Technology’s future isn’t gleaming, it’s dirty and biological

This changes everything | We’ve always thought of tech as conquering nature, but the climate crisis is changing everything – not least what future advances will look like, argues Annalee Newitz


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16 October 2019

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How do we prepare ourselves for a future where advanced machines look like a sunny day on the farm?

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THERE is a long-standing myth that nature is the opposite of technology. Yet now we know that our industrial machines didn’t conquer the wilderness; instead, they caused a climate change catastrophe that might one day wipe us out. Knowing this will dramatically change the way our future technologies look, as well as how we interact with them.

Consider the plant tattoo. Last year, a group at Iowa State University revealed flexible water sensors made of graphene that could …

Article amended on
21 October 2019

We clarified the makeup of the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment.