Immeubles en bois, designer babies, semaine de 4 jours, et 15 autres news du futur résumées pour vous!

Bonjour à vous,

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

Voici donc ma veille de la semaine passée :)

L'apéro

Au menu dans l'ordre

Résumées plus bas à même cet email, les 11 news suivantes :

  • Dans une économie suffisamment "libre" et en croissance, l'importance de l'éducation est très largement exagérée (Bloomberg)

  • Ces lunettes bioniques permettent à certains aveugles de reconnaître des objets et lire des lettres sur un écran

  • Nouvelle avancée dans l'énergie : un molécule facile à produire et non polluante peut stocker l'énergie solaire pour des décennies et la libérer à la demande pour nous chauffer (Bloomberg)

  • Le retour à la terre prôné par certains adeptes de la décroissance est en fait bien plus consommateur de ressources qu'on ne le pense

  • Qu'est-ce ça veut dire, pour une machine, de "comprendre" quelque chose ? Un des fondateurs du machine learning recentre le débat avec un exemple original

  • Une nouvelle batterie pour voiture électrique permet de faire 320km après 10 minutes de charge

  • Comment ces startups utilisent l'IA pour réduire le gaspillage alimentaire

  • Le vaisseau Starship de SpaceX ne coûtera "que" 2 millions de USD à lancer à chaque fois (space.com)

  • Incroyable : première greffe de pénis et scrotum couronnée de succès (après un an, le patient va bien et se sent "entier" à nouveau)

  • Ne pas mettre tous les milliardaires dans le même sac : 75% de la richesse des milliardaires a été acquise dans un contexte "suffisamment" concurrentiel, explique The Economist

  • Ces oreillettes de traduction instantanée font mieux que Google Translate, gèrent 36 langues and 84 accents (New York Times)

Pour les 2 news suivantes, retrouvez les résumés sur ParlonsFutur.com en cliquant ici

Trou Normand

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À table !

Dans une économie suffisamment "libre" et en croissance, l'importance de l'éducation est très largement exagérée (Bloomberg)

  • In the depths of recession employers added years of experience and additional degrees into hiring requirements – "the barista with a master's degree" – not necessarily because that experience or education was important to do the job, but just because employers had the luxury of being more picky. As the labor market has improved, those requirements have been loosened, presumably without much impact to productivity.

  • as the past few years have shown, we're in an environment where employers are relaxing education requirements and those with the lowest wages (and presumably the least education) are getting the biggest raises

  • When unemployment was higher, it was plausible to think that more workers needed more education to earn more and to make the economy more productive. But years of very low unemployment have shown a different path, as millions of workers get that higher pay without having to spend years and tens of thousands of dollars on degrees that employers only "require" when they have leverage over workers.


Ces lunettes bioniques permettent à certains aveugles de reconnaître des objets et lire des lettres sur un écran

  • a retinal implant with 400 photodiodes — think of them as “pixels”

  • The artificial vision is good enough to make out the title of a book, Palanker says, though not the words on its pages.

  • Attention : The new device won’t work on patients who have lost vision due to injury or damage to the optic nerve.

  • It’ll work only on patients who still have most of the pathways that enable sight intact — except for their photoreceptors.

  • Many common disorders, including macular degeneration and retinal detachment, cause the destruction of the photoreceptors, but leave the rest of the sensory pathway in tact. Devices like Palanter’s make use of this remaining sensory pathway.


Nouvelle avancée dans l'énergie : un molécule facile à produire et non polluante peut stocker l'énergie solaire pour des décennies et la libérer à la demande pour nous chauffer (Bloomberg)

  • Swedish researchers have recently identified a molecule that can trap and store solar energy for up to decades, ultimately releasing the energy as heat on-demand. The secret sauce: a molecule made of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen that absorbs the Sun’s energy and holds it until a catalyst triggers its release.

  • The group developed a transparent coating (enrobage) that absorbs sunlight and converts it to heat energy on the spot.

  • Now working to demonstrate the technology at scale, the researchers are coating an entire building on campus with this material to reduce electricity requirements for heating and thereby curve carbon emissions. Once successful, the team aims to bring the storage unit to market in 6 years and the coating in only 3

  • Why it’s important: The approach does not require expensive rare elements. Converting solar energy into heat through the team’s transparent coating could supply enough heat for vehicles and small buildings without any intermediary emission-producing machinery.


