5 min read

The Future of Technological (Un)Employment

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 23, 2020

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

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

Abundance Insider: August 9th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 9, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Samsung's 'smart' contact lenses, gamified tree-planting, and this week's virtual conference experiment.

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.

One chip to rule them all: It natively runs all types of AI software

What it is: A team of researchers primarily based in Beijing has developed a hybrid chip that can natively run all types of AI software. Dubbed Tianjic, the chip has been engineered to combine two distinct architectural approaches to AI (machine learning and artificial neural networks), which each require fundamentally different coding schemes. In effect, Tianjic’s processing units can shift between spiking communications and binary, allowing it to perform a broad range of calculations. To demonstrate Tianjic’s versatility, the team even built an autonomous Tianjic-operated bicycle, which could successfully detect and avoid obstacles, maintain balance, perform voice command recognition, make navigation decisions under varying road conditions, and run conventional software to boot.

Why it’s important: While sometimes conflated under the umbrella term AI, machine learning and artificial neural networks have developed along different branches and enable distinct types of calculations. For this reason, today’s field is considered one of Artificial Narrow Intelligence, as most contemporary AIs are “super-intelligent” within the constraints of highly specialized problems, like pattern recognition or strategy games. However, by combining distinct AI architectures in a single chip, Tianjic and its future successors might be the vanguards of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), birthing multi-skilled machines geared to tackle any computation problem, motor skill, or pattern analysis. | Share on Facebook.

How Alipay Users Planted 100M Trees In China

What it is: Alibaba’s Alipay (one of China’s two dominant mobile payment platforms) has enabled users to plant 100 million trees to date via its “Ant Forest” mini-program. Since the program’s launch in 2016, over 500 million Alipay users have joined, earning “green energy” points in exchange for eco-friendly decisions, such as walking to work, using Dingtalk to hold video conferences (instead of commuting to meetings), or recycling old possessions on Alibaba’s secondhand marketplace Idle Fish. Trackable through leaderboards, these green energy points can then be used to plant trees in China’s most arid regions. So far, Alipay’s partner NGOs have revegetated 933 square kilometers of land — the rough equivalent of 130,000 soccer fields. Alipay even allows users to track satellite images of their trees in real-time and collaborate with friends.

Why it’s important: Announced in 1978, China’s “Green Great Wall” project aims to plant 400 million hectares of new forests (spanning 42 percent of China’s landmass) by 2050. Alipay’s ‘crowd’-planted trees not only comprise a growing carbon sink, offsetting China’s high emissions, but also aid in building this 4,500-kilometer ecological barrier to combat land degradation. Over the past 20 years, China and India have contributed one-third of the planet’s increased foliage, and crowd-leveraging programs like Ant Forest are fast reducing the barrier to participation. By gamifying “green” behavior and offering real-world prizes, mobile platforms hold an extraordinary power to incentivize sustainable decision-making, reshape communal mindsets, and catalyze climate solutions. | Share on Facebook.

This Week’s Virtual Conference In VirBELA

What it is: Early this week, Peter Diamandis and the Abundance Digital team partnered with virtual coworking company VirBELA to run an immersive, virtual conference experiment. Uniting over 100 participants from around the world, the summit featured embodied avatar speakers (including a keynote by Peter and exclusive XPRIZE updates), an interactive auditorium, and social recreational activities — from boat tours to seaside group conversations. Iterating on its software for next-generation remote collaboration, VirBELA strives to dematerialize and democratize the traditional office, allowing anyone to engage in team projects regardless of geography. Currently, VirBELA’s software is home to eXp Realty, a $620 million+ real estate company with over 20,000 agents and zero staffed, physical offices.

