For more than 50 years the mad scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—aka DARPA, the outrageous research arm of the Pentagon—have been launching the most disruptive technologies on earth, living up to their mantra of “high risk—high payoff.” We have DARPA to thank for the personal computer, the Internet, the Berkeley Unix system, most of NASA, and countless crazy military innovations. Their mission is to think beyond the possible and forever be three decades ahead. In this talk we will dig into, and present the relevant parts of, DARPA’s $3 billion-dollar budget, pulling out the most amazing and most-likely-to-reach-fruition projects. Think electromagnetic bazookas, telepathic soldiers, ape-inspired robots, memory chips in brains, shapeshifting planes and boats. It might sound like sci-fi, but given its inspired history it seems that analyzing DARPA’s current projects will give us one of the clearest views into our future reality. Fasten your seat belts.
Web Contributor, Scientific American; podcaster 60-Second Mind; Host/Writer Dirt On Green; Contrib Ed SmartPlanet, Speaker: Banff, SXSW, PopTech, Stony Brook. bio from Twitter
Writer × filmmaker. Making stuff that makes sense of other stuff for Nature, NPR, HHMI, Autodesk, BBC, The Atavist, et al bio from Twitter
Science and technology correspondent for forthcoming international biz pub Quartz / qz.com. Formerly: BBC, Tech Review, Scientific American, Wired bio from Twitter
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