Box of Amazing: Amazon on your Face  
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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
Welcome to my new readers from all over the world. Great to have you. If you find value in this newsletter please forward this email to your friends, family and foe
 
As many of you have noticed, I have reverted to bringing in some longer reads every week in this section of the newsletter. Some have even suggested they warrant their own email. My intention is to maintain one email on a Sunday. It focuses my reading and hopefully focuses yours.

I would, however, recommend Josh Spector's For The Interested. It's curated very well and helps provide you with the best articles to improve in your work and life. I've recommended to you before and will recommend it again. It's great and also free.

On to this weeks' Recommended Reads. I have specifically not included anything on Borris/Impeachment (.....apart from the first one :>)

1. The Moment of Truth for Brexit and Trump Link
2. Boston Dynamic's Robot doing Gymnastics! Link
3. Self Confidence (Fake it knowing you will make it) Link
4. The 100 best books of the 21st century Link
5. 360 degrees VR Space Safari (Excellent) Link
6. Every Company is Becoming a Software Company Link
7. These are Bill Gates’ 13 favourite TED talks—and they’ll make you feel smarter, wiser and more hopeful Link
8. The Wildly Appealing, Totally Doomed Future of WeWork Link
9. China digital consumer trends in 2019 Link
10. Slack Is a Hell of Our Own Making Link

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. UK Unicorns
A unicorn company is a startup which manages to reach a valuation of $1b (currently about £760m) or more. The term “unicorn” refers to the rarity of startups which achieve this much success. However, UK unicorn startups are becoming a more common sight, particularly in London. Check out the list of the current UK unicorns, alongside unicorns that have exited, and businesses that are rumoured to have reached unicorn status. Not all are common household names and the fintechs have been joined by the healthtechs over recent months. Link 
2. How TikTok Holds our Attention
Have you ever watched someone create and retake their TikTok until they feel its perfect. It feels otherworldly to me, but it's the choice of a generation, for the time being. This article is well recommended and covers where this trend may go: "Whatever comes along will likely owe something to TikTok. Facebook has already released a TikTok clone, called Lasso, which flopped, and the app researcher Jane Manchun Wong recently discovered that Instagram has been testing TikTok-like features. A.I.-powered algorithms are becoming central to the ways that we process our everyday existence. Someday, other companies could use ByteDance’s A.I. systems the way they now use Google’s cloud-computing services: like a utility—gas or electricity for the new A.I.-driven world."  Link
3. Amazon on your face
I've been waiting for Amazon to announce wearable types of device that could use Alexa on the move. And that's exactly what was announced this week. Alongside a ream of other devices, you can now get Amazon Echo Frames which are smart glasses that bring Alexa closer to you than your smartphone. ""The Echo Frames work through four directional speakers built into each temple of the normal-looking glasses, letting you talk to Alexa without the people around you hearing the responses. When paired with an Android smartphone (there's no iOS support at launch), the speakers and mics combo built into the Frames will be able to perform functions like reading out notifications, playing music, making phone calls and turning smart lights on and off. Amazon is also including what it calls a "VIP Filter", which lets you customize the notifications from the contacts and the apps you care about most. The Frames will also offer support for Google Assistant letting you double up on smart assistants to expands its uses letting you get directions and even schedule appointments." Link
4. The 7 Most Dangerous Technology Trends
1. Drone Swarms
2. Spying Smart Home Devices
3. Facial Recognition
4. AI Cloning
5. Ransomeware 
6. Smart Dust
7. Fake News Bots.

