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Behind the SingularityU Summit - Raymond McCauley

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This article was published on 24 November 2016

Raymond McCauley describes the exponential benefits of the digital revolution’s intersection with life sciences.

The SingularityU NZ Summit brought the world’s top speakers and experts on exponentially accelerating technologies together with New Zealand's and Australia's leaders of today and tomorrow.

Raymond McCauley, Singularity University chair of digital biology and the co-founder and Chief Architect for 'Bio Curious' (the hackerspace for biotech), spoke with us backstage at the SingularityU NZ Summit held 14-16 November in Christchurch. There was so much to talk about, we turned in into three short videos.

We discussed the digital revolution’s impact on life sciences - as illustrated by the dramatic reduction in the cost of mapping a human genome in just a quarter century - which Raymond calls the single most successful piece of engineering humans have ever done.

We also asked Raymond about the ethics of technology which would enable people to know with a high degree of certainty what they or their potential children were likely to die from. His answer may surprise you: "At some point where going to reach a point where it's a standard of medical care to 'edit out' diseases, and what would our world be like if only some people could afford that?"

Finally, we asked Raymond about biotechnology and the future of food. And he didn't disappoint, with a prediction of harvestable living animals where food products can be taken from a production animal that is not harmed in the process, just like shearing a sheep.