5 min read

Change your mindset, change your life…

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 26, 2020

What made Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk succeed? Was it their technology or their mindset? 

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials Mindset Abundance 360 exponential technology Elon Musk Neuralink future tech Jeff Bezos
1 min read

WEBINAR: Experience an Astronaut’s View of Space with Space Perspective

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 24, 2020

Interested in getting an astronaut’s view of space? How about taking a balloon ride to the top of the stratosphere, where you can see from horizon to horizon?

Topics: Private Space Singularity University exponential technology video webinar
1 min read

WEBINAR: AI Reinventing the Insurance Industry | Daniel Schreiber, CEO @ Lemonade

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 22, 2020

Daniel came up with the original concept for Lemonade during a conversation with me at Singularity University. Since then, he’s used exponential technology to disrupt the insurance industry and take Lemonade public.

Topics: Artificial Intellegence Singularity University exponential technology video webinar
1 min read

VIDEO: The Future is Faster Than You Think | Burning Man 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 17, 2020

What is the 'Singularity'? What does the future of food, healthcare and education look like? How do we best prepare for a future that is coming much faster than we think?

Topics: The 6 D's healthcare Singularity University future of food video Burning Man
4 min read

Neuralink… An AI-Mind Merger

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 12, 2020

Ready to connect your mind to an AI?

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials machine learning Artificial Intellegence Brain computer interface exponential technology Elon Musk Neuralink future tech
4 min read

Global population is declining… and that’s OKAY!

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 6, 2020

Worried about overpopulation? Don’t be…

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials machine learning sociology population
2 min read

Podcast Episode 90: A New Era of Human Spaceflight

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 5, 2020

Episode 88: Cracking the Vitality Code

Peter and Dan discuss the recent launch and recovery of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying humans in a commercially built spacecraft to and from the International Space Station. NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley splashed down on August 2, making it the first water landing since 1975.

 

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
5 min read

Now is the BEST TIME EVER to be an entrepreneur

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 16, 2020

Our mindset is everything: what one person sees as a crisis, another person sees as opportunity.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials machine learning
3 min read

A COVID-19 vaccine for older adults -- one of our most vulnerable populations

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 11, 2020

A successful COVID-19 vaccine will need to protect those who are 65 or older, one of our most vulnerable populations.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials Exponential Organizations machine learning Business Models who not how Software as a service SaaS Machine Learning as a service MLaaS coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine covaxx
7 min read

New COVID-19 vaccines are flooding our feeds, but are any of them manufacturable at scale?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 2, 2020

We’re bombarded every day with news about the latest miracle vaccine candidate: when it will be available, which vaccines have reached clinical trials, the stock market performance of the manufacturers, and so on.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials Exponential Organizations machine learning Business Models who not how Software as a service SaaS AI as a service AIaaS Machine Learning as a service MLaaS
4 min read

The most powerful vaccine you haven’t heard about…

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 30, 2020

The race is on. Across the globe, researchers, scientists and CEOs are developing more than 160 vaccines, all taking aim at COVID-19.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials Exponential Organizations machine learning Business Models who not how Software as a service SaaS AI as a service AIaaS Machine Learning as a service MLaaS
7 min read

revolutionizing drug discovery and delivery

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 19, 2020

If you had to guess how long it takes for a drug to go from an idea to your pharmacy, what would you guess? 3 years? 5 years? How about the cost? $30 million? $100 million?

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials gene therapy gene Technology Artificial Intellegence preventive medicine personalized medicine Genetics CRISPR genetic engineering genome sequencing
12 min read

the next data-driven Healthtech Revolution

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 5, 2020

Increasing your healthspan (i.e. making 100 years old the new 60) will depend to a large degree on artificial intelligence.

Topics: Abundance Data Sensors AI Medicine/Health Longevity health healthcare mobile health preventive medicine digital devices aging mHealth
20 min read

The Three R’s of Regenerative Medicine

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 28, 2020

Lizards can regrow entire limbs. Flatworms, starfish, and sea cucumbers regrow entire bodies.

Topics: 3D Printing Medicine/Health Longevity health healthcare bio-printing biotech Stem Cells entrepreneur regenerative medicine vitality
2 min read

Podcast Episode 88: Cracking the Vitality Code

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 24, 2020

Episode 88: Cracking the Vitality Code

Peter and Dan discuss a number of longevity and pharmaceutical companies that are working to crack the vitality code of life. Exponential technologies, from machine learning to CRISPR, are enabling scientists to probe medical data, understand aging, and reverse its processes like never before.


Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
8 min read

Longevity & Vitality - A Renaissance of Drugs and Genomics

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 21, 2020

The causes of aging are extremely complex and unclear.

Topics: Abundance AI Medicine/Health Longevity health healthcare preventive medicine Stem Cells protein-folding aging
10 min read

Abundance Insider: June 20th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 20, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: Artificial skin for robotic surgery, a new tissue rejuvenation method, and the latest predictions of intelligent alien civilizations within our galaxy....

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider  on  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

There are at least 36 intelligent alien civilizations in our galaxy, say scientists.

What it is: A group of University of Oxford researchers recently arrived at an estimation of at least 36 intelligent alien civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy, according to their “cosmic evolution”-based calculation. Our galaxy contains 100-400 billion stars, each with approximately one orbiting planet. The Oxford team’s model relies on a few core assumptions, namely that it takes about 5 billion years for intelligent life to develop but is probable, and technological civilizations will last at least 100 years. Both of these assumptions are extrapolated from our experience on Earth thus far. Other factors include star formation histories, the quantity of metal-rich stars (like the Sun), and the likelihood of Earth-like planets orbiting these stars in habitable ranges.

Why it’s important: Though the error bar in this estimate remains wide, this model offers a new framework for answering the question we have pondered for centuries: who else is out there? The team postulates that the average distance to one of these 36 civilizations is about 17,000 light years. To detect or communicate with objects at this distance is currently impossible, but the technological advancements in this direction are rapidly improving, accelerated by the entry of private entities into the space exploration sector. Discovering intelligent life would be an uplifting signal for the longevity of our own species, so let us hope our signals will soon intersect.

An artificial skin made with graphene could revolutionize robotic surgery.

What it is: Atomic Mechanics, a private company based in the UK, is developing a graphene-based electronic “skin” for sensors on robotic surgeons. The film is force-sensitive and can be attached to curved plastic. Furthermore, it has a large degree of flexibility, allowing for new design paradigms in electronic sensing. This versatility is largely afforded by graphene’s unique properties, which include high surface area, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and optical properties. A mere atom thick, graphene is remarkably 100 times stronger than steel, yet remains flexible and even stretchable.

Why it’s important: Robotic surgery is fast gaining traction, now an industry with a compound annual growth rate of 10.9 percent. While dexterity continues to advance, telesurgery has also proved consistently safer, resulting in fewer bodily traumas and faster recovery speeds. And now, Atomic Mechanics' 'skin' promises to enhance robo-surgeons even further. As CEO Christian Berger explains, "this flexible force-sensor will benefit society by opening up a new way for humans to interface with robotics. For example, a surgeon may be able to directly translate his or her hand and finger movement into a robotic surgery tool, by wearing a glove that contains the sensor film. This would allow the robotic surgery tool to have the dexterity of a surgeon with years of experience and the extreme-precision of a robotic arm with finely tuned motors."

Nuro partners with CVS Pharmacy to deliver medicines using its autonomous vehicle.

What it is: Autonomous vehicle manufacturer Nuro has partnered with CVS Pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs within three zip codes in Houston, Texas. Originally designed for last-mile delivery of local goods (whether groceries or consumer products), Nuro has now introduced its vehicles to the company's third targeted industry: pharma. As part of Nuro's pilot program, customers can place orders for both prescription and non-prescription medicines via the CVS website or the CVS app. Once customers select the autonomous delivery option, one of Nuro’s outfitted, autonomous Prius vehicles heeds the call, delivering consumer purchases in under three hours. Eventually, Nuro plans to transition to its purpose-built driverless R2.

Why it’s important: Over 76 percent of Americans live within five miles of a CVS pharmacy, and the company services over 4.5 million people every day. Particularly as physical distancing measures persist, autonomous vehicles can help reduce retail foot traffic as well as validate autonomous driving technology in the process. Enabling the transition to no-contact drug delivery, Nuro and similar counterparts could be a boon for public health, minimizing the interaction of sick patients and at-risk populations.

Study demonstrates feasibility of hologram technology in liver tumor ablation.

What it is: Researchers have now utilized Microsoft’s HoloLens technology in the novel application of visualizing liver tumor treatment. Traditionally, ultrasound and CT scans create 2D images for use by radiologists. These radiologists then apply thermal ablation and other tumor treatment methods with the guidance of these images. By using augmented reality, however, the radiologists were able to visualize a 3D model of a patient’s insides and project it onto the patient’s body. With such visual guidance, they then proceeded to use electromagnetically tracked tools to efficiently, accurately and safely deliver targeted liver cancer treatments.

Why it’s important: The primary benefit of this novel approach was a notable increase in radiologists' speed and confidence. Across the board, users noted that they localized tumors more quickly, avoided organs and critical structures, and applied optimal ablation more easily. By comparison, resulting accuracy stood at par with the gold standard of CT and ultrasound imaging. According to the senior author of the study, “This technique can be used intra-procedurally to check the accuracy and quality of the treatment, as well as pre-procedurally to engage with the patient in their own care. We can change 2-D images into holograms of a patient's distinct anatomy so that both the physician and the patient get a better understanding of the tumor and treatment.”

Diluting blood plasma rejuvenates tissue, reverses aging in mice.

What it is: By replacing half of the blood plasma in old mice with a mix of saline and albumin, a UC Berkeley research team has now observed rejuvenation effects in the brains, livers, and muscles of these mice. In 2005, the same team demonstrated that connecting the blood of young and old mice (essentially making them conjoined twins) resulted in rejuvenation. Yet the present study showed equal or greater enhancements by solely diluting the blood of the old mice, eliminating the need for young mice entirely. The dilution was relatively simple, requiring only saline and albumin, which is the most abundant blood protein and is used for tissue repair and growth. The FDA has already approved therapeutic plasma exchange for a variety of autoimmune diseases, and the UC Berkeley team is currently finalizing clinical trials to determine the effects of their technique in human age-associated illnesses.

Why it’s important: This discovery shifts our attention away from young blood and towards the importance of age-related harmful proteins in old blood. Rather than focusing on specific protein therapeutics, age reversal is more likely linked to a host of proteins that can be naturally triggered by dilution processes such as this study’s approach. The dilution acts as a molecular reset button that flushes out the bad proteins and makes way for regeneration of beneficial proteins, like those that boost vascularization. Harnessing the body’s natural restoration capacities will be the key to expanding human longevity.

Restaurants are in need of a helping hand. Miso Robotics is offering them one. Literally.

What it is: Flippy, an arm-like robotic kitchen assistant made by Miso Robotics, has already successfully flipped over 12,000 burgers for venues like the Dodger Stadium and 50 CaliBurger restaurants. Miso Robotics also makes a Robot on a Rail (ROAR) that can operate from an overhead railing to effectively fry chicken tenders and onion rings. These robots are designed to work with employees rather than replace them. While employees take care of customer relations, Flippy can perfectly time the cooking of well-done and medium burgers in the same order so that they both arrive hot. With AI capabilities, these robots learn from their surroundings over time and can perfect the mundane tasks that restaurant workers find least rewarding.

Why it’s important: The restaurant industry, with its slim margins and labor shortages, could greatly benefit from automation to boost efficiency. The Flippy robot proved to increase profit margins by 300% and reduced stress about shift management. In a post-pandemic world, automation will become even more critical. As employees spend more time enforcing safety regulations and helping customers adjust to new systems, robots like Flippy and ROAR could maintain consistent, high standards of food production in the kitchen.

Want more conversations like this?

Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop.

As part of the platform, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).


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Topics: Abundance Insider
6 min read

why we age....

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 14, 2020

Healthcare today is reactive, retrospective, bureaucratic and expensive. It's sick care, not healthcare.

Topics: Abundance AI Medicine/Health Longevity health healthcare preventive medicine Stem Cells protein-folding aging
11 min read

My follow-up to “It is time…”

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 10, 2020

Last week I wrote a blog titled “It is time…” expressing my personal views (and that of my team) on the topic of social justice and anti-racism. 

Topics: social responsibility black lives matter human rights racism social justice unity
2 min read

It is time....

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 3, 2020

I often write about abundance, bold thinking, optimism, problem-solving and gratitude mindsets… I state confidently that this can be the greatest time ever to be alive.

But it can only be the greatest time if we systematically unlearn the conscious and unconscious biases that still subject so many to discrimination, prejudice, and violence.

The events of this past week have shown us the extraordinary pain, anxiety, and collective anguish that have been inflicted upon our fellow citizens for too long.

It can’t be swept away, rationalized or ignored. It is real.

Whether it’s violence on lives of those we have lost—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, among many others before them—or wrongful accusations and presumptions of guilt on the basis of race, these unconscionable crimes must be addressed.

And while I know that I will never be able to fully understand the pain myself, I can empathize and I can commit to taking a stand on the side of social justice.

I have often taken a non-political stance, focusing on the proliferation of entrepreneurial ingenuity and technological innovation that drive abundance across our world— independent of political whims.

Ultimately, however, this is no longer a political issue. It is a moral one. One that stands at the core of our shared humanity, our ability to lift each other up as we pursue a future that is hopeful, compelling and abundant for all.

And for those who refuse this moral lens, technology will help fill the gaps and level the playing field. Today, we are living on a planet with a trillion sensors (and growing), imaging everything, everywhere, all the time. Crimes against humanity and oppression of people will no longer live in the shadows.

It is time for our civilization to evolve FROM a competitive, scarcity and hyper-local mindset, TO a collaborative, abundance and global mindset.

It is time for us (myself included) to deeply listen, further educate ourselves, and take new levels of empathetic action.

With respect,
Peter

Topics: black lives matter
8 min read

Ending Aging.... the Other Pandemic

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 31, 2020

As the world faces COVID-19, there is a second pandemic killing everyone… it’s called aging.

And for the first time ever, scientists and entrepreneurs think there’s a way to slow aging in its tracks, and perhaps even reverse it.

In this blog, we’ll do a quick review of the cutting-edge tech that gives me tremendous hope that we can add a healthy 20 or 30 years onto our healthspan, ultimately making 100 years old the “new 60.”

COVID-19 Comparison: As of today, there have been nearly 6.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, and since its initial outbreak, COVID-19 has now become the recorded cause of about 371,000 deaths.

To put this in context, approximately 7.8 billion people are alive today, roughly 9 percent of which are over the age of 65 and suffering from the deadliest disease on Earth: Aging.

Without competition, aging is the #1 correlated variable when it comes to deaths due to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease and dementia. In effect, 9 percent of the population equates to 720 million confirmed cases of aging. And even then, this is an extraordinarily conservative estimate as many people begin experiencing the effects of aging in their 50s.

Despite these figures, the world is only just beginning to recognize aging as a disease. So far, no one has recovered from this disease in the history of humanity, and barring fundamental scientific breakthroughs, you can confidently assume it will take your life.

As a society today, we simply accept that aging (and death) are a part of life, but there is nothing that says our lives can’t be significantly extended.

Many species on Earth live far longer lives… The Bowhead whale can reach 200 years of age, while the Greenland Shark and Sea Turtles can make it to more than 400 years.

If they can, why can’t we? Clearly, it is either a hardware or a software problem, both of which are within the grasp of our understanding, and soon within reach of our modification... using treatments such as gene therapy, CRISPR, and cell therapies, just to name a few.

If you haven’t read Lifespan by Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School (I strongly recommend it), he gives a host of compelling evidence to show there is no reason people born today cannot live to at least 120 in healthy condition, if not 150 and beyond.

As scientists and entrepreneurs race to unlock and rewire the biology of aging, here are some key technologies you can track today to extend your healthspan, i.e. the amount of time you have to live a healthy, functional life, avoiding expensive, bed-ridden, end-of-life care.

Here is the list that I’m tracking (and am excited about):

  1. CRISPR & Gene Therapy
  2. Stem Cell Therapy
  3. Wnt Pathway Manipulation
  4. Senolytic Medicines

Let’s dive into the data behind each of these treatments.


(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)


(1) CRISPR & Gene Therapy: Why does cheaper, faster genomic sequencing matter? It’s a healthcare gamechanger.

Aging is ultimately the dis-regulation or breakdown of the cells in our body. Consider that there are a few main ways to repair such situations. “Gene Therapy” is one such technology that effectively inserts a gene into specific cells in your body, effectively repairing the instruction set that is corrupted or missing. A second technique called CRISPR-Cas9 allows you to edit (think cut and paste) the DNA sequence inside your cells. 

CRISPR-Cas9, for example, has become our leading weapon in the fight against genetic diseases. Technically, it’s an engineering tool that allows us to target precise locations in the gene code and then rewrite that DNA.

Want to remove the string of DNA that produces muscular dystrophy? Simple. Just target that spot in the genome, unleash CRISPR-Cas9, and snip, snip, snip—problem solved.

More importantly, CRISPR is cheap, fast, and getting easier to use. Most recently, scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard unveiled CRISPR 2.0, a next-generation editor that’s extremely precise. It can target and change a single letter in a single string of DNA.

What good is a single letter out of 3.2 billion?

As explained by David Liu, the Harvard chemical biologist who ld thee work, “of more than 50,000 genetic changes currently known to be associated with disease in humans [...] 32,000 of those are caused by the simple swap of one base pair for another.”

(2) Stem Cell Therapy: Each of us is a collection of over 30 trillion human cells. Every one of these cells, those in your brain, lungs, liver, skin, and everywhere else, are derived from a single pluripotent type of cell called a stem cell.

When we are young, our bodies are teeming with stem cells that can replace any damaged tissue. They are the restorative engines of our bodies, helping us repair damage. But as we age, the number of stem cells in our tissues and blood stream can reduce 100X or 1,000X, making repair much more difficult.

But what if we could “restore our body's rejuvenative engine,” our stem cell population? What if we could take stem cells from the human placenta, an organ whose stem cells actually “form” the fetus, and augment your current stem cell population?

Celularity (a company founded by stem cell pioneer Bob Hariri and myself), for instance, has now demonstrated that placental-derived stem cells given to animals can extend life up to 30 percent. Showing incredible promise, Celularity now aims to make this approach viable in humans, harnessing stem cells to amplify the body’s ability to fight disease and heal itself.

(3) Wnt Pathway Manipulation: An incredible company based in San Diego, called Samumed, is now targeting the signaling pathways that regulate the self-renewal and differentiation of adult stem cells, a pathway known as “wnt.”

In animal studies, as well as Phase-1 and Phase-2 human clinical trials, their drugs (small molecules) have been shown to regrow cartilage, heal tendons, remove wrinkles, and, by the way, stop a multitude of cancers and reverse Alzheimer’s. This also explains why Samumed, a company still in stealth mode, has a $12 billion valuation.

Samumed has developed nine different so-called “regenerative medicines.” All are in the FDA’s pipeline, including everything from hair-loss treatments to Alzheimer’s drugs.

(4) Senolytic Medicines: Over the arc of your life, the cells in your body divide until they reach what is known as the Hayflick limit, or the number of times a normal human cell population will divide before cell division stops, which is typically about 50 divisions.

What normally follows next is programmed cell death or destruction by the immune system.

A very small fraction of cells, however, become ‘senescent cells,’ evading this fate to linger indefinitely. These lingering cells secrete a potent mix of molecules that triggers chronic inflammation, damages the surrounding tissue structures, and changes the behavior of nearby cells for the worse.

Senescent cells appear to be one of the root causes of aging, causing everything from fibrosis and blood vessel calcification to localized inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and diminished lung function.

Fortunately, scientific and entrepreneurial communities alike have begun to work on senolytic therapies, driving forward technologies that selectively destroy senescent cells out of the laboratory and into a half-dozen startup companies.

One such prominent company in the field is Unity Biotechnology, which is developing senolytic medicines to selectively eliminate senescent cells with an initial focus on delivering localized therapy in osteoarthritis, ophthalmology and pulmonary disease.

Final Thoughts & Join Me

Beyond these four areas above, there are countless other therapeutics and approaches ranging from metformin, NAD boosters, rapalogs, and GDF-11 to a new generation of AI/Machine Learning-enhanced molecules being discovered.

In success, longevity and vitality therapies are a *trillion-dollar* industry, and today's smartest scientists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are investing in its boom.

Leading the charge are three major “HOT SPOTS” for Longevity startups… (1) The Bay Area; (2) San Diego; and (3) Boston.

This August 19-23, 2020 and September 16-20, 2020, I'm taking two groups of individuals on what I call my “Platinum Longevity & Immunity Trip,” visiting two of these hot spots: San Francisco & San Diego.

Each trip will be a 5-Star (luxury) deep dive to meet 20+ companies and 30+ scientists/physicians and entrepreneurs who are leading the charge against age-related diseases and extending the human healthspan. We will also be visiting the top labs and scientists developing the diagnostics, anti-virals, vaccines and therapeutics fighting COVID-19.

Both trips are identical (with only 24 participants per trip). I will spend all 5-days with you as your private guide and provocateur. Through this personalized, action-packed program, my mission is to give you first-hand exposure to the major players, scientists, companies and treatments in the longevity and vitality arena. All your questions answered. Early access to cutting-edge treatments and products. And a behind-the scenes view of tomorrow’s longevity revolution.

Both trips are nearly sold out. To learn more and lock in your seat, visit our website here and schedule a call with Claire Adair, my program manager, to learn more.


(1) Abundance 360 CEO Summit: If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, owner of a company ranging in size from $1M to $1B+, consider joining my personal Mastermind called Abundance360 (www.a360.com). Click here to learn more.

(2) Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop.

Last month, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).

(A360 is part of Singularity University  your participation opens you to a global community.)


(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

Topics: Materials Science Exponentials materials exponential technology biodiversity
2 min read

Podcast Episode 87: How Industries Will Change

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 22, 2020

Episode 87: How Industries Will Change

Peter and Dan discuss the ways in which today’s pandemic will fundamentally reshape a handful of industries, from commercial aviation to education. For most of us, we will not be returning to business as usual. Rather, we will see the emergence of redefined and reorganized companies, made resilient by their need to adapt to new market conditions.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
9 min read

Abundance Insider: May 21st, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 21, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: Nvidia’s latest AI & computing releases, Sorrento’s new coronavirus antibody, and COVID-19’s impact on the auto industry.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider  on  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Sorrento finds a coronavirus antibody that blocks viral infection 100% in preclinical lab experiments.

What it is: Sorrento Therapeutics has demonstrated complete inhibition of the virus causing COVID-19 after four days of incubation with antibody STI-1499. Standing out among billions of screened antibody candidates, STI-1499 binds to the spike proteins on the virus and prevents it from interacting with healthy human cell target receptors. In addition to developing this antibody into a treatment that can be tested in humans, the Sorrento team is also creating an antibody “cocktail” called COVID-SHIELD, consisting of multiple effective antibodies. More antibodies increase the likelihood that the virus can be defeated even as it mutates between transmissions.

Why it’s important: It remains unclear how quickly the SARS-CoV-2 virus can mutate. Many coronaviruses like the common cold can mutate rapidly, making it difficult to create sustained treatments. Sorrento’s approach of an antibody cocktail is therefore likely to be the most long-lasting treatment for this type of virus. While the treatment has yet to be tested in humans, Sorrento’s team is working to expedite development and ramp up production capacity in hopes of producing one million doses immediately following FDA approval.

Researchers release data sets to train coronavirus chatbots.

What it is: Researchers from UC Davis, UC San Diego, and Carnegie Mellon University have published a proposal of AI chatbots that can advise patients with coronavirus symptoms. Starting with Google’s Transformer architecture, OpenAI’s GPT language model, and another encoder-decoder architecture, the researchers were able to create AI bots that showed promising results for medical consultations. Models used to build prototype chatbots were trained with datasets containing English and Chinese patient-doctor conversations about the novel coronavirus.

Why it’s important: As patients and medical practitioners make the shift to telehealth consultations, many virtual providers have become overwhelmed by a rapid influx of patients (Frost and Sullivan research suggests that telehealth consultations grew by 50 percent in March). In order to alleviate the bottleneck, researchers indicate that AI chatbots can provide adequate consultations in the absence of human doctors or to supplement in-person consultation. The researchers write: “In this work, we make the first attempt to develop dialogue systems that can provide medical consultations about [the coronavirus]. Experimental results show that these trained models are promising in generating clinically meaningful and linguistically high-quality consultations.”

NVIDIA’s newest AI supercomputer joins the fight against COVID-19.

What it is: In the last week, Nvidia has announced a slew of releases, converging upon the company’s future vision, one that relies upon the tremendous power of its new computation systems. Nvidia first unveiled its Ampere GPU architecture, which boasts the single largest generational leap in performance of Nvidia’s GPU lineage. This fundamental development undergirds the tech firm’s other announcements, such as Nvidia Jarvis (a conversational AI platform) and Nvidia DRIVE (autonomous vehicle training systems). Most importantly, however, the company announced that its new AI system, the DGX A100, which uses 8 Ampere GPUs, will be used to run AI simulation models of molecular dynamics to screen for coronavirus therapies. Furthermore, the company announced Clara Guardian, an edge-AI platform for smart hospitals that delivers insights such as operating room analytics, workflow automation, and sensors to monitor the spread of infectious disease.

Why it’s important: Nvidia has staked a vision of the future wherein a growing proportion of human tasks are conducted by high-performance, cloud-based AI systems. From gaming and virtual reality, to transit and autonomous vehicles, to conversational AIs and healthcare, our lives increasingly rely on high-performance computing. Due to Nvidia’s long history of graphics chip design, the company has positioned itself as an undeniable market leader for high-performance computation. And its most recent cascade of announcements gives both consumers and developers a glimpse at our next generation of computation technology.

Once a coronavirus vaccine exists, this researcher’s mailable patch could deliver it to millions.

What it is: Administration of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine could one day be as easy as putting on a Band-Aid. Dr. Guizhi “Julian” Zhu at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy has designed patches consisting of hundreds of polymer microneedles as thin as human hairs. Nanoparticles embedded in these needles are released into the body as the microneedles dissolve under the skin. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, encapsulating correct doses in these nanoparticles could provide a painless delivery vehicle. Moreover, these microneedle patches are the size of a mere fingernail, making them easy to ship via mail — minimizing human interactions that could perpetuate the disease’s spread.

Why it’s important: In anticipation of a forthcoming vaccine, our supply networks and distribution strategies must be set up now. A delivery mechanism like the microneedle patch could offer a mass-produced, shippable, and painless solution. While the patches must undergo further testing to ensure they deliver predictable vaccine doses and do not decay under shipment conditions, Zhu and fellow researchers hope to soon reach clinical trials using viable vaccines. The race to beat COVID-19 has united research teams across multiple disciplines to engineer components of various solutions. This widespread collaboration will remain a model for accelerated medical advancements moving forward.

Volvo CEO: Pandemic will rapidly accelerate shift to electric cars.

What it is: Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson anticipates the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) will be stronger than ever post-pandemic. Speaking at a recent Financial Times global digital conference, Samuelsson emphasized that auto industry government subsidies should be channeled towards new technologies, particularly in the EV realm, instead of perpetuating fossil fuel dependency. Volvo plans to release a fully electric car each year until 2025 to meet its goal of having EVs represent 50% of global sales. In the midst of COVID-19 disruptions to showroom sales, we will experience a shift towards automotive e-commerce. Volvo is paving the road towards online vehicle orders with its XC40 Recharge, the auto manufacturer’s first mass-produced EV. With a $1,000 initial deposit, drivers can reserve the 402-horsepower EV, capable of traveling over 200 miles on a single charge.

Why it’s important: The automotive industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, with an estimated loss of $5.7 billion due to disruptions in the automotive supply chain. The pandemic has forced many manufacturing facilities — including those of Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and PSA Group — to shut down. Meanwhile, reduced foot traffic into showrooms, alongside a massive shift to remote work, has not helped the industry either. As car ownership declines, we may see a shift towards subscription services that allow for flexible semi-ownership at lower costs. In urban settings with limited vehicle storage space, this trend will only accelerate. For those who do purchase vehicles, dealership showrooms will be replaced by VR experiences and remote delivery. The auto industry is not turning back.

Want more conversations like this?

Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop. I was getting ready to share it publicly, but the current crisis has changed my plans.

Last week, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).


Share Abundance Insider  on  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.
Topics: Abundance Insider
8 min read

Materials Science: the Unsung Hero

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 17, 2020

Few recognize the vast implications of materials science.

To build today’s smartphone in the 1980s, it would cost about $110 million, require nearly 200 kilowatts of energy, and the device would be 14 meters tall, according to Applied Materials CTO Omkaram Nalamasu.

That's the power of materials advances. Materials science has democratized smartphones, bringing the technology to the pockets of over 3.5 billion people.

But far beyond devices and circuitry, materials science stands at the center of innumerable breakthroughs across energy, future cities, transit, and medicine. And at the forefront of COVID-19, materials scientists are forging ahead with biomaterials, nanotechnology, and other materials research to accelerate a solution.

As the name suggests, materials science is the branch devoted to the discovery and development of new materials. It’s an outgrowth of both physics and chemistry, using the periodic table as its grocery store and the laws of physics as its cookbook.