Le retour à la terre prôné par certains adeptes de la décroissance est en fait bien plus consommateur de ressources qu'on ne le pense

  • We should be thankful for this because homesteading (qu'on peut traduire comme "le fait d'habiter une maison à la campagne et vivre de sa terre")  is not great for the environment, for 2 reasons.

    • 1. small-scale farming is less efficient in its use of resources than massive, industrialized, mechanized agriculture. To get the same harvest, homesteaders use more land, water, and fertilizer than do “factory farmers.” Farms of less than 40 hectares, for example, grow 15% less corn per hectare than farms with more than 400 hectares. And bigger farms get better faster. Between 1982 and 2012 farms under 40 hectares grew their total factor productivity by 15%, whereas farms over 400 hectares grew theirs by 51% . So more homesteaders would have meant more land under cultivation, more water and fertilizer used, and so on.

    • 2. rural life is less environmentally friendly than urban or suburban dwelling. City folk live in high-density, energy-efficient apartments and condos, travel only short distances for work and errands, and frequently use public transportation. None of these things is true of country living. As economist Edward Glaeser summarizes, “If you want to be good to the environment, stay away from it. Move to high-rise apartments surrounded by plenty of concrete.… Living in the country is not the right way to care for the Earth. The best thing that we can do for the planet is build more skyscrapers.”

  • This is an excerpt from technologist and writer Andrew McAfee’s new book, “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources -- and What Happens Next.”


Qu'est-ce ça veut dire, pour une machine, de "comprendre" quelque chose ? Un des fondateurs du machine learning recentre le débat avec un exemple original

  • Citations ci-dessous de Thomas Dietterich, distinguished Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University (tirées d'une tribune sur Medium)

  • "Critics of recent advances in artificial intelligence complain that although these advances have produced remarkable improvements in AI systems, these systems still do not exhibit “real”, “true”, or “genuine” understanding. The use of words like “real”, “true”, and “genuine” imply that “understanding” is binary. A system either exhibits “genuine” understanding or it does not."

  • "The difficulty with this way of thinking is that human understanding is never complete and perfect. In this article, I argue that “understanding” exists along a continuous spectrum of capabilities."

  • "Consider, for example, the concept of “water”. Most people understand many properties of water: it is wet, you can drink it, plants need it, it forms ice if chilled, and so on. But unfortunately, many people do not understand that water is an electrical conductor and, therefore, one should not use a blowdryer in the shower. Nonetheless, we do not say of those people that they lack “real”, “true”, or “genuine” understanding of “water”. Instead, we say that their understanding is incomplete."

  • "We should adopt this same attitude toward assessing our AI systems"


Une nouvelle batterie pour voiture électrique permet de faire 320km après 10 minutes de charge

  • Pour rappel : in 2018, the median range for electric cars in the US was just 200km, and typical charging times for top-selling models was between 7 and 12 hours

  • That compares with the 650 to 950 km your average gasoline-powered sedan can cover on a single tank, which takes less than 5 minutes to refuel.

  • While some high–end electric vehicles (like the most expensive Teslas) are starting to approach those kinds of ranges, it still takes around 50 minutes for a full charge using the most powerful superchargers available

  • “We demonstrated that we can charge an electrical vehicle in 10 minutes for a 300- to 500-km range,” Chao-Yang Wang, a professor at Pennsylvania State University

    • “And we can do this maintaining 2,500 charging cycles, or the equivalent of 800,000 km of travel.”

  • Whether the technology can be scaled up remains to be seen, but the team is confident and says they are now looking to cut the charging time even further to 5 minutes, which puts them on equal footing with the time taken to refuel a gasoline car.


Comment ces startups utilisent l'IA pour réduire le gaspillage alimentaire

  • Globally, about 33% of food is lost or wasted each year from the farm to the refrigerator, representing about 1.3 billion tons. The economic price tag is estimated at nearly $1 trillion annually.

