9 min read

Abundance Insider: November 23rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Gates-backed solar startup announces major breakthrough.

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

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

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

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

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

Quantum computers learn to mark their own work.

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

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

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

Story contributed by Tom Connor.

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

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

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

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

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

transforming sick care into healthcare - part 1

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 17, 2019

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

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

Abundance Insider: November 16th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 16, 2019

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

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

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

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Japan is reinventing Fukushima as a renewable energy hub.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kanye West’s sustainable Yeezy concept uses algae foam.

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

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

Want more conversations like this?

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

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

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

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

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

Hyperloop, Rocket Travel, and Avatars

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 13, 2019

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars? 

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

Revolutionizing Disaster Relief: A Tale of Convergence

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 10, 2019

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

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

Abundance Insider: November 8th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want more conversations like this?

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

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

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

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

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

Abundance Insider: April 26th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 26, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Tesla robo-taxis, eco-friendly transparent wood, and Alphabet's Wing drones get FAA certification.

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 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.

P.P.P.S. I am looking for a talented university student with an exceptional ‘Hacker’ skillset to join me this summer for an out-of-this-world internship experience. Do you know any talented university student entrepreneurs, innovators, and makers who would be a great fit for the role? Please share. Click here to learn more and apply now.

Tesla Takes Aim At Uber And Lyft With Plans To Roll Out 1 Million Robo-Taxis By Next Year

What it is: This week, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla plans to roll out autonomous Robo-Taxis by next year. While he acknowledged the massive regulatory hurdles ahead for this project, Musk said that “Next year for sure, we will have over 1 million Robo-Taxis on the road.” Once rolled out, Tesla owners will be able to offer their cars onto the ‘Tesla Network’ via the Tesla mobile App, so that other people can use it in a ridesharing fashion similar to Uber and Lyft. Tesla estimates Tesla owners will be able to earn over $30,000 per year from offering their car as a Tesla Network Robo-Taxi. “The fundamental message that consumers should be taking today is that it is financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla,” he said.

Why it's important: Earlier this year, Lyft saw a massive IPO with a current market cap of over $16 billion. Uber is expected to go public with a valuation of over $90 billion. Now, Tesla is entering the game to disrupt this already-disruptive industry. With millions of autonomous-ready cars already on the road, Tesla is well equipped to transform the ridesharing landscape. With its new autonomous plans, Tesla is set to dramatically undercut Uber and Lyft ($0.18 per mile vs. $2 to $3 per mile), a boon to Tesla owners and ridesharing customers alike. Billions of dollars worldwide are being pumped into R&D to make autonomous cars commonplace. How will you leverage this colossal opportunity?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Max Goldberg 

Alphabet’s Wing Drones Get FAA Approval For U.S. Package Delivery

What it is: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Alphabet-owned drone delivery startup Wing the first Air Carrier Certification. With this certification, the U.S. officially joins Canberra, Australia, where Wing has been testing delivery drones since 2014. The permit enables Wing to deliver goods from local businesses to homes, even flying over civilians and out of the drone operator's line of sight. In “the coming weeks,” Wing will begin a pilot program in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas of Virginia.

Why it's important: Delivery drones will transform how we move products around the planet. These vehicles remove the energy inefficiency of moving heavy steel trucks simply to deliver small packages. They also enable rapid point-to-point delivery of essential goods (e.g. medicines, blood plasma), creature comforts (e.g. toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo) and, importantly, takeout food and groceries. With on-demand autonomous delivery, what essentials will you order directly to your door?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

This “Transparent Wood” Could Cut the Cost Of Heating Your Home

What it is: A research team led by Celine Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has invented a type of transparent wood that can absorb and release heat, making it an ideal construction material for energy-efficient buildings. To advance previous work in transparent wood -- created by removing the lignin from Balsa wood and replacing it with an acrylic to provide strength -- the team added polyethylene glycol to the acrylic, which melts under high temperature and hardens as it cools. According to Monetary, 100 grams of this transparent wood material with the polyethylene glycol inside can absorb up to 8,000 joules of heat, which is roughly what a 1W bulb can produce in two hours.

