IA réinvente la boxe, voiture volante, un ordi du XIIème siècle, attraper une fusée avec ses bras, un ordi dans l'oeil & more !

Bonjour à vous,

Vous recevez la newsletter Parlons Futur : une fois par semaine au plus, une sélection de news résumées en bullet points sur des sujets tech, science, éco pour mieux appréhender le futur.

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(Je m'appelle Thomas, plus d'infos sur moi en bas d'email)

Voici donc ma sélection de la semaine !

L’apéro

  • Le premier “ordi”, au sens de machine programmable, daterait du...XIIème siècle, l'oeuvre d'un ingénieur arabe : "The mechanisms animating the drummers could be programmed to play different beats." (National Geographic)

  • Samsung prévoit d'investir plus de 200 milliards de dollars dans les "biopharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and robotics" d'ici à 2023, en moins de 3 ans donc

    • Pour se donner une idée, la Commission Européenne prévoit d'investir moins de 8 milliards d'euros sur la période 2021-2027 dans le numérique (IA, cybersécurité, etc.), y’a pas quelque chose qui cloche ?

  • Mmmm, des chercheurs créent une webcam qui ressemble à un oeil, peut regarder à droite à gauche et fermer sa paupière de peau synthétique (voir la brève vidéo)… euh, mais pourquoi faire ?

  • Extraordinaire vidéo d’une réelle voiture volante enfin digne de ce nom, conçue par la startup slovaque Klein Vision (leur site)

    • AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle fulfilled a key development milestone in a 35-minute flight from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava on June 28th, 2021

    • Incroyable de voir ce qui ressemble bien à une voiture avec des ailes d'abord évoluer haut dans le ciel...puis atterrir et rouler dans les rues pavées de Bratislava, des frissons...

À table !

Cette IA réinvente la boxe en "combattant" contre elle-même 1 milliard de fois et après avoir "digéré" au départ seulement 90 secondes d'enregistrement d'un véritable combat en motion-capture

  • on part de deux pantins désarticulés, les agents sont récompensés s'ils tiennent debout et s'ils arrivent à toucher la tête de l'autre, c'est ce qu'on appelle le "reinforcement learning", l'apprentissage par renforcement

  • voir la vidéo arrêtée à la bonne seconde sur Youtube

  • si cette IA est le fait de Facebook Research, l'entreprise la plus en pointe sur l'apprentissage par renforcement est DeepMind d'Alphabet, qui publiait en juin un papier "Reward is enough" (to reach general AI) :

    • the paper draws inspiration from studying the evolution of natural intelligence as well as drawing lessons from recent achievements in artificial intelligence.

    • The authors suggest that reward maximization and trial-and-error experience are enough to develop behavior that exhibits the kind of abilities associated with intelligence. And from this, they conclude that reinforcement learning, a branch of AI that is based on reward maximization, can lead to the development of artificial general intelligence.


Mojo Vision travaille sur des lentilles de contact avec Réalité Augmentée

  • "The lenses are ringed with electronics, including a camera that captures the outside world. A computer chip processes the imagery, controls the display and communicates wirelessly to external devices like a phone."

  • The technology adds a layer of information onto real world images

  • "We have got this almost working. It's very, very close," Mojo expects a fully featured prototype this year.

  • The startup picked contact lenses as an AR display technology because 150 million people around the world already wear them. They're lightweight and don't fog up.

  • "When it comes to AR, they'll work even when your eyes are closed, too." : euh, je ne sais pas si c'est une bonne idée celle-là...


L'analyste tech et investisseur Benedict Evans définit dans sa newsletter les NFT (Non Fungible Tokens) en une phrase :

  • "a way to attach a digital file, generally an image, to a blockchain, making it unique, collectable and tradable, and perhaps attaching some lightweight software (for example, the original creator might get a share of any future sale)."

