Author Archives: Marchelewska Karolina

Uber and Hyundai. Are we close to having air taxis on daily basis?

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Uber and Hyundai are collaborating to develop electric air taxis. The cars would revolutionize urban transportation. According to both businesses, they are entering a global race that will result in the advancement of ways to reduce traffic congestion in the world’s largest cities. Since 2016, Uber has been educating customers about the possibility of flying taxis. He intends to collaborate in this region with a total of eight firms. It functions as a safety net. The American corporation acknowledges that expecting all of its suppliers to hit the market at the same time would be unrealistic and irresponsible form business point of view.

Uber revealed its collaboration with Hyundai at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company will produce flying taxis for Uber. A concept of such a vehicle and its associated infrastructure was also shown. The vehicles will be manufactured by the South Korean company, and Uber will, of course, offer flight sharing services. Aurora Flight Sciences, a division of Boeing, will also follow them.

The flying taxis developed by Uber and Hyundai would be entirely electric and therefore very silent. They claim that by using smaller, electric-powered rotors, the aircraft can emit less noise than a combustion engine helicopter, which is important for communities concerned with noise emissions. The battery will allow you to travel up to 290 km/h over a maximum distance of 100 km. The vehicle can fly at altitudes ranging from 300 to 600 meters. During peak hours, recharging can take just between five or seven minutes. The cars would be capable of transporting up to four passengers. One of them will serve as the pilot at first. Uber will not have a completely automated fleet available to consumers until after 2028.

Hyundai also revealed designs for a landing center and an environmentally sustainable “Purpose Built Vehicle” (PBV) for ground transportation to and from the station. According to Hyundai, the PBV will look like a beige rectangle and will use AI to search suitable routes and fly in platoons. Each PBV would be able to perform a variety of functions, such as transportation, a coffee shop, or a medical clinic.

And how long would such a luxury set you back? 

Uber did not have specific pricing. We should anticipate that it would be expensive at first. Only as more air taxis arrive in the sky does the rate drop to that of Uber Black providers. According to Uber, if vehicles become self-driving, the expense of renting a cab would be the same as the cost of a regular car.

What’s next?

According to Uber’s announcements, the first private flying taxis could be operational as early as 2023. For the time being, it is only available in the United States. Currently the vehicles will only be operated by qualified drivers during the first phase of the project. However, the air taxis would eventually be completely autonomous. If it becomes success the vehicles will be for sure introduced in other countries. As a result of success, long flights will be avoided.  The technology is still in its early stages, and Uber and Hyundai, as well as a number of other players in the market, face immense regulatory and technological hurdles in launching their respective air taxi services.

In few years we will find out if air taxis will become our new reality. 


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Self-driving robots delivering your food. Will it be our new reality?

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Not from today we hear about self-driving cars, selfless taxies or robots taking over human jobs. The idea of delivery without human participation is nothing new. Through the years were many ways of selfless delivery tested e.g., in 2007, a self-driving Ford Fusion served pizza to random Ann Arbor, Michigan residents also in 2013, a delivery using drones was tested in the United Kingdom. Any of these examples encourages the mind and helps you to envision the future.

Only a few days ago the new proposition of delivery without human participation has been introduced by Dominos, which is partnering with Nuro, a self- driving delivery startup. The restaurant chain announced on Monday that a Nuro-built self-driving robot would begin delivering pizzas in Houston this week as part of a pilot program.

In February, the US Department of Transportation certified the Nuro R2 as the first driverless car, granting it a special exemption from federal safety standards. Nuro, founded in 2018 by two ex-Google engineers, partnered with Domino’s in 2019 for a pilot pizza delivery service in Houston, which is now being phased out. In Houston, Nuro vehicles are now used for food distribution and CVS Pharmacy delivery. The company revealed in April that it would use its cars to move medical supplies across two California stadiums that had been turned into COVID-19 care facilities.

How it works? 

“The R2 features 360° cameras, as well as Lidar, short and long-range radar, and ultrasonic sensors. We combine that advanced hardware with a robust autonomy stack that includes mapping, localization, perception, and prediction.”

