- If your job involves sitting at a desk, and your inputs and outputs come in via phone or display, expect to be automated.
- Automatic driving.
- AIs which sell. These will be annoying but effective.
- Big Brother will be much more effective.
- Within ten years, an AI running some investment will fire a CEO.
Probably not important:
- Virtual reality. Other than for games, it won't be big.
- Internet of Things for the home. Home remote control is a niche product. It's been available since the 1980s and never got much traction.
- Robots for routine unstructured tasks. Still a hard problem, from both a hardware, software, and cost perspective.
- Nanotechnology (excluding surface chemistry stuff)
75% of children that experience an ICU still have PTSD (among other problems) 90 day after discharge. The DoD funded Bravemind project (Oculus Rift with a clinical 'wizard of Oz'-type iPad interface) has shown real progress for PTSD treatment. Maybe the Bravemind for children stuck in ICU can reduce psychosis, need for anti-depressants with co-morbidities, and general depression for these children. Meningitis patients and those about to undergo organ donation are isolated for a long period in-hospital; boredom doe not help their recovery at all. Imagine a hololens in a long term ICU situation. Suddenly this room that is filled with wires, beeping machines, scary stuff even to adults, it can become fun, it can become 'their' ICU. Think a boggart from Harry Potter, what is scary is now funny. Mario or Iron Man is now dancing on the ventilator. Imagine the healing that can come from bedridden patients that can take a walk in their backyards again, that can play again with their dogs.
The applications for surgeons are great as well. With VR they can see with more than just small holes and the tips of endoscopes. The vascular system comes out at them in real time and in real dimensions. Now the nurses can see what is going on with a patient's womb as labor is progressing from across the hospital and behind walls. The education is also great. Now a patient herself can better understand what is going on with her body. She can see what the doctor is telling her, and not be confused with jargon or a typo in a take-home sheet. And this can all be personalized to the patient themself.
Children's Hospital Colorado services from the Canadian to the Mexican border; it's Flight For Life air ambulances are the best in the world. A little birdy has mentioned to me that in late April there may or may not be a 'push' for VR in medicine announced there. Hopefully we can help heal these children better in this new future.
How do you think VR can be use in Medicine? I would love to hear ideas from HN.
On the one hand, I did once calm down in a hospital waiting room (literally a separate room, because reasons) from watching James and the Giant Peach and/or Pokemon the Movie (I can't remember if those are the same or different occasions at a hospital). On the other hand, if someone tried to fill my hospital room with marketing-ridden branded "content" anytime into or past my teens, I would probably pitch a fit and go psychotic.
There are other niche markets for VR: Interior Design, Real Estate (especially commercial), Education, Health Care, Industrial Design ...
Every major sports network is working to deliver VR for sporting events.
Or strap a VR rig to the head of one of the towel boys and sit on the end of the bench as the 16th man.
I think this is actually a bigger $$$ market than VR games because of the repeatable sales.
Advertising in those will be powerful.
Why? Effective and realistic VR has reach far beyond games, it could nearly eliminate most business travel and recreational travel. No need for a real office or commuting when a company can have a virtual office that feels real enough for workers to collaborate with presence. No need to blow large amounts of money travelling to real places that are either perfectly imitated in VR or blown away by cooler places that only exist within VR.
VR ain't just for gaming.
The reason business travel, and in general non-remote work, is worthwhile isn't necessarily the pre-planned meetings, it's also the familiarity developed by meeting somebody in person, shooting the shit over lunch, and being able to casually mention an idea or anecdote without the overhead of a "call."
> it's also the familiarity developed by meeting somebody in person, shooting the shit over lunch, and being able to casually mention an idea or anecdote without the overhead of a "call."
Yes, that's called presence, and that's what VR brings that video conferencing doesn't.
Talking to a person wearing a brick over their face in VR with perfect presence is still talking to a person wearing a brick over their face.
My company has remote workers in 5 states and offices in 2, when VR is good enough we can eliminate lots of unnecessary business travel that only exists because to satisfy the human social urge for presence. Nothing is accomplished by this travel that couldn't be done over Google video other than making people feel better. I suspect this is the norm for a large amount of business travel.
"For me the biggest takeaway was how much is added when you're with another human being in VR and you're able to intuitively interact with them."
"I felt like this person that I'd never met before -- I felt at the end of it like we were bros. ... You're sharing this VR space but at the end it feels surprisingly intimate."
That's from here: http://voicesofvr.com/228-candid-reactions-to-the-oculus-toy...
Note that it's already that good even without any representation of the other person's facial expression. All it would take to add facial expression are some sensors on the inside of the headset. There are even companies working on inferring what your eyes look like from the expression on the more-visible bottom half of your face.