And today, we are in the middle of a materials science revolution. In this blog, we’ll unpack the most important materials advancements happening now.

Let’s dive in… 


(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

The Materials Genome Initiative

In June 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University, President Obama announced the Materials Genome Initiative, a nationwide effort to use open source methods and AI to double the pace of innovation in materials science.

Obama felt this acceleration was critical to the U.S.'s global competitiveness, and held the key to solving significant challenges in clean energy, national security, and human welfare.

And it worked.

By using AI to map the hundreds of millions of different possible combinations of elements—hydrogen, boron, lithium, carbon, etc.—the initiative created an enormous database that allows scientists to play a kind of improv jazz with the periodic table.

This new map of the physical world lets scientists combine elements faster than ever before and is helping them create all sorts of novel elements.

And an array of new fabrication tools are further amplifying this process, allowing us to work at altogether new scales and sizes, including the atomic scale, where we’re now building materials one atom at a time.

Biggest Materials Science Breakthroughs

These tools have helped create the metamaterials used in carbon fiber composites for lighter-weight vehicles, advanced alloys for more durable jet engines, and biomaterials to replace human joints.

We’re also seeing breakthroughs in energy storage and quantum computing.

In robotics, new materials are helping us create the artificial muscles needed for humanoid, soft robots—think Westworld in your world.

Let’s unpack some of the leading materials science breakthroughs of the past decade.

(1) Lithium-ion batteries

The lithium-ion battery, which today powers everything from our smartphones to our autonomous cars, was first proposed in the 1970s. It couldn’t make it to market until the 1990s, and didn’t begin to reach maturity until the past few years.

An exponential technology, these batteries have been dropping in price for three decades, plummeting 90% between 1990 and 2010, and 80% since. Concurrently, they’ve seen an eleven-fold increase in capacity.

But producing enough of them to meet demand has been an ongoing problem. Tesla has stepped up to the challenge: one of the company’s Gigafactories in Nevada churns out 20 gigawatts of energy storage per year, marking the first time we’ve seen lithium-ion batteries produced at scale.

Musk predicts 100 Gigafactories could store the energy needs of the entire globe. Other companies are moving quickly to integrate this technology as well: Renault is building a home energy storage based on their Zoe batteries, BMW’s 500 i3 battery packs are being integrated into the UK’s national energy grid, and Toyota, Nissan, and Audi have all announced pilot projects.

Lithium-ion batteries will continue to play a major role in renewable energy storage, helping bring down solar and wind energy prices to compete with those of coal and gasoline.

(2) Graphene

Derived from the same graphite found in everyday pencils, graphene is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick. It is nearly weightless, but 200 times stronger than steel. Conducting electricity and dissipating heat faster than any other known substance, this super-material has transformative applications.

Graphene enables sensors, high-performance transistors, and even gel that helps neurons communicate in the spinal cord. Many flexible device screens, drug delivery systems, 3D printers, solar panels, and protective fabric use graphene.

As manufacturing costs decrease, this material has the power to accelerate advancements of all kinds.

(3) Perovskite

Right now, the “conversion efficiency” of the average solar panel—a measure of how much captured sunlight can be turned into electricity—hovers around 16%, at a cost of roughly $3 per watt.

Perovskite, a light-sensitive crystal and one of our newer new materials, has the potential to get that up to 66%, which would double what silicon panels can muster.

Perovskite’s ingredients are widely available and inexpensive to combine. What do all these factors add up to? Affordable solar energy for everyone.

Materials of the Nano-World

Nanotechnology is the outer edge of materials science, the point where matter manipulation gets nano-small—that’s a million times smaller than an ant, 8,000 times smaller than a red blood cell, and 2.5 times smaller than a strand of DNA.

Nanobots are machines that can be directed to produce more of themselves, or more of whatever else you’d like. And because this takes place at an atomic scale, these nanobots can pull apart any kind of material—soil, water, air—atom by atom, and use these now raw materials to construct just about anything.

Progress has been surprisingly swift in the nano-world, with a bevy of nano-products now on the market.

Never want to fold clothes again? Nanoscale additives to fabrics help them resist wrinkling and staining.

Don’t do windows? Not a problem! Nano-films make windows self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and capable of conducting electricity.

Want to add solar to your house? We’ve got nano-coatings that capture the sun’s energy.

Nanomaterials make lighter automobiles, airplanes, baseball bats, helmets, bicycles, luggage, power tools—the list goes on.

Researchers at Harvard built a nanoscale 3D printer capable of producing miniature batteries less than one millimeter wide.

And if you don’t like those bulky VR goggles, researchers are now using nanotech to create smart contact lenses with a resolution six times greater than that of today’s smartphones.

And even more is coming. Right now, in medicine, drug delivery nanobots are proving especially useful in fighting cancer. Computing is a stranger story, as a bioengineer at Harvard recently stored 700 terabytes of data in a single gram of DNA.

On the environmental front, scientists can take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into super-strong carbon nanofibers for use in manufacturing. If we can do this at scale—powered by solar—a system 10% the size of the Sahara Desert could reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels in about a decade.

The applications are endless. And coming fast. Over the next decade, the impact of the very, very small is about to get very, very large.

Final Thoughts

With the help of artificial intelligence and quantum computing over the next decade, the discovery of new materials will accelerate exponentially.

And with these new discoveries, customized materials will grow commonplace. Future knee implants will be personalized to meet the exact needs of each body, both in terms of structure and composition.

Though invisible to the naked eye, nanoscale materials will integrate into our everyday lives, seamlessly improving medicine, energy, smartphones, and more.

Ultimately, the path to demonetization and democratization of advanced technologies starts with re-designing materials— the invisible enabler and catalyst. Our future depends on the materials we create.


(Note #1: This blog comes from my new book (just released January 28th), The Future is Faster Than You Think, a roadmap for how converging exponential technologies will transform every industry over the next 50 years. To get your own copy, click here!)

(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

Join Me

(1) Abundance 360 CEO Summit: If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, owner of a company ranging in size from $1M to $1B+, consider joining my personal Mastermind called Abundance360 (www.a360.com). Click here to learn more.

(2) Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop.

Last month, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).

(A360 is part of Singularity University  your participation opens you to a global community.)

Topics: Materials Science Exponentials materials exponential technology biodiversity
2 min read

Podcast Episode 86: Business Model Innovation

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 11, 2020

Episode 86: Business Model Innovation

Peter and Dan discuss how evolutionary pressures speed up innovation, agreeing that the pandemic will accelerate technological progress and change our lives forever. In the arc of contemporary history, we will remember a clear distinction between life “Pre-COVID-19” and “Post-COVID-19.” To this effect, Peter and Dan demonstrate how business model innovation is at an all-time high, fueling historic levels of productivity and creativity for entrepreneurs in our new “work-from-home” economy.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
11 min read

4 Industries Impacted & What’s Next?

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 10, 2020

Exponential tech has been disrupting traditional industries at an ever-increasing pace.  

Topics: Exponentials healthcare mobile health mental health news crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology telemedicine crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions
4 min read

where will you get your news in 2026?

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 1, 2020

Six days ago, I asked our community to predict where you’ll get your news in 2026. Will it be….

Topics: Exponentials healthcare mobile health mental health news crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology telemedicine crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions
2 min read

Podcast Episode 85: Evolution of Work

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 30, 2020

Episode 85: Evolution of Work

Peter and Dan discuss Software as a Service (SaaS) and AIaaS, both vital tools for businesses seeking to scale with a leaner organization. Particularly as workforces become distributed and companies race to digitize, cloud computing is now more important than ever before.

 

 

 

In this episode:

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
6 min read

Trust Your News Source?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 26, 2020

In the past, I’ve jokingly called CNN the “Crisis News Network”… or the “Constantly Negative News” network. (Sorry, I don’t have anything cute for FOX.)

Topics: Exponentials healthcare mobile health mental health news crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology telemedicine crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions
11 min read

Abundance Insider: April 25th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 25, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: Ghana's COVID-19 test delivery drones, Google's Cloud Healthcare API launch, and a free federally approved 3D-printed mask design.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider  on  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Ghana turns to drones to enable faster coronavirus testing.

What it is: U.S. drone delivery startup Zipline has now been recruited by Ghana and its national Health Service to test civilians far more quickly for the novel coronavirus. After conducting its first sample delivery test flight on April 1st, Zipline is now approved for widespread implementation. Transporting test swabs in decimated timeframes, Zipline’s drones will gather samples from over 1,000 rural medical facilities across the country and deliver them to testing labs in Accra and Kumasi (Ghana’s second-largest city). Now capable of making 300 flights to transport up to 15,000 tests every day, Zipline’s fleet turns ground transit journeys (of up to a day) into round-trip flights of under 30 minutes.

Why it’s important: According to available reports, Ghana currently has over 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has seen 10 resulting deaths. Yet up until last week, getting test samples to urban-based labs was a lengthy process, prompting some clinics to wait days for tests to accumulate before making the trip. Now, “using contactless drone delivery to transport COVID-19 test samples will allow the government to respond to the pandemic and help save lives more quickly,” explains Zipline’s CEO Keller Rinaudo. While Zipline has long delivered vital medical supplies to remote regions across Rwanda, Ghana, and Tanzania, this initiative marks the first use of autonomous drones for long-range delivery to urban centers and could set the stage for scaled-up COVID-19 testing at speed.

As 3D printing of protective gear ramps up, a free mask designed in Seattle is the first of its kind to get federal approval.

What it is: Former Microsoft executive Jonathan Roberts has created a 3D-printed respirator mask, now the first of its kind to receive certification by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dubbed the Maker Mask, it can be assembled for as little as $2-3 on a hobbyist-grade 3D printer in under 4 hours, incorporating a replaceable HEPA filter. Now approved for first responders — firefighters, rescue workers, police, and emergency personnel — the Maker Mask is easily accessible, as its website allows anyone to register, download instructions, and get assistance in finding locally available materials. As of last Friday, mask instructions had been downloaded over 35,000 times across 117 countries. To help with manufacture and distribution, the Maker Mask now runs a small assembly line operation in a Seattle church to fulfill orders. Alongside a group of college volunteers and two dozen printers, chief Maker Mask engineer Rory Larson has overseen the printing of about 100 masks daily.

Why it’s important: The past month has seen a surge of entrepreneurial activity and corporate pivoting: entrepreneurs and DIY enthusiasts have rushed to create innovative mask designs, as companies like Adidas turn to their 3D-printing shoe production engines to generate face shields. Yet many of the masks and protective devices made at home fail to meet certification criteria and requisite safety standards. As explained by Jonathan Roberts, however, federal approval of the Maker Mask “sends a signal to those people downloading it that this has gone through a vetting process[, which] should provide some comfort to those that are printing it and handing it to first responders.” Furthermore, federal approval allows for far greater scale of distribution through federal channels, such as state colleges and universities.

Google launches Cloud Healthcare API in general availability.

What it is: On Monday, Google launched its Cloud Healthcare API in general availability, which facilitates data exchange between healthcare applications and solutions built on Google Cloud. This means that organizations can use the API to analyze complex data with pre-built connectors for streaming data processing (Dataflow), scalable analytics (BigQuery), and machine learning (AI Platform). The API even allows for clinical and analytics applications that support HIPAA compliance, protecting patient privacy with encryption. The Mayo Clinic has already been relying on the Cloud Healthcare API for storage and clinical data interoperability for about a year.

Why it’s important: As our health systems become increasingly inundated with COVID-19 data, Cloud Healthcare API could help in collating this input. Microsoft has also made headway in this space with its Azure API, which allows organizations to connect and interact with any system that supports the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. Meanwhile, Amazon Comprehend Medical (part of the AWS product suite), implements machine learning to highlight relevant medical information from any text. Analyzing medical data in mass amounts with the help of AI will accelerate our understanding of COVID-19 and potentially various other diseases moving forward.

How utilities are using AI to adapt to electricity demands.

What it is: As nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns cause massive shifts in consumer behavior, utilities are now turning to machine learning algorithms to forecast these pattern changes. Take Innowatts, for instance, developer of an automated toolkit for energy monitoring and management, with customers such as Portland General Electric and Gexa Energy. By analyzing data from over 34 million smart meters, distributed across 21 million customers in 14 regional markets, Innowatts conducts forecasts on loads and weather sensitivity, and can even compare different cost structures. Meanwhile, Autogrid works with over 50 utilities in 10 countries to deliver AI-driven power usage insights. Autogrid’s flagship platform, Flex, uses data science, machine learning and network optimization algorithms to model both physics and consumer behavior. Alongside Autogrid’s solution for end user battery and microgrid installations, Flex can thereby dynamically anticipate and adjust for supply and demand shifts.

Why it’s important: Stay-at-home orders have created turmoil for power utilities. According to Peter Fox-Penner, director of Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, utilities revenue will suffer tremendously. Even as we see an uptick in household electricity demand, growth in this smaller subset of the market will have a minuscule effect in offsetting reduced demand by businesses. The ability to forecast and adjust for radical shifts in consumer behavior will therefore help alleviate the worst of the pandemic. “The societal impact [of the pandemic] will continue to be felt — people may continue working remotely instead of going into the office, they may alter their commute times to avoid rush hour crowds, or may look to alternative modes of transportation. All of this will impact the daily load curve, and that is where AI and automation can help us with maintenance, performance, and diagnostics within our homes, buildings, and in the grid,” says Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Innovation Officer at Schneider Electric.

First at-home COVID-19 testing kit authorized by the FDA.

What it is: The U.S. FDA has now authorized the first at-home COVID-19 test kit, produced by diagnostics company LabCorp. Composed of sample collection materials, including a nasal swab, the ‘Pixel’ at-home collection kit is the first to receive FDA authorization (under emergency use rules) for an at-home, self-administered test. While priority access will be given to healthcare workers and first responders, eligible consumers will soon be able to attain the test for $119, submitting their own nasal swabs and fluid samples by mail for analysis.

Why it’s important: 147,000 COVID-19 tests are reported in the United States each day — but experts say we need far more to get the pandemic under control. Making testing more widely available with at-home kits could eliminate the stress of visiting hospitals, where significantly higher viral loads await. More data points could also provide a better understanding of the actual mortality rate, which has been inflated as a result of insufficient testing rollout. Moreover, widespread at-home testing could save critical supplies for healthcare workers on the front lines by circumventing the need for medical protective equipment.

Researchers use live virus to identify 30 existing drugs that could treat COVID-19.

What it is: After screening over 12,000 drugs from the ReFRAME drug repurposing collection, scientists have now identified 30 existing FDA-approved drugs that halt the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The study, placed on open-access distribution service bioRxiv, is led by Sumit Chanda, PhD, director of the Immunity and Pathogenesis Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys. The drugs are currently being screened with the live SARS-CoV-2 virus in the lab. Four of the drugs — clofazimine, acitretin, tretinoin and astemizole — have an extensive proven record of safety in humans, while most of the remaining drugs have also been safe and effective in treating other human diseases.

Why it’s important: Dr. Chanda anticipates the scientists will begin clinical trials immediately or in the next few months. As time is of the essence, these drugs could reach patients far faster than those identified, created and tested from scratch. Although previous clinical trials have taken years to complete, the technological advancements of today have allowed us to achieve medical feats at unprecedented speeds, as evidenced by this study. As you read headlines forecasting years of physical distancing, don’t forget that most projections rely on historical precedents from periods during which today’s exponential technologies did not yet exist. It’s up to us to define the coming months with the phenomenal resources we’ve built.

Want more conversations like this?

Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop. I was getting ready to share it publicly, but the current crisis has changed my plans.

Last week, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).


Share Abundance Insider  on  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.
Topics: Abundance Insider
3 min read

Who Will Lead “In-Home Healthcare” by 2026?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 24, 2020

Six days ago, I asked our community to predict which entity would lead in-home healthcare in 6 years:

Topics: Exponentials healthcare mobile health crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology telemedicine crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions
7 min read

post-COVID healthcare!

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 19, 2020

How will health change after COVID-19?

Topics: Exponentials healthcare mobile health crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology telemedicine crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions
10 min read

Abundance Insider: April 17th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 17, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: Improbable's pandemic simulation tech, computational models for understanding COVID-19 infection, and urban disinfection robots.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Improbable’s simulation tech could help us build better pandemic models.

What it is: British unicorn Improbable, which specializes in simulation and gaming technology, has been recruited to help with the UK government’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Their SpatialOS platform, which creates simulations of entire worlds, is typically used for gaming. However, as CEO Joe Robinson states, “We combine scientific modeling, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to create, essentially, a platform orientated towards the simulation of real-world environments.” The firm’s specialty is agent-based modeling, which involves models for each individual element in an environment, whether that be a civilian, inanimate object, car, business, or power plant. Such models can assist in understanding urban mobility, vehicle traffic, or even crime patterns in specific areas.

Why it’s important: Accurate epidemic modeling simulations are critical to the UK’s policy response to COVID-19. According to Joe Robinson, “The aim [...] is to improve decision-making and increase the effectiveness of the whole of a government’s preparedness activities whilst also drastically reducing the cost.” Improbable’s agent-based models allow for additional flexibility that eludes other forms of modeling, which often break parts of the problem into distinct, siloed models. As explained by Improbable principal scientist Christoforos Anagnostopolous, “In a pandemic, you [want] to couple together a model of the outbreak itself – the infection, the epidemiological model – with a model of the economic impact on small businesses, as well as possibly a behavioral model of compliance.” By tweaking simulations to account for individual behavior under pandemic conditions, these models can help predict mass behavioral patterns and thereby inform proactive policy decisions.

NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge Competitor Helps Covid-19 Efforts.

What it is: Air Co., a Brooklyn-based startup competing in NASA’s CO2 Conversion Challenge, is using its technology to produce hand sanitizer. The technology’s original purpose was to convert carbon dioxide into simple sugars (such as glucose) that could then be used for mission-critical products like plastic, food, and medicine. Air Co.’s conversion process involves combining CO2 with water, after which the extra hydrogen (resulting from a water molecule’s division into hydrogen and oxygen) bonds with the carbon dioxide, producing the carbon-negative alcohol utilized in hand sanitizer.

Why it’s important: Now in short supply across COVID-19 hotspots worldwide, hand sanitizer is particularly crucial for healthcare workers, and in dire need of scaled up production. Now in partnership with packaging and labeling firms, Air Co. is currently working to produce up to 2,000 two-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer every week. Members of the NASA community champion Air Co.’s major pivot towards its technology’s terrestrial benefits, viewing these applications as paramount to NASA’s mission. As stated by Walt Engelund, deputy associate administrator for programs within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, “This is one example of how NASA challenges spur innovation to help life on Earth and beyond. We catalyze a culture of change makers and problem solvers, many of whom go on to apply their technology and creativity to make a difference in their own communities and around the world.”

Researchers working on computational models to design ways to treat COVID-19.

What it is: Researchers at Stony Brook University are collaborating with Brookhaven National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory on computational models of the novel coronavirus. Of particular interest is the “spike” protein positioned on the surface of the virus. This protein is responsible for binding to human cells within the respiratory system, after which it initiates the process of infection. As a result, the “spike” protein is also the primary target of any potential treatments under development and antibodies that fight infection and provide immunity.

Why it’s important: While scientists have captured images of the spike protein (at atomic-level detail), current experimental data do not offer a full picture of how the protein changes its shape to attach and gain entry to human cells. “You may know that your car door is the way you can get in and out of a car, but if you've only seen the door in a picture and have never watched someone actually open a door, you don't really know how it works,” explains Carlos Simmerling, professor of quantitative and physical biology at Stony Brook University. By developing detailed computer models that illustrate the protein’s process, Simmerling and his team aim to better understand what small molecule drugs could be effective in blocking the spike protein’s interaction with human cell surface molecules. As posed by Simmerling, one of the most important questions for drug development involves “places on the spike away from [its] contact point [with human cells] that could act like keys, where scientists might be able to make a small molecule that would bind to it and lock it closed.”

With Hi-Tech Japanese Machines, Delhi Begins Sanitising Coronavirus Hotspots.

What it is: Under the Delhi government’s “Operation SHIELD,” 60 sanitization machines—including ten from Japan—were deployed in high-risk areas of the nation’s capital. The Japanese machines, which can adjust in length to fit in narrow lanes, spray sodium hypochlorite solution on surroundings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this chemical can disinfect surfaces within a minute of application and should be used at a concentration of 5000 ppm. In the city’s Dilshad Garden region, which was previously declared a hotspot, no new cases have been reported in the last ten days, likely in part due to this sanitization effort.

Why it’s important: As COVID-19 cases in Delhi surpass 1,176, only 27 people have been cured and 24 have died. Rapid, widespread sanitization efforts in dense communities like Delhi could prove essential in halting the spread of the virus. These cleaning “drive-throughs” offer a low-cost solution that could aid in disease containment efforts without exposing human workers in the process.

UW-Madison researchers tracking travel, social media to help contain virus.

What it is: UW-Madison professor Song Gao is leading an effort to track human movement in hopes of understanding the effectiveness of physical distancing orders. Gao’s Geospatial Data Science Lab is collecting anonymized data pooled from hundreds of thousands of cell phones to identify how much people move, from the national to district level. The researchers have acquired this data through a partnership with SafeGraph and have now made their findings publicly available on the lab’s website. In Dane County, for instance, Gao’s lab found that half of over 6,000 cell phones sampled on a daily basis moved less than 0.1km, compared to a median distance of over 6km in early March prior to travel restrictions. The researchers plan to incorporate social media data to better understand how travel changes correlate with communication channels.

Why it’s important: Understanding how people respond to a variety of public announcements and restrictions could better inform future public health efforts to contain COVID-19. As Gao’s team attempts to quantify the effects of physical distancing orders, tech giants like Apple and Google plan to soon implement contact-tracing to curb the spread of the virus. The Apple-Google system, announced three weeks ago, aims to notify individuals potentially at risk of infection after they unknowingly contact someone with the virus. Ultimately, the goal is to limit the number of quarantined individuals and reintegrate more people into the workforce.

FDA clears N95 decontamination process that could clean up to 4 million masks per day.

What it is: N95 respirators can now be sterilized for reuse thanks to a decontamination process provided by the company Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP). ASP’s STERRAD series sterilization machines use vaporized hydrogen peroxide gas to clean medical equipment in around 6,300 hospitals across the U.S. already. Now, they will be repurposed to clean N95 masks. Given the current deployment of over 9,930 machines across the nation, ASP’s arsenal in aggregate could sterilize up to 4 million masks each day. Under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA), these machines will therefore work to make N95 masks reusable, adding to similar sterilization efforts by lab management company Batelle, already implemented by the FDA.

Why it’s important: Although these sterilization efforts fall under EUA orders, their use case may be far more long-term. To prepare for future pandemics and potential resurgences of COVID-19, our health systems must be equipped to operate with reusable protective gear that requires continuous sterilization. Sanitization has already expanded beyond just the realm of medical equipment and will continue to impact our lives. From smartphone showers to metro wipe downs, rapid and autonomous disinfection systems will begin to emerge everywhere.

Want more conversations like this?

Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop. I was getting ready to share it publicly, but the current crisis has changed my plans.

Last week, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).


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Topics: Abundance Insider
6 min read

predicting lockdown lifts - when will the U.S. be "open for business?"

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 16, 2020

When will the last shelter-at-home lockdown be lifted in the U.S.?

Topics: Exponentials crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions hive mind lockdown shelter at home
6 min read

when will the lockdown end?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 12, 2020

When will our stay-at-home lockdown end?

Topics: Exponentials crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus FutureLoop predictions hive mind lockdown shelter at home
10 min read

Abundance Insider: April 10th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 10, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: Pandemic-induced decreases in seismic noise, preserving the first-hand stories of Holocaust survivors, and the search for genetic clues to varying COVID-19 impact.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

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Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the way Earth moves.

What it is: In the wake of mass lockdowns spurred by the Coronavirus pandemic, seismologists have observed the Earth quite literally vibrating less. Typically, all human activities (and primarily transportation, construction, industrial machinery) contribute to a background “hum” that can be measured by our most precise seismographs. While most seismographs are placed in remote locations for this exact reason — after all, their purpose is to measure earthquakes, not human activity — the measuring devices located closer to major cities have noticed a marked decrease in the background seismic noise as a result of the lockdowns. 

Why it’s important: Seismologists have a rare chance to measure extremely small quakes and other far more subtle seismic activity. While the individual effects of commercial transit and infrastructural activity are minor, they together produce sufficient background noise to reduce scientists’ ability to discern signals marked by the same frequency. According to Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC, “You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events.” Especially valuable will be the extra-precise measurements scientists can take of natural vibrations, such as ocean waves, as well as their fine-tuned ability to monitor volcanic activity.

Artificial intelligence is preserving our ability to converse with Holocaust survivors even after they die.

What it is: Last Sunday, 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl interviewed Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster, who died two years ago. Yes, you read that right. Elster was projected on an 11-foot screen and responded to Stahl’s various unscripted questions, ranging from his childhood to his belief in God, with AI-selected, pre-recorded responses. Elster is one of 22 Holocaust survivors who have been recorded by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation for the purposes of preserving the stories of Holocaust survivors, most of whom are in their 80s or 90s today. The initial participant, Pinchas Gutter, spent a week answering over 2,000 questions while being filmed in a lattice-like dome with 20 cameras— a setup fitted to capture every angle in preparation for the holograms of the future. AI programs interpret audience questions and determine the correct response to deliver. The program, led by Heather Maio, has placed Holocaust survivor projections in museums across the nation where visitors can converse with these remarkable individuals for years to come. 

Why it’s important: Preserving the memory of human lives by integrating real footage with computer programming has the power to transform historical narratives. From an educational standpoint, the novelty of such a technology and the personableness that it enables will enhance any learning experience about the past. While filmed survivors are currently only visible in the medium of 2D projections, footage from every angle could one day allow programmers to create lifelike holograms, further bringing these individuals and their stories virtually back to life. The interactive nature of asking questions and instantaneously receiving first-person responses will undoubtedly humanize our understanding of history and its key figures.

Behind the global efforts to make a privacy-first coronavirus tracking app.

What it is: Software engineers and health experts are collaborating on a 20+ page Google Doc to halt the spread and resurgence of COVID-19. Although scattered across the globe, this unlikely distributed team of experts is working to build voluntary smartphone tracking solutions, similar to apps already present in China, Singapore, and Israel. The idea is that if enough people download the app and voluntarily consent to data collection, the software could warn users of any detected recent contact with a virulent person, alerting them to their risk of infection. As a protective measure, only healthcare officials would be granted the authority to confirm if an individual tests positive, thereby avoiding abuse of the service. While privacy remains critical, the software would employ the anonymous, encrypted use of Bluetooth technology, preventing government access to user data, according to AI researcher Peter Eckersley, who is coordinating a team working towards this goal. Although there is no official launch date for a U.S.-based app, developers anticipate one could be ready within two weeks.

Why it’s important: Social media giants like Pinterest and Facebook have launched programs through which people can voluntarily enter symptoms and demographic information to track the virus, but Google Doc collaboration offers an alternate decentralized approach to slowing the pandemic. Everyday citizens are now forming bootstrapped solutions at speed, highlighting the power of mass mobilization enabled by today’s proliferating connectivity and cloud-based platforms. Despite concerns of surveillance, technologists have repeatedly asserted the goal to simultaneously protect human health and safeguard privacy. As bottom-up civilian solutions rise to the surface, we will soon see how nascent technologists and developers balance the two.

Oil Companies Are Collapsing, but Wind and Solar Energy Keep Growing.

What it is: The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt across all sectors, and especially by the oil and gas industry. While largely influenced by geopolitical tensions, oil prices have more than halved since the Coronavirus crisis began, yet wind and solar continue to add capacity. Renewables are now on track to account for almost 21 percent of U.S. electricity demands, and analysts project that the recent downturn will even help the renewables industry, as utilities opt for the cheaper operating costs of solar and wind farms. As oil prices dwindle, new wind installations are only down 3 percent, partially given that such projects are built directly outside urban centers and many states have deemed construction an essential industry.

Why it’s important: The resilience of the renewable energy sector in the wake of our current crisis could signal a paradigm shift in the energy economy. “Renewables are on a growth trajectory today that I think isn’t going to be set back long term. [...] This will be a bump in the road,” stated Dan Reicher, founding executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. This sentiment is echoed by Caton Fenz, chief executive of ConnectGen, a Houston-based developer of wind, solar and electricity storage. According to Fenz, “We blew through all of the projections [and are] surfing a long-term wave. [...] We just can’t get specific things done because of the pandemic, but I don’t think that affects the broader trajectory.” Indeed, solar added 13.3 Gigawatts of capacity last year alone, surpassing both wind and natural gas. As oil and gas companies struggle, the long-term surge of renewable energy sources is yet another herald of positive news in the fight against climate change, an issue gaining its own spotlight as the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a tremendous near-term reduction in GHG emissions.

COVID-19 crisis spurs triple-digit growth for refurbishing startup Back Market.

What it is: Back Market, a Paris-based startup that refurbishes and sells devices into the online secondhand market, has experienced a big boost in business due to COVID-19. As people buy laptops for remote work, the demand for refurbished devices has skyrocketed. According to CEO Hug de Larauze, while “[the company doesn’t] release the gross merchandise volume, it’s a three-digit growth rate [...] We saw an increase in demand for laptops, printers and other devices needed for working at home.” Aiding Back Market’s revenue growth is the closure of Apple and Samsung retail stores, a trend that has nudged consumers towards refurbishing and secondhand platforms. Founded in 2014, Back Market has already raised two financing rounds, totaling 48 million Euros.