Why it's important: Materials science and biology aren’t just converging in health sciences, but in construction and manufacturing. Produced at scale, this transparent wood could revolutionize energy-efficient architecture. What technology breakthroughs in adjacent industries might solve a challenge in your business?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Jason Goodwin 

FDA Grants First-Ever Clearances To Detect Bradycardia And Tachycardia On A Personal ECG Device

What it is: AliveCor, the company pioneering portable ECG monitoring with KardiaMobile, announced this week that it has received FDA clearance for the detection of Bradycardia and Tachycardia, two arrhythmias that are not Afib and between 40-50 or 100-140 beats per minute, respectively. As expected, patients often become frustrated when results from their ECG devices deliver “inconclusive” or “undetermined.” While low and high heart rates are often benign — such as during sleep (low) or exercise (high) — delivering a clear classification provides patients and their doctors more insight into their care.

Why it's important: Thanks to advances in sensor technology, machine learning, and the ubiquity of smartphones, we're witnessing an explosion in wearables that deliver health insights outside of the hospital and emergency room. (KardiaMobile retails for $100 online and via Amazon.) As FDA and other regulatory agencies continue to foster trust in the market, look for similar announcements in other conditions.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Just 10% Of U.S. Plastic Gets Recycled, But A New Kind Of Plastic Could Change That

What it is: Achieving a number of difficult design specs, researchers have just developed a plastic with special chemical properties that make it perfect for repetitive recycling. Most notably, the plastic has a chemical bond that allows easy separation from additives and conversion to a pure, reusable end product. A tweaked type of glass-like plastic called vitrimer, the material is held together by dynamic covalent diketoenamine bonds that require significantly less energy to break than those of traditional plastics. Yet while a solution of water and a strong acid at room temperature is all that is needed to break down the plastic into its constituent parts, the plastic is also safe from decomposition ahead of schedule, giving it the edge of biodegradable plastic without risk of easy degradation.

Why it's important: Today, a mere 10 percent of all plastic waste is recycled in the U.S., while the remaining refuse continues to populate waterways and landfills at an accelerating pace. Scientists project that a staggering 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution make their way to oceans each year, enough to place 5 grocery bags of plastic waste on every foot of every nation’s coastline. Current plastics and traditional recycling methods produce precious few materials with any value to commercial manufacturers. However, by chemically redesigning plastics to render their recycled constituent parts as good as new, we might be on the alchemist’s cusp of turning trash to treasure. Could this new material be our long-awaited miracle plastic?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Waymo Is Building A Self-Driving Car Factory In Detroit

What it is: Alphabet subsidiary Waymo has just announced its selection of a Detroit-based facility to serve as the company’s first dedicated factory for autonomous vehicles. Aiming to move into the facility by mid-year, Waymo will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose what was most recently used as a sequencing center for a local parts supplier. Soon to undergo a tremendous upgrade, the factory will next serve as a manufacturing site for SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles, those driving forward Waymo’s autonomous ride-sharing fleets. Granted approval by Michigan Economic Development Corporation in January, the factory will now be able to build out thousands of self-driving cars under Waymo’s partnership with Magna, including autonomous versions of the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

Why it's important: Bridging the time gap between Detroit’s vehicle-sprouting heyday and the start of a self-driving era, Waymo’s soon-to-be refitted facility marks a committed first step in the scale-up of autonomous ride-sharing fleets. After the recent launch of Waymo One this past December in the Phoenix area, the limited commercial robotaxi service has already expanded at a remarkable pace, hinting at a paradigm shift in the way consumers view car ownership. And as autonomous ride-sharing launches begin to spread across the country and to urban centers abroad, Waymo will be one of many giving rise to a new age of personal transportation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Meet The 5 Winning Prototypes In Phase II Of The $2M GoFly Prize

What it is: GoFly, the $2M+, two-year global competition to create a safe, quiet, and ultra-compact personal flyer, just awarded prizes to five teams across the globe for their winning prototypes in the latest phase of the competition. Through partnerships with Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and 20 international aerospace organizations, GoFly is reinventing the future of transportation. GoFly’s 3,500 Innovators from 103 countries are creating their jet packs, flying motorcycles, human-carrying drones, and futuristic flyers-- all culminating in next year's Final Fly-Off when the teams gather to showcase their innovations and fly them for the world.

