Many companies pay lip service to their green initiatives, maximizing the marketing benefits of eco-friendly practices rather than trying to establish real reductions in their environmental impact. Sad, but unfortunately true. According to the UN Global Compact on Climate Change, we are getting pretty close to the point of no return in the amount of damage that is building up, so it is rewarding to see some product design trends that can have a real positive benefit.
One bold new supermarket chain in Berlin, called Original Unverpackt, is cutting through this misleading practice by going green the old-fashioned, and sometimes difficult, way: selling everything in bulk and allowing customers to bring their own containers.
Scientific American has a great series where they invite thought leaders from a variety of science-related fields to expound on an important topic. At the recent World Economic Forum, they asked philosopher and neuroscientist Nayef Al-Rodhan to talk about the ethical implications of emerging technologies. It is an incredible read and not gated, so I recommend every one of you should read his thoughts on the subject.
Immediate ethical red flags emerge, however: Building neuromorphic chips would create machines as smart as humans, the most intelligent species on the planet. These technologies are demonstrations of human excellence yet computers that think could be devastating for our species and, as Marvin Minsky has put it, they could even keep humanity as pets.