Why it’s important: The future of work — and social interaction, for that matter — will soon make physical distance immaterial. As virtual reality hardware and low latency rendering improve dramatically in the coming years, digital and delocalized work environments will begin to decimate travel costs, company carbon footprints, and wasted time. Validated this week, people can increasingly experience all the benefits of conventional conferences from the convenience of a living room, at zero cost. Perhaps even more exciting, platforms like VirBELA are vastly enhancing the accessibility of today’s brightest minds, industry leaders, and cutting edge content. 

Researchers Say This AI Can Spot Unsafe Food On Amazon Faster Than The FDA

What it is: Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health have successfully trained an AI to spot unsafe food items potentially in need of recall. Aggregating nearly 1.3 million Amazon food product reviews, the team’s neural network found matches between a subset of these products and prior U.S. FDA-recalled items. The researchers’ deep learning AI, a Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformations (dubbed BERT), was then taught to identify language in online reviews that could confirm a food’s safety status and aid in risk stratification. Using crowd-sorted reviews, BERT AI consequently distinguished which food products had been officially FDA-recalled with 74 percent accuracy, and even managed to predict a similar fate for 20,000 additional products, now candidates for recall.

Why it’s important: Predicting and mitigating risk before losses are incurred is one of the most profitable business opportunities of the next decade. Leveraging e-commerce data, BERT’s ability to scour massive databases and classify products by risk serves as a prime example, unlocking countless implications. Regulatory processes (think: FDA recalls) can now become much more efficient as products are instantaneously flagged, bypassing a recall’s costly research phase. Within supply chain monitoring, AIs might continuously analyze real-time employee and user feedback to identify supply chain bottlenecks and inefficiencies. For end consumers, future iterations of BERT could even crowdsource decisions for quality control and assurance, as well as concise supplier feedback. Knowing your customer and listening to the data will never have been easier. | Share on Facebook.

Samsung's Patented ‘Smart’ Contact Lenses

What it is: Samsung has just been granted a U.S. patent to develop smart contact lenses capable of streaming text, capturing videos, and even beaming images directly into a wearer’s eyes. Given their multi-layered lens architecture, the contacts are designed to include a motion sensor (for eye movement tracking), hidden camera, and display unit. Current lens designs would even theoretically allow users to control their devices remotely, possibly administering commands by blinking or navigating a user interface with eye movements alone.

Why it’s important: While still immersed in the R&D phase, smart contact lenses are projected to comprise a $7.2 billion market by 2023. Perhaps one of the most promising candidates for a future of ubiquitous augmented reality, smart lenses are also increasingly feasible thanks to advances in sensor technology. Riding implications of Moore’s Law, smart sensors (and what some have dubbed “smart dust”) have shrunk dramatically in size, and could one day record and transmit everything from lens-wearers’ audiovisual experiences to auto-populated contextual information. Keep an eye out (no pun intended) for Google’s response as it works on its own smart lens revamp of the Google Glass. | Share on Facebook.

Tokyo Offers $1 Billion Research Grant For Human Augmentation, Cyborg Tech

What it is: The Japanese government has just set aside roughly 100 billion yen (or $921 million) to fund projects spanning cyborg technologies, industrial waste solutions, and augmentation for aging individuals. Planning to fund teams for the first 5 years of a 10-year support agreement, Tokyo will soon invite researchers and academics (both domestic and international) to submit proposals in 25 key problem areas. One source reports that portions of the research grant will be channeled towards "cyborg technology that can replace human bodily functions using robotics or living organisms by 2050." In light of a declining birth rate and a shrinking workforce to follow, Japan might rely heavily on such solutions to bolster economic productivity.

Why it’s important: Similar to the U.S. government's $2.5 billion+ SBIR/STTR grant and seed funding program, Japan’s government is issuing a powerful clarion call to private industry and academics: an invitation to not only tackle some of the nation’s most pressing challenges, but to invest in long-term, experimental technologies set for commercialization between 2025 and 2060. As OECD nations begin to witness a dwindling birth rate, resulting labor shortages will require converging advancements in AI, robotics, and additional human augmentation technologies. Whether in pursuit of longevity extension or cyborg construction, Japan’s initiative might soon birth solutions that allow us to work longer or replace certain human labor altogether. | 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 Future of Work AR/VR AI food Artificial Intellegence virtual reality environment capital Augmented Reality China computation future of food
10 min read

Future of Work, Free Time & Play

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 23, 2018

How we work and play is about to transform.

