Box of Amazing: Mission Impossible-style Contact Lenses  
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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
If you have a minute, you should watch how the NYPD are using VR to train for active shooting scenarios. This type of tech will only improve - but it's fascinating that it is already being deployed in this way. Aside, I was sent a great article covering "88 Important Truths About Life" - I'd highly recommend a skim. You will find yourself nodding.  For those of you interested in education and edtech, you will be overwhelmed by the companies listed for the Edtech Digest Award. And finally, for those of you who love Game of Thrones and watched last week, you will love the Player ratings for The Battle of Winterfell

If you read one article this week read this: Can anyone tame the Internet? 

If you enjoy this issue, please consider forward this to a friend, recommending this on LinkedIn, sharing this on a WhatsApp group, or a company Slack channel. 

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. Mission Impossible-Style High Tech Contact Lenses
These contact lenses may get me to overcome my OCD-like aversion to putting "things" in my eyes. "Researchers at leading French engineering IMT Atlantique in mid-April announced “the first autonomous contact lens incorporating a flexible micro-battery,” a lightweight lens capable of not only providing augmented vision assistance to users but relaying visual information wirelessly — not unlike, say, the lens Jeremy Renner uses in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol to scan a batch of nuclear codes.More importantly, the new lens can perform its functions without a bulky external power supply, capable of “continuously supply[ing] a light source such as a light-emitting diode (LED) for several hours,”"  - This is not only an amazing feat of technology but also in storing energy in small scales. Not available for the public just yet. but hopefully before my eyesight prevents the use of contacts!   Link
2. Brain boosting Nootropic Chocolate
We know of the benefit of dark chocolate, but chocolate boosted with brain enhancing elements can give you the boost you need. “Each nootropic ingredient has been studied in clinical studies and is revered for its brain-boosting qualities,” adds co-founder Whitney Tingle. “One 2014 study suggests a 50 mg dose of l-theanine—a key nootropic ingredient in these chocolates—increases the activity of alpha brain waves, which are linked to creativity. Bacopa has been shown to enhance memory in learning and retaining information. We also used the adaptogens gotu kola and lion’s mane to help reduce fatigue while simultaneously regulating the stress response.” The result: a treat that Tingle says helps you be “fully present, almost instantly.”  Link
3. How Humans Get Hacked
Yuval Noah Harari, historian and best-selling author of Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Tristan Harris, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Humane Technology are interviewed by Wired, And Yuval is interviewed by Wired separately with Fei Fei Lee, an AI specialist. Anything that Yuval says is golden, so I'd recommend you taking the time for at least one of these. Link Link
4. Your future will depend on how well you work with AIs
From Kevin Kelly: "We’re at the Beginning of the Beginning of the Beginning of the Internet. Even though AI is probably the most important thing going on right now, if we look 25 years into the future, we probably see AI as the most important invention. So what is the next big thing? Whatever it is simply hasn’t been invented. But it will likely be enabled by AI. We’re still at the beginning of the beginning of the beginning. Twenty-five years from now, people will look back and say, “You didn’t have the Internet. You thought you had the Internet, but you didn’t really have it yet. If only I could have been alive back then, before all the things that we have now. You could just take X and add AI. That’s all you had to do!” Right now is the best time in the world to start things because it’s just the beginning. That means you’re not late." Link
5. The questionable economics of autonomous taxi fleets
The move to autonomous taxi fleets is gaining pace. The largest assumption by the main on the street is that there will be relatively low cost of ownership. But the opposite is actually true. The cost of usage is more than the cost of ownership. "Drawing on a wealth of publicly available data, Ashley Nunes and his colleague Kristen Hernandez suggest that the price for taking an autonomous taxi will be between $1.58 to $6.01 on a per-mile basis, versus the $0.72 cost of owning a car. Using San Francisco’s taxi market as its test area, the academics examined a vast array of costs such as licensing, maintenance, fuel and insurance for their calculations." As Uber draws closer to IPO, with autonomous key to its margin ambitions, how do you see this? My personal view is that it is not about cost - it's about ease of transportation in a human-centred way.  Link
