Weeknotes 220; happy new year!

Hi all! First of all, a happy 2023 to you! I just returned from a delayed fireworks event in Amsterdam that was moved to the 2nd of January at 20:23 as last Saturday the weather conditions prohibited fireworks… The advantage was that I was able to see it, and it was worth it. Very nice fireworks but especially the combination with the drones was executed very well. If you want to see the show on a screen, there will be plenty of movies online, I expect. For example.

Also, today we got into our new office in Amsterdam; a nice old school building with lots of light just inside the ring in the western area of Amsterdam. We are especially happy with a huge white wall to start mapping out the sequences (want to know more, let me know). And exploring the impact of some new tool for us…

This is the first post in 23, nr 220 already. I am planning to keep doing this for sure, I like to have a weekly rhythm. However, it has become a bit more night work even since last year. I was not planning for big new year’s resolutions for the newsletter, but it is always nice to think about the format, of course. I will keep that on the todo-list for later.

As mentioned earlier there is a need to change the newsletter tool I am using, as Revue will be discontinued by the new owner of Twitter. Still need to make a choice, need to do that before next week, I will then send the newsletter in the duplex. Will let you know by then.

After the Xmas break I needed to catch up on the news and stuff. I focus on the news articles below. There are not many events planned this week as half of the people are still on a break or doing new year’s drinks.

There are a lot of posts doing year-in-review. Personal or more looking back on changes in tech and/or society. Like StratecheryInterconnectedDesignswarmAlperKottkeNYTSloan. I might make some time to do it this week. Also, revisit the predictions of last year and write some new ones. That might be summarized as: 2022 was the year generative AI became recognized and acknowledged, in 2023 it will show its real impact as a sneak preview and beyond…

The news with the usual mix of robotics, generative AI, and tech impacts.

The third magic 
LEARNING – “But without minimizing the importance of those underlying advantages, I’d like to offer the idea that our material success is due, in large part, to two great innovations.”
Emotional AI Is No Substitute for Empathy 
NO SURPRISES – “Artificial intelligence will try—and fail—to grasp the subtleties of human expression.”
Predicting machine learning moats 
MODELING – “Models aren’t moats and how emergent behavior scaling laws will change the business landscape.”
The Many Metaphors of Metamorphosis 
TRANSFORMATION – We might consider to change the name for transformation organisation. “Not every transition must be a caterpillar into a butterfly, or a solitary trek through terror and pain. The natural world has other models of transformation.”
What You Get Is the World 
BROKEN – “Humility and a refusal of the myth of limitlessness. Because if there is anything that makes us complicit in propagating the exhausting, depleting, surface skimming way of life, it is the refusal to acknowledge our good and proper limits as mortal, embodied creatures.”
CHANGE – Some thoughts by James Bridle that triggers thinking one of the returning concepts: time. Time as a relative construct of the contextual situation. “Paradigm shifts, it was said, only happened when the old scientists died. People don’t have them, they’re too stubborn, too set in their ways. Real change is a social process, a diachronic matter of successive generations.”
Paper-thin solar cell can turn any surface into a power source
ENERGY SURPLUS – “MIT researchers developed a scalable fabrication technique to produce ultrathin, flexible, durable, lightweight solar cells that can be stuck to any surface. Glued to high-strength fabric, the solar cells are only one-hundredth the weight of conventional cells while producing about 18 times more power-per-kilogram.”
Meet Rocki, the robot pet companion
PALTECH – If you’re a parent of a fur baby or two who wants to check in on your pets while you’re away, and maybe even play with them, Rocki may be the device for you.
An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark 
MILESTONES “The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023”
Amazon begins drone deliveries in California and Texas 
FLYING – “Amazon Prime Air wants to deliver packages within 60 minutes.”
EXCLUSIVE: TikTok Spied On Forbes Journalists
SPYING MEDIA – “ByteDance confirmed it used TikTok to monitor journalists’ physical location using their IP addresses, as first reported by Forbes in October.”
Optometrists, Octopii, Rubber Ducks & Centaurs: my talk at Design for AI, TU Delft, October 2022 
DESIGN AI – Talk by Matt Jones earlier this year. “This talk is mainly a bunch of work from my recent past – the last 5/6 years at Google Research. There may be some themes connecting the dots I hope! I’ve tried to frame them in relation to a series of metaphors that have helped me engage with the engineering and computer science at play.”
How Would a Self-Driving Car Handle the Trolley Problem?
ETHICS – “In an excerpt from “Robot Ethics,” professor Mark Coeckelbergh examines how self-driving cars would decide which humans to save”
How Apple Names Things
VISUALIZING – Making sense by mapping out connections. Wonder if it suggest more strategy than in intended…

Paper for the week

22 continued to be a year on hubs for last mile logistics and alike. This paper covers some. Nano hubs as a new instance.

“While some parcel service providers show that they are successfully testing different concepts such as micro-hubs, several barriers prevent the implementation beyond pilot status. Hence, our work aimed to overcome these barriers by introducing nano-hubs as an urban-friendly alternative to micro-hubs.”

The question is if this is not outdating fast… 

Kania, M., Rolf, B., Assmann, T., & Zadek, H. (2022). The smaller, the better? Nano-hubs for cycle logistics as an urban-friendly alternative to micro-hubs. Logistics Journal: Proceedings, 2022(18).

Link to paper.

See you all 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.