7 min read

Abundance Insider: January 4th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 4, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: 2020’s top space missions, first-ever quantum teleportation, and AI’s novel applications in real estate.

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.

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P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

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The seven most exciting space missions of 2020.

What it is: Following a year of countless rocket launches and new space targets, the decade ahead is set to witness a boom in space exploration. And 2020 is giving us a head start, from robot-manned Mars missions, to private crewed missions into orbit.

What’s in store for 2020: Among this year’s four planned Mars missions––all aiming for summer launches––are NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which will leverage new instruments to probe the possibilities of extraterrestrial life; China’s Huoxing-1, slated to study the Martian atmosphere and terrain for 90 days; the UAE’s Hope Mars Mission orbiter, which will study Mars’ atmospheric chemistry from above; and Rosalind Franklin, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos’ joint Mars rover. In the realm of private spaceflight, both SpaceX and Boeing are amidst final preparations before launching NASA astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, respectively, destined for the ISS. While both these missions are targeting Q1 launch dates, others––like that of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin––aim to launch crewed capsules later in the year. In the case of Blue Origin’s New Shepard, for instance, the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing suborbital rocket is expected to take humans into space by year’s end. And when it comes to lunar missions, both NASA and China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) are racing ahead, NASA with a first (more limited) iteration of its Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion deep-space capsule, and CNSA with its Chang’e 5 lunar mission.

Physicists Just Achieved The First-Ever Quantum Teleportation Between Computer Chips.

What it is: For the first time ever, a research team led by physicists at the University of Bristol has now demonstrated quantum teleportation of information between two micrometer-scale silicon chips. Instead of relying on the flow of electrons for data transfer (as occurs in a typical computer), information was passed between the two computer chips using a quantum effect known as entanglement. In entanglement, the state of one particle is inextricably tied to the state of the other. Measuring one particle, in turn, immediately reveals information about the other. In this way, entanglement has now proved an effective method teleporting, or transmitting, data between devices without a physical electronic connection. And while still relegated to a controlled lab environment, the research team ultimately achieved high-fidelity quantum teleportation of 91 percent.

Why it’s important: While still a poorly understood phenomenon, quantum entanglement shows promising and highly consequential applications for the future of computing. As explained by Beijing University scientist and one of the study’s authors, Dr. Jianwei Wang, “In the future, a single silicon-chip integration of quantum photonic devices and classical electronic controls will open the door for fully chip-based CMOS-compatible quantum communication and information processing networks.” In effect, these early demonstrations of quantum entanglement’s utility will soon pave the way for a new generation of chips, processors, and networks, not to mention extraordinarily powerful computers.

New Tomato Ideal for Urban Gardens and Even Outer Space Created Through Genetic Editing.

What it is: A new batch of tomatoes, genetically engineered to thrive in urban landscapes, could redefine contemporary agriculture. These crops, grown by a team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, were modified using CRISPR to mature at an accelerated pace and produce vines more densely packed with fruit. Ready to harvest in less than 40 days, these tomatoes can grow in tiered farming warehouses or converted storage units in urban settings. To achieve this feat, the SELF PRUNING (SP) and SP5G genes, which control reproductive growth and plant size, were altered to make the plants blossom and produce fruit sooner. The SIER gene, which controls stem length, was also modified to make the plants as compact as possible–– ideal for limited space in urban settings. In success, this careful curation of gene edits has yielded optimal crop growth characteristics while preserving the tomato's flavor.

Why it’s important: Over 500 million people live on land already degraded by deforestation, changing weather patterns, and agricultural overuse, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Decoupling food production from land will reduce the harmful environmental impacts of mass farming, including land degradation and fertilizer runoff into water sources. At the same time, these plants will provide city dwellers with far fresher, more nutritious food, while generating a fraction of the transportation footprint. And from an economic standpoint, the genetically engineered crops win out as well, capable of yielding more fruit, operating year-round in climate-controlled conditions, and thereby offering unprecedented control in the food production process. Beyond the implications of this new plant on Earth, however, even NASA has now expressed interest in the technology, allowing us to envision a future wherein urbanized tomatoes (and other crops) may soon travel not only into our cities, but also beyond our atmosphere.

