Weeknotes 202; DAOs and Dall-Es 2

Hi all. Busy weeks unless the vacation times. Less different activities, mixing the work on the research paper combined with the first activities in participating to build a new startup. It will be the reality for the coming month.

I will keep collecting news bits and inspiring events to visit. However, that will be further in the future as we are in peak summer, of course.

Via the newsletter of David Mattin, I saw that House of Beautiful Business is running an “asynchronous conference” on Web3, or as they frame it, it fits their style, “the future of humanity, technology, and business in a decentralized world.” I do not expect to dive into it fully but listen to some contributions. I like to hear different viewpoints and mindsets.

I checked the meetup calendar, and Sensemakers is still going strong in the summer with a DIY session. Last week I mentioned dConstruct a bit further ahead, and it happened they announced the line-up just after. And instead of events, there are always podcasts, too many to keep up. Like Near Future Laboratory podcast and Another Podcast of Benedict Evans.

One nice thing; after playing with Dall-E mini and Midjourney, I now have access to the real deal, Dall-E 2. I have to start playing around, but as an example of a robot collecting left-over fruit on a market:

News of last week

More on autonomous, robotics, the future of computing, copyright and DAOs.

The Changing Face of Compute
COMPUTING – “A recap of our emerging thesis on the changing nature of computing and what that means for semis companies large and small.”Looks worth diving into. How the nature of computing is changing, traditional is maxing out, including crypto, Moore’s law is slowing, and next up is new combinations of hardware, software, and semis into more tailored systems to solve specific problems.
NASA’s cute space robots just hit another milestone 
ROBOTICS – I hope they can also become social companions on long and lonely missions… “NASA’s cube-shaped Astrobee robots can now work independently alongside astronauts, paving the way for autonomous robotic maintenance crews.”
No more Dune or DAO for the Dune DAO
COPYRIGHTING – A DAO that made a bit for a unique Dune bible, did apparently not realizing that buying a book (even for a very high price) does not confer rights to publish derivative works.
Who Will Own the Art of the Future? 
COPYRIGHTING – Compare this to the DUNE DAO case…. “OpenAI has announced that it’s granting Dall-E users the right to commercialize their art. For now.”
Parti: Pathways Autoregressive Text-to-Image Model
INTELLIGENCE – The Google adept of Dall-E 2
saudi arabia unveils designs of THE LINE, the first zero-gravity vertical city with no cars
CITIES – I think I heard about this plan before, but now it is introduced with ao a futuristic animation.. “Saudi Arabia presents the designs of THE LINE, offering a detailed look into the world’s first zero-gravity vertical city at NEOM.”
‘The entire protein universe’: AI predicts shape of nearly every known protein
INTELLIGENCE – “DeepMind’s AlphaFold tool has determined the structures of around 200 million proteins.”
Large language models can’t plan, even if they write fancy essays 
INTELLIGENCE – Too bad, it would be great to have a machine doing the planning… “A study by researchers at Arizona State University, Tempe, shows that when it comes to planning and thinking methodically, LLMs perform very poorly, and suffer from many of the same failures observed in current deep learning systems.”
Could a DAO Build the Next Great City? 
DAO HYPING – I have a positive ground for the potential of DAOs, but this kind of overhyping is not promising for the way it might turn out. Like needing to buy in for your citizenship rights“Could DAOs, be the key to building the next great city? Experimental urbanist Scott Fitsimones shares the CityDAO principles.”
Clearpath simplifies ROS integration with its mobile robots
ROBOTICS – New version of the Robot Operating System: “Clearpath Robotics said it’s now easier to install, use, and diagnose issues with ROS on its mobile robots.”
We test out Bittle, a pet robot dog that will teach you how to code – review – Reviews
DIY ROBOTS – “Taking the first step in robotics or coding needn’t be daunting, and this DIY robotics kit teaches you how.”
‘Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert 
CLIMATE – Not a bright future… “Blistering heatwaves are just the start. We must accept how bad things are before we can head off global catastrophe, according to a leading UK scientist”
A day in the life of a Chinese robotaxi driver | MIT Technology Review
AUTONOMOUS – New jobs are created… “Liu Yang has one of the strangest jobs around: to sit in the passenger seat and monitor how self-driving cars cope with Beijing’s streets.”
This Is Why Self-Driving Cars Are A Step In The Wrong Direction
SELF-DRIVING GALORE – Some counter arguments to a self-driving bright future. Based on a linear future development which will not be the case. “Many gearheads believe autonomous vehicles are the future, but we have a few reasons why you should be wary of self-driving cars.”
Pony.ai forms autonomous truck JV with Sany Heavy Truck in China 
AUTONOMOUS – Slowly but steadily… “Autonomous vehicle company Pony.ai is forming a strategic joint venture with Sany Heavy Truck, […], to create an autonomous truck brand. The plan is to combine Pony.ai’s “virtual driver” with Sany’s technical prowess in building heavy-duty trucks to build automotive-grade, self-driving trucks with Level 4 autonomy”
This smart mattress could help you fall asleep faster — and maybe improve your health
SMART THING – Time for some good old smart thing or is it more? “UT Austin engineers have developed a smart mattress that manipulates a person’s body temperature to help them fall asleep fast.”Indeed, being a companion… Maybe good to combine with Somnox?
Magic Leap reveals release date, price for new AR glasses 
AUGMENTED – Sometimes you forget some companies still exist…. Magic Leap is still there. Maybe hoping riding the waves of an Apple device announcement? “Two years after laying off half of its staff, Magic Leap is back with a new pair of AR glasses, the enterprise-focused Magic Leap 2.”
Robot Sales in North America Continue Record Surge Into 2022 
ROBOTS – If you are into stats: “North American companies started the year by purchasing the most robots ever in a single quarter, with 11,595 robots sold at a value of $646 million.”
Polymath Robotics launches to bring plug-and-play autonomy software to any industrial vehicle
AUTONOMOUS – Enhancing as the future mode of autonomous driving.
The Case for Making Public Transit Free Everywhere 
PUBLIC TRANSPORT – “From Spain to Germany and Luxembourg to Estonia, more and more countries are experimenting with fare-free transportation.” Experienced this feeling in Luxembourg a month ago, very pleasant.
The End of Social Media 
SOCIAL FUTURES – From Social Media to Recommendation media. “Why friend graphs can‘t compete in an algorithmic world.”

Paper for the week

We will never run out of academic papers of course. The one I like to share this week has probably one of the longest titles:

Implications of the Relocation Type and Frequency for Shared Autonomous Bike Service: Comparison between the Inner and Complete City Scenarios for Magdeburg as a Case Study

The self-driving bike was an April fool joke by Google some years ago, in this paper the have been looking to the potential impact of slef-driving cargo bikes.

“Finding a sustainable mobility solution for the future is one of the most competitive challenges in the logistics and transportation sector nowadays. Researchers, universities, and companies are working intensively to provide novel mobility options that can be environmentally friendly and sustainable. While autonomous car-sharing services have been introduced as a very promising solution, an innovative alternative is arising using self-driving bikes.”

The paper did not do a realworld test in Magdenburg but ran an extensive simulation calculating the impact and nitty gritty details like rebalancing energy consumption. I think it is worth reading if you are in the market for offering cargobike services or regulating these…

Haj Salah, I., Mukku, V. D., Kania, M., Assmann, T., & Zadek, H. (2022). Implications of the Relocation Type and Frequency for Shared Autonomous Bike Service: Comparison between the Inner and Complete City Scenarios for Magdeburg as a Case Study. Sustainability , 14 (10), 5798.

Find it here.

See you next week!

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.