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.

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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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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
9 min read

Abundance Insider: September 6th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 6, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Agricultural drone swarms, first-ever remote heart surgery, and Insilico Medicine's 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.

A Molecule Designed by AI Exhibits 'Druglike' Qualities.

What it is: AI startup Insilico Medicine, alongside collaborators from the University of Toronto and WuXi AppTec, has now used AI to identify drug candidates that could one day prevent tissue scarring. Using a subset of AI known as generative adversarial networks (GANs), the team took a mere 3 weeks to generate 30,000 computerized designs of candidate molecules for targeting a key protein in fibrosis. After synthesizing six of these designs in the lab, the researchers ultimately refined a shortlist of four novel compounds that could inhibit DDR1 kinase, an enzyme involved in scar tissue buildup within organs. Once experimentally tested, the team’s final four yielded a single most promising molecule for testing in mice, which not only proved potent against the targeted enzyme but demonstrated clear “drug-like” qualities.

Why it’s important: Today, it costs on average US$2.6 billion and often takes more than a decade to bring a new drug to market. Even of those drug candidates that enter Phase I clinical trials, nine out of ten never reach patients. While Insilico’s use of GANs does not circumvent the need for molecules’ refinement in the lab — nor would GANs prove as effective in data-deficient drug discovery challenges — AI could vastly speed up the process. By generating numerous molecule leads for researchers to pursue, GANs and AI-driven drug discovery pipelines could decimate the time and labor required for getting a drug to clinical trials. As AI converges with massive datasets in everything from gene expression to blood tests, novel drug discovery is about to get >10X cheaper, faster, and more intelligently targeted. | Share on Facebook.

First long-distance heart surgery performed via robot.

What it is: In a new coup for telemedicine, cardiologist Dr. Tejas Patel has now performed five percutaneous coronary intervention procedures (PCIs) through a precision vascular robot. Enabling Patel to conduct the procedure a full 20 miles from his surgical patients, vascular robotics company Corindus has refined its now FDA-cleared CorPath GRX robot. Using a hardwired internet connection, the CorPath System allowed for extreme precision in vascular and coronary procedures, yet proved intuitive enough for Patel to manipulate the robot using joysticks and a video monitor. While only just published in The Lancet spin-off EClinicalMedicine, Corindus’ remote heart surgery achievement has now been replicated several times in the U.S.

Why it’s important: Riding the convergence of low-latency networks, mixed reality, high-precision robotics, and advanced sensors, telemedicine is making high-risk, life-saving procedures far more accessible. By allowing some of the world’s best doctors to operate in remote communities from afar, robotics and virtual interfaces will soon decentralize, delocalize and democratize healthcare. As explained by Corindus’ CEO Mark Toland, “The success of this study paves the way for large-scale, long-distance telerobotic platforms across the globe.” As 5G, satellite constellations, and balloons bring high-speed connectivity to today’s most inaccessible regions, distance to care could grow immaterial over the next 15 years. | Share on Facebook.

Facebook Publishes New Research on Hyper-realistic Virtual Avatars.

What it is: Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality R&D group has now built a headset capable of mapping facial expressions to virtual avatars in real-time. One of two headsets involved, the first “training” headset contains 9 cameras (3 pointed at the eyes and 6 at the lower face and mouth). Wearing this more sensor-laden device, the user is initially prompted to make a variety of facial expressions. These data points are then fed into an algorithm that maps out distinct muscles in the face. After completing this training phase, the user then wears a much leaner “tracking” headset (geared with only 3 facial cameras). By “filling in” the tracking cameras’ blind spots with training headset-collected data, Facebook’s software ultimately produces a hyper-realistic, real-time representation of a user’s face— now compatible with a range of VR hardware and software.

Why it’s important: Social VR has the potential to fundamentally change how we navigate both our personal lives and professional discourse. Yet one of the most stubborn obstacles to scaled adoption involves the stiffness and non-expressiveness of virtual avatar face renditions. By using advanced facial tracking, however, Facebook’s headset provides a remarkably lifelike virtual extension of each user, while avoiding the pitfalls of the ‘uncanny valley.’ With the advancement of both sensor precision and high-fidelity VR rendering over the next 5 years, we will soon be able to send a virtual version of ourselves anywhere in the world, transforming the way people think about human presence, distance, and time. As machine learning minimizes the number of sensors needed for facial tracking, VR will continue to plummet in price, boosting commercialized headsets and everyday use. | Share on Facebook.

China Drone Attack on Crop-Eating ‘Monster’ Shows 98% Kill Rate.

What it is: AgTech drone manufacturer XAG has now successfully deployed a pest-targeting drone swarm operation with partner Bayer Crop Science. Having spread from the Americas to Africa and Asia, the crop-devouring fall armyworm has affected 950,000 hectares of crops across 24 Chinese provinces in just the past three weeks. Yet XAG’s autonomous drones have come quick to the rescue, targeting the pests with low-toxicity insecticide on farmland in China’s Guangxi autonomous region and Yunnan province. Already stemming outbreaks in 90 percent of affected areas, the drone swarm operation has even recorded mortality rates as high as 98 percent.

Why it’s important: Mechanized agricultural tools, drones, and AgTech-oriented AI have long remained in the R&D phase. Nonetheless, many of today’s products are either incapable of navigating unstructured farm environments or are insufficiently versatile to integrate into existing workflows. As computer vision continues to advance year-on-year, however, autonomous farming solutions — think: UAV plant protection, precision spraying bots, and agricultural sensors — are beginning to decimate the need for intensive human labor. Part of a food and agriculture tech market projected to exceed US$729.5 billion in value by 2023, these autonomous farming tools will be vital in feeding our global population and maximizing crop yields, regardless of geography. | Share on Facebook.

Deloitte’s Plan for Fighting Employee Burnout: Let AI Take Over the Dreaded HR and IT Tasks.

What it is: Aiming to systematically improve the employee experience (EX) with workplace automation, Deloitte is now reaping the benefits of an AI system called ConnectMe. Designed to expedite HR-related answers to employees (whether about healthcare benefits or overseas transfer, among other topics), ConnectMe can even be customized to automate employee-specific tasks that are easily codified and repetitive. Pulling from in-house data, ConnectMe uses chatbots to eliminate lengthy email and phone tag processes often required to resolve minor issues. Yet while Deloitte introduced ConnectMe in 2016, recent studies are starting to quantify the aggregate effect of workplace combustion, now observed by nearly 96 percent of surveyed managers in their employees, according to a study by staffing company Robert Half.

Why it’s important: While automation begins to eliminate tedious tasks through improved UX design in smart devices and mobile apps, EX-aiding technologies, company workflows, and inter-department communication are still lagging behind. However, new reports suggest that up to 69 percent of job seekers turn down even high-paying positions due to poor EX reviews, and automation of workplace tedium could provide an effective fix. In response, companies like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, AIsera, and Moveworks have begun automating countless routine processes for SMEs and large corporations, democratizing AI assistants and freeing employees to engage in more thought-provoking work. Where might you employ similar automation tools in your organization to boost morale and productivity? | Share on Facebook.

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

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 AI Insilico Drones Autonomous Drones autonomous vehicles automation drone technology agtech workplace automation telemedicine telesurgery
11 min read

Abundance Insider: August 30th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 31, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Stratospheric drones, a new space elevator design, and CRISPR-controlled materials for drug delivery.

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.

Cambridge scientists reverse aging process in rat brain stem cells.

