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Five Trends Driving Traditional Retail Towards Extinction - Forbes

Five Trends Driving Traditional Retail Towards Extinction - Forbes | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
The e-commerce behemoth is coming, but that's no longer news. Amazon is nearly 20 years old now, eBay just a year younger. What is news? The behemoth is arming itself.
Trudy Raymakers's insight:

1.) Voluntary Conversion

2.) A Losing Cost Structure

3.) Free Delivery, Free Returns

4.) Subscription Commerce

5.) Fit withouth the fitting room

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These 7 Disruptive Technologies Could Be Worth Trillions of Dollars

These 7 Disruptive Technologies Could Be Worth Trillions of Dollars | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
Scientists, technologists, engineers, and visionaries are building the future. Amazing things are in the pipeline. It’s a big deal. But you already knew all that. Such speculation is common. What’s less common? Scale. How big is big? “Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Dock, all of the Silicons around the world, they are dreaming the dream. …
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What is Bitcoin?

What is Bitcoin? | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

In 2010, financial history was made when someone bought a pizza. If you haven’t heard about this groundbreaking event, don’t worry, you're not the only one.

The pizza wasn’t the important part of the transaction - it was what was used to pay for it. The meal cost 10,000 bitcoins and was the first time the virtual currency was used to buy something in the real world. The day is now celebrated every year by bitcoin enthusiasts as Bitcoin Pizza Day.

Things have come a long way since then. Bitcoin’s use and value have soared. If that diner had held onto those 10,000 bitcoins they may not have made history, but they would be around $20 million better off today.

In March this year, the price of one bitcoin climbed above the price of one ounce of gold for the first time.

Bitcoin’s increasing value is due to the fact that its popularity has rocketed in recent years. In 2009, there were fewer than 10,000 transactions in bitcoin. By January this year that number had trebled. Analysts put this down to the fact that investors think it will hold its value better than some other investments, as well as the fact that it has become increasingly popular in Asia.

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Extreme facial recognition technology: the end of hide-and-seek - Richard van Hooijdonk

Extreme facial recognition technology: the end of hide-and-seek - Richard van Hooijdonk | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
Digital Democracy makes you ‘a fly on the wall’ at the state house
Facial recognition body cameras turn police officers into mobile surveillance systems
With facial recognition software, diagnosing genetic disease is as quick as taking a photo
Fighting thieves with new-age mug shots
No more hide-and-seek
Remember that moment when you saw someone on the street and were sure you’d seen their face before? You searched your memory and then suddenly you got it — you remembered her from your trip to the grocery store the previous week. The biological process of facial recognition led you to this conclusion. Each person has distinctive facial features: their eye shape, or maybe a big forehead or a pointy nose, and we use these features to differentiate between people at a glance.

Nodal points – those features we don’t immediately recognise
However, there are some delicate characteristics that we’re not able to recognise immediately, things like the distance between a person’s eyes, the depth of their eye sockets, or the length of their jaw. These are known as nodal points, and researchers suggest that each face has approximately eighty of them. We’re not able to process those features because we look at the face as a whole, but they’re a distinctive marker of identity. ”Facial recognition software is already quite accurate in measuring unchanging and unique ratios between facial features that identify you as you,” Jan Chipchase, a facial recognition researcher insists. “It’s like a fingerprint.”
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Digital treatments can be real medicine

Digital treatments can be real medicine | Futurewaves | Scoop.it


What if an app could replace a pill? That’s the big question behind an emerging trend known as “digital therapeutics.” The idea: software that can improve a person’s health as much as a drug can, but without the same cost and side-effects.

Digital therapeutics, or “digiceuticals,” as some call them, have become a Holy Grail in some quarters of Silicon Valley, where investors see the chance to deliver medicine through your smartphone. Andreessen Horowitz, the venture firm, even predicts digital drugs will become “the third phase” of medicine, meaning the successor to the chemical and protein drugs we have now, but without the billion-dollar cost of bringing one to market.  

“It’s going to seem backwards and even barbaric that our solution to everything was just giving out pills,” partner Vijay Pande wrote on the investment company’s blog.