Why it’s important: Beyond supplying work-from-home (WFH) consumers in a time of crisis, the firm is playing a part in “closing the loop” for our digital device economy by reducing the accumulation and disposal of e-waste. Globally, the refurbishing market is worth US$80 billion, boasting 13% year-over-year (YoY) growth. As de Larauze has stated, “They realized that it’s not only ecological, but it’s also a good business. Two hundred (new refurbishing factories) are on-boarding.” And the push for closed-loop hardware manufacturing is largely accounted for by developed Western economies. “The U.S. and Germany are pushing the growth [...] They are the main two drivers of the boom of Back Market,” says de Larauze.

Hunt Is on for Genetic Clues to Why Coronavirus Impact Varies.

What it is: The mystery behind Covid-19’s highly variable severity across patients could be a matter of genetics, and scientists across the globe are working to solve the puzzle. DNA testing company 23andMe just launched a study to analyze the genomes of patients who test positive for Covid-19. Given that 80% of the company’s 10 million customers have already opted in to sharing their data for research purposes, the project will likely move quickly. At The Rockefeller University in New York, Dr. Jean-Laurent Casanova is now recruiting 1,000-2,000 previously healthy people under the age of 50 who ended up in the ICU with Covid-19. While he claims this niche makes up just 1% of severe cases, Dr. Casanova and his team hope to better understand why some patients fare worse than others. Geneticists across the globe are also pooling their research in the Covid-19 Host Genomics Initiative, aiming to determine underlying genetic predispositions and protections against the virus.

Why it’s important: In the case of Covid-19, genetic analysis will enable researchers to better understand the virus’s mechanisms and potentially design gene therapy solutions to cure patients who lack the underlying genetic protections. To meet this goal, researchers have recognized the need to collectively aggregate data and transparently share findings at lightning speed. Moving forward, this same form of distributed collaboration could drive progress across countless vexing diseases — not only to determine causes of disease, but also to develop effective treatments.

Want more conversations like this?

Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop. I was getting ready to share it publicly, but the current crisis has changed my plans.

Last week, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).


Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider
7 min read

400+ financial experts predict when the stock market will hit bottom

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 9, 2020

On what date will the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its lowest point (between now & July 30, 2020)?

Topics: Exponentials crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus immunity FutureLoop predictions hive mind stock market DOW DJIA Dow Jones economy stocks
8 min read

Why I’m Hopeful & 3 Things to Do Right Now

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 5, 2020

This blog outlines the reasons I’m hopeful, even optimistic, as well as 3 things entrepreneurs should be focused on *right now.*

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus immunity
2 min read

Podcast Episode 83: The Rise of AI as a Service

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 1, 2020

Episode 83: The Rise of AI as a Service

Peter and Dan discuss the power of Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) and its utility to thousands of companies in both traditional and non-traditional sectors. By adding an AI layer to your organization, AIaaS tools can help any company achieve scale with minimal increases in headcount, fueling data-driven business decisions, personalized marketing efforts, team efficiency, and countless other benefits.

 

 

In this episode:

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
5 min read

Prediction: a Vaccine before Christmas

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 31, 2020

What is the earliest date by which the FDA will approve the first COVID-19 Vaccine?

Topics: Exponentials crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd exponential technology crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus immunity FutureLoop vaccine
10 min read

Abundance Insider: March 29th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 29, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: Moderna’s readiness for scaled-up vaccine production, wearables for early COVID-19 detection, and AI to combat loneliness.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.


 

As the first Coronavirus vaccine human trials begin, manufacturer is already preparing to scale production to millions.

What it is: Last week, the first doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine were administered to the study’s initial volunteers. Developed by Moderna Therapeutics in a record time of 63 days, the vaccine is now being tested in three different dosages, aimed at determining what dosage triggers the strongest immune response. While Moderna has already shipped hundreds of vials to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the vaccine’s first testing phase, the company is now preparing to scale production to millions of vials in quick succession if the vaccine proves safe and effective. This rapid scale-up is largely possible thanks to Moderna’s nontraditional use of mRNA—a genetic form of the virus’ genome—in its vaccine. As a result, when the vaccine is injected, patients’ cells process it such that immune cells recognize and target it for destruction. Whereas most traditional vaccines necessitate growing large amounts of the virus, Moderna’s process thereby eliminates this time-consuming step.

Why it’s important: While trials are not predicted to conclude for another 12-18 months, Moderna’s experimental data and other research could grant us critical information about the virus’s behavior and how the immune system can better fend off coronaviruses more broadly. Moderna’s accelerated timeline—from Chinese researchers’ initial sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 to a human trial-ready vaccine—also illustrates the combined power of advancements in computing and genetics. As our scientific and medical communities mobilize across the globe, convergences of AI, biotech, and computing will help us deliver treatments faster than ever before.

Predicting coronavirus? SF emergency workers wear state-of-the-art rings in new study.

What it is: Oura Ring—developer of sleep and activity-tracking ring technology—is now teaming up with UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital to identify the early onset of COVID-19 in users. Packed with advanced sensors (including an accelerometer, infrared LEDs, and a gyroscope), the Oura ring tracks vital signs, from body temperature to heart rate (HR), around the clock. In an effort to stem COVID-19’s spread, over 2,000 emergency medical workers and hospital staff are now wearing the rings to proactively detect early signs of the virus. By further encouraging Oura’s 150,000 existing users to share their medical data, UCSF aims to provide needed data for developing an algorithm capable of early detection before virus symptoms surface.

Why it’s important: At the source of COVID-19’s outbreak, one highly effective strategy in Wuhan, China, involved residents’ daily reporting of body temperature and the immediate isolation of anyone with even a slight fever. Enabling this approach, Oura provides a far more thorough, 24/7 analysis, which compensates for temperature fluctuations that can alter thermometer readings. In the case of Petri Hollmén (CEO of Finnish firm Lyyti Oy), for instance, the ring alerted him of a 1°C increase in his body temperature and an uptick in both his HR and breathing rate. Notified of the data, Hollmén quickly contacted a hospital, after which he tested positive for the virus. Engaging in immediate self-quarantine, the entrepreneur has since stated, “Without the ring measuring my body during the night, I would not [have] even known about the temperature rise [...] This makes this (illness easy) to spread.” As use of wearables ramps up in COVID-19 hot spots, researchers aim to use sensor data, like that generated by the Oura ring, to preemptively stem the virus’s spread among exposed medical staff and potentially unaware patients. In success, an early detection algorithm could be invaluable in the case of an autumn resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

New genetic editing powers discovered in squid.

What it is: Squid have a newly discovered superpower: they can edit their genes outside of neural nuclei, making them the first organisms known to do so. In most species, DNA is translated into messenger RNA (mRNA) in the nucleus. Once complete, mRNA then travels outside the nucleus to guide protein construction in the cell. Instead of editing DNA’s genetic code directly, however, squid can edit mRNA in the periphery of the cell. Scientists working on this research at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Woods Hole found that squid edit mRNA in the nerve cell’s axons far more frequently than in the nucleus. This allows neurons to meet localized needs far more efficiently.

Why it’s important: Many neurological disorders in humans start with the neuron’s axons, which are nerve fibers that carry electrical signals throughout the body. As squid have now demonstrated the ability to edit genetic information directly in their axons, translating this unique ability into human cells could be transformative. Currently, gene-editing technologies like CRISPR rely on shuttling new genetic code through cell membranes and nuclear membranes—not an easy feat. Now, they might not have to pass the nuclear membrane at all. By studying the mechanism in which squid directly edit mRNA outside the nucleus, scientists could one day engineer localized solutions in human axons.

A COVID-19 detective tracks disease trail with genetic clues.

What it is: Trevor Bedford, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has now become a celebrity among public health circles thanks to his genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus. Working in collaboration with multiple colleagues from around the globe (key among them, University of Basel computational biologist Richard Neher), Bedford and the team have been tracking the virus’s RNA to understand how the coronavirus mutates over time. Principally, the researchers use a markedly innovative approach to tracing outbreak origins and predicting how and where COVID-19 will spread next. To do this, Bedford and his distributed collaborators use patient samples to analyze hundreds of virus genomes, using the virus’s mutation patterns to create phylogenies—essentially, ‘family trees’ that track COVID-19’s geographic origins and the various routes through which it has spread.

Why it’s important: The team’s technique differs considerably from traditional virus-tracing approaches, which typically focus on identifying infected patients and tracking their contacts. Riding dramatic increases in computing power and genome sequencing speeds, scientists are now able to trace and respond in near-real-time to infectious disease outbreaks and novel coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2. Combined with mass sequencing efforts by cross-border research collaborators, not to mention transparent information-sharing, these technologies will play a major role in public health efforts and future outbreak responses.

Can artificial intelligence fight elderly loneliness?

What it is: A nursing home in England is using artificial intelligence to combat loneliness among its elderly population. Engaging a group of residents at an elderly care home, the research experiment used Google Home devices to help its users cope with isolation, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And some residents have become fast converts. According to 92-year old John Winward, for instance, “I thought at first it was a sign of insanity, speaking to a little thing like that and him talking back! I was so surprised... it was such fun!” Primarily using the device for news and weather updates, as well as audiobook and music tips, Winward even asks his Google Home to tell him jokes and offer crossword puzzle clues. “It keeps me sane, really, because it’s a very lonely life when you lose your partner after 64 years, and you spend a lot of time in your room alone.” While the adoption barrier has been more challenging for some, particularly given the elderly’s lower familiarity with voice technologies, AI-powered speaking assistants offer an immediate supplement to human company.

Why it’s important: Now a global problem, particularly given today's aging populations, loneliness is believed by scientists to be as detrimental for your health as being severely overweight or even smoking 15 cigarettes a day. According to Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind (the UK’s largest mental health charity), “We know that feeling lonely can contribute to poor mental health [...] If this is caused by a lack of social contact with others, an AI service might be helpful, particularly for those of us who are unable to make new social connections or need to stay in social isolation.” With the growth of AI companions and chatbot sophistication, use of virtual assistants may increasingly play a social role in pandemic-induced isolation. For John Windward, the AI assistant has already become indispensable: “I really love it. I couldn’t do without it now. It is certainly my friend in the corner.”

UPS partners with Wingcopter to develop new multipurpose drone delivery fleet.

What it is: UPS recently partnered with German drone startup Wingcopter to further expand its commercial drone delivery program in both the U.S. and across the world. Wingcopter’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts can reach up to 150 mph, handle 45 mph winds, and travel up to 75 miles in a single flight. Moreover, the company’s tilt-rotor design allows the eVTOLs to switch from vertical flight to low-noise forward flight mode, reducing noise pollution over residential areas. Already, Wingcopter has demonstrated its drone tech’s success in delivering small packages between pharmaceutical giant Merck’s various offices in Germany. Having attained Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval last October, UPS’ drone delivery unit, Flight Forward, now hopes to implement Wingcopter vehicles for package delivery in the near future.

Why it’s important: As we continue to experience social distancing and shelter-in-place measures across the nation, our delivery systems have become increasingly strained. Autonomous drones could fulfill the need for zero-contact supply chains in service of public health efforts. Having partnered with UNICEF in 2018 to deliver vaccines to children in remote areas, Wingcopter has additionally aided other relief organizations in the distribution of emergency medical equipment. On the basis of this precedent, eVTOL technology could prove vital in disseminating critical health supplies, food, and water to those areas most impacted by pandemics and natural disasters. More broadly, however, retail, hospitality, and similar industries will also benefit from diminished shipping costs, not to mention lower carbon footprints, associated with autonomous drone delivery fleets.

Want more conversations like this?

Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop. I was getting ready to share it publicly, but the current crisis has changed my plans.

Last week, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).


Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider
4 min read

20,000 folks predict COVID-19 Vaccine date

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 28, 2020

When will the FDA approve the first vaccine? 

Topics: Exponentials crowd the crowd wisdom of the crowd crowdsourcing exponential technology crowdsourcing genius flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus immunity FutureLoop predictions hive mind
2 min read

Podcast Episode 82: Delocalizing Talent with Virtual Workplaces

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 22, 2020

Episode 82: Delocalizing Talent with Virtual Workplaces

Peter and Dan showcase a number of entrepreneurs working on wireless power, virtual workplaces, and educational platforms with built-in facial recognition.

 

 

 

 

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
7 min read

Augmenting Your Immunity: Fighting COVID-19

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 20, 2020

Probably the most important precaution (and treatment) each of us must take is to augment the strength of our immune systems, equipping our body’s natural ability to mount an immune response to the novel Coronavirus.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus immunity
7 min read

Good News About the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 18, 2020

How about some good news for a change?

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus
13 min read

Learning from China: 7 Hi-Tech Strategies for Pandemic Containment

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 17, 2020

We’re now entering a critical week in the global pandemic, and the speed of our response is vital.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases COVID-19 virus
12 min read

Exponential Implications: Coronavirus

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 16, 2020

This blog is a look at the exponential growth curves and implications of COVID-19.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases
8 min read

Abundance Insider: March 13th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 13, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: 5G breakthrough for AR-enhanced tourism, DeepMind’s AI-driven Coronavirus predictions, and a new success for regenerative medicine.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. My latest book, The Future Is Faster Than You Think, is a roadmap for how converging exponential technologies will transform every industry over the next 50 years. You can pick up a copy and dive into the bestseller here.

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Telefonica and MediaPro debut 5G Augmented Tourism with AR bus windows.

What it is: A new Barcelona bus equipped with augmented reality windows now informs tourists of key attractions as they drive by. Leveraging recent 5G data and location service capabilities, Telefónica, MediaPro, and Barcelona’s metropolitan transport agency TMB teamed up to build this 5G Augmented Tourism pilot program. Rather than simply sightseeing with an audio tour guide, visitors can now identify their surroundings from information projected on the window’s translucent AR display. Users can even interact with the window through touch sensors, enabling viewers or tour guides to signal specific landmarks and access more detailed information about them. The AR visual features consist of high-contrast white outlines (that highlight specific real-world objects) and colorful splashes with edge animations (drawing the eye to AR overlays). While the display has a sunglass effect that dims real world vibrance through the window, the team aims to decrease this effect and expand coverage of its AR feature to span all windows of retrofitted buses in the future.

Why it’s important: Combining 5G connectivity, location data and AR, this product gives us a taste of the future of transportation. While most AR experiences today rely on personal headsets, expanding AR features to expansive, see-through surfaces (e.g. windows) allows for a shared experience between many users. At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, many vehicle manufacturers demonstrated heads-up AR displays for drivers and in-window AR entertainment. Integrated with 5G streaming and location-based tracking, these technologies will transform the way we see (and learn about) the world from our vehicles.

Google’s DeepMind just shared AI-generated predictions about the coronavirus that could help researchers stem the global outbreak.

What it is: DeepMind, an advanced AI unit under Google, has used its new deep learning system, AlphaFold, to generate and share predictions about the protein structures of the coronavirus. Typically, in cases where similar proteins’ structures have already been modeled, the system uses “template modeling”-based algorithms, which can draw from previous models to provide highly accurate predictions. Yet with AlphaFold’s newest iteration, by using a machine learning technique known as “free modeling,” the system can now predict protein structures (based on their amino acid sequence) even when no similar structures of protein are available.

Why it’s important: While AlphaFold’s structure predictions have not yet been experimentally verified, DeepMind hopes its system will serve as a hypothesis generation platform for developing therapeutics and understanding how the virus functions. And particularly in time-sensitive crises, DeepMind aims to trim months off the process of determining a virus’s protein structure. Look for AI-generated hypotheses to become increasingly useful in pandemics like that of COVID-19, where peer review timelines often become an obstacle to rapid innovation.

Scientists are storing energy using uneaten fruit.

What it is: A team of researchers from Australia is experimenting with a novel method of energy storage: discarded fruit. By first heat-treating and freeze-drying the inedible, spongy cores of jackfruit and durian, the engineers then cast metal oxides onto them. In success, this process results in the conversion of uneaten fruit to a carbon-rich aerogel (an ultralight, porous material). Fulfilling its objective, the fruit-turned-aerogel succeeded in becoming what’s known as an ultracapacitor — an extremely energy-dense storage device, capable of repeatedly (and reliably) charging and discharging electricity.

Why it’s important: As governments and industry alike attempt the transition to a more sustainable energy infrastructure, storage has emerged as a key technical challenge. An increasingly hot contender, biowaste has become a targeted avenue of research. While it is unclear how biology-based storage can scale to the needs of today’s modern power grid (particularly given the finite constraints of fruit size), building ultracapacitors from uneaten fruit could leverage today’s overwhelming excess of discarded produce while powering the communities that generate such waste — a closed-loop process with the potential to tackle two environmental ills at once.

‘Primitive’ stem cells shown to regenerate blood vessels in the eye.

What it is: In a massive feat for regenerative medicine, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine have now coaxed adult human cells to revert to a primitive state resembling that of embryonic cells only 6 days after fertilization. By first bathing fibroblast cells in a cocktail of two drugs, the team successfully derived naive stem cells (most capable of specializing into any cell type). The team then used these naive stem cells to derive vascular progenitors — a critical source of vascular cells, and by extension, new blood vessels. These were then injected into the eyes of mice with diabetic retinopathy (a condition causing damage to blood vessels in the retina). Remarkably, the naive vascular progenitors successfully migrated into the retina’s innermost tissue layer encircling the eye, took root, and survived for the duration of the four-week study. As explained by one of the study’s authors, Dr. Elias T. Zambidis, “Interestingly, the 3i ‘naive reprogramming’ cocktail appeared to erase disease-associated epigenetics in the donor cells, and brought them back to a healthy, pristine non-diabetic stem cell state.”

Why it’s important: While stem cell therapies have shown significant promise, getting conventional human induced pluripotent stem cells to differentiate without becoming cancerous has been a major challenge. Yet through the use of fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) and a novel cocktail mixture, this study’s results could prove consequential in reversing both diabetic retinopathy and a slew of other blinding eye diseases. Now the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among American working-age adults, diabetic retinopathy is predicted to double its impact in the U.S. between 2010 and 2050. By repopulating the retina with healthy, non-diabetic stem cells, this team’s new regenerative medicine techniques could help restore vision and guide future research.

Injecting this sensor under your skin could prevent future pandemics.

What it is: Biotech company Profusa will begin a DARPA-funded study to test its implantable biosensor, capable of detecting the flu virus up to three weeks before symptoms arise. One of the greatest concerns with pandemic outbreaks is the incubation period, during which the disease can spread before a patient shows any signs of infection. Profusa’s sensor monitors oxygen levels and potentially additional biomarkers in a user’s tissue, which can indicate oncoming illness. Yet data is only collected when a probe is adhered to the skin above the sensor, sending output to a smartphone for analysis. This study will allow the team to refine its analytics algorithm, which links biological changes to valid preventative warnings.

Why it’s important: In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, this sort of preventative technology could considerably reduce disease transmission by alerting patients of infection before they recognize their symptoms. Diagnostics lag time could also be lessened with implanted biosensors like Profusa’s. Moreover, patients could remain in the comfort of their homes to confirm medical cases rather than traveling and further spreading the disease. In the future, adding more complex detection mechanisms to the sensor could allow for widespread disease analytics, such as identifying how strains are evolving in real-time, to promote rapid treatment iterations.

Uptrust raises new money to fight mass incarceration with technology.

What it is: Uptrust has just raised $1.3 million to expand its business, involving a messaging platform that connects public defenders with their clients. Paid for by local governments, the service allows defenders to directly assist clients, reminding them to show up for court dates and avoid being jailed for missing appointments or being unable to post bail. In effect, Uptrust provides a customer relationship management (CRM) software for people interacting with America’s criminal justice system, many of whom lack institutional assistance. This new influx of capital will help Uptrust expand to 100 more jurisdictions and serve nearly 100 million defendants by the end of the year. Furthermore, the company plans to develop a new app, one which will connect users with multiple public agencies and services to learn about local opportunities, such as free or reduced transportation to court and expungement clinics.

Why it’s important: Countless Americans go to jail for missing their court dates and being unable to post bail. As stated by CEO Jacob Stills, “We look at how much money is spent on putting people in jail, pre-trial [and] we think there’s $9 billion wasted. From the county’s perspective, we’re helping people comply with their mandatory appointment, which over time saves them money. We think this business can generate several hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue by eliminating waste in the overall system. It’s really bad to continually dehumanize folks and surveil them. And here’s an opportunity for a business to be listening to the millions and millions of Americans that have been justice system-involved [...] and serving their needs.” The company has so far reduced penalties for failure to appear by 50% across the 50 jurisdictions in which it currently operates, saving about $5 billion in the process. Eventually, Uptrust plans to expand its platform to provide services for the 60 million Americans with a criminal record.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider
7 min read

Restoring Biodiversity

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 8, 2020

The combination of climate change, deforestation, pollution, overfishing, and more, have produced a biodiversity crisis.

On a bad day, 200 species go extinct.

If we project current rates, by century’s end, 50% of all large mammals and marine life will disappear.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology biodiversity
8 min read

Abundance Insider: March 7th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 7, 2020

In this week’s Abundance Insider: MIT’s new sensing technology for driverless cars, a self-taught walking robot, and research breakthroughs to stymie Coronavirus.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. My latest book, The Future Is Faster Than You Think, is a roadmap for how converging exponential technologies will transform every industry over the next 50 years. You can pick up a copy and dive into the bestseller here.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn.

This robot taught itself to walk entirely on its own.

What it is: Researchers at Google have devised a novel way of training walking robots to learn how to navigate the world on their own. To accomplish this, the research team implemented an algorithm that learned more efficiently (requiring less trial-and-error) and chained together different moves into the same learning sequence. For example, if the four-legged robot reached the end of its bounded box while learning how to walk forward, it would immediately apply the same logic in reverse to learn walking backward. While the robot was environmentally constrained to minimize damage from repeated falling, a hard-coded algorithm was employed to help it stand back up when it inevitably lost balance. Although Google’s previous research involved reinforcement learning in simulation (think: a virtual robot in a virtual environment), their new strategy has allowed the bot to learn in physical reality from the get-go, navigating a variety of surfaces—flat ground, memory foam, and a doormat with crevices—in a matter of hours.

Why it’s important: As stated by Google-affiliated Stanford assistant professor Chelsea Finn, “Removing the person from the process is really hard. By allowing robots to learn more autonomously, robots are closer to being able to learn in the real world that we live in, rather than in a lab.” Coauthor Jie Tan (head of Google Brain’s robotics locomotion team) still notes the bot’s reliance on manual interference and a motion capture system for determining the robot’s location. Yet Google’s success marks major progress towards autonomous robot interaction with unstructured human environments.

MIT tech lets self-driving cars “see” under surface of road.

What it is: A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has just developed a new type of sensing system for autonomous vehicles. Dubbed LGPR—Localizing Ground Penetrating Radar—the system can create a real-time map of the ground beneath the road’s surface. Currently, self-driving cars rely primarily on LIDAR to position themselves on the road, but have a difficult time when facing inclement weather (fog, snow, etc.), during which lane and other road markers often become obscured. By comparing quantified physical elements to the map it’s already created, LGPR’s system can determine where the vehicle is without need for cameras or lasers. So far, CSAIL’s team has successfully demonstrated its success on a private snow-covered road.

Why it’s important: While the researchers are now working to miniaturize their six-foot-wide prototype, CSAIL’s milestone perfectly illustrates how sensor technology’s convergence with machine learning is driving the commercial success and accelerated adoption of autonomous vehicles. As we continue to tackle edge cases in driverless navigation, engineers are now applying multiple new sensing and AI techniques in tandem to relentlessly usher in an era of fully autonomous transit.

Bern scientists claim coronavirus breakthrough.

What it is: University of Bern researchers have perfected a cloning technique to reproduce synthetic coronavirus strains more quickly. These clones allow scientists to experiment with knocking out certain genes of the COVID-19 virus and observe the effects. Once the genes associated with replication are identified, researchers can design drugs to specifically target these regions—halting further replication. The team is also working with human samples of the virus from a German patient, who contracted the newest form of the virus in early February. Meanwhile, a team at the University of Texas at Austin has now generated the first 3D atomic-scale map of the region of the COVID-19 virus that attaches to and infects human cells. Made using cryo-electron microscopy, developed by Nobel Prize-winning researcher Jacques Dubochet, this map could unlock important next steps for vaccine development. 

Why it’s important: Coronavirus has killed 3,465 people since its initial outbreak, mostly in mainland China. COVID-19’s scope now surpasses 92,000 cases globally, and infection has spread to more than 70 countries and territories. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Tuesday that the global mortality rate of the virus stands at around 3.4%. As health implications abound, Coronavirus’s economic impacts are already reverberating rapidly. Stock market volatility—in part due to uncertainty surrounding supply chain disruptions caused by sickness, travel restrictions, and quarantines—is but one reflection of the virus’s second-degree consequences. Researchers are working with urgency to delay the spread of disease, and the above COVID-19 clones could quickly supply labs internationally with essential materials to test their solutions.

How caloric restriction prevents negative effects of aging in cells.

What it is: Caloric restriction has proven to increase the human lifespan, but the cellular mechanics behind this phenomenon were not well understood— until recently. A group of U.S. and Chinese scientists have now published a study that analyzed the effects of caloric restriction on 40 cell types, ranging from fat tissue, to bone marrow, to brain tissue. The researchers tested both a control group of rats and an experimental group, the subjects of which consumed 30% fewer calories than the control rats. Remarkably, the researchers found that 57% of age-related changes in the control rats’ cells were not evident in those of the dieting rats. The cells and genes most affected by caloric restriction related to immunity, inflammation, and lipid metabolism. While immune cells in nearly every tissue dramatically increased in the control rats over time, no increase with age was observed in the dieting rats. Particularly in fat adipose tissue, calorie-restricted animals expressed many anti-inflammatory genes at the same level as young rats do. More specifically, 23 of the calorie-restricted cell types experienced a change in levels of transcription factor Ybx1, which functions as a master switch for a group of genes, giving scientists a further clue as to which genes directly control aging.   

Why it’s important: Aging is the leading risk factor for multiple diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, dementia, and metabolic syndrome. Caloric restriction has proved successful in increasing the healthy lifespan across various species, ranging from rats to primates. Yet for many, a life lived in hunger does not seem worthwhile. Instead of promoting caloric restriction as a lifestyle, research in this field can identify exactly which genes and transcription factors are associated with aging in order to eventually control them synthetically without the need for dietary regulation. This team of scientists is currently working to identify aging drug targets and thereby add healthy years to our growing lifespans.

Cloud data speeds set to soar with aid of laser mini-magnets.

What it is: Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have created a new magnetic material that could significantly boost the storage capacity, processing speed, and energy efficiency of hard drives typically found in cloud servers. Specifically, their research resulted in what is known as a single-molecule magnet, a compound whose chemical bond can be controlled by subjecting it to rapid pulses from a laser. Estimates suggest that data could be stored and accessed using pulses that last one millionth of a billionth of a second, facilitating data processing times up to 100X faster than current technologies allow. The compound could also make new hard drives much more energy-efficient by eliminating the need to run a current through a wire, which creates excess heat and thereby requires external cooling.

Why it’s important: Fundamental breakthroughs at the physics and materials science level continue to drive efficiencies in contemporary computing. Here, faster access to stored data would dramatically reduce the processing time required by machine learning and algorithmic processes, supercharging business AI applications, scientific discovery, and complex data science tasks.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider
7 min read

Fear vs. Reality - Coronavirus

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 6, 2020

Over the past week, our amygdalas (the fear centers of our brain) have been in overdrive.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology water flu influenza coronavirus pandemic infectious diseases
5 min read

Clean Water Abundance

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 1, 2020

Today, 900 million people lack access to clean drinking water.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology water
2 min read

Podcast Episode 81: The Era of Quantum Supremacy

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 1, 2020

Episode 81: The Era of Quantum Supremacy

Peter and Dan discuss the state of quantum computing and Google’s announcement that they achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ in October 2019. 

 

 

 

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
9 min read

Abundance Insider: February 27th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 27, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: AI’s partnership in antibiotic discovery, a tribute to Katherine Johnson, and UPS’ shift to electric vans.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. My latest book, The Future Is Faster Than You Think, is a roadmap for how converging exponential technologies will transform every industry over the next 50 years. You can pick up a copy and dive into the bestseller here.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn.

Researchers Use AI to Develop Powerful New Antibiotic.

What it is: MIT researchers have now used an AI algorithm to identify new antibiotics capable of defeating even some antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. The team first trained their machine learning algorithm on a set of 2,500 compounds, correlating their structures with their effectiveness in blocking the growth of bacteria E. coli. In succession, 6,000 additional drugs currently under investigation were fed to the program, which identified a promising set of antibiotics within hours. One such drug, termed halicin, was then tested and successfully killed bacteria that cause tuberculosis, Clostridioides difficile (or C. diff), as well as several other antibiotic-resistant strains. Upon this initial success, the MIT team is now working to test a digital database of around 1.5 billion compounds.