What it is: A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute has discovered a critical component of the extracellular environment’s effect on our brain’s aging process. As a result, they’ve now uncovered a potential mechanism for reversing loss of function in brain stem cells, typically due to stiffening. The researchers first studied the function of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) — a type of stem cell critical for normal brain function and myelin reformation — by placing the OPCs of older mice into the far softer brain tissue of younger animals. Surprisingly, the older cells became rejuvenated, behaving more similarly to younger counterparts. The team then took its research a step further by removing Piezo1, a protein on the cell’s surface that detects whether its environment is soft or stiff. Once Piezo1 was removed, the OPCs were essentially tricked into believing their environment was soft, subsequently resuming normal, healthy function.

Why it’s important: In the near term, this discovery holds extraordinary potential to alleviate the pain of patients with Multiple Sclerosis, who suffer loss of function in both the brain and other parts of the nervous system. More broadly, however, this study demonstrates a key link between extracellular environment and the human aging process, opening new avenues for research and therapeutic applications. A major feat for longevity research, this and similar discoveries make aging research far more relevant to the well-funded study of other diseases, helping spur new funding for our extension of the human healthspan. | Share on Facebook.

Drone Ambitions Soar to the Stratosphere.

What it is: Airbus, Boeing, and SoftBank are now developing stratospheric autonomous drones, capable of flying at (and even above) 60,000 feet. Intended to fly for months without intervention, the drones could deliver imaging and even internet services from above, generating a new market for commercial and military customers. Already, Airbus’s current iteration of its solar-powered Zephyr UAV weighs just 175 pounds yet touts a wingspan of 75 feet. Taking after this lightweight model, the stratospheric drones would be able to recharge batteries during the day to stay aloft at night. While seemingly a competitor to satellite connectivity providers like Starlink, OneWeb or TeleSat, these drones could additionally improve the link between ground and space satellites, according to the European Space Agency. This, in turn, would make upper stratospheric and space efforts far more complementary than competitive.

Why it’s important: According to research firm NSR, high-altitude aircraft (including stratospheric drones, balloons and airships) could generate $1.7 billion in revenue over the next decade. Despite the challenges of building aircraft light enough to fly above 60,000 feet, yet capable of withstanding turbulence at lower altitudes, there are already over 40 development programs currently under way. As both R&D and private sector investment continue on the rise, we will soon bring connectivity to upwards of 4 billion people currently without access to the web— no undersea cables or capital-intensive trenches needed. Last-mile connectivity costs will plunge, and anyone anywhere will be able to leverage the connected globe. | Share on Facebook.

Double’s new telepresence robot now drives you around like you’re a Sim.

What it is: In a new feat for telepresence robotics, Double has announced the third generation of its flagship telecommuting device. The company’s latest model, “Double 3” has vastly improved upon previous hardware, no longer consisting of a scooter-like mount topped with (separately purchased) iPad. Embedding a screen for remote interaction with the robot’s environment, Double 3 is additionally equipped with a suite of cameras and 3D sensors, enabling seamless self-driving and augmented reality integration. No longer needing to manually steer Double around the office, users can simply place a “pin” on their target location and the robot will automatically go there, avoiding all obstacles and people along the way. Further geared with high-resolution Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras, the device grants remote workers anywhere the novel ability to collaborate with colleagues in a hyper-efficient, life-like way.

Why it’s important: In just the past 5 years, the number of employers that allow working from home has grown 40 percent. Yet beyond the benefits of no commute, a recent survey revealed that 86 percent of employees find they are more productive at home than in an office. Yet Double and similar telepresence robots provide teams the best of both worlds, offering the convenience of working from home, while still maintaining the efficiency of spontaneous “water cooler” conversations and in-person meetings. As investment in sensors, AI, and AR surges year-to-year, the cost of producing telepresence hardware will continue to plummet. An indication of the technology’s growing commercialization, Suitable Technologies (Double’s main competitor) was recently acquired by Blue Ocean Robotics, as the company continues deploying its Beam robot. Amplifying the experience of decentralized teams, Double’s latest iteration could permeate a range of industries, from elder care to surveillance to supply chain management. How might your business leverage telepresence robotics in a growing decentralized workforce? | Share on Facebook.

Wildfire science: computer models, drones and laser scanning help fan the flames and prevent widespread devastation.

What it is: Utah University atmospheric scientist Adam Kochanski and a team of researchers are now refining a computer model with new data to predict how fires will spread and what weather events will follow in their wake. Initiating a “prescribed fire” — a controlled fire typically intended for habitat restoration in forest regions — the team used numerous infrared camera-fitted drones, laser scanning, and sensors to collect data while Kochanski tested his predictive model’s forecasts. While generated data is still being processed, the experiment is contributing to ‘coupled fire-atmosphere models,’ which leverage data to determine how wildfires influence local weather conditions, and the interaction of the two. Yet already, Kochanski’s model proved remarkably predictive of the experimental fire’s actual behavior.

Why it’s important: As wildfires grow ever more untamable and regions like the Amazon suffer detrimental losses, high-accuracy predictive models are more vital than ever before. Just in the last 10 decade, wildfires have decimated between 16,000 and 40,000 square kilometers of land in the U.S. each year, resulting in financial losses of US$5 billion. Paired with robust networks of sensors and autonomous drone fleets, computer models that incorporate weather conditions in AI forest fire mapping could help us to stem early fires before they gain momentum, saving forests, lives, and entire habitats. |Share on Facebook.

These researchers want to run a cable from the Earth to the Moon.

What it is: Space elevators have remained a science fiction moonshot since the Space Race of the 1960s. Building them would require cable material far stronger and lighter than any material currently discovered. However, in a newly published paper, researchers from Columbia and Cambridge universities describe Spaceline, a promising cable design made from known materials that could run from the surface of the Moon to geostationary orbit (approximately 36,000 kilometers above ground). Given that the elevator would not attach to Earth’s crust, the design eliminates numerous past engineering challenges, as rockets would only need to reach Spaceline’s endpoint, dock on the elevator, and be pulled to the Lunar surface.

Why it’s important: Rocketing into space (particularly with heavy cargo) is exorbitantly expensive, costing between US$10-20 million per metric ton of weight. Finding alternative methods of exiting the Earth’s atmosphere is therefore crucial for our democratization of space travel and extraplanetary discovery. In success, Spaceline could significantly lower the cost and challenge of modern-day rocket launches, possibly even allowing future researchers to tether orbital telescopes and research institutions between the Earth and Moon. Made far more accessible given its use of existing materials, Spaceline may not only forge a faster path to private space travel, but could enable new space-based research to fundamentally shift the way we understand our universe and our species’ place within it. | Share on Facebook.

Gene Editing Transforms Gel into Shape-Shifting Smart Material.

What it is: We often think of CRISPR in the context of genetically modified organisms or treatment of genetic diseases. Yet a team of researchers led by MIT bioengineer James Collins now has a new application for the gene-editing tool: smart materials that can shape-shift on command. Working with water-filled polymers held together by DNA strands called DNA hydrogels, the team used DNA-snipping enzyme Cas12a to alter the properties of these polymers. Programmed to recognize a specific DNA sequence and cut the targeted strand, Cas12a is now being used to build a number of CRISPR-controlled hydrogels that can change shape or dissolve completely to release a payload. Having demonstrated effectiveness, the team has even designed these hydrogels to release enzymes, drugs and human cells in response to programmed stimuli.