But defining exactly what a digital therapeutic actually is can be as elusive as finding the famous chalice. “It’s still a fluid space that everyone is trying to categorize,” says Peter Hames, the British CEO of a startup called Big Health, which offers an online therapy program for insomnia suffers called sleep.io that it claims can replace “pills or potions” with visualization exercises.

Hames says digital therapies fall into two groups, which he calls “medication augmentation” and “medication replacement.” He says sleep.io is in the latter category because it actually makes sleeping pills unnecessary. “We’ve been able to show through multiple peer-reviewed studies that the outcomes are better than drugs,” he says.

The term digital therapeutics began to circulate around 2013, in large part due to Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health. He began using it at conferences and in the company’s marketing materials to describe its online coaching software to help pre-diabetics avoid getting sick by exercising more and losing weight.

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Google’s 3 Secrets To Designing Perfect Conversations

Google’s 3 Secrets To Designing Perfect Conversations | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

We’ve all been frustrated when talking to a computer. Maybe it can’t understand what you’re saying. Maybe it hears you, but doesn’t understand what you mean. Or maybe it’s just a tedious chat with a cloying personality with whom you’d never choose to associate in real life.

Such are the problems of designing voice interfaces. In theory, voice is the ultimate medium–one people don’t have to learn to use. “Users are instant experts. There’s nothing to teach, or at least there shouldn’t be,” says Daniel Padgett, conversational design lead at Google. “It’s something that they’ve been doing forever. Because of that, they have high expectations.”

However, the fact that human speech is so nuanced and contextually driven makes a serious challenge for any designer or company looking to break into this new medium. And voice interfaces aren’t just for companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple anymore. Now that more and more businesses actually build their own chatbots for shopping and customer support, it’s a skill more companies need to learn.

At Google’s big I/O conference last week, conversational experts from across the company gave half a dozen different talks about the best practices of designing dialogs between people and computers. We listened in–and compiled the best bits into three overarching tips.



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Meet the People Who Train the Robots (to Do Their Own Jobs)

Meet the People Who Train the Robots (to Do Their Own Jobs) | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
SAN FRANCISCO — What if part of your job became teaching a computer everything you know about doing someone’s job — perhaps your own?

Before the machines become smart enough to replace humans, as some people fear, the machines need teachers. Now, some companies are taking the first steps, deploying artificial intelligence in the workplace and asking their employees to train the A.I. to be more human.

We spoke with five people — a travel agent, a robotics expert, an engineer, a customer-service representative and a scriptwriter, of sorts — who have been put in this remarkable position. More than most, they understand the strengths (and weaknesses) of artificial intelligence and how the technology is changing the nature of work.

Here are their stories.
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What Has Digital Health Ever Done For Us? Well, At Least 60 Things! - The Medical Futurist

What Has Digital Health Ever Done For Us? Well, At Least 60 Things! - The Medical Futurist | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

I get a lot of questions after my keynotes and online either from patients or physicians about what digital health has ever done for us. They ask this as if digital health was non-existent or not useful. As if medicine should be practiced and healthcare should be delivered like it has been for hundreds of years. While we need to preserve real values such as the human touch and the creativity of physicians, the future will be and must be technological and digital.

The era of technological advances we live in brought new opportunities for improving care; and digital health is the essence of the transition. So instead of a long philosophical essay about why digital health is the only way to go, I give you 60 responses to the pressing question: what digital health has ever done for us.

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Algorithm predicts epileptic seizures in real-time - Futurity

Algorithm predicts epileptic seizures in real-time - Futurity | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
A new system could detect seizures in patients with epilepsy before they happen—and potentially stop them in advance.
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Next List 2017: 20 Tech Visionaries You Should Have Heard of by Now

Next List 2017: 20 Tech Visionaries You Should Have Heard of by Now | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
MICROSOFT WILL BUILD computers even more sleek and beautiful than Apple’s. Robots will 3-D-print cool shoes that are personalized just for you. (And you’ll get them in just a few short days.) Neural networks will take over medical diagnostics, and Snapchat will try to take over the entire world. The women and men in these pages are the technical, creative, idealistic visionaries who are bringing the future to your doorstep. You might not recognize their names—they’re too busy working to court the spotlight—but you’ll soon hear about them a lot. They represent the best of what’s next.
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As climate dangers grow, it might be time to begin limited geoengineering experiments