Topics: Future of Work AR/VR virtual reality future Augmented Reality Web 3.0 Spatial Web free time gaming storytelling future of play film
8 min read

spatial web & the future of work

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 9, 2018

What is the future of work?

Is our future one of ‘technological socialism’ (where technology is taking care of our needs)?

Or is our future workplace completely virtualized, whereby we hang out at home in our PJ’s while walking about our VR Corporate HQ?

This blog will look at the Future of Work during the age of Web 3.0… Examining scenarios in which AI, VR and the spatial web converge to transform every element of our career, from training, to execution, to free time.

Three weeks ago, I explored the vast implications of Web 3.0 on news, media, smart advertising and personalized retail. And to offer a quick recap on what the Spatial Web is and how it works, let’s cover some brief history:

A Quick Recap on Web 3.0: 

While Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data (static web pages), Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatory social media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens.

But over the next 2 to 5 years, the convergence of 5G, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, and a trillion-sensor economy will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital data layer onto our physical environments.

Suddenly, all our information will be manipulated, stored, understood and experienced in spatial ways. 

In this third installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for:

  1. Professional Training
  2. Delocalized Business & the Virtual Workplace
  3. Smart Permissions & Data Security

Let’s dive in.

Virtual Training, Real-World Results….

Virtual and augmented reality have already begun disrupting the professional training market.

As projected by ABI Research, the enterprise VR training market is on track to exceed $6.3 billion in value by 2022.

Leading the charge, Walmart has already implemented VR across 200 Academy training centers, running over 45 modules and simulating everything from unusual customer requests to a Black Friday shopping rush.

Then in September 2018, Walmart committed to a 17,000-headset order of the Oculus Go to equip every U.S. Supercenter, neighborhood market, and discount store with VR-based employee training.

In the engineering world, Bell Helicopter is using VR to massively expedite development and testing of its latest aircraft, FCX-001. Partnering with Sector 5 Digital and HTC VIVE, Bell found it could concentrate a typical 6-year aircraft design process into the course of 6 months, turning physical mock-ups into CAD-designed virtual replicas.

But beyond the design process itself, Bell is now one of a slew of companies pioneering VR pilot tests and simulations with real-world accuracy. Seated in a true-to-life virtual cockpit, pilots have now tested countless iterations of the FCX-001 in virtual flight, drawing directly onto the 3D model and enacting aircraft modifications in real-time.

And in an expansion of our virtual senses, several key players are already working on haptic feedback. In the case of VR flight, French company Go Touch VR is now partnering with software developer FlyInside on fingertip-mounted haptic tech for aviation. 

Dramatically reducing time and trouble required for VR-testing pilots, they aim to give touch-based confirmation of every switch and dial activated on virtual flights, just as one would experience in a full-sized cockpit mockup. Replicating texture, stiffness and even the sensation of holding an object, these piloted devices contain a suite of actuators to simulate everything from a light touch to higher-pressured contact, all controlled by gaze and finger movements.

Source: Wired

When it comes to other high-risk simulations, virtual and augmented reality have barely scratched the surface. 

Firefighters can now combat virtual wildfires with new platforms like FLAIM Trainer or TargetSolutions. And thanks to the expansion of medical AR/VR services like 3D4Medical or Echopixel, surgeons might soon perform operations on annotated organs and magnified incision sites, speeding up reaction times and vastly improving precision. 

But perhaps most urgent, Web 3.0 and its VR interface will offer an immediate solution for today's constant industry turnover and large-scale re-education demands. 

VR educational facilities with exact replicas of anything from large industrial equipment to minute circuitry will soon give anyone a second chance at the 21st century job market.

