content merely to churn out propaganda. She wanted her readers to really get the war, says Summers. Which is where Lee Miller, the model turned war photographer and reporter, came in.

Miller was American, enabling her to get accreditation via the American military (British troops wouldnt accommodate a female photographer). But she needed a press sponsor and Withers stepped in. One of Millers first dispatches for Vogue was from St Malo on the Brittany coast, where she had expected to be covering a surrender to the Americans but instead found herself in the thick of battle, capturing pictures of what would turn out to be napalm attacks: the war censor refused to let Vogue use them.

Miller also had an eye for things a man might have missed. Arriving in newly liberated Paris, she sent back pictures of a hair salon where small boys powered the dryers by pedalling furiously on bicycles hooked up to a furnace. In Munich, she got into Hitlers private apartment after he had fled and had herself photographed in his bathtub, her dirty army-issue boots placed on his primrose-yellow bathmat.

But she wrote for Vogue, too, about the massacres of women and children in occupied France and sent back harrowing images of skeletal bodies from the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Withers agonised over whether her war-weary readers could cope with this, but eventually included one picture, berating herself later for not running as many as the newspapers did.

Unsurprisingly, both women found adjusting to peacetime difficult. After the atrocities she had witnessed, Summer says, Miller suffered from PTSD but she also struggled to find substitutes for the intense adrenaline highs of war reporting. Withers, meanwhile, was battling against her American publishers expectations that she would meekly return to producing a conventional fashion paper.

In 1946, she wrote a long memo to her American editor-in-chief Edna Chase, arguing passionately that Vogues future was to cover every subject in which the intelligent sophisticated woman is currently interested, and that its politics must be progressive. Politics could not be ignored, Withers argued, when it shaped everything in womens lives from education and health to prices in shops. Moreover, to avoid political arguments was political in itself, because it meant consenting to the status quo and that was innately conservative: One is being every whit as political, for instance, in giving ones tacit approval to things as they are in pressing for change. It is an old rightwing trick to sit tight and say nothing (because thats the best way of keeping things as they are) and to accuse the left wing of being political because it is forced to be vocal in advocating anything new.

It is striking how contemporary that argument sounds, now that British Vogue urges its readers to become forces for change while American Teen Vogue takes on Donald Trump. But it was too much for Chase, who said that Vogue should develop the taste and manners of its readers and let them set the pattern of their political thinking themselves.

She had lost that argument, but Withers kept pushing the boundaries throughout the 50s. She hired a female motoring correspondent, at a time when very few women drove themselves, and argued that women should feature in Vogue in their own right rather than as famous mens wives. (Tellingly, the woman in that fashion is indestructible picture wasnt a professional model, but the BBCs first female TV announcer). She prided herself on hiring as beauty editor Evelyn Forbes, a mother of four who was the breadwinner in her marriage, at a time when middle-class women were still expected to stop work after getting married.

Withers herself did not have children, which Summers suspects may have been by choice. She and her salesman husband, Jock, were a famously glamorous, social couple, but Jock was repeatedly unfaithful and they eventually divorced.

Yet painful as his pursuit of other women must have been, in some ways their rather distant relationship was professionally liberating. I think Jocks interest in other women almost gave Audrey the licence to run her own life as she wanted, says Summers, who points out that she wouldnt have been free to work such long hours had she had a husband waiting impatiently at home. I think they drifted apart, but she never hated Jock.

After the divorce, she married a man called Victor Kennett, who had propositioned her years earlier, while she was still with Jock (she briefly considered leaving her husband at the time, but feared a scandal). Kennett was more possessive of her time, and when Withers retired from Vogue in 1959 she largely retreated from public life one reason, Summers thinks, she did not remain as well known as other pioneering women of the era. But now, perhaps, her moment has come.

Dressed for War: the Story of Audrey Withers, Vogue Editor Extraordinaire from the Blitz to the Swinging Sixties, by Julie Summers, is published by Simon & Schuster on 6 February (RRP 20). To order a copy for 17.60 go to Free UK p&p over 15.

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The fashion futurist: how Vogue's wartime editor revolutionised women's lives - The Guardian

Scientists Want to Explore Ocean With "Cyborg Jellyfish" – Futurism

A team of Stanford and Caltech scientists attached low-power microelectronics to the undersides of jellyfish to create biohybrid robots that swim three times as fast as normal ones.

The idea is to one day allow cyborg jellyfish, equipped with sensors, to explore the vast depths of our planets oceans rather than relying on unwieldy and inefficient submarines, Scientific American reports.