As climate dangers grow, it might be time to begin limited geoengineering experiments | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
As climate change accelerates, a handful of scientists are eager to move ahead with experiments testing ways to counteract warming artificially. Their reasoning: we just might get desperate enough to use this technology one day.
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A prescription for the future: How hospitals could be rebuilt, better than before | The Economist

A prescription for the future: How hospitals could be rebuilt, better than before | The Economist | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

IN A nondescript part of Cleveland, in a room known as the bunker, a doctor, nurses and medical technicians gather to keep watch over 150 patients in special-care units and intensive-care beds. Their patients are scattered around the region, in clinics that have no specialists covering the night shift. On a wall of beeping screens the bunker team members track their charges vital signs. They can zoom in on any patient via a camera at the foot of each bed. “These here are PVCs [premature ventricular contractions]; they’re bad things,” says Jim Goldstein, a cardiac technician, pointing to a graph of a patient’s heartbeat. The PVCs are getting worse, warns a flashing light. It’s time to alert a nurse on the ground.

Health-care providers such as the Cleveland Clinic, the big American hospital group that runs this remote intensive-care unit (ICU), are rethinking the way hospitals work. Today, hospitals are where patients go for consultations with specialists, and where specialists, with the help of medical technicians and pricey machinery, diagnose their ills. They are also the main setting for surgery and medical interventions such as chemotherapy; and where sick people go for monitoring and care. But high-speed internet, remote-monitoring technology and the crunching of vast amounts of data are about to change all that. In the coming years a big chunk of those activities—and nearly all the monitoring and care—could move elsewhere.

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How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything | Futurewaves | Scoop.it


Artificial intelligence is not one technology but rather a group of related technologies – including natural language processing, machine learning (computer programs that can “learn” when exposed to new data) and expert systems (software programmed to provide advice) – that help machines sense, comprehend, and act in ways similar to the human brain. These technologies are behind innovations such as virtual agents (computer-generated, animated characters serving as online customer service representatives), identity analytics (solutions combining big data and advanced analytics to help manage user access and certification), and recommendation systems (algorithms helping match users and providers of goods and services) which have already transformed the ways in which companies look at the overall customer experience.

Artificial intelligence can help banks’ finance teams reimagine and restructure operating models and processes. Large banks must process huge volumes of data to generate financial reports and satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements. These processes are increasingly standardized and formulaic but still involve large numbers of people performing low-value-added tasks (often in reconciliation and consolidation). This makes them ideal candidates for robotic process automation (RPA). The software “bots” used in RPA can be coded to deal with rules and some exceptions, but it’s the added layer of machine learning across the more complex challenges and frequently changing tasks that make the combination of RPA and AI particularly powerful.


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This isn’t sci-fi: A space-based sharing economy powered by nano-satellites could save humanity

This isn’t sci-fi: A space-based sharing economy powered by nano-satellites could save humanity | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

The rise of the internet and the ubiquity of mobile computing devices have changed everything from travel and shopping to politics – think Uber, Amazon and Twitter.

But for the next revolution in commerce, governance and social interaction we need to look up – about 100 miles up, into the low Earth orbit. There, falling prices for communication and earth monitoring satellites, along with blockchain-enabled security, will make everything from broadband communication to crop monitoring available not just to technology elites, but to the most remote farm, village or machine.

This sharing economy in space could give even those not employed by large corporations or governments access to real-time, trustworthy data about everything from weather patterns and economic outlooks to cross-border migrations.

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Brain interfaces open up a whole new way to get hacked

Brain interfaces open up a whole new way to get hacked | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

Malicious software could use brain interfaces to help steal passwords and other private data. The Epoc+ is an $800 brain-wave-sensing headset marketed as being able to detect emotional states such as frustration or excitement, and permit you to control robots with your thoughts.

