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Archive for the ‘policy’ category: Page 32

Apr 4, 2017

RAND Opens Office in the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted by in categories: economics, policy, transportation

RAND has opened an office in the San Francisco Bay Area to foster collaboration with the region’s leaders and researchers working to solve today’s complex problems—issues including technological change and innovation, social inequality, water resource management, and transportation.

“RAND’s research and analysis in technology, science, and economic policy intersect directly with the innovation emerging from the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Michael D. Rich, president and CEO of RAND. “RAND’s new office should help strengthen awareness within the Bay Area community of our long-standing commitment to using evidence and data to help policy and decisionmakers enhance well-being in the region and beyond.”

RAND brings a unique set of tools to address these policy concerns: big-data analytics, gaming, and methods to help people make difficult decisions in the face of uncertainty. Nidhi Kalra, a senior information scientist, is leading the new office and will be convening public- and private-sector stakeholders to discuss important issues. “We want to partner with the region’s technology and innovation communities, to link our research and their expertise to make better policies and improve people’s lives,” she said.

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Apr 3, 2017

Spam detection in the physical world

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, food, policy, robotics/AI

We’ve created the world’s first Spam-detecting AI trained entirely in simulation and deployed on a physical robot.

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Apr 2, 2017

The Next Economic Revolution Just (re)Launched: Congratulate SpaceX, Thank NASA

Posted by in categories: economics, policy, space travel

Reusable rockets will drive down the cost of space access and power America’s economy into the 21st century. Entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers should take note of what SpaceX has demonstrated.

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Apr 2, 2017

Customized babies are closer than you think

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, genetics, health, policy

The race is on to edit genes and prevent disease. But this technology is ripe for abuse.

Economic inequity already exists in the reproductive industry. IVF, for example, is not covered by insurance in most states (Massachusetts excepted), setting up a situation in which only infertile people with well-padded pockets can afford the treatment. And of course the well-off have easier access to good health care via quality private insurance — or their own bank accounts. Steve Jobs, for example, spent $100,000 in 2011 to sequence his genome and that of his pancreatic tumor — a bill not many could hope to afford.

“The beautiful thing about this [gene-editing] work is it offers an opportunity to intervene around the moment of birth,” says Katy Kozhimannil, an associate professor in the Division of Health Policy at University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. “That said, as we pay attention to the opportunity of that moment, it’s important to bear in mind the value of liberty and justice for all.”

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Mar 28, 2017

Why Aging Is a Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, ethics, policy, robotics/AI, space, transhumanism

The first of my major #Libertarian policy articles for my California gubernatorial run, which broadens the foundational “non-aggression principle” to so-called negative natural phenomena. “In my opinion, and to most #transhumanist libertarians, death and aging are enemies of the people and of liberty (perhaps the greatest ones), similar to foreign invaders running up our shores.” A coordinated defense agianst them is philosophically warranted.


Many societies and social movements operate under a foundational philosophy that often can be summed up in a few words. Most famously, in much of the Western world, is the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you want them to do to you. In libertarianism, the backbone of the political philosophy is the non-aggression principle (NAP). It argues it’s immoral for anyone to use force against another person or their property except in cases of self-defense.

A challenge has recently been posed to the non-aggression principle. The thorny question libertarian transhumanists are increasingly asking in the 21st century is: Are so-called natural acts or occurrences immoral if they cause people to suffer? After all, taken to a logical philosophical extreme, cancer, aging, and giant asteroids arbitrarily crashing into the planet are all aggressive, forceful acts that harm the lives of humans.

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Mar 25, 2017

Here Is One Powerful Way the U.S. Could Boost Solar Adoption — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: energy, governance, government, policy, solar power

“Harnessing the Sun’s power may require concerted international coöperation.”

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Mar 14, 2017

Basic Income Won’t Fix Everything, We Need More Innovative Social Ideas

Posted by in categories: economics, policy

A Universal Basic Income (UBI) will not fix everything— it’s not supposed to —it’s a start for some people and a boon for everyone. But don’t let the prospect of a little free money stop us from pursuing more progressive regulations and reforms.

UBI is meant to provide a floor —a standard—which no one can fall beneath. But giving people unconditional free money shouldn’t be the end of the conversation, says Ben Spies-Butcher, a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Masters of Policy and Applied Social Research in the Sociology Department at Macquarie University.

In his essay “Not Just a Basic Income” for the Green Institute, Spies-Butcher writes:

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Mar 10, 2017

The boom is here: U.S. solar experiences record-smashing year — By Joe Romm | ThinkProgress

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, governance, policy, science, solar power

“The industry reports that, for the first time ever, solar was the number one source of new generating capacity, beating out wind and gas.”

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Mar 6, 2017

Google and IBM: We Want Artificial Intelligence to Help You, Not Replace You

Posted by in categories: employment, policy, robotics/AI, supercomputing

In an era of maturing artificial intelligence technology, what does the future of the corporation look like? Will the rise of robots help us do our jobs better, or harm them? This dynamic has become a mainstay of the dialogue around AI, with voices from technology visionaries such as Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking weighing in.

But at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit in Hong Kong on Tuesday, leaders at two of the world’s most powerful tech giants pushed back on those concerns. AI is intended to help—not hinder—the human workforce, they said.

“AI is actually not new for us,” said Vanitha Narayanan, chairman of IBM India, whose Watson supercomputer has risen to global acclaim. But “technology always comes way ahead of policy.”

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Mar 5, 2017

Bitcoin ETF Buzz Offers Short Term Opportunity

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, Mark Zuckerberg, policy

If you follow Bitcoin at all, then you know that its value is spiking. It has already surpassed a massive spike on Thanksgiving night 2013, and it has just surpassed the cost of an ounce of gold. [continue below image]

Like any commodity, the exchange value of Bitcoin is driven by supply and demand. But, unlike most commodities, including the US Dollar, the Euro or even gold, the eventual supply is capped. It is a mathematical certainty. Yet, demand is affected by many factors: Adoption as a payment instrument, early signs that it is being considered as a reserve currency, fascination by Geeks and early adopters and its use as a preferred tool by some criminals.

But chief among reasons for acquiring Bitcoin is speculation. Whether it is buy-and-hold or day trading, speculators still outnumber those who use Bitcoin to settle debts or to buy and sell other products and services. (Earlier this week, I argued that speculation is responsible for 85% of demand and of transactions—but that’s another story).

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