Annual Report 2013-14

Publications

Annual Report 2013-14

Our center’s progress for the year 2013-14.

An Aerialist, Two Clowns, and a Robot Walk Into a Carnival …

In his 1984 film The Terminator and its sequels, James Cameron imagines a dystopic future in which armies of intelligent robots move with startling suddenness from positions of servility to utter and violent dominance, destroying civilization and driving humankind to the brink of extinction.

This, of course, is pure science fiction. There’s little reason to believe things will unfold that way. First, they would take all our jobs and wreck our economy.

This is the nightmare narrative of our future with robots and artificial intelligence. The utopian version of this tale—one accepted by many powerful people in industry and government—involves a …read more

Confess Your Digital Sins

A voice cries out in the desert:

“Know thyself, not thy selfies!”

“Digital media will not save you!”

“The zero is not whole and the one is not The One!”

Technically, we’re not in the desert—we’re in a dusty parking lot in downtown Phoenix. And the voice is not coming from the Prophet Isaiah, but from professor Ron Broglio, whom I’ve ordained as a Minister of the Digital Tabernacle. As people wander into the massive circus tent at Arizona State University’s Emerge: Carnival of the Future, they are greeted by a pair of shifty evangelists preaching the analog Word. (Disclosure: …read more

How to Make Music With Drones

The good thing about performing music with drones is that they always show up for rehearsal on time. The bad thing is that they might suddenly drop out of the air and onto your head.

I learned all this while putting together a piece called “Drone Confidential” for Arizona State University’s Emerge, a “Carnival of the Future” that was held in Phoenix recently. Emerge is an annual circus of cool new technologies in performance, dedicated to showing how artists and machines can work together to create something awesome. …read more

A close up photo of a computer screen with unreadable numbers and words stack on each other and all different colors.

What if Computers Know You Better Than You Know Yourself?

I recently read about the launches of both an “ultrasecure” mobile phone for protecting privacy and a clip-on camera that takes a picture of everything you do at 30-second intervals. Our cultural relationship with data is more complicated and contradictory than it has ever been, and our debates on the subject almost always center on privacy. But privacy, the notion that only you should be able to control information about yourself, cloaks a deeper tension between information and meaning, between databases and insights.

The self-explanation principle in multimedia learning.

Ruth Wylie and Michelene T. H. Chi The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning

A Day in My Life in 2025

The stories gathered in this anthology give us a glimpse of possible scenarios for our future limited only by our own imagination.

Um dia da minha vida em 2025

As histórias reunidas nesta antologia nos permitem vislumbrar possíveis cenários do nosso futuro, onde a única limitação é a nossa própria imaginação.

Book cover for "The Future of Publishing" Volume 1. Subtitle "The Future of the Book" Contributing authors, Arial Bogle, Joey Eschrich, Jane Friedman, Dan Gillmor, Lee Konstantinou, Charlie Stross, Corey Pressman. Edited by Ed Finn

Sprint Beyond the Book: The Future of Publishing

Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany

Cautions, Dreams & Curiosities

These magic visions from The Tomorrow Project and the ones contained in this anthology have the power to shape our future.

Annual Report 2012-13

Download the 2012-13 Annual Report

The Spark of Imagination

Celebrate National Science Fiction Day by Learning to Live in the Future

Book Cover, Title: American Dreamers Quote reads "My new American Dream is the hope that my old American dream-the one that I was lucky enough to live myself-will continue to expand and be available to all who seek it." Arianna Huffington. Subtitle, Optimists, Mavericks, and Mad Inventors Share their dreams for brighter futures.

First Principles

Newly released: American Dreamers, a collection of “dreams from optimists, inventors and mavericks with ideas for a brighter future.” My essay (online here) leads off the book with a look at the combustible, illuminating nature of good ideas and the unique optimism of the American Dream. It’s also a pretty good declaration of principles for what we are trying to accomplish at the Center for Science and the Imagination.

Imagining the Future and Building It

If we want to imagine a better future and then build it then we need to change the story we are telling ourselves about the future we want to live in.

Conversations About the Future

Brian David Johnson, Intel’s futurist, asks these questions of scientists and engineers, legends and luminaries, science fiction authors and recognized experts. Their visions, stories and passionate arguments are collected here.

The Tomorrow Project

“Science fiction gives us the language so that we can have a conversation about the future.” – Brian David Johnson, Futurist