Nitesh Saxena, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has shown that it can also help software guess PINs and passwords by monitoring a person’s brain waves. The study joins a small but growing body of evidence on brain-interface security that researchers say shows even the limited headsets available today need better security.

“I would say it’s a risk for today’s devices, and with more advanced devices much more could be done in future,” says Saxena, of the prospects for private data being stolen with a brain interface. “People need to think though the privacy and security models of these interfaces.” Facebook and a new startup from Elon Musk are among those working on more advanced brain interfaces that would come with greater security risks (see “With Neuralink, Elon Musk Promises Human-to-Human Telepathy. Don’t Believe It”).


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What Happens When Cyborg Tech Goes Beyond Medicine?

What Happens When Cyborg Tech Goes Beyond Medicine? | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
The age of the cyborg may be closer than we think. Rapidly improving medical robotics, wearables, and implants means many humans are already part machine, and this trend is only likely to continue. It is most noticeable in the field of medical prosthetics where high-performance titanium and carbon fiber replacements for limbs have become commonplace. …
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The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is Here: What Now? [Video]

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is Here: What Now? [Video] | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
What if the world we knew was subtly being replaced with a new one? Would we notice immediately, or would it only be evident in hindsight?

According to the World Economic Forum, the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is here. It’s a change as significant as any modern revolution before it. And if we look, we’ll see the signs.

If the first three industrial revolutions brought us the steam engine, electricity, and global communication, the fourth revolution merges the digital, physical and biological. As Ray Kurzweil often says, this trajectory will eventually eliminate the barriers between man and machine. 

"One of the features of this fourth industrial revolution is that it doesn't change what we are doing, but it changes us," says Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.
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Get Ready for Skyscrapers Made of Wood. (Yes, Wood)

Get Ready for Skyscrapers Made of Wood. (Yes, Wood) | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
WHEN CHICAGO’S JOHN Hancock Center was built in 1965, it required 5 million pounds of aluminum, roughly enough metal to manufacture the equivalent of 96 tour buses. Five years later, engineers did Hancock one better when they constructed the Sears Tower, a 1,400 foot skyscraper that used more than 176 million pounds of steel. Chicago has always been a city defined by metal and concrete, but now, an ambitious new proposal promises to introduce a new material to Chicago’s skyline, and to skyscrapers around the world: wood.
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Nike's moonshot, facial payments and more - JWT Intelligence

Nike's moonshot, facial payments and more - JWT Intelligence | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
Spray-on touchscreens, Mental Health Month, the rise and fall of influencer marketing.

–Adweek goes inside Nike’s “moonshot” attempt to crack the two-hour marathon record; while unsuccessful, the ambitious stunt helped establish Nike’s “athletic cred.”

–MIT Technology Review highlights Face++, a Chinese face-detecting startup that can now authorize payments, as one of its ten breakthrough technologies.

–A new conductive system from Carnegie Mellon called Electrick can be sprayed on any surface, adding a touchscreen to everyday objects. Via the Verge.

–For Mental Health Month, Instagram is building communities to raise “awareness about mental health and the importance of finding support.” Via Fortune.
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Our Machines Now Have Knowledge We’ll Never Understand

Our Machines Now Have Knowledge We’ll Never Understand | Futurewaves | Scoop.it
Artificial intelligence is making the limits of human knowledge painfully obvious
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Johnson & Johnson Wants to Use 3D Printing to Heal Broken Bones

Johnson & Johnson Wants to Use 3D Printing to Heal Broken Bones | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

.The bone health-focused J&J unit has snapped up 3D printing tech from Tissue Regeneration Systems, Inc. (TRS). The platform is able to create implantable bone-like structures that have a special type of coating that helps the body absorb them and use them to help heal injuries and deformities. It can be used in bones throughout the body, including the face and skull. J&J didn't disclose the financial details for the deal

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Tech Made Cities Too Expensive. Here’s How to Fix It

Tech Made Cities Too Expensive. Here’s How to Fix It | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

IN 2013 PROTESTS broke out in Oakland, California, directed against the private buses that shuttle tech workers from pricey homes in the city’s gentrifying areas to jobs in Silicon Valley. “You live your comfortable lives,” read a flyer that protesters handed out to passengers, “surrounded by poverty, homelessness, and death, seemingly oblivious to everything around you, lost in the big bucks and success.”

