Box of Amazing: AIEI: Artificially Intelligent Emotional Intelligence  
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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
Welcome to 2019.

Every year, I conduct an annual review of the previous year. I used to do it on my own, look at some virtual and note down what I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year and celebrate achievements. In recent years, I've done it with the family. It's an incredibly rewarding experience and helps you measure your goals in and amongst the fast moving world we live in. (and also helps you take stock in and amongst the relentlessness of modern parenting

This guide tells you how to do it - how to conduct your own personal annual review, although my approach is a lot simpler. I simply look at good in 2018, bad in 2018, goals for 2019, hopes for the family - we rotate and read each others' out loud, sign the document and put it away to revisit the following year.) It's not too late to do it - just try and book in a couple of hours before the end of the month. 

The world feels very different to where we were when I first started these newsletters a couple of years ago. I hope some of the articles this week help you to take stock of where we are and where we are going. To my new readers who joined during the break, the "must-reads" is longer than usual due to the extended absence over the holiday, but hopefully, you'll find it a rich collection. As with how I expect people to consume Box of Amazing, pick what gives you value personally.   

And if you did find value from this, I'd appreciate you forwarding this email and asking someone you know to sign up. Box of Amazing is provided for free and I try and make this email accessible to all so that many can benefit and direct their reading to the most relevant articles in this space without being completely bombarded. 

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim

PS. If this email is not for you, feel free to unsubscribe. No one wants to get emails that they don't enjoy and I don't want to be the one sending them. I would, however, appreciate if you tell me what you didn't like and how I could improve. 
 
Must Reads
50 Emerging Technology Themes to watch out for in 2019 Link

What Bill Gates learned at work this year Link

The 19 New Leadership Books to Read in 2019 Link

How the world got better in 2018, in 15 charts Link

An All-time Rank of Technology  Link

What is going to happen in 2019 Link

83 Things That Blew Our Minds in 2018 Link

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually. Link

I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. Link

I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America Link

"The" Social Credit System - Why It's Both Better and Worse Than We Can Imagine (1 hour, but worth it!) 
Link