In a trial, the scientists were capable of using electrical jolts from microelectronic controllers to make jellyfish swim not only faster but also more efficiently,according to a paper published in Science Advances today.

Weve shown that theyre capable of moving much faster than they normally do, without an undue cost on their metabolism, said co-author and Stanford bioengineering PhD candidate Nicole Xu, in a statement.

This reveals that jellyfish possess an untapped ability for faster, more efficient swimming, Xu added. They just dont usually have a reason to do so.

Thanks to the simplicity of the design, the electronics use orders of magnitude less external power per mass than other aquatic robots, according to the paper.

The jellyfish cyborgs could revolutionize the way we explore the mysteries of the planets oceans. To do that, the researchers are already looking to take their project a step further by adding controls, using only a few modifications to the microelectronics.

If we can find a way to direct these jellyfish and also equip them with sensors to track things like ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, and so on, we could create a truly global ocean network where each of the jellyfish robots costs a few dollars to instrument and feeds themselves energy from prey already in the ocean, said lead author and Caltech mechanical engineer John Dabiri.

READ MORE: Cyborg Jellyfish Could One Day Explore the Ocean [Scientific American]

More on cyborgs: This Biohacker Conference Sounds Absolutely Outrageous

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Scientists Want to Explore Ocean With "Cyborg Jellyfish" - Futurism

Google Says Its Chatbot Is Capable of Near-Human Conversation – Futurism

Better Tay

If youve ever tried to have a conversation with a chatbot, you know that even todays state-of-the-art systems arent exactly eloquent, regularly doling out nonsensical orpainfully generic responses.

Now, though, Google has created Meena, a chatbot it says is better than any other its tested a claim the company supports using a new metric it developed specifically to measure an AIs conversational abilities.

After creating Meena, a process detailed in a paper published on the preprint server arXiv, Google needed a way to evaluate the chatbot. To that end, it developed something it calls the Sensibleness and Specificity Average (SSA).

To compute this metric, Google asked human workers to conduct about 100 free-form conversations with Meena and several other open-domain chatbots. Each time the chatbot responded, the worker had to answer two questions about the response.

First, did it make logical and contextual sense within the conversation? If yes, they then had to answer the question, Was it specific to the conversation? This was to weed out any generic responses for example, if the human wrote that they liked tennis, and the chatbot responded, Thats nice, the response would be tagged as not specific.

Google determined that an average human would achieve an SSA score of 86 percent.

The other chatbots in the teams study scored between 31 percent and 56 percent. Meena, however, scored a 79 percent putting the AI closer to the level of conversation expected from a human than another chatbot.

READ MORE: Meena is Googles attempt at making true conversational AI [VentureBeat]

More on chatbots: Taylor Swift Reportedly Threatened Microsoft Over Racist Chatbot

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Google Says Its Chatbot Is Capable of Near-Human Conversation - Futurism

Smart Bandage Detects Infections, Auto-Releases Antibiotic – Futurism

A colorful new weapon has emerged in the war on antibiotic resistance.

On Wednesday, researchers in China published a study in the journal ACS Central Science detailing their creation of a new kind of smart bandage. At first, when you apply it to a wound, the bandage is green. But if it detects a bacterial infection, the bandage turns yellow and releases a built-in antibiotic to treat the infection.

And if the bandage senses the presence of drug-resistant bacteria the kind that traditional antibiotics alone can have trouble killing it releases the antibiotic and turns red. As that point, doctors can shine a light on the bandage, which causes the material to release special molecules that can kill the bacteria or at least weaken it enough to improve the efficacy of the antibiotic.

When the team tested the smart bandage on mice, it improved the healing times for wounds containing either drug-sensitive or drug-resistant E. coli bacteria.

Because the bandages themselves can detect and treat the bacteria, they can dramatically cut the time between when an infection forms and when treatment begins. The added capability to know when the bacteria is drug-resistant could make the bandages even more helpful, given that the rise in antibiotic resistance is a full-on global health crisis in need of creative solutions.

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Smart Bandage Detects Infections, Auto-Releases Antibiotic - Futurism

The Politics of Fast – Governing

Speed has never mattered more. Increasing velocity to a near-breaking point is celebrated in business and sports both for its own sake and for the damage it does to slow-footed competitors so much so that speed has become a strategy in its own right. Although said more quietly than in years past, the mantra of Silicon Valley's boardrooms and engineering teams continues to be "move fast and break things."