Customers can choose between conventional delivery and delivery by a fully autonomous vehicle manufactured by Nuro. The pizza delivery process will be as follows: the customer places and pays for an online order from the Woodland Heights store and chooses to have the order shipped by R. As they wait for the pizza, they receive text messages with details about the robot’s current location and the PIN code required to pick up the order. When the car arrives, the customer types the number into the touchscreen. The door is then opened and client is given hot food.,

This research will look at how users cope with such deliveries, how they communicate with machines, and how this impacts distribution point operations. After billions of dollars have been invested in it, the robot will undoubtedly succeed. However, different legal regulations in force in individual countries and cities must be taken into account. The future is said to be in self-driving cars and self-supply of different goods. Nevertheless, there is a long road before this solution will be introduced globally.

Hope for the paralyzed? Neuralink, its monkey and their chips.

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Neuraink was founded in the summer of 2016 by the Elon Musk, as his fourth technological company. The company is aiming to develop “ a fully integrated brain machine interface (BMI) system. Either way, BMIs are technologies that enable a computer or other digital device to communicate directly with the brain. Our goal is to build a system with at least two orders of magnitude more communication channels (electrodes) than current clinically-approved devices.” 

They introduced the product called The Link which should be able to ensure fully wireless communication through the skin. This chip according to the company would have 1024 electrodes that penetrate the outer layer of the brain. The Link needs to meet the criteria of safety and be functional for the individual use.

Let’s consider the following scenario: Can a paralyzed person use a tablet or smartphone faster than a healthy person using a mouse, cursor, trackpad, and touchscreen? 

Until recently, such a possibility seemed unrealistic, but as new research indicates, it is possible, and maybe in the future, we will run electronic devices with our minds. A concrete ape, a nine-year-old macaque, learned to do so a few days earlier. Thanks to the implemented device animal was able to play uncomplicated game Pong. The animal was able to handle the game with ease thanks to two Neuralink sensors inserted in its macaque. Pager, a 9-year-old with system implanted 6 weeks ago, can now interact with an implant that allows him to manipulate the cursor with his feelings. Musk stressed that the animal never suffered or was sad for a single second.

The first move, according to the company, is to calibrate the equipment. The monkey then plays with a joystick as the Neuralink implant transmits data from thousands of neurons in its brain and field to a computer. You will see what possibilities the brain has for going in a certain direction based on this. The following move was to change the game administration to Neuralink. The animal continued to use the controller, but since it was not wired to the screen, the monkey’s reality was erratic and did not shift in sync with its thinking. The third stage was a game in which no joystick was used.

Neuralink introduced following diagram that shows how their device work in described case.

This is a big move forward and gives many people with motor disorders hope. According to Elon Musk, in the first version of Neuralink, this technology would be used by people who cannot use a mouse or a touch screen. However, this is not the finish. Musk stated that the second iteration of the Neuralink system, which will be implanted in the brain, will attach to the company’s other sensors located in the body. This is to help people who are paralyzed to walk.

In the other hand, there are certain legitimate questions. Neuralink will face significant technical and ethical challenges. One of the technical challenges is developing electrodes that can last for decades without the need for costly replacements. What is required is not only scientific advancement, but also hands to work and free minds full of ideas. Will Neuralink be able to overcome the current issues? Will the human trials scheduled for 2021 be a success? We need to closely track the progress of this business in order to get answers to these issues. 


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The trolley problem of self-driving cars

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The infamous trolley problem is constantly in our lives. Imagine that you are standing next to some tram tracks and you see a train speeding straight towards five people who are tied to the track. However, you can change the direction of trolley by pushing the lever but there is one person tied to track. What do you do?

It may or not surprise you that the answer differs according to nationality, gender, age and whether the decision is just hypothetical or actually involves real lives. So, would you pull the lever, leading to one death but saving five? 

A famous ethical dilemma was recently applied by MIT researchers to the self-driving cars world. In 2014 they created an experiment called Moral Machine. 

The idea was to create a game-like platform that would crowdsource people’s decisions on how self-driving cars should prioritize lives in different variations of the “trolley problem.” In the process, the data generated would provide insight into the collective ethical priorities of different cultures.

