Millions of flying drones — and what’s being done to prepare for it

A global process of competition and collaboration:
Americans, Canadians, Australians, and others that have allowed the use of commercial drones, are learning from each other’s successes.
Given the fact that we’ll be having over a million daily drone flights by year 2025 this is also becoming a balancing act of risks and rewards.

FAA needs to decide, among other things, what’s an acceptable level of risk to the general population.
And have drone operators conform to that.

The risks are drones being used by people with unethical and/or criminal intent.
SkySafe, DroneShield, and Dedrone — these are some of the companies making anti-drone devices.
Their products will be used by police and other enforcement agencies to disable drones and take them down if necessary.

That being said the good use of drones by far exceeds the nefarious use.
Drones are being used in agriculture, in medical field, and many other areas. And this is just the beginning.
NASA is working on developing an elaborate system which is expected to be ready in a few years.

Analyzing data from different countries the system is designed specifically for traffic management of unmanned aerial vehicles.
It’s an all-automated system coordinating the large number of drones expected to be flying.
UTM, as the system is dubbed, will be requiring drones to register their flight paths.
Drones will also be required to have sensors enabling them to avoid a potential collision.

FAA plans to start implementing NASA’s system beginning in 2019.

Important to remember:
Technology is all good.  For the most part.
Then we need to use our judgment.
Just because something can be done, it doesn’t mean it should.

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An increasingly popular “language” in marketing

An abundance of information is forcing brands to look for more effective ways of connecting with customers.
Corporate research shows the increased popularity of a new way of communication: emojis.
Why emojis?
Because it allows us to say more with less.

More companies are now incorporating emojis in their marketing strategies.
They want to target specific groups. And also collect information as to preferences, etc.
The latter will help them improve future services.

In a digital world, an emoji seems to be a great vehicle to accomplish all of that.

Marketers are also turning their attention to the most fluent “speakers” of this language: Generation Z.
Millennials are getting old, obviously : )
(Actually more than 90 percent of people on line use emojis. And that’s across generations.)

Not everyone agrees
To be sure it’s not all smooth sailing. Sometime misunderstandings can happen.
(Because some don’t speak fluent emoji; or speak it with an accent ; )
Kidding aside, some find their use inappropriate in a professional setting.

Surprisingly, many advertising executives feel that way.
(A survey of the American Marketing Association shows 60% of marketers think of emoji use in advertising as unprofessional.)
Ironically, executives across industries are more open to the use of emojis than the people working in advertising.

And did you know emojis can bring out the artist in you?
You can use Lightriks, a startup founded by couple of computer science PhD’s, to unleash your creative side.
And transform your selfie into an emoji.

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In an ever-changing business landscape, how secure is your job?

Imagine, few years from now, going to work where more than a third of your coworkers are ROBOTS.
No, this in not only about a manufacturing plant type of work.
Cognitive technology will enable robots to do so much more.

The machines will be able to do data entry, accounting and other type of “knowledge work.”
(Tax professionals already “compete” with IBM’s Watson.)

100 million jobs will be automated
Worldwide, by 2025, it’s estimated that robots will replace more than 100 million knowledge workers.
One third of world’s doctors, lawyers, and other highly trained workers will be replaced by robots.
(At least partially their job will be automated.)

On the plus side: outsourcing will no longer be a problem.
It will be cost-effective to bring the jobs back home.

What are we doing to prepare for this?
Tomorrow’s workforce will need a vastly different set of skills.
We need to “reinvent” our educational system.

Today’s students must be able to hit the ground running in tomorrow’s job market.
Will there be income inequality? Sure.
And we’ll have many other challenges as well.

Progress comes with “growing pains.”
Think back when people were perfectly happy using the horse and buggy as a transportation “vehicle”.
Try to imagine how they felt when their “normal” started to change.
The cars were faster — and they liked having that advantage. But that came with its own set of challenges.

Exciting times — full of opportunities
The “robotics” revolution is no different in that regard.  Sure we’ll face some difficulties.
But the benefits will outweigh the inevitable “bumps” on the road.

What is the one thing we can be sure of?
We are inexorably moving toward a digital future.
Exciting times ahead.  Full of opportunities.

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Drones and Birds of Prey

Drones delivering pizza (in New Zealand).
Delivering medical supplies in Rwanda. Or flying supplies to hard-to-rich construction sites.
Since the FAA’s approval of drone delivery in 2015 many investors are hedging their bets on drone related tech and services.

Dubbed the “UPS of the next-generation”, drones are poised to make an impact across many industries: fast food, medical, agriculture, and others.

