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
14 min read

Abundance Insider: June 14th 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 14, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Amazon's commercial delivery drone, lab-grown stem cell heart patches, and a new artificial reef.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire, Max and Nora

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 hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

 

You Can Train An AI To Fake UN Speeches In Just 13 Hours

What it is: ​Researchers from the UN’s big data and innovation initiative, Global Pulse, set out to demonstrate the powerful implications of deep learning on governmental affairs and disseminated news. To do so, they created a deep learning system that generates fake UN speeches, using only open-source tools and data. The team employed a readily available, open-source deep learning language model, trained with publicly available Wikipedia articles. They further refined the deep learning model with speeches given at the UN General Assembly from 1970 to 2015. Their resulting system generated hyper-realistic political speeches on complex, high-stakes topics ranging from nuclear weapons to refugee crises. Achieved at an extraordinarily low cost, the procedure required a mere 13 hours and $7.80 worth of cloud computing power.

Why it's important: Providing clear grounds for counteraction, this research compellingly demonstrates that we have reached the point at which anyone, anywhere can produce hyper-realistic fake content, essentially for free. Entrepreneurs today thereby face a major business opportunity to build creative solutions that combat misinformation and educate people across the globe on the rise of ‘deep fakes.’ How does the world — not to mention our current business practices — change when anyone, anywhere can digitally replicate you, your loved ones, and even our world leaders?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Watch Amazon’s All-New Delivery Drone Zipping Through The Sky

What it is: Amazon has now completed a successful test of its latest delivery drone. Having demonstrated advances in the Prime Air drone's safety and efficiency, according to Amazon executive Jeff Wilke, Amazon now claims its commercial drone delivery service will be a reality “in the coming months,” despite FAA red tape. Featuring six rotors, the electric-powered aircraft can take off like a helicopter, fly for 15 miles, and deliver a package of up to five pounds (covering the majority of consumer orders). Leveraging machine learning, the drone is additionally equipped with advanced object-detection systems to safely navigate neighborhood environments.

Why it's important: Commercial delivery drones represent a massive step forward for online retail. Autonomous delivery aircrafts decimate the time between consumer purchase and product enjoyment. Historically, brick and mortar retail has maintained a competitive edge over its online counterpart given its ability to satisfy the consumer’s desire for instant gratification. However, by nearly eliminating wait times, not to mention consumer-borne travel, delivery drones will satisfy that very impulse and increasingly dominate contemporary retail.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Aaron Bronfman 

After 40 Years Of Searching, Scientists Identify The Key Flaw In Solar Panel Efficiency

What it is: ​For the past 40 years, scientists have attempted in vain to determine a key flaw in solar cells responsible for Light Induced Degradation (LID), a 2 percent efficiency drop in solar cells during their first hours of use. In a new study, however, scientists used an electrical and optical technique called deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) to identify weaknesses in the silicon used to produce solar cells. Previously undetected, a critical material defect was found to trap the flow of electrons once solar cells’ electronic charge is transformed from sunlight. This, in turn, reduces the electrical power generated as soon as solar panels are heated.

Why it's important: While an efficiency reduction of 2 percent might seem negligible, the aggregate global efficiency loss from LID is estimated to exceed the equivalent of all energy generated by the U.K.’s 15 nuclear power plants. As solar panels proliferate in number, eliminating this loss could have a tremendous impact in helping solar farms meet the world’s growing energy needs. Now that researchers have discovered this consequential material flaw, engineers are on the move to provide an optimal fix, one of many breakthroughs-in-progress charting the path towards solar energy abundance.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Claire Adair 

This Lab-Grown Patch Could Repair Your Heart After a Heart Attack

What it is: A research team from Imperial College London has presented a novel solution for heart tissue damage resulting from heart disease and heart attacks. The team has created thumb-sized patches, each containing up to 50 million human stem cells. Once patches are sown onto damaged tissue, the stem cells they contain are “programmed” to grow into functional heart tissue. Offering a highly efficient and fast-acting solution, the stem cell-embedded patches can mimic fully mature heart tissue within just one month of attachment. While still awaiting clinical trials, this technology holds tremendous promise to prolong millions of lives in the future.