After four years they got millions of answers and they did not expect such major feedback. The analysis of collected data can be found in new paper ’Nature’.

If autonomous vehicles will become our day to day reality, society will have to deal with brand new issue about which lives to prioritize in case of a crash. The Moral Machine tested different variants similar to trolley problem: humans or pets, more lives or fewer, pedestrians or passengers, young or old, fit or sickly, women or men, higher social status person or lower.

How the decision is affected by the cultural background of decision-making person?

Studies showed that countries in which the culture is more individualistic are more likely to spare young over old. For example, people from countries like Taiwan and China. Participants in Latin America countries, were more likely to spare the young, the fit and the higher status individuals. Across the globe were few trends which are repeatable, save humans over animals, more lives over fewer. 

In the last few years more people had thought about the ethics of AI. It can lead to various consequences on different cultural groups. Of course there is no „correct” answer to the given question. However, it is undoubtedly problem in self-driving cars and crashes. What are your thoughts about it? How would you solve this dilemmas?





Future Circular Collider

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The Large Hardon Collider, based at CERN, is the strongest particle accelerator in the world. Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire plans to build bright new one with better efficiency. 

New model is expected to be 10 times more powerful and 4 times longer than the current one. The Large Hardon Collider is placed in tunnel which has length of 27 km, on territories of Switzerland and France. For now it is the most complex machine ever built by humans. Inside of machine particles are colliding in speed almost the same as speed of light.

Successor to LHC, if became reality, would allow scientists to discover and create variety of new possibilities, alongside with answering some of the bothering humanity questions. The aim of Future Circular Collider would be to explore and seek new subatomic particles. The project forsees first tests to 2050. 85% of universe is called by us as ‚dark’ made of particles that we are unable to see. Thanks to the new electron-positron collider we could implement Higgs bosons into ‚dark’ matter which could result in some breakthrough discoveries.

“The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment. It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society”- CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti

Critics emphasizes that the money spent for building the accelerator could be dedicated to other aims, for example hunger problem or fight with global warming. Supporters claim it will have major influence on developing new technologies and widening the knowledge of primary physics. Meanwhile China plans to open their accelerator, Circular Electron–Positron Collider (CEPC) till the 2030s. There is no guarantee that FCC will be build because convincing stakeholders to invest in it will be surely hard as its predecessor has not lived up to expectations beside discover of Higgs Bosons.

Without new accelerator we will stop exploring universe and what comes next is, we stop to evolve. If we do not evolve we are going to die sooner or later. Looking from this point developing a Future Circular Collider is necessary for ours survival but is it safe? What if our desire to posses answers to all the question will result in end of humanity? What are your thoughts about this ?


Racing with Artificial Intelligence

Reading Time: 2 minutesFormula E which is officially called ABB FIA Formula Championship is a class of auto racing that is based only on electric-powered cars. It first launched in September 2014 in Beijing. It is the future of electric car racing. Ten teams each with two drivers compete in the identically set-up cars powered by electric batteries. 

Formula E races takes place in big agglomerations like Paris, New York, Zurich and Hong Kong. As they race in identical cars the races are more fierce and competitive than F1. Formula E is also more engaging as it is shorter, you are closer to action and you can even be involved by fanboost where you vote for your favorite driver and thanks to this they can get 5 seconds power boost. 

Currently new innovation has been implemented inside this league in Envision Virgin Racing Team.  EVR team hopes to wins thanks to its newest partnership with Genpact, a professional company that offers AI and analytical platform. The cooperation was presented in AI Summit in New York City. Thanks to this partnership team’s decision making at high speed is considered to be improved.

Nowadays team’s are equipped with informations from pre-track conditions to detailed data from every important system in car.The newly implemented technology is very complicated but extremely useful.

The technology identifies patterns, builds predictions, and makes recommendations about energy management, speed, or passing strategies using all available data—and does all of this aster than the team can, enhancing the work of the strategists and engineers.

