Direct Brain/Computer Integration is (Really) Close

How soon will human brains and computers be one? The technology is advancing fast. Faster than you might think. Interestingly, advanced human/machine integrations seems to have built a lot of momentum by helping people with disabilities overcome their disabilities and even be stronger by augmenting their human capabilities with machine capabilities.

Modified Humans
Rob Spence is blind in one eye and is a filmmaker so naturally, he decided to replace his eyeball with a camera. Now, he’s one of the many humans who are getting modified. Also, a team at Stanford has successfully enabled a paralyzed woman to type by building direct connections with her brain.

What’s Going on at Facebook’s Building 8
Facebook has been leading the charge in the human/machine integration area and the person leading this effort is a former head of the US Department of Defense’s Innovation squad. Her name is Regina Dugan and you can follow her on Facebook. Currently, they’re building systems that enable people to type at 100 wpm by decoding brain activity, decoding it into “virtual speech,” and deploying it as text. They’re also working on a way for humans to *hear through their skin*!

Towards Computer/Human Oneness
Here are some ways to keep up with what’s happening with computer / human integration:

Follow Facebook Building 8’s Regina Dugan
Connect with Dustin Tyler, an engineering professor who is at the front lines of developing physical objects that can feel, on LinkedIn
Follow Rob Spence, the guy with the camera eye who is working actively on this stuff at and check out his work and TED Talks

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Ethereum is more important than Bitcoin

On June 6th of 2017, people owned $23.4 billion worth of Ether. That’s the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum ecosystem–a system that claims that it will be the “new internet.” The people building this ecosystem aren’t crazy, either. Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and Toyota are just a few of the 100+ enterprises betting big that Ethereum is the future of contracts, money, and business management.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin
Ethereum is a blockchain-based technology like Bitcoin but while Bitcoin is primarily used for transferring money between individuals, Ethereum’s technology includes one huge evolution: Smart Contracts. Smart contracts are basically the combination of agreements between people and automatic flows of money based on the rules of the contract. So, for example, a marketer, a developer, and an investor could all enter into a smart contract that says that each person gets ⅓ of the money created from a new piece of software that the developer builds, the marketer sells, and the investor funds… and all of these distributions will be made automatically… and maybe even outside country-specific financial systems. This dramatic lowering of transaction costs has huge implications for banks, insurance companies, workers, and governments.

Big Companies are Paying Attention
Already, companies like Accenture, JP Morgan, Microsoft, BP, and more than 100 other enterprises have formed the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance which is is connecting these huge companies with startups to find ways of using their technologies at scale. Toyota is even working on using an Ethereum system to manage a fleet of self-driving cars.

How to Learn More 
1: Follow Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, on Twitter
2: Read a post on Ethereum and the DAO or “decentralized autonomous organization” to get familiar with some of the early successes and obstacles of this area of innovation
3: Learn more about the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
4: Buy yourself a little bit of Ether at Coinbase — just try it out with as little as $5 to get yourself familiar

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How Blockchain will Revolutionize the World’s Data

🎥 Ludell Jones, Eazl’s Marketing Director, has been publishing some awesome vlogs about the day in the life of a modern marketer. Check out her latest installation here 🎥

Big Blockchain Data
We live in a world where owning data is the way that companies compete but as more industries–from finance to insurance to ecommerce–transition to more secure and scalable blockchain-based systems, things in the world of data will change. Some people are calling this “the industrialization of data.” Read more here.

Facebook’s Data Factory
Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organizations in the world and Serbian CS professor Vladan Joler has been leading a massive project to map the massive Facebook data collecting machine. See tons of beautiful maps and original articles about his team’s findings here.

AI-proof Jobs
The new mantra in the labor market is that robots and artificial intelligence are going to take over everything. But for those who don’t want to work in artificial intelligence or robotics, there are some “robot-proof” careers, at least for now. According to some experts, they are: creative folks, healthcare practitioners, child care workers, engineers, teachers, human resources executives, and traditionally blue-collar jobs like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Read about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg’s take here.

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Are Voice Assistants Bad for Young Children?

Roughly 25 million voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home are expected to sell in the US in 2017 and researchers are noticing that infants who grow up around these devices are having developmental challenges. For example, kids who grow up with voice assistants tend to have less regard for people’s feelings because they’re used to interacting vocally with an object without emotions. They also tend to place less value on developing vocabulary because it’s more efficient for them to retrieve information from Google Home or Alexa with simple commands.

Also in this Brain Boost:
• The First Ever 3D Printed Building was Printed this Week
• San Francisco CTO Captures Some Crazy Job Search Data

Links mentioned in the video:
• Apis Cor’s 3D printed building video
• Jeff Kolesky’s technical job search data analysis

⍾ Build Your Own Artificially-intelligent Twitter Bot in a New Project-based Course from Eazl

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Top Content on Chatbots and AI from Eazl

Chatbots and AI

We’ve been reporting on -and making content for- chatbots and AI for about a year now.  From Brain Boosts and courses to great content we’ve found online, here’s our current list of Top Content on Chatbots and AI.

1. Bots Can Now Power Your Business
How a company serves more than 5 billion downloads and streams with only 3 employees.

2. How to Create a Facebook Messenger Bot
Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing? Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

3. Build a Twitter Bot in 90 Minutes
In this course, you’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets.

4. Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing
We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

5. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence People and Places on the Web
AI is on track to change everything around us. In this Brain Boost: the top 10 artificial intelligence people and places on the web.

6. A New Milestone in Artificial Intelligence
A collaboration is happening between Google’s Deepmind team in the UK and Oxford University. They have been developing an AI platform designed to read lips and, recently, they published their astonishing results.

