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Leading Futurists, Thinkers to Launch Silicon Valley ­niversity

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Leading thinkers and futurists will launch Singularity University, an institution based in Silicon Valley that will offer a wide range of programs focusing on multiple technologies and fields, including biotechnology and bioinformatics, nanotechnology, future studies and forecasting, finance and entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence, robotics, and cognitive computing.

Singularity University was co-founded by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, former Yahoo Brickhouse director Salim Ismail, and X Prize CEO Peter Diamandis. They hope the program will lead to the establishment of new enterprises, the maturation of scientific and technological thinking, and the merger of professional and personal networks among the faculty and students. "If we do our job correctly, [students] will meet, [discover their] common visions, and start companies together," Diamandis says. CEOs and CTOs, rising executives who wish to bolster their knowledge and networks, and graduate and post-graduate students will be targeted by the university's 10-week, 10-day, and three-day courses.

Singularity University's three-phase program starts with a series of plenary lectures in which students take the same coursework and learn basic principles about the 10 disciplines the institute covers. The second phase consists of a deeper investigation into one of the disciplines; and the entire student body collaborates on a team project in the third phase. "I have no doubt that society gets ever more complex, and the consequences of ever-growing technology become ever more difficult to anticipate and respond to," says Singularity University faculty member Paul Saffo. "So having a 10-week program of smart, committed people looking at the challenges from an interdisciplinary point of view can only be a good thing."

From CNet

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