Why it's important: GoFly's Phase II announcement brings us one step closer to making the dream of human flight a reality. With the convergence of breakthrough technologies and recent advances in propulsion, electrics, rapid prototyping, sensors and control systems, and lightweight materials, GoFly’s engineers are leveraging these technologies and GoFly’s mentorship platform to create transformative mobility. When the GoFly Final Fly Off takes place next year, these personal flyers will have the ability to transform the way first responders provide aid in natural disasters, packages are delivered, commuters move from home to office, recreational users fly for fun, and athletes participate in all new flying sports. The Final Fly-Off is a year away, so for those interested in forming a GoFly team, please contact info@goflyprize.com.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Nidhi Chaudhary / Written by Gwen Lighter 

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 Materials Science health Artificial Intellegence environment healthcare Drones self-driving cars wearables mHealth electric vehicles
14 min read

Abundance Insider: April 19th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 19, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Dedicated self-driving car lanes, 3D printed tiny hearts, and Sweden's electric car-charging roads.

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

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

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

Israeli Scientists 3D-Print A Tiny, Live Heart Made With Human Tissue

What it is: For the first time, an Israeli team led by Professor Tal Dvir successfully 3D-printed a tiny, but beating, heart entirely from human cells. The heart is complete with muscles, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers. The cells used to print the heart came from a donor’s fat tissue, changed into embryonic stem cells, and finally differentiated into the various types of heart tissue used in the printing process. The differentiated cells were loaded into a bioprinter, which took 3 to 4 hours to print the small heart. After several days of incubation with oxygen and other nutrients, the cells in the heart began to beat spontaneously. Future advancements and research could lead to 3D-printing a full-sized heart appropriate for humans.

Why it's important: Using a patient’s own cells to make a heart may resolve the immune-rejection issues that currently cause nearly 40 percent of heart transplants to fail. Organ shortages disappear when we have the ability to 3D-print organs. As self-driving cars, Internet of Things and AI technologies help us live longer, safer, and healthier lives, we'll have fewer donors from car accidents, meaning fewer donated organs to the hundreds of thousands of people on transplantation waiting lists. If we can precision-print organs, will we one day be able to reengineer these evolution-driven devices to be more efficient? Imagine 3D-printed lungs optimized for air intake, or hearts designed to be resistant to heart attacks.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

China’s Rolling Out Dedicated Highway Lanes For Self-Driving Cars

What it is: According to KPMG, China is currently ranked 20th in the world on its Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index. To step up its game, the country is developing new road infrastructure with dedicated autonomous lanes. Slated to begin operation in 2020, the first stretch will be a 100 km road connecting Beijing with the Xiongan New Area in Hebei province. The road will embed sensors and electronic tolls that aid in the development of autonomous technology and facilitate easy payment for cab-hailing companies that begin to rely on driverless vehicles.

Why it's important: The idea of dedicated autonomous road infrastructure has been floated in U.S. near Foxconn’s new plant in Wisconsin and in Seattle, without action. Dedicated lanes may not be necessary for true autonomy development, but they would help avoid accidents in the short term, and likely accelerate the expansion of a new vehicles and services provider to the market. If successful, this experiment will provide real-world data for city planners who replicate this idea elsewhere.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Jason Goodwin 

A Prominent Publisher Used Machine Learning To Write A Textbook

What it is: Scientific journal publisher Springer Nature just released the first machine generated textbook by a scholarly publisher. Developed by the Applied Computational Linguistics (ACoLi) lab at Goethe University in Frankfurt, “Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research” is an attempt to distill insights from the vast amount of research in the area. According to Springer, over 53,000 papers on Lithium Ion batteries have been published in just the last three years. While there is an element of human quality control in the training phase, the algorithm condenses and organizes the preapproved, peer-reviewed publications into coherent chapters and sections, giving researchers just 180 pages to review and consider versus 100,000+.

Why it's important: Exponential technologies are converging, their fundamental research is accelerating, and we’re bringing another 4 billion people online in the next few years. Developing tools to remain abreast of research across a wide set of topics is more critical than ever. How can you use this and other machine learning algorithms to spot or spark new ideas?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Device Tests Thousands Of Stem Cells Super Fast

What it is: UChicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering has just developed a “lab-on-a-chip” (LOC) that can study thousands of live stem cells, understanding how each reacts to different molecules and environments. For years, credit card-sized microfluidic devices — composed of tiny chambers, channels and valves — have been used to study reactions in numerous cells. However, while predecessors sported limited chambers and failed to keep cells alive for long-term experimentation, this team’s new microfluidic device has achieved a 15-fold increase (from 100 to 1,500) in the number of automated chambers over existing counterparts, allowing the LOC to perform experiments that would take more than 1 million steps in a traditional lab.