How AI Is Really Going To Change Real Estate In 2020 And Beyond.

What it is: By 2030, AI is estimated to add over $15 trillion to the global GDP, according to PwC. And among industries most affected, real estate holds a plethora of AI opportunities over the next decade. While many real estate firms already use virtual reality, smart contracts, virtual assistants, and voice bots to assist customers, countless unrealized opportunities remain. Susanne Eickermann-Riepe, Head of Real Estate at PwC Germany, points to four main applications of AI in real estate: (1) automating routine tasks; (2) augmenting intelligence to help people accomplish tasks more efficiently and productively; (3) expanding business intelligence to inform better human decisions; and (4) fully autonomous AI decision-making. In the wake of surging data collection, AI algorithms will also inform more effective marketing efforts, for instance predicting when a prospect might sell or purchase a property, and at what price.

Why it’s important: As AI’s early pitfalls continue to be identified and adjusted for, the time is now for real estate (typically a late-mover industry) to take advantage of the technology. Already, numerous real estate startups are jumping on the bandwagon. Take Nobbas, for instance, which offers a Tinder-like property search interface, or PropertyNest, which matches customers with listings based on their credit scores. By reducing time spent on routine tasks and offering more information about customer behavior, AI can provide considerable assistance to real estate brokers and investors in established firms as well. Key pain points to improve upon over the next decade include data availability, data quality, and standardization, yet many of these are already lessening in importance as the data-driven revolution takes hold. A meta-trend we are beginning to witness across the board, AI tools and Software as a service (SaaS) are fast becoming the most vital collaborators to human employees and entrepreneurs, whether in real estate, retail, finance, or health.

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Topics: Abundance Insider AI space exploration Real Estate Artificial Intellegence Private Space SpaceX future of real estate vertical farming genetic engineering
12 min read

Abundance Insider: August 3rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 3, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: SpaceX Starhopper's successful test hop, emotion-reading AIs, and SoftBank's second Vision Fund.

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.

P.P.P.S. This week, in partnership with Sergey Young, my team at XPRIZE released a powerful Impact Roadmap outlining The Future of Longevity. I highly recommend taking a look. Click here to dive in.

SoftBank’s Second Vision Fund Is Set To Invest Over $108 Billion In AI Startups

What it is: SoftBank Group has just announced the launch of its $108 billion (to date) Vision Fund 2, dedicated to AI-based technology. Attracting a notable list of investors, the fund has achieved participation from limited partners Apple, Foxconn and Microsoft, among others. SoftBank itself will invest $38 billion in the fund (or approximately 35 percent of current funds). While already surpassed by its successor, SoftBank’s first Vision Fund offers a strong precedent, having yielded a 62 percent internal rate of return (IRR).

Why it’s important: Beyond an oncoming surge in capital flows to AI ventures and R&D, the Vision Fund 2 could solidify SoftBank’s position as the most influential international investor. The new fund is also slated to alter dynamics between startups, investors and corporate players like Microsoft, while decreasing SoftBank’s reliance on Saudi Arabian funds. Having invested in 24 out of 377 global unicorns, SoftBank now aims to retain its historically strong betting game and help birth a new generation of AI-driven disruptors. | Share on Facebook.
 

SpaceX Starship Prototype Takes 1st Free-Flying Test Hop

What it is: Dubbed Starhopper, SpaceX’s Starship prototype successfully completed its first untethered test flight last Thursday in Boca Chica, Texas. Resembling a large water tower with three legs wrapped in stainless steel, Starhopper ignited its single Raptor engine, conducting a straight hop to 65 feet (20 meters), then lowering itself back down in a controlled manner.

