Blog Archives

The Future of Auto is Mobile

The question doesn’t seem to be whether or not we want to live within “the grid,” but rather what type of grid we want to inhabit?

In order to remain just on the ground level of our evolving digital society, let alone any furnished apartment or luxury suite, we must embrace the ever-growing connectivity of an ever-growing networked world. From our smartphones (if anyone has a flip-phone, I’d like to see it for historical purposes) to watches to tablets to computers to social networks to commerce to business to entertainment and everything in between, life’s daily necessities focus hard on innovative, customizable software.

That’s the reality…until it soon becomes virtual (see Ready Player One).

There are some negatives to this modern lifestyle, least of which are explored by the futuristic HBO hit show Westworld and a few select Michael Crichton novels. Still, there are incredible positives to embracing futuristic technology. And it looks like BMW is working towards one of these aforementioned positives…

If I were a betting man (thanks to a college poker game, I’m not), I’d wager a large sum of money on the word “charging” on the Buzzword Market Worldwide.

Or BMW, for short.

Investing in the right battery stock may be a prudent move as well. Time to get out the credit card and charge it.

The point is that the next technological frontier, and it’s still in the very early stage, appears to be a seamless, all-present wireless charging ecosystem for all the portable products/things/necessities in our lives. The world, to prognosticate, could evolve into a 3-D electronic world of sorts akin to an ’80s video game simulation. Walls, homes, roads may, one day, become super batteries and one further day down the digitized road all-mighty supercomputers. Just imagine what the digital grid could and will inevitably look like in a few decades. The pace of change increases with every passing day, hour and minute.

But for now, the BMW charging pad looks impressive and promising.

P.S. I hope you’re skilled at driving into car washes with precision.   

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The Pipe Dream: A Roundaloop?

21st-century ground transportation:

Envisioned by Elon Musk.

Traveling from Point A to Point B seems (and can literally be) pedestrian. In the modern world, there seem to be far too many detours, connecting flights, complications and mind-numbing traffic patterns to conceptualize a simplistic, easy-going path from Point A to Point B.

Then a big idea happened. And then that big idea was built and tested.

And what happens next?

Innovator Elon Musk founded The Boring Company, which is the firm that is building the Hyperloop (featured in the video above). While people won’t be lining up just yet to experience this futuristic form of transportation, the fact that a proof of concept has been achieved is a giant first step towards the reimagined American railroad. To be more precise, the reimagined American train and railroad system.

The Boring Company has essentially taken the archaic railroad system from 19th and 20th centuries and created a significantly faster 21st-century upgrade. Is it the right upgrade? Is the Hyperloop the next great innovative masterpiece in transportation we’ve been waiting for? Would you ride in the Hyperloop?

Fortunately, there’s a model (actually, a few models) to follow for judging the future progress and success of Hyperloop’s introduction to the American traveler, current and new:

Tesla.

Now, who is the co-founder and CEO of that innovative car company…?

iPhone: Episode VIII

Which beloved entity has the more influential following in modern culture:

Apple or Star Wars?

Apparently, to those closest to both, it’s a virtual tie of sorts?

Apple’s earbuds were inspired by the dark side, or more specifically, the stormtroopers from Star Wars, according to an interview with Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive in The Wall Street Journal. Ive reportedly told Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams he had the “look of the original Stormtroopers in mind when he designed Apple’s earbuds.”

It’s also interesting to note that the costume designer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Michael Kaplan, told Vanity Fair in 2015 that Apple itself inspired the new stormtroopers of the First Order. “With the Stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, ‘What would Apple do?’” Kaplan said at the time.
–Thuy Ong, The Verge, “Apple’s earbuds were inspired by the dark side, says chief designer Jony Ive”

As a reference, here’s a stormtrooper in The Force Awakens.

With iPhone 8 on the horizon for release later this year, Apple will likely begin to slowly work its way back towards the top of our news feeds. And particularly since the iPhone 8 will be the 10th anniversary iPhone, the speculation (never-ending with Apple products) concerning this forthcoming version of the globally popular mobile device is focused on a wide variety of game-changing features for an Apple phone. This includes rumors of a borderless screen, wireless charging and the potential removal of the physical home button (not the home button feature, but just the actual button).

Interestingly enough, those rumors almost pale in comparison to what’s been revealed in the quotes above from brilliant designer Jony Ive and the costume designer for The Force Awakens.

As a newspaper editor would say, “That’s the lead.”

Even more is the fact that Apple is great at storytelling, specifically the customized story of each of its consumers by providing them the opportunity to define a phone, tablet or computer through countless apps and user photos, music, videos, etc. The surprisingly awesome news that key figures from both Apple and Star Wars influenced each other in profoundly cool ways makes an Apple-Star Wars crossover promotion seem like a pop-culture slam dunk.

So, The Last Jedi is the eighth Star Wars major motion picture set for release this Christmas and Apple is set to sell its eighth iPhone at the end of this year.

Hmmm…

(Please re-read the headline of this blog post).

Since Artificial GRASS is a Problem…

Elon Musk, the face defining and promoting Tesla Motors and its impressively intriguing product line, gave surprising remarks recently to a gathering of American governors.

For the CEO of Tesla, Inc., which designs and builds cars that are arguably more supercomputers than automobiles, to speak about the far-reaching dangers of artificial intelligence going forward involving unrestrained technological variations in this arena is newsworthy. Fascinating, in the very least. Moreover, Mr. Musk has the unique perspective and influence to affect the mindset of large communities of people and innovators with his recent warning revealed in the video above.

But will people listen?

The challenge is that innovation, in its purest form, presents the eternally intoxicating allure of “the future” that every generation has imagined and pursued with purpose to varying degrees. The primary concerns of building a world heavily influenced and dictated by artificial intelligence seems more reckless than wise, yet Westworld (at least to Michael Crichton fans and HBO viewers) was built with great intrigue.

Aren’t you curious to visit Westworld?

Answer honestly.

Jimmy’s Daily Planet maintains its consistent position that innovation, in all of its varieties, should be viewed with excitement and caution in equal measure. What are the costs and the benefits? More often than not, the costs and the benefits of a particular innovation are on a sliding scale nowhere close to a conclusive 100-0 result. Artificial intelligence is a very slippery slope because, in the initial stages, the benefits may appear to make our lives easier, more efficient and, above all, better. It’s usually at this point, however, when the investment into something (in this case, AI) is too grand and, consequently, becomes too interwoven into societal expectations to turn the digital clock back.

It just seems like humans, in too many situations, are far too eager to not only “big brother” themselves, but to also make themselves less relevant and necessary through ill-advised inventions. Impressive? Typically yes. The best idea? Hmmm…

A Google search defines the word “artificial” as, “made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, typically as a copy of something natural.”

How would (will?) Google define a product consciously created and then made or produced by something artificial?

Hmmm…

P.S. In the video above, Elon Musk spoke about the need for increased regulations to combat the threat of AI in the future. While a sensible regulation here and there may help, do you want to know what the better solution would be to deal with AI?

Intelligent people leading by example, like Elon Musk.