Why it's important: Every year, American adults suffer an estimated 735,000 heart attacks. In the same period, roughly 610,000 die as a result of heart disease, now the leading cause of death in the U.S. Resulting complications from heart disease and heart attacks often leave people with damaged heart tissue, making high-exertion activities exhausting and dangerous. Strengthened by this stem cell patch, however, a patient’s heart could heal and regain full functionality within several weeks. A remarkable advancement in regenerative medicine, this and similar therapies could soon give way to alternative forms of tissue regeneration, prolonging and improving people’s lives. As our ability to repair human tissue extends the professional lifespan, how might such an increase in "workable" longevity impact tomorrow’s labor force?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Hawken Wanamaker 

This Cool Artificial Reef Was Just Deployed In Sydney Harbor

What it is: About 1,000 miles south of the Great Barrier Reef sits a newly installed series of modular, artificial reefs, right in the heart of Sydney Harbor. Built by Reef Design Lab in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney’s Opera House, and the New South Wales government, the reef consists of eight pods, each containing three hexagonal units. Constructed from marine-grade steel and concrete, these complex built structures are designed to become quickly encrusted with seaweed and similar sea life, attracting new marine inhabitants and providing shelter to those fish previously driven away from the Opera House’s surroundings.

Why it's important: It is no secret that today’s oceans are under attack. As plastic waste and agricultural runoff cause mass waterway contamination and detrimental harm to marine species, rising temperatures have led to astounding rates of coral bleaching. Yet while artificial reefs are not a holistic solution to these issues, they can help restore the complex ecosystems of affected natural reefs, repopulating diverse fish populations and attracting new marine life. In just a few weeks, Sydney Harbor’s reef structures have begun to attract curious, new inhabitants and could soon provide a promising model for similar areas in need.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Amazon launches Personalize, A Fully Managed AI-Powered Recommendation Service

What it is: This month, Amazon Web Services announced a newly available, AI-powered recommendation service called Amazon Personalize. A powerful new tool for content managers, app developers, consumer-facing businesses, and the like, Personalize allows users to incorporate tailored search results, product suggestions, and even on-the-fly customized funnels into a variety of web platforms. As locational availability expands, Personalize may soon allow anyone with Internet access to leverage recommendation engines powered by the same machine learning algorithms that fuel Amazon’s product recommendations.

Why it's important: In an age of constant disruption, what was once scarce and expensive is now abundant and nearly free. Only a decade ago, predictive analytics and its younger precursors, big data and machine learning, were relegated to the domain of multi-billion-dollar companies. Now, anyone anywhere can rapidly spin up powerful machine learning models that exponentially enhance one’s business, customer experience, and bottom line. How are you incorporating predictive analytics and recommendation services into your business?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, a Singularity University Program, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

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 newsfeed 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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy AI Artificial Intellegence Drones solar energy Amazon autonomous vehicles oceans
12 min read

Abundance Insider: May 17th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 17, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Tomato-picking robots, BCIs for addiction treatment, and a lab-on-a-chip for studying the microbiome.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire, Max and Nora

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 hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

Amazon's New Machines Pack Boxes Up To 5x Faster Than Humans

What it is: Amazon has revealed that it is piloting warehouse automation technology from Italian firm CMC SRL. CMC’s CartonWrap machines can pack up to 700 boxes per hour, and are already in use at JD.com, Shutterfly, and Walmart. Early projections estimate that each machine could replace as many as 24 roles in each fulfillment center, in addition to the cost and time to train new packing employees in roles with high turnover. Amazon expects that “the efficiency savings will be reinvested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”

Why it's important: We’re no longer expecting that robotics will automate many laborious, routine, and potentially dangerous jobs—that time is already here. As this happens, it’s critical to highlight the messaging around the rollout, which focuses on safety, reinvestment, and the high employee turnover in fulfillment center jobs. How can you emulate this approach as you roll out politically and socially sensitive future initiatives?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Human Gut Microbiome Physiology Can Now Be Studied In Vitro Using Organ Chip Technology

What it is: Up until now, it has proved extraordinarily challenging to study direct interactions between the human microbiome and intestinal tissue in the lab. However, researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have now leveraged ‘organ-on-a-chip’ technology for an effective new solution. The team first employs its Intestine Chip, comprised of two parallel microchannels divided by a porous membrane—the upper channel containing human intestinal epithelial cells, and the lower channel hosting vascular endothelial cells from intestinal microvessels. The team then establishes an oxygen gradient across the two channels, providing high oxygen levels to the chip’s intestinal epithelium and endothelium, and low levels to the bacteria-inhabited lumen. In a remarkable feat, the Intestine Chip was found to stably maintain microbial diversity in direct contact with human intestinal tissue for a full 5 days.