That moment of backlash was an outgrowth of what I call the New Urban Crisis: the decline of middle-class neighborhoods, the gentrification of the downtowns of certain cities, and the reshaping of America’s metropolitan regions into islands of advantage surrounded by larger swaths of disadvantage.

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We're Entering A New Era of Mass Collaboration

In a networked world, the best way to become a dominant player is to be an indispensable partner
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A Chip Revolution Will Bring Better VR Sooner Than You Think

A Chip Revolution Will Bring Better VR Sooner Than You Think | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

DAVID KOSSLYN AND Ian Thompson are the founders of a virtual reality company called Angle Technologies. Two years into this stealth project, backed by $8 million in funding, they won’t say much about the virtual world they’re building—at least not publicly. But they will say that they’re building it in a way that alters the relationship between computer hardware and software. When a PC or a game console runs this virtual world, the GPU chips play an unexpectedly large role, taking so much of the burden off the main processor.

GPU is short for graphics processing unit. These chips were originally designed as a better way of rendering graphics for games and other software. And they still play this all-important role for the virtual world under development at Angle. But that’s not all. Kosslyn and Thompson are shifting countless other tasks onto these chips, just because GPUs are so good at running so many calculations in parallel. A single machine can hold hundreds of GPU chips, and each chip can operate largely on its own.

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Artificial evolution aims to create life out of non-living matter

Artificial evolution aims to create life out of non-living matter | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

Evolution is the generally-accepted answer to how life arose, but how did non-living matter transition into living organisms? A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is trying to recreate the cradle of life, by gently rocking a combination of key minerals and organic molecules to see if certain chemical reactions give birth to life. If life emerges "easily" from these conditions, it could change our understanding of how common life might be across the universe.

Synthetic life has been created in a lab before. Back in 2010, scientists successfully created a brand-new bacteria by injecting a computer-designed genome into an existing cell, which was then able to replicate itself. A few years later, another team built artificial, self-assembling cell membranes, which could act like the "hardware" to house an artificial genome. More recently, researchers developed a semi-synthetic organism with extra genetic information in its DNA.

But if those scientists were essentially "playing God" by directly creating new life, the UW-Madison project is "playing Mother Nature" by trying to recreate the overall process of evolution itself.

The study of life's beginnings, or abiogenesis, has been ongoing for the better part of a century, and there are several theories for how non-living molecules first gave rise to living cells. Probably the best known is the idea of primordial soup, which suggests that when sources of energy, such as lightning or sunlight, interacted with Earth's early atmosphere, organic compounds would have formed and interacted with each other. These eventually gave rise to amino acids – the building blocks of life – and in turn, simple life forms.

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Old Mice Made Young Again With New Anti-Aging Drug

Old Mice Made Young Again With New Anti-Aging Drug | Futurewaves | Scoop.it

There’s something eerily dystopian about the lives of cells.

Like the young heroes in popular teen novels, cells are born into stringent organ “societies,” destined to perform specific roles preordained by their DNA expression. Like the bodies they inhabit, cells have limited lifespans, and when they grow old, they begin leaking toxic molecules into their surroundings.

To protect the body, aged cells undergo the ultimate sacrifice: they switch on molecular machinery that results in their own death—a process beautifully named “apoptosis,” meaning the “gentle falling of leaves” in ancient Greek.

But sometimes aged cells go rogue. Rather than committing suicide, these cells lurk in our hearts, livers, kidneys and brains, where they silently promote disease. Scientists have long suspected that these “senescent” cells cause us to age, but getting rid of them without harming normal, healthy cells has been challenging.

Now, a collaborative effort between the Erasmus University in the Netherlands and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California may have a solution. Published in the prestigious journal Cell, the team developed a chemical torpedo that, after injecting into mice, zooms to senescent cells and puts them out of their misery, while leaving healthy cells alone.

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