Why it’s important: Starhopper is a significant test bed for novel technologies underpinning SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy, which together constitute the company’s heavy-lift, fully reusable, high-capacity launch system and spacecraft. Designed to carry up to 100 people at a time, Starship could one day conduct multi-purpose trips to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, according to Musk. At the micro level, Starhopper thereby demonstrates the crucial role of rapid prototyping and iterative design in expediting (literal) moonshots. Yet at the macro level, SpaceX’s successful test — not to mention its rapid manufacturing of two full-scale ‘Mark 1’ Starships — are a testament to the booming revival of private space exploration | Share on Facebook.

In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder

What it is: Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics are now conducting the first-ever publicly recorded human study using CRISPR to treat a genetic disease. Striving to develop an effective therapy for patients with sickle cell disease, doctors first extract cells from patients’ bone marrow. These cells are then genetically modified with CRISPR to produce fetal hemoglobin, intended to counteract the defective proteins that result in sickle-shaped blood cells and thereby hinder oxygen transport. Patients next undergo the same chemotherapy administered as part of a standard bone marrow transplant. Yet once this process wipes out defect-carrying cells, patients receive billions of their own CRISPR-edited cells (as opposed to those contributed by a donor).

Why it’s important: This study marks significant progress on two fronts: not only is it an initial, formalized step in validating CRISPR’s use in human therapeutics, but it could pose tremendous implications for long-term treatment of sickle cell disease. As explained by Dr. Haydar Frangoul, “The hope is that [CRISPR] will provide a treatment option for all patients, including those who can’t find a matched donor.” By leveraging a patient’s own cells, this and similar CRISPR treatments could expand the field of personalized medicine and render quantifiable extensions of the human healthspan. | Share on Facebook.

Tesla’s Megapack Battery Is Big Enough To Help Grids Handle Peak Demand

What it is: Tesla’s new Megapack battery can store up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time, while using only 60 percent of the space and one tenth of the components required by comparable energy storage units. If strung together, however, a sufficient number of Megapacks could theoretically provide over 1 GWh of energy storage. According to Tesla, this would be “enough to power every home in San Francisco for six hours.” Already, Tesla reports it will deliver fully-assembled Megapacks to utility firms like Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which initially plans to deploy the batteries in Monterrey Bay, California.

Why it’s important: Today, “peaker” power plants are often responsible for providing energy when peak demand exceeds local electrical grid capacity. Yet Tesla’s highly efficient Megapacks could soon offer a more stable alternative. Particularly as Tesla’s new battery can be assembled ten times more quickly than alternative solutions, Megapacks are well-positioned for deployment at scale vis-a-vis established utility companies. Even though Tesla’s solar panel installation rate reached an all-time low in Q2 2019, the company’s focus on energy storage ventures continues to surge: both Powerwall home batteries and industrial Powerpacks reached record high deployment rates this year. As Megapacks begin populating the market, our societal shift toward renewable energy sources may soon pick up speed.| Share on Facebook.

AI Is Getting More In Touch With Your Emotions

What it is: EmoNet, a deep neural network model developed by researchers at Duke University and the University of Colorado, can now classify images into distinct emotional categories. Using parameters like color, spatial power spectra (think: one’s facial ‘layout’), and the presence of objects or stimuli, the AI can then classify an image featuring almost any facial expression into one of eleven distinct emotional categories. Developed using a database of 2,185 videos spanning 27 emotion categories, EmoNet is even capable of distinguishing expressions indicative of “craving” and “horror.”

Why it’s important: While AI may not (yet) be capable of appropriating human emotions, innovations like EmoNet indicate the technology’s increasing ability to discern and act upon human expression data. Perhaps most notably, emotion-reading AIs could play a tremendous role in clinical trial data analysis, scientific survey design, and even mental health diagnoses. Researchers who previously relied on self-reports of emotional state now have an objective and qualitatively accurate tool at their disposal. As elaborated by lead researcher Phillip Kragel, “Moving away from subjective labels such as 'anxiety' and 'depression' towards brain processes could lead to new targets for therapeutics, treatments, and interventions.”  | Share on Facebook.