Why it’s important: Smart sensors for targeted drug delivery within the body have long been a hot topic of discussion, poised to revolutionize medicine with personalized and preventive care. Yet this research team’s CRISPR-controlled hydrogels could soon make this vision a practical reality. As expressed by Collins, “We’re in the CRISPR age right now [...] It’s taken over biology and biotechnology. We’ve shown that it can make inroads into materials and bio-materials.” Enabling constant monitoring of internal conditions, shape-shifting hydrogels and similar CRISPR-controlled materials might one day be capable of surrounding an infection with antibiotics the minute it appears, or releasing cancer drugs as soon as tumors are detected. Fortifying our bodies with an internal line of defense, smart biomaterials are slated to vastly increase the human healthspan, revolutionizing healthcare and the way we treat disease. | Share on Facebook.

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

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 Space AI Artificial Intellegence IoT driverless autonomous vehicles self-driving cars physics computation
10 min read

Abundance Insider: August 23rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 23, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Intel's new AI chip, Starship's college-based delivery bots, and a major breakthrough in determining protein structure.

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.

Researchers’ 3D map of the brain’s response to words could be vital for next-gen language decoders.

What it is: Researchers at UC Berkeley have now created a 3D map of how the brain responds to words. To achieve this, the team monitored brain activity (vis-à-vis blood flow data) of nine volunteers as they both listened to and read stories from “The Moth Radio Hour” podcast. By reading stories one word at a time and subsequently listening to the same passages, participants generated new data revealing how various words spark activity in distinct regions of the brain. These results were then fed into a computer program that used natural-language processing to map thousands of words based on their relationship to one another. Ultimately, the team found that different classes of words (e.g. social terms like “husband,” “father,” and “daughter”) do indeed correlate to disparate physical regions in the brain, regardless of whether they are read or listened to.

Why it’s important: Discoveries in neuroscience are fundamental to both augmenting and treating the human brain. In terms of augmentation, our ability to map the physical regions in which different brain activities take place will vastly facilitate development of brain-computer interface technologies (think: Elon Musk’s recently showcased Neuralink, for instance). From a treatment standpoint, research that codifies isolated brain activity — particularly in language and communication — could help us to develop unprecedented new therapies for patients with reading and speech disabilities. | Share on Facebook.

These AR swimming goggles can display multiple performance metrics while you swim.

What it is: Sports tech startup Form has just released the first-ever augmented reality (AR)-enabled swim goggles, introducing seamless fitness tracking to the pool. Developed in partnership with Olympic swimmers, the goggles can reach a depth of up to 32 feet. Attached to the side of one lens, Form’s computer sits embedded in a small black box, enabling swimmers to display performance metrics in real time, from total distance and stroke count, to total calories and split time. Using accelerometer data, the goggles’ onboard processor can even detect stroke types, additionally noting when swimmers turn around or take a break. For greater versatility, the company used machine learning to train its software on data produced by swimmers of multiple levels.

Why it’s important: Whereas some AR players have adopted a broad approach to general-purpose AR eyewear (think: Google Glass), Form’s targeting of a highly specific use case allows its technology to benefit from structured environments and an abundance of well-defined data. Just as Microsoft refined its Hololens technology through early application in industrial training and military settings, Form’s sports tech focus might soon yield AR hardware applicable in a range of industries. What other niche applications lend themselves to near-term, practical AR, while generating hardware for a fully augmented world? | Share on Facebook.

Intel launches first artificial intelligence chip Springhill.

What it is: This week, Intel released the company’s first dedicated AI processor, designed for use in large data centers. Known as Springhill, or Nervana NNP-I, the chip is based on a modified 10-nanometer Ice Lake processor, making it ideal for high workloads without significant energy use. Now a principal component of Intel’s “AI everywhere” strategy, the Springhill chip is built for an AI process called inference. Implementing trained neural network models to deduce novel insights from data, inference is essential for computer vision, speech and image recognition, as well as language processing tasks.

Why it’s important: Already in use by companies like Facebook, Intel’s chip can help offload inference workloads from countless standard processors, allowing these latter components to focus far more on general compute tasks. As explained by the general manager of Intel’s AI products group, Naveen Rao, “In order to reach a future situation of ‘AI everywhere,’ we have to deal with huge amounts of data generated and make sure organizations are equipped with what they need to make effective use of the data and process them where they are collected.” Not only will Intel’s Springhill deployment help catalyze complex AI inference processes, but similar iterations could vastly improve the energy efficiency of today’s growing data centers. | Share on Facebook.

Thousands of autonomous delivery robots are about to descend on US college campuses.

What it is: Having just raised $40 million in its Series A round, autonomous robot delivery startup Starship Technologies is now targeting U.S. college campuses. In total, Starship’s self-driving delivery bots have traveled 350,000 miles, completing over 100,000 deliveries across 20 different countries. With extensive testing under its belt, the company plans to deploy thousands of its all-electric, six-wheeled bots for college food deliveries over the next two years. Already in action at George Mason University and Northern Arizona University, the robots can carry up to 20 pounds of cargo and make deliveries within a three-to-four-mile radius.

Why it’s important: Online grocery shopping is predicted to surge up to fivefold over the next ten years, and American consumers are expected to spend upwards of $100 billion on food-at-home items by 2025. While today’s human-conducted delivery services (think: Postmates and DoorDash) are on the rise, these non-automated options remain heavily subsidized, as labor costs far exceed those of roboticized alternatives. By first targeting college campuses, companies like Starship can benefit from well-defined, easily navigable environments (not to mention an abundance of tech-savvy, young buyers) while building out an expanded business model for urban integration. | Share on Facebook.

Scientists extract hydrogen gas from oil and bitumen, giving potential pollution-free energy.

What it is: Clean energy startup Proton Technologies is now cracking the code of emission-less, pollution-free hydrogen gas. Hydrocarbons (like those in crude oil and natural gas) react with oxygen via combustion (or respiration) to produce energy plus carbon dioxide and water. Hydrogen gas, on the other hand, reacts with oxygen to produce solely energy and water. To avoid burning hydrocarbons above ground (and thereby release carbon into the atmosphere), Proton Technologies has now developed a system of converting hydrocarbons into hydrogen while still trapped in oil fields underground. By injecting oxygen into oil wells to combust the trapped hydrocarbons, Proton can generate enough heat in the process to produce hydrogen gas. This process leaves carbon sources trapped beneath the Earth’s surface in the form of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and other gases, while removing only hydrogen gas.

Why it’s important: An extraordinary range of new technologies is allowing us to fundamentally rethink our global energy economy. New game changers, from emission-free hydrogen gas to direct air capture (DAC), hold vast potential to decimate energy costs, while providing an unprecedented abundance of clean energy. Solving one of today’s most existentially critical challenges requires a robust energy production strategy bolstered by first principles thinking. Peter’s most recent blog series heavily explores the potential of alternative energy technologies, spanning nuclear, solar, and direct air capture-derived fuels. Could the next piece of this complex energy puzzle involve hydrogen gas? | Share on Facebook.

Measuring the shape of proteins just got easier thanks to mathematics.

What it is: A research team led by Yale chemist Zhe Mei has just made significant progress in scientists’ ability to identify protein structures. In common practice, proteins have either been crystallized and analyzed via x-ray crystallography or packed in a liquid solution and analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Yet neither approach is consistently accurate for all proteins, and results differ. To understand why, Mei and her team built a database of x-ray crystallography protein structures at various temperatures. Subsequently, the team built a mathematical model of the ways in which proteins pack together, either forming solid crystals or bundles in solution for NMR. In success, the researchers not only found that packing density can explain the difference in protein structure between both measurement techniques, but were also able to study how temperature influences structure.

