3 min read

A 5-Year Moonshot Planner

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 30, 2019

Doing anything big and bold in the world is hard.

Topics: Abundance Entrepreneurship Abundance 360 a360 computer vision future planner goals new year's resolutions YOLO planning moonshot Moonshots New Year entrepreneur
14 min read

Abundance Insider: August 10th, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 10, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Search-and-rescue centaur robots, computer-generated celebrities, and a personality-parsing AI.

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.

Driverless Buses Proposed for Regional Areas to Help with Lack of Transport

What it is: After making history in California in March by launching the first autonomous shuttle on public roads, French company EasyMile is seeking government funding to launch a set of autonomous shuttle trials in rural and suburban communities throughout Australia. Each shuttle will accommodate up to 14 passengers, plus a chaperone (as required by law). The intent is to provide access to those in need of essential services, with each community and local councils deciding where to set up stops. As an example, in Adelaide, where EasyMile will set up its Australian headquarters, trial buses will transport passengers to and from hospitals and shopping centers. So far, even people in their 80's and 90's who we might expect to be fearful have embraced the technology.

Why it's important: Evidence that our autonomously transported future will almost certainly have variety, from grocery delivery vehicles like Nuro to the shuttles created here. It’s also worth noting that the adoption of "risky" technologies often find early acceptance where pain is greatest, particularly when regulatory bodies are involved. When you combine these two ideas and look within your industry, what opportunities emerge?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Morgan McDermott / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Is a Centaur the Future of Search-and-Rescue Robots?

What it is: Researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia built a new experimental search-and-rescue robot named Centauro. Centauro has four legs and two arms -- resembling the mythical centaur -- to help scientists find the most valuable and versatile body shape for robots to aid in disaster relief efforts. Robots designed to resemble a hybrid of different creatures offer flexibility advantages over purely anthropomorphic machines. For example, Centauro can take a number of different postures, including upright and on wheels for fast transportation, and crouched like a spider to provide a lower center of gravity while using equipment. Standing 1.5 meters tall (~5 feet) and weighing in at 93 kilograms (205 pounds), Centauro’s design evolved from that of Momaro, another centaur-robot built by European researchers for the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015.

Why it's important: While the world as a whole becomes safer for humans every day, the threat of natural disasters to human life still looms large. Disaster relief is a dangerous job -- and we can save more lives, faster by supporting human relief workers with robot reinforcements.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

The Rise of the Computer-Generated Celebrity

What it is: Digital -- that is, non-corporeal -- celebrities are on the rise and creating fans across a variety of audiences in advertising, music and modeling. As examples, Hatsune Miku began life as the anime mascot for a Japanese company making voice synthesizer software. She now performs songs in concert as a hologram drawing massive crowds, as does Aimi Eguchi, the holographic member of Japanese girl band AKB48. Over on Instagram, the bot Lil Miquela counts its followers in the millions, partners with Prada, and champions social causes like Black Lives Matter.

Why it's important: It might be easy to discount anime and girl bands, but this is a trend to watch. How will we interact with other AIs, such as service bots and autonomous vehicles, if social acceptance and admiration continue to grow? Is a humanlike interface all we need to form emotional bonds and trust in technology? And how will influencer marketing and the notion of "celebrity" change as AI proliferates?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

AI Can Watch Your Eye Movements to Read Your Personality

What it is: A global team of researchers has built a machine learning algorithm that uses a person’s eye movement to reliably determine their Big Five personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness). The researchers demonstrated the correlation between eye movement and personality traits by tracking the eye movements of 42 participants as they did everyday tasks around their university. Then, a baseline set of personality traits was determined by a well-established questionnaire. After tracking eye movement and establishing a baseline, the collected eye movement data was fed to a machine learning algorithm to also infer personality trains. The results from the questionnaire and machine learning algorithm were well correlated.

Why it's important: Personality traits are complex; this machine learning application demonstrates that we can extrapolate personality traits from in-real-life situations. This new in-situ data collection can be contrasted with the standardized questionnaire method for determining personality -- where you sit and take a test, without in-the-moment environmental factors that might influence your personality results.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Morgan McDermott / Written by Max Goldberg 

Jack Ma's Giant Financial Startup is Shaking the Chinese Banking System

What it is: Leading the world in fintech disruption is Alibaba's Ant Financial Services Group, which controls the world’s largest money-market fund, has made loans to tens of millions, handled more payments in 2017 than MasterCard, and completed over $8 trillion of transactions via its online payments platform last year alone. At the forefront of China's mobile payments revolution, Ant held billions of customer funds in escrow for Taobao transactions by 2013. What then? With 620 million users already on Alipay, Ant built out its Yu'e Bao money-market fund, allowing users to invest as little as a few cents, transfer cash in and out without fees, and get yields several points higher than bank payments on short-term deposits.

