Blue Ocean, Methods, strategy

Singapore gets a gigantic ‘vending machine’ for buying luxury cars

Singapore is a country known worldwide for both a very high cost of living and limited real estate space — that combination makes it hard to imagine a better location for a gigantic vending machine that spits out luxury cars.

That’s right, folks. Autobahn Motors, a company that started out selling used vehicles in conventional showrooms, recently opened a 15-story building in Singapore that looks like a real-life kid’s toy box hidden inside the Southeast Asian city-state.

The structure can hold up to 60 high-end vehicles — it includes cars from Ferrari, Bentley and Porsche — which can be purchased by customers who visit the location.

Rather than a regular sales process, visitors to the Autobahn Motors’ site complete their purchase via a tablet device and customized app. Their car will be delivered to them within two minutes of their payment thanks to a unique ‘fishbone’ delivery system that Covered.Asia experienced in a pre-launch demo last year.

“We needed to meet our requirement of storing a lot of cars. At the same time, we wanted to be creative and innovative,” Gary Hong, general manager at Autobahn Motors, explained to Reuters in a recent interview.

Read more https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/15/singapore-gets-a-gigantic-vending-machine-for-buying-luxury-cars/

Blue Ocean, Methods, science and future, technology

Microsoft holographic display for your glasses

Microsoft may be hard at work making HoloLens and other AR/VR headsets a reality for Windows, but none of these devices really deal with holograms.

hologram-prototype-focus-control

A true hologram requires a laser-generated 3D image floating in front of your vision to work. HoloLens uses two, 2D images projected onto flat glass to create the illusion of a 3D object. In Microsoft’s latest breakthrough, the image is generated right onto the lens itself to create a true holographic image in one eye.

Microsoft is also working on making holograms more comfortable to look at. They are currently hoping to make holographic displays that people could use without their corrective lenses. These holograms would be able to correct near- and far- sightedness as well as astigmatism. Microsoft’s current holographic display now take into account once inaccessible combinations form factor and field of view as well. Their most recent prototype is similar to sunglasses in form with a thin and transparent holographic optical element. It also allows for a 80 degree horizontal field of view.

science and future, technology

BORING THROUGH TRAFFIC

To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, the solution is to go three-dimensional, which could be done using flying cars or to go underground. “The other option is to ‘go down’ and build tunnels,” the website states, as these provide a fair amount of perks, including weatherproofing and the practically limitless layers of tunnels that could be built…much better than malfunctioning cars potentially plummeting from the sky.

But there is a problem. First, there’s the cost. Second, existing tunnels can’t support the Hyperloop pods. Musk’s new company is out to fix this.

“Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile. In order to make a tunnel network feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10,” explains the new FAQ. To make the tunnel more cost effective and efficient, its diameter is going to be less than 4 meters (14 feet) — whereas normal tunnels (one-lane road tunnels) are usually about 8.5 meters (28 feet) in diameter. To do this, Musk’s tunnel company would use what it calls an “electric sled.”

Musk’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) — or Godot — is ready to start digging the first among these network of tunnels. However, as the TBM isn’t even as fast as a snail yet, Musk is determined to find ways to make tunnel digging faster — “to defeat the snail in a race” by increasing the TBM’s speed, which will also cut down costs

science and future, technology

One Day, AI Can Write Music as Well as a Human Composer ?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to become the most groundbreaking and defining technology of the 21st century. But what exactly comes to mind when people think about AI? Programs that can beat you at poker? Robots that can perform complex tasks with perfection? Or perhaps autonomous beings that are on the verge of replacing your job?

When we think about AI, we often look at those areas where humans can easily be replaced: high-level computation, manual labour, or data-driven optimization. Yet, there is now a new wave of emerging potential for AI in creative industries – one of which happens to be musical composition.

Aiva Technologies is one of the leading startups in the field of AI music composition. It was founded just last year in Luxembourg and London by Pierre Barreau, Denis Shtefan, Arnaud Decker, and Vincent Barreau.

They have created an AI called “Aiva” (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist) and taught it how to compose classical music – an emotional art which is usually considered to be a uniquely human quality. Aiva’s musical pieces are used as soundtracks for film directors, advertising agencies, and even game studios.

This February, they were invited to participate in the highly-acclaimed European Film Market in Berlin, as well as the Artificial Intelligence in Business & Entrepreneurship (AIBE) Summit in London. In the past, they were backed by Luxinnovation’s incubator program, and have even received praise from Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg himself.

Having already released its first album called Genesis, as well as many single tracks, Aiva recently became the first AI ever to officially acquire the worldwide status of Composer. It was registered under the France and Luxembourg authors’ right society (SACEM), where all of its works reside with a copyright to its own name.

The technology behind Aiva is based on deep learning algorithms which use reinforcement learning techniques. Deep learning is a particular type of machine learning whereby multiple layers of “neural networks” are programmed to process information between various input and output points. Although only loosely based on the human brain’s neural structure, it helps to think of it that way. This allows the AI to understand and model high-level abstractions in data, such as the patterns in a melody or the features in a person’s face.

Reinforcement learning, on the other hand, is a machine learning technique which teaches a software agent (AI) to decide what action to take next in order to reach certain objectives by maximizing its “cumulative reward.” Unlike supervised learning, reinforcement learning does not require labelled inputs and outputs of data. This allows the AI to “find its own way” around the data and improve its performance without being given any explicit instructions, which makes it easier to capture the diversity and variation found in creative arts like music.

According to the team: “We have taught a deep neural network to understand the art of music composition by reading through a large database of classical partitions written by the most famous composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc). Aiva is capable of capturing concepts of music theory just by doing this acquisition of existing musical works.”

Source: https://futurism.com/a-new-ai-can-write-music-as-well-as-a-human-composer/