  • La startup Winnow propose une caméra intelligente qui quantifie et caractérise ce qui est jeté à la poubelle, et ensuite vient chiffrer ce gâchis, infos ensuite transmises au management et aux chefs

    • Winnow Vision can identify waste foods correctly more than 80% of the time and is improving as it learns. That’s better than the busy kitchen staff, which correctly categorize food waste between 70 and 75% of the time, it's also much faster.

    • "An average kitchen that uses Winnow's solution reduces food waste by over 50% in the first year.”

    • The startup has partnered with Swedish retailer IKEA, which has installed Winnow Vision in all 23 of its stores throughout the UK and Ireland. IKEA says it has cut food waste in half at those outlets and saved 1.2 million meals in 2018.

  • Wasteless has developed an algorithm for dynamically pricing perishable products. The software tracks an item’s price in real time and adjusts the cost based on its expiration date, so that products with a shorter shelf life are automatically discounted. The software also plugs into a store’s inventory management and other parts of the operation.

    • In one 12-week pilot test, a store retailer reduced food waste by 39% while boosting revenues by 110% and still maintaining a positive net margin.

  • San Francisco-based Afresh Technologies' algorithms factor in the intangibles like weather and peak freshness of produce to help predict demand and manage inventory. It claims its technology has reduced in-store food waste by as much as 45%.

  • Microsoft has been touting how its AI applications like Azure Cognitive Services helped ensure a dairy farm in Australia produces high-quality milk safely and efficiently.

    • A sophisticated temperature-monitoring system that uses sensors and Microsoft’s AI technologies, for instance, can detect temperature fluctuations in storage tanks and trucks. The machine then sends an alert to prevent milk from spoiling if a serious problem occurs, such as an electrical failure to the refrigeration system


Le vaisseau Starship de SpaceX ne coûtera "que" 2 millions de USD à lancer à chaque fois (space.com)

  • The Starship system, which consists of a reusable 100-passenger spaceship stacked atop a huge reusable rocket known as Super Heavy, will use just $900,000 worth of propellant to get off Earth and into orbit

  • "If you consider operational costs, maybe it'll be like $2 million" out of SpaceX's pocket each time, Musk said

  • for some perspective, SpaceX currently sells Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches for $62 million and $90 million, respectively. And those prices are considerably lower than similar services offered by SpaceX's competitors.

  • "This is much less than even a tiny rocket," Musk added. "So, it's something that needs to be made."

  • Ce ne sera pas le prix pratiqué bien sûr : tout en cassant les prix, SpaceX devrait continuer à profiter de larges marges tant que la concurrence reste loin dans le rétroviseur.

  • Mais cela va donner les moyens à SpaceX de lancer à son propre compte de nombreux projets spatiaux, comme sa constellation de satellites devant offrir un internet très haut débit à prix imbattable partout sur Terre.

  • C'est aussi indispensable pour coloniser Mars : Musk : "The economics have to be something like that to build a self-sustaining city on Mars, so it will take about 20 years to transfer a million tons to Mars Base Alpha, which is hopefully enough to make it sustainable,”

  • Musk : "Payload to orbit per year of Starship fleet is most mind-blowing metric, as it’s designed to fly 3X per day, which is ~1000X per year"

    • "If we build as many Starships as Falcons, so ~100 vehicles & each does 100 tons to orbit, 1000X per year , that’s a capacity of 10 million tons of payload to orbit per year"

    • Current global payload to orbit capacity is about 500 tons per year, of which Falcon is about half


Incroyable : première greffe de pénis et scrotum couronnée de succès (après un an, le patient va bien et se sent "entier" à nouveau)

  • The man was on patrol with his squad in Afghanistan when Taliban fighters ambushed them. As he went to give first aid to another soldier, he stepped on an improvised explosive device hidden on the road. In an instant, the blast took away much of the lower half of his body.

  • In the sudden explosion, the soldier lost most of his legs, as well as his genitals and part of his abdomen. This was back in 2010.

  • At the time, there had only ever been one reported penis transplant, performed in 2006 on a patient in Guangzhou, China; as far as precursors go, it wasn't exactly promising. Complications set in early, and the man's body began to reject the organ, which showed signs of necrosis, possibly due to inadequate blood supply.

  • reconstructive surgery specialists at Johns Hopkins Hospital were confident their soldier patient, whom they first met in 2013, would make a good candidate for transplant surgery – although it took 5 years of preparation (including extensive experimentation on cadavers) before they got a chance to try, once a suitable organ from a deceased donor finally became available.

