Box of Amazing: Smart Amazon, Girls in AI, Deliveroober and the Future of Work  
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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

This week, Facebook launched Facebook Dating in Columbia, we got the best review of the iPhone XS, and IKEA announced some self-driving car concepts. 

I mentioned last week about the etonX launch of live soft skills courses for teenagers (ex UK). You can still use the discount code BOALAUNCH30 to get 30% off if you sign up soon. For (parent) readers in the UK, I have a 30% discount off the 2-day workshop, Girls in AI, and the NASA Space Hackathon using code BOA30, both held at the Microsoft Reactor in London during October for 11-18 year olds. If you are in San Francisco, Girls in AI is free and is also being held in October. There are limited spots  - don't miss this unique opportunity to explore artificial intelligence, learn tech and entrepreneurship skills, work with top industry mentors from Microsoft and Google, win prizes and boost your Uni application! Feel free to forward and share the codes with anyone!   

Have an excellent week! Onward!

Rahim
 

What's Amazing?
Amazonian Smart Home: Amazon showered us with a heap of new products this week. In and amongst the upgrades on Alexa related products, there were some new ones including an Amazon Microwave (yes, voice-enabled), Alexa Guard to help protect your house from intruders by monitoring sounds, Alexa Auto to make your car "less dumb",  and some software updates including programmable commands amongst other areas. This was essentially a land grab on your home and probably a very smart smart home strategy. Firstly, developers are in play creating skills for not only Amazon Alexa devices, but also Alexa enabled devices made by others. In addition, "Amazon also gave Alexa the ability to suggest an action. Amazon calls these hunches, and when Alexa hears a command and "notices" something that might fit into that command, it can make a suggestion. As an example, Rausch told Alexa "Goodnight" and the assistant said, "The kitchen light is still on. Do you want me to turn it off?" There's a lot going on there on the back end, but as a user, it's exactly the level of simplicity we need. We don't risk plunging the kitchen into darkness if it's not our intention, and we don't miss out on turning off a light that we'd want off." In other Amazon news, Amazon Orders 20,000 Mercedes Vans to Bolster Delivery Program and Amazon Will Consider Opening Up to 3,000 Cashierless Stores by 2021. If the latter is even doable at the current rate, then Amazon has locked down shopping, both physical and online. The supply chain, the store, the store to your home, and your home and everything in your home. Repeat.   Link
Future of Work: The latest report from WEF was released and highlights growing trens in automation of jobs. The top lines include the differing nature of automation, robotization and digitization across different industries and different types of robots, humanoid, non-humanoid and stationary. Obviously, the jobs that will look to dominate are the ones that are based on or enhanced by technology, but the interesting data for me was on the rate of automation. The WEF predicts that by 2025 humans will be doing less work than machines. Excluding appendices, the report is 20 pages long, and 20 pages worth reading.  Link
Deliveroober: Uber has been strategically picking its battles under the stewardship of Dara Khosrowshahi. There continues to be a regulatory risk in Europe, and hard battles in places like India but opportunities in places like Africa. (check out where Uber is winning and losing) UberEats has been a real focus for the company as it continues to see triple-digit growth in the area, and it looks to be in discussions to partner if not buy Deliveroo, the London based delivery app.  "UberEats generates revenue from three sides of each delivery order: a delivery fee paid by the customer; a commission from the restaurant; and a portion of the driver’s fare. The tie-up would create a “two-horse race” in the market, according to Trish Caddy, an analyst at Mintel. A combined company would close the gap with bigger British rival Just Eat and eliminate a competitor in a market where consumers can switch between services easily." Interesting times - and also interesting that Uber is launching traffic estimates to fuel demand beyond cars, when it might be better to take a bike than an UberX, for example.    Link
Amazing News Nuggets
What's amazing?

"John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones"

Source: Strap on the Fitbit: John Hancock to sell only interactive life insurance | Reuters

"As a plane joins the long line to land, it’s detected, identified and monitored by an array of cameras and technology that bypass the traditional control tower. Once at the gate, a laser-guided aerobridge positions itself to let passengers disembark, while automated vehicles below unload baggage, dodging others that are delivering robot-packed meals or processing cargo. The passengers head to automated immigration turnstiles that face-scan and thumb-print them, then head to collect their luggage, which baggage bots have already delivered to the carousel. Under the gaze of an actual human — the steely-eyed customs official — they head out to queue for a driverless taxi."

Source: Singapore's Changi Airport Is Partly Run By Robots - Bloomberg

"People keep repeating that money is already digital and question the usability of blockchain. But if you come to think of it, in the traditional financial systems the value transfer is not truly digital. "

Source: What Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets will become

"Doist is a remote-first company. That means people can work from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. Yet 95%+ of Doisters aren’t nomads. Most people choose to put down roots in smaller cities surrounded by their friends and family. The beauty of remote work lies in the ability to optimize your location for your well-being."

Source: What Most Remote Companies Don’t Tell You About Remote Work
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
Spotify can tell if you’re sad. Here’s why that should scare you Link

A Silicon Valley stylist shares her secrets: Allbirds are out, scruff is in, and khakis were never okay Link 

The deliberate awfulness of social media Link

New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell Link

Why This VC Is Pouring Millions Into Startups Building ‘a Sci-Fi Future’ Link

Your gut is directly connected to your brain, by a newly discovered neuron circuit Link
Amazing Life Links
How to win friends – and keep them Link

People Like You More Than You Know Link

These are the secrets to feeling less busy Link

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong Link

Everything You Fight Has Power Over you. Everything You Accept Doesn’t. Link

7 Proven Job Interview Questions—and What to Look for in the Answers 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. 

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