Box of Amazing: An Autonomous Future has arrived  
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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
There were four main stories that stood out for me this week:
1. The multiple reports around Uber's underpriced IPO, strikes, and who gets rich
2. How Google is reinventing itself, including Augmented Reality Search 
3. How Facebook fought back against claims it should be broken up
4. Jeff Bezos and his obsession with the moon, and extracting its water

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. An Autonomous Future has arrived
If you Watch this video of Tesla Model 3 autonomously picking up its owner in parking lot, you'll know that the future has arrived. It's Batman and Knight Rider in real life. Depending on the situation, it can work well, but the vehicle sometimes gets stuck as it’s being overly careful in certain situations. Tesla has been improving on the features and now some of the beta testers are seeing some more impressive capability out of the new Advanced Summon. One of them posted a video of a Model 3 autonomously getting out of a parking lot and navigating it back to the owner while having to deal with 2 different vehicles driving around the parking lot.  Link
2. Is TikTok the next Cambridge Analytica?
Is TikTok a Chinese Cambridge Analytica data bomb waiting to explode? I worry about its use and whether this app is suitable for all the kids that are using it. Facial features, IP address, usage, links with friends, personal data - it's all on there. "If the cataclysmic Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us anything, it was that some of the secrets of the data trade wars are buried in the fine print that no one reads. Being a privacy nerd and a parent of kids that will probably soon be on the Chinese-owned app (as soon as I let them), I did the thing that almost no one does: I read their privacy policy. I was alarmed to see this section, which in late 2018 stated that TikTok user data may be transferred to China." Summary: if you or your kids are using TikTok, your data is being processed in China. If that worries you, stop using it.  Link
3. Nike Fit 
Nike has been experimenting heavily with augmented reality for a few years now, and the company is continuing to work on new experiencespowered by the technology. The sportswear giant is now introducing Nike Fit, a feature that uses a combination of computer vision, scientific data, artificial intelligence and recommendation algorithms to scan your feet and find the right shoe fit for you. And you can do it all in augmented reality, using the Nike app on your smartphone. Nike says that, according to industry research, over 60 percent of people wear the wrong size shoes. With Nike Fit, the company is hoping to solve that problem.The AR experience itself is fairly simple: You open up the Nike app, go to a product page and, next to where there's usually a menu that lets you pick the size of your shoes, you'll see a new option to measure your feet. From there, the camera will pop up and you'll be asked to stand next to a wall and point your smartphone at your feet, which will prompt a view that uses two AR circles to level your phone. Once the feature recognizes your feet and your physical environment, it starts scanning your feet and then tells you your ideal shoe size for Nike footwear. The entire process takes less than a minute. Link
4. Whatsapp Wallet
Facebook has chosen London as the centre for a push into payments on its WhatsApp messaging service, boosting the city’s hopes of becoming a global fintech hub and signalling the company’s commitment to monetising the fast-growing platform. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, last week announced that WhatsApp’s mobile payments would launch in several countries this year, saying he was “particularly excited” about the expansion after an initial test in India. “Payments is one of the areas where we have an opportunity to make it a lot easier. I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo.” Link
5. China’s ‘Big Brother’ App
In early 2018, Human Rights Watch obtained a copy of a mass surveillance app used by police in Xinjiang, in northwest China. In Xinjiang, the Chinese government has subjected 13 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims to widespread restrictions, in violation of their basic rights. Checkpoints form a network of virtual fences, restricting movement. Arbitrary detention for behaviors that don’t violate Chinese law, such as purchasing a new SIM card or growing a beard, is commonplace. Up to 1 million people are held in “political education” camps.  The app provides an unprecedented window into mass surveillance in Xinjiang. It aggregates data – from people’s blood type and height, to information about their electricity usage and package deliveries – and alerts authorities when it deems someone or something suspicious. It is part of the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), the main system for mass surveillance in Xinjiang. Read this interview articulating how HRW reverse engineered the app, and what data it told. Astonishing!  Link
6. 3D Printed Breathing Lung
Scientists just took a major step forward towards 3D printed organs — with a new lung-like system full of air sacs can expand and contract, filling the same biological role as our lungs do by pumping oxygen into blood. Bioprinted organs could someday help people who are waiting and sometimes dying on the organ transplant waitlist. The team behind the new printing technique made a similar device and successfully grafted it into mice with injured livers. Mice today, humans tomorrow. Link
7. Digital Work
If you are interested/worried about how digital is affecting what work is - then I urge you to skim the latest OECD report. It's 274 pages, but you'll find case studies on work, how countries are trying to transform and how to deal with the effects of automation and displacement. Specifically, it looks at the skills needed for a digital world of work, skills for a digital society, how to learn in a digital environment and policies to address these. Of course, Finland is ahead of the pack - but this is not just a macro report. Lots of data. Highly recommended. Just don't read the whole thing!  Link
8. Augmented Retail
46% of Retailers Plan To Deploy AR Or VR Solutions By 2020 - Retailers need to advance their AR capabilities or risk falling behind in their ability to engage with customers: 100 million shoppers are expected to use AR online and in-store by 2020. A global survey of retail executives found that 46% plan to deploy either AR or VR solutions to meet customer service experience requirements. “The impact of AR or VR in retail can be transformative. Retailers can use AR as an extension of the brand experience to engage customers in immersive environments and drive revenue. Additionally, AR can be used outside the store after a sale to increase customer satisfaction and improve loyalty.” AR experiences already are providing concrete benefits for retailers that adopt the technology. Link
9. Investing in Immortality
A leading bank says that companies focused on immortality and longevity — extending the human lifespan as much as possible — are going to grow in coming years, with the market expected to be worth $600 billion by 2025. If these financial experts are correct that biotech companies are poised to start “bringing unprecedented increases to the quality and length of human lifespans,” then we may start seeing serious results out of the industry. analysts wrote that the human lifespan may soon extend to 100 years. “This has enabled a new frontier in precision medicine to further extend life expectancy,” The analysts identified four key areas of longevity research that they expect to grow in the coming years: genomics, big data and artificial intelligence, futuristic foods and nutrition, and healthcare companies working to eradicate diseases.  Link
10. Fake AI David Beckham
The CEO of a UK startup pioneering deepfake technology thinks we're just three years away from having computer-generated versions of actors that are so good, they're indistinguishable from real humans. In collaboration with the campaign Malaria Must Die, Synthesia manipulated Beckham's facial features so that nine malaria survivors were able to speak through him — in nine different languages. "I think in the next three years we will see a significant improvement in how we can create digital humans," he said. He added that Synthesia can already make photorealistic humans, "we just can't do it with films yet." Link
Top of the News
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
The Exponential Guide to Artificial Intelligence Link

It's Okay to Be Good and Not Great Link

Why it's so difficult to predict the future Link

Dr. Alexa Will See You Now: Can We Trust Digital Assistants With Our Health Data? Link

The future of the burger Link

Venture Capitalists are crazy for Cannabis, CBD and "Canntech" Link

The World’s First 3D-Printed Village Link

Genetic Medicine Is Poised to Create New Inequality. Here’s How to Fix It. Link

New Progress in the Biggest Challenge With 3D Printed Organs Link

AI avatars could be the next generation’s favorite entertainers 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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