As a result, in the last decade we've seen incredible technological innovations leading to just as incredible economic and political disruptions. Consider that barely more than a decade ago, Uber and Airbnb were just small startups, social media had virtually no impact on national security, electric cars were rare enough to be a curiosity (and self-driving vehicles were more dream than reality), and we talked to each other on our phones instead of having our phones talk to us. But according to two influential observers of technology and society, when it comes to change and disruption, we ain't seen nothing yet.

In their new book The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives (Simon & Schuster), Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler are unequivocal about not only what is coming but, more importantly, how fast it will be here. The cite the work of the inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil and forecast that, because of converging technologies and exponential growth in computing power, we will experience "twenty thousand years of technological change over the next one hundred years. ... This means paradigm-shifting, game-changing, nothing-is-ever-the-same-again breakthroughs such as affordable aerial ridesharing will not be an occasional affair. They'll be happening all the time." Then, in either an exciting or ominous prediction depending on your faith in humanity, they add, "It means, of course, that flying cars are just the beginning."

And flying cars are just the beginning. The authors fly through life-and-society-changing disruptions that they see on the horizon, from gene editing to touchable holograms to the doubling of lifespans. As a human being, many of these innovations are exciting. As a policymaker, each is mind-bending for its implications for governance, funding and the social contract.

Consider, for example, increasing longevity through such emerging technologies as gene editing and the printing of replacement body parts. If in the not-so-far future people will be living 20 or 30 years longer, what does that do to Social Security, the environment, the health-care system, housing and jobs, the family structure, politics, and so much more? And what if it's only a small percentage of the population who can afford these interventions and life expectancy for the poor continues to fall?

None of these questions are answered in the book, nor could they be. After all, many of the biggest impacts of any innovation will be unintended or inconceivable. Who would've thought that a site to connect Harvard students would later become a company that dwarfs most national economies and can be manipulated by Russian bots, all while rewriting the social lives of a generation?

For those of us in policymaking, the question is whether we can keep up. First, can we bring our own processes up to the modern expectations? When companies are anticipating their customers' needs and wants and delivering them near instantly, government can't continue to take weeks and months to respond to paper forms delivered only during business hours often closed during lunch to a clerk in an inconvenient and unwelcoming government building. Not only will we anger our constituencies but also will, if we haven't already, be seen as irrelevant and obsolete.

Second, what we do as regulators is even more important. As the authors make clear, in a globalized and convergent world, there is very little change that can or will be stopped. But speed for speed's sake will not produce great or equitable solutions. Government will need to understand, engage and iterate policies quickly with each disruption.

At the end of the book, the authors warn, "Now, for certain, trying to grope with a century's worth of technological change unfolding over the next decade is a tall order, and trying to do this with our local and linear brains makes it ever more complicated." It's crucial that we, as policymakers, understand the changes coming to nearly every aspect of our lives and society. It's even more crucial that we, in partnership with the inventors, companies, ethicists and watchdogs, develop iterative processes to manage these changes with equity in mind even if it slows things down a bit.

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The Politics of Fast - Governing

Someone Hacked Dozens of United Nations Servers – Futurism

Cyber Threat

The United Nations was the target of a sophisticated hack in the summer of 2019, according to a confidential internal report obtained by The New Humanitarian.

The report claims that the hack affected dozens of UN servers and compromised staff records, health insurance, and commercial contract data. But most workers affected by the hack are only hearing about it now.

The hackers targeted servers at the United Nations Geneva and Vienna offices, as well as at the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

After viewing the report, Jake Williams, CEO of the cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec, told the Associated Presshe believes the hack was an act of espionage.

The attackers have a goal in mind and are deploying malware to machines that they believe serve some purpose for them, Williams explained.

According to the report, which is dated September 20, 2019, the UN hack began in mid-July 2019 and was detected the next month. However, many of the staff affected only heard about it following the reports leak.

Staff at large, including me, were not informed, Ian Richards, president of the Staff Council at the United Nations, told the AP. All we received was an email (on Sept. 26) informing us about infrastructure maintenance work.

READ MORE: Leaked report shows United Nations suffered hack [Associated Press]

More on cyberattacks: Hacker Group Seizes Twitter, Facebook Accounts of 15 NFL Teams

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Someone Hacked Dozens of United Nations Servers - Futurism

Brent Csutoras on the Evolution of Social Media, the Rise of SEJ & His Fascinating Journey [PODCAST] – Search Engine Journal

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You really, really, really need to have somebody that you can get along with. Your partners and the people that youre involved with, you have to spend some time getting to know how they operate under distress and have a plan for how youre going to deal with the financials Nobody wants to invest when youre going to the next level, but I think a real, true business structure is essential.