Why it’s important: A key building block for everything from organ tissue to hormonal regulation, proteins are responsible for much of our biological machinery, and each protein’s function is largely defined by its complex structure. Predicting and visualizing protein structure, however, has been a seemingly insurmountable challenge, prompting scientists to develop complex algorithms and even launch crowdsourcing platforms. Yet mathematical modeling can be invaluable in reconciling differences between different measurement and imaging techniques—both improving biochemistry research methods and revealing unknown relationships between our biology and external variables. | Share on Facebook.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space AI Artificial Intellegence IoT driverless autonomous vehicles self-driving cars physics computation
12 min read

Abundance Insider: August 16th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 16, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: NYC's first driverless shuttle service, universe-generating supercomputers, and the new legal debate of patent-holding AIs.

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.

New York’s first-ever driverless shuttle service has now hit the road.

What it is: Just last week, autonomous vehicle (AV) startup Optimus Ride became the first public AV offering in New York City, providing shuttle rides to passengers in Brooklyn's Navy Yard. While carrying both a safety driver and software operator, and restricted to a 1.1-mile loop of private roads, the shuttle service is already expected to serve over 16,000 passengers per month. Lowering consumers' barrier to use, Optimus has even made the service free, running between a NYC Ferry stop and the Yard’s Cumberland Gate to embed itself in the daily routine of thousands of commuters.

Why it’s important: As regulatory frameworks continue to catch up with AV technology, public trust is critical. By launching its shuttle service at the Navy Yard (private property exempt from DMV regulation), Optimus can tap into an existing passenger pool with rigidly defined routes and far fewer safety concerns. This choice further reflects Optimus’s strategy of deploying its service in residential communities, corporate and university campuses, resorts, and similarly well-structured environments. Providing a lower-risk market entry route, these “enclosed network” transportation services are already predicted to exceed a combined value of $600 billion, according to Optimus’s founders. An alternative to personal vehicles’ incremental addition of adaptive cruise control, brake assist, and hands-free parallel parking, Optimus-like shuttle services may vastly accelerate AV’s broader public adoption. | Share on Facebook.
 

Google’s AI researchers built an open-sourced soccer simulator to train next-gen machine learning algorithms.

What it is: Developing what we might call an AI playground, AI engineers at Google Research’s Brain Team have now built Google Research Football Environment. A reproducible, customizable, and physics-based environment, the open-sourced soccer video game is an ideal platform for researchers anywhere to test their machine learning algorithms. While games such as Pong, Space Invaders, and Go are now easily mastered by sophisticated algorithms, complex open-world games like Starcraft remain too challenging. Virtual soccer, on the other hand, offers a sufficiently structured (rule-based) game while introducing behavioral uncertainty and diverse team strategies.

Why it’s important: As explained by Research Lead Karol Kurach, Google’s football environment “provides a challenging reinforcement learning problem as football requires a natural balance between short-term control, learned concepts such as passing, and high level strategy.” Given the learning algorithm’s capacity to play against humans and machines alike, the virtual soccer game also introduces a broad range of opponent weaknesses and human irrationality. Yet beyond the game’s utility for immersing machine learning in accurate, real-world environments, GRFE could grant us new soccer strategies that even the world’s most skilled coaches have never considered. Meanwhile, for the AI research community, Google’s new game environment perfectly combines an effective training platform, public code, appropriate complexity, and non-deterministic patterns. | Share on Facebook.

India’s Reliance Jio is launching its IoT network on New Year’s Day, with a plan to connect 1 billion devices.

What it is: Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, has now set the conglomerate’s sights on powering at least half of India’s connected devices, projected to exceed 2 billion over the next two years. Leveraging the company’s 4G network, Reliance’s telecom subsidiary, Reliance Jio, is therefore launching a Narrowband Internet of Things (or NBIoT) this coming January. Yet Jio will focus less on in-home appliances, instead targeting low-cost, seamless connectivity between industrial machines in manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and utilities. Reliance's focus on these latter industries also follows the Indian government's $1 billion investment in the construction of 100 smart cities.

Why it’s important: While India’s IoT-connected devices currently number about 60 million, Deloitte estimates a 32X surge in the nation’s online devices by 2020. Growth at this scale would drive a $9 billion domestic market, attracting countless smart device companies and new telecom players. Although we often think of technologically developed nations as best suited to IoT and smart cities, India and other emerging economies are well-positioned to leapfrog traditional network infrastructure, as IoT technology can be more easily embedded during network construction (no retrofitting needed!). As governments begin pouring funds into front-end smart city applications, IoT networks like that of Reliance are providing the backbone for everything from traffic flow optimization to government e-services. Share on Facebook.

Could this AI inventor be the first with a patent to its name?

What it is: Sparking historic legal debate, American engineer Stephen Thaler and legal experts have just filed for UK-, Europe-, and US-based patents in the name of an AI. Dubbed Dabus AI, the algorithm was originally invented by Thaler but went on to autonomously design novel consumer products. Those in the patent filing process include a fractal-based, easy-to-grasp food container and a lamp built to flicker in patterns mirroring brain activity. As might be expected, however, patent offices are showing strong resistance, citing the traditional precedent that legal rights have always gone to humans.

Why it’s important: Now that AIs are becoming inventors, the legal status of human creativity and artificial genius could fundamentally alter how we assign legal responsibility, credit, ownership, and (in the case of product malfunction) culpability. As explained by the BBC, human requirements were originally intended to protect individuals from losing their inventions to corporations. Yet the increasing use of AIs (such as generative adversarial networks, or GANs) to design everything from optimized auto parts to novel drug therapies, is about to birth a far broader debate about intellectual property and the legal definition of invention. | Share on Facebook.

This supercomputer generates millions of universes, helping researchers determine the rules that shaped our own.

What it is: Peter Behroozi and his research team at the University of Arizona Steward Observatory are now employing computer simulation to study one of humanity’s most existential questions: the formation of our universe. Foregoing costly telescopes, the team instead uses a supercomputer to generate millions of virtual universes. Each known as an “Ex Machina,” individual universes contain 12 million galaxies and start 400 million years after the Big Bang. By observing the characteristics of each universe, Behroozi and colleagues can distinguish underlying differences across simulations (relative to our own universe) to determine the viability of today's various formational theories. With a specific focus on the role of dark matter and how simulated galaxies give birth to stars, the research team can thereby infer causal relationships far more difficult to identify through traditional observation.

Why it’s important: Astronomers’ newfound ability to simulate millions of universes could soon allow us to isolate individual causal factors responsible for what we observe in the stars today. Yet supercomputers’ ability to generate massive databases with logically consistent data affects scientific discovery well beyond the origins of our universe. Soon, we might be able to “birth” millions of ecologies or even political simulations, each bound by their own set of parameters. In success, supercomputers and AI-generated simulations could thereby help researchers identify causal links, optimal conditions, and even theoretical flaws within any scientific field imaginable. | Share on Facebook.

Astronomer David Kipping’s proposed “terrascope” (a planetary telescope) would use Earth’s atmosphere as a giant lens.

