WANT TO EXPLORE MORE?

So do we. Signing up will encourage us to make more content like this…and then we’ll share it with you. Sound good?

Explorations Contact
Sending

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already woven into the fabric of our lives through applications such as Siri, and is on the rise with emerging applications such as self-driving cars. As remarkable as these technologies are, they still require programmers to code their desired behaviors. Advanced AI, what some people call AGI (artificial general intelligence), is the ability for software to think and learn how humans do. We are at a unique time in history for AI, as we now have 1) robotics sufficiently advanced that they can mechanically operate and perform complex functions and 2) computing power like never before. AI is an important tool in our collective effort to solve problems ranging from curing disease to space exploration, allowing us the opportunity to create the kind of world we desire.

faces-scott

Scott Phoenix

Co-founder, Vicarious

Cofounder of Vicarious. Previously, Scott was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Founders Fund, Cofounder and CEO at Frogmetrics (Y Combinator S2008, Founders Fund, Felicis VC), CXO at OnlySecure (acquired by NetShops) and MarchingOrder (Ben Franklin Partners). His design work has been featured in 16 magazines and 3 museums, including the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Scott earned his BAS in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania. SOURCE: LinkedIn


faces-nate

Nate Soares

Exec. Director Machine Intelligence Research Inst.

Nate Soares is the executive director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI), a research nonprofit studying long-term AI alignment. MIRI’s team of mathematicians and computer scientists focuses on developing formal models of intelligence, reliable reasoning, and rational decision-making, to lay the groundwork for the development of stable, robust, and powerful artificially intelligent computer systems.

Prior to MIRI, Nate worked as a software engineer at Google. Nate first joined MIRI in 2014 as a research fellow. He is the primary author of most of MIRI’s technical agenda, and became the executive director in early 2015. He now runs the organization, and maintains an active involvement in MIRI’s research efforts. SOURCE: MIRI


faces-riva

Riva-Melissa Tez

Partner, Permutation Ventures

Humanity’s progress depends on scientific breakthroughs. Permutation Ventures is a research team and capital pool looking to catalyze scientific discovery, primarily focused on machine learning and research tools. Previously, Riva founded Berlin Singularity — a group promoting discussions on emerging technology in mainland Europe. Through Berlin Singularity, she launched Kardashev Communications, aiding the business development of early-stage biotech companies so as to connect them with seed and growth capital.

Riva began her career as an entrepreneur at the age of 18 when she established a retail business in London, which still stands today. At 21 she co-founded an educational app, partnering with the world’s largest book publishers. She has held teaching positions at the DAB and HTW Business Schools in Germany and has guest-lectured at Oxford, Birkbeck and Stanford. Riva writes for a number of publications on topics such as existential risk, artificial intelligence, finance and philosophy.

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

Synthetic biology is a relatively new scientific field that uses biological engineering to design living organisms to perform specific functions. Synthetic biology is becoming ubiquitous in manufacturing, by engineering microorganisms to make many of the same ingredients as the traditional industrialization process but with less energy and waste and without relying on petroleum derivatives. Just as yeast can be fermented to make beer, microbes can be used to make a variety of products with synthetic biology, such as flavors and perfumes. Synthetic biology is poised to move up the complexity curve to address issues as diverse as climate change, infectious diseases, and famine – as well as more complex manufactured products (like electronics).

faces-reshma

Reshma Shetty

Co-Founder, Ginkgo BioWorks

Reshma Shetty is a co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, an organism design company building organisms to spec for customers across markets including nutrition, health and consumer goods. The company’s organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies and government entities like DARPA to design microbes for their needs.

Reshma has been active in synthetic biology for over 10 years and co-organized the first international conference in the field: Synthetic Biology 1.0. In 2008, Forbes magazine named Shetty one of Eight People Inventing the Future and in 2011, Fast Company named her one of 100 Most Creative People in Business. Reshma holds a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT. SOURCE: HuffingtonPost


faces-ryan

Ryan Bethencourt

Indie.Bio Program Director and Venture Partner

Ryan prides himself on disrupting the current status quo in biomedical and consumer biotech to accelerate innovation. Since co-founding Indiebio at the end of 2014, he and his team have funded 42 biotech startups. Previously, he was the Life Sciences head at the XPRIZE Foundation, the co-founder and CEO of Berkeley Biolabs, co-founder of Sudo Room, Counter Culture Labs, The Open source Insulin Project and helped catalyze the early biohacker movement starting in Silicon Valley in 2008.

