Category: personal

A Philosophical Start to 2023

We are once again at a transition moment in history. Where our journey goes from here could be exceptionally good or absurdly bad. This mirrors past moments, such as the transition into the Agrarian Age, which gave us early high cultures but also various dark ages. Or more recently the transition into the Industrial Age, with democracies flourishing, but also fascism and communism killing tens of millions.

In the past few years we have had incredible unlocks across many fields. To name just a few, in computation we are making real progress on artificial intelligence; in biology, we can now read and write genetic code; in energy, we are closing in on nuclear fusion.

At the same time we are facing unprecedented threats. The climate crisis is accelerating at a pace faster than most of the dire predictions. Our democracies are moribund with bloated and risk-averse bureaucracies. With social media and easy image/video manipulation and creation we live in post-truth world. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has edged us closer to the possibility of nuclear war.

The threats are truly scary and I completely understand why some people find it hard to get out of bed. The opportunities can be anxiety inducing in their own ways, even if you don’t think a superintelligence will wipe out humanity any day now. At all times there are people seeing that opportunity is elsewhere, finding themselves trapped in stagnant fields. Personally I am excited by the opportunities. But even excitement carries potential failure modes (Read more...)

ANNOUNCEMENT and Why the Tesla Humanoid Robot Matters

This post is by Robert Scoble from Scobleizer

Irena Cronin and I are seeing huge shifts coming as autonomous vehicles get to the point where they are driving around San Francisco without humans. We recently started comparing notes and we are seeing the same trends. 

So, today we are announcing that I am rejoining Infinite Retina as Chief Strategy Officer. We are bringing new understanding to entrepreneurs and product strategists on Augmented Reality and everything related to it, including AI and Computer Vision. Here is our first analysis (located at: [url]) on why we should all be paying attention to what is happening in humanoid robots and consumer electronics, which include autonomous vehicles that are now arriving to people’s garages and, soon, Augmented Reality devices from Apple and others.

Tomorrow Elon Musk will step on stage and show us the latest AI and robotics. We think this is a much more important announcement than most people are expecting and here’s an analysis of just how deeply Optimus (Tesla’s humanoid robot), and other humanoid robots, will change all of our homes. 

The last time Irena and I collaborated, we wrote a book, Infinite Retina, that Qualcomm’s head of Augmented and Virtual Reality, Hugo Swart, reviewed as a “must read.” This time, in addition to consulting, Irena and I are doing new analyses in the form of a paid product on Augmented Reality topics that we will offer on a monthly basis. One that loves Augmented Reality devices and automated electric cars, and other products that make life more (Read more...)

Back to School

This post is by Brad Feld from Brad Feld

I got the following email from Barry Schuler this morning. We’ve known each other for many years, and he’s one of my favorite VCs to work with.

He described exactly how I feel this morning. The fall is my favorite season of the year. By labor day, I’m ready for summer to end. The stretch until Thanksgiving is my most productive time of year.

I finally feel like writing again after a summer off (most of my books come out in the late spring / early summer, so I’m fried and uninterested in writing during the summer.)

My running is almost always great in the fall. I end the summer in solid shape and usually ramp up a lot in the fall. I like shorter days, later sunrises, and early sunsets. I like the colors of the leaves. The cool, crisp Colorado mornings.

Amy and I had a good summer, but I’m ready for cooler weather and a different pace.

The post Back to School appeared first on Brad Feld.

Happy 75th Independence Day, India

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

August 15th is Independence Day of India. I was born and raised in India, and nine years ago, I became an American citizen. As a result, I am fortunate to celebrate the birthdays of two countries, both former colonies of Great Britain.

Today also happens to be the 75th anniversary of the day. In 1947, Indians got freedom from their colonial masters, Great Britain. It is also the day that is a reminder that India was divided into two parts — India and Pakistan — and one that has caused trauma to many people on both sides of the border.

August 15th, 2022. San Francisco

The First Tour of Giant AI’s Robot Lab

This post is by Robert Scoble from Scobleizer

Visiting Giant AI

Visiting Giant AI is like getting a tour of a secret lab that shouldn’t exist run by an eccentric genius. The kind of which we remember from “Back to the Future.”

Adrian Kaehler is that genius. 

He built the computer vision system for the first autonomous vehicle that later became Waymo. He played a key role in the early development of Magic Leap, an augmented reality company that just won best of show at the industry’s biggest gathering, AWE (for Augmented World Expo). He also wrote what many say is the book on Computer Vision which is still used by many computer science departments. Today he is leading the Giant AI company which is building humanoid robots that can work on manufacturing lines, doing the same jobs humans used to do and many new ones. Giant is invested in by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. 

He saw the problems long ago that robots will bring. The earlier companies’ robots were designed and built to be very precise, which means they remain expensive today. You see many of these in factories today, they are heavy, don’t work well with humans, have to be programmed months in advance and are hard to retrain and don’t recover well when errors are made. Some are too dangerous to be around like the ones in Tesla’s factory in Fremont, which has some robots in cages to keep all humans away. 

He also saw the solution: AI that builds a new kind of (Read more...)

When will augmented reality glasses be ready for consumers? Really?

This post is by Robert Scoble from Scobleizer

Unfortunately it has taken a lot longer to get augmented reality glasses to consumers than I expected. A lot longer. I thought we would be wearing them all day by now. Heck, when I got Google Glass years ago I thought I never would take those off. Boy, was I wrong.

Lots of people are trying to figure out what Apple is up to, using that as a sign that consumer products are close.

Many in Silicon Valley taunt me for my previous optimism, saying “not this year, not next year.”

That doesn’t mean they aren’t getting closer. For the past seven years I’ve been watching Lumus, a small company in Israel, that makes the best lenses/displays I’ve seen so far. Every two years they come and visit me and show me its latest. Every year they get brighter, lighter, more efficient, smaller, and more.

Here, in video, is Lumus’ head of marketing showing me its latest displays.

But since I have been so wrong before, I wanted to take a more sober look at these displays and ask myself “when will consumers buy these?”

That may just be the wrong question. Enterprise uses of these are coming right now. Just look at the revolution in robotics that is underway. AI pioneer Adrian Kaehler has been retweeting every amazing robot on Twitter (he is CEO of Giant AI, which makes manufacturing robots coming over the next year) and there are dozens that work on all sorts of production (Read more...)

A new lick of paint

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

It has been nearly a month since I posted something around here. I have been busy with work, life and reading. A lot of reading. Given the noisy state of media, I find books are a good source of intellectual nourishment. And there is another reason why I didn’t feel like posting anything — the proverbial spring cleaning over on the old online homestead.

With the help of folks from team WordPress, I have come up with a new home page, which showcases:

  • Latest photo post.
  • Latest journal entry.
  • Latest post on/about technology
  • Links to my recent essays
  • Links to my recent interviews.
  • Links to some of my favorite pieces.
  • And my latest podcast.

The segmentation is straightforward and self-explanatory. Journal is where I will post everything from what’s on my mind to quotes & articles I find interesting. It is here I will write about my travels, books, music, and everything that is well, just my edit of the world. The technology entries are exclusively about writing on and about technology.

None of this is new — it is just more streamlined and hopefully easier to navigate.

That’s it!

May 23, 2022. San Francisco