Why it's important: As Ant Financial builds out technologically superior financial services that threaten more traditional incumbents, China's central banks and finance players are beginning to push back. Able to invest in high-yielding products riskier than those which banks are allowed to tap, Yu'e Bao has siphoned off money from savings accounts, driven up banks' interest rates, and even contributed to the closing of branches and ATMs. But while central bank regulators hit back with restrictions on escrow fund use and Ant’s more recent Zhima credit-scoring system, fintech models akin to Ant Financial’s may be moving too quickly to contain, disrupting everything from personal loans and small-business lending to credit scoring and insurance. What new financial services will be possible? And how will the international finance community respond?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

This AI-Driven Robotic Hand Used a Self-Teaching Algorithm and 100 Years of Data to Rotate a Cube

What it is: OpenAI researchers have just released Dactyl, an AI-driven robotic hand system trained to dexterously handle a cube with OpenAI’s self-teaching algorithm. By practicing an equivalent of 100 years inside a virtual simulation (50 hours of training in real time), the robotic hand taught itself to maneuver a cube with near-human-level skill, honing its fine motor skills through trial and error until reaching desired cube positions. Using a trio of cameras and reinforcement learning, researchers were able to adapt the robot’s grasping skills to countless different parameters.

Why it's important: OpenAI's Dactyl illustrates two major leaps forward in AI’s convergence with robotics: development of fine motor skills and adaptive learning in the physical world. While not explicitly taught any handling strategies, Dactyl was able to teach itself intuitive motor skills and even adapt humanlike grasps to its own robotic architecture (such as favoring its thumb and pinky to rotate the cube). And perhaps most exciting, Dactyl was trained with the same algorithm used to play the computer strategy game DOTA 2, demonstrating that a more general-purpose algorithm can indeed teach AI to succeed at two vastly different tasks. A significant milestone, this means AI researchers may soon be able to repurpose old algorithms for a wide variety of novel goals.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Morgan McDermott / 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.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics Finance AI computer vision autonomous vehicles fintech banking computer generated
14 min read

Abundance Insider: July 13th, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 14, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Kroger's autonomous delivery pilot, robot stunt doubles, and self-learning robots.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, AJ, 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.

Disney Imagineering Releases Autonomous Robot Stunt Doubles

What it is: For almost 60 years, Disneyland has used animatronic figures -- dynamic robots that bring beloved characters to life. But Disney’s newly launched (literally) Stuntronics are a whole new ball game. Initially built out of a small research project called Stickman, Disney Imagineering’s Stuntronics are fully autonomous, self-correcting aerial performers designed to fly across Disney parks, striking heroic poses and following perfect trajectories to stick the landing every time. Geared with on-board accelerometers and gyroscope arrays, these robotic 'stuntpeople' can be flung into the air like trapeze artists, controlling rotation and center of mass with remarkable precision.

Why it's important: As VR and immersive digital technologies increasingly bring you into on-screen action, lifelike autonomous robots are now bringing the action to you IRL. Whether dressed as Elastagirl or Iron Man, Disney’s lifelike Stuntronics robots are beginning to electrify real-world entertainment, performing near-superhuman stunts throughout entire theme parks and ushering in an era of safe interactive spaces . An extraordinary step towards human-like bipedal walking robots, Stuntronics represents a major breakthrough in robotic dynamism and maneuvering precision.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Kroger Supermarket Chain to Test Driverless Grocery Deliveries

What it is: Grocery giant Kroger and autonomous vehicle startup Nuro have announced a partnership to change the face of grocery shopping, making same-day delivery affordable and accessible for everyone. Customers will utilize Kroger’s “ClickList” ordering system and Nuro’s app to set up delivery via Nuro’s fleet of fully autonomous vehicles. The pilot market will be named soon, with deliveries expected to begin in the fall.