What it is: Telescopes capable of observing far-off worlds usually exceed billions in cost and can span the equivalent of multiple football fields. What if we could instead use the Earth as a giant telescope lens, dramatically cutting down on cost and size? Enter Columbia University’s David Kipping, an astronomer who has now developed designs for a “Terrascope.” When light hits the Earth, it refracts through the Earth’s atmosphere. This refraction closely mimics the lensing behavior of standard telescopes and reading glasses. Kipping’s thought proposal therefore suggests that we harness the Earth itself as a giant lens, placing a space telescope at the focal point. In theory, this configuration would boast the light-gathering power of a 150-meter telescope, but cost far less than alternative astronomical observation systems.

Why it’s important: While many technical challenges remain, Kipping’s paper provides first principles engineering solutions that validate the efficacy of a conceptual Terrascope. Today, Earth-based telescopes are astronomically expensive. Kipping estimates that replicating the results of a Terrascope-scale system would require a 100 meter (as opposed to 1 meter) terrestrial lens, not to mention upwards of $35 billion. Leveraging an entire planet as our lens, however, could offer an extraordinary new method for imaging distant, space-faring objects and even earth-like planets. How else might one apply Kipping’s first principles approach to astronomy and engineering? | Share on Facebook.

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

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 Space AI Artificial Intellegence IoT driverless autonomous vehicles self-driving cars physics computation
6 min read

Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 30, 2019

By 2030, more than 50 percent of the U.S. economy will run on electricity derived from renewables. What are the implications as we shift the U.S. and global energy economies away from fossil fuels?

Topics: Energy Abundance Transportation Exponentials environment Tesla Batteries driverless autonomous vehicles self-driving cars exponential technology electric vehicles internal combustion engine cars ridesharing electric fleets GM Cruise future of transportation personal vehicles oil consumption EVs EV footprint electric vehicle technology energy storage oil ecological transit end of ICE future of driving Nissan toyota Waymo Elon Musk UPS fossil fuels
6 min read

In ten years, you will not own a car....

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 23, 2019

The era of the internal combustion engine (ICE) car is ending. We may have reached “peak ICE” production this past year.

Topics: Energy Abundance Transportation Exponentials environment Tesla Batteries driverless autonomous vehicles self-driving cars exponential technology electric vehicles internal combustion engine cars ridesharing electric fleets GM Cruise future of transportation personal vehicles oil consumption EVs EV footprint electric vehicle technology energy storage oil ecological transit end of ICE future of driving Nissan toyota Waymo Elon Musk UPS fossil fuels
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
10 min read

Exponential China - Something You Can't Ignore

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 9, 2019

The rise of China as an epicenter of rapid-fire innovation and technological disruption is more important than ever before in transforming each and every one of our businesses.

Topics: Abundance Entrepreneurship Transportation AI Abundance 360 innovators a360 Artificial Intellegence Alibaba autonomous vehicles China Baidu Tencent smart cities makerspaces maker movement entrepreneur cities megacities Xiong'an New Area unicorns electric vehicles solar power cars ridesharing future of cities Shenzhen Hong Kong Guangzhou David Li SZOIL Sinovation Ventures Abundance Platinum China Greater Bay Area SenseTime Kai-Fu Lee
14 min read

Abundance Insider: June 7th 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 8, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Fake news AIs, the world’s first 1 GW energy storage project, and an ocean mapping breakthrough.

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

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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Finance AI blockchain Deepmind Artificial Intellegence XPRIZE solar energy autonomous vehicles oceans
13 min read

Abundance Insider: June 1st, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 1, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Self-driving USPS trucks, CRISPR in space, and multilingual robot writers.

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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Transportation health Artificial Intellegence robots autonomous vehicles self-driving cars biotech
11 min read

Disrupting Real Estate & Construction

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 26, 2019

In the wake of the housing market collapse of 2008, one entrepreneur decided to dive right into the failing real estate industry. But this time, he didn’t buy any real estate to begin with. Instead, Glenn Sanford decided to launch the first-ever cloud-based real estate brokerage, eXp Realty.

Topics: Energy Abundance Materials Science AR/VR Transportation Abundance 360 Real Estate a360 virtual reality Autonomous Drones materials autonomous vehicles construction flying cars electric vehicles immersive worlds solar cells solar power cars ridesharing future of real estate future of construction new structures seasteading Boring Company floating cities future of cities
12 min read

Top 5 Energy & Transportation Breakthroughs (2019 - 2024)

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 12, 2019

The energy and transportation industries are being aggressively disrupted by converging exponential technologies.

Topics: Energy Abundance Transportation Abundance 360 a360 solar energy autonomous vehicles self-driving cars convergence catalyzer convergence electric vehicles wind power geothermal solar cells solar power internal combustion engine cars ridesharing
11 min read

Future of Cities Part 2: Visions of the Future

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 10, 2019

Tomorrow’s cities are reshaping almost every industry imaginable, and birthing those we’ve never heard of.

Topics: Energy Abundance Materials Science Data AI Real Estate Artificial Intellegence Autonomous Drones IoT materials connectivity solar energy trillion sensor economy autonomous vehicles China smart cities internet of things Spatial Web construction mobile devices cities infrastructure urbanization Estonia megacities microcities Dubai Xiong'an New Area traffic flying cars
13 min read

Abundance Insider: January 11th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 11, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Roll-up TVs, next-gen smart supermarkets, and a new Gigafactory breaks ground.

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.

TomTom Debuts End-To-End Autonomous Driving System At CES 2019

What it is: TomTom, the company that brought portable GPS to your car before the smartphone era, is entering the autonomous vehicle space through a partnership with the Japanese automotive systems manufacturer Denso. The duo will combine TomTom’s mapping technology with Denso’s in-car sensors, cameras and radar to effectively crowdsource and update road conditions via TomTom’s Autostream, which shares updates across vehicles. Ultimately, they hope to get to Level 2 autonomy for use on highways and major urban roads.

Why it's important: As autonomous vehicles continue their advancement, we’re seeing an ecosystem develop as companies seek to tie into the massive opportunity ahead. How can you apply or tweak what you are doing today to add value in an autonomous future?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Scientists Engineer Shortcut For Photosynthetic Glitch, Boost Crop Growth By 40 Percent

What it is: In a plant engineering feat, researchers have found a way to boost photosynthesis efficiency in crops. Quick refresh: photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. However, the enzyme responsible for turning CO2 into sugars that fuel plant growth, RuBisCo, fails to distinguish between oxygen and CO2 about 20 percent of the time. This results in a plant-toxic compound that must be discarded through photorespiration, costing plants precious energy resources. However, scientists have now engineered alternate pathways to reroute and shorten the photorespiration process, saving resources for photosynthesis and boosting crop growth by 40 percent in real-world agronomic conditions.

Why it's important: As we quickly approximate a world population of 8.5 billion by 2030, eliminating the inefficiencies of photorespiration could play a pivotal role in feeding the globe. As explained by principal investigator Donald Ort, “We could feed up to 200 million additional people with the calories lost to photorespiration in [just!] the Midwestern U.S. each year.” Perhaps most exciting, more efficient plants would provide greatest aid to tropical regions that need it most, eliminating the world’s highest rates of photorespiration and offering an abundant harvest more immune to rising temperatures.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

LG’s Groundbreaking Roll-Up TV Is Going On Sale This Year

What it is: A year ago at CES, we saw the first concept rollable organic-LED (oLED) TV from LG. Now, LG is bringing the foldable TV to market as its flagship 4K OLED TV for 2019. Boasting incredible audio and video quality, these innovative TV’s will be available for purchase in the spring.