In the shortterm, they'll be saving money/time spent on offices and commutes or long-distance travel so they'll have an advantage in sales.
I need an operational definition here. How do you "show" an abstract concept? What is a "boundary free VR world"? The biology one is a good example but it's low hanging fruit because it's so tangible.
For example, if I crack open Unity right now, what do I build to teach someone what, say, Hilbert space is using VR? How do I teach someone the intermediate value theorem? How does VR add anything to the explanation more than a whiteboard would?
Even still, how do you demonstrate that someone will learn more/better with the VR? How convinced are you that it will be the case?
Lastly, given that VR is just a game with stereoscopic display and more limited UI/UX possibilities, why doesn't there yet exist the non-stereoscopic panacea computer game of education? Does depth perception REALLY add all that much?
I'm interested in VR as an alternative to purchasing a 4k monitor and/or dual monitors for programming. I don't know how I'm going to do that, pretty much all Google results for "VR programming" are about programming video games, not programming using VR as an monitor alternative. I could probably do a better job googling.
In order to represent a 4k resolution display in VR at a "natural" viewing distance in perspective-projected 3D space, you'll need a headset with probably two, three orders of magnitude more pixels covering your field of view.
The stereoscopic nature of the VR headset itself effectively halves your pixel count, to say nothing of the lossy distortion of the rectangle-shaped backing display by the lenses into both eyes. Your "solid angle" is going to vary depending on distance from the center of each lens given that display manufacturers only produce rectangular screens with uniform pixel densities.
That said, yeah, some of the handwriting is on the wall. I think IoT will be the next big hit, not because people want it or will use any of it, but because that's all anyone is going to be selling. Samsung, LG, GE, et al. aren't going to give us a choice.
It won't be a big dramatic change like self-driving cars. It will be a slow trickle of toaster fridges that we don't notice until we are out trying to replace a washing machine one day and can't find one without a self-ironing board attached that wants to connect to our bed to know when to wake up the coffee pot that makes your egg-white substitute omelet and makes sure your shirt is wrinkle free at exactly the moment your shower dries you off and combs your hair.
And while all of us nerds are busy disabling all that crap so we can just clean some underwear, Wall Street will be declaring that IoT is here and winning! What they won't mention is that it's winning because there's nothing else left to buy.
Anything with a lock. Just figure out that I'm me and open. If I leave lock up. Open up for anyone on my authorised list.
More cameras pointed at stuff. Our local club (100 members) purchased a weather station and decent camera and pointed it at the sea so we can all check the wind and surf. Cool. More of these cheaper please.
We have Woo devices that we attach to kiteboards, these measure jump height, duration and G force. These are then synced to a phone and internet, so not quite IoT but close. More of these please. Attach them to anything that moves (shoes, kites, surfboards, swim fins, soccer balls, bike) more data is fun.
GoPros, most people I know have these. They need to be better hooked up to the internet.
I think there are a ton of IoT that will make sense and people will buy. Just because you don't see the value in a toaster hooked up to the 'net, doesn't mean the IoT is dumb. I think it's great.
The IoT will take off when services are run on site. When the processing power is available from a small appliance box and companies advertise security and reliability associated with local processing it will catch on.
What happens to your smart lock of your internet connection goes out? What about if the server that holds your whitelist is compromised?
And don't get me started on phone apps which shift some trivial processing off into "the cloud" as a thinly veiled excuse to upload all of your personal data to the company's servers so they can then flog your details off to some advertising company.
As for the connection going out, there are solutions. Redundant cellular connections, maybe? And if you really can't get in, it's not the end of the world. We already have solutions for that: locksmiths. Might be expensive though, and end up destroying the device, or maybe your door.
The data security thing is really bad. Unfortunately, that's a much larger problem though, not really related just to IoT.
> We already have solutions for that:
Yes, finally somebody will say "local cache"!
Ok. Not yet.
I guess more broadly, I was thinking about a scenario in which the lock device dies, and making the point that conventional devices aren't foolproof either. In this case, the fool being me, and the proof being locking my keys in the house.
So, any lock can fail, but I'm not really concerned as long as it has a reasonably low failure rate. We've tolerated conventional lock systems failing (via user error mostly) for a long time.
But "online AI" is just a code-word for "some company, probably the manufacturer, that owns the IP rights". I don't want my household stuff to phone home and report all my actions to Some Company. I think that, for instance, my sandwich toaster thingy should toast sandwiches without reporting the weight or density of them.
>more data is fun.