Want to be an electric, autonomous vehicle mechanic at age 15? Throw on a demonetized VR module and learn by doing, testing your prototype iterations at almost zero cost and with no risk of harming others. 

Want to be a plasma physicist and play around with a virtual nuclear fusion reactor? Now you’ll be able to simulate results and test out different tweaks, logging Smart Educational Record credits in the process.

As tomorrow’s career model shifts from a "one-and-done graduate degree" to continuous lifelong education, professional VR-based re-education will allow for a continuous education loop, reducing the barrier to entry for anyone wanting to enter a new industry.

But beyond professional training and virtually enriched, real-world work scenarios, Web 3.0 promises entirely virtual workplaces and blockchain-secured authorization systems.

Rise of the Virtual Workplace & Digital Data Integrity

In addition to enabling an annual $52 billion Virtual Goods marketplace, the Spatial Web is also giving way to “virtual company headquarters” and completely virtualized companies, where employees can work from home or any place on the planet.

Too good to be true? Check out an incredible publicly listed company called eXp Realty.

Source: Glassdoor

Launched on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis, eXp Realty beat the odds, going public this past May and surpassing a $1B market cap on day one of trading.

But how? Opting for a demonetized virtual model, eXp’s founder Glenn Sanford decided to ditch brick and mortar from the get-go, instead building out an online virtual campus for employees, contractors and thousands of agents.

And after years of hosting team meetings, training seminars, and even agent discussions with potential buyers through 2D digital interfaces, eXp’s virtual headquarters went spatial.

What is eXp’s primary corporate value? FUN! And Glenn Sanford’s employees love their jobs.

Source: Hypergrid Business

In a bid to transition from 2D interfaces to immersive, 3D work experiences, virtual platform VirBELA built out the company’s office space in VR, unlocking indefinite scaling potential and an extraordinary new precedent:

Foregoing any physical locations for a centralized VR campus, eXp Realty has essentially thrown out all overhead and entered a lucrative market with barely any upfront costs.

Delocalize with VR, and you can now hire anyone with Internet access (right next door or on the other side of the planet), redesign your corporate office every month, throw in an ocean-view office or impromptu conference room for client meetings, and forget about guzzled-up hours in traffic.

Throw in the Spatial Web’s fundamental blockchain-based data layer, and now cryptographically secured virtual IDs will let you validate colleagues’ identities or any of the virtual avatars we will soon inhabit.

This becomes critically important for spatial information logs — keeping incorruptible records of who’s present at a meeting, which data each person has access to and AI-translated reports of everything discussed and contracts agreed to.

But as I discussed in a previous Spatial Web blog, not only will Web 3.0 and VR advancements allow us to build out virtual worlds, but we’ll soon be able to digitally map our real-world physical offices or entire commercial high rises too.

As data gets added and linked to any given employee’s office, conference room or security system, we might then access online-merge-offline environments and information through augmented reality.

Imaging showing up at your building’s concierge and your AR glasses automatically check you into the building, authenticating your identity and pulling up any reminders you’ve linked to that specific location.

You stop by a friend’s office, and his smart security system lets you know he’ll arrive in an hour. Need to book a public conference room that’s already been scheduled by another firm’s marketing team? Offer to pay them a fee and, once accepted, a smart transaction will automatically deliver a payment to their company account.

With blockchain-verified digital identities, spatially logged data and virtually manifest information, business logistics take a fraction of the time, operations grow seamless and corporate data will be safer than ever.

Final Thoughts

While converging technologies slash the lifespan of Fortune 500 companies, bring on the rise of vast new industries and transform the job market, Web 3.0 is changing the way we work, where we work and who we work with.

Life-like virtual modules are already unlocking countless professional training camps, modifiable in real-time and easily updated.

Virtual programming and blockchain-based authentication are enabling smart data logging, identity protection and on-demand smart asset trading.

