Box of Amazing: UberAir Flying Taxis, Vision Fund 2 & AI Superpowers  
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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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Welcome

In and amongst the Kavanaugh debacle, and Brexit meltdown, change continued in the world of emerging technology this week. I'd point you to the imploding situation around Tesla and Elon Musk being sued by the SEC which he managed to settle yesterday but also to Facebook's next big data breach. This latter story is the first large breach post the implementation of GDPR regulations - and it just feels like yesterday that we were talking about Cambridge Analytica. You'll also want to know that Facebook has been giving advertisers access to your shadow contact information. You gave Facebook your phone number - they used it for ads.  We also found out why a Whatsapp Cofounder left Facebook, and now find the Instagram co-founders are also leaving Facebook. The themes across these stories: data, autonomy and transparency - some of the pillars in a new world. All this while Amazon announced a new concept physical store that will just sell products with 4-star ratings and above. If you are interested in the future of money, I'd recommend this article about money having its Uber moment. Have a great week. Onward!  - Rahim    

What's Amazing?
UberAir - If you thought flying taxis were not going to make to your lifetime, I'd beg to differ. Uber is serious about their ambitions and their plans are this: 2020, test flights; 2023, UberAir trials in LA and Dallas,"By 2025, Uber plans to scale up to 300 aircraft in each city and start pooling passengers into group rides. This will help drive costs down to somewhere "in the order of an UberX ride." (A standard UberX ride in LA is $1 per mile, compared to UberAir's estimated operating cost of $2 per mile). By 2027 to 2030, the company says the introduction of autonomous aircraft will help drive costs down further. By 2030, Uber plans on rolling out 1,000 aircraft across 50 cities worldwide, with approximately 50 skyports in each city." Some believe that flying cars are a pipe dream, but Uber has hired the best from places like NASA who have spent their life's works on this, and are serious about this vision. Link
Vision Fund Redux: It's been two years since Masayoshi Sonm, CEO of Softbank built the $100BN Visiion Fund. Subsequently, this fund has put the investment of the largest VCs in the shade. To put things in context, the entire VC industry invested $75bnin 2016. And now, Son has stated his intention to raise further funds to further invest in future businesses that are defining the vision of the future. "Son’s audaciously large bets have astonished and confused Silicon Valley, where even the most respected venture capitalists have found themselves outmanoeuvred by a relative newcomer. The standard VC playbook involves making small, speculative investments in early-stage startups and adding funds in follow-on rounds as those startups grow. SoftBank’s strategy has been to put enormous sums—its smallest deals are $100 million or so, its biggest are in the billions—into the most successful tech startups in a given category. If the local VCs are freaked out by this, the startups seem to love it. SoftBank has given them the equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet of foreign investment dollars. “You think they can’t eat anymore,” says Jules Maltz, a partner with IVP, a Sand Hill Road firm. The entrepreneurs “cram it in, put it in their pockets, take doggy bags, whatever.” The tech industry has seen deep-pocketed outsiders before, but SoftBank is operating at a scale never attempted. That’s driven valuations up, making it difficult for traditional firms to put together enough capital to get into the hottest deals. SoftBank, according to a partner at a major Silicon Valley firm, is “a big stack bully,” a poker term referring to a player with a pile of chips so huge that competitors are afraid to get in the game." Link
AI Impact: You may have seen all the PR about Kai-Fu Lee's new book, AI Superpowers. It is a book about how AI is going to change everything. "To not understand the coming AI revolution is to risk getting left behind. AI Superpowers is part sci-fi, part international thriller, and part inspiring autobiography. It has something for everyone, but it is especially for anyone that is interested in the impact that the coming AI revolution will have on their lives, their work, and the intensifying U.S.-China dynamics." If you can't read the book, read the interview with IEEE Spectrum. If you have an hour listen to Azeem's interview, or Kara Swisher's where you'll hear more detail of how jobs will change, even doctors: "Lee predicts that we’ll have to rethink professions like doctors and teachers, tilting them toward those skills that machines won’t have. “The medical diagnosis will become very, very good through AI, and then the doctor is more of a human connector,” he explained. “And then maybe just four years of college is enough. Maybe nurse practitioners can become doctors. Maybe there’s more training about how to comfort and how to tease out from the patient, ‘What are you really feeling?’” “We might have 10 times more doctors because the cost of medical care will go down, poor people can access it, and then you can still have real super experts that you pay a lot of money for,” Lee added. “But most healthcare, more doctors could be employed, but not the same kind of doctors [as] today.”"  Link
Amazing News Nuggets
What's amazing?


"Technology forces us to recalculate what it means to be human – what is essentially us, and whether technology represents us, or some emerging otherness which alienates or even terrifies us. We have clothed ourselves in newly discovered data, we have yoked ourselves to new algorithmic harnesses, and we are waking to the human costs of this new practice. Who are we becoming? "

Source: Newco Shift | Technology, Humanity, and the Existential Test


"Humans will need to find ways to collaborate with—and direct the activities of—increasingly sophisticated machine intelligence, rather than merely becoming users who blindly follow the leads of black boxes they no longer understand or control. "

Source: How Google Became an Architect of Reality

"Sooner than people think, virtually all home and outpatient diagnostics will be performed by consumer devices such as the Apple Watch, mobile phones, fitness trackers, etc. that have either become FDA cleared as medical devices or have apps that have received FDA clearance. Consumer devices will morph into medical grade devices, with some painful and well publicized mistakes along the way. Let’s see how it turns out for Apple."

Source: Steve Blank The Apple Watch – Tipping Point Time for Healthcare
Amazing Links Worth Your Attention
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
Tech Links
Love in the time of AI: meet the people falling for scripted robots Link

Uber drivers and other gig economy workers are earning half what they did five years ago Link


Scientists want to put a caterpillar robot in your body to deliver drugs to the right places. Link

Mosquitoes Genetically Modified To Crash Species That Spreads Malaria Link

Amazon Comes Up With Another Way to Get Alexa Into Your Home Link

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two  — and one part will be led by China Link
Amazing Life Links
What 7 Deaths Taught Me About Living Link

When to Stick with Something — and When to Quit Link

When to work: How to optimize your daily schedule for energy, motivation, and focus Link

9 Habits of Super Successful People and What You Can Learn From Them Link

How to Hack Genius Link

How Warren Buffett Avoids Problems Link

Your Notifications Are Lying to You Link

The 7 Habits: Synergy (Beyond the Eye-Rolling Buzzword) Link
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