More data is not fun. More data is Big Brother, particularly when the device itself has a closed-source hardware design, closed-source firmware, closed-source software, and a closed-off "shiny" user interface. More programmability with less phoning home is fun.
Smart water sprinkler controllers seem generally useful. I used to forget to use our non-smart controller's "rain delay" all the time.
We also have an alert system setup to let us know when the outside temperature would meet the heating or cooling requirements of the thermostat. This is pretty useful in southern California.
A single switch to kill all your lights when you leave/go to bed is useful. But at $35 per smart switch you're going to shell out a lot of cash for this convenience.
My biggest issue with IoT as it is currently evolving is how reliant on the manufacturer they are to keep working. I would be surprised to see some of these devices working in 5 years, much less 20 or 30.
Maybe an open standard that is provided as part of your ISP package but can be moved from one to another?
Don't think for a second that that smart fridge that knows when you're running low on milk knows just so that it can alert you and be done with it. Most people will buy the thing and agree to an unreadable set of terms that allow them to use your data for advertising purposes without much thought. Then the fridge notices that you're low on milk and tells you "Hey, you're low on milk! Lucky for you, Target's got your favorite brand for 10% off with this coupon." You pay Target and Target pays FridgeCo.
They're motivated to sell this stuff whether or not you want it because it lets them build revenue streams in markets that they wouldn't otherwise have access to. The buyers of the information are motivated to pay for it because it means that they can learn far more about the individuals, not just the groups of individuals, who buy their products.
Corps tend to offer what execs think consumers want, based on a consumer model which is irrationally similar to an idealised version of the exec - who inevitably seems to think more is better, for very noisy values of "more".
Which is why printer driver installers, smartphones, operating systems, and hardware products all acquire barnacle encrustations of crapware that literally no consumer wants.
IoT could easily be more susceptible to this than desktop and mobile computing.
Corps that truly understand their customers are incredibly rare. Many corps seem to get along by throwing crap at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.
Genuine customer insight is practically a superpower.
Sure, we'll make some progress, but we might also be looking that this generation's version of the flying car. The magical leap forward in technology we keep believing is just around the corner.
Almost every excited "self-driving cars are coming soon!" post quotes a single man. Chris Urmson, the lead of Google's project. He avoids mentioning the real limitations and roadblocks self-driving cars has, and continually talks about how he never wants his son to have a driver's license. He talks more fluff than substance, and he's misrepresented Google's progress pretty heavily. He's a great marketing voice for Google, but I have found very little merit to what he has to say.
When you actually look at the hard numbers, or other companies' more realistic progress reports, it paints a very different picture.
I've found that to be true as well. Driverless cars can work reliably in a strictly controlled environment such as the Google campus gated community, but have very little chance of reliable functioning in the real, gritty world full of variables and uncertainties.
Worse yet, driverless cars will be forced to make tough ethical choices. Imagine a driverless car's brakes fail and it is headed for a pregnant woman. Should a car steer off the road and possibly kill the passenger(s) in order to save the pregnant woman? Who gets to decide what is the correct choice?
Cheap IoT devices can be installed just about any manufacturing and agricultural device. Heck, you'll be able to monitor each individual plant health. Your car will be able to notify of failing components before they actually failed (FFT and irregular frequency monitoring).
They will make the devices work just well enough to gather your personal data and stop there. For most of the rest of our lifetimes, IoT will be the same shitshow of incompatible nightmares as plug-and-play was for Windows throughout most of the 90s.
But it will win, and it will be the next big thing for a similar reason: not because it's good or because it works well, but because that's all anyone is selling.
Got any links for this? It's a topic I'm interested in.
IIRC Australian railways are implementing this.
Maybe something similar for AI?
I would also love to learn other good machine learning discussion panel out of Reddit as well :)
I say this because I got an Oculus DK2 a couple of years ago, and after a month of enthusiastic use it got cast aside. I know it doesn't affect everyone, but I suffered from some nausea which soured me quickly. Queasiness aside though, There was a bigger problem. When I tried a demo, there was an obvious wow factor at the start, but it wore off quickly. Just attaching VR to standard 3D game was not as exciting as I had hoped.
The first television programs were essentially radio shows with a camera put in front of the presenter, until someone was able to use video to harness the story telling possibilities. The first web sites were glorified electronic newspapers, and then someone figured out how to integrate interactivity that was impossible in print. All new media forms intially imitates the old. As McLuhan said, the medium is the message.
I think it will take an as-yet unknown paradigm shift to make VR compelling.
I think VR has tons of potential for office/enterprise apps because the richer spatial experience can enable new ways of visualizing and working with information.