And VR/AR-accessible worlds (and corporate campuses) not only demonetize, dematerialize, and delocalize our everyday workplaces, but enrich our physical worlds with AI-driven, context-specific data.

Welcome to the Spatial Web workplace.

Join Me

(1) A360 Executive Mastermind: This is one of the key conversations I’ll be exploring at my Executive Mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective, for 360 abundance- and exponentially minded CEOs (running $10M to $50B companies). If you’d like to be considered, apply here.

Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above. 

(2) Abundance-Digital Online Community: I’ve also created a Digital/Online community of bold, abundance-minded entrepreneurs called Abundance-Digital. Abundance-Digital is my ‘onramp’ for exponential entrepreneurs – those who want to get involved and play at a higher level.   Click here to learn more.
Topics: Future of Work AR/VR cryptocurrencies blockchain Artificial Intellegence virtual reality Augmented Reality Web 3.0 Spatial Web office
13 min read

Abundance Insider: September 21st

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 21, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: $100 ultrasounds, a new drone flight breakthrough, and the largest deal for driverless grocery delivery.

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. Last week, Abundance Digital streamed an exclusive webinar with Ray Kurzweil. If you missed it, or wish to watch again, you can view the recording here.

Breakthrough Opens Door To $100 Ultrasound Machine

What it is: University of British Columbia engineers recently built a new ultrasound transducer that can lower the cost of ultrasound to under $100. The patent-pending sensor is smaller than most bandages and can be powered by a smartphone. Conventional ultrasounds operate using a piezoelectric transducer; the UBC team synthesized a polymer resin (I.e. polymer capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers) to replace the expensive piezoelectrics. The sonograms produced from this new polymer-based transducer are as clear as traditional sonograms; in addition, the new polymer is flexible and can be built into a variety of wearable devices. “You could miniaturize these transducers and use them to look inside your arteries and veins,” said engineer Robert Rohling. “You could stick them on your chest and do live continuous monitoring of your heart in your daily life. It opens up so many different possibilities.”

Why it's important: We are rapidly approaching a 1-trillion-plus sensor economy, where you’ll be able to know anything, anywhere, at anytime. A variety of sensors will augment our five biological senses with unthinkable data acquisition capabilities. Healthcare is one of the first areas that will benefit from sensors. Imagine a future where we no longer need to worry about curing cancer, because our personal tumor-seeking sensor-shell can detect early signs of cancer before cells even become cancerous.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marconi Pereira / Written by Max Goldberg 

Startup Inks ‘World’s Largest Deal’ For Driverless Grocery Deliveries

What it is: San Francisco startup UDELV recently signed a deal with a number of grocery chains in Oklahoma City to provide purpose-built autonomous delivery vans to deliver groceries starting next year. Vehicles will have 18 compartments for individual deliveries, opened by a code given to the customer via mobile app. While the vehicles will have Level 4 autonomy, a driver will remain behind the wheel until regulators approve full autonomy.

Why it's important: Like Kroger’s recent announcement with Nuro, this adds momentum to the autonomous vehicle space as a whole, and particularly to the concept of specialty vehicles. These delivery vehicles are often overlooked in analyses of adoption, congestion and regulatory planning. Could non-personal transport be a metric to watch for broad adoption of driverless cars?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Nvidia Researchers Develop AI System That Generates Synthetic Scans of Brain Cancer

What it is: A current limitation on the accuracy of machine learning and AI systems is access to training data, particularly in a healthcare setting, where privacy concerns add additional limits. To address this need, Nvidia, the Mayo Clinic, and the MGH and BWH Center for Clinical Data Science have created a general adversarial network (GAN) to create synthetic 3D MRIs of brains with cancerous tumors. These synthetic images were then used to train neural networks to identify the presence of cancer on real patient data. So far, images have increased the accuracy of models by up to 80 percent, a 14 percent improvement and big step in identifying cancer earlier.