For episode 180 of The Search Engine Journal Show, its my turn to interview Brent Csutoras, Co-Owner of Search Engine Journal and a seasoned digital marketing consultant.

Csutoras talks about the evolution of social media, the rise of Search Engine Journal, and his fascinating journey in the industry.

Brent is a digital marketing consultant with over 13 years of combined experience in SEO and social media marketing.

He is also a co-owner at Search Engine Journal and founder of its parent company, Alpha Brand Media.

Aside from having founded various digital agencies throughout the years, he has also spoken at many of the top marketing conferences, such as Pubcon, Affiliate Summit, SMX Advanced, State of Search, SES, UnGagged, SEOktoberfest, and more.

An avid futurist, Brent enjoys focusing on the implications of future technology on society and societal growth.

In todays episode, were turning the tables and putting The Search Engine Journal Shows own Brent Csutoras in the hot seat.

How to connect with Brent Csutoras:

Twitter | LinkedIn |

This podcast is brought to you byAhrefsandOpteo.

Visit ourpodcast archiveto listen to other Search Engine Journal Showpodcasts!

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

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Brent Csutoras on the Evolution of Social Media, the Rise of SEJ & His Fascinating Journey [PODCAST] - Search Engine Journal

Finding the sweet spot in the food conversation – RealAgriculture

How is agriculture and food production impacting the planet? Many naysayers believe our farming and food system is taking its toll, linking agriculture to 10 to 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, while painting it as a resource hog that gobbles up 40 percent of the earths land base and 70 percent of its water.

Jack Bobo, however, believes that agriculture has done a good job feeding an ever-expanding global population. Bobo, a futurist with a hefty food resume, including stops in the U.S. Department of State and the biotechnology industry, says unfortunately most environmental and conservation groups dont share the full story of agriculture.

Bobo admits that agriculture does have its challenges the nitrification of water and deforestation, for example but if you look at where weve come from things look dramatically different, he says.

At the Ontario Certified Crop Advisors Association annual meeting earlier this month Bobo, CEO of Futurity Consulting, shared a different view of agriculture: one that reveals significant progress and efficiencies that have delivered tremendous benefits. He notes that between 1980 and 2011, U.S. farmers reduced the amount of water required to produce a bushel of corn by 50 per cent, while the level of soil erosion caused by each bushel dropped by 60 percent.

Things are wildly better today than they were in the past, but people dont see those productivity gains and believe things are moving in the wrong direction, he says.

Bobo also shared hunger statistics to support his point. He noted that 800 million people on the planet go to bed hungry, about 12 per cent of world population. That sounds like a broken food system but if you went back 30 years ago that number would have been 24 per cent of all the people on the earth, he says. Fifty years ago, 36 percent of all people went to bed hungry. Things are not bad and getting worse, theyre good and getting better, but not fast enough.

In this interview, Bobo tells RealAgricultures Bernard Tobin that when telling agricultures story one of the big challenges farmers face is the declining influence of scientific solutions and evidence. If you lead with science, you are going to lose with science, he says.

Bobo believes its critical for farmers to personalize agricultures story. Farmers need to tell people why they do what they do, acknowledge peoples concerns and understand why people worry about their food. Thats how you build trust, says Bobo. If you build trust then theres an opportunity to engage in a scientific conversation. (Story continues after the interview.)

When he looks at population growth models global population is expected to peak in the 2050s before slowly declining in the second half of the century Bobo notes that agriculture will need consumers blessing to utilize science, technology and innovation if it hopes to meet the planets food needs. In the next 30 to 40 years, we have to produce as much food as we produced in the past 10,000 years of human civilization. Thats an enormous challenges, he says.

To have the necessary freedom to operate and utilize technology advances, Bobo believes all agriculture stakeholders will have to engage with consumers to help build public trust and de-escalate the food conversation. Science tells us what we can do, he notes, but its the public that tells us what we should do.

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Finding the sweet spot in the food conversation - RealAgriculture

Predictions for the 2020s, From a Futurist, a Trend Forecaster and an Astrologer – Vogue

Astrologically, the new decade really doesnt start until the end of this year, on December 21. Every 20 years, Saturn and Jupiter meet. I have learned theyre happy to see each other. They set the tone for the coming 20 years, for culture, for fashion, for government, for literature, for the pace of our days, and our focus.