Why it’s important: Every year, more than 2.8 million people in the U.S. contract an antibiotic-resistant infection, of which over 35,000 cases result in death. Yet one of today’s most severe drivers of antibiotic resistance is overuse in human and animal populations. Around 30 percent of antibiotics—totaling 47 million prescriptions—are prescribed unnecessarily in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms in the U.S. each year. MIT’s algorithm could not only discover new treatments for resistant microbes, but also develop more precise antibiotics to replace those general drugs fueling the antibiotic resistance problem.

In Memoriam: Katherine Johnson.

Katherine Johnson, notable mathematician and spaceflight pioneer, passed away this week at age 101. She first joined NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), in 1953, when her role—like that of many women of the era—was a human “computer.” At the time, human computers performed the many mathematical calculations necessary for early spaceflight, calculating launch windows, trajectories, fuel consumption and the like. Johnson’s work soon became integral to the success of the U.S. spaceflight program, most notably including trajectory calculations for Alan Shepard’s inaugural flight (launching the first American into space), Apollo 11, and the safe return of Apollo 13 (which suffered a critical mid-flight systems failure). Later in her career, Johnson would go on to work on the Space Shuttle program as well as early plans for U.S. missions to Mars. 

Johnson’s work was essential to the early successes of NASA, not to mention the U.S.’s first landing of astronauts on the moon. Her legacy as a brilliant mathematician paved the way for humankind’s later successes in exploring and studying our solar system. However, equally critical was her role in breaking down racial and gender barriers. As an African-American woman in the mid-20th century, Johnson challenged institutional norms, societal expectations and systemic discrimination while making key contributions to the world’s extra-planetary pursuits. Indeed, this pivotal role earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Obama in 2015. Johnson has also been memorialized for her contributions to the space industry by NASA, whose new computational science facility at the Langley Center was formally dedicated as the “Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility,” opened in 2017. Johnson will be remembered not only for her contributions to spaceflight, but for her pioneering and courageous work in transcending and helping dissolve systemic barriers to human freedom and realization.

Launch startup Skyrora successfully tests 3D-printed rocket engines powered by plastic waste.

What it is: Edinburgh-based rocket-launch startup Skyrora has successfully completed its first stationary ground-firings with the company’s pioneered 3D-printed rocket engines. Instead of relying on petroleum, these engines are fueled by a kerosene derived from plastic waste, termed “Ecosene” by the company. Skyrora ultimately plans to use these engines to fuel its 22-meter launch vehicle (which stands at roughly one-third the height of SpaceX’s Falcon 9), slated to carry multiple loads for up to 500km. Through a proprietary engineering process, the company converts 2,200 pounds of plastic waste into 1,300 pounds of “Ecosene” fuel. Slashing the footprint of typical rockets, Skyrora’s fuel produces 45 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional kerosene when burned. It moreover requires no cryogenic freezing and can be stored for long periods, posing another advantage for transportation to launch sites.

Why it’s important: Low-Earth orbit (delineating an altitude of 2,000 km or less) is a popular region in today’s launch industry, particularly as satellites in this orbit begin contributing to an emergence of 5G networks across the globe. As Blue Origin, SpaceX, Boeing, and various others work towards vehicle launches to this altitude, Skyrora particularly stands out given its environmentally-conscious fuel alternative. By both reducing plastic waste and contributing fewer carbon emissions to the atmosphere, Skyrora’s alternative strategy could help us exit Earth’s atmosphere without damaging it as severely.

UPS to Purchase 10,000 Electric Vans from UK-based Startup.

What it is: UPS has now announced that the parcel service will order 10,000 electric delivery vans from London-based startup Arrival. Following Hyundai’s $100 million capital investment in Arrival, UPS has now also obtained an ownership stake in the EV company. By combining ultra-lightweight composite materials and proprietary electronics and motors, Arrival has reduced its vehicle’s overall weight enough to trim aggregate operating costs by 50 percent when compared to traditional trucks. Touting a 150-mile range, the vans feature configurations ranging from 3.5 to 7.5 tons. And in the next four years, Arrival’s vans will fast permeate UPS fleets across the UK, Europe, and North America.

Why it’s important: This is the latest development showcasing UPS’s commitment to electrifying its fleet. In 2017 alone, UPS began a project to convert 1,500 of its New York City delivery trucks to battery-electric power, additionally experimenting with electric trucks from Daimler and reserving 125 Tesla semi-trucks. The following year, UPS additionally made a purchase of 950 electric delivery vans from Ohio-based Workhorse Group. As supply chain management behemoths like UPS and Amazon make sizable investments in electrifying their fleets, look for economies of scale to drive innovation and greater cost efficiencies elsewhere in the transportation sector.

Japan will launch the first-ever sample return mission from the Martian system.

What it is: Japan’s national space agency, JAXA, has now approved a mission to the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos. Titled Martian Moon eXploration, or MMX, the mission is set to launch in 2024 and spend 3 years orbiting the moons, mapping them with 11 different instruments to measure properties such as elemental composition. The most novel component of MMX, however, will be its deployment of a rover on Phobos. Marking the first planned sample return mission, this rover will attempt to scoop up 10 grams of Phobos material and deliver it back to the spacecraft. In success, JAXA’s mission should return to Earth in 2029 with samples from the Martian moon.

Why it’s important: Phobos and Deimos are highly atypical moons, both irregularly shaped and with unusual orbits. Furthermore, Phobos orbits Mars at such a close proximity that it is literally being torn apart by the force of gravity. Data from JAXA’S MMX mission could help scientists better understand the origin of these mysterious bodies, as well as make projections of their future states and interactions. By extension, MMX’s findings might also help researchers understand the disappearance of water that once punctuated Mars’s surface hundreds of millions of years ago. Lastly, Phobos and Deimos have often been proposed as appropriate stepping stones for human missions to Mars. The data from this mission could thereby help determine the validity and methods of such a proposal.

Scientists release genetically engineered moths for the first time.

What it is: As published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, an international team of researchers spanning Cornell, the NY State Department of Agriculture, and UK research institutions, has just released a genetically engineered diamondback moth into the wild. Aimed at sustainably suppressing the pest population, these moths are engineered such that when modified males mate with wild females, resulting female offspring will die during the caterpillar stage. While male offspring survive, their female offspring too will die during the caterpillar stage, reducing the diamondback moth’s population over time. To combat obvious objections surrounding the unforeseen consequences of releasing genetically engineered species into the wild, researchers noted that the gene is both species-specific and self-limiting, meaning it will disappear from the environment after a few generations.

Why it’s important: A highly destructive pest, the diamondback moth generates over US$5 billion in losses each year, largely given its resistance to pesticides. As digital biology and AgTech continue to advance through techniques like CRISPR and other genetic engineering methods, academics, industry leaders and regulators alike will need to minimize unforeseen consequences while maximizing benefits across agriculture, biodiversity, the food sector, and ecosystem health.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider
5 min read

The Future of Technological (Un)Employment

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 23, 2020

Headline after headline tells us technological unemployment is on its way.

Topics: Future of Work Robotics Abundance Manufacturing Entrepreneurship AI Exponentials Amazon the Internet retooling automation workplace automation unemployment employment human-machine collaboration
2 min read

Podcast Episode 80: Democratizing Energy Storage

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 11, 2020

Episode 80: Democratizing Energy Storage

Peter and Dan discuss entrepreneurial breakthrough stories specifically in the energy industry. They talk about the importance of timing in launching a new venture and why the 2020’s will be the decade of exponential energy.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
7 min read

The Future of Advertising

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 10, 2020

Today, less than two decades after the arrival of the internet, Google and Facebook together command more advertising dollars than all print media on the planet.

Topics: Entrepreneurship google advertising the Internet JARVIS social media
6 min read

Abundance Insider: February 8th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 8, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: Night-time energy-producing solar panels, Lynx’s new standalone MR headset, and new moves in AI-driven drug discovery. 

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn.

LYNX Reveals Standalone MR Headset with Snapdragon XR2, Eye-Tracking, and Novel Optics.

What it is: Earlier this week, French startup Lynx unveiled the R-1, a standalone mixed reality headset built for pass-through AR and powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR2 chip. The headset—aimed at enterprise users—has an occluded display (no light from the outside enters), but can achieve both VR and AR internal projections. As one of the first products to use Qualcomm’s powerful new Snapdragon XR2 chip, the headset powers six cameras for positional tracking, pass-through AR, and eye-tracking. Even in the absence of controllers, the standalone R-1 can seamlessly track hand positioning and movements. The R-1’s novel prism-like lens additionally makes it more compact than traditional XR lenses. Claiming a resolution of 1,600 × 1,600 in each eye and a 90-degree FOV, Lynx is on track to compete with Magic Leap and Microsoft Hololens, touting a $1,500 price tag and summer 2020 release date.

Why it’s important: Augmented reality (AR) is about to add a digital intelligence layer to our every surrounding, transforming retail, manufacturing, education, tourism, real estate, and almost every major industry that holds up our economy today. Just last year, the global VR/AR market hit a value of $814.7 billion, and it is only expected to continue surging at a 63% CAGR until 2025. In one of the greatest technological revolutions of this century, smartphones dematerialized cameras, stereos, video game consoles, TVs, GPS systems, calculators, paper, and even matchmaking as we knew it. AR glasses will soon perpetuate this, ultimately dematerializing the smartphone itself. We will no longer gaze into tiny, two-dimensional screens but rather see through a fully immersive, 3D interface.

 

New Research Explains How Solar Panels Could Soon Be Generating Power at Night.

What it is: Researchers from UC Davis have devised a mechanism that can allow solar panels to generate power 24 hours per day, including during nighttime conditions. Using a technique known as radiative cooling, the panels can generate up to a quarter of their daytime energy production at night, leading to an overall boost of about 12% in total energy production. According to one of the researchers, Jeremy Munday, "A regular solar cell generates power by absorbing sunlight, which causes a voltage to appear across the device and for current to flow. In these new devices, light is instead emitted and the current and voltage go in the opposite direction, but you still generate power. You have to use different materials, but the physics is the same."

Why it’s important: Thermoradiative cells are becoming more popular as a means of producing and capturing waste energy. Last year, Stanford University developed a similar system, using the heat imbalance between the Earth and the nighttime sky to generate electricity. This technology could become a key part of our energy infrastructure, as the researchers noted in their published paper: "Deep space offers an intriguing low-temperature thermal sink that has the potential to help provide electrical power at night and day through the clever use of photonics, optics, and materials science.”

AI-Formulated medicine to be tested on humans for the first time.

What it is: A drug designed by an AI algorithm is about to hit clinical trials for the first time. Known as DSP-1181, the drug was designed by AI systems (produced by biotech company Exscientia) and is intended to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients. Exscientia CEO Andrew Hopkins said the trials were a "key milestone in drug discovery" and that "the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease."

Why it’s important: AI is slowly but surely permeating the medical field. While machine learning has already seen usage in delivering diagnoses and analyzing patient data, AI’s experimental application in the field of drug discovery promises a multi-billion-dollar market. Presently, it can take nearly a decade (if not more) for a novel drug to graduate from experimental candidate to commercialized patient prescription. AI-based drug discovery systems are slated to cut this time substantially. Case in point, Exscientia's systems took only about one year to design DSP-1181, whereas previously, a drug at this stage of development would have required nearly 4 and a half years. As pharmaceutical companies continue to witness this surge in speed and efficacy at the hands of machine learning, AI-driven drug discovery may rapidly become the new norm.

Kenyan agri-tech startup Taimba gains access to $277K funding.

What it is: Taimba, a Kenyan B2B agri-tech startup, recently earned $277,000 in funding from Enviu and the DOEN Foundation. The cashless Taimba platform operates on mobile devices and connects rural small farmers with grocers, schools, restaurants, and hospitals. Currently, over 2,000 farmers use the platform to deliver fresh produce to 300 urban retailers. Taimba’s new round of equity and grant financing comes after a $100,000 Gray Matters Capital investment last year. Taimba will focus on integrating cooling machinery into its supply chain to preserve produce freshness, offering greater flexibility and stable supply for farmer resource demands. Enviu’s grant support will surely help the company achieve its expansion of product lines and markets. 

Why it’s important: The future of food will involve a zero-food waste, closed-loop value chain. Eliminating the intermediary between farmer and retailer makes the process of food supply and demand far more efficient. Moreover, strengthening the link between rural farmers and urban dwellers is essential to preserving ecological farming practices and perhaps even making them more innovative. Industrialized mass agriculture contributes significantly to growing crises, primarily global warming, antibiotic resistance, and pesticide poisoning. Scaling small farms through cashless technology platforms that help them directly track data-rich demand patterns will further inject transparency into the process, democratizing production and distribution. 

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)



Topics: Abundance Insider
9 min read

Abundance Insider: February 2nd, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 1, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: An AI epidemiologist’s coronavirus foresight, new VTOL technology, and Starlink’s latest satellite launch.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Join me, Ray Kurzweil, and my co-author Steven Kotler for a special, intimate book launch event on February 7th, 2020 at Singularity University’s Silicon Valley campus. This one-day conversation will tackle how converging exponential technologies are transforming every industry on Earth. Participants will receive 100 book copies of The Future is Faster Than You Think (included in the ticket price)—50 for your own use (to be distributed across your company, and among friends and family) and 50 to be donated to students across the country. Click here to register.

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Boeing partners with Tactical Robotics to develop VTOL tech.

What it is: Israel-based Tactical Robotics has signed an exploratory partnership with Boeing, whereby the two companies will develop vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft based on Tactical’s “Fancraft” enclosed rotor technology. Unlike open rotors, Fancrafts are placed inside ducts to better direct airflow as well as provide enhanced safety. Leveraging the aviation ducted fan technology, parent company Urban AirShip recently succeeded in developing “Cormorant,” an autonomous flying vehicle (with a roughly Humvee-sized footprint) that can take off and land vertically. While Boeing’s deal with Tactical Robotics will begin by exploring production methods and deployment applications of Cormorant (such as emergency response missions), it may also involve the development of other piloted and autonomous VTOL aircraft in the long term.

Why it’s important: While still in its nascent stages, the market for VTOL, urban air mobility and flying taxi fleets is heating up. Just last month, even the FAA’s Head of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration, Jay Merkle, stated that six aircraft aimed at urban air mobility applications are “well along” in their pursuit of type certification with the FAA. As VTOL hardware becomes increasingly advanced, how might a future of flying vehicles impact our cityscapes, urban sprawl, real estate prices, or even time abundance?

Paralyzed man breaks world record for finishing a marathon in an exoskeleton suit.

What it is: After a car accident in 2005 caused him severe spinal cord injury, Adam Gorlitsky was paralyzed from the waist down. Yet just a few weeks ago, Gorlitsky completed the Charleston Marathon in 33 hours, 50 minutes, and 23 seconds, claiming a new world record for his time in finishing a marathon in an exoskeleton suit. Using the ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton, Gorlitsky trained in earnest for about a year, having also attempted the Los Angeles Marathon last March. The first FDA-approved exoskeleton for rehabilitation and personal use in the U.S., ReWalk’s wearable technology provides powered hip and knee motion, and can even allow wearers to climb and descend stairs. Gorlitsky is now on a “One Million Steps Tour,” planning to walk one million steps in road races across the United States.

Why it’s important: Extraordinary proof of abundance, Gorlitsky’s achievement showcases the powerful combination of human resilience and enabling technologies. As both wearable exoskeleton robotics and brain-machine interfaces continue to advance, we will increasingly witness remarkable use cases in rehabilitation and enhanced mobility.

SpaceX launches 60 new Starlink satellites, sticks rocket landing at sea.

What it is: SpaceX launched its fourth set of Starlink satellites into orbit on Wednesday morning. The goal of the Starlink constellation is to provide reliable and affordable internet to all parts of the world. Used for the third time with this launch, the Falcon 9 rocket core carried 60 additional Starlink satellites into Low Earth Orbit (at an altitude of around 550 km operationally). The booster then returned gracefully to Earth, landing on the Of Course I Still Love You (Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship) in the Atlantic Ocean. This Starlink mission is the second of 24 planned to lift off in 2020, in pursuit of the company’s ultimate goal to reach 1,584 satellites in orbit by the end of this year.

Why it’s important: In ten years, we may no longer need traditional WiFi. Companies, universities, and municipalities will be able to create their own 5G cellular networks that support billions of IoT devices and connected sensors across their respective regions. Today, cellular networks cost more due to subscription fees and radio installations. Yet SpaceX Starlink satellites are slated to drive down these prices with affordable 5G connectivity. New spectrum auctions are already in the works, such as the Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) auctions planned for June in the U.S. The next step: developing roaming plans to allow devices to seamlessly connect to these local networks. Even if WiFi isn’t completely phased out, the costs of low-data-rate cellular contracts will undoubtedly decline in the coming years thanks to large-scale satellite projects like Starlink.

The Smart Cell Turning Solar Energy Into Hydrogen.

What it is: A team from Ohio State University, led by chemistry professor Claudia Torro, has developed a method for synthesizing hydrogen from sunlight. The process uses a rhodium molecule as a catalyst to store electrons and create hydrogen. “What makes it work is that the system is able to put the molecule into an excited state, where it absorbs the photon and is able to store two electrons to make hydrogen,” said Torro. “To put it simply, we are saving the energy from sunlight and storing it into chemical bonds so it can be used at a later time.”

Why it’s important: The hydrogen production industry is growing at an accelerated rate. Just last year saw a 40 percent increase in shipments, raising total energy production to 1.1GW. Particularly given lithium-ion battery limitations, alternatives in the storage realm will grow increasingly vital for our renewable energy future. In the words of Lancaster University Professor David Antonelli, who developed a technique for cheaper hydrogen fuel tanks last year, “The cost of manufacturing our material is so low, and the energy density it can store is so much higher than a lithium-ion battery, that we could see hydrogen fuel cell systems that cost five times less than lithium-ion batteries, [...] providing a much longer range — potentially enabling journeys up to around four or five times longer between fill-ups.” The ability to produce hydrogen cheaply from solar energy could change the face of energy production, driving a commercial abundance of hydrogen cells.

An AI Epidemiologist Sent the First Warnings of the Wuhan Virus.

What it is: Canadian health-monitoring program BlueDot alerted its customers of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a full nine days before the World Health Organization (WHO) notified the public. To achieve this foresight, BlueDot’s AI algorithm combs through foreign-language news reports, animal and plant disease networks, and official proclamations to pinpoint a potential outbreak. After epidemiologists confirm the conclusions, clients are immediately notified. Moreover, BlueDot has access to global airline data and can predict when and where the disease will spread. In the case of coronavirus, BlueDot correctly forecasted the virus would migrate from Wuhan to Bangkok, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. The 40-person company, launched by Kamran Khan in 2014, has a track record of success, such as its correct prediction of the Zika outbreak location in South Florida. BlueDot’s reports are sent to public health officials in dozens of countries and major hospitals surrounding outbreak epicenters.

Why it’s important: Bill Gates has expressed his belief that pandemics are one of the largest threats to humankind, and he is not alone. More than 12,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in China, doubling since Wednesday. Over 259 people have died, and scientists are racing to develop a vaccine as the disease spreads to sixteen nations. If BlueDot’s alert had motivated travel restrictions sooner, these numbers may have been far more controlled. With machine learning and natural language processing, data can be organized and acted upon with the urgency that infectious diseases require. Algorithms like BlueDot and similar data-driven decision engines will be essential for preserving global population health as networks proliferate.

Hydrogen-fueled Drones Will Inspect U.S. Gas Pipeline.

What it is: UAV manufacturer Doosan Mobility Innovation and hydrogen-fuel service provider ReadyH2 have teamed up to deploy a hydrogen-powered octocopter drone for inspection of a U.S. gas pipeline. The drone is capable of flying over 50 miles for nearly 2 hours of flight time per mission. Organized by public safety drone consultancy Skyfire Consulting, the pilot project will additionally establish procedures for inspecting domestic pipelines over the course of six months.

Why it’s important: As stated by Skyfire CEO Matt Sloane, “Distances like that [of Doosan’s octocopter] are simply not possible on battery technology. We’re thrilled [...] to address a very complex problem of transporting information and items long distances both quickly and efficiently, especially during emergencies and weather issues.” The convergence of advanced drone hardware and hydrogen technology is resulting in impressive new use cases for drones capable of long flight times and extended inspection projects. One significant benefit involves these drones’ usage in emergency response. Just last year, Doosan delivered medical supplies in the U.S. Virgin Islands for over 43 miles by drone. The company’s current pipeline project will function as a simulation for real crises, allowing the group to develop effective alerting and reporting protocols for usage by pipeline companies and public safety agencies.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider
8 min read

7 Business Models of the Next Decade

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 26, 2020

Some of the most potent innovation taking place today does not involve breakthrough technologies…. but rather the creation of fundamentally new business models.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials Exponential Organizations Business Models crowd economy
7 min read

Abundance Insider: January 25th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 25, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: New stem cell-grown biological bots, AI-aided recruitment and hiring, and the world’s largest 3D-printed building.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Join me, Ray Kurzweil, and my co-author Steven Kotler for a special, intimate book launch event on February 7th, 2020 at Singularity University’s Silicon Valley campus. This one-day conversation will tackle how converging exponential technologies are transforming every industry on Earth. Participants will receive 100 book copies of The Future is Faster Than You Think (included in the ticket price)—50 for your own use (to be distributed across your company, and among friends and family) and 50 to be donated to students across the country. Click here to register.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn.

Scientists build “first living robots” from frog stem cells.

What it is: Scientists have now built a “xenobot,” a new class of living artifact made from embryonic frog stem cells. Using a supercomputer, researchers ran an evolutionary algorithm—in this case testing thousands of 3D rudimentary life form designs within a simulation—to determine the best design for a millimeter-length robot. This virtual “evolution” yielded numerous little critters capable of propelling themselves forward, pushing pellets around, carrying objects, and even healing themselves after getting cut. “Powered” for up to ten days by living heart muscle cells, these primitive biological bots were built with the hopes of one day cleaning up microplastics in oceans or even delivering drugs within the body.

Why it’s important: In the words of research co-lead Joshua Bongard, “These are novel living machines [...] They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.” Within the realm of targeted drug delivery, their biodegradable nature could also prove highly valuable, as they essentially turn into dead skin cells once their job is done. The power of such technology can hardly be overstated, as the ability to engineer small-scale, alternative living machines is rapidly becoming part of humanity’s toolkit. And beyond these xenobots’ utility in everything from personalized medicine to environmental cleanup, their development process is helping to steer forward the field of evolutionary algorithms.

Construction Completed on Largest 3D-Printed Building in the World.

What it is: U.S. Company Apis Cor has 3D-printed a 31-foot-tall, 6,900-square-foot building in Dubai. Using a single printer, one crane and three workers, the company was able to create the two-story structure outdoors and exposed to the elements (a harsh environment for most 3D printers) with no humidity or temperature control. The printer used a gypsum-based material to print the walls, which were then reinforced with concrete and rebar (while floors, roofing, and windows were installed by other contractors). Apis Cor’s resulting structure is now the largest 3D-printed building in the world.

Why it’s important: The UAE’s most populous city, Dubai has pledged to have 25 percent of its buildings 3D-printed by 2030. In service of this goal, Apis Cor’s development project is a remarkable demonstration of how far 3D printing construction technologies have developed. While China became home to the world’s tallest 3D-printed structure (at 5 stories) in 2015, Dubai’s new building now breaks the record of largest 3D-printed building by volume. And as materials science breakthroughs meet new modes of construction, we will begin to witness a decrease in structural constraints and construction times, not to mention far more ecological practices in real estate.

There's a new obstacle to landing a job after college: Getting approved by AI.

What it is: With a glut of applicants for new jobs and internships, companies like HireVue, Yobs and Talview now offer AI-based assessments of video interviews and are increasingly helping companies screen their candidates faster. HireVue, in particular, now interviews 1 million applicants every 90 days for over 800 customers. Answering businesses’ predetermined questions, candidates respond on camera through a laptop or smartphone, after which HireVue’s algorithms analyze details such as diction and grammar, facial expressions and voice tonality, and help determine both candidate attributes and team fit. The growth of such AI as a service (AIaaS) products, however, is prompting universities (from Duke and Purdue to UNC) to help students prep appropriately for algorithmic recruiting procedures, teaching behaviors such as specific key words and phrases, and maintaining direct eye contact with the camera.

Why it’s important: AI’s growing ability to identify top talent has induced ethical and regulatory concerns surrounding AIaaS’ injection into the hiring process. Yet the technology’s ability to screen hundreds of thousands of candidates at scale undoubtedly brings considerable efficiency to the recruitment process. Particularly as distributed workforces and remote teams cause an increase in eligible job candidates and recruitment complexity, AIaaS will be critical for optimizing team-employee fit and sourcing the best candidates for any given role or project.

Bricks Alive! Scientists Create Living Concrete.

What it is: A research team at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has created living concrete that can even reproduce. The material is formed by cyanobacteria, a common photosynthetic microbe, which uses energy from the sun and carbon dioxide to produce calcium carbonate. When the cyanobacteria are suspended in a mixture of warm water, sand, and nutrients, the calcium carbonate product cements the sand particles together to form a rigid structure. The researchers additionally found that adding gelatin to the mix resulted in faster growth and stronger structures, which could be molded into cubes, shoebox-sized blocks, and truss pieces. And after just a few days in dry conditions, these blocks reach maximum strength. While the bacteria gradually die, they can be revitalized using high temperatures and humidity even after a few weeks. The researchers also found that after cutting a block in two and submerging one half in the warm water-mineral-gelatin mixture, it regrew to form another complete block.

Why it’s important: Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, this project could have huge applications in remote construction environments, where transporting large quantities of material is neither efficient nor safe. Living building materials (“L.B.M.s”) naturally reproduce to provide abundant building materials at low upfront costs. Perhaps most notable, this living concrete absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, counteracting the significant CO2 emissions generated by traditional concrete production. Moving forward, the team hopes to make their material stronger, more resistant to dehydration, and more easily configurable. The bricks have even been predicted to one day detect toxic chemicals or structural damage, alerting humans to infrastructural risks in advance. And long-term, we may even see this miraculous concrete make it to Mars and other extraplanetary colonies.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider
5 min read

Future of Money - AI Investors, Death of Cash & the Crowd…

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 12, 2020

Every day, roughly 60% of all market trades are made by computer.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials cryptocurrencies banking Business Models visionary money currencies currency microfinance crowdlending robo-advising robo-advisors Betterment Wealthfront
9 min read

Abundance Insider: January 11th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 11, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: New bio-inspired soft robotics, Samsung’s lifelike digital avatars, and this week’s CES highlights!

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Join me, Ray Kurzweil, and my co-author Steven Kotler for a special, intimate book launch event on February 7th, 2020 at Singularity University’s Silicon Valley campus. This one-day conversation will tackle how converging exponential technologies are transforming every industry on Earth. Participants will receive 100 book copies of The Future is Faster Than You Think (included in the ticket price)—50 for your own use (to be distributed across your company, and among friends and family) and 50 to be donated to students across the country. Click here to register.

Share Abundance Insider on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn .

Samsung’s ‘artificial human’ project definitely looks like a digital avatar.

What it is: Neon, a project emerging from Samsung Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Labs, presented its hyper-realistic digital humans at CES on Monday. These Neon digital avatars are designed not as AI assistants connected to the cloud, but rather as chatbots that can learn, emote, and retain memories, just as living humans would. Led by computer-human interaction researcher Pranav Mistry, Neon relies on two pieces of proprietary technology: (1) Core R3 (which stands for “reality, realtime, and responsive”) consists of advanced behavioral neural networks and evolutionary generative intelligence that allow Neon to respond to queries in less than a few milliseconds; and (2) Spectra is responsible for the human-like emotions, intelligence, and memories of the chatbots, although this underlying technology is less developed. Samsung plans to beta-launch Neon bots with partners around the globe later this year.

Why it’s important: Neon humans will not be answering your questions about the weather or traffic routes. These human-like digital bots are meant to respond to your queries in the same way a human would— without limitless connection to the internet, yet with learned expertise in a particular area. This next generation of digital avatars, once fully capable of speaking and behaving similarly to humans, will transform our relationships to our screens and with one another. The company plans to license or offer Neon subscriptions that individuals can go to for expert help, from financial advice to healthcare assistance. Neon avatars will even make their way onto TV screens, from the news to the Academy Awards stage. Prepare for a future in which digital and alive may be indistinguishable.

CES 2020: Panasonic Unveils World’s First Ultra HD VR Eyeglasses.

What it is: Japanese electronics corporation Panasonic unveiled the world’s first high dynamic range (HDR) ultra high-definition VR eyeglasses this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Building upon its success with Blu-Ray Disc Players, televisions, audio systems, and digital cameras, Panasonic is now emerging as a leader in the VR space. Created in collaboration with manufacturer Kopin Corporation, the glasses are lightweight and less obstructive than ever before, making them considerably more comfortable for wearers. While many VR experiences involve the “screen door effect”—whereby pixel barriers are visible to the viewer—Panasonic’s product promises a seamless 3D visual using an Organic LED (OLED) panel. As 5G takes hold across the globe, HDR resolution will become readily available in these glasses (and their future iterations), along with top-notch audio to complete the experience.

Why it’s important: Impressive 3D visuals that require minimal hardware will unlock countless opportunities to integrate VR into daily life. Across entertainment, sports, work, healthcare, and even architecture, VR will elevate existing experiences and offer new platforms for advertisers to display content. While questions remain about the field of view (FOV), motion controllers, and power supply of Panasonic’s device, the glasses mark significant progress in decreasing both the size and bulkiness of VR headsets.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule returns from the Space Station loaded with science experiments.