Why it's important: Applying seemingly trivial concepts from one area to another -- like using a GAN to create faces -- can enable breakthroughs and a tangible positive impact. Look for Nvidia and team to fine-tune this approach to other types of cancer and disease in the brain to dramatically improve patient care.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Machines Will Do More Work Than Humans By 2025, Says The WEF

What it is: The World Economic Forum has just released its latest AI job forecast, projecting changes to the job market on a historic scale. While machines currently constitute roughly 29 percent of total hours worked in major industries -- a fraction of the 71 percent accounted for by people -- the WEF predicts that in just 4 years, this ratio will begin to equalize (with 42 percent total hours accounted for by AI-geared robotics). But perhaps the report’s most staggering projection is that machine learning and digital automation will eliminate 75 million jobs by 2025. However, as new industries emerge and technological access allows people to adopt never-before-heard-of professions, the WEF offers a hopeful alternative, predicting the creation of nearly 133 million new roles aided by the very technologies currently displacing many in our workforce.

Why it's important: Already, more than 57 million workers -- nearly 36 percent of the U.S. workforce -- freelance. And based on today’s workforce growth rates as assessed by 2017’s Freelancing in America report, the majority of America’s workforce will freelance by 2027. Advancements in connectivity, AI and data proliferation will free traditional professionals to provide the services we do best. Doctors supplemented by AI-driven diagnostics may take more advisory roles, teachers geared with personalized learning platforms will soon be freed to serve as mentors, and barriers to entry for entrepreneurs -- regardless of socioeconomic background -- will dramatically decline.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

New Electric Drone Has Groundbreaking Flight Time

What it is: Impossible Aerospace has announced the US-1, an unmanned quadcopter that can fly for over 2 hours on a single charge. That's over four times as long as similar battery-powered drones, and on par with gas-fueled systems. US-1 can carry a payload of up to 2 kg (~4.4 pounds), with options like multispectral sensors, survey cameras and optical cameras.

Why it's important: Beyond its substantial flight time improvement, the US-1 demonstrates the engineering breakthroughs enabled by first-principles thinking. "Most drones are designed with the philosophy that once you are done figuring out the payload and propulsion, you add the battery pack," Impossible Aerospace CEO Spencer Gore, who previousy worked at Tesla, told IEEE. "Instead, from the very beginning, we designed a battery pack that was meant to fly."  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Marissa Brassfield 

New Technique Heals Wounds With Reprogrammed Skin Cells

What it is: Cutaneous ulcers are a pervasive problem affecting those with bedsores, burns, and chronic diseases like diabetes. Beyond the pain, they can lead to infections and even amputations. To speed up and create a more effective treatment, researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered a way to reprogram mesenchymal skin cells -- which help close wounds but cannot rebuild healthy skin -- into stem-cell-like basal keratinocytes, which are precursors to many different types of skin cells. After identifying a set of four proteins -- dubbed “reprogramming factors” -- the team applied a topical solution onto mesenchymal cells in a petri dish and later ulcers in mice. In just 18 days, the mesenchymal cells were transforming into normal skin cells, and 3 to 6 months later, the cells were functioning like normal skin with no visible scar tissue.

Why it's important: As the authors note, this initial proof of concept for the in-vitro regeneration of three-dimensional tissue “could be useful for repairing skin damage, countering the effects of aging and helping us to better understand skin cancer,” all of which point to an increased healthy lifespan.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

What is Abundance Insider?

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

Want more conversations like this?

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

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

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



Topics: Abundance Insider Future of Work Materials Science Sensors Artificial Intellegence materials trillion sensor economy biotech
14 min read

Abundance Insider: September 14th

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 14, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Quantum Cloud Services, a path to unlimited renewable energy, and highly perceptive robots.

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.