  • His operation would be particularly ambitious, involving the transplant of a single piece of tissue encompassing penis, scrotum, and lower abdominal wall all together – something doctors had never attempted before.

  • (scrotum : enveloppe cutanée des testicules)

  • In total, the entire transplant weighed over 2 kg, and measured roughly 25 cm

  • Despite the challenges – which involved stitching together hundreds of tiny blood vessels : "You have to hook up very small blood vessels. That’s what takes the time: stitching together blood vessel after blood vessel. Their internal diameter is 1-2mm, so you use a high-powered microscope, stitches the thickness of a human hair and needles 2-3mm long. It’s very complex."

  • The surgery took place on 26 March 2018 this year and lasted 14 hours, involved 11 surgeons. It went perfectly.

  • over a year on from this world-first transplant, the medical team reports the patient is recovering well, with the organ and its reestablished nerve connections functioning about as well as could be hoped for.

  • “He has near-normal erections and the ability to achieve orgasm,”

  • “The patient reports an improved self-image and ‘feeling whole’ again and states that he is very satisfied with the transplant and the implications it carries for his future,”

  • The veteran can also use the restroom without additional complications

  • Another unique consideration in the patient's case was a bone marrow infusion from the donor, which lessens the soldier's immunosuppression medication requirements (which help the body to accept the new organ). Currently, he only needs to take a single tablet daily, and the team hopes that with advances in medicine he may be able to dispense with the drug entirely "in the next five to 10 years".


Ne pas mettre tous les milliardaires dans le même sac : 75% de la richesse des milliardaires a été acquise dans un contexte "suffisamment" concurrentiel, explique The Economist

  • Many billionaires operate in competitive markets. The retailers owned by Mike Ashley, one of Mr Corbyn’s targets, are known for low prices and ruthless competition (as well as questionable working conditions), not rent-seeking. For every Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, there are several technology entrepreneurs with lots of rivals.

  • When capitalism functions well, competition whittles profits away for some but also produces them for others as entrepreneurs seize markets from sleepy incumbents. Their success will eventually set off another cycle of disruption, but in the meantime fortunes can be made. The founders of MySpace, a social-media website, got rich when they sold it to News Corp; Facebook subsequently ate its lunch. Blockbuster, a video-rental store, helped make Wayne Huizenga a billionaire; then Netflix arrived.

  • This process creates vast benefits for society. According to estimates by William Nordhaus, an economist, between 1948 and 2001 innovators captured only 2% of the value they created. Perhaps that is why billionaires are tolerated even by countries with impeccable social-democratic credentials: Sweden and Norway have more billionaires per person than America does.

  • Our analysis identifies industries where rent-seeking is common, including mining, defence, construction and casinos. This time it also includes the largest tech companies, since many of them have engaged in anticompetitive practices.

  • 75% of billionaires’ wealth in advanced economies was fairly acquired. Still, rentier wealth has risen relative to GDP. Some countries are more cronyfied than others. Sweden and Germany less so. But in America rent-seeking industries made 20% of billionaires and explain 33% of total billionaire wealth.

  • La solution ?

    • A broader agenda of attacking rents while maintaining dynamism would weaken excessive intellectual-property and copyright protections, which often last too long.

    • Higher inheritance taxes would be welcome in America for instance, where it is too easy to pass wealth between the generations. (according to a separate analysis, 33% of global billionaire wealth is inherited)

    • It would shake up antitrust enforcement to promote competition in old and new industries alike.

    • Most important, it would fix America’s campaign-finance laws to rid its political system of corporate capture at both state and federal level.


Ces oreillettes de traduction instantanée font mieux que Google Translate, gèrent 36 langues and 84 accents (New York Times)

  • Timekettle Technologies has developed a device consisting of two earbuds that look similar to large AirPods, and allow users to talk in any 2 of 36 languages and 84 accents

  • wireless, and come with 2 earpieces that must be synced to a single smartphone connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data

  • These devices “bring us a bit closer to being able to travel to places in the world where people speak different languages and communicate smoothly with those who are living there,” said Graham Neubig, an assistant professor at the Language Technologies Institute of Carnegie Mellon University and an expert in machine learning and natural language processing.