  • il ajoute "NFTs as a concept are interesting and useful, but that’s not why most people are buying them", "the current market looks more like a simple speculative frenzy"

  • les NFTs sont à ce jour principalement adossés à la blockchain Ethereum, c’est une de ses applications avec notamment la Decentralised Finance (DeFi) et les Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). (les liens pointent vers les explicatifs officiels sur le site ethereum.org)

  • Voici un des meilleurs articles que j’ai pu trouver qui explique en des termes accessibles le potentiel de la blockchain Ethereum (attention, long article mais très exhaustif pour bien comprendre)


Les drones d'Alphabet (maison mère de Google) fêtent leur 100,000ème livraison

  • Its biggest success has been in Logan, Australia: a suburb of Brisbane where more than 50,000 of its total deliveries have been carried out. Logan is home to around 300,000 residents, and Wing’s service is accessible to just over a third of this population.

  • Users can download the Wing app and order a small selection of goods, including coffee, groceries, sushi, cakes, pet food, and sportswear. Deliveries are generally made in under 10 minutes, and Wing’s record for a delivery is two minutes and 47 seconds from order to arrival.

  • “There are hundreds of cities around the world just like Logan in terms of size: New Orleans, USA; Manchester, England or Florence, Italy, just to name a few.” He noted that more than 2 billion people live in cities with populations of 500,000 or fewer, though he also added that Wing has ambitions to operate in larger cities, too.

  • Part of the reason for Wing’s success seems to be the specifics of its design. Wing’s drones can operate as both fixed-wing aircraft and hovering copters. Unlike Amazon’s delivery drones, the aircraft also don’t need to land to drop off goods. Wing’s craft fly to their location, descend to a height of seven meters (23 feet), and then lower their packages on a tether, automatically releasing them onto the ground


Waymo, d'Alphabet également, teste maintenant ses véhicules autonomes à San Francisco

  • Jaguar I-Pace is an all-electric car, so this is the greenest Waymo vehicle ever (the Pacificas were hybrids).

  • Waymo says the 5th-gen cars will "enable the scaled deployment of the Waymo Driver," and the company is confident enough in that statement that it ordered 20,000 vehicles from Jaguar

  • A much bigger deal than the size of the service area is the fact that Waymo is moving from a sleepy, flat suburban town to the hustle and bustle of a big, hilly city, a move that should provide valuable experience for the company


La fusée Starship de SpaceX devrait être si bon marché qu'elle représente même une opportunité inédite en termes de politique étrangère pour les US selon cette tribune

  • Per-seat prices on a fully reusable Starship means that even relatively small countries could purchase a ticket for their national astronauts to explore the surface of the Moon on behalf of their own citizens and in their own language. If there is a growing international lunar base, many countries may want to participate.

  • America should actively take the lead in opening up the Moon (and then Mars) to the nations of the world by encouraging national pride and leading in the development of an international lunar base in which freedom and liberty are the foundational principles as humanity starts to spread beyond Earth.

  • The goodwill generated by this will be a tremendous foreign policy achievement.


L'aéronef le plus gros du monde est un dirigeable qui pourra bientôt emmener confortablement 16 personnes (et 7 personnels de bord) survoler le Pôle Nord (CNN)

  • The Airlander 10 is unlike any other aircraft. It is the world’s largest flying vehicle and it uses innovative technology to combine the best characteristics of fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters and static lift by helium.

  • "We can go down to 90 meters, even 30 meters of altitude if needed, as slow as a bike, in order to offer our passengers a glimpse of those polar habitats to our passengers,"

  • In 1926, and a giant airship, the Norge, arrived at the North Pole less than a day after departing Ny-Ålesund in the Svalbard archipelago, making those on board the first people to have ever verifiably reached that geographical landmark.  Leading the 16-strong expedition are none other than the most celebrated polar explorer of the time, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who in 1911 became the first man to reach the South Pole.

  • Unlike in 1926, though, the 36-hour return trip will include a six-hour layover right at the North Pole. Passengers will be able to descend from the airship and enjoy a picnic on the ice cap.


Cet hybride avion-bateau projette d'aller 6 fois plus vite qu'un ferry (CNN)

  • Il s'agit d'un avion conçu pour raser la surface de l'eau profitant ce qu'on appelle l'effet de sol (wikipédia), "ground effect" en anglais

  • Since wing-in-ground effect vehicles are considered ships, they operate under maritime regulations and do not face the same operational and regulatory constraints as aircraft.