Why it's important: As explained by team lead and the Wyss Institute's Founding Director Donald Ingber, “This new anaerobic Intestine Chip technology now provides a way to study clinically relevant human host-microbiome interactions at the cellular and molecular levels under highly controlled conditions in vitro." No longer relying on mere correlational studies between disease and bacterial DNA in human stool samples, researchers’ effective use of organs-on-a-chip affords us a powerful new tool to understand the ways in which human gut flora profoundly affect human health and disease.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Experimental Surgery Gains Support As Opioid Deaths Rise

What it is: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been used for years in the treatment of Parkinson’s and other movement-related disorders. Now, doctors at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital are seeing promising results in the treatment of opioid addiction. Five of eight patients in China have stayed off heroin for at least two years, and a patient who received a device six months ago has been off drugs for the duration. A number of factors have led to delays in experimentation in Europe and the U.S., including the high cost of devices ($100,000 in the U.S. vs $25,000 in China), difficulties in recruiting patients, and failed attempts to use DBS in the treatment of depression, which altered the risk-reward balance in the U.S. China, however, is moving ahead. To date, eight clinical trials have been registered throughout the world, six of which are in China.

Why it's important: Most of the concern in experimentation outside of the U.S. centers on the ethical risks of implants and surgery. While it’s important to note the cultural differences here in perception of a massive problem (which seems to carry a higher cost in China), as more devices are implanted, we’ll gain a much better understanding of how the brain functions overall. Follow this line of research, whether you’re exploring the potential of BCI or the treatment of other disorders.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

This Robot Picks Tomatoes Without Bruising Them And Detects Ripeness Better Than Humans

What it is: Massachusetts-based startup Root AI has developed its first agricultural robot, the Virgo 1, an expert tomato picker. Geared with sensors, cameras and onboard lights for nighttime harvesting, this self-driving robot can autonomously navigate huge commercial greenhouses, regardless of the time of day. Operated by its AI software brain, Virgo 1 then detects which tomatoes are sufficiently ripe for harvest, now with a success rate higher than that of humans. Once the right candidates are chosen, Virgo 1’s dexterous robotic hand can pluck tomatoes without bruising them or tearing down connected vines. Made from a food-safe, easy-to-clean plastic, these robotic fingers are even designed to eliminate the spread of mold, viruses or insects, protecting clean crops from faulty counterparts.

Why it's important: Virgo’s sensors and grippers can be reconfigured, and its AI software rewritten, to handle any number of crops. As noted by Root AI’s CEO Josh Lessing, “It’s a complete mobile platform enabled to harvest whatever you need.” Today, farmers spend over $34 billion per year on agricultural labor in the U.S. alone. Swiftly disrupting this labor-intensive sector, however, is a global smart agriculture market projected to reach nearly US$24 billion in value by the end of 2025. Already, exponential technologies from synthetic biology to computer vision are closing in on traditional agriculture from all directions, and AgTech robots like Virgo 1 are poised to become tomorrow’s harvesters.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Wireless Network Brings Dust-Sized Brain Implants A Step Closer

What it is: Brain computer interfaces (BCI) of the future that enable high-fidelity, high-speed brain-to-computer communications will require a decentralized wireless network of thousands of nano- to micro-scale units embedded throughout our neural system. Engineers from Brown University, Qualcomm, and the University of California at San Diego presented a communication scheme to overcome the critical issue of coordinating communications between these decentralized BCIs. Their system will allow two-way communication between each BCI unit and an external device at a rate of 10 Mb/s uplink and a downlink rate of 1 Mb/s. The engineering team dubbed their 0.25-square-millimeter implants “neurograins.”