Why it's important: We’re in a materials science renaissance, and consumer electronics are driving the newest developments. From state-of-the-art transistor fabrication in the integrated circuits in our devices to conductive and transparent touchscreens in our phones, to these rollable flat screens, cutting-edge materials science permeates every facet of our experience with technology. Imagine holograms made possible by optical metamaterials, or high-resolution augmented reality glasses made of cutting-edge ceramics and polymers.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Tesla CEO Musk Breaks Ground At Shanghai Gigafactory To Launch China Push

What it is: Amidst China’s rapid transition from combustion engine vehicles to what the Chinese government terms ‘new energy vehicles’ (NEVs), Tesla has now formally begun construction of its Gigafactory 3 project on the outskirts of Shanghai. Expected to cost about US$2 billion, Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory will be China’s first wholly foreign-owned car manufacturing plant, and is set to produce Model 3 electric vehicles by the end of 2019. Aiming for a vehicle capacity of 500,000, the plant marks Tesla’s first major step into the largest auto market on the planet, joining an array of impressive domestic competitors.

Why it's important:  In the wake of a tense trade war between China and the U.S., Tesla’s inroads in the Chinese market and localization of production may serve a fruitful role in strengthening U.S.-China collaboration. In a meeting with Elon Musk this week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed that Tesla could be a “participant in China’s opening up and a promoter of stable China-U.S. relations,” further welcoming greater collaboration with companies worldwide as well as foreign investment. As global challenges and breakneck technological growth continue to transcend national borders, we may soon witness a wave of similar collaborations, strengthening both business and political ties, and unifying us through shared solutions.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

The Insta360 Titan Records 11K 360 -- That Still Plays On Smartphones

What it is: Insta360, maker of the Insta 360 One X, which is bringing 360-degree VR cameras to the masses, is moving into high-end cinematic experiences. Retailing at $15,000, the company is releasing the Insta 360 Titan, which can record at 11K resolution with 10 bits of color and at 30 frames per second. While that might seem like overkill if you don’t have an 11K screen, Insta360’s ClearView enables playback based on users’ field of view, so the video is fully capable of running on a smartphone.

Why it's important: An 11K resolution is well beyond the 8K that many, including Palmer Luckey, believe is the cutoff point to deliver a fully immersive experience. At a price point of $15,000, will this high-end rig cause a sizable uptick in VR content as barriers to production disappear?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Microsoft And Kroger To Create Data-Driven Connected Grocery Stores

What it is: Microsoft and Kroger, the largest supermarket in the U.S. by revenue, are partnering to create the hyperconnected supermarket of the future. They’ve recently transformed two retail stores (in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington) using connected sensors powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. Personalized ads will guide the shopping experience, leveraging a previously built digital shelving system already present in dozens of supermarkets across the country.

Why it's important: With the next evolution of supermarkets and retail stores, shoppers will no longer waste time searching for the products they desire. We‘re already witnessing organizations rethink the foundation on which they build their physical spaces (e.g. retail stores, cities). Rather than architecting store layouts first and overlaying technology on top of them, companies are now building stores (and cities, like Google’s Sidewalk Labs), from the internet up.  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, 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 Data Tesla autonomous vehicles internet of things CES entertainment
14 min read

Abundance Insider: December 21st, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 21, 2018

 In this week's Abundance Insider: AI-generated portraits, road-legal driverless deliveries, and drone-delivered vaccines.

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.

Kroger-Owned Grocery Store Begins Fully Driverless Deliveries

What it is: Nuro, the autonomous vehicle startup we featured in July, has moved forward on their partnership with grocery giant Kroger to begin delivering groceries from a Fry’s store in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nuro has been developing a fully autonomous and driverless car, but has made over 1,000 deliveries with Toyota Prius vehicles and a safety driver behind the wheel. Founded by two former members of Google’s autonomous vehicle division, Nuro will start with a limited yet commercially viable service using substantially lighter vehicles that top out at 25 miles per hour.

Why it's important: The infrastructure for autonomous vehicles is rapidly democratizing, from AI to sensors and soon 5G connectivity. This enables more companies like Nuro or Otto to enter the space, with many of them targeting very specific needs and niches. Autonomous transportation is becoming an inevitability. What are you doing today to prepare for an autonomous future?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Ingestible Capsule Can Be Controlled Wirelessly

What it is: Researchers from MIT, Draper, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have just published the design of a Bluetooth-controllable ingestible capsule that can live in your stomach for over a month. Previously, this team had designed a folded, six-armed, star-shaped capsule that, once swallowed, could unfold and lodge itself in a patient’s stomach, gradually releasing any number of packaged drugs within the arms’ compartments. After further customization, the 3D-printed capsule can now be built of alternating polymer layers, seamlessly incorporating everything from vital sign-detecting sensors to temperature monitors that relay data directly to a nearby smartphone.

Why it's important: While still a few years away from human testing or medical deployment, these devices hold tremendous potential to disrupt diagnostics, preventive medicine and a centibillion-dollar medical devices market. Capable of customized and gradual drug delivery, ingestible sensor-laden capsules could one day monitor everything from one's breathing rate to early signs of disease or infection in immunosuppressed patients. Connected via Bluetooth, drug-containing capsule compartments could be triggered from your smartphone to release antibiotics on demand. Longer-term, imagine stomach-dwelling capsules that detect and fight off a slew of infections, independent of our intervention.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

NVIDIA Creates A.I. That Generates Realistic Portraits Of Fake People

What it is: This week, artificial intelligence researchers at NVIDIA released a paper and accompanying video describing a major advance in deep learning systems for generating fake portraits of humans and everyday settings and objects. Even with the impressive results of previous systems, researchers still do not understand exactly how they work; as the NVIDIA team puts it, “The generators continue to operate as black boxes.” For example, researchers cannot determine how these systems generate stochastic (naturally random) features, like freckles. This NVIDIA system implements several cutting-edge methods in so called ‘styles.’ Essentially, they partition different parts of the picture into categories based on their level of detail. These methods, in turn, helped the researchers better understand these generative systems, while producing “a highly varied and high-quality dataset of human faces.”

Why it's important: From deepfake presidential videos to these highly detailed fake portraits, 2018 has been a year of breakthrough technology in photorealistic artificial intelligence. This nascent technology is improving at an exponential rate. What are the implications for future elections, entertainment, advertising, and even our personal lives?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

A Child Was Immunized By The World’s First Drone-Delivered Vaccine

What it is: UNICEF, in partnership with the island nation of Vanatu and startups Swoop Aero and WingCopter, successfully delivered the first vaccines by drone to 13 people and five pregnant women earlier this week. Vanatu is comprised of over 80 mountainous islands in the South Pacific with limited roads, making access to healthcare and critical vaccines a major challenge. To maintain temperature control, the vaccines were carried in a styrofoam container filled with ice packs and a data logger to ensure the temperature remained within the acceptable range.

Why it's important: As with last week’s announcement of a Canadian partnership to deliver supplies on Moose Island, this demonstrates the problem-solving power of exponential technologies like drones and sensors when applied in areas where they can make an immediate, tangible impact. Look for more of these opportunities to arise as momentum builds and the cost of implementation declines.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

At Least 15 Central Banks Are Serious About Getting Into Digital Currency

What it is: A report by the International Monetary Fund found that at least 15 central banks around the world are pouring resources into investigating switching over to digital currencies. Notable countries partaking in these efforts include Canada, China, Ecuador, Sweden and Norway.