7. Are You Debating Robots on Twitter?
Researchers and data scientists at the University of Southern California have found that roughly 400,000 bots were tweeting and retweeting during the 2016 United States presidential election, responsible for roughly 20% of all of the election-related content on Twitter.

8. Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting the Job Search
Increasingly, software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence determines the desirability of a candidate.

9. Monetizing Chatbots
Sponsored recommendations are likely to come in-stream with responses from these AI assistants in the future.

10. Adidas Robots, AI + Humans, and Getting Started with Crowdfunding
Professor Sandy Pentland of MIT, says that artificial intelligence is best used in collaboration with humans. 

11. OpenAI and Shocking AI Salaries
OpenAI’s team of researchers were reportedly mobbed with huge employment offers from some of the tech world’s biggest firms.

12. Jobs and AI
The Financial Times has released an extensive new report on career management in age of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.

Build an AI Twitter Bot Powered with IBM Watson (No Coding!)

*Check out the full course here*

Build Cool AI Technology in ~90 Minutes and Learn by Doing (No Coding!)
If you’re reading this, you probably know that, arguably, artificial intelligence is the most significant technological developments of our time. There will be people who are able to use AI to do incredible things and others who watch technology and the world change around them at a blistering pace without understanding fully what’s going on. If you’re someone who stays “in the know,” you need to learn about AI. We think that you can best learn by doing. Plus, it’s fun! And you’ll get some pretty amazing technology that you can use for free forever.

Create a Customizable “Smart” Twitter Bot Powered by IBM Watson Step by Step
You’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets. We’re calling it the Prospector Bot and this bot has practical uses for businesses, personal use, non-profits, government, and more. Through completing the project, you’ll learn:

*How to build apps (no coding required) in IBM Bluemix

*How to train IBM Watson’s Natural Language Classifier, a Watson service built on machine learning, to curate Tweets on your behalf

*How to use Twitter’s Advanced Search functions

*How to use Google Sheets as an automation hub / bot headquarters
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Viri Vlog: Female Founders of GoSafe

Make innovation a HABIT! In this video, meet Pratyusha Mudrakarta and Elizabeth Rebello, the cofounders of GoSafe. They’re winners of multiple Chicago innovation awards and pursuing master’s degrees in information technology.

Collaborate and earn Eazl points (redeemable for cool stuff!):
• What are some cool ideas for convenient wearable devices?
• Which launch market would you choose?
Community features on the EazlBlog

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Bots Can Now Power Your (Huge) Business

⍾ Build Your Own Artificially-intelligent Twitter Bot in a New Project-based Course from Eazl 

Philip Kaplan is the founder of DistroKid, one of the largest digital music distributors on the planet. They’ve served more than 5 billion downloads and streams and… wait for it… they only have 3 EMPLOYEES. Philip has created an army of bots that do everything from standardize song information, process and distribute payments, communicate between the company and distributors, and a lot more. That’s enabling DistroKid to beat out firms with millions of dollars in funding an 100+ employees.

Links mentioned in this Brain Boost:
• Read about Philip’s approach to deploying bots for his business
• Read about Bill Gates’ thoughts on taxing bots and robots
• Build an AI Bot powered by IBM Watson with no coding in under 2 hours (project-based course… learn by doing!!)

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Viri Vlog: How VIRI Became a Living Furniture Company

Have we created the world’s first LIVING FURNITURE company?

See highlights from the VIRI design team’s first collaboration session with Ana, Ludell, Drew, and Davis. See how we decided to take a totally new approach.

BIG shoutout to FA Team member Wilfredo who sent us the first bit of spontaneously created value by someone from the Eazl community. As a reward, you have earned 4 Eazl points Wilfredo! We’ll find ways for you to use your points in the near future.

Some ways you can create value and earn Eazl points now are:
• What office furniture inspires you?
• What kind of food, aromatherapy, or flowers would you want in your office space?
• Anything else you see as you watch the vlog.

Share your value with us at care at eazl.co or as a comment here on YouTube!

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What’s Next in Sonoma County: Probiotics and the Future of Health

In What’s Next, Team Eazl travels around North America to capture the climate of entrepreneurship and innovation in cities outside of San Francisco and NYC.

We discover how economies and people are thriving in the ever changing world of work by talking to heavy hitters and innovators that live within –and contribute to– those communities.

Join our host, Davis Jones, in the third episode of the season as he explores the business of gut health on Sonoma County, California.

— What’s Next: Sonoma County Interactive Viewing Guide —

Find LinkedIn profiles, email addresses, and links to people featured in this episode:

PART 1
• Jenn Russo, Co-Owner and Instructor at Yoga on Center
Follow Yoga on Center on Facebook
• Natasha Juliana, Owner at WORK Petaluma
Follow WORK Petaluma on Twitter
Follow WORK Petaluma on Twitter Facebook
• Endre Nagy, Founder and CEO of Turn Foods
Follow Turn Foods on Facebook
• Hermine Iacobaeus, Owner at Atmani Wellness
Follow Atmani Wellness on Facebook

PART 2
• Emily Somple, YouTuber at Spoiled in Sonoma
Visit Emily’s Website
Spoiled to Perfection
Spoiled in Sonoma
• Sean Lovett, Founder of Revive Kombucha
Revive on Facebook
Revive on Twitter
• Dr. Chris Holder, ND
Dr. Holder’s Website
Dr. Holder on Twitter

PART 3
• Jack Oswald, Founder of ISO Thrive
ISO Thrive Website
Subscribe to our channel to win a month’s supply of ISO Thrive
• Amit Kulkarni, Computational Biologist at M2Gen and Founder at IntelliGene Health Informatics
Connect with Amit on LinkedIn
Episode credits:
Ludell Jones: Cameras and Audio
Davis Jones: Production and Editing

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Any questions, comments, or ideas? Please send us an email at care@eazl.co.