This result in more accurate pre-race strategies. Through constantly changing conditions, AI aims to help in taking more accurate decisions. Envision Virgin Racing Team added genpact to become more engaged winner and thanks to AI it enables to connect people and processes to adapt better to each possible scenario. Thanks to this EVR team becomes first instinctively working racing team. AI is constantly developing and may become an important factor in improving abilities of high-performing teams which will enable them to compete better and win more effectively.

What are your thoughts about it? Do you think AI is the future of racing? Or maybe implementing this technology was a mistake that price will be to paid later? Let me know in comments.

Machine Learning fighting cryptocurrency frauds

Reading Time: 3 minutesInternet gives us infinitely many opportunities and benefits but it is also the home for various threats. Online frauds are continuously more creative and becoming more and more popular, spreading on the new levels. With constantly growing capabilities of internet this has become major problem for financial sector. Alongside with increasing number of global online transactions the number of dangers rises. 

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are relatively new in financial sector but they are exposed on the same level to the scams that were performed on paper market and even some new ones.The most common variety of scam are so-called pump-and-dump. But what are they ? 

“Pump and dump” (P&D) is a form of securities fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price.

As Bitcoin has a huge market capitalization so it would be hard to manipulate the price but the smaller altcoins are very vulnerable for this type of fraud.

Machine learning facing online frauds

Now the machine learning and artificial intelligence can face the online frauds and help with fighting against them. Machine learning algorithm has been developed by Jiahua Xu and Benjamin Livshits who studied cryptocurrency pump and dump schemes and published the work about details of given scam. 

After studying more than 260 pump and dump frauds, they came to the conclusion that very often this scams had been preceded with unusual activity in given currency. Thanks to the fact they started to look for an unexpected trades in order to spot next targets. To confirm their theory, they developed a machine learning algorithm and trained it to look for signs proving that scam is about to occur. The machine learning algorithm was right in 5 of 6 cases which is quite good outcome.


The criminality in internet is constantly rising but thanks to this kind of algorithms we have a chance to fight with them. This two researchers emphasize that their algorithm will not eliminate the pump and dump schemes it will only allow to weaken it.

Xu and Livshits say that on average there are two pump-and-dump scams every day and that these generate about $7 million worth of trading volume a month. This shows how big the issue is. I personally think that machine learning and AI can be a major benefit in terms of reducing all kinds of cybercrime and thanks to them we will be able to implement a lot more efficient and secure online systems. What are your thoughts about it? Do you think AI and machine learning will be a breakthrough in cybersecurity or criminals will find a way to omit these systems? 


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IKEA going into industry of self-driving cars

Reading Time: 2 minutesWhat comes to yours mind when you think about IKEA? A worldwide network of shops with scandinavian furniture, which are almost in every house, probably. Was it autonomic self-driving car? Probably not. Ikea is constantly growing, now even more than earlier, the company changes its purpose and from only furniture seller broadens its horizons on the other industries, changing itself into innovative and technologically advanced company. 

Fully autonomous vehicles are becoming more and more advanced and are near to becoming common on daily basis. Once cars will be driving itself people will have great amount of time to use. With the solution to this comes the newest project of IKEA developed in their Space10 lab, it is called „Space on Wheels”. It changes the perspective of thinking about a car as only mean of transport. 

They provide different variants of using vehicle as an office, medical or coffee point. The research lab came up with various shapes and interior design for this autonomous cars. Till know it consists of 7 different solutions. Interior design is without major changes, it is typically minimalistic as the concept of IKEA .

IKEA car office would allow you to work during your journey. Not only it would save time but what is more it would increased efficiency of working during the day. For many people it could simplify their lives as many of them is working far away from home and spends approximately 60 minutes in traffics. 

Medical Center car could simplify doing periodic reviews. Moreover, it would increase effectiveness of transporting professionals to people in need, which would allow to save more lives without concerning extra help, as the car drives itself. 

However IKEA does not plan to construct the car itself, it mainly focuses only on design inside of it. The concept of interior will be constantly developed as with every minute we are a step closer to fully autonomous vehicles. Whether this cars will be our reality someday or not, for now we can only imagine the comfortability it would gave us.


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