Why it's important: As Peter described in his Future of Finance blog series, digital currencies are the future of our financial systems. The cryptocurrency craze of 2017 was a part of the hype cycle. After the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ comes the fruitful ‘Slope of Enlightenment,’ the onset of which is evident from the serious investigations by highly credible world players. Digital currencies powered by high-performance computing and blockchain infrastructure are transformative. What new wealth abundance will these digital currencies bring to the banked and unbanked across the globe?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

VW’s Robo-Cars Get A Boost From Luminar’s Lidar

What it is: Aiming to put fully autonomous vehicles on city roads by 2021, Volkswagen has just announced a major partnership with lidar manufacturer Luminar. Currently running a Munich-based fleet of about 12 E-golfs — each mounted with two Luminar lidars — VW’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) division has been testing how quickly this technology can generate 3D models of a given vehicle’s surroundings. Each lidar uses millions of laser points per second to generate a 120-degree view. With each pulse fired at a 1550-nanometer wavelength, Luminar’s technology can provide high-resolution perception at nearly 250 meters’ distance.

Why it's important: In the global undertaking to build out SAE level 5 automation, resolution and range of perception are two key barriers, and thereby linchpins, for the self-driving vehicle era. Currently, short-range lidar requires VW to constrain its Traffic Jam autopilot software to a 37 mph limit. Without a greater range of view, higher speeds might offer too little time to spot obstacles, pedestrians, or collision risks ahead, and low resolution can result in fatal object misidentification. However, as VW brings Luminar’s lidars on board, amortizing their cost by assembling a robo-car taxi fleet, these barriers are quickly getting kicked to the curb.  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 health Artificial Intellegence healthcare Drones driverless autonomous vehicles
14 min read

Abundance Insider: November 2nd, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 2, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Mushrooms as a platform, artificial moons, and digital immortality.

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. Next week, Abundance Digital will be streaming an exclusive webinar with Tony Robbins. Join us at 12pm PDT to hear Tony and Peter dive in to their initiatives in human longevity and discuss how exponential technologies affect our human purpose. Sign up here.

P.P.P.S. This week we feature the work of four of Peter's Strike Force Fellows. The Strike Force Fellowship Program aims to connect & empower young entrepreneurs to find their MTP, take moonshots and leverage exponential technologies as they start their careers. To learn more about the program, and to meet the Fellows, visit this page.

Micro-Drones With Winches Can Open Doors And Lift 40 Times Their Own Weight

What it is: Stanford University researchers have prototyped microdrones with a winch that enables the drones to anchor themselves to surfaces and pull over 40 times their own weight. This article showcases several displays of these drones collaborating to perform complex real-world motor functions, like opening doors. The drones, named FlyCroTugs by their inventors, demonstrate that drones in this micro-class can actively interact with the world. Researchers next plan to incorporate autonomous operation, improve inter-drone collaboration, and test different sets of actuation and adhesion mechanisms.

Why it's important: This research builds on lessons from nature, showing that one or a few micro-drones, weighing no more than two golf balls, are capable of interacting with the world in ways typically reserved for humanoid robots or larger machines (their flying insect counterparts). This series of winch and anchor modifications is a first step towards much more complex micro-drone activity. Peter often discusses how we are rapidly approaching a trillion-sensor world -- next, we might see a trillion-actuator world. What current challenges could a swarm of interactive microdrones solve?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Godfrey Nazareth / Written by Max Goldberg 

Drive.ai Rolls Out Self-Driving Vehicle Pilot In Texas

What it is: Self-driving car company Drive.ai just launched a public-facing autonomous car service fully open to all of Arlington, Texas. Starting out with three cars, the service is free to use and will connect riders to several popular destinations, including AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) and Globe Life Park (home of the Texas Rangers). Through this groundbreaking transportation initiative, Drive.ai also seeks to understand and solve ongoing game day traffic problems, which have risen in recent years.

Why it's important: According to Forbes, the self-driving car industry is predicted to occupy a market share of $557 billion by 2026. As companies like Drive.ai gain momentum, the transformative implications of autonomous vehicles will become mainstream: namely, reducing auto accidents, rewriting the insurance industry, and giving commuters more time for work or relaxation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Ryan Yao / Written by Ryan Yao 

Digital Immortality: How Your Life’s Data Means A Version Of You Could Live Forever

What it is: With his application Augmented Eternity, Hossein Rahnama allows people to create a digital persona that can interact with others on their behalf, even after they pass away. The avatar will be based on the digital footprints a person leaves throughout their lifetime. Augmented Eternity will assess data from multiple sources, including popular social networks and messengers, for emotional context and semantics. The digital avatar can change how it communicates based on a variety of factors (e.g. audience, location or time of day) and formats (e.g. text-based digital chatbot, audio voices like Siri, or 3D animated characters in virtual reality environments).

Why it's important: A major use case for the technology will be the ability to keep someone’s personality alive beyond death. During life, however, a digital avatar could enable us to outsource part of our meetings and social interactions to our digital self. Digital avatars could even be future consultants. As company founder Rahnama points out: “The ability to represent and share expertise can actually contribute to new business models on the internet.” The project also addresses key ethical questions around data science, AI and how to deal with someone’s digital afterlife.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Patrick Gassman / Written by Patrick Gassman 

China to Launch 'Artificial Moon' to Light Up Night Skies

What it is: The Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Company (CASC) has ambitious plans to supplement city streetlights with the launch of an artificial moon over Chengdu, China. Eight times as bright as the Moon, this artificial moon will sport a reflective coating to cast sunlight back to the Earth. It will also be much closer to the Earth at about 310 miles away, compared to the Moon’s distance of 236,000 miles. And while its launch may be costly, the initiative is estimated to save the city around 173 million  USD in annual electricity costs and can even assist first responders during blackouts and natural disasters.

Why it's important: According to a 2016 study published in Science Advances, over 80 percent of the world’s population lives in areas classified as “light-polluted.” In these areas, residents have experienced noticeable perturbations in circadian rhythms, which can be extremely damaging to long-term health. As a less-harmful alternative to traditional street lights, Chengdu’s artificial moon may be able to decrease light pollution while still illuminating a night sky. As the world transitions to renewable resources, similar technologies could also help enhance our energy sources by enabling solar cell charging at night.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Akash Kirpalani / Written by Akash Kirpalani 

Can Mushrooms Be The Platform We Build The Future On?

What it is: After focusing on mushroom-derived sustainable packaging materials for the past decade, Ecovative is now using mushroom mycelium cells to produce newly realistic lab-grown meats. The cells’ hyphae branches are programmable to assemble into complex 3D structures that serve as scaffolding to grow entire animal parts, like chicken wings or fillets — offering an advantage over lab-grown ground meats available today. But this base ingredient has seen various uses. Ecovative formerly used it to produce biodegradable building materials by injecting farm waste products with mushroom spawn and growing the material in a template. And in a win for fashion, the leather bio-fabrication company Bold Threads uses mycelium scaffolding to build cow hide for handbags.

