🌊 Welcome to the second edition of 🔮Technologically Clairvoyant🔮
Without further ado, let’s get into it 🎪
NASA’s first robot, Bumble, can de-dock itself and float to an astronaut to provide a research terminal. In the future, it’d be interesting to see most of the International Space Station automated by robots.
MAVLab’s drone is incredibly tiny, no larger than the average human hand. The drone can fly completely autonomously, packing computer vision into it’s 72 gram form factor. Looking into the distant future I can see CCTV cameras being replaced with micro-drones like this. These CCTV replacements could use AI to follow someone if they’re looking ‘dodgy’. Currently AI can be used to tell if someone is lost, anxious, or being trafficked.
FLIR recently showed off a drone which inspects solar panels. The company states that these drones can detect errors in a fraction of a second, and with higher accuracy than a human inspector and exponentially faster than humans.
Transport for London touts that the benefits of WiFi tracking outweigh the downsides. TFL can see where congestion is in the tube and redirect traffic, making the tube more efficient. It’s always been possible to track people using WiFi. When your phone is in range of WiFi, it pings the router. The router can use the signal strength to approximate how far you are away from the router. It’s possible to work out how many people are in a tube station.
It’s also possible to pinpoint the exact location of everyone using just WiFi. If you have 3 routers set up in a perfect triangle in a tube station, each router will know how far away someone is from that router. Combining this data, you can triangulate the exact location of someone.
This reminds me of IMSI Catchers, but without the easedropping abillities. IMSI Catchers are devices that can ease drop on mobile communications by pretending to be radio towers. It may be possible in the near future to alleviate traffic completely using this technology. I can see this technology being used in the autonomous driving revolution. Seeing the flow of traffic over time let’s you create better, faster routes.
Amazon’s robots can crank out 600 - 700 packages each hour, per robot. Amazon warehouse employees don’t like working in the warehouse, so robots can be seen as a good thing. But like with all automation, Amazon employs 615,000 People. The majority of them will lose jobs when Amazon replaces them with robots.
Styrofoam is one of the most damaging plastics. 1439 kg or 153048 cups of Styrofoam have been produced since you started reading this newsletter. Crazy, right? With so much produced, it is destroying the oceans. I’ve put this into the near future because the planet is fucking dying. This change has to happen soon for the environment to be saved.
In the future when all cars are autonomous traffic problems will become non-existent. The cars will know where traffic is and create a route that doesn’t create more traffic. In Computer Science, this problem is called the Max Flow Problem and it’s solved. If you have 10,000 cars heading to a motorway traffic jam, it is possible to find a route whereby all 10,000 cars can travel the same direction but experience no traffic. For the record, I’m pro replacing drivers with cars. Uber and Lyft drivers force surge pricing to earn more money. In the future when all taxis are autonomous the consumer wouldn’t have to worry about artificial surge pricing.
We’ve seen this pattern over and over. AI outperforming humans in detecting cancer. In the near future, diagnosis will be replaced by machines. What’s important to know is that I don’t believe in artificial general intelligence being smarter than humans. AI infused with humans is better than AI or humans on its own. Ray Dalio’s company, Bridgewater Assiocates uses AI + Humans to invest. In the 2008 - 2009 financial crisis, their portfolio made 15.6%. Back testing to the great depression, they only lost 2%. Gary Kasparov, a chess grand master, says that the best chess players are humans infused with Ai. It’s not long until human + AI doctors revolutionize the world.
USPS are trialing self driving delivery vans. This is a great idea. There are some places in the USA where mail is delivered by mules (because cars cannot travel there). Drones may also be incredibly useful in this instance. This is going to sound strange, but I believe hand delivered mail will become really big in the next 10 - 15 years. In the early 90s, static HTML pages were all the rage. Then they were replaced. But now no one has a static page, so we’ve gone back to them to stand out.
The same will happen to mail. No one gets mail anymore. And when we do, we feel happier. A little joyus. Everything will move to email, but the people that start using mail when everyone else is using email will be a favourite to the nation.
Following on last weeks prediction of emergency service drones and traffic systems, NASA has started a 4 year plan to control the traffic of drones in a city. Their system unifies all drones, a communications hub for drones. This flight system will let each drone know where everything is and how to plan the fastest routes. In the not so distant future, autonomous vehicles will also have a unified system to communicate through.
The first 60 test Satellites have been launched. Elon Musk says that the system will be fully operational by 2025. Having read Musk’s Biography, I know that he has a habit of estimating timelines badly. This is in the distant future because it’ll probably happen in 2035.
The government algorithm has recently received an update. When you have low social credit, you become a 'laolai'. The ringtone on your phone changes to one that shames you every time you get a public call. I’ve linked to an English source here. In an effort to be unbiased, I’ve found Chinese government sources here (as well as Chinese newspapers, but translated into English)    that discuss China’s social credit system. China wants the entire system rolled out nationwide by 2020.
Researches have created an AI that takes a single image of someone and turns it into a moving video of the person talking. This technology was used to create a speaking Mona Lisa. With deep fakes becoming ever more prevalent, it is surprising to learn that they don’t need that much content to learn from and can in fact just use a single image.
By removing the Lignin—a component of the cell walls in trees—from natural wood using hydrogen peroxide researches have found that the wood reflects sunlight. Meaning that the wooden house would be a lot cooler than a normal wooden house.
The wood is also 8.7 times stronger than normal wood, as it’s incredibly dense.
Flying cars are becoming ever more popular. It'll be interesting to see which company is leading the flying card industry in 10 - 15 years.
Ford have shown off a new delivery concept. Vans with packages are autonomously driven to the persons house, and then an autonomous robot unpacks itself and delivers the package. I don’t believe this to Be
Echord++ uploaded a video of their MARS agricultural robot in action the other day too. The MARS program aims to redefine how we use robots in farming, by using a swarm of small bots that work together instead of larger machines. I’ll have more of this in my farming special, coming soon.
As we've discussed earlier, humans infused with AI seem the way to go. DARPA are looking at interfacing your brain with AI. Similar to what Elon Musk's Neuralink are doing
Until next time,