Why it's important: Over the past year, we’ve featured incredible breakthroughs in BCI technologies. While these breakthroughs are technological marvels, they are rudimentary compared to the everyday BCIs we’ll see later in the 21st century. As Ray Kurzweil predicts, and as these researchers are taking active steps to achieve, we’ll soon have thousands of nanobots monitoring and regulating every aspect of our physiology -- from our brains to other vital organs. In the age of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence, will networks of nanoscopic BCIs provide humans the next evolutionary boost needed to thrive alongside and coevolve with hyperintelligent machines?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, a Singularity University Program, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

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 newsfeed 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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics health robots Amazon Brain computer interface automation bci brain machine interface
15 min read

Abundance Insider: April 12th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 12, 2019

 

In this week's Abundance Insider: Smart sleepwear, herbaceous cyber agriculture, and a new wonder material.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Nora, Claire and Max

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 hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

'Smart' Pajamas Could Monitor And Help Improve Sleep

What it is: Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst developed self-powered “smart” pajamas that monitor heart rate, posture and breathing. This highly cross-disciplinary project packs five sensors into a lightweight, unobtrusive form factor. The team tapped into materials scientists to develop the energy-harvesting, self-powering materials and computer scientists to process the abundance of data. The team estimates this technology could make it to the mainstream by 2021 for under $200.

Why it's important: We are in a wearables co-evolution, in which humans are incorporating increasingly powerful wearable technologies into their physical survival, longevity and everyday habits. This booming industry is having a massive impact on the $29 billion sleep industry. From the Oura Ring to smartwatches and sensor-equipped mattresses, we are collecting massive amounts of important sleep data. These smart pajamas could help more robustly collect and analyze full-body sleep behavior. What might you learn about yourself based on your sleep data?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

Meet Borophene, The Boron-Based 2D Wonder Material That Is A Close Cousin Of Graphene

What it is: Borophene is a single layer of boron atoms that combine to form 2-dimensional lattice structures of varying shapes. Predicted in the early 1990’s but not produced until 2015, its properties are just now being characterized — and the results are impressive. Stronger and more flexible than graphene, borophene is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and can be superconducting. According to Zhi-Qiang Wang at Xiamen University in China, “its conductivity, the material’s high theoretical specific capacities, excellent electronic conductivity and outstanding ion transport properties” make it a great candidate as an anode for Li, Na, and Mg batteries. And because hydrogen atoms stick or adsorb easily to borophene, it also shows potential for hydrogen storage and other water-based energy cycles.

Why it's important: As with graphene, we must discover how to produce borophene at scale. If successful, however, a wide range of applications become possible, ranging from battery storage breakthroughs to new environmental sensors for gases like formaldehyde and ethanol. As more characteristics are defined, keep an eye out for new applications that might benefit your MTP.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Alexa, What's My Blood-Sugar Level?

What it is: Amazon’s Alexa home assistant recently received a major medical update. Now, Alexa devices can securely handle users’ sensitive medical data. The new features include connecting to wireless blood glucose monitors, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and passing on prescriptions and follow-up instructions from your doctor after a visit. With personal data privacy a growing concern, Amazon is aiming to achieve compliance with HIPAA and other federal patient data standards.

Why it's important: Data is 21st century gold, especially in healthcare and longevity. Recognizing the importance of healthcare data, massive tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon are heavily investing in the industry. Will you entrust Alexa with your personal medical records?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Idaho Power Announces Record-Low Price For Power From Solar Farm

What it is: Idaho Power has secured a 20-year deal to buy power from a 120MW solar farm built by Jackpot Holdings at $21.75 per megawatt-hour (MWh). This brings the price to a mere 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), a record low for solar in the United States. Idaho Power will be able to use its existing transmission lines coming from the North Valmy coal plant in Nevada, set to be retired in 2025. Getting to 2.2 cents per kWh requires using the federal solar Investment Tax Credit, but even without the subsidy, the average should be around 3 cents per kWh, roughly half of the 6 cents per kWh average for utility-grade solar just two years ago.

Why it's important: As Singularity University Energy Chair Ramez Naam notes, in two more doublings, we’ll see solar prices in the Western U.S. cheaper than the fuel price of natural gas plants — without subsidies. Considering the simultaneous phase-out of legacy fossil fuel infrastructure, we are well on pace to achieving abundant, cheap, and clean sources of energy. What new opportunities open up when power costs are no longer a constraint on your investment decisions?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Innolith Energy Technology Brings 1000km EV Within Range

What it is: A key catalyst for electric vehicle (EV) technology, Innolith AG has just announced its work on the first-ever 1,000 Wh/kg rechargeable battery. In success, the Innolith Energy Battery would thereby be able to power an EV for over 1,000 km (or over 620 miles) on a single charge. While current battery technologies typically employ a transition metal oxide cathode and a graphite anode, which both depend on the intercalation of lithium ions, the cathode material restricts the battery’s capacity and energy density. By instead using conversion reaction materials, Innolith AG has developed an innovative cell chemistry mechanism that gives way to cell-level energy densities never before possible.