Scientists Cook Up New Recipes For Taking Salt Out Of Seawater

What it is: Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new form of “thermally responsive” ionic liquids capable of desalinating salt water. Yet instead of using electricity, these ionic liquids use thermal energy, rendering a far more cost-effective solution than traditional desalination techniques. Partnering with the Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, the team discovered that the proximity of an ionic liquid’s organic components to its positively charged ions has a direct impact on the number of water molecules it can extract from seawater. Once tweaked accordingly, the team’s ionic liquid samples were able to separate freshwater from salt with far greater efficiency.

Why it’s important: Today, over 2 billion people rely on drinking water sources contaminated with human waste, and projections indicate that nearly half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas by 2025. 72 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, yet contemporary desalination systems remain highly energy-intensive. Now, however, innovations such as the Berkeley Lab’s modified ionic liquids could give rise to low-cost, scalable desalination — converting one of our most abundant commodities (seawater) into one of our most vital resources. | Share on Facebook.

What is Abundance Insider?

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

Want more conversations like this?

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

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

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

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Energy AI Artificial Intellegence capital SpaceX biotech Genetics CRISPR rockets energy storage energy abundance water softbank
14 min read

Abundance Insider: May 24th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 25, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Tiny robotic bees, lung cancer-detecting AIs, and a new synthetic biology milestone.

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.

Penny-Sized Robotic Bee Is The Most Sci-Fi Thing You'll See All Week

What it is: Harvard’s RoboBee — one of the smallest flying robots ever built — has just gotten a major upgrade. Thanks to the engineering exploits of a research team at the University of Southern California (USC), a new and improved Bee Plus now weighs in at just 95 milligrams and barely straddles the diameter of a penny. Its biggest achievement, however, involves the bee’s actuators and doubled wing count. Using an actuator design called a unimorph, the USC team was able to successfully halve the weight of those actuators used in the Harvard RoboBee precursor. This in turn allowed them to install four (as opposed to two) wings, each with a span of 33 millimeters. Rendering much smoother flight, its wings now allow Bee Plus to perch, land, swim, pursue a path, and even avoid obstacles.

Why it's important: While Bee Plus and similar robo-insect prototypes are still restricted by a power-supplying tether, as on-board energy storage remains a significant engineering obstacle, USC’s team has already begun to tackle it. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is now working on an approach that involves catalytic artificial muscles. Long-term, future descendants of the Bee Plus might one day artificially pollinate flowers, conduct search and rescue missions, or even monitor climate conditions in huge swarms. Farther afield, Professor Perez-Arancibia even imagines a future in which “our robots [fly] on Mars and Titan,” becoming “ant-inspired colonies of explorers.” What eventualities can you envision once these air-faring bots spread their wings?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Google’s Lung Cancer Detection AI Outperforms 6 Human Radiologists

What it is: In partnership with Northwestern Medicine, Google researchers created an AI system that detects lung cancer from CT scans better than well-trained humans. Engineers trained the deep learning model using 42,000 CT scans from 15,000 patients taken during a 2002 NIH study. Compared to six expert radiologists, when analyzing these CT scans, the deep learning model proved to detect cancer 5 percent more often, with an 11 percent reduction in false positives.

Why it's important: While the human eye is limited to the visible spectra and feature sizes on images, AI systems can take a pixel-by-pixel approach to data analysis. Also note Google’s deployment of old NIH data: we don't need access to advanced AI systems right now to start preparing for their arrival. What data are you generating right now that you could proactively collect to help fuel future AI initiatives?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Scientists Created Bacteria With a Synthetic Genome. Is This Artificial Life?

What it is: In an effort to understand how genes encode proteins and fundamentally create life, a team led by Jason Chin at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Britain has rewritten the DNA of the bacteria Escherichia coli to create an synthetic genome 4x larger than anything previously created. Part of what Chin wanted to explore was how genes encode for amino acids and how genetic redundancy works: six snippets of DNA encode for serine, for example. To find out why, the team treated the genome like a text file, finding and replacing codons and reducing the total variation to just four. That new synthetic genome was inserted into a cell, and surprisingly, the synthetic version remained alive.