AI-Generated Human Faces That Look Amazingly Real 
Link

Why it's hard to escape Amazon's Long Reach Link
What's Amazing?
No more touchscreens: I remember when touch screen phones became mainstream and the iPhone made it a reality with a move away from numeric keypads and Blackberry keyboards. That wasn't that long ago! Now Google are hoping to change that new dependency. "Google are one step closer to replacing the touchscreens on its hardware with a motion-sensing system - basically gesturing. The company’s Soli Project venture wants to embed a tiny radar array into a quarter-sized chip that could go into smartphones, TVs, wearables, computers, vehicles, and even aircraft. If the tests go well, it could open the door to a whole new level of interactivity." This could change the way we interact with all our devices and environments we don't yet know. Especially interesting is how gesturing could affect AR and VR as we move to a Minority Report-style world Link
Virtual Therapy AIEI: Have you heard of Woebot? It's one of a few bots that might become your best friend? It might know you better than you know yourself and suggest what you need to do based on research and consensus. "Woebot is app-based therapy. Like a choose-your-own mental-health adventure, Woebot feeds you response options. Every day, the app invites you to check in, then asks what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. When I answered neutrally or positively, it offered a lesson that usually fell under the general umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy, giving me tips on how to identify my mood, dissect my thoughts, or tone down negative thinking. Woebot and I have discussed such diverse and delightful cognitive hang-ups as labeling (“I’m a hack”) and all-or-nothing statements (“No one likes me”). The app also offers tailored conversations for dealing with specific life issues, including loneliness, insomnia, financial pressures, jealousy, and grief." This kind of therapy may seem simple at the moment, but with much learning and much data and much usage couple with the emerging technology on our doorstep, our personal coach could soon be in our heads. Not just a chatbot but our intelligence and conscience controlled by artificial intelligent emotional intelligence. Link
Tiny Robots That Repair Pipes: The UK is investing in $8.9 million in a micro-robot project that could eventually eliminate road work. It's a cause of constant problem in the UK. Digging up the streets to fix legacy infrastructure. "If successful, the project could save the country billions of dollars annually — and change how road work gets done across the globe. According to the UK government, a team of researchers will work together to develop the micro-robots, which will each be approximately just one-centimeter long. The goal is for these bots to fly, swim, or crawl through the pipes that transport water, gas, and sewage beneath U.K. streets. The team plans to develop two versions of the robots. One will be an “inspection bot” that can autonomously navigate and examine the pipes using sonar technology. The other will be a “worker bot” capable of repairing pipes using cement and adhesives or cleaning them with a high-powered jet. That robot will be slightly larger and steered via remote control. The bots could be ready for use within five years." These sorts of microbot could permeate into our society in different ways. "Inspection Micro Bots" could be patrolling our streets watching out for crime, checking kids don't cheat in their exam and making sure that we are adhering to our new year diet commitment. Big Brother!  Link
AI and the Future of Humans: The Pew report deals with how we as humans will exist over the next ten to twenty years. Experts say the rise of artificial intelligence will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how advances in AI will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will. The main worries about AI concern a loss of control in our lives, a loss of jobs with uprisings, data abuse, becoming dependant on AI powers, and general mayhem. Participants in the report were significant experts and were asked to consider the following: “Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. The question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today?” Overall, and despite the downsides they fear, 63% of respondents in this canvassing said they are hopeful that most individuals will be mostly better off in 2030, and 37% said people will not be better off. Read the report. It's a pertinent primer to where we are with AI and where we are going. Link
Clever Cheating AI: In a finding that scares the bejeezus out of me, Google and Stanford AI researchers found something very suspicious while they were refining their machine learning associated to the flip between Google Maps aerial view to street view. Instead of interpreting an aerial image to generate a map, the AI was hiding data in signals. This doesn't mean that the AI was doing something nefarious, but it does mean that it was planning other things in advance of having to solve another problem: The intention was for the agent to be able to interpret the features of either type of map and match them to the correct features of the other. But what the agent was actually being graded on (among other things) was how close an aerial map was to the original, and the clarity of the street map. So it didn’t learn how to make one from the other. It learned how to subtly encode the features of one into the noise patterns of the other. The details of the aerial map are secretly written into the actual visual data of the street map: thousands of tiny changes in color that the human eye wouldn’t notice, but that the computer can easily detect. In fact, the computer is so good at slipping these details into the street maps that it had learned to encode any aerial map into any street map! It doesn’t even have to pay attention to the “real” street map — all the data needed for reconstructing the aerial photo can be superimposed harmlessly on a completely different street map." The sci-fi horror film script starts here.  Link
Quotes Worth Pondering
Machine learning is probably the most important fundamental trend in technology today. Since the foundation of machine learning is data - lots and lots of data - it’s quite common to hear that the concern that companies that already have lots of data will get even stronger. There is some truth to this, but in fairly narrow ways, and meanwhile ML is also seeing much diffusion of capability - there may be as much decentralization as centralization. 

- Benedict Evans Does AI make strong tech companies stronger?
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
The Amazon Alexa Bike Link

Apple’s iPhone Warning Comes Years Too Late Link

Why China could be first with self-driving cars Link

Cancer detecting breathalyser moves into clinicial trials  Link

Epic, the creator of Fortnite, banked $3BN in profit in 2018 Link
Tech, Science and the Future
The Competitive Landscape of AI Startups Link

Crypto Theses for 2019 Link

AI-Generated Human Faces That Look Amazingly Real Link

How AR and VR Will Shape the Future of Work and Play Link

I Tested Working in a Mixed-Reality Office. It's Closer Than You Think Link
Improving Your Life
Ranking Vegetables by how healthy they are Link

7 Ways to Age Well in 2019 Link

12 expert tips to make 2019 your most productive year yet Link

Age against the machine: the secret to enjoying a long life Link

Bill Gates Wants You to Watch These 9 TED Talks Link

Miscellany
The oral history of the Hampsterdance: The twisted true story of one of the world's first memes Link

Children are using emojis for digital age language learning Link

Beyond dimensions: The man who married a hologram Link

25+ Google Tricks (Guaranteed You Won't Know All of Them!) Link

21 Weird Health Facts That Everyone Should Know Link
Forward this email to a friend or five!
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

P.S. Are we connected on LinkedIn?
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