Why it's important: While the tool itself is impressive, its newly enabled experiments have already yielded consequential insights. The researchers even gleaned new rules that determine timing and signaling sequences necessary for stem cell differentiation or renewal, all by examining neural stem cells on the device and analyzing resulting data. With dramatic implications for our understanding of brain development and corresponding treatments, this finding demonstrates just how quickly LOC technology could accelerate stem cell research, unlocking high-throughput experimentation at a fraction of the cost. Yet advanced microfluidic devices are doing more than dematerializing and demonetizing stem cell research; they are now on the cusp of eliminating time, perhaps one of the most stubborn barriers of all.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Researchers Use Drones To Detect Potholes, Cracks, And Other Road Damage

What it is: A pre-print research paper published to Arxiv.org describes an AI-enabled quadcopter that performs road inspections. The AI system is trained to detect cracks and potholes on city roads. Engineers mounted a stereo camera (a camera with multiple lenses) on a DJI Matrice 100 drone to capture images of the road. These images were then fed through an AI system trained to compare the 3-dimensional depth of real-time images to baseline reference images. The difference between the anticipated baseline and real-time images are plotted on so called ‘disparity’ maps. As seen in the GIF to the left, these systems output a reconstructed surface of the road, and identifies areas of the road that need to be repaired.

Why it's important: Drones are just exiting the Deceptive phase of Peter’s 6 D's and entering into the Disruptive phase, with transformative implications. As this story shows, a skyful of drones complemented by thousands of micro imaging satellites will provide real-time analysis of all aspects of our world, from pothole inspection to city traffic analysis to weather patterns and wildfire detection. How will you and your company leverage the abundance of imaging data that drones and microsatellites are making accessible right now?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Sweden Is Building A Road That Recharges Electric Buses That Drive On It

What it is: Reimagining electric vehicle (EV) charging from the ground up (literally), the Swedish transport administration is now experimenting with electric dynamic charging roads. In a $12.5 million showcasing project, the Smart Road Gotland consortium will pilot a 1-mile stretch of e-road between Sweden’s Gotland Island airport and the town of Visby, capable of charging electric trucks and buses as they run over it. Funded primarily by the Swedish government, the project will leverage a Dynamic Wireless Electrification System developed by Israeli company Electreon, a driving lane-embedded infrastructure that powers vehicle batteries wirelessly.

Why it's important: With the goal of building out 2,000km of additional electric dynamic charging roads, Sweden aims to transform one of the nation’s arterial highways into a heavy transport e-road. In success, Electreon’s and others’ commercialized e-road technology could soon pave the way for not only always-charging vehicles, but electric public transport and even low-emissions long-haul trucking. As noted by Electreon VP of business development Noam Ilan, “[this] is the first time ever that a heavy truck will charge wirelessly from the road.” A burgeoning market with unparalleled potential, electric roads may one day leave no transit industry vertical untouched, and no vehicle uncharged...  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 Sensors health Artificial Intellegence healthcare Drones trillion sensor economy self-driving cars China Stem Cells electric vehicles israel
12 min read

Revolutionizing Disaster Relief: A Tale of Convergence

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 7, 2019

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

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

Abundance Insider: April 5th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 5, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Barista bots, ultrafast phone charging, and disposable delivery drones.

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.

Baristas Beware: A Robot That Makes Gourmet Cups Of Coffee Has Arrived

What it is: To bring ‘connected coffee’ to the mainstream, coffee startup Briggo engineered a robotic coffee barista called Coffee Haus. The goal of the Coffee Haus project is for customers to quickly order their ideal cup of coffee via a smartphone app, receive a notification when the cup of joe is ready, and then pick up a cup of coffee that is precision-engineered to the customer's specifications and preferences. Through a robust array of inbuilt sensors, the Briggo bot manages almost every aspect of the coffee experience, from milk temperature to the usage rate of coffee cup lids. Briggo’s complex robotics and robust sensor and IoT technology converge to output as many as 100 cups of made-to-taste coffee in an hour.