Why it's important: As we digitize biology, we're uncovering new truths about genomics. This may lead to organisms that produce novel medicines or other valuable molecules as living factories.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

SpaceX Launches 60 Prototypes Of Its Starlink Satellites Into Orbit

What it is: On Thursday night, SpaceX successfully deployed 60 prototype satellites for its Starlink constellation. Starlink is a large-scale development effort by SpaceX to develop a low-cost satellite and accompanying ground stations (to receive signals from the satellites), with the goal of establishing a new space-based global internet communication network. Last year, SpaceX received approval from the US FCC to fully deploy 12,000 Starlink Satellites over the next decade. The company expects development, manufacturing, and deployment to cost over $10 billion in that time span.

Why it's important: Starlink’s prototype deployment is a small step for its connectivity business, but a giant leap for humanity toward communications abundance. As Peter often says, if you want to make a billion dollars, discover a way to help a billion people. By turning our species into a hyper-connected organism, Elon Musk and SpaceX will help billions of people come online and participate in the global economy. In the process, they will generate significant revenue (estimates place Starlink revenue at over $30 billion per year once deployed) to further fund Musk’s vision for colonizing the solar system.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Experimental Brain-Controlled Hearing Aid Decodes, Identifies Who You Want To Hear

What it is: Even in the noisiest environments, our brains can pick out an individual voice and amplify it over others. Yet some of the most advanced hearing aids still struggle to achieve this brain hack, instead amplifying all voices at once. Columbia engineers might now have a solution. Building on a previous discovery that in a two-person conversation, the speaker’s brain waves begin to resemble those of the listener, researchers first leveraged neural networks to create an algorithm that separates out individual voices (from a group). Once separated, these inputted voices are then individually compared to the listener’s brain waves (monitored via implanted electrodes). Lastly, any speaker whose voice pattern most closely resembles the listener’s brain waves is amplified over all others.

Why it's important: A remarkable win for deep learning and brain-imitating mathematical models, this system might soon render a universally decoding mechanism, no longer constrained to pretrained voices or a cacophony of many. As explained by senior author Dr. Mesgarani, “By creating a device that harnesses the power of the brain itself, we hope our work will lead to technological improvements that enable the hundreds of millions of hearing-impaired people worldwide to communicate just as easily as their friends and family do." With promising test results, the team now aims to transform their prototype into a noninvasive device and grant true versatility to hearing-impaired individuals in any environment.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Advancing AI By Teaching Robots To Learn

What it is: Facebook AI is experimenting with robotics to push the limits of what AI can accomplish. Facebook and teams from UC Berkeley and NYU are working on systems that are learning to walk on their own and to learn from touch to manipulate objects effectively. At the heart of all of these approaches is a model driven by a curiosity reward function that seeks to learn by reducing uncertainly in the immediate environment.

Why it's important: Facebook’s idea is that by developing self-supervising systems that interact with the real world -- where the data is noiser and conditions more uncertain than cleanly labeled data sets — we will be able to develop more robust robotics as well as AI systems that can generalize across modalities and learn more efficiently.  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 Space Robotics health google Artificial Intellegence robots communication communications SpaceX satellites biotech automation
11 min read

Musk vs. Bezos: The Great Migration into Space

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 19, 2019

We are witnessing the next great space race… but this time, it is not the U.S. vs. USSR. This race is between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Topics: Space Energy Abundance Transportation space exploration Abundance 360 a360 Blue Origin Private Space SpaceX solar energy solar cells solar power cars multiplanetary species
6 min read

Private Lunar Lander – Reflections on SpaceIL Mission

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 14, 2019

In September 2007, I was joined on stage by Larry Page, Buzz Aldrin, and the deputy administrator of NASA to announce a $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

The challenge we set was for a private team to build and launch a vehicle that could fly and land on the Moon, send back photos and videos, rove half a kilometer, and send back more photos and videos.