What it is: SpaceX has just completed its 19th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The Dragon capsule, laden with about 5,700 pounds of supplies and experiments, splashed down in the Pacific Ocean early Tuesday morning. Among these experiments were the study of microgravity’s effect on living organisms (using tiny aquatic animals known as “rotifers” and mice) and the pursuit of a solution for tackling astronaut radiation exposure on long-term space missions.

Why it’s important: These commercial resupply missions (CRS) are a cornerstone of NASA’s partnership with the private launch industry. SpaceX would not be where it is today without the support and revenue generated through these CRS contracts. On NASA’s end, the agency gets continued access to microgravity environments on the space station. Yet aboard the ISS, hundreds of experiments are often conducted at any given time, paving the way for novel technology applications both on Earth and in the far reaches of space.

Arduino introduces a low-code way to design IoT hardware.

What it is: This week at CES 2020, open source microcontroller company Arduino unveiled two major developments: (1) a new low-code solution for product creators that design hardware for the IoT, and (2) a new family of chips for a variety of hardware applications. Companies wanting to innovate in IoT typically invest considerably in consultations, development, or in integration projects. As a result, numerous small companies are often shut out of the IoT market given lack of engineering expertise or budgetary constraints. Arduino’s new tool changes this, promising to enable companies and hobbyists to design, build, measure, and explore prototypes in as little as a day. Secondly, Arduino released its Portenta Family of chips. Currently available for beta customers, the Arduino Portenta H7 module is scheduled for general availability next month. Portenta features a new standard for open high-density interconnects to support advanced peripherals in industrial applications, AI edge processing, and robotics. Similar to Arduino’s low-code solution, Potenta aims to allow developers to securely and easily develop IoT prototypes and more efficiently move them into production.

Why it’s important: Made famous by the Maker movement, Arduino and Raspberry Pi have moved well beyond niche use cases and into prime time. This and similar movements within low-code solutions and templated AI models are driving us towards an interface moment in IoT design and what Kevin Kelly calls the “cognification” of things. Now that you are untethered by the need for sophisticated technical expertise, what experiments and opportunities will you run and create?

4 Highlights from CES this Week.

4 Spotlights:

(1) Sony showcased the Vision-S, a prototype electric vehicle, focusing on its interior user interface and LiDAR capabilities. Why it’s important: Sony’s prototype demonstrates the company’s prowess in device technology, and could serve as an invitation to carmakers to collaborate with Sony on its next generation of electric, autonomous vehicles.
 
(2) Hydraloop unveiled a wastewater management solution. About the size of a refrigerator, Hydraloop’s system purifies wastewater and returns it for use in washing, gardening and plumbing. Why it’s important: As clean water scarcity becomes increasingly critical in a world of nearly 8 billion people, Hydraloop’s solution could prove a vital milestone in the development of more sustainable, efficient and scalable water systems.
 
(3) Following last year’s reveal of Impossible Beef, Impossible Pork has now been released. Why it’s important: Industrial animal farming is one of today’s greatest climate nightmares, and the success of Impossible Beef and similar products has validated consumer demand for more sustainable foods. Further diversifying the meat alternatives market, Impossible Pork is yet another step towards eliminating the land use, water, and GHG emissions footprint of traditional animal agriculture.
 
(4) Toyota released its plans for Toyota Woven City—a smart city of 2,000 residents built from scratch using all modern technology—to function as a research center. Why it’s important: As urbanization sees large-scale human migrations, the Toyota Woven City is an ideal experiment in building urban centers atop converging technologies. This and similar research parks stand to identify both pitfalls and scalable solutions for today’s proliferating urban megapolises.

Robotic architecture inspired by pelican eel: Origami unfolding and skin stretching mechanisms.

What it is: Researchers at Seoul National University’s Soft Robotics Research Center in South Korea and the Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation (FRN) in Portugal have developed a robotic architecture inspired by the pelican eel, a species of fish that lives in the deep sea. Building upon prior research on stretchable skins and origami morphing, the team sought to recreate how the pelican eel inflates its mouth, which uniquely unfolds and inflates simultaneously. Compared to other bio-inspired, single function, shape-changing mechanisms, the dual-morphing design recreated here enables extreme morphing in two distinct motions. The robotic architecture is also capable of performing several dexterity-requiring behaviors, such as gripping, crawling and underwater motion.

Why it’s important: Bio-inspired design holds promise for highly versatile, shape-morphing robotics. Think: soft robots that can be compactly shipped, deployed, refolded, and easily integrated into daily products. At the macro scale, we are also witnessing a newfound ability to build nature-inspired geometric objects and materials, leveraging a surge in 3D printing and materials science advancements. As technology progresses along these vectors, sophisticated soft robotics will become increasingly commercialized and integrated across healthcare, disaster recovery, architecture and consumer goods.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider
10 min read

20 Metatrends for the Roaring 20s

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 5, 2020

In the decade ahead, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact.

Topics: 3D Printing AR/VR Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Finance AI Exponentials Exponential Organizations space exploration Singularity machine learning networks 5G Augmented Reality trillion sensor economy Business Models Brain computer interface internet of things Spatial Web exponential technology bci brain machine interface energy abundance future of energy smart economy trends 2020s 2020 sustainability
7 min read

Abundance Insider: January 4th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 4, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: 2020’s top space missions, first-ever quantum teleportation, and AI’s novel applications in real estate.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

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The seven most exciting space missions of 2020.

What it is: Following a year of countless rocket launches and new space targets, the decade ahead is set to witness a boom in space exploration. And 2020 is giving us a head start, from robot-manned Mars missions, to private crewed missions into orbit.

What’s in store for 2020: Among this year’s four planned Mars missions––all aiming for summer launches––are NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which will leverage new instruments to probe the possibilities of extraterrestrial life; China’s Huoxing-1, slated to study the Martian atmosphere and terrain for 90 days; the UAE’s Hope Mars Mission orbiter, which will study Mars’ atmospheric chemistry from above; and Rosalind Franklin, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos’ joint Mars rover. In the realm of private spaceflight, both SpaceX and Boeing are amidst final preparations before launching NASA astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, respectively, destined for the ISS. While both these missions are targeting Q1 launch dates, others––like that of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin––aim to launch crewed capsules later in the year. In the case of Blue Origin’s New Shepard, for instance, the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing suborbital rocket is expected to take humans into space by year’s end. And when it comes to lunar missions, both NASA and China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) are racing ahead, NASA with a first (more limited) iteration of its Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion deep-space capsule, and CNSA with its Chang’e 5 lunar mission.

Physicists Just Achieved The First-Ever Quantum Teleportation Between Computer Chips.

What it is: For the first time ever, a research team led by physicists at the University of Bristol has now demonstrated quantum teleportation of information between two micrometer-scale silicon chips. Instead of relying on the flow of electrons for data transfer (as occurs in a typical computer), information was passed between the two computer chips using a quantum effect known as entanglement. In entanglement, the state of one particle is inextricably tied to the state of the other. Measuring one particle, in turn, immediately reveals information about the other. In this way, entanglement has now proved an effective method teleporting, or transmitting, data between devices without a physical electronic connection. And while still relegated to a controlled lab environment, the research team ultimately achieved high-fidelity quantum teleportation of 91 percent.

Why it’s important: While still a poorly understood phenomenon, quantum entanglement shows promising and highly consequential applications for the future of computing. As explained by Beijing University scientist and one of the study’s authors, Dr. Jianwei Wang, “In the future, a single silicon-chip integration of quantum photonic devices and classical electronic controls will open the door for fully chip-based CMOS-compatible quantum communication and information processing networks.” In effect, these early demonstrations of quantum entanglement’s utility will soon pave the way for a new generation of chips, processors, and networks, not to mention extraordinarily powerful computers.

New Tomato Ideal for Urban Gardens and Even Outer Space Created Through Genetic Editing.

What it is: A new batch of tomatoes, genetically engineered to thrive in urban landscapes, could redefine contemporary agriculture. These crops, grown by a team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, were modified using CRISPR to mature at an accelerated pace and produce vines more densely packed with fruit. Ready to harvest in less than 40 days, these tomatoes can grow in tiered farming warehouses or converted storage units in urban settings. To achieve this feat, the SELF PRUNING (SP) and SP5G genes, which control reproductive growth and plant size, were altered to make the plants blossom and produce fruit sooner. The SIER gene, which controls stem length, was also modified to make the plants as compact as possible–– ideal for limited space in urban settings. In success, this careful curation of gene edits has yielded optimal crop growth characteristics while preserving the tomato's flavor.

Why it’s important: Over 500 million people live on land already degraded by deforestation, changing weather patterns, and agricultural overuse, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Decoupling food production from land will reduce the harmful environmental impacts of mass farming, including land degradation and fertilizer runoff into water sources. At the same time, these plants will provide city dwellers with far fresher, more nutritious food, while generating a fraction of the transportation footprint. And from an economic standpoint, the genetically engineered crops win out as well, capable of yielding more fruit, operating year-round in climate-controlled conditions, and thereby offering unprecedented control in the food production process. Beyond the implications of this new plant on Earth, however, even NASA has now expressed interest in the technology, allowing us to envision a future wherein urbanized tomatoes (and other crops) may soon travel not only into our cities, but also beyond our atmosphere.

How AI Is Really Going To Change Real Estate In 2020 And Beyond.

What it is: By 2030, AI is estimated to add over $15 trillion to the global GDP, according to PwC. And among industries most affected, real estate holds a plethora of AI opportunities over the next decade. While many real estate firms already use virtual reality, smart contracts, virtual assistants, and voice bots to assist customers, countless unrealized opportunities remain. Susanne Eickermann-Riepe, Head of Real Estate at PwC Germany, points to four main applications of AI in real estate: (1) automating routine tasks; (2) augmenting intelligence to help people accomplish tasks more efficiently and productively; (3) expanding business intelligence to inform better human decisions; and (4) fully autonomous AI decision-making. In the wake of surging data collection, AI algorithms will also inform more effective marketing efforts, for instance predicting when a prospect might sell or purchase a property, and at what price.

Why it’s important: As AI’s early pitfalls continue to be identified and adjusted for, the time is now for real estate (typically a late-mover industry) to take advantage of the technology. Already, numerous real estate startups are jumping on the bandwagon. Take Nobbas, for instance, which offers a Tinder-like property search interface, or PropertyNest, which matches customers with listings based on their credit scores. By reducing time spent on routine tasks and offering more information about customer behavior, AI can provide considerable assistance to real estate brokers and investors in established firms as well. Key pain points to improve upon over the next decade include data availability, data quality, and standardization, yet many of these are already lessening in importance as the data-driven revolution takes hold. A meta-trend we are beginning to witness across the board, AI tools and Software as a service (SaaS) are fast becoming the most vital collaborators to human employees and entrepreneurs, whether in real estate, retail, finance, or health.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AI space exploration Real Estate Artificial Intellegence Private Space SpaceX future of real estate vertical farming genetic engineering
13 min read

Who Not How: Software Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 29, 2020

In the age of COVID, how do you 10X your business? And more broadly, in the coming decade, how do you go from a linear ‘old-school’ company to an ‘Exponential Organization’? Today, there is a clear strategy…

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials Exponential Organizations machine learning Business Models who not how Software as a service SaaS AI as a service AIaaS Machine Learning as a service MLaaS
6 min read

The Future of Money - Part 2

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 26, 2019

Over three quarters of Americans used a mobile device the last time they checked their bank account balance, and mobile banking is skyrocketing across the globe.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials cryptocurrencies banking Business Models visionary money currencies M-Pesa currency microfinance
5 min read

The Future of Money - Part 1

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 22, 2019

The way we store our money today makes zero sense.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Finance Exponentials banking Business Models entrepreneurial leap visionary Good Money impactinvesting money
8 min read

Abundance Insider: December 21st, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 21, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: AI-induced super resolution, robotic safety inspectors, and Lamborghini’s inroads in 3D printing.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter.

It’s Not You. Clothing Sizes Are Broken.

What it is: Size and fit are two of the leading reasons for online returns, according to e-commerce software company Narvar Inc., translating to costs that further reduce retailers’ already slim profit margins. From 3D body-scanning apps like MTailer and My Size, to startup Shima Seiki’s machines that knit garments with less than 1% variation, a plethora of companies has recently emerged to combat the issue of inconsistent sizing. Women’s sizes in the U.S. range from 00 to 18, yet there are no standardized body metrics across these sizes. This type of variation is not represented in online sizing guides, and few explain the stretch or texture of the fabric, which may also affect fit. Solutions like those offered by True Fit Corp.—which uses a data platform and AI-driven personalized recommendation engine to help consumers find their right size and taste-tailored items—are growing in demand from major retailers. Others, like RedThread, use 3D mobile body scanning and tailoring algorithms to best determine fit.

Why it’s important: Some executives, like Levi Strauss & Co.’s CEO Chip Bergh, believe sizes will become obsolete in the next decade. Smartphone-conducted body scans will offer precise measurements that automatically populate online retail platforms. From there, fits can be matched with existing designs or tailored with programmed sewing machines. Offering an even more personalized fit, 3D-printed garments are also on the rise, changing the economics of mass manufacturing. As retail sales continue to migrate to online platforms, virtual try-on software is slated to decimate returns—now a major pain point for both the retailer and the consumer. Yet the convergence of these technologies will not only cut costs, but will also dramatically reduce the environmental toll of shipping, packaging, and textile waste.

AI super resolution lets you “zoom and enhance” in Pixelmator Pro.

What it is: For just $60, Pixelmator is making the “zoom and enhance” trope seen in movies (the ability to zoom into images and retain sharpness) a reality. Using AI algorithms, Pixelmator’s “ML Super Resolution” is a novel function that allows users to scale an image up to 3X its original resolution without pixelation or blurriness. Similar to Google’s and Nvidia’s algorithms, Pixelmator’s software is trained on a dataset containing pairs of low-resolution and high-resolution images and thereby generates rules for how the pixels change from image to image. Pixelmator, however, is about 50 times smaller (than its Google and Nvidia counterparts) at just 5MB, which is lightweight enough to run on a device and needs merely 15,000 sample images to create the tool.

Why it’s important: In just the past 12 months, we’ve seen an explosion in AI and machine learning tool sets newly democratized for accessible consumer use. Yet many have required significant computing resources for top performance. Now, however, products like Pixelmator’s “ML Super Resolution” have achieved powerful algorithms trained on significantly lighter data sets that require far less memory and power. Particularly in the art and imaging realm, the availability of such algorithms to end users will lower the barrier for artists, filmmakers, and small firms in everything from design to marketing.

Lamborghini places emphasis on additive manufacturing, extends partnership with Carbon.

What it is: 3D printing company Carbon has just expanded its partnership with Lamborghini. Famous for its Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology—which prints components using a photochemical process leveraging oxygen and light—Carbon plans to use DLS to manufacture the dashboard air vents for Lamborghini’s first hybrid production car, the Sián FKP 37. This development follows Carbon’s earlier work in partnership with the car maker, whereby it produced textured fuel caps and air duct clips for the Urus Super Vehicles. Successful in reducing Lamborghini’s production time to just 12 weeks, Carbon’s DLS can produce geometric shapes that are extraordinarily difficult to mold using traditional processes, which often include multiple iterations on the design.

Why it’s important: 3D printing is transforming the manufacturing industry (literally) from the bottom-up, whether in production of minute, customized and complex automotive parts to rocket engine parts and organ tissues. We’re rapidly entering an era of programmable production, allowing for far cheaper, more versatile, and quickly prototyped goods. As 3D printing technologies move from deceptive to disruptive, what potential uses might you experiment with in your own business?

Building robotic safety inspectors nabs Gecko Robotics $40 million.

What it is: Pittsburgh-based Gecko Robotics has just landed US$40 million in additional financing, which it will use to add an additional 40 robots to its 60-bot fleet, helping meet demand for the company’s safety and infrastructure monitoring services. Gecko’s wall-climbing robots perform non-destructive testing on industrial machinery like tanks and boilers, assessing metrics like wall thickness, cracking, and pitting. Gecko’s robots can even predictively detect other issues likely to result in downtime or more serious hazards, such as explosions and emissions leaks.

Why it’s important: While much of today’s public debate on robotics centers around the replacement of human labor, one emerging phenomenon in the industry involves preventative, automated approaches to safety and compliance use cases. In many of these cases, robotics and software services like that of Gecko are augmenting human experts’ capabilities by granting them new data, which would otherwise be extremely difficult or hazardous to collect manually. Increasingly a collaborator for human practitioners, robotics and AI are beginning to tackle industrial monitoring tasks that have never before been possible, preventing infrastructural and machinery damage before it occurs.

How artificial intelligence is making health care more human.

What it is: MIT Technology Review Insights, in association with GE Healthcare, recently released survey results of over 900 healthcare professionals, revealing the ways in which AI is already being used in healthcare. Nearly 80% of respondents are set to increase their budgets on AI applications in 2020. And today, the key areas in which AI is already being deployed include: (1) AI for patient flow optimization; (2) medical imaging and diagnostics; (3) automation of electronic health records via natural language processing tools; (4) AI for predictive analytics; and (5) patient data and risk  analytics. In terms of outcomes, 78% of medical staffers report that AI deployments have already improved workflows, reducing time spent on mundane administrative tasks and thus unlocking more time for procedures and patient interactions. Even more importantly, AI is reducing clinical errors, and 75% of AI-using medical staff agree that the technology has bettered predictions in disease treatment.

Why it’s important: AI is transforming the healthcare system as we know it, touching everything from diagnostics to drug discovery. In the wake of “smart” patient scheduling tools, even the number of patients seen by doctors per day has been maximized. And AI is even helping optimize outcomes of the appointments themselves. Medical professionals typically spend 10% of their workweek taking notes or updating electronic health records. As AI begins to systematize these repetitive tasks, doctors are freed to dedicate more time to procedures and patient relations. Applying AI algorithms to medical imaging has also already improved clinical decision-making. For reference, surveyed doctors who have yet to adopt AI report clinical error as their key challenge two-thirds of the time (more than double the figure for those who have adopted AI tools). Moving forward, doctors and healthcare workers must continue to collaborate with machines, leveraging comprehensive pools of AI-mediated data to make important medical decisions. An invaluable new collaborator, AI is helping doctors and clinicians focus on what they do best, helping humanize the healthcare industry and improve the patient experience.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AR/VR AI machine learning Artificial Intellegence Batteries solar energy drone technology social responsibility
7 min read

Entrepreneurs-in-the-Making: Are You Ready to Take the Leap?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 19, 2019

As an entrepreneur, there’s a lot on the line.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials Business Models entrepreneurial leap visionary
6 min read

revolutionizing drug discovery and delivery

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 15, 2019

If you had to guess how long it takes for a drug to go from an idea to your pharmacy, what would you guess? 3 years? 5 years? How about the cost? $30 million? $100 million?

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials gene therapy gene Technology Artificial Intellegence preventive medicine personalized medicine Genetics CRISPR genetic engineering genome sequencing
8 min read

Abundance Insider: December 13th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 13, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Coca-Cola’s autonomous truck pilot, a new approach to computer vision, and the mysterious ‘X17 particle.’

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter.

High-Tech Planes, Supercomputers and Helitankers Help Fight Wildfires.

What it is: Firefighters are increasingly adopting sophisticated technologies in the fight against blazes. Fire departments across Southern California have now partnered with Dr. llkay Altintas, head of the WIFIRE Lab and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (part of UCSD). WIFIRE combines weather data, topography, and information about the dryness of brush to model in near-real time how a wildfire might spread and at what speeds. This, in turn, helps local leaders create evacuation plans and determine where departments might deploy fire crews. Until recently, mapping fires has been a laborious, hard-drawn process that often requires as much as a day of work. Yet armed with far more accurate data, firefighters and partners such as Coulson Aviation are now using military-grade night-vision goggles to operate at night, when winds often die down and give teams an advantage over the fire. The night vision goggles allow teams to determine key geographic targets as well as hover for water refills without having to land their helitankers.

Why it’s important: As the cost of computing power plummets, converging technologies are beginning to aid in disaster relief at price tags now affordable for budget-strapped state and local governments. While AI grants fire departments far more predictive capacity and higher mapping speeds, its hardware counterparts (whether drones, sensors, or the like) are finding their way into other realms of disaster relief, and even disaster prevention.

Coca-Cola test-drives Einride’s autonomous truck in Sweden.

What it is: Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will soon release a fleet of Einride autonomous electric transport vehicles onto the streets of Jordbro, Sweden. Founded in 2016, Einride has produced sleek “T-Pod” electric propulsion trucks that do not require a driver, though there are still remote drivers who can take control if needed. Currently, the T-Pods carry 200kWh batteries that allow for 124 miles of travel between charges. The fleet will transport goods from two warehouses, operated by CCEP and leading food retailer Axfood, just outside of Stockholm. Some will remain in fenced regions while others will interact on public roads.

Why it’s important: Road freight transport contributes about 7 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions each year. CCEP aims to use these Einride vehicles to meet its sustainability and efficiency goals. The company projects it could cut its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90 percent with these new vehicles. After a hoped-for success of this pilot test, the fleet could even potentially scale across the nation of Sweden, throughout which CCEP distributes Coca-Cola products. Sustainable supply chains will grow increasingly important as consumers desire greater transparency in their purchasing decisions and place more emphasis on environmentally responsible goods.

Observe.ai raises $26 million for AI that monitors and coaches call center agents.

What it is: While numerous Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms are beginning to disrupt the customer service realm, some SaaS products are designed to augment human customer care workers. One example involves U.S.-Indian startup and Y Combinator alum Observe.ai, which just announced a $26 million series A funding round. Observe.ai uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyze conversations between human agents and customers. After transcribing each call, Observe’s platform runs sentiment analysis, draws correlations between the support agent’s verbal and behavioral data and the customer’s happiness level, and then ultimately determines overall customer satisfaction. This data is then used to benchmark top performers and find best practices across teams. Results can even be applied to other discrete use cases, such as monitoring compliance in the healthcare industry, where conversations involve sensitive and often legally protected information.

Why it’s important: Observe and a number of other companies—NICE, Verint, Cogito, Gong, Chorus.ai, among others—make up a growing number of companies using AI improve the connection between humans, as opposed to replacing it outright. While many fear the encroachment of AI and automation on our contemporary job market, in what areas might we flip this concern? How might we leverage AIs to help augment our social and professional skills, provide a better service, or gain common ground with our clients?

Machine vision that sees things more the way we do is easier for us to understand.

What it is: Researchers have devised a new method for training neural networks in image recognition. Rather than training their model on full images of birds, scientists from Duke University and MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory trained a network specifically on features of birds: beak shape, head shape, feather coloration and the like. When the algorithm is then presented with a new picture of a bird, it searches for specific features, generates predictions about the bird’s species, and uses the cumulative evidence to come to a final conclusion.

Why it’s important: Recently, the push to make neural networks more explainable and transparent has gained significant traction in both the private sector and academia. Especially in the case of high-stakes applications—such as medical image recognition—AIs that can demonstrate which features contributed to its decision will help to solve the longstanding “black box” problem associated with today’s algorithms. By engineering neural networks to devise predictions in a manner more akin to our own human thought processes, AI engineers will also be able to more easily diagnose problems when networks make incorrect predictions.

A nanotube material conducts heat in just one direction.

What it is: Scientists at the University of Tokyo have now developed a method of synthesizing aligned carbon nanotubes. Normally, producing nanotubes in a bulk material results in poorly aligned configurations of individual tubes. Yet in order to take advantage of the thermal properties of the tube, it is necessary to align the tubes end-to-end. To achieve this, the researchers used a technique known as controlled vacuum filtration, a procedure whereby nanotubes are mixed with a liquid solution whose properties induce a natural self-organization of the tubes. The liquid is then carefully removed with a vacuum, leaving a thin sheet of highly-aligned nanotubes. This sheet has some extraordinary properties: perhaps most importantly, it has one-way thermal conductivity. This means that the sheet can conduct heat about 1,000 times more efficiently in the direction of the alignment than perpendicular to the alignment.

Why it’s important: Heat leakage is a tremendous problem for electrical engineers and circuit designers. This one-way thermal conduction material could serve as a game-changing solution, as it mitigates the need for large cooling systems and can interact at the nanoscale (the size of modern-day transistors). Needless to say, more efficient cooling systems will open tremendous new possibilities in design for computer hardware engineers.

Mysterious ‘Particle X17’ Could Carry a Newfound Fifth Force of Nature, But Most Experts Are Skeptical.

What it is: Four fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force—govern the universe as we know it. Yet the reported discovery of a particle dubbed X17 could add a fifth force to this list. Researchers at the Institute of Nuclear Research in Hungary first reported evidence of the particle in 2016, when they noticed radioactive beryllium atoms releasing pairs of electrons and their antimatter counterparts (positrons) at specific angles. Based on this evidence, the team concluded that there must be an intermediary “particle X” that the beryllium atom converts into before emitting the electron-positron pairs. With a mass of 17 megaelectronvolts, the particle earned its name X17. More recently, the team even detected a similar X17 particle of the same mass in the radioactive decay of helium. While most matter is made up of fermion particles, the X17 particle is considered a boson, meaning it carries energy and sometimes forces.

Why it’s important: Studying the X17 boson-type particle could unlock important insights into the nature of dark matter and potentially even a fifth force. Dark matter constitutes 85 percent of matter in the universe, yet is only detectable through gravity and does not react to light. The globally held Standard Model of particle physics could be revolutionized by this finding. Most research in the past fifty years has relied heavily on high-energy accelerators to collide particles at rapid speeds, but this team’s work offers a lower-cost alternative to understanding our universe. While findings have not yet been peer-reviewed, several groups are working to verify the Hungarian research institute’s work, driving progress towards a more accurate understanding of the matter that makes up our universe.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AR/VR AI machine learning Artificial Intellegence Batteries solar energy drone technology social responsibility
6 min read

The CRISPR Revolution & Hyper-Personalized Medicine

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 12, 2019

Two revolutionary tools are overhauling healthcare as we know it today: genome sequencing and CRISPR engineering.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials gene therapy gene Technology Artificial Intellegence preventive medicine personalized medicine Genetics CRISPR genetic engineering genome sequencing
6 min read

3D Printing & the Future of Retail

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 7, 2019

Forget costly prototypes, traditional textile manufacturing, product recalls, and the like…. 3D printing is about to turn the entire retail industry on its head.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials retail Technology Artificial Intellegence networks connectivity connection future of retail smart tracking 2028 smart malls smart economy experience economy
8 min read

Abundance Insider: December 6th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 6, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: DeepMind’s latest AI win, a promising treatment candidate for pancreatic cancer, and 5 emerging energy technologies.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

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Google DeepMind gamifies memory with its latest AI work.

What it is: If you’ve ever wished you could go back in time to tell your younger self a critical piece of advice, AIs may soon be able to do just that within their own networks. Google’s DeepMind unit recently announced a program that resembles the human capacity to mentally time travel by incorporating long-term consequences into machine learning. AI programs typically rely on reinforcement learning with short-term, immediate “rewards.” DeepMind’s new program, called Temporal Value Transport (TVT), transforms reinforcement learning by sending reward signals backwards from far in the future as an alternative form of neural networks. The program operates in simulated worlds, and it might “explore” a path to a certain target. If the program uses its memory of this path in a future pursuit to the same target, it is rewarded. This process, termed the “Reconstructive Memory Agent,” marks the first time memories of past events have been “encoded.”

Why it’s important: Many sociologists and economists have explored the realm of long-term human decision-making. While DeepMind’s TVT is not entirely representative of human thought, the cognitive mechanisms of the program could greatly impact human thought processes. We easily learn to avoid hot stoves after accidentally burning our hand once. Yet many of us fall into the long-term pattern of following an unfulfilling career path. Because long-term decisions lack immediate feedback, the signs pointing us in the “right direction” are difficult to detect and learn from early on. With the help of AIs that generate future pathways and then inform us of consequences in the present, humans could learn in entirely new ways. From investment decisions to government policy, wisdom from the future will undoubtedly aid our present choices.entertainment, and human interaction.

Jet-powered VTOL drone is like a quadcopter on steroids.

What it is: Texas-based FusionFlight has just invented a jet-powered drone capable of vertical take-off and landing operations. Yet rather than using propellers and electric motors like traditional drones, this drone ups the ante, using four diesel-powered microturbine jet engines and a proprietary vectoring system. Known as the H-Configuration, this latter component enables the drone to direct its engines’ thrust either vertically (for take-off and landing) or horizontally (while in flight). Reportedly capable of reaching a top speed of over 300 mph, the aircraft’s final production version includes a fuel tank sufficient for 30 minutes of hovering and 15 minutes of cruising. Down the line, FusionFlight aims to boost speed and performance with afterburners and other components.

Why it’s important: Drones are rapidly permeating our airspace. They are now used for crop monitoring, military combat, delivery services, and viral YouTube videos. FusionFlight’s newest iteration expands the range of possibilities for drones, especially in the case of time-sensitive tasks, where speed is key. Furthermore, enabled by its jets’ production of a combined 200 horsepower, the drone can carry up to 40 pounds of cargo, making it an ideal candidate for shipping and delivery applications.

