Technology is changing the world so rapidly that even geniuses need help making sense of it all.

That's the idea underlying Singularity University, an unconventional school that will host its first class of 30 graduate students this summer. They will take a nine-week course exploring ways to ensure technology improves mankind's plight instead of harming it.

Singularity's founders planned to unveil the school's grand ambitions Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, known as TED.

The school will be based on NASA's Silicon Valley campus and revolve around the concept that the exponential advances occurring in various...

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