Blogs

Event Report: Rebuilding National Service

Cindy Wagner

Cindy Wagner

With the release of a new report, “Will America Embrace National Service?” the Brookings Institution convened a discussion on National Service: Rebuilding America’s Civic Fabric, October 10, 2019. The report and the event were co-sponsored by Brookings’ Future of the Middle Class Initiative and Service Year Alliance.

Event Report: From Deep Fakes to Deep Space

Cindy Wagner

Cindy Wagner

The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s newly formed (2018) Center for Strategic Foresight held its inaugural conference September 10, 2019, focusing on the policy implications arising from two major trends: increased international activity in space and the weaponization of misinformation, particularly with the use of social media.

Is Deep Learning Overhyped? A Review of Rebooting AI

randallmayes

randallmayes

If you follow AI, you have probably read about what happened when chess and Go masters were matched against AI using deep learning. To put it politely, AI humbled the mere mortals. Yann LeCun, a professor at NYU and a scientist affiliated with Facebook, recently co-shared the Turing Award (1 million USD) for his role in the development of deep learning.

Edward S. Cornish (1927-2019)

Edward Seymour Cornish, founder and first president of the World Future Society and editor of its magazine, The Futurist, died August 14, 2019. He was 91. A longtime Maryland resident (Bethesda and Rockville), Cornish had been living at Olney Assisted Living in Olney, Md., during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Generalists in Foresight

Tim Mack

Tim Mack

In 1984, political scientist Philip Tetlock observed at a meeting of the U.S. National Research Council’s Committee on American Soviet Relationship how contradictory many authoritative predictions the participants held on the future of the Cold War. As well, he noted their dismissal of the opinions of equally qualified colleagues on the committee.

Seeking Higher Ground in Space: Review of Accessory to War

Cindy Wagner

Cindy Wagner

In Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military (W.W. Norton, 2018), astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (with co-author Avis Lange, a research associate at the Hayden Planetarium) relates the history of the relationship between scientists who seek to expand our knowledge of the universe and the strategists who seek to expand their dominance of it.

Robotics and Recovery

Tim Mack

Tim Mack

Robotics has gotten a bad name in some circles from too many screen scenarios and “what if” thinking about manufacturing assembly lines that has often overreached actual development. However, robotics in medicine is seeing breakthroughs in post-stroke physical therapy and post-injury rehabilitation.

Plights of Fancy: Review of Imaginary Cities

Tim Mack

Tim Mack

Darran Anderson’s Imaginary Cities (University of Chicago Press, 2015) has an unusual approach for a book on foresight. First, it is actually based in the discipline of architecture and spends a substantial amount of time looking at plans never built due to lack of funding, client change of heart, and catastrophes of all sorts.

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