Israeli scientists find a way to treat deadly pancreatic cancer in 14 days.

What it is: After just two weeks of daily injections, a new treatment reduced the number of cancerous pancreatic cells in mice by up to 90 percent. Led by Professor Malka Cohen-Armonat at Tel Aviv University, the team used a molecule called PJ34, one originally developed to treat stroke patients. After implanting human pancreatic cancer into immune-suppressed mice, the team intravenously injected the PJ34 treatment for fourteen days. During the cell replication process known as mitosis, the PJ34 molecule causes an anomaly that triggers the cell to self-destruct. In cancer cells that are duplicating uncontrollably, this type of stop signal is critical to controlling the tumor. Only 30 days after the treatment ended, an 80-90 percent reduction in cancer cells was observed, accompanied by zero negative impacts to healthy cells.

Why it’s important: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat, and few patients survive more than five years after diagnosis. Today, most treatment options involve chemotherapy, a systemic approach aimed at halting cell division in the entire body. Yet because this form of therapy lacks discriminatory targeting, cell replication slows across the entire body, causing many patients to experience negative side effects like hair loss, inflammation of the digestive tract, and decreased blood cell production. A solution like PJ34, which specifically targets only cancer cells, could revolutionize cancer therapy and significantly enhance patient quality of life. Venturing beyond pancreatic cancer, the team even successfully tested the treatment on cell cultures of aggressive forms of breast, lung, brain and ovarian cancer. According to the team, this treatment is about two years away from human trials, potentially promising a major boost to healthy human lifespans.

5 Emerging Energy Technologies to Watch Out For in 2020.

The story: This year, technologies in solar, wind, and battery storage have achieved remarkable economies of scale and now compete almost at parity with fossil fuels. In the coming year, breakthrough after breakthrough may finally usher in a watershed moment for the energy sector, and experts recommend keeping an eye on several key areas.

What to watch: (1) Floating solar arrays have surged in popularity for use on freshwater bodies, but photovoltaic solar panels are now moving to the open ocean. (2) Static compressors, which help to maintain the constant frequency of electric power grids, are starting to see an uptick in certain countries and should help with overall incorporation of renewables into the power grid. (3) Several companies are now working to increase the power capacity of dynamic export cables. These are critical to bringing power from offshore floating wind turbines (as opposed to static turbines fixed to the seafloor) back to shore. (4) Now backed by significant funding, molten salt reactors are a new form of nuclear power that promise to emit less radiation than traditional nuclear. (5) Renewably produced hydrogen has witnessed considerable growth in at least 10 countries, with projected utility in everything from industrial heating and cooling to the integration of renewables into the grid. As plummeting renewable energy costs and improved grid storage propel us into 2020, we may soon expect dramatic shifts in the global energy economy.

SLAC scientists invent a way to see attosecond electron motions with an X-ray laser.

What it is: Researchers at Stanford University have developed a method to measure electrons at an unfathomable timescale: 280 attoseconds, to be precise. For reference, an attosecond is to a second what a second is to roughly 31.71 billion years, longer than the age of the universe. To achieve this, the researchers developed a procedure involving X-ray bursts generated by fast-moving electron bursts. To see at smaller and smaller timescales, scientists needed to create shorter and more intense bursts. These bursts, in turn, create the requisite intense and fast X-rays when they are passed through a magnet. Ultimately, the Stanford scientists were able to develop a more capable beam using a technique called XLEAP, first proposed about 14 years ago but now finally coming to fruition.

Why it’s important: This is a tremendous boost for ultrafast science. “Until now, we could precisely observe the motions of atomic nuclei, but the much faster electron motions that actually drive chemical reactions were blurred out,” explained SLAC scientist James Cryan, one of the paper’s lead authors and an investigator with the Stanford PULSE Institute (a joint institute of SLAC and Stanford University). “With this advance, we’ll be able to use an X-ray laser to see how electrons move around and how that sets the stage for the chemistry that follows. It pushes the frontiers of ultrafast science.” What does this mean? Now capable of observing at infinitesimal scales, we may soon probe some of the world’s most fundamental mysteries, particularly in photosynthesis and biochemistry.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

The Future is Faster Than You Think: Want a chance to read my new book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Steven and me, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AR/VR AI machine learning Artificial Intellegence Batteries solar energy drone technology social responsibility
6 min read

Rise of the Retail Robots & Last-Mile Delivery

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 5, 2019

The robots are coming! The robots are coming! On our sidewalks, in our skies, in our every store… Over the next decade, robots will enter the mainstream of retail.

Topics: Robotics Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials retail Technology Artificial Intellegence networks connectivity smart cities connection future of retail smart tracking 2028 Westfield smart malls smart economy experience economy
2 min read

Podcast Episode 79: Free Zone Frontier

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 3, 2019

Episode 79: Free Zone Frontier

Peter and Dan discuss an effective strategy whereby entrepreneurs and established companies eliminate competition, not by overtaking competitors, but rather by building new partnerships through collaborative opportunities.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
6 min read

Future-Proofing Your Business

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 30, 2019

Entrepreneurs will create more wealth in the next decade, than we have in the entire past century. We’ll also experience the reinvention of every industry. Understanding how to navigate accelerating technological change is essential for every leader.

Topics: Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials retail Technology Artificial Intellegence networks connectivity smart cities connection future of retail smart tracking 2028 Westfield smart malls smart economy experience economy
7 min read

Abundance Insider: November 29th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 29, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: New haptic device for VR, socially aware algorithms, and NASA’s supermassive black hole finding.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

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New virtual reality interface enables “touch” across long distances.

What it is: A Northwestern University team has created a lightweight wearable patch that vibrates when activated by another user’s touch— from miles away. Using this technology, a mother was able to remotely “pat” her son on the back while video chatting him. As she touched a screen interface, this data was communicated through a haptic device on her son’s back, stimulating identical touch patterns. Most of today’s haptic feedback devices rely on batteries, requiring bulky containers that cannot fit snugly against the skin. By contrast, this new patch consists of a vibrating disk—only a few millimeters thick—that is powered by near-field communication, a wireless power transfer typically used in ID card locks. External silicone sheets protect the two inner layers of the device: one containing the near-field communication technology to power the device, and another holding miniature actuators that simulate various degrees of touch pressure. Led by physical chemist and materials scientist John A. Rogers, the team now aims to make the patch more flexible and lightweight before commercializing the device through their newly established startup.

Why it’s important: While today’s audiovisual interfaces have long captured our eyes and ears, incorporating the dimension of touch into our devices will add another layer of immersion in tomorrow’s digitally augmented world. For VR and AR devices, this haptic technology could transform virtual simulations into tactile physical environments—without any real materials. The Northwestern team’s device currently conveys only perpendicular pressure against the skin, but eventually the patch may be able to simulate even twisting motions or temperature changes. The technology will also likely expand beyond simple patches into full body suits, capable of translating touch interactions between individuals, or between game worlds and reality. The ability to see, hear, and feel in a digital simulation will drastically disrupt travel, entertainment, and human interaction.

New Amazon capabilities put machine learning in reach of more developers.

What it is: Amazon has just announced a new approach that will make machine learning models more accessible to both developers and business users. By taking advantage of tools like Amazon QuickSight, Aurora and Athena, anyone who can write in basic SQL can now make and use predictions in one’s applications without having to generate custom code. To make the process even easier, these machine learning models themselves can come pre-built from Amazon Web Services (AWS), be developed by an in-house data science team, or purchased in AWS’s ML marketplace.

Why it’s important: As explained by AWS cloud and open source executive Matt Asay, “there is often a large amount of fiddly, manual work required to take these predictions and make them part of a broader application, process or analytics dashboard.” Amazon’s initiative marks a significant step towards machine learning’s User Interface moment, removing friction and making AI’s predictive power more accessible to a large set of users. Keep on the lookout for a surge in easy-to-build applications and experiments as sophisticated Software as a Service (SaaS) products hit the marketplace.

Socially aware algorithms are ready to help.

What it is: In light of growing concern about AI’s obscure inner workings, software engineers and data scientists responsible for many of the algorithms involved in our everyday online activity have increasingly used more socially aware algorithmic structures. For instance, data scientists now use a technique known as “differential privacy” to add random “noise” to data sets, preserving the overall structure whilst obscuring individual data. This, in turn, helps to anonymize our data and thereby protect user privacy. Other techniques include the addition of fairness criteria, such that predictive models’ output—from creditworthiness to insurance-related decisions—minimize bias where possible.

Why it’s important: As machine learning algorithms are granted greater responsibility over socially consequential decisions (think: our ability to take out loans or a legal decision to grant bail), problems of privacy, bias, disinformation, filter bubbles, and transparency abound. As a result, AI engineers have begun working on algorithms’ ability to explain their decisions, overcoming their status as mysterious “black boxes.” Meanwhile, the above fairness conditions are a promising start in our pursuit to build equitable, unbiased, and evidence-based algorithms: predictive models that prove accurate without perpetuating “fake news,” racial inequalities, and a slew of other social challenges. Differential privacy, fairness conditions, and similar tweaks do result in some costs to algorithmic “utility” and error rate in the short-term. However, such initiatives will be essential for a future wherein machine learning helps safeguard equitable, systemic decision-making and privacy, while protecting against some of today’s worst institutional tendencies.

NASA finds supermassive black hole birthing stars at “furious rate.”

What it is: Scientists have now discovered a supermassive blackhole at the center of a distant galaxy cluster “furiously” birthing stars at a rate about 500 times that of the Milky Way Galaxy. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the team of astronomers was able to observe the equivalent of trillions of Suns’ worth of hot gas cooling around the black hole within the Phoenix Cluster, some 5.8 billion light years away.

Why it’s important: Typically, the supermassive blackholes at the center of galaxy clusters are too active for star formation. They usually blow powerful streams of gas around the region, heating up interstellar hydrogen and preventing the gas from cooling down enough to trigger the creation of new stars. However, as this blackhole in the Phoenix Cluster is smaller than others, its jets are not as powerful, allowing for prolific star formation. From a scientific perspective, observations like this enable us to better understand and characterize the lifecycle of galaxy clusters and the role that blackholes play in both preclusion and creation of new stars.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

The Future is Faster Than You Think: Want a chance to read my new book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Steven and me, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AR/VR AI space exploration machine learning Artificial Intellegence Batteries nasa social responsibility haptic devices
8 min read

Smart Stores & the 2030 Marketplace

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 27, 2019

How do you buy your stuff? Do you get in your car, or type with your fingers?

Topics: Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials retail Technology Artificial Intellegence networks connectivity smart cities connection future of retail smart tracking 2028 Westfield smart malls smart economy experience economy
8 min read

AI & Shopping - A New Retail Era

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 24, 2019

AI and broadband are eating retail for breakfast. In the first half of 2019, we’ve seen 19 retailer bankruptcies. And the retail apocalypse is only accelerating.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots materials networks connectivity smart cities construction connection Moonshots entrepreneur convergence aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop Martine Rothblatt organ transplant
9 min read

Abundance Insider: November 23rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 23, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Heliogen's concentrated solar power breakthrough, AI bots inventing new tools, and Lenovo's use of VR as an anesthesia alternative.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter.

Lenovo pilots VR as an alternative to general anesthesia for kids.

What it is: As doctors realize the immense potential of VR in medical training, practitioners are now exploring equally profound medical applications of VR, namely its use for distraction of patients during surgical procedures. In partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and (mobile device management provider) SOTI, Lenovo is now testing VR headsets as an alternative to general anesthetics for kids. Using largely off-the-shelf headgear and software—Lenovo Mirage Solo headsets and games curated by Starlight—participating hospitals, such as Children’s Hospital Colorado, have already seen impressive results. Whether in alleviating panic, pain, or similar side effects, the VR distraction aid has proved successful in everything from lumbar punctures and dressing of damaged limbs to endoscopies when combined with a local anesthetic.

Why it’s important: While virtual reality’s use cases in entertainment and even education are fairly obvious, a slew of niche applications across medicine are only now beginning to surface. Particularly as VR grows ever more hyper-realistic, thanks to surging bandwidth and resolution, resulting virtual experience products will soon be capable of addressing immersive distraction (in medical and other contexts) and even potentially long-term pain relief in adults.

Lab-grown meat gains muscle as it moves from petri dish to dinner plate.

What it is: A Harvard research team has now created lab-grown rabbit and cow muscle cells that resemble the texture and consistency of their animal counterparts. By applying regenerative medicine to food, the team at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) created an edible gelatin scaffold that could transform the scalability of lab-grown meat. Animal meat is primarily composed of skeletal muscle fibers that must adhere to a structure to grow. The team decided to create this structure out of gelatin using immersion Rotary Jet-Spinning (iRJS), which uses centrifugal force to spin long nanofibers of specific shapes and sizes. The gelatin fibers resemble the extracellular matrix and promote muscle cell growth. Eventually, the team hopes to design meats with defined textures, tastes, and nutritional profiles— all at an affordable price.

Why it’s important: Livestock contributes 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Yet the global market for meat is worth upwards of US$1.8 trillion. One third of human-consumed calories come from meat products, and the average American today eats 220 pounds of red meat and poultry each year (up from 167 pounds in 1990). To curb the detrimental environmental damage associated with these consumption habits, we need an alternative that tastes just as good. While many lab-grown meat companies have mastered texture, issues of price and scale still hinder widespread adoption of their products. The SEAS team’s gelatin scaffold technology could solve both challenges, as it allows muscle cells to quickly grow and can be ingested alongside meat. Now increasingly price-competitive, numerous lab-grown products, like Clara’s egg substitute and Memphis Meats’ meatballs, will soon begin to undercut plant-based products on the market today. But beyond economics, a host of new food tech advancements are allowing us to customize nutritional content, flavor profiles, and texture.

Bill Gates-backed solar startup announces major breakthrough.

What it is: Bill Gates-backed startup Heliogen recently unveiled its solar concentration technology, one expected to “commercially replace fuels with carbon-free, ultra-high temperature heat from the sun.” Founder Bill Gross (who also founded Idealab) has been working on the company in his very own incubator, alongside numerous other clean energy startups. The first of its kind, Heliogen’s system consists of a computer vision software that coordinates a large array of mirrors to reflect sunlight at a single target, which can then supply up to 1,000 degrees C of heat. This extreme amount of heat is necessary for industrial processes like those used to make cement, steel, and other materials, the production of which contributes to one-fifth of global fossil fuel emissions, according to Bill Gates. If companies purchase Heliogen’s system outright, however, Gross claims the technology could pay for itself within 2-3 years, reducing firms’ fossil fuel emissions by up to 60%.

Why it’s important: Electricity accounts for less than a quarter of global energy demand. Heliogen’s technology addresses a large chunk of the remaining 75% by providing an alternative energy supply for large industrial needs. Sunshine is a free commodity, and this simple fact offers a tremendous economic incentive for businesses to invest in effective concentrated solar power. Although our individual daily energy decisions impact the environment, large corporations can stand to both gain from and contribute to the shared pursuit of a zero-emissions future. While most heavy industry players rely solely on fossil fuels to achieve high temperatures, systems like that of Heliogen could provide long-term energy alternatives, capitalizing on an essentially free asset: the Sun.

Playing Hide-and-Seek, Machines Invent New Tools.

What it is: Programming researchers at OpenAI recently taught a group of AI bots to play hide-and-seek, unleashing them in teams of up to three agents on hundreds of millions of back-to-back games. While the AI hiders and seekers began with a clean slate and no play instructions, they soon learned to chase and hide, build fortifications (at about the 25 million-game mark), and even uncover unexpected uses of unusual tools. Engaged in a cat-and-mouse battle, OpenAI’s bots gradually learned increasingly complex attack and defense strategies. After nearly 390 million games, for instance, seeker bots learned to use virtual boxes to “surf” around the arena and gain visibility— a strategy quickly stymied by hiders, which learned to lock these boxes and prevent surfing after about 458 million games.

Why it’s important: The rapid progression of OpenAI bots’ game-playing strategies over millions of iterations, yielding advantageous traits, has been likened by some to the evolution of human intelligence. Yet more importantly, OpenAI’s algorithms demonstrated the remarkable ability to identify creative uses for undefined tools, paving the way for AIs that might soon solve far more complex strategy-related problems in unstructured contexts. According to Danny Lange, VP of AI at Unity Technologies (a game engine company), “There’s nothing here that prevents this from [...] going on a path where tool usage gets more and more complex.” Such complex tool usage (a hallmark of human intelligence) appears to be further spurred on by AI game play, as competitive environments prompt algorithms to learn from and circumvent their own mistakes over time.

Quantum computers learn to mark their own work.

What it is: Researchers at the University of Warwick have now devised a method to check answers output by a quantum computer. By using problems for which answers are already known, the team is able to quantify the effect of noise within the computer, creating two percentage metrics for determining accuracy. The first metric is an estimate of how close the quantum computer’s answer is to the real answer, while the second is a confidence score of that closeness. In this way, quantum computer engineers can further refine the machines, identifying sources of error and paving the way for future applications.

Why it’s important: By definition, quantum computers are designed for problems that would take classical computers an exponential amount of time to solve. Thus, in the past, researchers required exorbitant classical computing resources to error-check their answers—a task that quickly becomes infeasible in the case of applications designed for quantum computers. Yet with the researchers’ newly developed protocol, quantum computing systems can check themselves, independent of large servers, and thereby provide far more utility.

South Australia household batteries keeps lights on in Queensland after coal unit fails.

Story contributed by Tom Connor.

What it is: Last month, after a large power plant suddenly went offline in Queensland, Australia, an unlikely renewable contender came to the rescue. A distributed solar and battery project, the South Australia Virtual Power Plant (VPP)—led by US Battery and Tesla—aggregates stored solar resources from hundreds of homes with rooftop photovoltaic power stations (or rooftop PV). On October 9th, when the coal-fired Kogan Creek power station in Queensland tripped, reducing supply by 784 MW and putting the grid at risk, the VPP had a chance to prove its utility. Detecting the drop in frequency, the VPP immediately injected power from its 900+ systems back into the grid, helping to stabilize the system.

Why it’s important: Kogan Creek is the largest single power plant in Australia, so a distributed renewable energy network’s ability to immediately step in has drawn significant praise throughout the country and beyond. Today, energy storage is a key limiting reagent in our efforts to popularize renewable sources, critical to buffering the variability of solar and wind. Demonstrated successes in distributed storage at grid scale could thereby have a considerable impact on widespread adoption of solar and microgrid technologies, particularly in the case of residential rooftop solar PV systems.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

The Future is Faster Than You Think: Want a chance to read my new book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Steven and me, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy AI Longevity machine learning Artificial Intellegence Drones Batteries Autonomous Drones IoT solar solar energy internet of things aging drone technology solar power energy storage energy abundance future of energy genetic engineering brain genome sequencing water battery Alzheimer's dementia neuroscience optimization Apple Yeezy
7 min read

Pursuing Moonshots: Martine Rothblatt’s Story

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 21, 2019

You just learned your daughter’s disease gives her less than 5 years to live. How do you react? Would you strive to make her last years the most fulfilling? Or would you search every medical journal, contact every scientist, and find her a cure?

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots materials networks connectivity smart cities construction connection Moonshots entrepreneur convergence aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop Martine Rothblatt organ transplant
6 min read

transforming sick care into healthcare - part 1

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 17, 2019

The U.S. healthcare industry is in for a major disruption in the decade ahead.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop
8 min read

Abundance Insider: November 16th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 16, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Memory-mapping neurons, FAA-approved ‘blind’ drone flights, and Fukushima’s renewable energy future.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter.

Japan is reinventing Fukushima as a renewable energy hub.

What it is: Japan is now working to revamp the Fukushima nuclear meltdown zone to once again produce electricity, but this time using solar and wind power. Thanks to a loan from the state-run Development Bank of Japan and the Mizuho Bank, the region will soon produce about 600 megawatts of electricity, courtesy of 11 new solar plants and 10 new wind farms. With expected completion in March of 2024 at a cost of $2.7 billion, the power plants are predicted to generate enough power for about 114,000 average American homes.

Why it’s important: Nearly 43,000 Japanese citizens remain displaced by the Fukushima disaster, while about 143 square miles of the prefecture stand in a permanent evacuation zone. Yet Japan now seeks to capitalize on this seeming “dead zone,” leveraging the expanse of uninhabitable land to power residential regions. Contributing to the prefecture’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy-derived power by 2040, this power infrastructure will help pave the way for similar initiatives worldwide.

Drone company Iris Automation makes first-of-its-kind FAA-approved ‘blind’ drone flight.

What it is: In partnership with the Kansas Department of Transportation, drone startup Iris Automation has successfully completed the first FAA-approved BVLOS (“beyond the visual line of sight”) drone flight. Until now, the FAA and most other jurisdictions have required human observers and on-ground radar systems for testing of new services, costing companies up to $50 million and thereby hindering development of viable drone services. Yet with newfound FAA approval, Iris Automation utilized solely onboard detect-and-avoid systems. The flight follows the company’s successful test run in Alaska earlier this year, wherein its autonomous systems beat out human-operated drones 95 percent of the time in avoiding head-on collisions with other vehicles.

Why it’s important: We’re now seeing a massive surge in the development rate and approval of autonomous drone use for delivery of critical supplies and commerce. Meanwhile, numerous regulatory agencies—including state-level government departments in even technologically lagging regions—continue to define and refine the right guidelines of operation. As the immediacy of retail interactions, aid delivery, and small-scale cargo transit continues to skyrocket, expect the proliferation of drone manufacturers, complex sensors, and AI navigation software systems.

Specific neurons that map memories have now been identified in the human brain.

What it is: Scientists at Columbia University have found the first-ever evidence that individual neurons target specific memories during willful memory recall— think: recalling navigation details when a stranger asks you for directions. In their experiment, the neuroengineers first used electrodes implanted in neurosurgical patients to track brain signals. In particular, they monitored signals that were active when patients searched for objects from memory in a virtual reality game. Ultimately, they found that specific patterns of neuronal activity were matched with specific memories.

Why it’s important: Researchers have long known that certain activated neurons correspond with specific geographic locations, demonstrated by a Nobel Prize-winning discovery that linked “grid cells” and “place cells” to spatial location. However, prior to this experiment, it was unclear how spatial cells relate to memories made (through events or experiences) in that location. As explained by the study’s lead author Salman E. Qasim, “This discovery might provide a potential mechanism for our ability to selectively call upon different experiences from the past and highlights how these memories may influence our brain's spatial map.”

Apple plans standalone AR and VR gaming headset by 2022 and glasses later.

What it is: Apple recently announced its latest plan to release a series of AR/VR devices over the next four years. Just next year, the company will introduce 3D sensors to the iPad Pro, allowing users to reconstruct rooms, people, and objects in three dimensions. After their initial debut, these sensors will next be rolled out on iPhones (expected by end of 2020), building on current Face ID technology. In the following two years, Apple then aims to release its standalone AR/VR headset for use in virtual meetings, gaming, and entertainment. And by 2023, lightweight Apple glasses will reach consumers for everyday use. Although Apple’s release dates are later than anticipated, the tech giant’s 1,000 AR/VR engineers are forging ahead to deliver perfectly fine-tuned devices. Resulting technology will represent the beginning of Apple’s next big hardware push, building upon the wearables segment that now offsetts a decline in iPhone sales.

Why it’s important: By adding AR/VR glasses to a growing list of wearables—including the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones—Apple is now making the leap from the iPhone revolution to far more accessible smart interfaces, seamlessly integrated in our everyday lives. Advancing steadily within the deceptive growth phase, AR glasses will soon allow you to navigate the streets of a new city without staring into a phone screen. Learn about the history of a new place, keep up to date on news alerts, and stay in touch with your favorite contacts, no intermediary 2D digital portal needed. Apple’s wearable revolution will transform the way we interact with our physical environments, converting every surface into an opportunity to work, learn, or play.

DNA is just one of more than one million possible ‘genetic molecules,’ scientists find.

What it is: A new study published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling suggests that more than 1 million chemical look-alikes might encode biological information, as does DNA. So far, DNA, RNA, and a few man-made molecules are the only known nucleic acids capable of linking up, storing and relaying data, depending on their sequence. By designing a computer program that can generate chemical formulas, researchers at Emory University tested countless generated molecules to determine whether they resembled nucleotides. A surprise to everyone, their results identified over 1,160,000 molecules that could couple up in distinct pairings and assemble in a line, akin to DNA and RNA.

Why it’s important: Prompting us to fundamentally rethink optimal means of genetic data conveyance, this discovery has vast new implications. As a number of current drugs resembling nucleotides are effective in combating viruses and some malignant cancer cells, the team’s generated list could pave the way for novel pharmaceutical products. Within evolutionary biology, the finding that DNA and RNA have plenty of company may yield new truths about how life first evolved on Earth.

Kanye West’s sustainable Yeezy concept uses algae foam.

What it is: Kanye West’s Yeezy line is now diving into algae foam. West’s latest shoe, revealed at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival this week, is an algae-based creation modeled after the Yeezy foam runner. While its khaki color does not necessarily draw the eye, the shoe’s designers and engineering team are working to refine the color with environmentally friendly dyes. Meanwhile, Yeezy now plans to move its headquarters to a 4,000-acre ranch in Wyoming, enabling the company to grow algae in a hydroponic farm to further iterate on and rollout the new shoe product. The line’s transition to sustainable materials aligns with its parent brand’s eco-friendly initiatives. Driven by similar motives, Adidas recently pledged to manufacture solely with recycled plastics by 2024, and has already released the 100 percent recyclable Futurecraft Loop shoe.

Why it’s important: Second only to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world. Even once clothing reaches buyers’ shopping carts, consumer waste of textile products further contributes to the problem. The average American, for instance, throws away roughly 80 pounds of used clothing every year, much of which can be recycled but instead goes to the landfill. Yet big name brands hold tremendous power to popularize sustainable fashion and decreased production waste by innovating in the materials science realm. Boosting consumer awareness, Yeezy’s transition marks a key step towards ecologically responsible footwear, helping reduce fast-fashion waste.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy AI Longevity machine learning Artificial Intellegence Drones Batteries Autonomous Drones IoT solar solar energy internet of things aging drone technology solar power energy storage energy abundance future of energy genetic engineering brain genome sequencing water battery Alzheimer's dementia neuroscience optimization Apple Yeezy
2 min read

Podcast Episode 78: Personalized 3D Printed Homes

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 14, 2019

Episode 78: Personalized 3D Printed Homes

Peter and Dan discuss the oncoming wave of 3D-printed homes, soon to grant us far cheaper, more accessible, and environmentally sound alternatives to traditional housing. Offering numerous implications across materials science, market competition and the wealth gap, Peter and Dan demonstrate how both the construction and real estate industries will experience monumental disruption in the coming decade.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
7 min read

Hyperloop, Rocket Travel, and Avatars

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 13, 2019

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars? 

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop
11 min read

Revolutionizing Disaster Relief: A Tale of Convergence

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 10, 2019

Between 2005 and 2014, natural disasters have claimed the lives of over 700,000 people and resulted in total damage of more than US$1.4 trillion.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity trillion sensor economy smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology nanorobots smart tracking mobile connectivity
9 min read

Abundance Insider: November 8th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 8, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Toshiba's IoT alliance with Softbank and KDDI, an energy breakthrough in solar power storage, and new genetic clues for Alzheimer's prevention.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

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Toshiba's IoT alliance with Softbank and KDDI, an energy breakthrough in solar power storage, and new genetic clues for Alzheimer's prevention.

What it is: Copper-producing giant Freeport-McMoran is introducing a machine learning model to its production processes. While intended to increase the mining company’s annual output of copper by 90,000 tons (or 200 million pounds), the use of AI aims to minimize capital investment in doing so, as explained by chief executive Richard Adkerson. Developed with the management consulting firm McKinsey, Freeport-McMoran’s model integrates data from sensors across the company’s Bagdad mine in Arizona and suggests methods to optimize production, including adjusting the processing pH level to recover more copper.

Why it’s important: A production bump of this scale typically requires capital investment on the order of US$1.5 to 2 billion— not to mention far more industrial equipment. Harnessing the power of machine learning, however, Freeport-McMoran is planning to use the excess cash generated by increased production to pay down debt and power shareholder returns. Yet beyond mining, the use of integrated sensors and AI in even the most technologically lagging sectors is a tremendous validator of machine learning’s potential. By integrating data from key industrial processes and checkpoints, machine learning models can identify sources of inefficiency, non-intuitive shortcuts, and optimization decisions that create economic value far exceeding needed expenditures.

UPS and CVS deliver prescription medicine via drone to US residential customers.

What it is: Just this week, UPS announced that its drone delivery subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward, has completed its first two prescription medication deliveries to consumers in Cary, North Carolina. Both deliveries utilized the Matternet M2 drone system, now FAA-approved (as of last month) for UPS’s commercial use. Although a remote operator remained on hand, both deliveries were entirely autonomous, as drones hovered roughly 20 feet over each residential property to slowly lower packages by cable and winch to the ground. The announcement comes just one month after Flight Forward achieved its Part 135 air carrier certification, allowing the company's drones to “fly over people, at night, and out of an operators line of sight.”

Why it’s important: So far, UPS and Matternet have focused principally on deliveries to large healthcare campuses, with over 1,500 revenue-generating drone deliveries completed to date. The move to partner with CVS and to include residential deliveries is yet another signal we have been tracking, indicating that urban airspace, cargo transit and personalized deliveries are about to change significantly. What new opportunities open up when last mile delivery is no longer tethered to trucks and road transit?