  • the new devices do allow a person to continue speaking even as the translation is occurring, and that allows for a more natural flow to the conversation.

  • “This is important, because otherwise the conversation will become twice as long, where one person speaks, the system translates, then the other person speaks, the system translates. This is ponderous and can test people’s patience,” Mr. Neubig said.

  • The Timekettle's device requires speakers to take turns, but simultaneously transcribes the conversation

  • later this year it should be able to translate English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian while offline.

  • it comes in 3 modes : Simul Mode, Touch Mode and Speaker Mode, allow control over the earbuds to address ambient noise and whether you want to lend the person you’re conversing with an earbud or use your phone’s microphone and speaker.

  • To see how advanced the ear pieces are, we compared them to 2 translation tools on the market, Google Translate’s conversation mode and the hand-held CM Translator ($117 retail) from Cheetah Mobile. The Timekettle earbuds were used by 2 multilingual students at the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • The upshot: Google Translate and the CM Translator would be fine for ordering a beer or asking the location of a museum, but both would fall short if trying to engage with the person sitting next to you on the train.

  • “I thought it was really cool that you could talk in one language and a few seconds later it would come out in a different language,” Maya Singh, a freshman who speaks English, Russian and Spanish, said of the Timekettle earbuds.

  • Already available ($230 on Amazon)


Pour les 2 news suivantes, retrouvez les résumés sur ParlonsFutur.com en cliquant ici


Dessert : voici quelques-uns de mes derniers tweets (retrouvez-moi sur Twitter ici) :

  • Whereas the growth in carbon-dioxide output has slowed or fallen in much of the world, including China, in India it has doubled since 2005. Many of the impressive 100m toilets built in Mr Modi’s first term stand idle for lack of water

  • The story of dematerialization since 1970 is not the story of following the CRIB strategies (Consume less, Recycle, Impose Limits, Back to the land). Except for the excellent idea of imposing limits on polluting and pursuing animals, these strategies were ignored (we didn’t embrace degrowth and stop consuming), abandoned (we stopping going back to the land), irrelevant (dematerialization has nothing to do with recycling), or deeply misguided (China’s attempt to limit family size was a huge mistake), says Andrew McAfee

  • Between 1982 and 2015, an amount of cropland equal in size to the state of Washington was returned to nature.

  • Abraham Lincoln is the only US president to hold a patent (for a flotation system that lifted riverboats stuck on sandbars), he said that the patent system “added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”

  • “The fire of genius” is a wonderful label for technological progress. “The fuel of interest” is equally good as a summary of capitalism. They interact in a self-reinforcing and ever-expanding cycle, and they’re now creating a dematerializing world , says Andrew McAfee

  • the 4 paths to dematerialization: slim (use less of the stuff), swap (to other cheaper, less polluting stuff), optimize (how you handle your physical assets so you need less of them), and last, evaporate (change how you do your job to do away with physical stuff), says Andrew McAfee

  • Venezuela's GDP dropped 35% between 2013 and 2017. According to economist Ricardo Hausmann, this is the largest economic collapse ever seen in the history of not only Latin America but also Western Europe and North America. It dwarfed even the Great Depression.

    • Unable to find work and desperate to feed their families, many women turned to prostitution. “We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women, and one petroleum engineer,” reported a brothel owner in a Colombian border town.

    • even official statistics put Venezuela's infant mortality rate higher than that of Syria in 2016. UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher famously observed in 1976, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

  • "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.” - Ed Colligan, CEO of Palm, 2006, on rumours of an Apple phone


Café ? Voici les liens vers les dernières newsletters, just in case ;)

L'addition ?

Cette newsletter est gratuite, mais si vous souhaitez m'encourager à continuer ce modeste travail de synthèse, vous pouvez simplement :

  • étoiler ce mail et/ou y répondre d'un mot, pour que les algos des messageries comprennent que ce n'est pas du spam (j'espère), cela permettra une meilleure distribution!

  • forwarder cet email à quelques ami(e)s et collègues avec un petit mot, voire de les inscrire directement ici !

Merci d'avance :)

Quelques mots sur le cuisto

C'est tout pour cette semaine !

Merci et bonne semaine,

Thomas