Box of Amazing: Top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2019  
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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
Some diverse recommended reading for the weekend.

Medicine: 10 Findings That Contradict Medical Wisdom. Doctors, Take Note.
Tech History: The Worm That Nearly Ate the Internet
Strategy: 4 Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills 

Welcome to my new readers this week. Remember that Sharing is Caring. And Sharing means forwarding this email to five of your friends and telling them wholeheartedly that this is the best newsletter that you think should grace their mailbox.

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. Top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2019
What's trending for 2019?
1. Bioplastics for a circular economy
2. Social robots
3. Metalenses
4. Disordered proteins as drug targets
5. Smarter fertilizers
6. Collaborative telepresence
7. Advanced food tracking and packaging
8. Safer nuclear reactors
9. DNA data storage
10. Utility-scale storage of renewable energy

Read the latest report from the WEF  Link
2. State of AI in 2019
In this report by Nathan Benaich, you'll get a good feel for what's actually happening in AI and what's on the cusp by skimming through the slides. The writers believe that AI will be a force multiplier on technological progress in our increasingly digital, data-driven world. This is because everything around us today, ranging from culture to consumer products, is a product of intelligence.  In the report, they set out to capture a snapshot of the exponential progress in AI with a focus on developments in the past 12 months. Consider this report as a compilation of the most interesting things that seeks to trigger an informed conversation about the state of AI and its implication for the future.   Link
3. Fake Facetime
"Apple will now fake your eye contact in FaceTime. In its new iOS 13 update to FaceTime, Apple is experimenting with altering your face so it looks like you’re looking directly at the other person.For years, FaceTime has been the most intimate way to talk to someone digitally—providing a face-to-face experience that the app is named after. But it’s always been imperfect, too. Because the phone’s camera is not literally inside the other person’s eyes (as it is in real life!), you can’t make real eye contact. FaceTiming can feel a bit like two people are talking while checking their email. Now, Apple is simulating eye contact in FaceTime with digital fakery. " Fakes and fakery is infiltrating our lives. When will we be sure that what we are experiencing is actually real?  Link
4. Mirrorverse
"If the "mirrorverse" exists, upcoming experiments involving subatomic particles could reveal it.The mirror world, assuming it exists, would have its own laws of mirror-physics and its own mirror-history. You wouldn’t find a mirror version of yourself there (and no evil Spock with a goatee — sorry "Star Trek" fans). But current theory allows that you might find mirror atoms and mirror rocks, maybe even mirror planets and stars. Collectively, they could form an entire shadow world, just as real as our own but almost completely cut off from us." Link
5. The Soundtrack to your Life will be Swedish
"The Swedish startup that soundtracked the internet now wants to soundtrack the rest of your life The global music tech company that was recently one of Sweden's "best-kept secrets" is now taking on Asia.  If you’ve seen any films recently, watched television or have even looked at a video online, the chances are you’ve heard music from Epidemic Sound. The Swedish startup provides cheap and simple-to-access library of soundtrack music, and already has some 250m hours of its music playing on Youtube each month. But that is not all. After succeeding in soundtracking the internet it is now set on soundtracking the world including providing the background music to public spaces, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and car parks with its own hardware and software. The company already has seven offices across the globe, and, with a fresh investment of $20m it is now set on taking on Asia, where the growing platform Tik Tok is a key competitor. Link
6. Robot Arms that Taste
Researchers have found a way to give a robotic arm a sense of taste. They accomplished it by covering the robotic arm with bacterias engineered to detect a specific chemical. The bacterias produce a fluorescent protein which can be detected by sensors and processed by the robot. Tasty?  Link
7. Chinese Surveillance of Foreigners
"Foreigners crossing certain Chinese borders into the Xinjiang region, where authorities are conducting a massive campaign of surveillance and oppression against the local Muslim population, are being forced to install a piece of malware on their phones that gives all of their text messages as well as other pieces of data to the authorities. The Android malware, which is installed by a border guard when they physically seize the phone, also scans the tourist or traveller's device for a specific set of files, according to multiple expert analyses of the software. The files authorities are looking for include Islamic extremist content, but also innocuous Islamic material, academic books on Islam by leading researchers, and even music from a Japanese metal band." I mention this story regularly. It comes up in different guises. It's one of the things happening in the world that worries me and it's a bad implementation of technology ie technology to do bad things. Link
8. Becoming Transhuman
Got 3 minutes, then watch this BBC sketch on the confusion of what transhumanism creates. What does becoming digital actually mean? Link
9. Student Privacy is already lost
"Gaggle is a software program that scans student activity across digital platforms like email, computer files and online assignments, features a staggering, if unprovable, statistic. “This past academic year, Gaggle helped districts save 542 students from carrying out an act of suicide,” it reads on its website." But in this new era where privacy is important to everyone, the students who are tracked at school can not opt out of tracking. And who can access the data? "Arguably more troubling than the collection of student data is where that data is stored and who has access to it. Florida lawmakers are planning to introduce a statewide database “that would combine individuals’ educational, criminal-justice and social-service records with their social media data, then share it all with law enforcement.”"  Link
10. Virtual Reality Massage
"Los Angeles residents will soon be able to float off into distant worlds while their aches are soothed in a virtual reality massage center, which  just opened. At the outset, the Esqapes Immersive Relaxation Center, supposedly the first of its kind, will offer 10 different VR environments for you to try and relax in, including a sauna, a koi pond at an ocean-side resort and a ski cabin with a crackling fireplace. The center will pump in fragrances related to each setting along with a cool breeze. The massage isn't virtual, but it's not from a human, either -- it's an automated massage chair, hopefully better than the one you collapse into for a break at the mall." Expect immersive experiences t continue down this type of route for the next few years as we move away from being sceptical about this new reality to embracing it.  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 Box of Amazing on Twitter.
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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. 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

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