Jupiter and Saturn are important because theyre in the middle of the solar system. For the past 200 years, theyve always met in earth signs. It was Taurus, and Virgo, and Capricorn. This year, we have a name for it astrologers always call everything terrible namesits called the Grand Mutation. It sounds like the Ebola virus, but its not. Thats when theres a change in element. Saturn and Jupiter are going into air [signs]. Theyre aligning in Aquarius. It has a pretty huge effect on civilization.

The past 200 years, we saw the assembly line, the booming of manufacturing, and the industrial age. These are all earthy things, things you can buy, see, and touch. Now, when we move into the next 20 years where Aquarius is going to dominate, it will be the real flowering of the Age of Aquarius, like the 1960sflower power children. Its a lighter influence, a nonmaterialistic sign.

What Im really excited about is Aquarius likes to work in groups. To tackle big problems, like the environment, people will work across nations. It will no longer be, Well, the United States against France, against Germany, against China. No. These countries will work together in teams to tackle big problems that affect us all. Are the robots coming? Yes. But also, some very wonderful things with medicine.

Saturn, right now, is in Capricorn. Whenever you get a lot of Capricorn planets, you always get a conservative wind blowing through the world. You see it with Brexit, you see it here. In the late 80s and early 90s, there were a lot of planets in Capricorn. We had George Bush as president, and Ronald Reagan. We did in 2016, and Mr. Trump got in. With the next election, its sort of half and half, so its way too early to call. Its not destiny. People say, Whos going to win? I have no idea. We have to vote.

In 1982, Saturn and Jupiter met in an air sign. For the next 20 years, they were in air. Babies born in those years, from 1982 to 2000, those babies are going to lead the brigade into the future.


Predictions for the 2020s, From a Futurist, a Trend Forecaster and an Astrologer - Vogue

These Researchers Want You to Live In a Fungus Megastructure – Futurism

Imagine that you roll out of bed onto a living fungus floor. The walls and ceiling heck, the whole apartment building, down to the plumbing and electrical systems are made of fungus too. Wood and concrete are remnants of the distant past; this entire city, from the schools to the stores to the hospitals, is made ofliving fungus constantly growing, dying off and regenerating itself.

Thats the visionlaid out in a provocative new paper, which a team of European academics say is the first-ever exploration of living fungus potential as a raw material for futuristic, eco-friendly monolithic structures that would, in their telling, revolutionize the entire built environment and economy.

We propose to develop a structural substrate by using live fungal mycelium, reads the paper. Fungal buildings will self-grow, build, and repair themselves.

The idea is a response to the prospect of catastrophic climate change. Growing our building materials from biological materials, the theory goes, would makeconstruction less dependent on fossil fuels and environmentally-destructive mining operations.

Fungal materials can have a wide variety of mechanical properties ranging from foam-like to wood-like to polymer-like to elastomer-like, Han Wsten, a microbiologist at The Netherlands Utrecht University who co-authored the not-yet-peer-reviewed paper, told Futurism. The fact that we can make wood-like materials implies that we can use it for the building industry.

Along with other forms of living materials, fungal architecture is not a new idea other research groups have explored the idea of growing building materials out of mycelium. NASA,for instance, is currently testingwhether fungus could grow in Martian soil, potentially giving the space agency a low-cost way to grow space habitats onsite.

But those projects all involve killing the fungus after it grows, a process that makes it sturdier as a building material that the team says has already been used for load-bearing structures or boundary walls.

So far, they say, no one else has explored the possibility of building monolithic structures out of living fungus.

The selling point of our materials is that it is biodegradable, thereby helping to create a circular economy, Wsten said. At the same time, it should not degrade when actually used as a building material. We can work around this apparent paradox by coating the material. In fact, we also coat wood with paint of oils to protect it against degradation.

It may be that we will find a fungus that creates wood-like materials without the need of pressing, he said.

Even with a coating, Wsten went on to explain, the goal is to keep the fungal architecture alive so that an architect could rejuvenate it with water and trigger further growth if repairs or alternations were necessary. Those same coatings, the team says, could be used to capitalize on the fungus internal structure of networks to replace things like a buildings plumbing, electrical wiring, or other logistical needs.

Important to note: those ideas, like much of the teams research, remain fairly speculative.