From toy-drones used for backyard fun to practical use of commercial type drones — we are going to see more and more of them.

Businesses, large and small, are increasingly making good use of commercial drones (multi-rotor, fixed-wing, single-rotor helicopter, and fixed-wing hybrid).
Price range: $5,000 to more than $100,000.

Some are easy to operate; and best used for aerial photography.
Others take more training to operate them safely;  and can cover long distances, therefore more suited for more complex jobs.

Drones, and their operators, do face one big challenge. (And it’s not coming from FAA.)
Venture to guess what it is?
They are attacked by birds of prey.

A recent headline proclaims:
“Hawk collides with drone and wins the battle handily”
Complete with a picture of the drone “before” and “after” the collision.

Someone else describes how eagles keep attacking their fixed-wing drones.
And concludes with:
“…these huge birds are a menace.”

Well, it all depends on which side of the fence you are on.
Imagine you are the hawk.
You are hungry. And you see what it looks to you like dinner.
Then… well, then the rest.

Unlike the above story, the birds coming in contact with drones’ rotating blades are on the losing side most of the time.

We all know: drones are here to stay.
In less than ten years, FAA estimates we’ll have a million drone flights. Daily.

From agriculture to fast food, to delivering medical supplies — drones are an efficient mode of transportation

Our challenge is to put them to good use AND find solutions to preserve, and protect, our wild life.

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A new kind of race

IBM, once upon the time the leader in mainframe computers is making waves again.
This time through artificial intelligence (AI).
Big Blue is investing heavily in Watson, its AI champion.
And hopes it will put them back in the leader seat in the AI race.

IBM is poised to be a major player in this new computing era.
The company is building partnerships, among many others, with Apple, American Airlines, and 1-800 Flowers.

Data: the currency of our times
Imagine next time you order flowers for Mother’s Day.
Looking at the data in your account, you’ll be reminded of your anniversary next week.
Better double that order.
“I forgot” will no longer be a valid excuse (if it ever was : )

Personally, I can see myself arguing with American Airlines, or any other airline,
that has the audacity to “remind” me that it’s time to get on the plane and go visit (name, city/country).

I would promptly retort, “I don’t like flying! Go remind them! It’s their turn to visit.”

I’m making light of a serious topic.
In many ways, data is the currency of our times. And its value to artificial intelligence is immense.

AI partnership
That is why Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft have formed an AI partnership.
While they are in competition with each other, they realize it’s important to have a formal dialog on artificial intelligence developments.

By 2020, artificial intelligence is expected to be over $45 billion industry.

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Taking chemistry to a whole new level

Building the world’s smallest machines.

That’s the accomplishment of three scientists: Sauvage, Stoddart, and Feringa.
And this week they were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The reason for their win?
Their work in the field of nanotechnology: developing molecular machines.

How small are these machines?
You can fit thousands of them in the width of one human hair!!

Talking about a future where a whole new world of nanomachines will operate autonomously,
Dr. Feringa said, “we have to think about how we can handle these things safely. “

The nanomachine pioneer also added that this opens up a world of great opportunities.
One application can be the microrobots traveling through the bloodstream to deliver medicine to a certain spot in the body.

These tiny machines have the potential to revolutionize the field of medicine.

Fun fact:  one of the scientists, Dr. Stoddart, said his molecular designs are inspired by Celtic art.
(An artistically inclined scientist.)

Nanotechnology — a field where governments have invested billions of dollars.
Yet, in many ways, the revolution is just beginning.

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The age of drones

It’s been several weeks now since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided to open the American skies to drones.
FAA is informing us of what we can look forward to:

  • Over 600,000 commercial drones expected to be air-born within a year.
  • By year 2025 we can expect a million drone flights. Per day!

And that’s just in the U.S.
(NASA is working on developing a traffic system for drones.)

Drones are here to stay
We know there are many challenges with regulating the use of drones.

From smuggling drugs to a near collision to a passenger aircraft (Europe) we know: enforcing regulations against illegal use of drones it’s challenging.
Some have even taken unusual steps. A police agency in Netherlands is training eagles to catch drones.
(Not the first time we turn to birds for help.)

We certainly know there are many positive, practical uses for drones.
Defense industry, agriculture, real estate, and many other areas.
So the drones are here to stay. And proliferate, for sure.

Let’s hope we are smart enough to enjoy a high-tech environment AND protect the sights and sounds that make our world a beautiful place to live.

Let’s hope future generations can still look up and enjoy the beauty of the blue sky.

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