My blogging colleague Wade Roush notes Richard Branson’s new space travel venture. Branson is charging £115,000 (about $208,000) for four minutes of weightlessness. At that price, only a very select few will ever be able to make the trip. The average American/European makes about $40,000 a year, and saves only a few percent of that. I’m just guessing, but the average person might be able to spend up to a year’s salary on the flight of a lifetime. (Another guess is that a person might be willing to spend about half of his or her retirement savings, which comes out to about $50,000. That would mean Branson’s initial asking price needs to be brought down by a factor of four if the average person is to fly into space in their lifetime. Could the cost fall that low? It’s probably never worthwhile to bet against the economics of technologies, though space flight is a rather established one. NASA apparently thinks the cost of placing payloads into low Earth orbit can be reduced by another order of magnitude) using technologies like the Reusable Launch Vehicle, so perhaps space flight for the common man isn’t out of the question.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.