Ryan has worked over the last decade in the biopharmaceutical industry to partner on and develop novel drugs from first IND submission to FDA approval with many major biopharmas including Pfizer, AZ, J&J, Sanofi, Takeda, Amgen, Genentech, and other companies in the U.S., E.U., and Japan. He’s also served as COO at Genescient Pharmaceuticals, a longevity focused biotech startup and CEO of Halpin Neurosciences, an ALS focused startup. Ryan’s work has been featured in Wired, TechCrunch, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Business Times, and other publications. He regularly speaks on biotech innovation and writes for Biocoder (O’Reilly Media), The Bold Italic and Techonomy.

NEURO ENGINEERING

Neuroengineers are working to understand, repair, replace, and ultimately enhance one of the most complex system on Earth – the brain and its vast neural system. Much of the focus in neuroengineering right now is in understanding how information is coded and processed in the sensory and motor systems and then using that information to program the systems through brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics, enabling, for example, paralyzed people to walk again with exoskeletons. Neurobiologists are working to better understand exactly how the brain – essentially a biological super computer – works, so that they can restore cognitive function in people with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and ultimately improve cognitive performance.

faces-ed

Ed Boyden

Director, Synthetic Neurobiology, MIT Media Lab

Ed Boyden is a professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems such as the brain, and applies them systematically to reveal ground truth principles of biological function as well as to repair these systems. These technologies, created often in interdisciplinary collaborations, include expansion microscopy, which enables complex biological systems to be imaged with nanoscale precision, and optogenetic tools, which enable the activation and silencing of neural activity with light. He also co-directs the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering.

Amongst other recognitions, he has received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2016), the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences (2015), the Schuetze Prize (2014), the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award (2013), the Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize (2013), the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2013), and the Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize (2011).

Ed received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University as a Hertz Fellow, where he discovered that the molecular mechanisms used to store a memory are determined by the content to be learned. Before that, he received three degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics from MIT. SOURCE: Synthetic NeuroBiology

TRANSPORTATION

Self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles (drones), and advanced spacecraft are all part of a new wave of technology that is reinventing our transportation infrastructure. Drones are already enabling delivery of critical medical and food supplies to areas otherwise inaccessible in the developing world, removing huge legacy barriers to innovation. If you were to build out the transport infrastructure of United States in Africa, it would take 23 years and $4 trillion. In this way, such autonomous vehicles are democratizing transportation, much like cell phones did for communication.

faces-bryan

Andreas Raptopoulos

Co-founder, CEO Matternet

Andreas Raptopoulos is the founder and CEO of Matternet, a Silicon Valley startup launching a new paradigm of transportation using networks of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Matternet uses lightweight, electric UAVs capable of transporting 2kg packages between automated landing stations. This new mode for transportation will be the most energy-efficient way for last-mile delivery of small packages in the cities of the future and in remote rural areas, especially where road networks are not well-developed.

Previously, Andreas founded FutureAcoustic, a venture that developed a new platform for music that listens and reacts to the user’s environment.

Andreas holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics from the University of Patras, Greece; a Diploma of Imperial College in Industrial Design Engineering; and a Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art in London, UK.

He attended Singularity University at NASA Ames in 2011, a 10-week summit of future leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists working on technology solutions to widespread global challenges. He participated in the inaugural Google Solve for X forum, a forum set up to encourage ‘moonshot thinking’. In 2012 he was named a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, one of 12 high-potential change agents from around the world who are working on highly disruptive innovations. He was a speaker at TED Global in the summer of 2013. SOURCE: CrunchBase

SPACE ECONOMY

To develop space and become a multi-planetary species, we need economic incentives. Mining is an attractive option in space, whether of asteroids or the moon, as these objects have precious metals that can be brought back to Earth and water which can be used to create fuel in space. Advanced robotics, AI, and 3-D printing are enabling this development of a space economy, starting with more advanced sensors to better understand materials on Earth and in space.

faces-chris

Chris Lewicki

Chief Asteroid Miner, Planetary Resource

Mr. Lewicki has been intimately involved with the lifecycle of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix Mars Lander. Lewicki performed system engineering development and participated in assembly, test and launch operations for both Mars missions. He was Flight Director for the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the Surface Mission Manager for Phoenix. The recipient of two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, Lewicki has an asteroid named in his honor: 13609 Lewicki.