Why it's important: While the future of food is filled with impactful exponential technologies, consumers will likely directly interact with robotics first. Practically speaking, the 100 cups of coffee Briggo’s system outputs in an hour is about equal to the production rate of 3-4 baristas combined. Unlike human baristas, though, Briggo’s system does not take a salary or experience fatigue, and all of its actions are predetermined and monitored. (A larger social question emerges: When a robot prepares and delivers you a gourmet steak dinner, would you still leave a tip?)  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

McDonald’s Uses A.I. To Tempt You Into Extra Purchases At The Drive-Thru

What it is: Dynamic Yield, an Israel-based artificial intelligence startup, has partnered with McDonald's to deploy its "decision technology" within electronic menu boards at over 1,000 drive-thru locations within the next three months. The smart menu boards will dynamically change based on fators like the user's existing order, the weather, and how busy the restaurant is. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook plans to eventually roll the technology out to all 14,000 U.S. restaurants and international locations, perhaps even with inbuilt license plate recognition to incorporate a customer's recent orders.

Why it's important: In 2018, McDonald's generated almost $6 billion of net income serving around 68 million customers per day. This represents a massive data set on which to train machine-learning algorithms. Leveraging this abundance of data to personalize and streamline the customer experience will no doubt add to the $4.2 billion in free cash flow McDonald's reported at the end of 2018. What gold lies in your company data -- and how can you use it to make better business decisions?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Marissa Brassfield 

Xiaomi’s 100W Charger Fills A 4,000mAh Battery In 17 Minutes

What it is: Xiaomi has developed a superfast 100W charger that takes a 4,000mAh battery — almost twice the capacity of an iPhone X — from zero to 100 percent in just 17 minutes. Details on the technology are still under wraps, particularly around heat dissipation, battery life, and whether it's tied to a specific manufacturer, but this represents an almost 2X improvement over the previous best.

Why it's important:  Rechargeable batteries have become ubiquitous in everyday life. Just as next-gen batteries and charging networks will eliminate "range anxiety" in electric vehicles, this 100W charger could similarly remove location barriers for cellphone users. How might a charger of this nature transform humanitarian efforts, or help researchers maintain 24/7 uptime in remote or inaccessible regions?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

These Autonomous Bots Battle Blazes Too Dangerous For Firefighters

What it is: As part of a five-year Japanese project to design responses to disasters in energy and heavy industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHi) has created a Water Cannon Bot capable of fighting blazes autonomously in hard-to-reach and otherwise dangerous locations. The Cannon Bot and its companion Hose Extension Bot are built on farm buggy frames and can deliver foam or water at 4,000 liters per minute at 1 megapascal (MPa) of pressure. The duo is part of a larger autonomous system that includes surveillance and reconnaissance technologies onboard a larger transport vehicle to help fight the blaze.

Why it's important: Autonomous robotics are rapidly improving, and we’re seeing a large number of early use cases in areas deemed too dangerous for humans. (Think failing nuclear reactors or space exploration.) Watch for these to potentially ease public concerns around automation, and generate insights for expansion into new, less-dangerous use cases. How can you use this approach in your own endeavors?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Disposable Delivery Drones Pass Test With US Marines

What it is: Under contracts with DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps, Logistic Gliders Inc. has developed a single-use, autonomous glider resupply system that can carry up to a whopping _1,800 pounds_ of supplies. Constructed from low-cost plywood, the disposable glider’s two versions (LG-2K and the smaller LG-1K) are projected to cost as little as a few hundred dollars each if cleared for mass production. Suited for long distances, the gliders are first launched from a larger aircraft and then either fly and navigate autonomously or are operated by a remote pilot. Granted new flexibility, the drones can even fly through urban environments, jungle canopies, or almost any low-altitude clearing, delivering critical supplies precisely where needed.

Why it's important: A significant achievement in the longstanding pursuit of advanced drone delivery technology, these Marines-tested gliders could soon outpace both ground-based delivery drones in speed, and air-dropped supply parachutes in cost. As explained by principal investigator Marti Sarigul-Klijn, “Gliders dropped from a cargo aircraft could greatly outdistance any ground-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for cargo logistics,” particularly given the long range of glider-carrying aircrafts. With a now-multiplied range, cargo weight capacity, and ultra low cost, Logistic Gliders and similar drone technologies offer tremendous promise for everything from low-cost, high-volume humanitarian aid supply to precise commercial drone deliveries.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Google And University Researchers Are Using Deep Learning To Discover Exoplanets

What it is: As AI joins forces with today’s leading astronomers, one convolutional neural network, AstroNet K2, has helped researchers discover two new exoplanets among a trove of NASA’s Kepler telescope data. Building upon research by Google AI’s Chris Shallue and Harvard astrophysicist Andrew Vanderburg, AstroNet K2 has helped overcome a major obstacle in analysis of Kepler’s data. Given a mechanical malfunction that rendered the telescope incapable of focusing on a single part of the sky, sporadic data collection has made it difficult for astronomers to identify the best exoplanet candidates. Now, while the neural network still returns numerous false positives, it has reportedly achieved a 98 percent accuracy rate in test data sets of images with promising characteristics.

