Box of Amazing: Minecraft in Real Life  
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Box of Amazing is a weekly digest curated by Rahim covering emerging technology, trends and extraordinary articles, hand picked to broaden your mind and challenge your thinking.

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Editor's Note
I won't mention Game of Thrones again after this week, but it's cemented itself in popular culture over the years when technology has taken over. It just goes to show that medieval escapism is all we need to get away from our tech-driven world. If by the time you read this, you haven't seen the final episode, here are the potential six ways that it will end and if you are looking for how you will fill your time, here's how you can fill the void once GoT is gone.

Many say to me the edtech is doomed because the education industry has taken too long to transform. That's partly true but I beg to differ. One need only look at China to see how a whole industry is being transformed using new approaches, new tech and a forward-thinking attitude. Check out the Top 10 Edtech Business in China That You May Never Heard of (Part 1 and Part 2

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. Impressive Tech
What do the experts think is the most impressive technology of the last few years? "Technology and the tools it creates are evolving rapidly, shifting the way the world operates, especially in the realm of business. Tech can change very quickly, with rapid leaps in efficiency, ability and accessibility happening within the span of just a few years. Tech professionals have front-row seats for this lightning-fast evolution (when they’re not on stage themselves) and are the first to know about new, potentially game-changing developments. They’re also best-positioned to know what new tech is here to stay, and what may well prove a flash in the pan." It comes down to AI, Open Source Machine Learning, Chatbots, VR, AR, Quantum Computing, Voice Apps, Facial Recognition, convergence of IOT, Blockchain, AI  and fog computing, 5G, Cloud native computing plus a handful more. These technologies are defining our world, and to stay ahead, you need to at least understand why they are important to you and your business.   Link
2. Justice by Robo-Judge
In a move towards ever greater productivity, Estonia will trial an artificial intelligence (AI) based system which will adjudicate over small claims court proceedings later this year.  In recent years, the technology field has been abuzz with the advent of ever-improving AI-based technology.  Whilst much of that tech is in its formative stages, there are real tangible signs of its application emerging.  In Estonia, it seems that the technology is destined to be used in what traditionally would be the least innovative of areas – the country’s courts system. Link
3. University AI Admissions
Universities are now experimenting with how to get the best return from picking the right students in the first place. And that is using data and algos. "Algorithms aren’t just helping to orchestrate our digital experiences but increasingly entering sectors that were historically the province of humans—hiring, lending, and flagging suspicious individuals at national borders. Now a growing number of companies, including Salesforce, are selling or building AI-backed systems that schools can use to track potential and current students, much in the way companies keep track of customers. Increasingly, the software is helping admissions officers decide who gets in. The tech companies behind admissions software say algorithms can improve the success of school recruitment efforts and cut costs. At Taylor University, which Salesforce touts as a “success story,” the admissions department says it saw improvements in recruitment and revenues after adopting the Education Cloud: In Fall 2015, the school welcomed its largest ever incoming freshman class. Taylor now uses the software to predict future student outcomes and make decisions about distributing financial aid and scholarships."   Link
4. The First Lab-Made Organism
"Scientists have created the world’s first living organism that has a fully synthetic and radically altered DNA code. The lab-made microbe, a strain of bacteria that is normally found in soil and the human gut, is similar to its natural cousins but survives on a smaller set of genetic instructions. The bug’s existence proves life can exist with a restricted genetic code and paves the way for organisms whose biological machinery is commandeered to make drugs and useful materials, or to add new features such as virus resistance. In a two-year effort, researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge read and redesigned the DNA of the bacterium Escherichia coli (E coli), before creating cells with a synthetic version of the altered genome." Next thing we will see is the combination of these organisms and robots. And then humans will die. The Robots will take over. END Link
5. Minecraft goes AR!
