Artificial Intelligence is going to begin helping businesses catch and identify theives. Products stolen from businesses each year get passed along to paying customers through higher prices. As companies try to compete this technology can help them to reduce their costs related to product loss, and hopefully make more customers honest since they will have a higher risk of getting caught.
A group is doing an interesting wealth experiment. Rather than doing an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) where wealthy individuals buy large amounts of a coin, this group is giving the new coin away. This coin is called UniversalCoin (UNV). Once all of the coins have been distributed the project goals will shift to trying to get the coin listed on exchanges, where it will begin to have a measurable value.
I have no idea if this project will be successful, but it is certainly an interesting experiment related to crypto and wealth. They are currently holding off on distributing more coins until sometime in June, 2018 to try and limit people from double dipping and getting more UNV through duplicate accounts.They plan to use a mobile app to regulate who can get coins in the future to reduce the amount of fraud occuring. Head on over to UniversalCoin.io and signup to be part of this experiment.
Note: You will need an ETH wallet to recieve UNV. Do NOT use a ETH wallet on an exchange to get UNV, it won’t work and you won’t receive your coins. I would recommend using myetherwallet.com which is a web based tool that will give you a ETH wallet address. I recommend reading more about Myetherwallet.com in their Getting Started Guide.
For a mobile device wallet I recommend Trust Wallet as it is a ERC-20 token compliant wallet.
Keep your wallet private keys secured and stored safely as you will lose access to your coins if you lose your private key.
Wow. I just watched a video from Google’s Developer Conference where an app (Google Assistant) makes a phone call to a hair salon for the user. The conversation was natural and fluid. The hair salon would have no idea that were speaking with a computer, and the user didn’t need to do anything other than to tell their phone to book them a haircut appointment. This technology is evolving and developing very fast. Here is the video.
I have always found language learning to be challenging and also very frustrating. I took 4 years of Spanish in High School and 2 years in College and can barely remember anything I learned during that time. I have been convinced that the methods used to teach language learning in American classrooms are terrible and that other methods can be far more successful than the classroom environment. I spent a summer in Mexico and got myself to a point where I could understand a lot of Spanish, but speaking it was entirely different and very difficult for me. I can read Spanish better than I can listen to it or speak it, but that provides limited benefit when trying to interact with somebody.
I was recently reading about some of the cognitive benefits of being bilingual in this Science News Article. The article spends a lot of time mentioning the benefits for children who learn two languages early in life, but also mentioned adults benefitting from being bilingual. These benefits include quicker thinking and problem solving skills. In addition to cognitive benefits for the bilingual individual, language helps shape our world view. Stanford University and MIT have been researching how a persons language impacts how they view the world and how they perceive or not perceive various aspects of their surroundings. The movie Arrival takes this concept to the extreme with an alien species teaching a human a language that causes her to perceive time itself differently where she no longer lives her life linearly. I don’t believe language can impact our perception of reality to this extreme, but I believe it helps shape how we view the world. I have a minor in Cross Cultural Studies so I have always been interested in how different people view the world. This is also the lens I use to look at politics and I always find it interesting that people can view the same events and the same set of facts and come to completely different conlusions. An individuals world view has a profound impact on their life. Learning another language, in theory, would allow me to see the world differently, to think about it differently and to understand things differently. My theory has been that bilingual speakers have an advantage in being able to see the world from a unique perspective because of how language shapes their world view. At 39 years old I have felt that I have missed the window to learn a new language and become a bilingual individual. Fortunately research shows I am not too old to learn a new language, but it may be more difficult than if I had tried when I was younger. If I put the time into it, I should be able to achieve one of my life goals of being bilingual.
As I pondered how I would go about learning Spanish again I had a thought, “Why should I learn Spanish?” My initial thought was that it should be easier due to my education and background. Then I thought “I don’t want easy.” I want a challenge. I want to do something that I am not sure is possible for me to do. I decided to see what languages are the most commonly spoken around the world. I learned that the top 3 languages are Chinese, Spanish and then English. Chinese is spoken by 1.2 billion people and China is making significant strides in business and technology. My interest in cryptocurrency and what Tron (TRX) is doing also has sparked an interest in China and how internet decentralization could be good for people living in China and the rest of the world. This is when I decided to look into learning Chinese. I found an app for my phone (Hello Chinese) that makes bold claims that in 10 minutes a day I could be fluent in Chinese in 3 months. While I don’t believe that claim, I found there are many tools to help someone who is a beginner start learning Chinese. Duolingo is another app that I will be using to try and learn some of the basics. So, I downloaded the app and started down the path of learning Chinese. Additional interest in Chinese stems from having friends who will be adopting from China in the coming months and a co-worker from China who can correct any improper pronunciation I may have along the way, which I am certain will be an issue for me. If 10 minutes a day gets me to where I would be at a 5 year olds level of communication I would consider that a huge success.
Now, this is where I also had another thought. “Why stop at being bilingual? Why not trilingual?” That would certinaly be more difficult than only knowing two languages and if I were to be able to communicate in English, Spanish and Chinese then I would have the three most widely used languages on the planet covered. That would be an impressive accomplishment. So, I am also going to be practicing more Spanish while focusing on Chinese. I am also looking for apps that connect people interested in language learning for live discussion and practice (HelloTalk and WeSpeke are two I have located so far). I recognize that without actually speaking my learning will be inhibited so I will need to find ways to practice speaking.
It is currently May 9, 2018 and my goal is to have basic fluency in both Chinese and Spanish by May 2020. I am hopeful that the concept of 10 minutes a day is actually enough for this old brain of mine to learn a new language. I am also hopeful that I will be able to achieve this goal well before the two year window I am giving myself. I figure the worst that will happen is that I will still only speak English by this time in 2020.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are going to change the world within my lifetime. Tasks that people do every day will become things that robots or other devices will take care of for us. Imagine having a robot in your home that would handle your dishes, do the laundry, even prepare dinner for your family. It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. As wild as it may seem the technology for devices or robots like this are beginning to emerge.
I stayed at the West Wing hotel in Tampa, FL that used a robot to deliver pillows, blankets and any items you may request from the front desk. My family was fascinated by this robot and we followed it around and watched it navigate around us and even control the elevator. It is basic, but it does its job well and frees up the front desk staff to focus on customers coming into the hotel. It is a robot that doesn’t replace anyone, but allows the person on site to focus on other tasks. I used to work in hotels and often had to leave the front desk to deliver items. Murphy’s Law always had someone come in who needed to check in or needed assistance while I was away from the desk. So, Wes, the robot at West Wing is a truly great use of new technology, which I am sure is just a sample of things to come.
Care-O-bot 4 is a modular robot that can be programmed to do various tasks. Far more avanced than the robot I saw in person. This robot has two arms and can move around and manipulate items it encounters much more like a person would do. This hardware framework coupled with advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) could mean highly functional robots doing tasks around the world within a few decades. Once this technology gets a consumer friendly point of entry, lives will be changed. I am sure it will begin with the wealthy having robots doing tasks for them, but as the technology becomes more refined and affordable a robot in your home may become a normal thing within 20 years.
We are already beginning to see the impact of autonomous cars and how they alone will change how people travel. Autonomous vehicles could impact even the core desire to own an automobile. If the vehicle drives itself, will people want to own it? Aspects of our society will change as robots begin to do more for us. Ideally this will allow people to do other more desirable or valuable tasks and not deal with tasks that can be automated. This will involve a cultural shift and could mean some jobs or positions may be filled by robots in the future. Time will tell if this possible future is on the horizon, but it looks like the pieces are lining up for actual highly functional robots will be a reality in my lifetime.