MIT’s New Robot Can Visually Understand Objects It’s Never Seen Before

What it is: Whereas most computer vision systems rely on enormous labeled datasets, a team of researchers at MIT’s CSAIL has built a computer vision system capable of recognizing and mapping objects it has never seen before. Coined "Dense Object Nets" (DON), the neural network uses a brief visual inspection of its target object to autonomously map out its various points and create a complex coordinate system of its shape. Geared with this 3D visual roadmap, DON-geared robots can then act upon different objects with minimal direction. Instructed to pick up a shoe by its tongue, for instance, and the robot will seamlessly identify the tongue of any newly presented shoe — regardless of shape, size, orientation or style — grasping with almost intuitive ease.

Why it's important: Independent of any pre-training with labeled datasets, DON’s ability to visually map out unfamiliar objects without human intervention marks a considerable step forward in computer vision. Capable of what researchers term “self-supervised” learning, DON could one day be used in a variety of tasks that require higher levels of what we might call “human intuition.” Think: sorting recyclables and learning new forms of plastic waste as they enter a waste management center, organizing complex warehouses, or even tidying your home according to a picture of your desired living room look. And with current-day advances in “self-supervised” learning, MIT’s researchers now strive to hone DON-geared bots that can figure out where to grasp objects all on their own, bypassing human input from start to finish.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Contrary to Current Fears, AI Will Create Jobs and Grow GDP

What it is: In separate reports, McKinsey and Tata recently outlined the socioeconomic impacts of AI and automation over the next 10 to 12 years, with both expecting AI to contribute to GDP growth -- as much as 1.2 percent over the next 10 years -- and $13 trillion in net economic benefits could be captured over the next 12 years. These forecasts also introduce several opportunities for entrepreneurs. At a technical level, a paucity of labeled data sets, lack transparency in AI systems, and difficulty in generalizing models across domains will need to be solved. At a social level, employees will need to be retrained, and policymakers will need steady hands through the transition.

Why it's important: It’s clear that exponential technologies are accelerating and combining in exciting, unexpected ways for the benefit of humanity. At the same time, the resulting social changes will also happen faster than anything we have experienced in the past, creating discomfort for a large number of people. What opportunities does this create for your business? New markets? New ways to attract top talent?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Scientists Invent Technique to Create Unlimited Source of Renewable Energy

What it is: A September 3 article published in Nature by scientists at the University of Cambridge describes a first-of-its-kind semi-artificial photosynthesis cell. The University of Cambridge team converged synthetic biology and artificial photosynthesis techniques to more readily and controllably convert the energy of sunlight into storable biofuel. Their process breaks water into hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2) using the biological catalysts Photosystem II and hydrogenase. Semi-artificial photosynthesis adds the tunability of various chemistry and materials science methods to achieve greater efficiencies in converting H2O to H2 and O2. This process is a major step in mass producing photosynthesis cells that only use energy from the Sun.

Why it's important: Peter often discusses our transition from evolution by natural selection to evolution via intelligent direction. Building on this concept, biomimicry enables engineers and designers to accelerate the optimization and evolution processes even further.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Peter Diamandis / Written by Max Goldberg 

Brain Scan Could Help Reveal If a Person is a Suicide Risk

What it is: Spotting the signs of suicide can be difficult. Now, building on their work published last year, researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded a $3.8 million grant from the NIMH to establish a more precise method of identifying those at risk. In the 2017 study, the team applied a Gaussian Naïve Bayes algorithm – a type of machine learning – to suicidal subjects’ neuronal signatures of death and related concepts, accurately identifying suicidal individuals with 91 percent accuracy, and also correctly discriminated 9 people who had previously attempted suicide from 8 who had not. The team now looks to expand their studies to include a larger number of subjects, with the ultimate goal of predicting future behavior and identifying a peripheral measure (think galvanic skin response, heart rate, etc) that correlates with neuronal activities, enabling clinicians to test in office without the need for an fMRI.