- a swing back to private cloud will be kicked off by container/microkernel technologies, starting the largest cycle we've seen to date in terms of growth and value
- public cloud computing growth will slow slightly and will have to refocus on lower privacy needs use-cases (or die trying)
- IoT and cloud computing will start to merge as a market, where the compute resources of your IoT devices are used to operate on the data other IoT devices nearby
- cryptocurrencies and the blockchain will finally find a home in securing the processes behind cloud provisioning of what was known previously as SaaS software
- cryptocurrency deployments make open source project's revenue models sustainable
- open source hardware, including circuitry, becomes ubiquitously available via physical printing processes, which then drives the IoT and cloud computing markets even higher.
- the digital nomad lifestyle explodes as a result of the changes to the open source model
- startups and the VC culture in Silicon Valley will be forced to retool their financial strategies and software business models for accessing decentralized markets
- a meltdown of global financial markets will be the only thing which enables bringing positive, decentralized change to those financial markets.
As John Chambers, chairman of Cicso said a few years back, "You're going to see a brutal, brutal consolidation of the IT industry". Better buckle up.
BTW, there is only one thing that will make me stop coming to HN and participating in the community, and that's when I see people's opinions on something downvoted. Downvote if you must, but keep in mind it's a game of blame if the post you are downvoting is someone's opinion or view on something, which itself is blameless.
Speaking from where I saw the industry [when I was a part of it] and now from what kinds of CIO/CTO conversations I see the GCP AMs/SEs having, I don't think we're remotely close to a swing back. Enterprise Capex budgets move VERY slowly most of the time, and it will take a multiple years to alter current momentum, which has finally reached the point where it's almost a foregone conclusion for many industries that on-prem DCs no longer make sense.
This opinion is driven almost as much by the increasingly compelling portfolio of enterprisy SaaS products like Netsuite and a plethora of workforce management, CRMs, analytics/visualization, sooooo much more of what has historically been internally developed business productivity apps.
Public cloud is simply multi tenant computing on data managed by someone else away from where the customer created it. I'm predicting data will come home to roost on single tenant hardware (which comes in by way of IoT) and the code that has been called SaaS will follow it there. We'll still have managed services, they'll just run near us, instead of on compute owned by someone else.
Regardless of whether you agree with that or not, it's a HARD fact that bandwidth isn't growing as fast as storage and compute. That fact alone suggests heavy decentralization of service architectures in the coming years.
Yes. Much like smartphones and tablets, they hadn't done much in the space until they exploded on the scene after sitting back and watching everyone else get things wrong. That's what they're really good at -- seeing what others do wrong and not repeating those mistakes.
Unlike tablets though, it's a lot harder to hide when you're making a car. They've already secured a test track and they're hiring vehicle engineers.
What did they do in the phone space before iPhone?
What did they do in the tablet space before the iPad?
How about the watch?
If Apple makes a car--and I'm not totally convinced they will--the "they aren't just going to come in here and do this thing they've never done before" response is sounding awfully stupid these days.
That's sort of their thing.
In fact, the current VP of iPad Product Marketing was one of the Newton's marketing product champions.
A lot of big companies are driving this AI talk, but by and large it helps them more than it helps the rest of us.
Correct. If you have 10,000 employees and you could replace 5,000 of them with 'computerized smarts' you shift a huge amount of liabilities. They don't require health insurance that seems to go up in cost every year. No retirement fund is needed. In theory the costs of using AI will go down over time per unit of work accomplished.
As for an individual it is difficult to see how AI will decrease our workload, increase our happiness, or increase our wealth.
You have to be the guy or gal creating the AI. :)
Maybe I'm getting jaded though.
There are always new niches coming out... And there are reinvented cycles. Like how many big dating apps have been there since the 90s? Quite a bit actually. Can there really be another dating app in current internet app standards between desktop and mobile? Probably not.
Maybe the next dating app will be in VR and AR. In fact I guarantee it.
But I'm feeling that we are getting tapped out on app ideas before the next flood.
Makes me a little sad because I'm more entrepreneurial than anything and not feeling many problems to solve lately. Maybe it's just me. Anyone else feel similar?
That being said, I believe there is huge potential for new types of voice-only apps on the Amazon Alexa platform.
Other challenges are that people tend to spend 80% of their time on 3 apps, and that people are likely experimenting with new apps much less than they were a few years ago, as they've already got their goto apps at this point.
But you could make a pretty long list of the changes in life from each decade to the next since 1900, so at this point I think the onus is on the people who want to prove that the next decade will not be materially different from the current. I'd certainly bet on change, and probably accelerating change.