Here is a throwback video to the announcement:

 

In late February 2019, twelve years later, SpaceIL launched its lunar-bound Beresheet spacecraft on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9.

Beresheet brought the XPRIZE logo with it into space, and snapped these two selfies, one during its translunar trajectory, and one on its way to the Moon’s surface: 

Image: (Right) A Beresheet selfie taken on its six-week journey from the Earth to the Moon. (Left) A Beresheet selfie taken a few kilometers above the Moon, just moments before the vehicle’s unplanned kinetic disassembly.

I traveled to Israel this past week to join the SpaceIL team in Beresheet mission control for this historic attempt. 

This blog is my reflection on the electrifying mission of the first private lunar spacecraft.

Why Did We Launch This Prize, and Why Did Google Fund It?

We created the Google Lunar XPRIZE to achieve two primary goals:

  • To inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators to take moonshots.
  • To spur affordable access to the Moon and give space entrepreneurs a legitimate platform to develop long-term business models around lunar transportation.

Mission Accomplished

While the SpaceIL mission didn’t achieve a soft landing on the Lunar Surface, there is much to be proud of and to celebrate:

  • The Hero’s Journey of the SpaceIL Team: Imagine three young entrepreneurs who passionately and naively set out to land a mission on the Moon. No funding and no hardware experience. They would go on to raise $100 million, and to build the Beresheet spacecraft with a team of fewer than 50 engineers.
  • A Visionary Funder: We also celebrate the vision and passion of Morris Kahn, a South African-born, Israeli billionaire who was so moved by the passion of the SpaceIL Founders that he committed nearly $50 million to fund the hardware development and launch.
  • The Impact on Children & Adults: Having spent the last week in Israel, I know that team SpaceIL and the Beresheet spacecraft were known by every schoolchild and on the lips of everyone in conversation. Everywhere I’ve traveled in Israel over the past week, people young and old congratulated the XPRIZE Foundation over and over again for inspiring this mission.
  • Making History: The Beresheet spacecraft made history more than once on its exciting journey, including: (1) Being the first private company to orbit the Moon and touch the Moon’s surface; (2) Making Israel the seventh nation (behind the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, the European Space Agency, and India) to orbit the Moon, the fourth country to attempt a soft landing on the Moon, and the fourth country to touch the Moon’s surface.

Giving the $1M Moonshoot Award

MOONSHOTS ARE HARD. 

Taking moonshots is by definition difficult, and the outcome of SpaceIL’s mission goes to show that these world-changing prize competitions are far from easy to win. 

At the same time, space in particular is extremely hard… for now.

Ultimately, Anousheh Ansari (XPRIZE CEO) and I decided to give the team a $1 million 'Moonshot Award,' despite their “kinetic disassembly,” as an encouragement for them to continue the pursuit of their mission, and to launch Beresheet 2.0.

See the video announcement of our $1 Million Moonshot Award to SpaceIL!

And on the heels of my Tweet that announced the $1 million Moonshot award, the world responded with overwhelming support… 

If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again.

Space exploration and failure are intimately linked: nearly every nation and company to reach for the stars has first failed spectacularly at their direct objective.

In the 1950s, between the U.S. and Russia, it took 10 attempts before the first manmade probe (the Russian Luna 2) reached the Moon’s surface.

In recent years, SpaceX failed three times before they successfully launched their Falcon 1 rocket on their fourth attempt.

Yesterday I personally spoke to Morris Kahn, and was thrilled to hear his announcement on nationwide TV. 

“... In light of all of the support that I’ve got, from all over the world, and the wonderful messages of support and encouragement and excitement, I’ve decided that we are going to actually establish Beresheet Shtaim [Beresheet 2].

We are going to actually [build] a new spacecraft, we’re going to put it on the moon, and we’re going to complete the mission…” -- Morris Kahn

The team’s courageous persistence to the point of success is a powerful testament that will continue to inspire millions of children and innovators in Israel and across the globe.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, SpaceIL and Beresheet propelled the private space industry into a new era.

