Box of Amazing: Fake AI  
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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
This week, I asked a number of you on your preferred format of newsletter. Well, you spoke and I listened. You wanted more stories, less links and perhaps some more analysis. I've made the effort to start the change and I'd love your opinion. You also said that you wanted the newsletter once a week and on the weekend - so I'll keep to that. There were some other suggestions, but I'll try and weave them in over the coming weeks. But for now, I'd love to hear what you think of this version. Let me know by replying and saying YAY or NAY....and if you do love it, please share it wide.  

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. Self-Driving Apartheid? 
This is not so amazing, but it is astonishing that these are the types of problems that we have with new technologies. The concept of self-driving cars could be game-changing but a new study has found flaws with self-driving cars. They potentially may fail to detect pedestrians with darker skin. "In addition to worrying about how safe they are, how they’d handle tricky moral trade-offs on the road, and how they might make traffic worse, we also need to worry about how they could harm people of color. If you’re a person with dark skin, you may be more likely than your white friends to get hit by a self-driving car, according to a new study out of the Georgia Institute of Technology. That’s because automated vehicles may be better at detecting pedestrians with lighter skin tones." Link
2. Fake AI
I've said it a number of times. People are using the words AI when actually there may just be basic algorithms. I've heard people say the reason for something happening is because of AI. It's being used in investment business cases when the AI algos require years worth of data and so are patently untrue. Now it's been proven to be false as Forty percent of ‘AI startups’ in Europe don’t actually use AI: "MMC’s report found that when companies do deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning, the use-cases are often quite banal. Some of the most popular ways the startups surveyed used AI included chatbots (26 percent of companies) and fraud detection (21 percent). In both cases, it’s tricky to judge exactly how much this technology benefits customers. Chatbots are often annoying to navigate and can be a way of just removing the cost of human customer support. And while fraud detection is certainly useful to customers and businesses alike, it’s more of an auxiliary service than a central selling point."  Link
3. What's on a 15 year old's iPhone?
Imagine you’ve hacked into someone else’s phone and are consuming all his texts, videos, Snapchats, and Instagrams in real time. Now imagine that someone is a 15-year-old boy, and you’re watching his life unfold entirely through the lens of an iPhone. That’s the premise behind Pocket, a captivating new short film starring the former Nickelodeon actor Mace Coronel. Link
4. Why all the Unprofitable Tech IPOs?
"Lyft filed paperwork to become a public company last week, with a valuation of $15 billion. But the ride-sharing company is still deeply unprofitable. The company had a net loss of nearly $1 billion last year. To put it another way, Lyft lost about $1.47 for every ride* it gave in 2018. Lyft’s main competitor Uber, which is poised to file for an IPO as well, is also posting losses on a per-trip basis (though it’s tricky to estimate how much since Uber includes Uber Eats deliveries and Uber Freight shipments, in addition to taxi and scooter rides, in trip estimates). Uber’s valuation is expected to be anywhere from $76 billion to $120 billion." The drive for this is also coming from biotechs who need to raise money for products that don't yet exist. The last time there were this many IPOs on the back of such unprofitability was in 2000 and we know what happened then.  Link
5. Carpocalypse
More info on Lyft's IPO predicts a weird new world. "The Lyft IPO is all about destroying car ownership as we know it. Car production in Britain declined 18.2% in January — the eighth successive month of decline. Sales in Turkey declined 60%. Europe-wide sales are down about 6%. In the US total car registrations have declined by about 10%. Tire sales — a proxy for vehicle production — are down in China too. People just don't want cars that much anymore. Uber and Lyft are reducing the need for new cars. Automobiles could be entering an historic decline."  Link
6. AI Restaurant Booking Goes Live
Last year, Google demoed a slightly creepy but super amazing example of an AI taking a restaurant booking. It's now going live: "Starting this week, Pixel 3 owners in 43 U.S. states will be able to use the Duplex technology to book appointments. The tech should work with any restaurants that accept reservations but do not have an online system to complete the booking. In the coming weeks, the service will be rolled out to users on other Android and iOS devices, as the company continues to tweak the program based on user feedback. Meanwhile, that may or may not give the rest of us time to come to grips with the creepily natural interactions of Google’s new AI." Expect this to represent new ways of working that could be deployed across other industries so this could become the norm.  Link
7. Is this the Cure for HIV?
Last week the second and third humans were "cured" of HIV: "An HIV-positive man in Britain has become the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV-resistant donor, his doctors said.Almost three years after he received bone marrow stem cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists HIV infection - and more than 18 months after he came off antiretroviral drugs - highly sensitive tests still show no trace of the man’s previous HIV infection." Exciting times. Link
8. Facebook's Time to Pivot
It appears that Facebook is pivoting to become focused around small groups rather than large open public channels. This appears to doubledown on the success of its other property WhatsApp...but it also could put Facebook in the driving seat to emulate the success of a product that I think it should become: WeChat.   "In a note posted to his social network on Wednesday, the 34-year-old Facebook chief executive of 2019 spent 3,000 words patiently explaining why the 24-year-old Facebook chief executive of 2009 was wrong to build a company predicated on the assumption that we would all want to live every second of our lives in the public sphere. “People should be comfortable being themselves,” Zuckerberg wrote, “and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later. “People’s private communications should be secure … People should have simple, intimate places where they have clear control over who can communicate with them and confidence that no one else can access what they share.”" Facebook needs to pivot. And it needs a new business model. Link
9. Second Skin
"Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd. has developed a medical device that it says can dress burns and other wounds with nano materials that mimic human tissue and peel off once the skin below is regenerated. The temporary and transparent skin layer that the device generates can be applied without touching the charred skin, helping prevent infections. The product, called SpinCare, can be operated by physicians and other medical staff working in hospitals or clinics or providing home care, the startup says. The transparency of the layer allows doctors to monitor the wound as it heals, and the treatment does not require any further dressing, a process that can be painful, the company says." Link
10. Robot Goddess
"Monks at the ancient Kodaiji temple in Kyoto, Japan, recently gathered for a traditional ceremony in which they chanted and rang bells to a new statue of a deity named Mindar, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. But the statue isn’t carved out of traditional stone or wood. Instead, it’s a strange, cyberpunk depiction of a robot deity, with exposed aluminium actuators and electronics that its creators say is a new way of expressing spiritual belief in a technological age." Link
Top of the News
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
Lessons from the Best Business Books of All time Link

How AI Will Rewire Us Link

How to Streamline every Area of your Life Link

How Comfortable Shoes Became the Coolest Thing in Fashion Link

How Tech Will Let You Learn Anything, Anytime, at Any Age Link

The AI Diet: Let an Algorithm Decide what you Eat Link

Don’t look now: why you should be worried about machines reading your emotions Link

The Servant Economy: What happened to all the companies that said they were "Uber-for-X" Link

Graphene Shows Promise for Repairing Broken Bones Link

Huawei: The story of a controversial company 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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