Toshiba to form IoT alliance with SoftBank, KDDI and others.

What it is: In partnership with SoftBank, wireless carrier KDDI, and utility Tokyo Gas, Toshiba will launch an IoT platform called ifLink Open Community. To be formally established next March, the association aims to include over 100 Japanese companies, making it far easier for participating businesses to build IoT solutions without significant coding and technical hardware experience. Akin to Amazon’s model—which grants connection kits to smart device manufacturers that use Alexa—ifLink will similarly offer access to products sourced from the open community. This way, member companies no longer need to design prototypes and services from scratch.

Why it’s important: Standing at the intersection of connectivity, sensors and AI, the IoT market is booming. IDC projects the global market could top US$1 trillion by 2022, almost 2X last year’s US$646 billion market valuation. As major players like General Electric and Hitachi build their own proprietary IoT systems, IoT’s rise has largely been fueled by exponential advances in the price-performance ratio and miniaturization of sensors, surges in computing power, and the rapid emergence of 5G. With these converging foundations in place, we are about to witness a Cambrian explosion in new business models, smart and connected systems, and even intelligent urban networks. What intelligence would you gather within your own business if IoT platforms were readily buildable? What new products might you create?

An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades.

What it is: Swedish researchers have recently identified a molecule that can trap and store solar energy for up to decades, ultimately releasing the energy as heat on-demand. The secret sauce: a molecule made of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen that absorbs the Sun’s energy and holds it until a catalyst triggers its release. The team, led by Kasper Moth-Poulsen at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, also created a unique storage unit that can outperform the 5- to 10-year lifespan of standard lithium-ion batteries. Lastly, the group developed a transparent coating that absorbs sunlight and converts it to heat energy on the spot. Now working to demonstrate the technology at scale, the researchers are coating an entire building on campus with this material to reduce electricity requirements for heating and thereby curve carbon emissions. Once successful, the team aims to bring the storage unit to market in six years and the coating in only three— a timeline contingent on necessary funding streams.

Why it’s important: The big challenge that remains for Moth-Poulsen’s team is long-term energy storage for not only heat, but also electricity supply. While cost is yet another factor in recent solar-harnessing technologies, Moth-Poulson’s approach does not require expensive rare elements. Converting solar energy into heat through the team’s transparent coating could supply enough heat for vehicles and small buildings without any intermediary emission-producing machinery. Moving forward, this technology could even be incorporated into clothing to insulate humans in lightweight designs. In construction, window coatings could transform architectural designs in frigid regions, allowing more access to natural light during the winter. As demonstrated here, sometimes the greatest innovations begin on the micro-scale, harnessing unique chemical combinations for local use.

Three-story water battery cuts university's energy usage by 40 percent.

What it is: Having switched on its three-story “water battery” in September, Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) is now receiving enough power to cut its reliance on the grid by over 40 percent. Essentially a giant thermal energy storage system, USC’s “water battery” harnesses 6,000 solar panels (lining campus roofs and carparks), which comprise a 2.1 megawatt photovoltaic system. In turn, this generated energy then serves to cool 4.5 megaliters of water within a three-story tank. As air conditioning constitutes two fifths of the campus’s energy costs, water cooled using solar-generated energy can offset this, saving the university an estimated “US$69 million in energy costs over the next 25 years,” according to USC’s COO Dr. Scott Snyder.

Why it’s important: Charging ahead full force, Australia’s USC has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2025. Now operational, the university’s battery system is slated to cut CO2 emissions by upwards of 92,000 tons in the coming 25 years (already having reduced USC’s carbon footprint by 42 percent). Further earning the university international acclaim—through an award at Iceland’s 2019 Global District Energy Climate Awards—USC’s water battery is now inspiring similar energy innovations. Through customization around niche energy uses, renewable energy generation and storage systems are gradually fulfilling distinct slices of the energy needs pie, edging us closer to a carbon-neutral future worldwide.

Rare genetic mutation might hold clues to preventing Alzheimer's.

What it is: In an unprecedented new case, a Colombian woman developed early-stage Alzheimer’s yet experienced no common dementia symptoms for decades, likely due to a unique genetic mutation. While most Alzheimer’s cases are not linked to genetics, about 1,200 people in Colombia do face high early-onset genetic risk for the disease. Individuals with the E280A mutation of a gene called Presenilin 1 (PSEN1) are prone to developing Alzheimer’s in their forties or earlier. Yet while this female patient experienced the same unusually high level of brain amyloid-beta deposits as typical E280A individuals, she entirely evaded dementia symptoms like confusion and memory loss. When investigating this seeming anomaly, researchers found that she carried two additional “Christchurch” mutations in the APOE3 gene. While some E280 peers carried one version of this mutation, they were not protected against dementia in the same way.

Why it’s important: These findings open up a new realm of Alzheimer’s research, focused on preventing the development of dementia even as Alzheimer’s may progress. Without memory and normal brain function, it becomes almost impossible for Alzheimer’s patients to function independently. If effective in delaying the onset of dementia, however, a genetic treatment would not only increase lifespan but also vastly improve quality of life. While the genetic underpinnings of this newly discovered correlation will require further exploration, the recent surge of gene-editing tools can surely help apply these findings to therapeutic applications in the future. As genome-sequencing continues to demonetize, tracking mutations and their correlations with disease incidence will be easier than ever before.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy AI Longevity machine learning Artificial Intellegence Drones Batteries Autonomous Drones IoT solar solar energy internet of things aging drone technology solar power energy storage UPS energy abundance softbank future of energy genetic engineering brain genome sequencing water battery CVS Alzheimer's dementia neuroscience Toshiba optimization
6 min read

quantum supremacy.... NOW WHAT?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 7, 2019

Imagine a computer that could crack the most sophisticated network in a mere few seconds. Perfectly model complex weather and biological systems.

Topics: google ibm quantum computing computation Google Sycamore Rigetti Computing Rigetti qubits qubit computing Sycamore Chad Rigetti quantum IBM Q53
7 min read

Human Capital Abundance

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 3, 2019

We are about to massively increase the amount of Human Genius on planet Earth in two distinct ways.

Topics: 5G connectivity satellites Brain computer interface crowdsourcing bci brain machine interface Neuralink human capital genius balloons crowdsourcing genius brain-to-brain communication human intelligence
9 min read

Abundance Insider: November 1st, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 1, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: AR-aided surgeries, remote human brain-to-brain collaboration, and a new flu-targeting antibody.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter.

MediView XR raises $4.5 million to give surgeons X-ray vision with AR.

What it is: MediView XR recently raised US$4.5 million to further develop its Extended Reality Surgical Navigation system. Accessed through the Microsoft Hololens, MediView’s product grants surgeons a form of “x-ray vision” when conducting cancer ablations and biopsies. The system generates a personalized 3D holographic model for each patient based on CT and MRI scans. Next, ultrasound imaging updates the holographic display throughout the procedure. This process not only mitigates harmful x-ray radiation used in standard procedures today, but also improves visual acuity by translating 2D data into three dimensions. Surgeons can even rotate around the body while AR-overlaid visuals remain accurately mapped to the patient. Meanwhile, hand-tracking and voice commands allow surgeons to access any needed information on the spot. In its first set of human trials, MediView has already used its system on five live tumor patients and began a nine-patient trial in August. Leveraging its newly acquired capital, the company further aims to achieve FDA approval by 2021.

Why it’s important: Surgeons around the world are forced to make sense of 2D images for 3D applications. MediView’s technology would eliminate this hurdle and reduce surgeon error in doing so. Personalized 3D visualizations could also be used to educate patients on their conditions in a more intuitive manner. The educational applications of AR extend to medical schools as well, where mapping real data into practice procedures could boost student engagement and learning. The success of tumor removal surgeries is largely dependent on how precisely surgeons can incise the tumor, ensuring no cancerous traces are left behind. As AR headsets grow increasingly sophisticated, precise 3D models (coupled with biomarkers injected in the bloodstream to mark tumor cells) could vastly improve patient outcomes. MediView’s CEO John Black, who has performed over 2,000 surgeries himself, aims to transform the way surgeons interact with real-time data visualizations.

Engineers develop a new way to remove carbon dioxide from air: The process could work on the gas at any concentrations, from power plant emissions to open air.

What it is: Scientists from MIT have developed a new method of extracting carbon dioxide from streams of air or feed gas, even at the far lower concentration levels found in the general atmosphere. The technology essentially works like a large battery: charging when CO2-laden gas passes over its polyanthraquinone-coated electrodes, and discharged when it releases a pure stream of carbon dioxide. Unlike some alternatives, the method requires no large pressure differences or chemical processes and can even supply its own power, courtesy of the discharge effect.

Why it’s important: Most carbon capture technologies require high concentrations of CO2 to work, or considerable energy inputs, such as high pressure differences or heat to run chemical processes. This device works at room temperature and regular pressure. Furthermore, it can generate both electricity and pure CO2 streams, valuable for a range of agricultural use cases, carbonation in beverages, and various other applications. Of course, the real benefit of scaling such a method involves our battle against climate change, where our ability to scrub the air of carbon dioxide could be a critical step in reversing environmental catastrophe.

Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans.

What it is: For the first time, humans have achieved direct brain-to-brain communication through non-invasive electroencephalographs (EEGs). In a newly published study, three subjects were tasked with orienting a block correctly in a video game. Two subjects in separate rooms were designated as “senders” and could see the block, while the third “receiver” relied solely on sender signals to correctly position the block. EEG signals from the sender brains were converted into magnetic pulses delivered to the receiver via a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) device. If the senders wanted to instruct rotation, for instance, they focused on a high-frequency light flashing, which the receiver would see as a flash of light in her visual field. To stop rotation, senders would focus on a low-frequency light, which the receiver would then interpret as light absence in the set time interval. Using this binary stop/go code, the five groups tested in this “BrainNet” system achieved over 80 percent accuracy in aligning the block.

Why it’s important: A leader in the brain-to-brain communication field, Miguel Nicolelis has previously conducted studies that linked rat brains through implanted electrodes, effectively creating an “organic computer.” The rat brains synchronized electrical activity to the same extent of a single brain, and the super-brain routinely outperformed individual rats in distinguishing two electrical patterns. Building on this research, the leaders of the “BrainNet” human study claim that their non-invasive device could connect a limitless number of individuals. As brain-to-brain signaling grows increasingly complex, human collaboration will reach extraordinary levels, allowing us to uncover novel ideas and thought processes. Rather than building “neural networks” in software, operations like BrainNet are truly linking networks of neurons, creating massive amounts of biological processing power. We are fast approaching the prediction of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murry Gell-Man, who envisioned “thoughts and feelings would be completely shared with none of the selectivity or deception that language permits.”

By targeting flu-enabling protein, antibody may protect against wide-ranging strains: The findings could lead to a universal flu vaccine and more effective emergency treatments.

What it is: Scientists recently discovered a new antibody that could tremendously catalyze pursuit of a universal flu vaccine. Experimenting on mice, the research team identified an antibody that binds to the protein nueraminidase, an enzyme essential for the influenza virus’ replication inside the body. While today’s most widely used flu drug, Tamiflu, inactivates neuraminidase, various forms of the latter exist, rendering Tamiflu and similar drugs ineffective for numerous different flu strains. Testing the versatility of their newly discovered antibody, however, the scientists administered lethal doses of different flu strains to a dozen mice, only to find that the new antibody protected all twelve from succumbing to infection.

Why it’s important: Now particularly salient, fighting the flu every season has been an ongoing arms race between humanity and the virus. As strains mutate and develop resistance to our existing medications, the need for alternative strategies has become far more pressing. This new research could accelerate our progress towards finally engineering a cure-all method for preventing and protecting against the flu, saving thousands of lives every year.

Elephants Under Attack Have An Unlikely Ally: Artificial Intelligence.

What it is: Researchers at Cornell University and elsewhere have recently started applying AI algorithms to track and save African Forest Elephants. As Forest Elephants have proven difficult to track visually, Cornell researcher Peter Wrege decided to set up microphones and listen for signs of elephant communication amidst rainforest trees. First, Wrege and his team at the Elephant Listening Project divided the rainforest into 25km2 grids. By then placing audio recorders in every grid square about 23 to 30 feet into the treetops, the team has thus collected hundreds of thousands of hours of jungle sounds—more than any human could possibly tag and make sense of. By then transforming these audio files into spectrograms (visual representations of audio files), the researchers could apply a neural network to the data and isolate sounds from individual elephants. In practice, these algorithmic outcomes are now helping park rangers achieve an accurate census of the population, track elephant movement through the park over time, and even proactively prevent poaching activity in the bush.

Why it’s important: AI has now been heavily applied to narrow (and growing) use cases across medicine, financial projecting, logistics, industrial design, navigation, and almost any mechanical or logic-based system you can think of. Yet today, it increasingly stands to help us understand unstructured environments and even animal-to-animal communication. Thanks to a convergence of computing power, sensors, and connectivity, methods such as that used by the Elephant Listening Project are now granting us a better understanding of extraordinarily complex natural ecosystems and species, and could aid in our pursuit to protect them.

First Look: Uber Unveils New Design For Uber Eats Delivery Drone.

What it is: Uber Eats and Uber Elevate will soon be delivering dinner for two via drone starting next summer in San Diego. Unveiled at last week’s Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit, the delivery drone design features six rotors, rotating wings, and can carry a meal for two in its body. While the drone’s ideal trip time remains relatively short at eight minutes (including loading and unloading), the drone is capable of up to an 18-mile trip, divided into three six-mile legs (from launch to restaurant, to customer, and back to launch area). The current plan involves flying from restaurants to a staging location, at which an Uber driver would then travel the last mile for hand-off to the consumer. Yet with an eye to the future of automated last-mile delivery, Uber is also considering landing drones on the roofs of delivery cars.

Why it’s important: Less than a year away from Uber Eats’ expected launch in San Diego airspace, we will soon begin to witness the commercialization of autonomous drones in everything from last-mile delivery to humanitarian aid. Not only are these trends slated to displace a significant percentage of cargo-related transit but will fundamentally alter our urban networks and the way tomorrow’s businesses deliver personalized services.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AR/VR AI health surgery bci elephants
5 min read

Gigabit bandwidth EVERYWHERE, ALWAYS

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 30, 2019

We’re about to connect 8 billion people on the planet, everywhere, all the time, at near zero cost. This is a future of gigabit connection speeds at the top of Mt. Everest or in the Gobi desert.

Topics: 3D Printing Materials Science food agriculture materials automation future of food agtech vertical farming Plenty Inc. hydroponics aeroponics food tech food production digital agriculture RIPE Project Apeel Sciences Anrich3D Aerofarms RedefineMeat
2 min read

Podcast Episode 77: Eliminating Middlemen, When AI Replaces the Sales Agent

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 28, 2019

Episode 77: Eliminating Middlemen, When AI Replaces the Sales Agent

Peter and Dan discuss the first-order implications of artificial intelligence. As technologies like AR/VR, AI and blockchain converge to disrupt traditional business models and processes, countless tasks will become far easier, reducing business costs and time expenditures.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
8 min read

Abundance Insider: October 28th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 28, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Google's quantum computing breakthrough, a new gene-editing technique, and NASA's collaboration with Caterpillar on Moon mining machines.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter .

New gene editing technology could correct 89% of genetic defects.

What it is: Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have now developed a new gene-editing technique called “prime editing.” Built upon the foundations of CRISPR technology, prime editing has the expected potential to correct up to 89 percent of genetic defects, including those responsible for diseases like sickle cell anemia. By combining the traditional CRISPR-Cas9 approach with a protein that can generate new DNA, prime editing can thereby both snip DNA strands and transfer edited sequences to target DNA, allowing scientists to delete and replace whole sections of DNA strands.

Why it’s important: Single point gene mutations constitute roughly two-thirds of known human genetic variants associated with disease. As a result, effective gene editing techniques—once perfected—could correct mutations and wipe out a number of debilitating conditions. As explained by one of the authors of the study, Andrew Anzalone, “The versatility of prime editing quickly became apparent as we developed this technology [...] The fact that we could directly copy new genetic information into a target site was a revelation.” Now refining the new prime editing technique, Broad Institute’s scientists hope future iterations of CRISPR could target everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s to some of today’s most vexing genetic maladies. |Share on Facebook.

NASA's collaborating with Caterpillar on Moon mining machines.

What it is: NASA has recently teamed up with autonomous construction vehicle manufacturer Caterpillar to develop machines for excavating and mining the Moon. The two have long collaborated on robotics projects, but it is the autonomous capabilities of Caterpillar’s vehicles that make the company uniquely positioned to develop technology for NASA's lunar exploration programs. According to NASA spokesperson Clare Skelly, “there are many synergies between what NASA needs to meet exploration goals and Caterpillar technologies used here on Earth.”

Why it’s important: On the heels of revived interest in lunar exploration and the goal of establishing a lunar base, NASA has been heavily pursuing methods to make tasks easier for astronauts. Given multiple hazards associated with navigating the lunar surface, semi-autonomous vehicles could minimize dangerous construction work done conducted directly by astronauts. Once validated and fully autonomous, Moon-mining machines might one day provide a continuous supply of raw materials, from dust to water, for NASA’s proposed lunar outpost. | Share on Facebook.

Tesla’s new Solar Roof costs less than a new roof plus solar panels, aims for install rate of 1K per week.

What it is: Tesla has just launched its third-generation Solar Roof for residential home use. Planning to start installations in the coming month, the company is now aiming for a production rate of up to 1,000 new roofs per week. Long a work in progress, Tesla’s Solar Roof is designed to double as both an aesthetically appealing roof tile and set of home power-generating solar panels with high surface area coverage. While the installation process remains “very non-trivial,” according to Elon Musk, Tesla hopes to gamify consumer installation learning through ‘installathons’ and is investing in R&D to lower this critical barrier.

Why it’s important: Although individual tiles’ power-gathering cells are still less energy-efficient than traditional solar cells, version three of the Solar Roof well exceeds the energy-generating capacity of similarly sized roofs retrofitted with traditional tiles, on balance. Furthermore, V3 marks a tremendous improvement over previous iterations of the Solar Roof, and Musk forecasts a total addressable market of up to 100 million households globally. As installation procedures plummet in complexity and cost, and solar continues to demonetize, self-sustaining and energy-efficient residences could fast become the norm worldwide.

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy.

What it is: Google’s quantum computer, Sycamore, has just claimed “quantum supremacy” after completing a computation that would normally take 10,000 years on the most powerful supercomputers, in just 200 seconds. Led by experimental physicist John Martinis at UC Santa Barbara, the Google team published its feat in Nature magazine this week. Instead of traditional semiconductor computers, which store data in 1s or 0s, quantum bits (qubits) can exist in a third superposition state of both 0 and 1 simultaneously. With more degrees of bit variability, quantum computers can thereby perform exponentially more calculations per second than traditional computers. Quantum entanglement, described by Einstein as “spooky action at a distance,” then allows computers to measure entangled qbits at the same time. As Google’s Sycamore contains 54 qbits capable of storing over 10 quadrillion combinations of values, the tech giant now boasts the potential to tackle computational problems inconceivable in the past.

Why it’s important: While real-world applications of quantum computing may lie further on the horizon, Sycamore’s scientific achievement is a tremendous milestone for the many companies investing in this space already. In just the last two years, about US$400 million has been channeled towards private quantum-related firms—doubling investment figures of the past five years. Intel and IBM have demonstrated processors similar in scale to that of Sycamore, yet error-checking remains an issue for all three. Moving forward, Google aims to implement full error-checking once it can create processors with at least a million qubits. Currently, however, a second Google team is exploring how Sycamore-like computers can develop machine learning algorithms that generate realistic images. Meanwhile, competitor IBM offers quantum cloud access to partners such as drugmaker Merck. Even Airbus Ventures has invested in quantum startup IonQ, which may eventually aid in aircraft physics simulations. Spanning countless applications, the long-term vision of early investors in quantum computing will pay off sooner than you might think. |Share on Facebook.

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Conversation with Tony Robbins: Join me on Wednesday, October 30th at 12pm PT for an incredible conversation with Tony Robbins. We'll be discussing moonshots and mindsets, how to transform industries and cultures, and how to leverage technologies to dramatically improve your personal life and business success. Save your spot here.

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics google solar solar energy autonomous vehicles Genetics CRISPR quantum computing nasa solar cells solar power solar roof extraplanetary colonies genetic engineering Caterpillar
7 min read

Future of Transport (Part 1): Flying Cars & Aerial Ridesharing

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 27, 2019

In 2018, for the sixth straight year, Los Angeles earned the dubious honor of being the most gridlocked metropolis in the world, where the average driver spends 2.5 working weeks per year trapped in traffic.

Topics: 3D Printing Materials Science food agriculture materials automation future of food agtech vertical farming Plenty Inc. hydroponics aeroponics food tech food production digital agriculture RIPE Project Apeel Sciences Anrich3D Aerofarms RedefineMeat
7 min read

VR’s leap into the disruptive phase

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 23, 2019

In 2016, venture investments in VR exceeded US$800 million, while AR and MR received a total of $450 million. Just a year later, investments in AR and VR startups doubled to US$3.6 billion.

Topics: AR/VR virtual reality
7 min read

Abundance Insider: October 23rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 23, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: OpenAI's robotic hand, ANA's pursuit of avatars to replace flying, and DARPA's new inroads in BCIs.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

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First Robot to Know How to Hug Safely Thanks to Artificial Skin.

What it is: Engineers at the Technical University of Munich recently developed an artificial skin for usage on anthropomorphic robots. Taking inspiration from biology, these skins comprise a fabric of hexagonal, 2.5cm-diameter "cells," capable of measuring temperature, pressure, acceleration, and proximity. Each cell has a tiny micro-controller for both local computation and cell-to-cell communication. Yet the key breakthrough involves how the cells respond to inputs. Rather than transmitting data every second—overwhelming the robot's computer—cells only transmit data when value changes are detected. This enables the team to cut computational resources by a full 90 percent, allowing for more coverage of the robot's body.

Why it's important: Artificial skins like this one grant robots a far keener ability to navigate, sense and respond to complex environments, allowing them to balance on one leg, move on uneven surfaces, and avoid collisions, for instance. Furthermore, computation-optimized, sensor-embedded skin has useful applications for nursing care and several other robotics solutions in the service and healthcare industries. | Share on Facebook.

Google’s AI explains how image classifiers made their decisions.

What it is: Researchers at Google and Stanford have just made a major advancement towards AIs that can explain their decisions. Using a new machine learning model, the team was able to automatically extract "human-meaningful" visual concepts that informed the model's decisions. The algorithm works by taking an already trained image classifier, as well as its inputs for various classes, and identifying associations between the classes of images and the features within those images. As a result, the model was able to flag concepts as "important" with a mostly human-intuitive sense. In one instance, a law enforcement logo was deemed important for detecting police.

Why it's important: Explainability in AI has become a key issue in machine learning's development. As we cede more control over our lives to algorithms, we must ensure a grasp of why decisions are being made, and how we can guide AI to produce positive outcomes for people. Currently, most deep learning models are "black boxes:" data comes in, out comes a prediction, and no explanation is (or even can be) given. This research can help push the field towards models that are more easily explained and therefore more verifiable for human use. Share on Facebook.

The US military is trying to read minds.

What it is: A Carnegie Mellon team led by Pulkit Grover is developing a non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) that can detect electrical and ultrasound signals from outside the skull. This team is one of six funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of a $104 million initiative called the Next-generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology Program, or N³. The groups are working to translate a variety of signals, ranging from magnetic, to infrared, to ultrasound waves, into commands that can be used for military purposes. N³ director Al Emondi has noted that these BCIs may be used to control drone swarms “at the speed of thought rather than through mechanical devices.”

Why it’s important: Human skulls are less than a centimeter thick on average, yet this skeletal barrier presents a massive challenge for BCI developers. Invasive BCIs often involve implanted Utah arrays (half a pinkie nail size) that detect electrical neural activity in order to replicate these signals to stimulate movement in paralyzed individuals. While this approach has improved the quality of life for many individuals with quadriplegia, few healthy patients are willing to undergo the risky implantation procedure. Without any need for surgery, noninvasive BCIs could powerfully enable seamless, high-speed control with few downsides. In DARPA’s vision, these enhancements could allow troops to direct drones, communicate with each other, and receive information at record speeds—all while remaining physically alert in their environments. Considerable progress must still be made to precisely detect the electrical impulses of neurons—which can be as weak as a twentieth of a volt—from outside the skull, but DARPA’s BCI-targeted investments hold promise. | Share on Facebook.

Airline unveils robot avatars it hopes will replace flying.

What it is: Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA) hopes to reinvent travel with its “newme” robot, which consumers can use to virtually explore new places. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket, sitting cramped between travelers, and adding to commercial air-flight carbon emissions, individuals might one day use newme to teleport their virtual presence anywhere in the world. The colorful robots have Roomba-like wheeled bases and cameras mounted at approximate eye level, which capture the surroundings that users view through VR headsets. If the robot were stationed in your parents’ home, for example, you could cruise around the rooms and chat with your family at any time of day. After revealing the technology at Tokyo’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies last Monday, ANA plans to deploy 1,000 newme’s by 2020.

Why it’s important: Virtual avatars like newme will create boundless opportunities for next-generation travel. From common tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the pyramids of Egypt, to uninhabitable destinations like the Moon or deep sea, location, distance and cost will no longer limit our travel choices. This technology will likely transcend recreational use and assist doctors in reaching distant patients, help disabled individuals engage with the world, and allow students to explore locations firsthand that they currently learn about in the classroom. Last year, a group of individuals unable to leave their homes due to disabilities used ANA’s newme robots to work as virtual waiters in a Japanese restaurant. As we increasingly migrate from our physical world to an ever-connected digital one, ANA's newme avatars will catalyze this transition and allow us to transcend the physical constraints of modern-day travel. |Share on Facebook.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI
6 min read

The Future of Food: Protein in 2030 (Part 2)

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 20, 2019

Could a hamburger grown in a lab from Kobe beef stem cells be cheaper, better tasting and healthier for you?

Topics: 3D Printing Materials Science food agriculture materials automation future of food agtech vertical farming Plenty Inc. hydroponics aeroponics food tech food production digital agriculture RIPE Project Apeel Sciences Anrich3D Aerofarms RedefineMeat
3 min read

Marketing in the information age

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 16, 2019

It seems like everywhere you turn in the business world, you see the word “automation”. While it’s clear that automating your workflow can increase your team’s productivity, I’ve found that many companies haven’t fully embraced the marketing tools available to them. This is a shame, because I believe that the implementation of proper marketing tools is critical to the long-term survival of any company in the age of information.

Here are 3 of my favorite automation tools that help lay a solid foundation in marketing:

  1. Hubspot: All good marketing starts with a solid CRM, and I’ve been using Hubspot in my businesses for the last 4 years. It’s a one stop shop that includes webpage hosting, email automations, and built-in integrations with other software solutions like Stripe, Zoom, and most ad platforms. 
  2. Zapier: In the past you had to hire a team of API developers to send information between, say, your CRM and payment platform. Zapier is an incredibly innovative company that disrupted this market by working as a “glue” between the software solutions that you already use in your business. You can create “Zaps” to connect all your apps, so you can automate tasks in the background and focus on more important work.  
  3. Hotjar: Hot jar is a user behavior monitoring tool. You always hear me talking about the importance of listening to the data and gathering customer feedback. Hotjar can be added to nearly any website and captures data about your users on your site like clicks, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior to create a heat map. This can help you optimize your site for lead capture, featured content, and more.

While automation is a brilliant solution in marketing, there will always be a need to connect with people on a personal level. Marketing is one of the best tools for building and maintaining relationships in your business.

My friend Joe Polish has been an incredibly valuable marketing resource for me and my businesses. He hosts an annual event called Genius Network (apply here), which  I attend every year to stay up to date in marketing, and to connect with other successful entrepreneurs. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from his program.

3 ways to connect with your clients: 

  1. Send a thoughtful gift such as an autographed book or gift card. When connecting with your clients, ask them personal questions about their preferences, hobbies, and other causal topics.. When the time is right, send a gift based on what you learned about them Don’t just send a Starbucks card, send something that shows you really listened.  For example, If you know me, you know I love space. A few years ago, a salesperson sent me a small meteorite as a thank you gift. That was one of the most thoughtful and personal gifts I've ever received because it signaled to me that our relationship was personal, not just transactional. It should come as no surprise that Icontinue to do business with them to this day.
  2. Connect with them over the phone, send an email, or mail a thank you note. Staying in contact with your clients is critical to your success. I’ve found that mail can still be an incredibly effective way to be in touch with people that are important to your business. Earlier this year, I hosted an event for a group of Abundance 360 members. While I sent an email invitation, I also sent a written card to members inviting them to the event using a company called Addressable to help me “hack” time. They use a small “team” of robots to write and mail letters for you.
  3. Show in-person support by participating in one of  your client’s events, or visiting them  in their office environment. Attending a client-hosted event shows support for their business and is a great way to indicate mutual respect and admiration. It also signals your understanding that business relationships go both ways – that you don’t mind going out of the way for your client’s convenience.

