6 min read

quantum supremacy.... NOW WHAT?

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 7, 2019

Imagine a computer that could crack the most sophisticated network in a mere few seconds. Perfectly model complex weather and biological systems.

Topics: google ibm quantum computing computation Google Sycamore Rigetti Computing Rigetti qubits qubit computing Sycamore Chad Rigetti quantum IBM Q53
8 min read

Abundance Insider: October 28th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 28, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Google's quantum computing breakthrough, a new gene-editing technique, and NASA's collaboration with Caterpillar on Moon mining machines.

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

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

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New gene editing technology could correct 89% of genetic defects.

What it is: Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have now developed a new gene-editing technique called “prime editing.” Built upon the foundations of CRISPR technology, prime editing has the expected potential to correct up to 89 percent of genetic defects, including those responsible for diseases like sickle cell anemia. By combining the traditional CRISPR-Cas9 approach with a protein that can generate new DNA, prime editing can thereby both snip DNA strands and transfer edited sequences to target DNA, allowing scientists to delete and replace whole sections of DNA strands.

Why it’s important: Single point gene mutations constitute roughly two-thirds of known human genetic variants associated with disease. As a result, effective gene editing techniques—once perfected—could correct mutations and wipe out a number of debilitating conditions. As explained by one of the authors of the study, Andrew Anzalone, “The versatility of prime editing quickly became apparent as we developed this technology [...] The fact that we could directly copy new genetic information into a target site was a revelation.” Now refining the new prime editing technique, Broad Institute’s scientists hope future iterations of CRISPR could target everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s to some of today’s most vexing genetic maladies. |Share on Facebook.

NASA's collaborating with Caterpillar on Moon mining machines.

What it is: NASA has recently teamed up with autonomous construction vehicle manufacturer Caterpillar to develop machines for excavating and mining the Moon. The two have long collaborated on robotics projects, but it is the autonomous capabilities of Caterpillar’s vehicles that make the company uniquely positioned to develop technology for NASA's lunar exploration programs. According to NASA spokesperson Clare Skelly, “there are many synergies between what NASA needs to meet exploration goals and Caterpillar technologies used here on Earth.”

Why it’s important: On the heels of revived interest in lunar exploration and the goal of establishing a lunar base, NASA has been heavily pursuing methods to make tasks easier for astronauts. Given multiple hazards associated with navigating the lunar surface, semi-autonomous vehicles could minimize dangerous construction work done conducted directly by astronauts. Once validated and fully autonomous, Moon-mining machines might one day provide a continuous supply of raw materials, from dust to water, for NASA’s proposed lunar outpost. | Share on Facebook.

Tesla’s new Solar Roof costs less than a new roof plus solar panels, aims for install rate of 1K per week.

What it is: Tesla has just launched its third-generation Solar Roof for residential home use. Planning to start installations in the coming month, the company is now aiming for a production rate of up to 1,000 new roofs per week. Long a work in progress, Tesla’s Solar Roof is designed to double as both an aesthetically appealing roof tile and set of home power-generating solar panels with high surface area coverage. While the installation process remains “very non-trivial,” according to Elon Musk, Tesla hopes to gamify consumer installation learning through ‘installathons’ and is investing in R&D to lower this critical barrier.

Why it’s important: Although individual tiles’ power-gathering cells are still less energy-efficient than traditional solar cells, version three of the Solar Roof well exceeds the energy-generating capacity of similarly sized roofs retrofitted with traditional tiles, on balance. Furthermore, V3 marks a tremendous improvement over previous iterations of the Solar Roof, and Musk forecasts a total addressable market of up to 100 million households globally. As installation procedures plummet in complexity and cost, and solar continues to demonetize, self-sustaining and energy-efficient residences could fast become the norm worldwide.

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy.

What it is: Google’s quantum computer, Sycamore, has just claimed “quantum supremacy” after completing a computation that would normally take 10,000 years on the most powerful supercomputers, in just 200 seconds. Led by experimental physicist John Martinis at UC Santa Barbara, the Google team published its feat in Nature magazine this week. Instead of traditional semiconductor computers, which store data in 1s or 0s, quantum bits (qubits) can exist in a third superposition state of both 0 and 1 simultaneously. With more degrees of bit variability, quantum computers can thereby perform exponentially more calculations per second than traditional computers. Quantum entanglement, described by Einstein as “spooky action at a distance,” then allows computers to measure entangled qbits at the same time. As Google’s Sycamore contains 54 qbits capable of storing over 10 quadrillion combinations of values, the tech giant now boasts the potential to tackle computational problems inconceivable in the past.