Chris holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. At Planetary Resources, Mr. Lewicki is responsible for the strategic development of the company’s mission and vision, engagement with customers and the scientific community, serves as technical compass, and leads day to day operations. SOURCE: Planetary Resources


faces-erika

Erika Ilves

Co-Founder, Shackleton Energy

Some ventures are worth starting even if you can’t finish them.
Creating friendly artificial intelligence, defying aging, protecting Earth from asteroids, electrifying the entire world’s car fleet, replacing fossil fuels, switching from livestock to lab-grown meat, ending poverty–these are all examples of hyper-visionary ventures that advance human civilization but can take decades if not lifetimes to see through. Too few of us dare start them. Even fewer dare fund them. One of my life’s goals is to help shift our civilization’s attention and capital out of trivial pursuits and into civilization-advancing ventures. We need fewer RunPee’s (an app that tells you the best time to take a bathroom run at the cinema), and more Space X’s (a rocket company on a mission to create a multi-planetary civilization, starting with cheap, reusable rockets). To figure out what’s worth doing, I co-wrote a book on the future of the human species. I continue writing, speaking and spontaneously digressing on this topic.

My own calling is space settlement. I am splitting time between two ventures that fuel the space frontier in two different ways – one literally, by putting refueling depots in orbit (Shackleton Energy) and another figuratively, by making space easier to invest in (Transplanetary).

In my previous life, I served as an executive at a kickass Norwegian technology company TANDBERG (acquired by Cisco in 2010), ran a strategy firm in Dubai and spent 6 years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company where I co-led the Firm’s South-East Asian banking practice and managed large-scale performance transformations for banks in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe. SOURCE: LinkedIn


faces-bryan

Bryan Johnson

Founder, OS Fund

Bryan Johnson is the founder of Braintree which Paypal acquired in 2013 for $800 million. One year later, he started OS Fund with $100 million of his personal capital to invest in scientists and inventors working on some of the world’s most audacious endeavors. He is focused on the future of intelligence, synthetic biology, space exploration, and how ideologies invisibly shape our behavior. He works hard at being a father of three, loves flying airplanes and climbing mountains, and wrote a children’s book. His defining belief is that we’re at a uniquely exciting moment in the arc of humanity because we can now literally create any kind of world we can imagine.


Video Credits

Executive Producer: Bryan Johnson
Executive Producer: Lisa M.P. Munoz
Executive Producer · Randy Murray Productions: Randy Murray
Creative Producer + Director: Andrew James Benson
Production Manager: Andy Nelson
Editor/Motion Graphics: Carlos Weaver
Transcription: Rochelle LaPlante
Transcription: Nick Orciuolo

Music provided by

Neat Beats. Album: Cosmic Surgery. Song: Turning on the Large Hadron Collider
Dirty Art Club. Album: Vermillion. Song: Evermore
Jingle Punks Song: Galactic Damages
Neat Beats. Album: Cosmic Surgery. Song: I Love You Vashti

Footage is attributed below and used under Fair Use as this is a non-commercial, educational and journalistic work.

Above the Clouds – A mesmerizing journey above the Earth
ARES – Our Greatest Adventure
Welcome to EPFL
Edward Burtynsky- The story of water
BABIES – Official Trailer
Emotiv Insight – A Brain Activity Tracker
Lytro Immerge – World’s First Professional Light Field Solution for Cinematic VR
The Grid – AI Websites That Design Themselves
Introducing Human Longevity, Inc. Health Nucleus
GMUNK Oblivion GFX Montage
Mercedes Benz Concept IAA Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile Trailer
The Jetson’s – Open
Smithsonian – Mining for Minerals in Space
Oblivion Trailer
CNN · Sudan
SPP – Earth 2045
Google – Ready for the Road
Post Panic – Sundays
War Games Trailer
Spectre Trailer
Quantico Teaser
Iron Man 2 Trailer
Batman Begins Trailer
The Future of Asteroid Mining

WANT TO EXPLORE MORE?