Why it's important: While AstroNet K2 cannot yet be entrusted with detecting and identifying planet candidates entirely on its own, the neural network and its successors will likely prove decisively valuable in the pursuit of exoplanet discovery. By rapidly sifting through tomes of Kepler imaging data, AstroNet K2 massively reduces the number of signals for human astronomers to analyze, making the collaborative process much less time-consuming. Now the first-ever neural network to be successfully applied to K2 data, AstroNet K2 will be open-sourced after further refinement, enabling a broader AI community to dive in.  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 Robotics AI space exploration Artificial Intellegence Drones Batteries Genetics future of food
14 min read

Abundance Insider: February 22nd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 22, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

This Origami Screen Turns Your Windows Into Solar Panels

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

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

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya / Written by Claire Adair 

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

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Drones Are Changing The Way Police Respond To 911 Calls

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Delivering Shipment Zero, A Vision For Net Zero Carbon Shipments

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

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

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

What is Abundance Insider?

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

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 AI Artificial Intellegence healthcare Drones 5G Amazon biotech regenerative medicine supply chain qualcomm
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
12 min read

Abundance Insider: December 14th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 14, 2018

Topics: Abundance Insider Materials Science health Deepmind google Artificial Intellegence healthcare Drones computation
14 min read

Abundance Insider: November 24th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 24, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Autonomous house-building bots, Dubai Police hoverbikes, and how DIY'ers are using 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.

P.P.P.S. This week we feature the work of two 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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space 3D Printing Transportation Artificial Intellegence Drones SpaceX biotech CRISPR construction
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: August 24th, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 24, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Landslide-predicting software, robot casting calls in Hollywood, and another successful drone lifeguard rescue.

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.

General Drones' Auxdron Lifeguard UAV Rescues Swimmers in Spain

What it is: The Auxdron, a UAV by General Drones, recently helped save a drowning woman's life in Valencia, Spain. Auxdron specializes in ocean rescue, and can be quickly deployed from land while rescuers make their way to debilitated swimmers. The lightweight, carbon fiber drone can fly for a maximum of 34 minutes without a payload, and 26 minutes with a payload of two life jackets. In this particular rescue case, Auxdron flew under the control of a land-based lifeguard to the drowning swimmer. The drone successfully deployed a life jacket to help stabilize the swimmer until a jetski-based lifeguard secured the swimmer. In addition to helping with the woman’s rescue, the drone remained with several other stranded swimmers as a visual marker of their location, tracking them until lifeguards arrived.

Why it's important: Drones, robots, and eventually avatars are playing an ever-increasing role in dangerous but important and life-saving jobs like search and rescue. In addition to saving lives in rescue situations with rapid response times, drones also save lives by replacing humans in hazardous, hard-to-reach places -- like roof or wind turbine inspection. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors reports that there are over 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries from inspectors falling off ladders each year. How many thousands of lives could remotely or autonomously operated vehicles save?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Create the Most Convincing Deepfakes Yet

What it is: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed a more powerful AI system for generating deepfakes, which are videos that superimpose the face of one person onto the body of another. Most current techniques for creating deepfakes have focused either on human faces, which has limited application to other domains and fails when presented with occluded images, or paired image translation, which requires considerable manual effort. Recycle-GAN, as its name implies, uses a General Adversarial Network and spatiotemporal cues to associate two pictures or videos, capturing subtle expressions like dimples without any manual supervision or specialized knowledge. It can also modify weather conditions in videos and synthesize entire new images such as a sunset, or adding wind to a breezeless day. In terms of accuracy, 15 test subjects were fooled 28.3 percent of the time, but researchers expect this to improve as the system learns to vary the speed of the generated output to feel more natural.

Why it's important: While we may be soon be tasked with more carefully discerning truth from fiction, this method should find other applications, such as teaching robots from human demonstrations.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Filmmaker Tony Kaye Casts Robot As Lead Actor In Next Feature

What it is: 'American History X' director Tony Kaye has signed to direct '2nd Born' (a sequel to the indie comedy '1st Born'), adding a potentially controversial element. Unlike other AI-based films that use CGI, Kaye will cast a real robot trained in various acting methods and hopes the AI will receive SAG recognition.