- Competitions of self-driving cars for over a decade
We really haven't taken the magical leaps some people believe we have. We just learned to market them better. :)
AI - and eventually AGI - is an application of computation. It's revolutionary and I think will transform everything but it's not a computing platform. That is, AI itself doesn't have an interface, so it still needs a platform to run on. AR and eventually BCI and wetware are the platforms for interfacing with it.
Cars aren't a computing platform either - they will certainly utilize and be transformed by new waves of computation capabilities, but cars aren't a replacement for a personal computer.
Same with Drones and IOT. I think wearables will fall to AR as well - or rather integrate with it as a peripheral.
So when asking what is next for computing, in the context of the evolution of interface/platform from Mainframe to Micro computer to Smartphone, AR is unquestionably "next" as a platform.
People focus a lot on consumer/entertainment applications, but I think heavy and high tech industry will rapidly adopt AR. Imagine a mechanic working their way through an interactive checklist while completing some maintenance task on a jet engine or other complex machinery. Even with hardware as rudimentary as google glass that's useful. But then consider Boeing in the moment that said engine unexpectedly caught fire. Imagine that they can go back and review footage of every time folks touched some component on that engine, or use basic machine vision techniques to confirm the position or state of some part? Now imagine they have that kind of visibility into the majority of what people's hands do on the shop floor or in hangers.
There will be social issues and debate over this, which we're seeing with police body cameras, but I think ultimately safety will trump people's reluctance to have their every task recorded. Certainly in industries with high safety/risk implications, we'll see similar strong arguments for going there.
- Cook like an expert (with an AR), you don't have to glance at a screen or cookbook, all the steps are visible in your view/whispered in your ear as you need them, reminders to take the pasta off the boil at the correct moment, etc.
- Repair or perform maintenance on a car - when you open the engine bay, the steps to change the air filter are available for your model of car.
Same for the car maintenance: Perhaps you could do it yourself and save a few bucks. Would you repair your breaks yourself with AR but no knowledge and understanding about cars and maintenance if the life of your children depends on these breaks?
Both scenarios might work for an expert or at least someone who knows the fundamentals, but not for an unprepared consumer.
But for cooking, the AR can find out the temperature (you can do this with some tools already minus the AR), determine sizes of food and how long to cook them for, maybe overlay a line on food you're cutting to help you cut it better... etc
We are betting the killer app for mobile AR is for e-commerce/shopping.
What's the shopping angle for AR you are envisioning? We can take photos of QR codes or products, or just talk to the thing and it will bring up whatever I'm interested in (I do this all the time in a store to figure out which of N products I want to buy).
Yea but that's like I was saying, it's not one thing. So there isn't really one killer app, the killer app is whatever it is for any given user.
>What's the shopping angle for AR you are envisioning?
Well our startup Pair lets you put products into your environment like they are real, walk around them, take pictures or video and then purchase.
I often totally fail to recognize people outside of the contexts and places where I usually see them. So a fix would be amazing.
A killer app would be something that you use 5-10x a day like maps, camera or email. I think it will be contextual based on what you are doing. At home it will be assistance (search, instructional) and entertainment based. At work it will replace monitors. In transit it would replace phone/dashboard GPS.
But have you tried keeping a smartphone out of sleep for a day? You will be lucky if you get through a full work day without needing a charge. And thats on a device you can put down while doing something else.
You are correct though that AR is best when it's persistent. Consider though that for parts of the day (at work for example) you could plug it in while in use.
AR at the assembly line, on the shop floor, or any other job where standing and walking is done for most of the day is a very different thing. But then plugging in becomes a real problem.
That said, perhaps we will see some development in hot swapped batteries. I recall seeing a video some years back about a no-brand tablet someone found in a Chinese market. It was powered by two Nokia batteries that either to be hotswapped while the other remained in place.
Hardly. Maximize and customize your space how you like. You can literally change everything about it. For example, if you work in an open plan office, you can put a virtual divider up between you and the persons next to you temporarily so you can focus. You can also take your whole "desk" with you everywhere with the layout you like - like moving your laptop - except everything else comes with it.
Robots have been pretty good for decades, but waiting for AI to get good enough to take advantage of it. This is just starting to happen.
Don't let any gaming forums see this, they'll be arguing for weeks afterward
Von Neuman arch is dead for a lot of simple compute tasks. CISC central CPU will only be used for very specific workloads that need custom circutry like floating point units. Also, every CPU will come with a small FPGA stock, not just the on die GPU that AMD offers.
I just wish the author of this article elaborated more on the financial side of the AI revolution, rather than just mentioning it at the start and then dropping it completely.