Find out why Link
5. Google's Quantum Supremacy
"Quantum computing is now ready to go – or is it? Google appears to have reached an impressive milestone known as quantum supremacy, where a quantum computer is able to perform a calculation that is practically impossible for a classical one. But there are plenty of hurdles left to jump over before the technology hits the big time. The final, and perhaps biggest, next step is to actually do something useful. Google’s quantum computer tackled a task called a random circuit sampling problem. In such a problem, after a series of calculations each qubit outputs a 1 or 0. The aim is to calculate the probability of each possible outcome occurring. Google says Sycamore was able to find the answer in just a few minutes – a task it estimates would take 10,000 years on the most powerful supercomputer. Although that is impressive, there is no practical use for it.The hope is that quantum computers could eventually help revolutionise our understanding of chemistry and material science by performing simulations that are too complicated for classical computers. “There are certain quantities that you’d like to know that you can’t easily learn from experiment and can’t calculate with supercomputers today. This is where quantum computers can help,” says Scott Aaronson at the University of Texas at Austin." Link
6. Is CBD the next Pain Killer
"CBD, which is both not psychotropic and not addictive, has garnered several star advocates. Enthusiasts like former New York Giants receiver Tiki Barber, former Boston Celtic Paul Pierce, and recently retired New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski all have their own CBD companies that promote the substance as a powerful healing tool that can manage pain, and in Pierce’s case, help with crippling anxiety. Their advocacy has raised the drug’s profile and helped kick off a national conversation." Link
7. Uber Plans to take over the City
A fascinating article covering Dara Khosrowshahi's strategy for growth: "It’s an ambitious play to become the de facto transportation and delivery service in every major city. But the real prize for Uber isn’t just a more equitable system or fewer cars on the road; it’s your data." In a week where Uber just about held on to its license in London, this is bold. I think some sort of event needs to change its business model in a game-changing way - and that very well could be the cornorstone of data for cities and the world. Why not?   Link
8. Cities are not ready for AI Disruption
"The Global Cities AI Disruption Index, published by research outfit Oliver Wyman Forum today (Sept. 26), aims to look at how 105 major cities are preparing for the AI era. The report was conducted based on interviews with stakeholders such as government officials and academics, a survey of 9,000 residents in 21 of those cities, as well as an analysis of public social and economic data on the cities examined. Overall, the report measures readiness using four broad parameters—a city’s understanding of AI-related risks and its corresponding plans, its ability to carry out those plans, the asset base it can rely on, and the direction the city is taking. Singapore, Stockholm, London and Shenzhen rank first in each of those four categories, respectively. But not a single city ranks in the top 20 among all four categories, and none appears in the top 10 across more than two categories. This means “no city is close to being ready for the challenges ahead,” said the report. “Sure, some are better prepared than others, but all cities will need to continue to make substantial improvements to fully prepare for the impacts of next-generation technology.” Link
9. Indian Facial Recognition
"India plans to adopt China-style facial recognition in policing, despite having no data privacy laws in an attempt to assist its understaffed police force. But the project is ringing alarm bells in a nation with no data privacy laws which just shut down the internet for the last seven weeks in Kashmir.". We have overlooked China for too long and this has the hallmarks for much misuse. Technology can be used in powerful ways. But the issues remain in who controls the technology.   Link
10. FaceBrain
Facebook announced plans to acquire CTRL-Labs, a brain-computer interface startup developing hardware and software for decoding electrical activity from the brain to be used for computer input. Facebook says that with the company’s expertise, it plans to develop a wrist-worn neural input device. Facebook’s VP of AR and VR, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, announced the planned acquisition of CTRL-Labs via his Facebook page today. Bosworth said that the company will join the Facebook Reality Labs team, Facebook’s VR and AR research and development group. The price of the acquisition was not announced; founded in 2015, CTRL-Labs had previously raised $67 million in funding over three rounds of investments, according to Crunchbase. Bosworth said that Facebook will continue to pursue CTRL-Labs’ effort to build a wrist-mounted neural input device which can detect and decode both muscle activity and electrical activity from the brain, allowing for both motion-based tracking and control as well as ‘intention-based’ input. Link
This email contains the ten most important stories that I have read this week. 
You can get my long list of recommended reading by following me (@rahim) on Twitter.
Forward this email to a friend or five!
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. This newsletter now has readers spanning the globe from San Francisco to Tokyo and across multiple industries including strategy consultancy houses (McKinsey to Bain), from all the FAAANG companies (Facebook to Alphabet), from startups to scaleups, from unicorns to brand new companies as well as people just interested in staying ahead of the game. 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 the emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. 

Thank you for reading

- Rahim

P.S. Are we connected on LinkedIn?
Box of Amazing is curated by Rahim Hirji. If you were forwarded this email and want to subscribe, you can do so here. If you no longer wish to receive these emails you can unsubscribe from this list






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