Why it's important: A versatile resource for eco-friendly products, mushrooms could provide sustainable alternatives to building materials, meat, and even clothing. Scientists can now customize structures by controlling the environment, nutrients, and DNA of mycelium cells. And as we more effectively harness the natural molecular assembly abilities of cells in this way, novel applications might even extend to 3D-printing human organs. Mycelium cells have already been found to produce biological structures such as blood vessels, which are difficult to replicate manually, and researchers are increasingly able to manipulate cellular function with technologies like CRISPR. When attempting to solve complex biological problems, solutions may already exist in the intricate codes of nature.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Allison Westley / Written by Allison Westley 

James Patterson’s Next Novel Released On Facebook Messenger

What it is: Launching its first foray into literature, Facebook has partnered with world-renowned author James Patterson to adapt his newest novel The Chef for Facebook Messenger. Released this week on the app, the multimedia book allows readers to interact directly with the story, sending chunks of text, chapter-by-chapter in a Messenger chat, punctuated with videos, sound clips and location data. In the role of a detective, the reader reacts with a knife emoji to continue ‘reading’ and can even interact with the dramatic fiction through live Q&A sessions with Patterson himself, Instagram profiles of main characters, and evidence interspersed among Messenger chat text.

Why it's important: While ebooks and audiobooks have long disrupted traditional ink and paper, the smartphone enables vastly immersive forms of storytelling that will engage readers like never before. Just last week, for instance, Snap announced that it would be debuting a “chat fiction” story in partnership with Hooked. And as multimedia platforms allow you to witness text dialogues in real time, follow protagonists on social media, and even analyze pieces of digital data, authors can now play with timing, fragmented information and orchestrated suspense. Imagine stories within immersive digital worlds, books that are read while still being written, and lengthy story arcs that were never possible with pen and paper.  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 Space Artificial Intellegence Drones autonomous vehicles biotech
14 min read

Abundance Insider: October 19th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 19, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Self-balancing bipedal bots, California chatbot regulations and next-gen autonomous farming.

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.

Inside Silicon Valley’s Newest, Most Autonomous Farm Yet

What it is: Led by CEO Brandon Alexander, formerly of X (formerly Google X), digital agriculture company Iron Ox built a unique robotic farm designed to operate fully autonomously. The company recently transitioned their prototype farm into a full production facility. The first of these farms, situated in a 1,000-square-foot, San Carlos, California-based warehouse, grows romaine lettuce, bok choy, cilantro, and two dozen other types of greens. The farm can produce nearly 30 times more produce than a traditional 1 acre farm and uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming. Iron Ox uses a horizontal, single-floor layout fueled by natural overhead sunlight.

Why it's important: The global food supply chain is highly inefficient. Iron Ox’s scalable, autonomous approach to locally grown food is one of the many digital agriculture solutions bringing farming closer to the table. Produce can travel nearly around the globe before it lands on your plate, resulting in nearly half the cost of food coming from transportation. What if we could dramatically reduce (or eliminate) these costs?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Honda Is Giving Cars The Ability To See Around Corners To Avoid Accidents

What it is: Building out what it calls “vehicle-to-everything” communication (or V2X), Honda is now partnering with the city of Marysville, Ohio to test the company’s Smart Intersection technology. In an effort to address the limitations of existing autonomous vehicle sensors, which cannot see around corners, Honda’s 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project leverages proprietary object recognition software and cameras installed at intersections to provide a 360-degree view of a given street, with distance of up to 300 feet. Intersection-mounted cameras then communicate this data directly to vehicles, allowing them to see around corners and ‘through’ obstructing buildings to preemptively avoid collisions and other threats.

Why it's important: According to Honda’s reported statistics, about 40 percent of all car collisions, and almost 20 percent of the U.S.’ annual 35,000 traffic-related fatalities, take place at intersections. While autonomous vehicles will dramatically reduce these figures, even the most advanced sensors leave gaping blind spots behind adjacent buildings and other obstructions. As smart city infrastructure comes online, however, V2X technology will grant any connected vehicle the data it needs for contextual vision and preventative decisionmaking. Such smart traffic systems can enable a zero-collision record and remarkable efficiency improvements.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

‘Venus Flytrap’ Spheres Catch and Destroy BPA

What it is: Scientists have just developed micron-sized spheres capable of catching and destroying BPA, a synthetic compound used to make certain plastics and resins. Commonly found in coatings inside food cans, water supply lines and bottle tops, BPA has been suspected of damaging children’s health and contributing to high blood pressure in cases of prolonged exposure. One known solution involves reactive oxygen species (ROS), which degrades BPA into harmless chemicals. Leveraging titanium dioxide, which releases ROS when triggered by UV light, researchers built flowerlike spheres composed of titanium dioxide pedals, enhanced with cyclodextrin (a benign sugar-based molecule). And with these new 3- to 5-micron spherical particles of enhanced titanium dioxide, scientists found that only 200 mg of these spheres per liter of contaminated water successfully degraded 90 percent of BPA in only one hour.

Why it's important: As explained by Rice University’s Materials Science, Nanoengineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Pedro Alvarez, “This new material helps overcome two significant technological barriers for photocatalytic water treatment.” One involves the efficiency of water treatment as a result of reducing the scavenging of ROS by other constituents in the water that prevent it from primarily catching and neutralizing BPA. These enhanced titanium dioxide spheres are rechargeable once recovered, allowing them to be separated and reused at low cost. At scale, this material could pose a highly effective solution for decontaminating BPA-tainted water.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

The World’s First Lions Conceived By Artificial Insemination Have Been Born

What it is: Following nearly 18 months of studying the lion reproductive system, researchers at the University of Pretoria achieved a breakthrough: the world’s first African lions born by artificial insemination. Due to declining numbers and inbreeding, lions don’t breed as well in the wild, and the logistics present a challenge to breeding in captivity. This can potentially slow the decline of African lions, whose population has dropped by almost 98 percent over the last 220 years.

Why it's important: Science and technology give us truly superhuman powers -- in this case, the ability to help prevent the loss of endangered and vulnerable species to extinction. How might this breakthrough impact ecology and conservation efforts?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Robot Masters Human Balancing Act

What it is: Researchers at the University of Texas Austin are leveraging lessons from human biomechanics to optimize biped robots. Their new biped robot Mercury replicates the fine motor skills that allow humans to walk through crowded spaces without bumping into people or objects. In the researchers' words, "[The technique teaches] autonomous robots how to maintain balance even when they are hit unexpectedly or a force is applied without warning." The UT-Austin team translated key human dynamics into a set of math equations used to program Mercury. These underlying equations can, theoretically, be programmed into any AI-powered biped robot to improve its balance. The team recently demonstrated a prototype of this self-balancing biped robot, and last week presented their work at the Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

Why it's important: Advanced motor skills may eventually be applied to robots in emergency rescue, defense, entertainment, food service and more. Leveraging lessons from artificial intelligence and biomechanics, we're seeing increasingly humanlike robots under development.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

A California Law Now Means Chatbots Have To Disclose They’re Not Human

What it is: Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB-1001 into law, requiring companies to disclose to customers when they are communicating with a bot. The new law is intended to cover commercial and political communications in environments like social media, but will likely face significant litigation before it goes into effect next July. For starters, it is not easy to define what constitutes commercial or political speech, and the difference between an automated script used to reply to emails versus a third-party service like Marketo or Infusionsoft is unclear. Regardless of the outcome, as we’ve seen with GDPR in the EU, the world will be watching, as it is difficult to draw geographic lines on the Internet.

Why it's important: This is likely to be the first of many legislative battles around the use of AI and bots in daily lives. What opportunities do you see for increasing trust and transparency into the system to head off the potential for regulatory overreach?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

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 Artificial Intellegence robots autonomous vehicles nano technology Genetics nanobots