Why it's important:  Innolith’s novel Energy Battery has unprecedented implications for the future of EVs. By both eliminating reliance on rare and expensive materials, and achieving an unparalleled energy density, Innolith AG will be able to dramatically slash costs of battery technology, driving down barriers for EV popularization. Its use of a non-flammable inorganic electrolyte would also make it the world’s first non-flammable lithium-based battery for EV use — a tremendous feat for enhanced safety. As synthesized by Innolith AG CEO Sergey Buchin, “Consumers want an adequate range on a single charge in an affordable EV, and confidence that it is not going to catch fire.” This breakthrough might be the answer.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

MIT’s ‘Cyber-Agriculture’ Optimizes Basil Flavors

What it is: In a soil-breaking study out of MIT's Media Lab and the University of Texas at Austin, researchers have now used machine learning to optimize artificial climate conditions for a more flavorful basil. Aiming to automate farming, the researchers use cyber-agriculture, or contained agricultural environments, to play with patterns of light, water, nutrients, temperature and other ecological variables, thereby changing the phenotypic expression of plants. Applied to basil, the team’s machine learning model determined that 24/7 exposure to UV lights would increase flavor concentration, and sure enough: after following the model’s “climate recipe,” experimental basil saw doubled flavor-producing molecules, dramatically increasing its tang.

Why it's important: A remarkable application of machine learning and cyber-agriculture, this climate-optimized flavor-bursting basil demonstrates that AI can even be applied to sensory experience and culinary refinement. With the growing need for large-scale, accessible and intelligent food production, vertical, hydroponic and AI-optimized farming methods will become ever more critical for feeding the next billion. And as cyber-agriculture allows us to tune and tweak environmental growth conditions, machine learning can help us optimize everything from plant mass, edible yield, nutrient density, and even flavor.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Abundance Digital is Peter’s online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed 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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Materials Science Sensors food health agriculture healthcare materials Amazon trillion sensor economy voice assistants wearables future of food voice
14 min read

Abundance Insider: February 22nd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 22, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: OpenAI’s latest text-generation project, Qualcomm’s continued 5G momentum, and drone augmented law enforcement. 

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire and Max

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 hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

OpenAI Built A Text Generator So Good, They're Not Releasing It

What it is: OpenAI, the nonprofit artificial intelligence research firm backed by Elon Musk and other key tech-personalities, built a highly powerful AI text-generator. Coined GPT-2, OpenAI’s new AI systems showcases a broad set of capabilities, like completing passages from a short prompt written by a human, succinctly summarizing long-form, human-written passages, and answering comprehension and commonsense questions. To begin, GPT-2 had access to unstructured data from 8 million web pages, simply to predict the next word given all the previous words within some text.

Why it's important: From deepfakes to AI news anchors and high-fidelity text generation, AI systems gained major research momentum over the past 24 months, with OpenAI at the forefront of these developments. What becomes possible when we have AI systems, trained with data sets of our own writing, that can write in our voice? More yet, what unprecedented productivity do we gain when we can train AI systems to read and create with our unique lens?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

This Origami Screen Turns Your Windows Into Solar Panels

What it is: A green disruptor in intelligent design, Australian firm Prevalent is working on a prototype of origami-style blinds that both generate electricity and reflect light into residential interiors. Mimicking the geometry of a common louver, the firm’s Solgami design consists of custom origami units, each printed flat and coated with dye-sensitized solar cells and reflective ink. Once each unit is folded into its fixed geometric shape and connected to a panel, the front of the panels can rotate to reflect light at various times of day. Most importantly, however, the shape of each Solgami unit allows light to bounce off the interior of the solar cell-coated panel multiple times, maximizing light absorption, after which it is reflected directly into the room.