Andrew Adamatzky, a computer scientist at the University of the West of England who also co-authored the paper, told Futurism that the team is working to build fungal versions of neuromorphic circuits and other electronics. He conceded that conventional wires are cheaper and easier to work with, but added that the living circuits will be self-growing, self-assembling and self-repairing, which no traditional circuitry can do.

This is really challenging, but a real opportunity to explore how buildings could grow, self-repair, adapt and disrupt conventional ways of building production by working with highly local resources and growing in-situ to minimize logistics and energy use in material production, said Phil Ayres, a co-author of the paper from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, aiming towards a circular economy for construction.

More on living materials: Scientists Create Living Concrete That Can Heal Itself

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These Researchers Want You to Live In a Fungus Megastructure - Futurism

Healthcare Innovator and Futurist to Benefitfocus One Place 2020 – AiThority

Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD to Discuss Healthcare 3.0 at Benefits Technology and Business Conference

Benefitfocus, Inc., a leading cloud-based benefits management platform and services provider, announced that Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD, Professor of Healthcare Innovation and medical futurist, will speak during the annualOne Place Conference.Benefitfocus benefits technology and business conference will be held onMarch 17-19inCharleston, SC.

Read More: The Future of Works Most Crucial Component: Artificial Intelligence

Were excited to welcome Dr. Pillay to our largest, most innovative event of the year. His background as a medical futurist and his 30-year career in healthcare as a clinician, academic and innovator make him well-suited to speak to the rapidly evolving healthcare space and the future of benefits during a pivotal time for change, saidRay August, Benefitfocus President and CEO. Our mission is to simplify employee benefits for everyone by bringing the entire benefits ecosystem together consumers, brokers, employers and carriers. Dr. Pillays experience brings a unique perspective to discussing dynamics and exploring innovative solutions to the toughest industry challenges.

Read More: What is Chinas Password Law and What it Means for the Blockchain Industry?

Dr. Pillay joins retired Air Force Col.Nicole Malachowski, the first woman on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron and a White House Fellow and Adviser, andPhil Hansen, an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker and author. Dr. Pillay will present onWednesday, March 18, at9:00 a.m., on Healthcare 3.0: How Technology is Driving the Transition to Prosumers, Platforms and Outsurance.

Read More: Visa Acquires Plaid for $5.3 Billion; Pledges to Build a Secured Digital Fintech Ecosystem Globally

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Healthcare Innovator and Futurist to Benefitfocus One Place 2020 - AiThority

Meet the futurist with 2020 vision – Sydney Morning Herald

Will wages finally pick up in 2020? Will politicians across the Liberal-Labor divide come to a bipartisan agreement that climate change is a real and future danger? Will the influence of our ageing Baby Boomers begin to wane in the wake of Generation Zs withering catchphrase of 2019, OK, Boomer? Can the #MeToo movement maintain its momentum? Which will be the top box office film franchise release this year: James Bonds No Time to Die in April or Fast & Furious 9 in May? Has the avocado smash had its day?

Futurology is a fascinating, if inexact, science.Credit:Tanya Cooper/

Answering these questions is invigorating stuff. But its all in a days work for futurist Ross Dawson, chairman of the Future Exploration Network, who compares the trajectory of major social movements to a tiny crystal spreading out across an entire frozen block. Take climate change. The anger and frustration among those who accept the science of climate change is growing, while the position of the deniers is becoming more deeply entrenched, he says. This will lead to even greater polarisation. I find it impossible to imagine a scenario in which climate activism will reduce.

Wage growth is likely to remain tepid in 2020, with an expansion in low-wage jobs resulting in a widening wealth divide. If anything, Baby Boomers economic and political clout will increase because asset wealth will continue to outstrip income wealth, with Australia boasting one of the worlds most unaffordable housing markets, Dawson says.

The #MeToo movement sparked a wider debate, not just about sexual harassment but the sexual abuse of power. While there is the inevitable pushback against social movements like #MeToo, its larger implications the balance of power between the genders still has a long way to play out, says Dawson. The recent election of a young, female prime minister in Finland showed whats possible.

While Dawson baulks when I ask him about the likely box-office hits of 2020 and shifting tastes in brunches (Thats not what I do), he predicts the era of peak entertainment content will only intensify in 2020. I read that more than $US100 billion is currently being spent in TV and film production across the Western world. With all our current existential worries, were looking for escapism.

To read more from Good Weekend magazine, visit our page at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times.

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Meet the futurist with 2020 vision - Sydney Morning Herald

Scientists Create "Living Concrete" That Can Heal Itself – Futurism

Its Alive!

Scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder have created whatThe New York Timescalls a living concrete, teeming with photosynthetic bacteria, that can grow itself and regenerate itself much like a living organism.

The concrete is a mixture of gelatin, sand, and cyanobacteria that cools similarly to Jell-O, the Times reports. The resulting structure was able to regenerate itself three times after researchers cut it apart, suggesting apotential breakthrough in the nascent field of self-assembling materials.

The living concrete, which the Colorado scientists made in partnership with DARPA, starts out as a sickly green color that fades as the bacteria dies off, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Matter.

It really does look like a Frankenstein material, UC Boulder engineer and project leader Will Srubar told the NYT.

Even as the color fades, the bacteria survive for several weeks and can be rejuvenated resulting in further growth under the right conditions.

DARPA is particularly interested in a self-growing material that it can use to assemble structures in remote desert areas, or potentially even in space, according to the NYT.

If the living concrete can scale up to that level, it could reduce the amount and weight of materials that space agencies will need to launch.

Theres no way were going to carry building materials to space, Srubar told the NYT. Well bring biology with us.

READ MORE: Bricks Alive! Scientists Create Living Concrete [New York Times]

More on materials: Scientists Create Material With Living Metabolism

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Scientists Create "Living Concrete" That Can Heal Itself - Futurism

Scientists: Ocean Warming at the Rate of Five A-Bombs per Second – Futurism

After analyzing data from the 1950s through 2019, an international team of scientists determined that the averagetemperature of the worlds oceans in 2019 was 0.075 degrees Celsius (.135 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 19812010 average.

That might not seem like a significant amount of warming, but given the massive volume of the oceans, an increase even that small would require a staggering influx of heat 228 sextillion Joules worth, according to the scientists study, which was published in the journalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences on Monday.

Thats a hard number to contextualize, so one of the scientists behind the study did the math to put it into an explosive frame of reference by comparing it to the amount of energy released by the atomic bomb the United States military dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

The Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules, author Lijing Cheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said in a press release. The amount of heat we have put in the worlds oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions.

That averages out to four Hiroshima bombs worth of energy entering the oceans every second for the past 25 years. But even more troubling, the rate isnt holding steady at that alarming figure its increasing.

In 2019, ocean warming was equivalent to about five Hiroshima bombs of heat, every second, day and night, 365 days a year, study author John Abraham, from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, told Vice.

And in case atomic bombs are still too abstract of a comparative unit, the 2019 rate is equivalent to every person on Earth constantly pointing 100 hair dryers at the oceans, Abraham told Vice.

The less technical term is: Its a shit-ton of energy, he said and its already having a hugeimpacting the environment.

Ice is melting faster, causing sea levels to rise. Dolphins and other marine life are dying because they cant adapt quickly enough. Even the increase in the amount of water evaporating into the atmosphere due to the heat is negatively impacting on our planet.

It makes hurricanes and typhoons more powerful, and it makes rainfall more intense, Abraham told Vice. It puts our weather on steroids.

And remember, the rate is increasing meaning that every moment we delay taking action to slow or reverse the warming, the situation is only going to get worse.

READ MORE: 5 Hiroshima Bombs of Heat, Every Second: The Worlds Oceans Absorbed Record-Level Heat Last Year [Vice]

More on ocean warming: Scientists: Warming Oceans Will Lead to Catastrophic Future

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Scientists: Ocean Warming at the Rate of Five A-Bombs per Second - Futurism

2020 Real Estate Newsmakers: The Achievers and the Futurists –

Accomplishments in business. Charitable contributions. Daring leadership. Out-of-the-box thinking. Over the course of the past year, RISMedias 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers contributed to the housing industry in numerous ways, bettering their communities, consumers and larger sphere, across eight categories: Achievers, Crusaders, Futurists, Influencers, Inspirations, Luminaries, Trailblazers and Trendsetters. Here, we showcase their stories.

Matthew BeallCEOHawaii Life

In 2019, Beall and Hawaii Life acquired two firms: Country Brokers and East Oahu Realty. We have enjoyed incredible growth, Beall says. I love my Hawaii Life.