So do we. Signing up will encourage us to make more content like this…and then we’ll share it with you. Sound good?

Explorations Contact
Sending

NEUROTECH

Neurons are emerging as a new engineering material that have unique potential, and scientists are working to master them for a range of computing applications, from sensors that detect toxins to ways to extend the human senses.

But why neurons?

Hear from innovators who are tapping into the power of the human brain and its millions of years of evolution. Their explorations address: What are the current limits of our available neurotech? What might our neurotech future look like? How might neurotechnology change the future of human intelligence? And what does it mean for #TheWorldWeBuild?

faces-drew

Drew Endy

Assoc. Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford

Drew Endy developed the world’s first “fabless” genetic engineering teaching lab in the new Bioengineering program at Stanford and previously helped start the Biological Engineering major at MIT. His Stanford research team develops genetically encoded computers and redesigns genomes. He co-founded the BioBricks Foundation as a public-benefit charity supporting free-to-use standards and technology that enable the engineering of biology (BioBricks.org). He co-organized the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM.org) competition, the BIOFAB International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (BIOFAB.org), and Gen9, Inc. (Gen9bio.com). He serves on the US Committee on Science Technology and Law and is a new voting member of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.


faces-osh

Osh Agabi

CEO Koniku

Oshiorenoya Agabi (Founder & CEO, Koniku Inc.), has over 10+ years of experience in neuroelectronic interfacing in industry and academia. As a strategic program lead at a robotics startup in Switzerland (Neuronics AG, acquired in 2008), Osh implemented learning algorithms for pick-and-place robots which worked alongside humans in a factory setting. The team achieved significant success in developing robots that learn object categorization autonomously.
Osh also led a cross disciplinary industry team to develop an in vitro reflex arc for modelling implantable neural chips. These chips interfaced with the peripheral nervous system. The project was completed with a successful design of an implantable chip lasting 30-40 years. He led applications of liquid state machines to biological neurons on chip, this was completed for the first time in 2004 at the ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule). He applied criteria for computability of biological neurons in vitro.


faces-david

David Eagleman

Neuroscientist + Writer

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author and Guggenheim Fellow. He is the writer and presenter of The Brain, an international 6-hour television series that asks what it means to be human from a neuroscientist’s point of view. He holds joint appointments in the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Eagleman’s areas of research include time perception, vision, synesthesia, and the intersection of neuroscience with the legal system. He directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action, and is the founder and director of the Center for Science and Law. He is the author of several neuroscience books, including (1) The Brain: The Story of You, (2) Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and (3) Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia.


faces-scott

Scott Phoenix

Co-founder, Vicarious

Cofounder of Vicarious. Previously, Scott was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Founders Fund, Cofounder and CEO at Frogmetrics (Y Combinator S2008, Founders Fund, Felicis VC), CXO at OnlySecure (acquired by NetShops) and MarchingOrder (Ben Franklin Partners). His design work has been featured in 16 magazines and 3 museums, including the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Scott earned his BAS in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania. SOURCE: LinkedIn


faces-riva

Riva-Melissa Tez

Partner, Permutation Ventures

Humanity’s progress depends on scientific breakthroughs. Permutation Ventures is a research team and capital pool looking to catalyze scientific discovery, primarily focused on machine learning and research tools. Previously, Riva founded Berlin Singularity — a group promoting discussions on emerging technology in mainland Europe. Through Berlin Singularity, she launched Kardashev Communications, aiding the business development of early-stage biotech companies so as to connect them with seed and growth capital.

Riva began her career as an entrepreneur at the age of 18 when she established a retail business in London, which still stands today. At 21 she co-founded an educational app, partnering with the world’s largest book publishers. She has held teaching positions at the DAB and HTW Business Schools in Germany and has guest-lectured at Oxford, Birkbeck and Stanford. Riva writes for a number of publications on topics such as existential risk, artificial intelligence, finance and philosophy.


faces-ryan

Ryan Bethencourt

Indie.Bio Program Director and Venture Partner

Ryan prides himself on disrupting the current status quo in biomedical and consumer biotech to accelerate innovation. Since co-founding Indiebio at the end of 2014, he and his team have funded 42 biotech startups. Previously, he was the Life Sciences head at the XPRIZE Foundation, the co-founder and CEO of Berkeley Biolabs, co-founder of Sudo Room, Counter Culture Labs, The Open source Insulin Project and helped catalyze the early biohacker movement starting in Silicon Valley in 2008.

