Box of Amazing: DNA Diets, Music Models & The Future of Amazon  
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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 saw Samsung teasing the foldable smartphone, Amazon reaching a trillion dollar valuation (and it will continue to rise), Snap upgrade their sunglasses (to face cameras), and the new Roomba means the end of vacuuming. Seriously.  All this while Elon Musk smokes weed and spills his true thoughts and the tech industry answered difficult questions. Oh, by the way, are you ready for Instagram shopping? Have a great week. No doubt, it will be all about Apple. Onwards! - Rahim
 

Clinc is building a voice AI system to replace humans in drive-through restaurants
 

What's Amazing?
DNA Diets: Nestle is experimenting with people's DNA to create and sell personalized nutrition plans that will lead to longer and healthier lives. The products will start in Japan first with 100,000 people agreeing to provide their DNA. The subjects post pictures of the food and then Nestlé suggest diet and supplements that can be sprinkled on food or mixed in tea. Link
Music Models: Music has always been governed by music labels. Over recent years, this has been an almost domination by Warner, Sony and Universal, but changing times bring new businesses disrupting traditional models. Digital music killed physical media and streaming killed the mp3. Now Spotify takes it to the next level. ""Over the last year, the 12-year-old company has quietly struck direct licensing deals with a small number of independent artists. The deals give those artists a way onto the streaming platform and a closer relationship to the company — an advantage when pitching music for its influential playlists — while bypassing the major labels altogether. Although the deals are modest — with advance payments of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to several people involved — the big record companies see the Spotify initiative as a potential threat: a small step that, down the line, could reshape the music business as it has existed since the days of the Victrola."   Link
The Future of Amazon: If you haven't read the Forbes article about Jeff Bezos, you should. He talks about the future initiatives of Amazon but much seems to belong to pillars from the past. "Prime, in short, has become Amazon's central nervous system, connecting everything in the company—and giving Amazon a path to expand into new markets while also juicing its core retail business—without really being its own thing. "It can't be a stand-alone business because it's completely tied in to our consumer offering," Bezos says. Similarly, as seen with Go, artificial intelligence will increasingly connect what previously seemed like disparate product lines, from cloud to retail. Take the wildly successful Echo, which has made Jeff Wilke's existential question about Amazon—is it a hardware or a software company?—moot. It's an effective piece of hardware empowered by AI-driven software, which drives Amazon's retail sales, leverages Amazon's content and so on. "The most interesting thing about machine learning as opposed to a lot of other technologies is just how horizontal it's going to be," Bezos says. "There's not a single category of business or government or anything, really, that can't improve itself.""   Link
Amazing News Nuggets
What's amazing?

"The role of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and techniques in business and the global economy is a hot topic. This is not surprising given that AI might usher in radical—arguably unprecedented—changes in the way people live and work. The AI revolution is not in its infancy, but most of its economic impact is yet to come."

Source: Modeling the global economic impact of AI | McKinsey

"Think: swarms of drones that can selectively spray and harvest entire farms with computer vision and remarkable dexterity, heat-resistant drones that can put out forest fires 100X more efficiently, or Level 5 autonomous vehicles that navigate smart roads and traffic systems all on their own. While autonomous AI will first involve robots that create direct economic value—automating tasks on a one-to-one replacement basis—these intelligent machines will ultimately revamp entire industries from the ground up."

Source: The 4 Waves of AI: Who Will Own the Future of Technology?

"Currently, humans risk becoming similar to domesticated animals. We have bred docile cows that produce enormous amounts of milk but are otherwise far inferior to their wild ancestors. They are less agile, less curious, and less resourceful. We are now creating tame humans who produce enormous amounts of data and function as efficient chips in a huge data-processing mechanism, but they hardly maximize their human potential. If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world."

Source: Yuval Noah Harari on Why Technology Favors Tyranny - The Atlantic

"Men are doomed. Everybody knows this. We're obviously all doomed, the women too, everybody in general, just a waiting game until one or another of the stupid things our stupid species is up to finally gets us. But as it turns out, no surprise: men first. Second instance of no surprise: We're going to take the women down with us."

Source: Why Sperm Counts Are Dropping For Men Today | GQ
 
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
How realistic are sci-fi spaceships? An expert ranks your favorites Link

Quantum computing is almost ready for business Link

The Best and Worst Cryptocurrencies as Reviewed by the Experts Link

Amazon’s Plan to Reach 500 Million Indians: Speak Their Language Link

Artificial Retinas Made Of This Ultra-Thin Super Material Could Help Millions See Again Link
 
Amazing Life Links
How to Make a Big Decision Link

Why You Make Terrible Life Choices Link

All Things Sales! 16 Mini-Lessons for Startup Founders Link

How to teach yourself hard things
Link

What Is Your Intent? Reminding Yourself Why You Do What You Do. Link
 
 
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