Why it's important: Today, even the most advanced solar cells tout an efficiency of nearly 25 percent, leaving a hefty chunk of light untapped for electricity generation. As populations grow increasingly urbanized across the globe, what if we could innovate on basic home staples (such as windows and blinds) to double as household utility providers? In the words of Prevalent’s director Ben Berwick, “We’re looking at repositioning the city as a place of production, not just a place of consumption.” By reflecting unabsorbed light into its own architecture, Prevalent's Solgami design could help achieve this goal, enabling people to participate in a global transition to renewable energy and grow more self-sufficient in the process.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya / Written by Claire Adair 

CRISPR Gene Editing Makes Stem Cells ‘Invisible’ To Immune System

What it is: Researchers at UC San Francisco have successfully used CRISPR-Cas9 to engineer induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that evade immune system response. Aiming for “universal” iPSCs (effective in any patient), the scientists first used CRISPR to delete two genes involved in the function of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins. Located on the surface of most cells, MHC proteins help the immune system differentiate between foreign and native cells, prompting or preventing attack by natural killer (NK) cells. The researchers additionally found that insertion of cell surface protein CD47 played a key role in further inhibiting response by immune cells. Leveraging this triple combo, UCSF’s team observed no rejection of engineered stem cells when transplanted into humanized mice.

Why it's important: Scientists have long sought to unlock the therapeutic promise of pluripotent stem cells, but the immune system has posed a major obstacle to effective stem cell therapies. Programmed to ward off alien cells and agents, the immune system often rejects stem cell transplants, rendering donor and recipient “histocompatibility mismatched.” For the first time, however, “engineered cells [can] be universally transplanted [and] survive in immunocompetent recipients without eliciting an immune response,” as lead author Tobias Deuse explains. Replacing an individualized approach, these triple-engineered iPSCs could benefit a much greater range of patients at decimated production costs, marking a major leap forward in stem cell therapy research and regenerative medicine.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Drones Are Changing The Way Police Respond To 911 Calls

What it is: Cape, a software startup enabling long-range drone operation and telepresence, has recently entered into “first responder” pilot projects with the San Diego Fire Department and the Chula Vista Police Department. By deploying drones to incidents faster and cheaper than a helicopter, the drones are scaling police efforts to incidents which might never get a helicopter, or avoid diverting resources to 911 calls where physical responses are unnecessary. Additionally, as seen last week in a domestic violence and high-speed vehicle incident, the drones are also recording video of the event, which is later offered up as evidence in trial.

Why it's important: Drones and automation are becoming mainstream in the public sector. While the immediate driver for adoption is cost savings, look for the FAA’s Integrated Pilot Program to reveal new use cases and foster broader public support for the use of drones in the public.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Delivering Shipment Zero, A Vision For Net Zero Carbon Shipments

What it is: Earlier this week, Amazon announced Shipment Zero, its vision to make all of its shipments carbon neutral, with a milestone of 50 percent of all shipments by 2030. This builds on other commitments the company has made to sustainability, including investments in the Closed Loop Fund and a goal to power 100 percent of its entire global infrastructure from renewable sources. This is more than lip service: it follows a two-year project modeling Amazon's existing carbon footprint, which will now be provided as a tool for business units to identify ways to get to carbon zero.

Why it's important: Look for Amazon’s boldness to amplify recent announcements from major companies in the retail, CPG, and plastics industries around the circular economy. Longer-term, imagine the potential for Amazon to either spin out or open-source its methodology to help other companies do the same.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon X55, The World’s Fastest 5G Modem

What it is: Before the announcement of any devices using the Qualcomm first-generation 5G modem (the Snapdragon X50), Qualcomm announced its second-generation 5G device, the Snapdragon X55. While the first-generation X50 will already enable unprecedented 5 Gbps download speeds, the second generation X55 boasts blistering fast 7 Gbps download speeds. The freshly announced modem will likely be incorporated into smartphones announced by the end of 2019.

Why it's important: We are just starting the 5G communications revolution. Next week, at the Mobile World Congress 2019, leading smartphone companies will unveil the first wave of 5G mobile devices. We'll soon see these new devices converge with freshly deployed 5G global communication networks. What new value will entrepreneurs and companies create on the incoming 5G technology wave?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

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Topics: Abundance Insider AI Artificial Intellegence healthcare Drones 5G Amazon biotech regenerative medicine supply chain qualcomm
10 min read

Abundance Insider: July 27th, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 27, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: AI-equipped hotel rooms, plane-repairing robo-beetles, and Amazon's VR kiosks.

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics AR/VR AI retail Artificial Intellegence virtual reality Amazon e-commerce