Why it’s important: While real-world applications of quantum computing may lie further on the horizon, Sycamore’s scientific achievement is a tremendous milestone for the many companies investing in this space already. In just the last two years, about US$400 million has been channeled towards private quantum-related firms—doubling investment figures of the past five years. Intel and IBM have demonstrated processors similar in scale to that of Sycamore, yet error-checking remains an issue for all three. Moving forward, Google aims to implement full error-checking once it can create processors with at least a million qubits. Currently, however, a second Google team is exploring how Sycamore-like computers can develop machine learning algorithms that generate realistic images. Meanwhile, competitor IBM offers quantum cloud access to partners such as drugmaker Merck. Even Airbus Ventures has invested in quantum startup IonQ, which may eventually aid in aircraft physics simulations. Spanning countless applications, the long-term vision of early investors in quantum computing will pay off sooner than you might think. |Share on Facebook.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics google solar solar energy autonomous vehicles Genetics CRISPR quantum computing nasa solar cells solar power solar roof extraplanetary colonies genetic engineering Caterpillar
14 min read

Abundance Insider: February 15th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 15, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Training AI with Pictionary, the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine, and the U.S. government’s new AI initiative.

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.

An AI Is Playing Pictionary To Figure Out How The World Works

What it is: One of the primary barriers to developing sophisticated voice assistants and interactive AIs is the technology’s lack of common sense, rendering most AIs far too narrow to function in unstructured environments. However, researchers at the Allen Institute for AI (Ai2) have now created an online version of the game Pictionary in an effort to engineer generalized and sophisticated reasoning into AI programs. Named Iconary, the game pairs a human player with AllenAI (an AI bot), after which both take turns drawing and guessing given phrases. After using computer vision to convert human sketches into clip-art icons, AllenAI attempts to guess the phrase using a database of words, concepts and common relationships between the two.

Why it's important: The use of Pictionary to train AI systems could have a number of extraordinary implications. First, Iconary offers a terrific example of leveraging the crowd to train and teach AI, expanding its current selection of over 75,000 phrases. Iconary even plans to create a leaderboard for human players, further gamifying the platform and accelerating AllenAI’s progress. Beyond teaching an AI to understand complex concepts, the crowd could refine AI systems’ understanding of how everyday concepts relate to one another — a task far more sophisticated than simple pattern-matching. Perhaps most exciting, however, Iconary’s outcomes could help researchers observe and refine methods for human-machine collaboration, a critical goal for the century ahead.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

A Human iPSC-Derived 3D Platform Using Primary Brain Cancer Cells To Study Drug Development And Personalized Medicine

What it is: Building on the development of BrainSpheres — essentially mini-brains created from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC) — researchers from the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins have used these 3D models of human tissue to test the efficacy of the anti-cancer drugs temozolomide (TMZ) and the more experimental treatment doxorubicin (DOX). By adding a few glioblastoma tumor cells to a developing mini-brain, the team was able to mass-produce BrainSpheres with a mix of tumor and healthy tissue. While this is in itself a breakthrough, the team also discovered that TMZ and DOX successfully reduced tumor size by roughly 30 percent and 80 percent, respectively, while also sparing healthy tissue.

Why it's important: Testing on animals is costly and time-intensive, and discoveries rarely translate from mice to humans; similarly, cultivating tumors from humans is of limited relevance since healthy tissue typically responds differently. As this team looks to reproduce the application of BrainSpheres to viral infections and neurodevelopment diseases, look for drug discovery and testing to accelerate in both speed and accuracy.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Physicists Uncover Quantum Structure Of Buckyballs

What it is: Analyzing real-world quantum phenomena is challenging because the quantum states of a given particle are easily disturbed by environmental magnetic fields, electric fields, thermal vibrations, and other disruptive stimuli. As the quantum system at hand grows in size, quantum phenomena become increasingly hard to detect. Standard lab-scale quantum experiments typically include only a handful of atoms. Now, JILA researchers (a partnership between NIST and the University of Colorado) achieved the most robust analysis of the largest quantum system analyzed extensively to date: buckyballs (soccer-ball like spheres of 60 carbon atoms). Buckyballs are a promising platform for building out these quantum systems, specifically because of their highly symmetric 60 carbon atoms.