Why it's important: As the digitization of health data sets explodes, a large number of new and novel applications of machine learning are popping up to simultaneously solve big problems (e.g. identifying suicide risk) and provide deep insights into of our biology (e.g. areas of the brain associated with suicidal behavior). What opportunities do you see when thinking about these discoveries as building blocks?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Morgan McDermott / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Running Quantum Algorithms in the Cloud Just Got a Lot Faster

What it is: Earlier this year, Rigetti Computing rolled out Forrest, a quantum development package that allowed users to interface with Rigetti’s quantum processors in the programming language Python over the cloud. Rigetti recently announced a more robust Quantum Cloud Services and a $1 million incentive competition to accelerate quantum advantage -- showcasing that a quantum computer can solve a valuable problem with a higher quality, faster, or cheaper solution than a classical computer.

Why it's important: Packed with different mechanisms to shield the ever-so-sensitive quantum-bits (qubits) from the heat, noise, and electric fields of the environment, quantum computers are currently fairly large, expensive devices. Rigetti is trying to digitize, and thereby move towards demonetized, delocalized, and democratized access to quantum computing power. The Rigetti team is taking valuable lessons from the classical computing and data storage progression to cloud-based hardware. In parallel, incentive competitions are an excellent innovation driver, with the power to kickstart entire industries.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Researchers to Release First-Ever Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes in Africa

What it is: Burkina Faso’s government has just granted scientists permission to release up to 10,000 genetically engineered mosquitoes in the coming year — the first time any genetically modified animal would be released into the wild in Africa. Working under coordination of the “Target Malaria” project, teams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda are striving to build the legislative groundwork for a more significant “gene drive” that could one day entirely eliminate the deadly disease. While not intended to severely impact the insect population for now — no mutations related to malaria transmission are involved (yet) — these genetically engineered mosquitoes would have a “sterile male” mutation, preventing all males from producing offspring.

Why it's important: In just 2016, malaria cases grew to an estimated 216 million, and only a year before, between 438,000 and 720,000 people were killed by the parasite (nearly 90 percent of whom were in sub-Saharan Africa). But now with $70 million in backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the three research teams under Target Malaria hope this initial launch will establish the necessary public trust among locals and regulators alike for a much more hard-hitting, long-term bioengineering solution: "gene drive" mosquitoes. Aimed at propagating a particular suite of genes throughout the population of a species, a malaria-targeting "gene drive" could either enhance resistance to the parasite or bias sex ratios, causing a population crash. And by targeting the disease at its source, such an initiative might put an end to one of the continent’s greatest debilitators, once and for all.  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.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Future of Work Energy Robotics Artificial Intellegence quantum computing biomimicry mental health
1 min read

$10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE announced at SXSW

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 12, 2018

At the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas on Monday, Diamandis and his organization announced a new $10 million competition to develop “real-life avatars” to enable humans “to remotely see, hear, and interact with physical environments and other people.”

Topics: Future of Work Entrepreneurship AI Exponential Organizations
8 min read

Future of Retail

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 4, 2018

Exponential technologies (AI, VR, 3D printing, and networks) are radically reshaping traditional retail.

Topics: Future of Work Entrepreneurship AI Exponential Organizations
3 min read

A Bridge to Abundance

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 7, 2017

When looking at the most pressing issue humanity will face in the next 100 years, I do not believe it will stem from those typically highlighted by the media: a scarcity of water, energy, or other resources.

Topics: Future of Work Robotics Abundance AI
4 min read

Why UBI Works

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 16, 2017

Will Artificial Intelligence “destroy humanity?”... probably not.

But I am concerned that A.I. and Robotics will massively impact the future of work.

Topics: Future of Work Finance
3 min read

First Jobs To Go

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 16, 2017

There’s little question in my mind that advances in artificial intelligence and robotics will significantly displace humans in the workplace.

We’re not talking about every job, but most of today’s jobs (as currently configured) will eventually be performed by AI and robots or in partnership with AI and robots.

Topics: Future of Work Robotics AI