Week 44: The body is a perfectible machine, the ethics of robots and a giant panda

Weekly web missives from the Friday strategy team: a selection of this week's encounters with design, business, trends and culture. Selected by Elly, Estelle, Remy and Silvia.

AI, Automation & the Future

"By 2037, we should have the possibility to transplant organs made from a person’s own stem cells but grown ex situ in the lab and customised to be disease free using gene editing technologies like CRISPR." The Human Machine of 2037 is a set of perspectives on what might feel normal for us and our bodies in 2037, from scientists, artists and those working in cutting-edge medical research.

If that feels particularly fanciful, this announcement about researchers successfully encoding a movie into the genome of the E. Coli bacterium might change your minds...

A fascinating (however, not personally inspiring) account of a biohacker who has pushed his ambition to become happier, healthier, and more productive to the extreme. I’m 32 and spent $200k on biohacking. Became calmer, thinner, extroverted, healthier & happier.


By contrast, the Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold shows how brilliance can come out of the frailest body. Now that was inspiring.


Some ponderings on the evolution of the web and technology:

How the web has changed/been dying since 2014 (basically Google and Facebook own everything right now), and How to fix Facebook? 9 experts offer suggestions to address Facebook's problems (like switching to a "trust" emoji/reaction and aiming for 100% verified user accounts).

Plus, some early and interesting thoughts on the ethics of augmented reality:
We’ve Not Thought Through the Legal and Ethical Disruption of Augmented Reality


Finally, a beautiful (if slightly unusual) example of design representing the cultural value of a functional product: China just built a 250 acre solar farm in the shape of a panda.

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