Insights

Five Key Stories

From the Digital Worlds

July 15

July 15

Argo said VW was investing $1 billion in cash and contributing its European self-driving unit, valued at $1.6 billion. The investment deal gives Argo a valuation of just over $7 billion, one of the highest in the autonomous vehicles sector.

VW is buying the Argo shares for another $500 million from Ford, which acquired a majority stake in the Pittsburgh-based startup in 2017. VW and Ford then will each have a minority stake, as will Argo founders Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander and a pool of Argo employees.

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July 12

July 12

The 10 million miles Waymo’s self-driving vehicles have driven in the real world is a feat in and of itself, but that figure is just a tiny fraction of what it has driven in simulation. At TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility, the Alphabet-owned company has revealed that it has driven over 10 billion virtual miles to test its technology. Waymo’s simulation testing allows it to recreate multiple variations of real driving scenarios or to create completely new ones anytime it wants, so that its self-driving technology can learn without the risk of causing or encountering road traffic accidents.

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July 11

July 11

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit wants to keep costs down by launching small satellites into orbit via a rocket released from an airplane. On Wednesday, the company aced a key drop test using a “fully built, fully loaded” LauncherOne rocket. The Cosmic Girl aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, took to the skies over the Mojave desert in California and released the carbon-fiber rocket over Edwards Air Force Base. This is a big moment for Virgin Orbit, which already conducted extensive rocket tests on the ground and then took the rocket up for captive flights without releasing it. The drop test did not involve igniting the rocket, but it showed the flying launchpad’s release system is working as designed.

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July 10

July 10

The European Space Agency’s 3D Printing of Living Tissue for Space Exploration project aims to print human tissue to help injured astronauts heal when they’re far, far away from Earth. Scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany bio-printed skin and bone samples upside down to help determine if the method could be used in a low-gravity environment. It worked. ESA released videos of the printing in action.The skin sample was printed using human blood plasma as a “bio ink.” The researchers added plant and algae-based materials to increase the viscosity so it wouldn’t just fly everywhere in low gravity.

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FROM
ROKK3R CEO
NABYL CHARANIA

May’s Digital Age Insights

May’s Digital Age Insights

May's Digital Age Insights From Rokk3r CEO Nabyl CharaniaCellphones now outnumber the world’s population Although this doesn’t come as a surprise, one of the more interesting insights I would add is around the subset of smartphone penetration. As the realities of a...

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Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder & GraphPath

Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder & GraphPath

This past week, the Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder was announced. Artificial Intelligence (AI) visualization company GraphPath, with its “knowledge-graph-as-a-service” platform, is this venture builder’s first company. Below, I’m sharing key stories and insight around AI to further build on this critical theme.

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Discussing AI with Apple’s Steve Wozniak

Discussing AI with Apple’s Steve Wozniak

During some downtime at Industry 4.0: The Future of Humanity in the Smart Machine Age event in Los Angeles last week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Rokk3r Fuel ExO GP Salim Ismail, and I discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and the impact of technology on humanity. I’m continuing the theme of our conversation by sharing 3 interesting AI stories

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