Welcome to edition 1 of my weekly newsletter 🔮 Technologically Clairvoyant. Every week, we’ll explore what the future can hold for us. This is a beta-test before I send it out to my whole list. Let me know (via email, or however else you can contact me) about:
- What do you think of the name?
- Is this too technical?
- Fewer links, more talking?
PS: I wrote some code to automate part of this newsletter. Check out the GitHub repo here.
The Near Future
🌉San Francisco is first US city to ban facial recognition
I believe this ban to be caused by Airports. In the last few weeks, airports have been rapidly adopting facial recognition to replace passports. You do not have to opt into this. By default, you are opted in and you cannot opt out. The government has a photo of your face and they’ll use it instead of your passport / boarding pass.
Police forces across the world are running rampant on using facial recognition.
👮♀️Police Are Feeding Celebrity Photos into Facial Recognition Software to Solve Crimes
🤳How safe do you think it is to “pay by face” on mobile phones? We measured an accuracy rate of less than 70%
WeChat and Alipay, which let’s you pay using a face, has a face accuracy of less than 70%. That means that there is a frightening possibility someone could fake your face. Either through pictures or a molding.
👩🌾Robots take over farms faster than expected through autonomous equipment start-up
The first fully autonomous farming equipment is arriving. Lyft executive said then when the autonomous driving industry really kicks into gear, drivers will have to become mechanics.
🚕Lyft executive suggests drivers become mechanics after they’re replaced by self-driving robo-taxis
It’s no stretch of the imagination to imagine farmers going from farmers to becoming mechanics. Farmers already have a life long history of becoming hardware hackers. I’ll explore farmers and agriculture in a later special.
The BBC is working on a ‘public service algorithm’. An algorithm designed to improve the lives of the public.
🎧BBC building ‘public service algorithm’
The BBC claims that current mediums are too much of an echo chamber. You watch Joe Rogan and you’ll only hear right wing news. You listen to a left wing podcast and you’ll only hear about the left wing. The BBC is designing an algorithm to broaden the horizons of the listeners. In the words of the BBC:
“An algorithm designed to promote skepticism rather than reinforce prejudice”
The future of media is moving towards algorithms. In the near future, adverts will be customised to each person listening / watching. At the moment, all the adverts you see online are customised to you - personally.
📺Plan for personalised adverts to be screened on home
Eventually, the adverts on your TV or radio will be customised to you.
🚁DHL documents delivered by drone
Logistics company DHL has teamed up with drone maker Ehang, to offer the first fully automated express delivery system in China. The system can travel about 8km from its’ base station, and can carry up to 5kg per flight.
This is all in an effort to bring the delivery time down. The less time between you buying the package and it being delivered, the higher the chance is of you not returning it. This is because when you get a product, you get a feeling of joy and happiness. You want to explore the product - you don’t want to return it.
Amazon has warehouses hyper-local to serve communities. They have much larger warehouses over the country. The most popular products are shipped to a much more local warehouse, to reduce delivery time to one hour or two hour delivery.
🏥University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Used to Complete Kidney Transplant
The University of Maryland demonstrated another use for delivery drones a few weeks back too, by successfully transporting a kidney used in an organ transplant. This kind of application makes sense, especially in built up areas, where time is crucial.
With Amazon fighting for drone space and drones being used for medical operations, something has to change. Drones may be designated ‘important’. Maybe with flashing lights and sirens - like emergency services. These drones will have priority over other drones in the airspace. None of this has been confirmed yet, it is pure speculation. But speculation based on education and knowledge.
🔫NYPD using VR to train for active shootings and real-life scenarios
The New York Police Department are using VR to train for active shootings and real life scenarios. As time goes on, the VR environments will improve. NASA already use VR to train their astronauts:
🛰How NASA uses virtual reality to train astronauts
NASA made an announcement that they are going to the moon by 2024. And they’re going to stay on the moon.
🥑Wing to launch early access air delivery program in Finland in June
Wing, a Google company, announced that they will begin delivering food to the citizens of Helsinki.
In the not so distant future, with drones becoming ever more popular for deliveries UberEats and Deliveroo would be put out of business. We’ll use drones to deliver food. Not only are they faster (they can fly over buildings / not obey traffic laws) but it would be considerably cheaper too (due to economies of scale.
The Distant Future
💻LightBee: Holographic Drone Projects Princess Leia in Mid-Air
Human Media Lab unveiled the LightBee, which is basically a hovering hologram-like system, used for telepresence applications. The person on the other end of the call uses a special camera array, which creates a realistic parallax effect, so those viewing at different angles, will see a slightly different image.
🔨An Omnidirectional Aerial Manipulation Platform for Contact-Based Inspection
And as well as all that, the Autonomous Systems Lab have been developing drones capable of aerial tool manipulation, meaning it can take installed tools, and press up against various surfaces, for inspection or use. For example, using a drill or a paintbrush. I could see potential uses for this kind of thing in industrial, and bridge monitoring.
🐙Beyond the Metal: NASA Investigating Soft Robots for Space Exploration
NASA are exploring using soft robots for space. Think Octopus tentacles. Instead of arms / legs, tentacles could be used instead. They have more maneuverability, possibly better grip and can survive longer.
🛸The Lilium Jet five seater all-electric air taxi
In other news, Lilium successfully completed a test flight of their 5-seat air taxi. The jet-powered VTOL will continue testing. It’s a flying 5 seater taxi.
This reminds me of Google’s Kitty Hawks’ Flyer. A one person flying car.
🤖This AI-generated Joe Rogan fake has to be heard to be believed
Someone has created an AI generated Joe Rogan fake clip. The audio is entirely fake - but sounds scarily realistic. Deep fakes are getting scarily real. One Star Wars fan used Deep fake to generate a fictional Star Wars scene. Obi Wan vs Darth Vader.
In the not-too-distant future it wouldn’t be hard to see political smear campaigns being carried out by using a deep faked video + audio.
A perfect deep fake using both video & audio has yet to be produced (at least, to the public). While faking letters has been around for years, it’s been possible to prove whether someone has sent a letter or not using Public Key Cryptography. It will be interesting to see the same kind of technology be used to prove whether someone has been in a video or not.
🍔Impossible Foods’ meatless burgers have made it a $2 billion company
Impossible Foods’ recent IPO evaluated them at $2 billion. It’s clear that vegan meat replacements are the future. Farming is unsustainable. Eating meat is unsustainable. The future has to disclude meat. Whether that’s a fully vegan diet (eating salad every day) or meat alternatives such as Impossible Food. In a special, I’ll go into detail on the future of the human diet.
Until next time,
- Bee 🐝