Why it's important: By partnering with startups, traditional "brick and mortar" businesses are adopting exponential technologies at an accelerating rate, and to everyone’s benefit. Here, Nuro gains access to a distribution network of 2,800+ stores in 35 states (presumably allowing the company to secure funding), while Kroger shows us that it can reinvent itself for the future to compete with the likes of Amazon and Instacart. How does change your go-to-market strategy?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

New Material Eliminates Need for Motors or Actuators in Future Robots, Other Devices

What it is: A new material (nickel hydroxide-oxyhydroxide) that can change shape and exert a force of over 3,000 times its own weight has been developed at the University of Hong Kong. The material can be stimulated to undergo its shape change by low-intensity incident light or electric current, as well as small changes in humidity and heat. Stimulation by light, heat and humidity can be carried out wirelessly -- making this material ideal for artificial microrobotic muscles. Since nickel is the bulk element of the material, the material is low-cost and easy to fabricate.

Why it's important: Soft robotics are essential for creating robots that can mimic human behavior and perform human tasks. Human muscle tissue is highly effective at allowing us to perform complex movements, like making a fist or throwing a ball. Materials that eliminate the need for dimensionally-restricted actuators by providing a new approach to moving components of mechanical systems are integral for moving forward soft robotics.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Inside the Effort to Print Lungs and Breathe Life Into Them With Stem Cells

What it is: United Therapeutics 3D-printed a replica of an upper human airway. The windpipe plus two bronchioles were printed out of collagen -- biology's cement-like structural material. Right now, using stereolithography techniques (basically using light to selectively cure a polymer that reacts to light), the printer can print details that are on the order of 20 micrometers. For context, functional lungs require detail of less than one micrometer. While collagen lungs are not useful for organ replacement, United Therapeutics is working to embed lab-grown lung cells into a matrix of the collagen lung structure. The company plans to one day be able to print lungs and other organs en masse, bypassing organ shortages and the need for organ donors.

Why it's important: United Therapeutics projects they'll be able to produce fully manufactured organs in 12 years -- a negligible timeframe relative to human history, where we’ve needed to rely on nature to create replacements for defective body parts. We are right around the corner from a transformative, revitalizing technology. 3D printing technology is rapidly evolving with detail becoming finer and finer every year. Likewise, stem cell culturing technology will certainly impact the ability to engineer and grow lung tissue cells to embed in this 3D printed cellulose structural matrix.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Kayak Launches Virtual Reality Exploration Tool

What it is: If we can sample food and try on clothing before a purchase, why not test-drive a city before committing to a flight? Enter Kayak VR, a virtual reality platform that lets you explore a city and learn about its most treasured landmarks from the comfort of your living room. Accessible through Google’s Daydream headset, Kayak VR is currently piloting two cities -- Venice and Kathmandu -- providing travel tips and trends, audio tours on landmarks, exploration of local hotels, and a sense of the real scale (and crowdedness) of a given destination. Perhaps one of Kayak VR’s more remarkable features is the app’s stereophonic sound option, adapting its audio tour to your visual focus within a given scene.

Why it's important: Targeted at the ‘pre-exploration’ of a city, Kayak VR serves both tourists on the fence about where to go and eager planners building out a trip agenda. Zooming out, tools like Kayak VR democratize and delocalize global tourism -- an industry that contributed nearly $8.3 trillion USD to the global economy in 2017. Offering visually coherent and educationally rich data on your surroundings, the platform may one day allow anyone a private tour of the Sistine Chapel or a view from Mt. Kilimanjaro. While nothing beats circling Venice in a gondola or reaching the peak of a hike, Kayak VR’s informational tours and visual immersion could one day offer unprecedented exposure to billions without a passport or the ready capital for a flight.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

AI-Powered Robot Mimics Any Action After Watching It Done Just Once

What it is: Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a robot that can mimic an action purely by observing a person perform the task a single time, live or in video. By combining an imitation algorithm to allow it to pick up new skills with a meta-learning algorithm to incorporate prior tasks and movements, the robot is able to perform actions like pushing cups toward a target or pick up fruit and put it in a bowl.

Why it's important: Programming robots has typically been a highly technical and time-intensive coding process. Even where robots have learned by watching other robots, perfection has come only after thousands of repetitions. Could this be an interface moment, accelerating our ability to communicate and teach? And what other opportunities are unlocked when robots can utilize similar meta-learning programs to develop strategies for new situations?  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

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

Topics: Abundance Insider 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science AR/VR AI robots Autonomous Drones disney Kayak imagineering driverless kroger materials soft robotics bio-printing computer vision