Why it's important: If successful, this will be a litmus test to public perception of robotics in areas distinctly unlike manufacturing. Track this trend, as it may provide insight into where we are on Peter's 6 D’s of exponentials.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

UK Tests Self-Driving Cars in Massive AI Sim

What it is: Striving to make the U.K. a global destination for connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology, Britain's government has just released plans for an AI simulator to test self-driving cars. A virtual recreation of 32 kilometers of Britain's Oxfordshire roads, the OmniCAV simulator also incorporates feature classification and retrieval of everything from road gantries to intersections. By creating a digital model with such close approximation to real roads, OmniCAV's engineers are thus able to test self-driving vehicle software in countless simulations without putting any real lives at risk.

Why it's important: According to British Member of Parliament Claire Perry, the global CAV testing market will surpass $1.16 trillion (£907 billion) in value by 2035 and create 27,000 jobs. Yet aside from optimizing autonomous vehicle technologies for road conditions and traffic delimiters, advanced AI simulators like OmniCAV will allow us to introduce human-level uncertainties, such as children playing alongside central roads or fallen branches in one's field of view. Perhaps most importantly, CAV simulation platforms will enable us to test for some of today’s most confounding ethical challenges surrounding self-driving cars -- how will your vehicle weigh your life in relation to that of a pedestrian or child? Who is now liable for collisions? And once all cars are connected via smart city infrastructure, how will our AIs optimize traffic flow and selectively value our time?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Google Just Gave Control Over Data Center Cooling to an AI

What it is: Just last week, Google announced it has tasked an AI algorithm with intelligently cooling entire data centers in its network. As data generated by tech giants continues to skyrocket, energy consumption places growing pressures on data centers, now expected to consume about 73 billion kWh by 2020 in the U.S. alone. Leveraging a machine learning technique known as reinforcement learning, however, Google’s fine-tuned algorithm can optimize cooling systems for low power consumption, leading to energy savings of up to 40 percent. Fed by information gathered from Google’s data centers, the algorithm determines -- through trial and error -- which cooling configurations reduce energy consumption while preserving maximized functionality.

Why it's important: Promising millions in energy savings and significantly reduced carbon emissions, Google’s move marks "the first time an autonomous industrial control system will be deployed at this scale," says DeepMind's head of applied AI Mustafa Suleyman. But while a monumental task, data center cooling is only the beginning. Running autonomously under the surveillance of a human collaborator, such AIs could one day manage a vast range of smart infrastructure, from lighting entire facilities to optimizing the behavior of individual computer chips. And with the rise of Industrial IoT (IIoT), automated management of corporate computing systems will only grow more complex.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Software Predicts Landslides Weeks, Not Hours, in Advance

What it is: Landslides occur when masses of rock, earth, and other debris move rapidly down a slope. They often leave tremendous damage, injuries and even deaths in their wake. However, these natural disasters have very clear indicators. The issue with predicting these destructive events, however, is that these indicators are subtle and difficult for humans to detect. Most mechanisms for tracking these indicators only give warning mere moments before a landslide occurs. Now, researchers have developed a new software tool that can predict where landslides will occur up to two weeks before the landslide. “We can now predict when a rubbish landfill might break in a developing country, when a building will crack or the foundation will move, when a dam could break or a mudslide occur,” researchers said. Predicting these disasters weeks in advance will allow sufficient time for evacuation or reinforcement to counteract the sometimes catastrophic results of landslides.

Why it's important: The convergence of sensors, computation hardware, artificial intelligence and blockchain is enabling tremendous breakthroughs in predicting natural disasters. Landslides kill 25 to 50 people, and cause billions of dollars in property damage every year in the U.S. alone -- the numbers in developing countries are generally higher. Predicting these disasters weeks in advance provides the opportunity to reinforce relevant geological structures (preventing landslides) or to swiftly evacuate and relocate at-risk populations. Landslide prediction is just the start. We’re approaching a trillion-sensor economy, a world where we’ll be able to know anything, anywhere, anytime. Importantly, it’s not just people who will have access to the thousands of zeta bytes of information -- advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence will access this data as well, providing wide-scale prediction for all types of natural disasters.  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 Robotics Artificial Intellegence Drones