If you’re interested in diving in deeper into these concepts, I recommend attending Joe’s Genius Network event November 2-4 in Phoenix, AZ. I’ll be there alongside speakers likeKeith Cunningham, Chris Voss and Barbara Annis. You can apply here.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Business Models automation marketing
6 min read

The Future of Food: 3D Printing, Vertical Farming & Materials Science (Part 1)

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 13, 2019

Food… What we eat, and how we grow it, will be fundamentally transformed in the next decade.

Topics: 3D Printing Materials Science food agriculture materials automation future of food agtech vertical farming Plenty Inc. hydroponics aeroponics food tech food production digital agriculture RIPE Project Apeel Sciences Anrich3D Aerofarms RedefineMeat
9 min read

Abundance Insider: October 11th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 11, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Lab-grown meat in space, a brain-controlled exoskeleton, and wireless charging of IoT-connected devices.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter.

A brain-controlled exoskeleton has let a paralyzed man walk in the lab.

What it is: Using just two sensors connected to his brain, a man paralyzed from the shoulders down has now successfully walked vis-a-vis a mind-controlled exoskeleton. Once a link was made between Thibault’s cognitive patterns and the 65kg suit, these steps marked the 28-year-old patient’s first instance of autonomous movement after a 40-foot fall four years prior. Conducted as part of a study with France’s University of Grenoble Alpes, the researchers implanted sensors—each comprised of 64 electrodes—above the outer membrane of Thibault’s brain’s movement centers. By mapping the brain to determine which areas became active during Thibault’s thoughts of walking or moving his arms, the researchers then trained the system and translated neural impulses (detected by the electrodes) into control inputs for the exoskeleton. Over several months, Thibault then trained his brain using a virtual avatar until he was prepared to control the exoskeleton. The final outcome? 480 steps in 39 periods of walking, with controlled stops.

Why it’s important: Although the exoskeleton still requires suspension from a ceiling mount, this technology has the power to return fully independent, self-determined movement to paraplegics. Virtual simulations serve a crucial role in the training phases of such suits, and we will continue to witness the expansion of VR technologies across movement restoration and similar health applications. Even beyond clinical use cases, our growing understanding of how brain signals link to movement will transform brain-computer interfaces and our future interactions in the virtual world. Perhaps writing an email in 2035 may just require you to think about typing it. Goodbye carpal tunnel syndrome! | Share on Facebook.

FCC approves wireless charging tech for IoT devices, Walmart to adopt it.

What it is: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now granted authorization for wireless power delivery to an Internet of Things (IoT) tracking device. In effect, Ossia’s “Cota” technology will soon be utilized in Walmart’s highly complex supply chain, embedded in shipping packages across a number of transit vessels. Having developed what’s known as “trickle charging” capacity, Ossia uses radio frequency (RF) to send power and data from Cota transmitters over distances greater than 15 feet. This technology allows for the charge of dozens of mobile devices within a several-meter radius, sometimes even through walls. Transmitters come in multiple form factors, including a drop ceiling tile, which would communicate with sensors embedded in shipping packages aboard trucks. The system might also be used in crowded spaces, such as coffee shops or offices, wherein two Cota ceiling tiles could be linked to power mobile devices.

Why it’s important: We are currently witnessing an unprecedented explosion in IoT-connected sensors, embedded in our devices and environments. Stanford researchers estimate that connected devices will number over 500 billion by 2030. Yet the cost and technological constraints of keeping devices continually charged has proved a major barrier to mass adoption. Regulatory approval of newly sophisticated wireless charging technology will tremendously catalyze mass integration of continuously reliable tracking devices and IoT integration across almost every industry imaginable, transforming tomorrow’s supply chains. Share on Facebook.

Astronomers spot ‘cosmic web’ that sticks the universe together.

What it is: For the first time ever, astronomers have directly observed the cosmic web. Serving as a “glue” between far-afield galaxies, the cosmic web is essentially the universe’s underlying structure at its largest scale. While only using indirect evidence, today’s leading models indicate large filaments of gas and galaxies that crisscross the universe. These filaments form threads of superclusters and clusters, thus mimicking the web of a spider. Most recently, astronomers used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope to peer back at an ancient galaxy cluster at a distance of over 12 billion light-years. From their images, the astronomers then used specialized equipment to map out light emitted by hydrogen within the SSA22 galaxy cluster, spotting individual gas filaments linking the galaxies together.

Why it’s important: This observation provides definitive support for our current models of the universe. As Durham University astrophysicist and co-author Michele Fumagalli states, “It is very exciting to clearly see for the first time multiple and extended filaments in the early universe [...] We finally have a way to map these structures directly and to understand [...] their role in regulating the formation of supermassive black holes and galaxies.” Offering explicit visual validation, this and similar discoveries will help us make tremendous strides in understanding the evolution of our early universe. | Share on Facebook.

Astronauts just printed meat in space for the first time — and it could change the way we grow food on Earth.

What it is: Last month, astronauts on the International Space Station successfully proved that lab-grown beef can be produced even under extremely hostile conditions— in this case, microgravity. Using a magnetic printer developed by Russian firm 3D Bioprinting Solutions, the cosmonauts adapted a method designed by Israeli startup Aleph Farms to coax bovine cells into fully formed muscle tissue. After biopsy-extracted cow cells were immersed in a nutrient broth (which simulates the interior environment of a cow’s body), the bioprinter fostered their “growth” into a tiny piece of beef, even in the absence of sunlight and gravity.

Why it’s important: As cutting-edge startups like Memphis Meats and JUST continue to charge ahead with lab-grown meat in controlled Earthbound environments, developments such as space-based meat bioprinting has a two-fold impact on the food industry. Beyond its promise for food production aboard the ISS and in future space colonies, Aleph Farms and 3D Bioprinting Solutions’ success could dramatically advance alt-meat production here on Earth. As Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia put it, “We are proving that cultivated meat can be produced anytime, anywhere, in any condition.” Such a proof-of-concept could thereby lead to on-demand, high-protein meat production in some of Earth’s harshest environments, granting immediate access to nutrition even within remote populations. | Share on Facebook.

Toyota Research Institute teaches mobile manipulator with VR, simulation.

What it is: Scientists from the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) are now training robots to navigate and assist with domestic tasks in people's homes. Using complex simulations and virtual reality (VR), Toyota has successfully designed and trained robots that can perform multi-step assignments, such as loading a dishwasher or transferring a bottle from fridge to table. By processing robots’ audiovisual sensor data, building physical world models, and mapping visual inputs to taught behaviors, TRI’s software architecture enables robots to navigate uneven terrain, circumvent unexpected obstacles, respond to voice commands, and autonomously execute chores. Furthermore, because learning is readily transferred between robots, the lessons learned by one bot can be applied to the entire fleet, allowing for rapid, iterative progress and training en masse.

Why it’s important: Building effective home assistants is a significant prong of Toyota's future strategy. Particularly in light of an aging population and the economic challenges that accompany this demographic trend, TRI hopes that its versatile and fast-advancing robotics initiative could help people “age in place.” Yet aside from allowing elderly individuals to stay in their homes—particularly those that cannot afford to rely on scarce human aid—TRI’s initiative is a critical stepping stone en route to countless residential and commercial robotic assistants. Whether in manufacturing, pick-and-place operations, logistics or packing, fleet learning and iterative training are about to revolutionize mass market adoption of robots that can learn almost any task, on the spot. | Share on Facebook.

Microsoft wants to connect another 40 million global internet users.

What it is: In 2017, Microsoft launched its “Airband Initiative” with the goal of improving rural internet access across America. Yet just this week, the tech giant announced an expansion of the plan to connect over 40 million people to the internet by 2020, focusing on regions in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the U.S., Microsoft has already introduced broadband access to 3 million Americans using unutilized TV White Space (TVWS) in the 600 MHz spectrum. Internationally, the company will use this TVWS strategy, alongside technologies derived from local partnerships, to overcome stifling government regulations and work with internet service providers (ISPs) along the way. Having already linked 6 million rural Columbians to the internet through partnerships with local ISPs, Microsoft has also helped deregulate TVWS in Ghana, enabling a broadband provider to offer its service to about 800,000 people.

Why it’s important: Today, almost half the world’s population is connected to the web, a percentage that continues to surge in response to satellite-provided connectivity, 5G, and drone networks. In rural areas isolated from technology hubs, internet access offers a path to countless new opportunities— educational, economic, social, imaginative. In one instance, by connecting two schools and five farms to the internet in Columbia (using TVWS), Microsoft has unlocked a plethora of free, digitized educational resources to local youth and adults alike. While this and similar initiatives (by tech giants like Facebook and Google) are partially incentivized by an expanded consumer base and financial gain, the rapid scaling of global connectivity also plays a critical social role in equalizing access to opportunities, regardless of one’s randomly assigned place of birth. | Share on Facebook.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI
8 min read

sensors explosion & the rise of IoT

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 9, 2019

“Hey Google, how’s my health this morning?”

Topics: Sensors IoT trillion sensor economy smart cities internet of things smart tracking
5 min read

The Future is Faster Than You Think

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 6, 2019

Over the next three months, I am beyond excited to give you a sneak peek into my new upcoming book, The Future is Faster Than You Think!

Topics: AR/VR Augmented Reality augmented manufacturing ar cloud
8 min read

Abundance Insider: October 4th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 4, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Google's VR Versailles Tour, new artificial skin for haptic feedback, and photovoltaic-powered sensors.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter | Read on Diamandis.com.

Artificial skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality.

What it is: Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have now developed a soft artificial skin made of silicone and electrodes that simulates the perception of touch using haptic feedback. The skin conforms to a wearer’s wrist or finger, and strain sensors precisely measure skin deformation. Based on these readings, the artificial skin then sends vibrations, generating pressure to simulate touch. This haptic feedback is controlled by the membrane’s soft pneumatic actuators that can be inflated with air. In practice, vibrations are produced by rapidly inflating and deflating these actuators at adjustable frequencies up to 100 Hz. The skin, which can be stretched up to four times its original length, can even endure up to a million cycles, touting tremendous durability and flexibility in a range of real-world applications.

Why it’s important: Haptic feedback provided by artificial skin could transform the nature of virtual reality, allowing users to “touch” elements in the virtual world. The addition of a fully integrated sensory layer would redefine the nature of immersion, rendering mixed reality experiences almost indistinguishable from those within the physical world. Yet beyond VR/AR, haptic feedback through a “second skin” of sorts could have an invaluable impact in medical rehabilitation. Although EPFL’s artificial skin has only been tested on fingertips, the team plans to create a prototype for neurological studies to stimulate the body while researchers record brain activity, unlocking novel research tools in neuroscience. | Share on Facebook.

Google used photogrammetry to create a detailed VR tour of Versailles.

What it is: You can now tour 21 rooms of King Louis XIV’s Château de Versailles, inspect over 100 paintings and sculptures, and zoom in on tapestries, ceilings, and furniture— without battling any crowds. Google and the Château de Versailles recently released their joint VR project, which takes viewers through 387,500 square feet of internal castle surfaces, all from the comfort of an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset. The largest photogrammetry project ever done on this site, the experience required over 4TB of data capture, and Google’s texturing of 15 billion pixels. In success, the coveted King and Queen's State Apartments, Royal Opera House, Royal Chapel, and Hall of Mirrors are now accessible from anywhere in the world, private audio tour included. Even those without the necessary VR headsets can access a taste of the experience through the Google Arts and Culture smartphone app.

Why it’s important: With over 7.5 million annual visitors, Versailles is one of the highest-traffic tourist attractions in all of France. Yet the time and travel costs required to reach it prohibit millions more from ever getting there. Photogrammetry (the data capture method) and VR (the interface) will converge to make countless international landmarks accessible to anyone, anywhere, in life-like resolution. In doing so, every curious mind will be able to tour the wonders of the world, from the comfort of a desk, home, or classroom. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift owners can already explore the Grand Canyon, Alcatraz prison cells, and Mount Everest through various apps. Yet as photogrammetry software and autonomous data capture bots grow ever more sophisticated, VR will democratize travel in unprecedented realms, one day allowing first graders to travel to the Moon or planets even farther afield. | Share on Facebook.

SwarmTouch: A tactile interaction strategy for human-swarm communication.

What it is: Researchers at Russia’s Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) have successfully utilized recent advances in wearable displays and haptic feedback to enhance interactions between humans and robotic swarms. Dubbed SwarmTouch, the method allows a human operator to communicate with and guide nano-quadrotor drone swarm formation directly via vibrational feedback. Users can then change swarm dynamics to avoid hitting obstacles simply by moving their hands at different speeds or in different directions. In contrast to current methods of robotic swarm control—which are often hard-coded and predetermined—SwarmTouch allows operators to change swarm dynamics in real-time, unlocking potential for navigation in cluttered and complex environments, such as urban centers.

Why it’s important: As expected, researchers are now investigating alternate applications of SwarmTouch and its underlying technologies, whether in VR or leashed drone swarm iterations, whereby robots are attached directly to a user’s fingers. As we begin to enter the Spatial Web (or Web 3.0), remote control of connected devices and even partially autonomous robotic swarms will extend beyond the limitations of touch screens and keyboards. How might the use of haptic feedback, advanced sensors and immersive interfaces be applied more generally? What near-term use cases—from search and rescue operations to last-mile, high-precision delivery—might benefit most? | Share on Facebook.

Make like a leaf: Researchers developing method to convert carbon dioxide.

What it is: Scientists from the University of Sydney have developed a method of artificial photosynthesis that can capture carbon dioxide and water from the atmosphere, combine the two compounds, and convert them into usable hydrocarbon. The process works by creating a microplate of carbon layered with carbon quantum dots. These dots, in turn, include tiny pores that allow for absorption of CO2 and H2O. While the research has only been executed on a nanoscale, the team’s focus is shifting towards scalable catalyst synthesis solutions and reactor designs that might one day achieve large-scale conversion of CO2 into raw materials for fuels, pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals, and beyond.

Why it’s important: While global efforts are underway to curb emissions, it has become increasingly essential to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, reversing climate damage to the extent possible. Carbon capture technology has been around for a decade, yet it has historically required the costly and complex storage of carbon in deep underground chambers. By adopting nature's process of photosynthesis, we could not only remove carbon from the atmosphere but also generate feedstock for the production of everything from clothing to construction materials. As this and similar methods arise, wide-scale adoption of closed-loop carbon cycles could serve as a powerful method of both combating climate change and sustainably generating industrial quantities of materials. | Share on Facebook.

Photovoltaic-powered sensors for the 'Internet of Things.'

What it is: Researchers from MIT have developed a special type of photovoltaic cell that can be used to power sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT). Fundamentally different from traditional solar cells, these novel iterations use a special type of material known as perovskite (a light-sensitive crystal that has the potential to be more efficient, inexpensive, and versatile than all other existing solar solutions to date). The perovskite cells are mounted in the form of a thin film that integrates with tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. Capable of utilizing dim indoor light as well as outdoor solar light, these cells can potentially power RFID tags for years, even boosting their transmission range. Another application of boosted sensor power is the ability of a tag reader to collect data from multiple sensors simultaneously.

Why it’s important: The Internet of Things is becoming a global phenomenon, and sensors are expected to number more than 75 billion by 2025. In order to provide maximum use, however, sensors must be capable of maintaining operational power levels for months or even years at a time without battery replacement. By leveraging perovskite—whose conversion efficiency has increased dramatically in recent years—these novel photovoltaic-powered sensors could unlock the full potential of RFID and IoT technology, particularly in the monitoring of supply chains, construction, soil health and agriculture, energy usage, and beyond. | Share on Facebook.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI
7 min read

augmented reality worlds: implications & opportunity

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 29, 2019

How do you want to see the world? As an on-going game? A constant shopping extravaganza? A classroom that spans the planet and never stops teaching? How the Earth appeared 100 years ago?

Topics: AR/VR Augmented Reality augmented manufacturing ar cloud
8 min read

Abundance Insider: September 27th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 27, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: New CRISPR explorations, CTRL-labs' neural monitoring armband, and a nighttime solar panel.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter | Read on Diamandis.com.

Gatwick to use facial recognition at boarding.

What it is: Following its self-boarding trial with EasyJet last year, Gatwick has become the UK's first airport to confirm it will permanently use facial-recognition cameras for flight passenger ID checks. While travelers will still need to carry passports at departure gates for the auto-boarding system to match document photos with corresponding faces, the technology’s rollout is slated to entirely eliminate the need for human checks at a range of entry points. Already, 90% of the 20,000 passengers who tested Gatwick’s new system found it “extremely easy,” and the airport reported a dramatic reduction in passenger queuing times.

Why it’s important: Although privacy advocates have raised concerns regarding informed consent, Gatwick and other airports’ piloting of facial recognition validates the speed at which computer vision is advancing, now well in the commercialization arena. Even London’s Heathrow Airport, which has now invested £50 million in the software, claims facial recognition could reduce airport travel time averages by a third. As adjacent markets emerge around the technology (from data security to AI traffic optimization), facial recognition’s gradual rollout at airports could soon spread to countless checkpoints and transit systems, automating transit security on a massive scale. | Share on Facebook.

This “Anti-Solar Panel” Could Generate Power From Darkness.

What it is: Researchers at Stanford University have just developed a solar panel capable of generating energy from the night sky. Their method works by passively cooling one side of the panel using a technique called radiative sky cooling. Central to this latter process, a surface first radiates its thermal energy towards the sky, leaving it several degrees colder than the ambient temperature. In doing so, the panel creates a thermal difference between its cooler side and ambient temperature, allowing the panel to generate electricity. While the process currently generates only 25 mW per square meter (m2), future capacities are already expected to reach 0.5 W/m2. In practice, the researchers even demonstrated their panel’s ability to light an LED light bulb.

Why it’s important: Amidst the push for green energy, one of the biggest bottlenecks in market adoption of renewable sources like solar and wind is the time-dependent nature of energy generation. Creating a solar energy grid that works both day and night would go a long way in encouraging mass adoption, not to mention buildout of comprehensive green energy infrastructure. Commercialization of Stanford’s anti-solar panel would especially benefit remote and poorly resourced regions, granting energy independence and 24/7 consistency. | Share on Facebook.

Shanghai allows self-driving cars to carry passengers.

What it is: Shanghai is now the first Chinese city to issue permits for self-driving cars, allowing licensed firms to conduct operational tests of smart and connected vehicles carrying passengers and freight. Now bolstered by Shanghai’s first dedicated road section for autonomous vehicles (covering 65 square kilometers), SAIC Group, BMW, and Didi Chuxing were each granted licenses to operate a fleet of 50 cars in the city’s Jiading district. In order to receive permits, applying firms must have over 24,000 kilometers and 1,200 hours of passenger-less testing, no collisions incurred. Furthermore, upon receiving a license, trips are not permitted to make a profit. Yet once licensed driverless fleets operates for more than six months without incident, auto companies can apply to increase their fleet size.

Why it’s important: Autonomous driving is set to revolutionize transportation, as billions are poured annually into R&D. Now, the regulated deployment of driverless transit services in an urban environment as complex as Shanghai’s speaks volumes about the technology’s maturity. While still constrained to a designated area, numerous firms’ gradual rollout of self-driving vehicles in Shanghai will accelerate passenger acceptance and invaluable data abundance (across a test library of thousands of scenarios). Yet beyond autonomous capabilities, vehicles are joining a connected ecosystem, driven by urban-embedded sensors, tailor-made smart roads, and 5G-based transit systems. | Share on Facebook.

New CRISPR class expands genetic engineering toolbox.

What it is: Biomedical engineers at Duke University—led by Charles Gersbach and Adrian Oliver—have harnessed a new set of Class 1 CRISPR systems to edit the human epigenome. Today’s most commonly used gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, is a Class 2 CRISPR system and relies on just one Cas protein to target and cleave DNA. By contrast, Class 1 systems are more complex, involving a Cascade complex that binds the DNA, then recruits a Cas3 protein to act as the molecular scissors. The Duke research team, however, found that these Class 1 systems—which make up 90% of CRISPR systems in all bacteria on Earth—boast comparable accuracy to their more well-known Class 2 counterparts. Consequently, the researchers even discovered they could bind these Class 1 complexes to specific gene activators and repressors, demonstrating the potential to control human gene expression with remarkable precision.

Why it’s important: The Duke team’s successes open up an entirely new frontier in gene editing. While the accuracy and specific application of Class 1 systems now appear comparable to those of Class 2 systems, the former may be able to address some of the challenges researchers have previously experienced with Class 2 systems in therapeutic applications, including immune response to Cas proteins. By further investigating the differences between the two, researchers could soon determine promising combinations of various gene editing techniques, honed to target complex diseases and genetic predispositions in humans. | Share on Facebook.

Facebook buys startup building neural monitoring armband.

What it is: Facebook recently acquired startup CTRL-labs, producer of a neural impulse armband, for an estimated $500 million to $1 billion. Founded in 2015, the New York-based startup has built a noninvasive wristband, using sensors to detect arm muscle movements and convert them into digital input signals. Having raised $67 million from investors like Lux Capital and Founders Fund, CTRL-labs (and its CEO Thomas Reardon) will now work under Facebook’s Reality Labs division. A tremendous feat, CTRL’s device already allows wearers to manipulate objects on a screen by moving their hands in mid-air as if they were handling a physical object— a process called digital telekinesis. Given the technology’s maturity, CTRL-labs’ acquisition marks the first step towards commercializing noninvasive control interfaces, potentially for use in Facebook’s AR devices.

Why it’s important: Converting neural impulses into digital signals will unearth a treasure trove of digital superpowers for humans. Facebook’s AR/VR Vice President Andrew Bosworth has emphasized the technology’s potential in Oculus devices, providing a more seamless alternative controller to hand tracking or gloves. As AR balloons into a competitive and highly valuable market over the next 10 to 15 years, the dematerialization of high-precision sensors and controllers will be critical for our interaction with digitally augmented environments. Welcome to a future wherein AR interfaces and seamless controls eliminate our modern-day era of screens and keyboards. | Share on Facebook.

IKEA will produce more energy than it consumes by 2020.

What it is: By the end of this year, IKEA forecasts it will generate more renewable energy than the energy consumed by all its stores on aggregate, putting the company almost a year ahead of schedule. After investing roughly $2.8 billion in wind and solar energy over the past decade, the company has also announced plans to stock its shelves with home solar panels by 2025. Having just invested in two solar farms (in Utah and Texas, respectively) earlier this month, IKEA already has 900,000 of its own panels, installed across stores and distribution centers alike.

Why it’s important: Contributing to a sweeping trend of climate-focused initiatives surrounding the UN’s Climate Action Summit, IKEA joins a number of companies in its plan to be climate-positive (reducing more emissions than it releases) by 2030. In a newly unveiled “Climate Pledge,” Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has even staked an ambitious goal of meeting the Paris climate agreement targets a full 10 years early. Agreeing to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans for product distribution, the e-commerce giant expects to derive 80% of its energy use from renewable sources by 2024, continuing on to achieve zero emissions by 2030. As the cost of solar continues to plummet, corporate pledges to invest could be just the fuel to drive wide-scale consumer adoption of renewables. | Share on Facebook.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
2 min read

Podcast Episode 76: Adding 30 Years to Your Healthspan

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 24, 2019

Episode 76: Adding 30 Years to Your Healthspan

With the rise of exponential health technologies, Peter and Dan investigate newly available business opportunities using their “first order implications” framework. When biotech advancements turn sickcare into healthcare, and science adds an additional 20-30 healthy years to our lifespans, what new markets emerge (and which ones disappear)? Peter and Dan discuss the implications to businesses, customers, and society as a whole.

Topics: Podcast Exponential Wisdom
12 min read

How will AR change your industry?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 22, 2019

Augmented Reality (AR) has already exceeded over 2,000 AR apps on over 1.4 billion active iOS devices. Even if on a rudimentary level, the technology is now permeating the consumer products space.

Topics: 3D Printing Manufacturing Exponentials construction augmented manufacturing additive manufacturing future of construction space colonies New Story WinSun Made In Space
8 min read

Abundance Insider: September 20th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 20, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: A new record in residential energy storage, bioreactors for carbon sequestration, and democratized AI toolkits.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter.

Home Energy Storage Capacity Breaks Records In US.

What it is: Marking a record high, U.S. residential energy storage capacity saw additions of over 30 MW in the second quarter of 2019. While a fall in front-of-the-meter storage additions could be responsible for Q2’s lower overall energy storage growth, the first half of the year saw an addition of over 200 MW in new storage capacity. And over just the next 5 years, some analysts forecast total storage capacity could surge up to tenfold in the U.S. Bolstered by progressive policies like the Massachusetts clean peak standard (which requires that a minimum percentage of peak power come from renewable sources), consumer interest will only increase residential capacity’s slice of the pie.

Why it’s important: While solar photovoltaics (PV) receives most of the press, storage is a critical enabler of (or bottleneck to) clean energy adoption, allowing us to stabilize the inherent volatility of wind and solar generation. Moreover, as solar nears price parity with coal and natural gas, mass growth of total energy storage capacity will allow us to democratize clean and constant electricity, regardless of geography. As stated by the U.S. Energy Storage Association’s chief executive Kelly Speakes-Backman, “The long-term growth trends of energy storage deployment nationwide are encouraging and consequential for stakeholders, and for all electricity users who want and deserve a more resilient, efficient, sustainable and affordable electricity grid.” What new innovations might we unleash after returning the 4-8 percent of global GDP currently spent on energy back to the market? | Share on Facebook.

Graphene nanoribbons lay the groundwork for ultra-powerful computers.

What it is: Materials scientists have now found a way to layer graphene nanoribbons directly atop silicon wafers. For context, graphene consists of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon and is the strongest ultra-thin material known to man. Yet graphene becomes an extraordinary semiconductor when in the form of extremely thin slices (or ribbons). Possibly even outperforming silicon in thermal conductivity and transistor drive current, these nanoribbons could thereby serve as an ideal candidate for future computers. Until today, however, researchers were unable to grow graphene nanoribbons directly on silicon, stemming their wide-scale adoption for graphene-based integrated circuits. Enter the Arnold Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the team’s now published seminal paper, the researchers outlined their procedure of first growing a thin layer of germanium on top of silicon, and then depositing the graphene nanoribbons on this thin germanium interface. Ultimately, this method prevents graphene from reacting with silicon (to form an ineffective compound) while maintaining graphene nanoribbons’ semiconducting abilities.

Why it’s important: For decades, Moore’s Law has continued to hold true, as transistor count (in integrated circuits) doubles roughly every two years, while price has remained constant. Today, however, consumer computer technology is rapidly approaching the physical limitations of standard silicon transistors—the pillar material for modern computing infrastructure. For this reason, engineers are now turning to new materials, and breakthroughs like that of the Arnold Group could prove decisive in augmenting current computation technology and birthing ultra-fast, lower-power devices. | Share on Facebook.

Genetic mutation appears to protect some people from deadly MRSA.

What it is: Duke Health researchers recently identified a gene that appears to increase a patient’s ability to fight antibiotic-resistant staph infections. The study focused on persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), a form of staph bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotic treatments and is transferred through skin-to-skin contact or invasive procedures. Of the 68 patients compared in the study, half had persistent MRSA and half had cleared the infection from their bloodstream. After running whole-exome sequencing on these patients, the researchers found that 62 percent of the MRSA-free group had a genetic mutation on the DNMT3A region of chromosome 2p. This mutation reduces the body’s anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 response, which has been observed to cause tissue damage and even death, if overactive.

Why it’s important: In 2017, over 119,000 Americans suffered from staph infections, and almost 20,000 died as a result. Yet the disease is not solely limited to older segments of the population: the rate of MRSA in children increased tenfold from 1999 to 2008, and is still rising across the board today. Understanding the genetic factors that predispose patients to MRSA could allow researchers to develop far better treatments that exclude antibiotics entirely. Given rising levels of antibiotic resistance (particularly in highly industrialized nations), alternative therapies for common bacterial infections must be developed with haste. Studying the genome has now proven helpful in the case of MRSA, and a range of emerging gene-editing tools could soon drive medical innovation in fighting this disease and many others. | Share on Facebook.

A New Bioreactor Captures as Much Carbon as an Acre of Trees

What it is: Startup Hypergiant Industries has just released its new algae-based Eos Bioreactor, capable of sucking in as much carbon dioxide as 400 trees. But rather than consuming an acre of forest land, this bioreactor measures just 63 cubic feet—smaller than a traditional telephone box. Led by CEO Ben Lamm, the company’s technology takes advantage of algae’s remarkable photosynthetic capabilities to capture approximately two tons of carbon per bioreactor. Yet in order to prompt grassroots iterations on the bioreactor, Hypergiant even plans to make its design open source, allowing businesses and individuals to build variants for easy integration in homes and offices spaces.

Why it’s important: Over the past 800,000 years, global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have varied between 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm). In 2017, atmospheric CO2 concentrations had reached 405 ppm—a figure that could easily exceed 500 in coming decades, according to climate scientists. This sharp increase, alongside record high temperatures in just the past few decades, makes novel carbon capture methods a necessity. In the emerging realm of biological sequestration, Hypergiant’s technique not only provides a scalable solution to reducing atmospheric carbon concentrations, but does so in space-deprived metropolitan areas. Moreover, the growing algae can be harvested and used as a high-protein food source, biofuel, or textile. As numerous carbon capture and utilization (CCU) startups leap to the scene, the construction of compact, artificial carbon sinks could help us tackle one of today’s most pressing Global Grand Challenges. | Share on Facebook.

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