The 5 Most Important People Shaping Our Future

by Benjamin Stecher

Demis Hassabis

Head of Google Deepmind. The development of Artificial Intelligence will likely have the largest impact on our future and the team at Deepmind spearheaded by Demis seem to be the closest to getting to genuine AI.

Elon Musk

SpaceX, Tesla, OpenAI, Solar City, Gigafactories, Hyperloop, colonizing mars, autonomous vehicles, beaming global internet from space… This one seems pretty obvious.

George Church

Arguably the world’s leading geneticist. He is at the forefront of genetic engineering and synthetic biology, fields that are reshaping our biological destinies and changing the nature of life on earth.

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has been investing heavily in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, health services, and satellite internet, to name a few. Also considering his age, personal wealth and the recent rumors that he might seek the presidency soon, this one also seemed like a no brainer.

Xi Jin Ping

Wavered most on this pick but chose him due to China’s bold stance made at Davos, sending by far the largest and most powerful delegation of any nation. Clearly China is growing more assertive on the international stage lead by their Premier who has consolidated power like no other Chinese ruler in recent history. China has put forth an ambitious new five year plan that they hope will position themselves as a global hub of innovation for the 21st century. He also seems bolstered by the fact that his biggest rival on the international stage just appointed a leader lacking in the subtle art of international diplomacy.

Others

Craig Venter, Jeff Bezos, Ben Goertzel, Ray Kurzweil, Gary Marcus, Aubrey De Grey, Peter Thiel, Donald Trump, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Larry Page, Satya Nadella, random graduate student.

Of course, any such list is inevitably going to be a little arbitrary and prone to bias so if anyone has a good reason why somebody else should be on this list please state your case in the comments.


About the author

Benjamin Stecher is an independent Canadian researcher whose interests primarily include neuroscience, artificial general intelligence, education reform and China.

 

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One Reply to “The 5 Most Important People Shaping Our Future”

  1. I would like to add Bill and Melinda Gates whose foundation has turned many billionaires into social activists chasing medical cures, temperature-tolerant safe vaccines, and revolutionary changes to Developing World agriculture, I would also suggest Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen who developed the DNA manipulation technology that has evolved to tools like CRISP-R and has led to development of GMO crops that are, despite the pushback from some people, revolutionising agriculture.

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