Weekly Wins January 11, 2019

Free us from Facebook!

Happy Friday! Another week, another Weekly Wins.

Today we’re chatting CES, Facebook uh-ohs, cow-free milk and ethical dilemmas of self-driving cars. What a mix! Have a read below.

Google on the go.

1. It’s CES Week, Guys!

CES insanity continues. The annual Consumer Electronics Show was back at it this week with more machines, more Google, and more wackiness. Although I didn’t attend, I have kept a finger on the pulse of what’s been going on, and here are two of my personal favourite attractions from this year.

First of all, the Google Assistant ride. “Part ride, part marketing stunt,” Google put together a full mini-theme-park-like experience at their giant booth that took riders on a journey through their Google Assistant’s capabilities. It’s definitely over the top, and super braggy, which is exactly what we’d expect from Google at CES.

Second, Rocket’s Rescue Run. You can read about the VR experience in detail here, but all you need to know is Audi + Disney + Marvel + a new startup called Holoride = greatness that I wish I could have experienced.

2. Come On, Facebook. Really?

2018 was the year of everyone doubting Facebook’s privacy and becoming skeptical of Zucc’s humanity. Will 2019 be the year that everyone despises the social media platform for being too invasive? Maybe.

According to Bloomberg, some people have discovered that Facebook cannot be deleted from their phones. Due to some super-secret agreements with Android smartphone makers, Facebook is the new crapware on some Samsung devices, meaning even if you don’t use the platform, you can’t remove it from your device. You literally can’t delete Facebook from your life. Yikes.

The perfect cowless milk.

3. Mooove Over, Almond Milk

As an awareness for global warming grows and the popularity for vegetarian and vegan supplements increase, more and more startups are looking to get a piece of the plant based pie. We’re already familiar with the Impossible Burger, now acquaint yourself with Perfect Day.

Perfect Day is a $40 million startup creating cow-free dairy products that “taste like the real thing” (remind you of anyone?). Rather than developing actual products, their plan is to sell proteins to large food manufacturers to then turn into dairy-free food products. According to 27-year-old founder (yes, he’s only 27) Ryan Pandya, “We’re developing a toolkit for the food industry. We can work with every brand under the sun.”

They’ve got a brilliant business model and are already on the right track with branding themselves in a relevant, relatable way. I’m sold. When can I try some fake-dairy ice cream?

A side of moral dilemma, anyone?

4. Driverless Cars: Yay Or Nay?

Driverless cars are cool and all, but what happens when the vehicle’s AI has to choose between running over an elderly person crossing the road and a young child who ran into traffic chasing a soccer ball?

Sure, it’s kind of a morbid scenario to imagine, but these are the exact kind of scenarios scientists have been testing robots against. Since the artificial intelligence is based off of human insights, scientists quickly discovered that cultural differences play a large role in deciding the outcomes of these moral dilemmas.

For example, due to cultural and social bias, Asians are more likely to save the elderly, whereas people from western countries usually spare the youth. So when it comes to driverless cars, how can a robot make these kinds of split-second decisions when humans’ preferences largely differ?

Something else to consider is how justice plays into all of this. If someone kills somebody while driving, they are held accountable and must be charged or serve jail time. But what happens when a self-driving vehicle makes a mistake? Would the car manufacturers be brought to court? Or would it be the AI developers who are held responsible? Does the autonomous sedan get locked up behind bars? And what would a self-driving car’s mugshot look like?

These are (mostly) serious questions that continue to be explored as driverless cars continue to enter the market. What say you, fellow reader? Yay or nay to driverless technology?

These words are by Ivana Atlija

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