Using AR to locate your keys? | 01-28-17

JOHNATHAN SOREFF 

Almost every one of us had been late to an important meeting or event while looking for her/his keys, and this issue has been addressed by many electronic solutions.  

Pixie’s approach is rather similar on the face of it – a guitar picked-shaped device (points) that adheres to a frequently misplaced item, like a keychain. The differentiator between this and existing technologies is an extra layer of augmented reality tech on top of the standard pinging products. The company compares it to Pokemon Go, because, well, that’s still far and away the best method for contextualizing AR tech to non-tech people.”

Source: TechCrunch

An IoT product's challange | 01-28-17

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

The rise of IoT in the past years has influenced many companies into making their products “smart” or “connected". However, companies are facing a significant challenge when it comes to product’s adoption, if the product, even though connected, does not fit to the customer's needs.   

“Companies must identify problems before proposing solutions. IoT products will demand a high level of cooperation and cohesion between design and development because the experience is rooted in technology and entirely new to the user. Companies must identify the problem first, the pain point of their user, before they even begin to develop solution.”

Source: IoT-for-all

 

VR for sports fans | 01-18-17

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

One potential application for  VR technology is to enable sports fans around the world to virtually attend sports events as if they were sitting on court sides.  Per Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, “Viewers will get to decide what seat they have. That’s the future of sports viewing.”

Source: Starters Blog


A glance in the future- AI Teaching Assistant? | 01-18-17

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

With the demand for teachers increasing over time and far exceeding the number of teachers available, This great article provides imaginable vision by which teaching assistants could be replaced by AI in the not that far future.  This could have a huge impact on teaching methodologies. For example, if the TA AI assistant "makes ongoing assessments based on daily student performance and engagement in the classroom, there is simply no longer any need for what were often inaccurate and stressful evaluations".

Source: How we get to next

Key Tech Trends for 2017 |01-08-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

The Future Today Institute’s (FTI) annual report features highlights and trend to expect in 2017. These include the increasing integration of AI in many industries, the shift of R&D from universities to corporates, crossover trends between industries (e.g. synthetic biology enabling agriculture in urban areas, decreasing the need for delivering it across the world) and much more.

Source: FTI’s annual report

Digital Personal Assistance- just the beginning? |01-08-1

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

In an interview for the Ringer, Andrew Ng, Baidu’s chief AI scientist, discuss “how Chinese and American digital assistants differ, why we don’t have to fear killer robots, and the possibility of working in a hostile political environment”. Ng is a former researcher at Stanford and is best known for the google brain initiative.

Source: The Ringer

Harnessing Exponential Technologies to Social impact |01-08-1

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

Increasing number of organizations are identifying opportunities beyond the commercial implications of exponential technologies and use them to enhance social impact.

Exploiting exponential technologies for social impact can allow companies to help address pressing societal issues and create new markets. Per Dr. Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, “forward-looking business leaders who embrace this reality make explicit commitments to enter new global markets both as economic opportunity zones as well as community spaces requiring nurturing and support.”

Source: Deloitte’s Insights and Analysis

IoT and the New Product Manager |12-26-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

This great article by Daniel Elizalde discusses the exponential growth of the IoT, projecting that 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020, a 233% increase from the devices connected today.  Companies are constantly “working to tackle the biggest problems of our generation by applying the Internet of Things to modernize the electrical grid, transportation, food production, water supply”, and other critical infrastructure. Per Elizalde’s analysis, this rapid growth and additional application of IoT will require a new type of PM who can incorporate the 5 layers of the IoT technology stack into his or her product strategy and roadmap. These 5 layers include Device Hardware, Device Software, Communications, Cloud Platform and Cloud Applications.

Source: IoT-for-all

 

Apple’s AI research on improved simulated & unsupervised learning | 12-26-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

A new AI research article published by Apple on Nov-15-16, aims “to improve the quality of synthetic training images. The work is a sign of the company’s aspirations to become a more visible leader in the ever-growing field of AI.”  This technique poses not only great potential but also a challenge, as small imperfections can have significant negative impact on final product.

