How are a 20th century meteorologist, a 1993 Stephen Spielberg movie, and the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics connected?

In 2018 I wrote about chaotic and complex systems in my book Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies. The book uses science fiction movies to explore the growing challenges around socially responsible and ethical innovation — and it starts withe the 1993 classic Jurassic Park.

The newly-announced Tesla robot looks like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie. But that’s the least of our problems.

It was, perhaps, inevitable: Elon Musk announces a humanoid robot designed to help with those repetitive, boring tasks we all hate doing, and all we can think about is a string of dystopian robot sci-fi movies where everything goes horribly wrong.

Yet troubling as the robot futures in movies like…

The physical basis for human-driven climate change is compelling. But to survive it, we need to get much better at understanding people.

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the first part of its Sixth Assessment Report (due in its entirety in 2022), and its strongest warnings to date about the dire challenges of global warming. …

Of course, given how polarizing COVID-19 is, I couldn’t simply get away with producing a conventional “what to do” video!

Over the next few weeks, colleges will see a massive influx of students onto campuses and into dorms. I’m looking forward to being able to interact with students in person again, and to soak up the vibe of a buzzing campus.

At the same time, the next few months are…

Addressing the ethics of artificial intelligence is important. But are we becoming so obsessed with the rights and wrongs of AI that we’re taking our eye off the potential risks?

In a recent presentation that was part of a National Academies of Science-sponsored symposium series, I argued that we need to pay more attention to easy-to-overlook risks presented by AI, and how we can effectively navigate them.

The symposium was focused on how artificial intelligence and machine learning transform the…

Surely there are already too many big-vision books about the future, so why write another one?

I must confess that I get frustrated with best-selling books that paint epic visions of the future.

Too often, they seem to sacrifice nuance and thoughtfulness in favor of crowd-pleasing extremes, from how technologies will utterly transform humanity, to how our technological mis-steps will ultimately destroy us all.

And in…

We talk a lot about the power of reason, and how important it is in making sound decisions in today’s world. But what is “reason” and how is it connected to the various futures we aspire to?

A few weeks back I started a new podcast based on the book Future Rising. The podcast is a series of short reflections on our relationship with the future that, together, paint a bigger picture of this relationship. And today’s episode-the last in this current season-tackles reason.

Reason is…

There’s growing awareness that business as usual with tech innovation is heading for a train-wreck — but how do we think differently about tech & the future?

This summer we took my course on socially responsible and ethical innovation (which conveniently uses science fiction movies as a starting point) online.

This is an exciting departure from the in-person course, and one that has led to a number of innovations in how the course is taught. …

As conspiracies around the origins of the coronavirus go mainstream, they present both challenges and learning opportunities for students studying socially responsible research and innovation

For over a year now there have been conspiracy theories swirling around that COVID was designed and engineered in a Chinese lab, that the research has its origins in the US, and even in some cases that Anthony Fauci-Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-is the…

What exactly is the future, how are we connected to it, and what is our responsibility to it?

These are questions that the new podcast Future Rising grapples with as it takes listeners on a journey that starts with the Big Bang, and ends with our responsibility to future generations…

Andrew Maynard

Scientist, futurist & Professor of Global Futures at ASU. Author of Future Rising and Films from the Future. Writing about tech, society, & the future

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