David MarineChief Marketing OfficerColdwell Banker Real Estate

In 2019, Marine led Project North Star, Coldwell Banker Real Estates first rebrand in 40 years. When I go to work or give a talk, I constantly think about how Im not just representing myself, but so many others, Marine says. Its never just about you.Vini MoolchandaniREALTORCompass

In 2019, Moolchandani helped a $900,000 listing sell in 21 daysafter it had been listed by two others and on the market for more than 400 days. I am beyond grateful to be part of this amazing industry and to be able to serve so many families, Moolchandani says.Ward MorrisonPresidentMotto Mortgage

In 2019, Motto Mortgage and Morrison celebrated the companys 150th franchise sale, as well as its third anniversary. One-hundred fifty franchises sold in only three years is an extraordinary feat for a startup franchisor, Morrison says. This growth demonstrates the demand and potential of our business model.Fiona PetrieExecutive Vice President & Managing Director of U.S. OperationsRE/MAX INTEGRA

From 2018 to 2019, RE/MAX INTEGRA grew substantially, with Petrie facilitating 20 new office openings, 36 expansions and 13 mergers and acquisitions. I strive to empower others to discover their own talents in the industry, Petrie says.Lindsay SmithChief Strategy OfficerTitle AllianceIn 2019, Title Alliance appointed Smith as chief strategy officer. My motto is every personemployee, partner and clientshould feel like a VIP at all times, says Smith.

Allen AlishahiCo-Founder & PresidentShelterZoom

In 2019, Alishahi and ShelterZoom debuted Mithra Contract, a fully digital, tokenized smart contract platform. I am helping to bring next-generation technology to our industry, which presents an enjoyable challenge, Alishahi says.AJ CanariaCreative Director & Executive Brand AmbassadorInside Real Estate

At the beginning of the year, Canaria was appointed creative director and executive brand ambassador for Inside Real Estate. I am one of real estates storytellers and connectors, Canaria says.Vy LuuGeneral ManagerReal Estate Webmasters

In 2019, Luu was appointed general manager for Real Estate Webmasters, contributing to its core initiatives, including bringing data standards worldwide. This will open up data and facilitate competition, ultimately benefitting both sides of real estate transactions, Luu says.Mike MiedlerPresident & CEOCentury 21 Real Estate LLC

In 2019, Century 21 Real Estate LLC appointed Miedler to president and CEO, formerly from chief growth officer. Success in real estate comes down to two factors: taking care of and valuing the customer, Miedler says.

Kasey StewartDirector of Member DevelopmentNational Association of REALTORS

In 2019, Stewart continued to develop educational programs at the National Association of REALTORS, including the Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) program. Im incredibly proud to work with NAR volunteer leaders and staff on C2EX, says Stewart. It truly takes a village to launch and grow a program of this magnitude.Gayln ZieglerDirector of Operations, Keller OffersKeller Williams

In 2019, Keller Williams launched Keller Offers, an iBuying program, and appointed Ziegler as its director of Operations. We feel very passionately that the consumer needs an advocate in their corner with all the changes going on in the industry right now, says Ziegler.For more from the 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers, go RISMediasReal Estate magazine. For consideration for the 2021 Real Estate Newsmakers, please email nominations

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2020 Real Estate Newsmakers: The Achievers and the Futurists -

MIT Suspends Another Professor for Epstein Ties – Futurism


MIT has placed tenured mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd on administrative because of a failure to disclose ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased and disgraced financier accused of sex trafficking and other crimes.

Over the years, Epstein donated $225,000 to Lloyds research and also gave him a personal gift of $60,000, according to an extensive report about Epsteins connections to MIT that the university released Friday. Lloyd hid the source of the donations by processing them through various administrators ultimately tainting his research by linking it to Epsteins disgraceful legacy.

The news about Lloyd and his subsequent suspension is just the latest in a string of grim revelations regarding MITs ties to Epstein. While Lloyd admitted to having visited Epstein in prison, Epsteins influence on the university extended far beyond one engineering professor.

Joi Ito, the since-resigned director of the MIT Media Lab also accepted and obscured the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Epstein and millions more that were funneled through Epsteins company. Computer scientist Richard Stallman also resigned in the wake of controversy surrounding off-color comments he made about the scandal.

As news about Epsteins contributions to MIT continued to break, university president Rafael Reif vowed to donate an amount equivalent to Epsteins donations to a charity supporting victims of sexual abuse.

So far, Reif has committed to donating $850,000. But as InsideHigher Ed reports, he hasnt yet determined what organization its going to support.

READ MORE: More Epstein Fallout at MIT [Inside Higher Ed]

More on Epstein and MIT: Bizarre MIT Meeting About Jeffrey Epstein Ends in Tears, Yelling

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MIT Suspends Another Professor for Epstein Ties - Futurism