Box of Amazing: Unethical Superhumans  
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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
It's December and that means two things: reviews of the year and projections for next year. I have brought a few to the table this week, but have discarded a heap more. 

For me, the main issue of the day is about the Chinese CRISPR babies. What does this mean for humanity? Are we on the way to Gattaca? 

Welcome to my new readers. If you find Box of Amazing interesting. please forward to your colleagues and friends. I'd appreciate it! 

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
Must Reads
What’s next for marketplace startups? Reinventing the $10 trillion service economy, that’s what. Link

The Genius Neuroscientist who holds the key to true AI Link

Meet Alexa: inside the mind of a digital native Link


The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg Link
What's Amazing?
Unethical superhumans: The birth of the first genetically tailored human (twins) would be a massive medical achievement but is one of the most controversial advancements of modern times. In real terms, it hasn't been long since humans figured out what DNA was all about - less than 100 years in the history of humanity, in the history of all organisms. Since then we have figured out how DNA works, created technology to read it and also to edit it. If we could determine the source code if life, what happens when you turn it on ourselves? That's what has happened - we are playing God. You might wonder if this has happened before and that's where the biologists need to explain it to the layman like me. There are two types of editing: somatic and germline. Somatic tries to fix diseases for the individual, whereas germline is inherited to future generations. That's why this is so controversial. Essentially, we could edit the human race to all become "perfect". But what is perfect? What has just happened (if it is proven) is that we have edited an embryo and delivered a human which has changed the whole of our species, assuming those babies survive. That means we have edited the human race: "A woman is already pregnant with the next CRISPR baby, according to He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who claims to have already created the world’s first genetically edited babies. Bombshell: He made the claim about the early-stage pregnancy on the second day of an international gene-editing summit at the University of Hong Kong. “There is another one, another potential pregnancy,” he said on stage. He defended his work, saying he feels “proud” to have used gene-editing techniques to make the twin girls HIV resistant. “This is not just for this case, but for millions of children. They need this protection. [An] HIV vaccine is not available,” he said."

CRISPR came about through research of how bacteria fought viruses. Now we are on the road to using that to create designer babies. Jankui said that is proud of what he has done: He said that before the procedure, the parents had “lost hope for life” because the father was HIV positive. But afterwards, the man “sent a message saying he will work hard, earn money, and take care of his two daughters and his wife for this life,” according to He. Whether this is all true or not, it doesn't matter - we are living in a new era and we now have the capability to create designer babies. This is a new age of humanity and whether we like it or not, this is already happening. We will edit embryos, to eliminate disease, and we will edit our own DNA in the same way that we have plastic surgery. We will add intelligence to our brains, bolt-on super prosthetics when our own stop working. And we will plug in our super brains to the AI Interwebs, so that we become all-knowing, superhumans.  Link
Tech/Media 2019: Highlights from the Activate 2019 report: 
*$300 Billion in Internet and Media Growth Dollars 
*Consumer Attention: There are 31 Hours in a Day, and Growing 
*Smart Cameras: The Next Terrifyingly Smart Device That People Will Use Everywhere 
*eCommerce: New Categories, New Brands, and $3 Trillion to Grow 
*Sports Betting: Massive Growth Ahead for Tech and Media Companies 
*Messaging: The Battle Will Continue for the World’s Dominant Digital Behavior 
*Video Gaming: Unleashed and Ubiquitous for Billions of Consumers 
*Music: More Services, More Venues — While Consumers Become Creators 
*Podcasting: The Fastest Growing Media Behavior in an Exploding Ecosystem 
*Video: The Old Winners Will be the New Winners 
*Consumer Financial Services: The Long Awaited Tech Revolution is Finally Arriving
The report is worth 5 minutes of your time to skim through the 150 page report.
Link
Future Trends 2019: JWT has put together their trends to watch in 2019 highlighting emerging consumer behaviours with 100 trend predictions spanning culture, tech and innovation, travel and hospitality, brands and marketing, food and drink, beauty, retail, health, lifestyle, and luxury. There is a heap of stuff here (230+ pages worth) all for free. An example of a trend is Uber Ecosystems From electric scooters to food-delivery bicycles and drones (scheduled for 2021), on-demand ambulances to electric self-driving and even flying rental cars, Uber is rapidly positioning itself as the ultimate macro-to-micro transport architect. UberEats aims to be available to 70% of the US population by the end of 2018, up from 50% as of October 2018. Lime, the electric scooter company, has been backed by both Uber Technologies and Alphabet, and, in April 2018, Uber bought electric bike company Jump." Download it now. You can thank me later.   Link
UK AI Pre-Crime: The UK Police are making serious efforts in trying to use AI to predict when and where crime might happen. Not dissimilar to The Minority Report, this appears to be the work of science fiction. It is not. "The system, called the National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS), uses a combination of AI and statistics to try to assess the risk of someone committing or becoming a victim of gun or knife crime, as well as the likelihood of someone falling victim to modern slavery." Whether it will be successful is another question - and if it is, is it ethical? This is the first such project of its kind in the world, pooling multiple data sets from a number of police forces for crime prediction. In the early phases, the team gathered more than a terabyte of data from local and national police databases, including records of people being stopped and searched and logs of crimes committed. Around 5 million individuals were identifiable from the data. Looking at this data, the software found nearly 1400 indicators that could help predict crime, including around 30 that were particularly powerful. These included the number of crimes an individual had committed with the help of others and the number of crimes committed by people in that individual’s social group. The machine learning component of NDAS will use these indicators to predict which individuals known to the police may be on a trajectory of violence similar to that observed in past cases, but who haven’t yet escalated their activity. Such people will be assigned a risk score indicating the likelihood of future offending." And I'm sure, the next step will be using facial recognition to identify where the individuals are and anyone one the run will have to have an eyeball transplant.   Link
Quotes Worth Pondering
We define digital nutrition as two distinct but complementary behaviors. The first is the healthful consumption of digital assets, or any positive, purposeful content designed to alleviate emotional distress or maximize human potential, health, and happiness. The second behavior is smarter decision-making, aided by greater transparency around the composition and behavioral consequences of specific types of digital content.

It’s Time to Embrace Digital Nutrition - Online consumption should be considered the next pillar of health alongside diet, exercise, and sleep
Amazing Links Worth Your Attention
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
Top of the News
How Amazon Web Services Reinvented the Internet and Became a Cash Cow Link

Starwood Hotels has confirmed its hotel guest database of about 500 million customers has been stolen in a data breach. Link

What exactly happened to crypto? Link

A Business With No End Link

Supreme Court to rule if customers can sue Apple claiming App Store is illegal monopoly Link
Tech, Science and the Future
How to land on Mars Link

Beijing plans an AI Atlantis for the South China Sea – without a human in sight Link

Meet Zora, the Robot Caregiver Link

Airbnb will start designing houses in 2019 Link

Why it’s time to cancel your Amazon Prime account Link
Improving Your Life
The 4-6-7 Breathing Technique Will Knock You Out in 10 Minutes Flat Link

Ten things to do on weekends to make your Monday more productive Link

How to Survive the Next Era of Tech (Slow Down and Be Mindful) Link

This 10-Minute Night Routine Guarantees Success Your Next Morning Link

5 Common Mental Errors That Sway You From Making Good Decisions 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. The numbers of subscribers are growing quickly from all parts of the world. 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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