Source: TechCrunch

 

Are self-driving cars ready for commercialization?|12-26-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

Trump’s summit meeting last week with tech executives, “was a giant green light for an industry and the multitrillion-dollar investment it will represent, the cost largely to be borne by consumers and government.” This opinion column addresses questions arising from the great promises deriving from this industry, such as: will safety increase as promised and accidents will be prevented? Will the number of jobs created exceed the number of jobs eliminated?

Source: The New York Times

Key Exponential Technologies – Synthetic Biology |12 -17- 16

Johnathan Soreff

As part of this year's topic of Exponential Technologies, we will also look at the latest innovation within the Synthetic Biology area. But what is Synthetic Biology? Synthetic biology refers to both the design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world, and the re-design and fabrication of existing biological systems. 

If you are having trouble visualizing it, this 4 minute video provides a good basic explanation:

 

The term  synthetic biology, or synbio for short, is increasingly integrated into conversation regarding tech and the not so distant future. Per the U.S. Trends in Synthetic Biology research funding estimation, between 2008 and 2014, the United States invested approximately $820 million dollars in synthetic biology research. This research also highlights the key role of DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, in this ecosystem.

 

This year we will host, among other speakers, DARPA’s head of information innovation John Launchbury and Kernel’s CEO Bryan Johnson. Kernel is building a tiny chip that can be implanted in the brain to help people suffering from neurological damage caused by strokes, Alzheimer’s or concussions[1]. Watch this short video, elaborating on Kernel’s broader mission:

 

 

 

Read more on

The big trends in synthetic biology you need to know

The combination of human and artificial intelligence will define humanity’s future

Putting a computer in your brain is no longer science fiction

FAQ on synthetic biology

Synbiobeta conference, London 2016

Synthetic Biology Startup Lygos Closes $13 Million Venture Financing

 

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/08/15/putting-a-computer-in-your-brain-is-no-longer-science-fiction/?utm_term=.24eb553f9acc

 

Key Exponential Technologies – Robotics |12 -6- 16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

Robotics is still very much at the heart of Exponential Technologies. It is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. This year's conference will look at the latest innovations within robotics and how it converges with the other emerging technologies.

The increasing usage of robots in different industries allows companies (and humans) to reduce labor costs, eliminate dangerous jobs, increase output rate, improve product quality, reduce waste, and benefit from other advantages. However, our imagination (with the generous help of science fiction movies) reverts to the prevailing question- will robots replace us?

This 2-year-old 15 minute (and over 7M watches) video by CPG Grey, depicts these kind of thoughts:

 

This McKinsey report aims to address the public concern (and major focus area for research) around which jobs will or will not be replaced by machines and robots. The report highlights the fact that the technical potential for automation differs drastically across sectors. 

While robots are already deeply integrated some fields such as manufacturing, the usage of robotics by individuals is still growing and expected to increase over time, as companies invest significant resources in this field. A great example for this is the Amazon Go Store, opening early 2017 in Seattle, which uses sensors, computer vision, and deep learning to track customer movements and automatically register which items in the store get picked up. The customers will be charged later via their Amazon account[1] . This cool video gives a good sense of this project:

 

There are, of course, other day to day robotics applications, including i-robot, drones and many others. From a consumer point of view, and just in time for the holidays, check out this great Robot Gift Guide.

Read more on:

Robotics trends blog

ieee spectrum on robotics 

Robotics companies business review

 

Key Exponential Technologies – VR & AR |11-30- 16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

When we talk about Exponential Technologies, we can't leave Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) out of the picture. But what is VR & AR?

VR is a near-realistic and immersive 3D simulated environment through interactive specialized software and hardware that allows the user to experience and control it through the movements of their bodies[1].

You can think of AR as a blend of the real world and VR. While VR creates a totally artificial environment[2], augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it, integrating the digital information with the user environment in real time.

 A simple though clarifying example of AR, is this short video, in which different types of furniture from an IKEA catalog are virtually embedded in your own living room:

Usually the first thing to come to mind when thinking about VR is HDM, head-mounted displays. HDM is a display device, worn on the head or as part of a helmet, that has a small display optic in front of one (monocular HMD) or both eyes (binocular HMD)[3]. HDM brings along various applications including Military, Medicine & Research, Engineering and Gaming & Videos.

