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Science Channel's Futurescape: USC Viterbi Research and Our Future

Research by Gerald Loeb, Alice Parker, Chongwu Zhou, Behrokh Khoshnevis, and Ted Berger featured on the Science Channel
By: Megan Hazle
January 28, 2014 —

The Science Channel recently aired a six-part series about what the future might look like, based on current trends in science and engineering. The series, Futurescape, featured segments on a number of USC Viterbi researchers and their work:


Cutting edge experiments have transformed machines into creatures with consciousness; while, elsewhere, scientists are enhancing the human body with synthetic parts that work better than the real thing. The result: a not-too distant world where man and machine are not only equal, but indistinguishable. ("Robot Revolution," aired Nov. 19, 2013)
Throughout history, men have built empires and held the lives of millions in their hands, but the one thing they couldn't conquer was death. Advances in medicine are now making age just a manageable chronic condition, and sickness a thing of the past. ("Cheating Time," aired Nov. 26, 2013)
21st Century explorers have set sail on a new age of discovery that eclipses anything dreamed of by Christopher Columbus. Their "new worlds" are really just that--new worlds. Recent advances in propulsion technology, warp drive, and solar energy have allowed us to do what only science fiction writers dreamed possible until now. ("Galactic Pioneers," aired Dec. 10, 2013)
Science stands at the brink of unlocking our primal instincts. Advancements in genetic engineering and neuroscience may soon free humans from the physical limitations that have linked us to the rest of the animal world. Pain, fear, uncertainty and frailty may be things of the past-- but is a world without fear something to embrace or be afraid of? ("How to Be a Superhuman," aired Dec. 17, 2013)