Why it's important: We are in the midst of a quantum revolution. Deepening our understanding of quantum systems is fundamental to transitioning classical computation and communication to a robust network of quantum communication, information and computation. Already, quantum technology enables more accurate GPS technology, robust scientific instruments, a slew of detectors and more. With more precise control and understanding of quantum states, next-generation use cases will enable us to communicate more securely, compute faster, and control the world around us with higher resolution.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Peter H. Diamandis / Written by Max Goldberg 

 

UK Startup Shows Off World’s Largest 3D Printed Rocket Engine

What it is: U.K.-based startup Orbex just showed off what they believe is the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine, standing at 56 feet (17 meters) tall -- roughly one-fourth the size of SpaceX’s Falcon 9. The engine is manufactured in a single piece without joints, creating a rocket that is up to 30 percent lighter and 20 percent more efficient than other small launchers and better able to withstand extreme temperature and pressure fluctuations. Set to launch in 2021, the feat is a collaborative effort: Orbex is working with engineers from NASA and the ESA, and partnered with the Swiss satellite startup Astrocast to launch 64 nanosatellites to build a global Internet of Things network.

Why it's important: The private space race continues to heat up. This news comes on the heels of Relativity Space’s signed U.S. Air Force contract to launch their own 3D-printed engine from Cape Canaveral. Look for these improvements to accelerate as competition intensifies and designs continue to digitize.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Smart Pills Filled With Tiny Needles Could Inject Medicine Directly Into Your Stomach

What it is: Published in Science just last week, this team of researchers just developed a new capsule device that may one day allow patients to orally ingest any number of drugs, notably including injected insulin. Inspired by the self-righting shape of the leopard tortoise, these smart pills — “self-orienting millimeter-scale applicators” (or SOMA) — can continuously attach to the gastric wall regardless of how they land. Containing tiny, spring-loaded needles, the SOMA then autonomously inject periodic payloads of medication into the top layers of a patient’s stomach tissue. In a preclinical trial evaluation involving insulin delivery, SOMA was even shown to provide equivalent drug exposure when compared to insulin injections under the skin.

Why it's important: Particularly in the case of diabetes, SOMA and similar needle-containing smart pills could transform drug delivery, eliminating the laborious daily injections required of over 415 million diabetic patients worldwide. As explained by MIT’s Robert Langer, “We are really hopeful that this new type of capsule could someday help diabetic patients and perhaps anyone who requires therapies that can now only be given by injection or infusion.” While still in the early proof-of-concept stages, such smart pills could give rise to everything from vaccines-in-a-pill to oral replacements for intravenous drips. Such a paradigm shift could prove monumental, enabling demonetized immunizations for _all_ children, low-cost emergency treatments and automated self-care on unprecedented scales.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

President Trump’s Plan To Keep America First In AI

What it is: After first inventing artificial intelligence, the U.S. continues to lead in artificial intelligence technology. Yet, through the past decade of exponential AI growth, the U.S. government has lacked a high-level strategy to for investing in and preparing for AI. In recent years, a dozen countries, including China, have announced their plans for accelerating AI research, development and adoption. This week, President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to support AI research and commercialization. The action directs government agencies to focus on opening government agency data to better train AI systems, on prioritizing research and development, and on future workforce development.

Why it's important: From the military to infrastructure to healthcare, AI plays a massive role in modern society. Last year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote to the President expressing that the U.S. was not on pace to keep up with the ambitious AI plans of other countries, primarily China. Beyond the military and defense implications of AI, we are currently seeing a debate on how to thoughtfully regulate powerful AI applications like facial recognition. With the U.S. government’s existing plans to accelerate innovation in other vital Industry 4.0 areas like quantum computing, 5G communications and space, what technologies will next see support from the federal government?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / 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 Space 3D Printing AI Artificial Intellegence healthcare biotech quantum computing regenerative medicine diabetes quantum mechanics
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.

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.

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.

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 Energy Robotics Artificial Intellegence quantum computing biomimicry mental health