  • They do not have to perform a battery-draining sustained climb upon takeoff, and they aren't required to keep a 45-minute power reserve. All together, this gives more margin for the designers to push the technology envelope.

  • for now : 290km/h for a range of 290km

  • The founders are confident seagliders will also benefit from advances in battery technology in the coming years, which should allow them to more than double their range to 800 km

  • REGENT is pitching its seaglider as an alternative to both traditional ferries and the new generation of electric aircraft. It claims it'll be six times faster than ferries and will have double the range of electric aircraft at half the cost.

  • tickets prices per person per trip could be in the $50-80 range for the first version of the seaglider, which will carry 12 passengers, and could drop to $30-40 once the planned 50-seat seaglider enters service.

  • The firm expects to fly an unmanned seaglider prototype, which will be one-quarter of the real size, by the end of this year and a full-scale one by 2023


La géothermie pourrait nous fournir une énergie quasi-illimitée, bon marché, propre, 24h/24

  • L'idée est d'aller chercher la chaleur des entrailles de la Terre pour produire de la vapeur et faire tourner des turbines qui généreront de l'électricité. Avec la bonne techno, cette énergie serait accessible partout sur Terre.

  • Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project estimates that there is 23,800 times as much geothermal energy in Earth’s crust as there is chemical energy in fossil fuels everywhere on the planet.

  • Although today’s geothermal energy is only harvested from spots where geothermal steam has made itself available at the surface, with some creative subsurface engineering it could be produced everywhere on the planet.

  • Like nuclear energy, geothermal runs 24/7, so it helps solve the intermittency problem posed by wind and solar.

  • Unlike nuclear energy, it is not highly regulated, which means it could be cheap in practice as well as in theory.

  • Plusieurs concepts sont à l'étude, détaillés dans ces articles "The state of next-generation geothermal energy" (extraits précédents) et "Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout" (extraits ci-dessous)

  • It is renewable and inexhaustible. It can run as baseload power around the clock, including at night, or “load follow” to complement renewables’ fluctuations. It is available almost everywhere in the world, a reliable source of domestic energy and jobs that, because it is largely underground, is resilient to most weather (and human) disasters. It can operate without pollution or greenhouse gases.

  • The same source that makes the electricity can also be used to fuel district heating systems that decarbonize the building sector.

  • The ARPA-E project AltaRock Energy estimates that “just 0.1% of the heat content of Earth could supply humanity’s total energy needs for 2 million years.” There’s enough energy in the Earth’s crust, just a few miles down, to power all of human civilization for generations to come. All we have to do is tap into it.

  • “If you want to talk to Democrats, we produce carbon-free electricity 24/7 — the last piece of the puzzle for a fully decarbonized electricity sector. If you talk to Republicans, it’s American ingenuity putting our drilling fleet to work on a resource that’s fuel-secure, doesn’t rely on imports, and puts the oil and gas people back to work. It’s a beautiful bipartisan story. The problem is we just don’t get talked about.”

  • Et il faudra aussi mieux comprendre et prévenir le risque sismique.


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Quelques mots sur le cuistot

  • J'ai écrit plus de 50 articles ces dernières années, à retrouver ici, dont une bonne partie publiés dans des médias comme le Journal du Net (mes chroniques ici), le Huffington Post, L'Express, Les Échos.

  • Je suis CEO et co-fondateur de l'agence digitale KRDS, nous avons des bureaux dans 6 pays entre la France et l'Asie. Je suis basé à Singapour (mon Linkedin), également membre du think tank NXU.

  • Retrouvez-moi sur twitter en cliquant ici : je tweete des faits et infos contre-intuitives, brèves, à consommer sur place (et non pas des liens sans contexte vers des articles interminables), Jacques Attali est un de mes followers par exemple.

  • Retrouvez ici mon podcast Parlons Futur (ou taper "Parlons Futur" dans votre appli de podcast favorite), vous y trouverez entre autres des interviews et des résumés de livres.

C'est tout pour cette semaine !

Merci, et bon week-end !

Thomas