Microsoft have taken Minecraft to the next level and will soon launch Minecraft Earth, a sort of AR version involving the real world not dissimilar to Pokemon Go. Watch the Official Trailer. "Imagine sitting at home and building something in Minecraft on your phone and then dropping it into your local park for all of your friends to see it together at the same exact location. Minecraft Earth aims to transform AR gaming from single-person experiences into a living, breathing virtual world that’s shared by everyone. If Microsoft succeeds, you’ll be able to walk into a mall and point your phone’s camera at a McDonald’s Minecraft adventure while you’re eating a Big Mac or see your own giant structures next to actual buildings." This will be massive. Why? "More than 90 million people play it every month, and that number has gone up every year, boosted most recently by 200 million Chinese users. Between PCs, game consoles, mobile, and VR devices, you can buy it for 20 different platforms. Videos of people playing the open-ended sandbox game still get tens of billions of views every year on YouTube." Link 1 , Link 2 
6. Driverless Trucks are GO!
"Resembling the helmet of a Star Wars stormtrooper, a driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road in Sweden on Wednesday, in what developer Einride and logistics customer DB Schenker described as a world first."  Link
7. Amazon Robots Replacing Humans
The Robot big guns have arrived. Amazon’s new fulfillment center machines pack boxes up to 5x faster than humans. "Amazon.com Inc is rolling out machines to automate a job held by thousands of its workers: boxing up customer orders. The company started adding technology to a handful of warehouses in recent years, which scans goods coming down a conveyor belt and envelops them seconds later in boxes custom-built for each item. Amazon has considered installing two machines at dozens more warehouses, removing at least 24 roles at each one, these people said. These facilities typically employ more than 2,000 people.That would amount to more than 1,300 cuts across 55 U.S. fulfilment centers for standard-sized inventory. Amazon would expect to recover the costs in under two years, at $1 million per machine plus operational expenses, they said." Link
8. Why Apple didn't buy Netflix
In the GAFA version of Game of Thrones, I imagine acquisitions that could take place. For example, imagine Amazon buying Tesla or Google buying Spotify. Both are as likely as they are unlikely. One acquisition that I did think was likely was Apple buying Netflix. But it didn't and built Apple TV+ instead. "There's little reason for Apple to be interested in buying Netflix. First, Netflix already has an incredibly high valuation greater than $150 billion, meaning there's little potential for Apple to add any value and create any growth. And in an era of increasing scrutiny of massive media acquisitions, buying Netflix could end up very expensive for Apple in ways far beyond its current nosebleed valuation.  It's pretty clear Apple's strategy has been to pay around $300 million for a smart team and advanced technology it can use to sell the next year's 215 million iPhones for $160 billion, not to spend $160 billion and work backward at finding talent or stumbling on a technology.  When companies spend $15 billion to take over large, existing businesses the way Google did with Motorola and Nest, or the way Microsoft did with Nokia and aQuantive, it typically makes for a huge embarrassing mess. Apple buying Netflix would be ten times as bad. "   Link
9. South Korea's Animal Robot Soldiers
"“Biobots” Will Serve Alongside South Korean Soldiers by 2024. Military robots inspired by birds, snakes, and insects will soon support South Korea’s human soldiers. On Sunday, South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), the agency tasked with acquiring the nation’s military weapons, published a document announcing plans to incorporate “biomimetics” equipment into military operations by 2024 — another sign robots will play an integral role in future military operations. “Biometric robots will be a game-changer in future warfare and related technologies are expected to bring about great ripple effects throughout the defence industry,” DAPA spokesperson Park Jeong-eun said. Link
10. Tomato Picking Robot
"Farmers spend more than $34 billion a year on labour in the U.S., according to the USDA. And many would like to hire more help. But the agriculture industry here faces labor shortages, thanks in part to the scarcity of H2B visas, and an ageing worker population. Older workers can’t necessarily handle the hours or repetitive physical tasks they once might have. That’s where Root AI, a start-up in Somerville, Massachusetts, comes in. The company’s first agricultural robot, dubbed the Virgo 1, can pick tomatoes without bruising them, and detect ripeness better than humans." Link
Top of the News
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
How Apple Pivoted Link

Google Just Handed Amazon A Massive Advantage In Smart Home Tech Link

Why I still love Tech (in defense of a difficult industry) Link

China, not Tesla, is driving the electric-car revolution Link

6 ways blockchain is changing luxury Link

How to Teach Your Kid They Don't Have to Be Perfect at Everything Link

From robo-wars to mindfulness: What Bill Gates is reading to understand modern technology Link

Can CBD really do all that? Link

The Challengers:How Monzo, Revolut, Starling and N26 plan to topple legacy banks Link

Watch this device translate silent thoughts into speech Link
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Box of Amazing is a project that I started to share my thoughts with like-minded individuals who are interested in the future world that we are fast approaching. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, competitors, pets, potential love interests and others who are interested in learning about emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. 

Thank you for reading

- Rahim

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