I am grateful to the SpaceIL team for their dedication and courage in pursuing the goal of the Lunar XPRIZE and connecting millions of children across the world to science, technology, engineering, and space.

I am proud that the XPRIZE Foundation is supporting Beresheet 2.0 with a $1 million award and can’t wait to see Beresheet 2.0 land on the Moon.

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: Space space exploration XPRIZE Private Space SpaceX spaceflight moonshot Moonshots moon exponential technology SpaceIL
14 min read

Abundance Insider: March 8th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 8, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Backflipping zoomorphic robots, SpaceX’s autonomous ISS mission, and a new breakthrough in HIV+ treatment.

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.

This AI Lets You Customize How You Sound And Effectively Create A DIY Voice Deepfake

What it is: Modulate, a startup from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is bringing the human voice into the digital age. Using a generative adversarial network, Modulate allows you to add a voice “skin” to your digital avatar. Beyond the cool factor, the team’s goal is to allow you to speak up in games, social networks, or streaming chats with a level of anonymity that removes any fear of discrimination or harassment. All processing runs on your device to eliminate latency concerns, meaning you might be able to hear your digital voice in real time. Importantly, the technology also incorporates a digital audio watermark, acknowledging the potential for misuse.

Why it's important: While Modulate’s immediate focus markets right now lie in gaming — think World of Warcraft and social chat apps — additional near-term use cases include giving brands a unique voice, providing multiple speakers a consistent voice, or customizing voice in apps like Waze or Alexa. Zooming out, this illustrates how AI and GANs “as a Service” are becoming easier to create, use, and share with the world.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Tesla To Close Retail Stores, Only Sell Cars Online

What it is: To bring its Model 3 to market at a $35,000 price point, Tesla recently announced that it would be closing all retail sales and moving to an online-only sales model. The company is estimating an approximate cost reduction of 6 percent from the move, which will be passed to customers on the Model 3, Model S and Model X. Tesla also reduced its upfront deposit to $1,000, and is now allowing customers to return their vehicles for any reason up to 1,000 miles. In related news, Volvo unveiled the Polestar 2 all-electric sedan at the Geneva Motor Show. With a base model starting at $63,000 before $7,500 in federal incentives, the Polestar 2 will also be sold exclusively online, but goes a step further by offering an all-inclusive monthly price tag that includes insurance and maintenance.

Why it's important: These data points — combined with GM’s Cadillac subscription model, which we’ve previously featured in Abundance Insider — signal a dematerialization of auto sales and demonetization of adjacent products and services that were once an annoying hassle (e.g. maintenance at the dealer/body shop, insurance through your bank/broker). As this trend continues and converges with autonomy, look for business model experimentation to accelerate. If your business is related to auto sales, how will you adapt to take advantage of this opportunity?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Peter H. Diamandis & Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

HIV Is Reported Cured In A Second Patient, A Milestone In The Global AIDS Epidemic

What it is: For the second time after 12 years, an HIV-positive patient has entered long-term remission. The reported cure, however, was not purposefully engineered but rather discovered by chance: a true eureka moment for modern medicine. Intending to treat cancer in both HIV+ patients, doctors administered bone marrow transplants from donors with mutations in cell surface protein CCR5, and — astonishingly — cured both. While HIV uses CCR5 to enter immune cells, the virus cannot latch onto a mutated version of the protein, halting its spread. After introducing this genetic variation to his immune system, the “London patient” has now become the first since Timothy Ray Brown (cured in the late 2000s) to remain virus-free for over a year after antiretroviral therapy.

