Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA. But let’s do it wisely

Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA strands, which could lead to treatments for genetic diseases … but could also be used to create so-called “designer babies.”

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Nick Bostrom: What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds — within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as “smart” as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: “Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.” Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values — or will they have values of their own?

Is the universe dead or alive?

Our view of the universe as either dead or alive creates the context within which we understand who we are and where we are going. Where a dead-universe perspective generates alienation, environmental destruction, and despair, a living-universe perspective generates feelings of communion, stewardship, and the promise of a higher pathway for humanity.