Watching the launch of Elon Musk’s ‘Falcon Heavy’ rocket brought to mind Apollo 11’s take-off for the moon. Beyond being an incredible engineering feat, this is definitely the way forward for space exploration, opening the door to commercial flights. House on Mars, anyone? The orbiting Tesla even carries a note for aliens – “Made on Earth by humans” – imprinted on a circuit board. Just a PR stunt? Perhaps, but it worked – for a quarter of the price of the next most powerful existing rocket, putting SpaceX at the forefront of the 21st century space race. The sky does not seem to be the limit for Mr. Musk.
Self-regulation and voluntary agreements have been buzzing across industries over the last several years in Europe, and tech is no exception. On the other side of the Atlantic – in San Francisco - dozens of data scientists from tech companies, governments, and non-profits gathered this week to work on an ethics code for their profession. Some draft taglines were made public: “Bias will exist. Measure it. Plan for it,” “Respecting human dignity,” and “Exercising ethical imagination.” The main criticism remains: available evidence suggests that tech companies typically take ethical questions to heart only when they sense a direct threat to their balance sheet. Will self-regulation be enough?
More often than not, whistle-blowers come from the inside. Former tech workers recently created a campaign to call attention to the potential dangers of the omnipresence of technology in our lives. They’re especially concerned about the effects of smartphones and social networks on our emotional and intellectual development. As former insiders, what do they want from the tech giants? It’s pretty basic. The group is asking that tech leaders apply the same values they embrace at home with their own children when taking business decisions. Here’s hoping that’s an easy ask that steers business decisions in an informed direction.
You might know that connectivity and liability are key issues for driverless cars, but did you know this new tech can radically impact real estate? Since the first cities, transportation arteries have driven land value. With driverless cars, the location of valuable property might be shifting - and money will be made or lost depending on how well the change is predicted. From industrial sites freed from boundaries based on driving-time limits to urban space freed from parking, this great read explores how our perception of space and property is about to change.
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