Ryan has worked over the last decade in the biopharmaceutical industry to partner on and develop novel drugs from first IND submission to FDA approval with many major biopharmas including Pfizer, AZ, J&J, Sanofi, Takeda, Amgen, Genentech, and other companies in the U.S., E.U., and Japan. He’s also served as COO at Genescient Pharmaceuticals, a longevity focused biotech startup and CEO of Halpin Neurosciences, an ALS focused startup. Ryan’s work has been featured in Wired, TechCrunch, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Business Times, and other publications. He regularly speaks on biotech innovation and writes for Biocoder (O’Reilly Media), The Bold Italic and Techonomy.

faces-ed

Ed Boyden

Director, Synthetic Neurobiology, MIT Media Lab

Ed Boyden is a professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems such as the brain, and applies them systematically to reveal ground truth principles of biological function as well as to repair these systems. These technologies, created often in interdisciplinary collaborations, include expansion microscopy, which enables complex biological systems to be imaged with nanoscale precision, and optogenetic tools, which enable the activation and silencing of neural activity with light. He also co-directs the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering.

Amongst other recognitions, he has received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2016), the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences (2015), the Schuetze Prize (2014), the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award (2013), the Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize (2013), the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2013), and the Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize (2011).

Ed received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University as a Hertz Fellow, where he discovered that the molecular mechanisms used to store a memory are determined by the content to be learned. Before that, he received three degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics from MIT. SOURCE: Synthetic NeuroBiology


faces-erika

Erika Ilves

Co-Founder, Shackleton Energy

Some ventures are worth starting even if you can’t finish them.
Creating friendly artificial intelligence, defying aging, protecting Earth from asteroids, electrifying the entire world’s car fleet, replacing fossil fuels, switching from livestock to lab-grown meat, ending poverty–these are all examples of hyper-visionary ventures that advance human civilization but can take decades if not lifetimes to see through. Too few of us dare start them. Even fewer dare fund them. One of my life’s goals is to help shift our civilization’s attention and capital out of trivial pursuits and into civilization-advancing ventures. We need fewer RunPee’s (an app that tells you the best time to take a bathroom run at the cinema), and more Space X’s (a rocket company on a mission to create a multi-planetary civilization, starting with cheap, reusable rockets). To figure out what’s worth doing, I co-wrote a book on the future of the human species. I continue writing, speaking and spontaneously digressing on this topic.

My own calling is space settlement. I am splitting time between two ventures that fuel the space frontier in two different ways – one literally, by putting refueling depots in orbit (Shackleton Energy) and another figuratively, by making space easier to invest in (Transplanetary).

In my previous life, I served as an executive at a kickass Norwegian technology company TANDBERG (acquired by Cisco in 2010), ran a strategy firm in Dubai and spent 6 years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company where I co-led the Firm’s South-East Asian banking practice and managed large-scale performance transformations for banks in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe. SOURCE: LinkedIn


faces-bryan

Bryan Johnson

Founder, OS Fund

Bryan Johnson is the founder of Braintree which Paypal acquired in 2013 for $800 million. One year later, he started OS Fund with $100 million of his personal capital to invest in scientists and inventors working on some of the world’s most audacious endeavors. He is focused on the future of intelligence, synthetic biology, space exploration, and how ideologies invisibly shape our behavior. He works hard at being a father of three, loves flying airplanes and climbing mountains, and wrote a children’s book. His defining belief is that we’re at a uniquely exciting moment in the arc of humanity because we can now literally create any kind of world we can imagine.


Video Credits

Executive Producer: Bryan Johnson
Executive Producer: Lisa Munoz
Creative Producer+Director: Andrew James Benson
C4D+AE Editor: Joseph Siefert
Sound Mix: Joel Raabe
Transcription: Rochelle LaPlante

Music provided by

Supporting footage from

Allen Brain Institute
Truust Neuroimaging
MIT
Tesla
Summer Blue by Victor Manin
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Matrix
Tomasz Wyszolmirski
Nawaz Alamgir