6. Unusual uses for CRISPR
Some of the newer technologies that we are now seeing are either misinterpreted or misunderstood by the man on the street. But, see the technology in use cases and we can start to see what is possible. With CRISPR, there are many, from allergy free foods, to pet-breeding, decaf coffee beans, greener fuel and spicy tomatoes. One I especially like is the concept of a DNA tape recorder. "The tool acts as a recorder of events in the lifetime of a cell, such as exposure to antibiotics, nutrients, viruses and light.To achieve this, CRISPR was programmed into cells so that a specific DNA edit was made only in the presence of the signal. By counting the rate of edits, they can even determine the duration and strength of the trigger. The system works in both bacterial and human cells, and it is possible to make it record multiple kinds of signals simultaneously. In the long term, these developments could help scientists detect environmental pollutants in the field or track the signals that determine whether stem cells grow to be neurons, muscle cells or another cell type."  Link
7. Cyborg Education
"What would happen if the powerful human-machine hybrids of tomorrow were also purpose-driven, compassionate, and ethical? They would perceive the evolving digital world through a lens of wonder, awe, and curiosity. They would use digital information as a tool for problem-solving and a source of infinite knowledge. They would leverage immersive mediums like virtual reality to enhance creative expression and experimentation. They would continue to adapt and thrive in an unpredictable world of accelerating change." Shouldn't education already be like this?   Link
8. Monkey Brains, Neural Nets and Images
In a strange new experiment, scientists at Harvard hooked a monkey’s brain up to a neural net and tried to stimulate individual neurons responsible for recognizing faces. By showing the monkey images generated by the AI, the scientists tried to activate those particular neurons as much as possible. Eventually, the AI system learned to generate images that would trigger individual brain cells without also activating any of their neighbors. These images often took the form of surreal nightmare pictures that vaguely resembled faces or other familiar shapes — a provocative example of how sensors and AI are starting to peer into the biological brain. Link
9. The Reality of a Smart Home
The advent of learning thermostats got us to really think about how we could live in a new era. How smart could our houses be? I'm afraid to say that while some voice control has changed some elements, most seems to be more gimmick than of any real use. Having looked in detail, I think there is much further that we can push to make homes smarter and safer, efficient and fit for the future. If you were designing a house now, I don't think the right type of technology yet exists that could push boundaries. "These devices highlight a future in which we interact with our technology in the simplest way possible. In some cases, that could be typing on a computer keyboard or touching a screen. In others, say when your hands are occupied or your eyes are tired or you’re just feeling lazy, you can use voice. Ideally, our everyday devices could intuit what we want and when, but we’re a long way from that level of capability. Till then, we have some smart options." Link
10. AI Augmenting Workers to beat Automation
Many businesses are already augmenting their workforce with AI in the areas of communication, sales, support, and decision-making. Some experts believe that intelligence amplification could be an antidote to automation-related job loss by making augmented humans indispensable. Because intelligence amplification builds upon existing human intelligence and all that it encompasses, it can be seen as more powerful than AI alone. It’s time for business leaders and stakeholders to consider how to successfully embrace this new era of personal computing. Link
Top of the News
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
How a hacker remotely killed car engines Link

21 Hotels And Airports That Are Straight-Up Living In 3019 Link

Military Pilots Use This Hack to Sleep Anywhere in 2 Minutes or Less Link

It’s just in mice! This scientist is calling out hype in science reporting Link

The 5 biggest announcements from Facebook’s F8 developer conference keynote Link

How Slack is ruining work for everyone Link

Your phone isn’t really spying on your conversations—the truth might be even creepier Link

McDonald’s deploys 700 AI-powered menu boards Link

Startup Ideas 101 Link

Suddenly, CBD is everywhere. Here's what's next 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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