Why it's important: While scientists are debating whether bone-marrow transplants are a realistic option for general HIV treatment in the future, the implications are staggering. Many have already proposed much less invasive uses of the genetic mutation in CCR5, such as gene-therapy approaches that knock out the protein on immune cells or even predecessor stem cells. Yet others are investigating viral delivery systems that could hunt and delete CCR5 receptors. And new stem cell research might even allow HIV-resistant donors to offer resistant stem cells to any patient. We are truly living in an era that defies the impossible.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Claire Adair 

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Team Nails Their First Major Milestones - Next Stop: A Crewed U.S. Space Mission

What it is: In the early hours of Saturday morning on March 2, SpaceX launched the historic Crew Demo-1 mission. With Crew Dragon, SpaceX became the first company to design, build, test, launch, and dock a spacecraft made to fly people to the International Space Station -- or anywhere in Earth’s orbit. Next, SpaceX is scheduled to launch Crew Demo-2, which will be the first manned orbital spaceflight to launch from American soil since the space shuttle last launched in 2011. It’s official: we’ve entered the next era of manned spaceflight.

Why it's important: Compounding on this historic achievement, Crew Demo-1 exemplifies the extraordinary progress and impact of the private space industry over the past two decades. And private companies like SpaceX are just getting started. It’s poignant that this extraordinary year for spaceflight falls on the 50th anniversary of humankind first landing on the Moon. What new discoveries and breakthroughs will we make in this next era of space travel?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Goodyear’s New Aero Tire Is Built With Flying Cars In Mind

What it is: At this week’s Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled its new concept Aero tire, designed to run on roads and double as a propulsion system for flying vehicles. With a non-pneumatic structure (not supported by air pressure), the tire would incorporate flexible new materials capable of both absorbing road shock and weathering stress during the car’s transition from horizontal to airborne. Another 2-in-1 would involve Aero’s propellor blades, built for the dual purpose of providing lift for an ascending car and supporting the weight of a moving, manned vehicle.

Why it's important: With an eye to the future of transportation, Goodyear’s Aero concept reflects a major paradigm shift towards multimodal tools and versatile structures that seamlessly transition between tasks, intelligently self-correct and meet any number of different demands. Beyond new tire technology, Goodyear has already begun to envision an Urban Aerial Mobility Ecosystem of 5G-enabled vehicle-to-vehicle communication, sensor-geared tire materials and condition-monitoring AIs. Combine these visions with the future of infrastructure, roadways and smart traffic flow, and Goodyear will need good company.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

MIT’s Speedy Mini Cheetah Robot Learns To Backflip

What it is: MIT’s latest Cheetah robot weighs only 20 pounds, but it can thrust itself into a 360-degree backflip, run at 5 miles per hour, and perform agile footwork. This lightweight, high-powered design marks the first time that a four-legged robot has performed a backflip. Further, the MIT engineers behind the robot built it to be incredibly robust and rugged. In the rare case that a part of the robot does break during its impressive acrobatics, it’s easy and inexpensive to fix. MIT’s goal with this robust robotics platform is “to form a mini cheetah research consortium of engineers who can invent, swap, and even compete with new ideas.”

Why it's important: Robots are becoming less expensive and more capable everyday. Beyond Cheetah’s applications in disaster relief, this robust robotics platform enables researchers to innovate in ways that will transform how we interact with technology in the future. How might you use anthropomorphic and zoomorphic robots in your everyday life?  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?

Join Peter Diamandis in Dubai, the City of the Future, for the inaugural Abundance 360 Dubai Summit on March 26 - 27, 2019. Hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and the Crown Prince of Dubai, this two-day experience offers exponential leaders an immersive look into how technology will transform every industry. Read more about the program and apply here to join.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Transportation retail Artificial Intellegence robots healthcare Tesla SpaceX biotech deepfakes future of retail flying cars
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
8 min read

Perfect Knowledge + Radical Transparency

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 29, 2018

We’re rapidly approaching the era of abundant knowledge – a time when you can know anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want. An era of radical transparency.

Topics: Abundance AR/VR Sensors networks future SpaceX satellites knowledge Augmented Reality trillion sensor economy autonomous vehicles self-driving cars
9 min read

Connecting 8 Billion by 2024

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 22, 2018

In the next 6 years, 4 billion “New Minds” are about to be connected to the World Wide Web, at Gigabit connection speeds, at near zero-cost.

Topics: communication communications networks 5G connectivity OneWeb bandwidth future O3b SpaceX satellites Google Loon Starlink