This eco-space is increasingly filled by companies such as OculusHTC ViveSony PlayStation VRGoogle Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR, and others.

If you haven’t tried any of the above, I’m hoping this short video by IGN will give you a small sense:

Read more on:

 MIT’S brilliant trick to make VR go wireless  

Digital Trends on Virtual reality

Computers weekly - Augmented reality business applications start to get real

2016 VR headsets comparison

Digi-Capita Blog, Augmented/Virtual Reality revenue forecast revised to hit $120 billion by 2020

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-mounted_display

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality

[3] http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/augmented-reality-AR

 

Key Exponential Technologies – Artificial Intelligence | 11-20-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

This week blog will be focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Lately, AI is used in many ways, and appears in articles and publications related to different areas and industries. But what is AI?

According to Harvard Business Review, “when people talk about AI, machine learning, automation, big data, cognitive computing, or deep learning, they’re talking about the ability of machines to learn to fulfill objectives based on data and reasoning.” This article also highlights different implementations of AI within different industries. The increasing amount of data, serving as a driver for future economic growth, could enable improved efficiency and better prediction for companies from varied industries, under the assumptions that those would know how to optimize the mentioned data.

However, the mentioned potential poses a few challenges. S. Zayd Enam, a PhD student in the Stanford AI lab, explains the complexity of the implementation of machine learning in his article Why is machine learning 'hard'? “What is unique about machine learning is that it is ‘exponentially’ harder to figure out what is wrong when things don’t work as expected.”

AI is not only complex to implement, but also challenging from a moral point of view. This Digital Journal’s article presents an AI judge, predicting court cases with 79% accuracy. This highlights moral issues that could arise in the near future. A cool MIT initiative called the Moral Machine is trying to address these ethical problems in the developing machine-based decision making, by the use of crowd sourcing:

Read more about:

UCLA Anderson’s din Judy D. Olian, Why AI won’t replace  CEOs

  President Obama addressing AI in an interview for Wired.

  MIT tech review, The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics

    Siri vs. Alexa vs. Cortana vs. Google Assistant: It's Battle of the AI Systems 

Key Exponential Technologies - Internet of Things | 11-13-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

As identified in the video posted last week, 6 key exponential technologies that will be addressed in this year’s conference include:   Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Synthetic Biology.

This week’s blog will focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. Simplified, it’s a giant network, connecting people with people, people with things, and things with things.

The rise of the IoT in the last few years was enabled by increased access to broadband internet, decreased technology cost, and the penetration of smart phones. Many examples can be given to highlight the endless potential- imagine that when everything is connected, instead of a smart home, we could have a smart city.

 

Care to dive deeper?

Read :

Forbes' explanation of IoT

Business insider's examples and applications

Watch:

Intro to Exponential Technologies | 11-04-16

JOHNATHAN SOREFF

AdobeStock_87299269.jpeg

This year’s conference will focus on Exponential technologies, and its objectives are to understand what’s preventing us from unlocking the full potential of converging exponential technology, explore the convergence of exponential technologies and study how they are creating more opportunities together.

But first, what are Exponential technologies? The simple definition is “Technologies that double in power or processing speed every year, while their cost halves[1]”.

Exponential technologies are a wide name for technologies with a rapid growth cycle. Steven Kotler, American best-selling author, journalist, and entrepreneur as well as the Flow Genome Project founder, identifies the 6 components of the growth cycle of exponential technologies to be: Digitalization, Deception, Disruption, Demonitization, Dematerialization and Democratization.

Examples of exponential technologies include Voice recognition (Providing real time translation), Virtual Reality (enhancing multiple sensory experience) and Cognitive and Quantum computing (Machine learning and AI).

Want to know more??

Read Michael Haupt on exponential technologies            

Watch Peter H. Diamandis video’s, pointing out six key exponential technologies

  [1] https://michaelhaupt.com/exponential-technology-defined-374e2db882b0#.9mya5qgdd