Discovery 14: Opening Keynotes – Salim Ismail and Brad Templeton from Singularity University


As I see it Discovery has three main purposes.
One is to spark new ideas and stimulate dialogue. This year we are especially excited to bring
you a keynote presentation from senior faculty at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University,
Saleem Esmial and Brad Templeton, who will be more formally introduced in a moment. Silicon
Valley returns to the main stage tomorrow, with a keynote via closed-circuit from one
of the region’s founders, gurus, and godfathers, Steve Blank. Harvard Business Review recently
declared him one of the twelve masters of innovation alongside Thomas Edison, and Clayton
Chistensen. As you will see in your pocket agenda (which looks sort of like this) we
have some fascinating panel discussions and competitions planned through the next two
days. Of course another central purpose of Discovery is to be a great place to do business.
For the first time, we have assembled a group of top business leaders from some of Canada’s
most successful companies to talk about future directions for their business, their innovation
objectives, and where they see opportunities for collaboration and R&D and in their supply
chain. This is an extraordinary opportunity to gain some business intelligence that could
open new doors and opportunities for your own companies and research. You will also
have an opportunity to rub shoulders with more than 100 venture capitalists and angel
investors, eager to identify and fund the Next Big Thing. Take advantage of our ever-popular
Ask an Expert session to help you connect, or use Connect @ Discovery to link directly
with the targets of your choice. You can also meet our international delegates from India,
Switzerland, and Finland and most notably, a large delegation from China, representing
over 95 major companies, investors, and senior government officials keen to connect with
Ontario companies across all sectors. And speaking of doing business, I want to especially
welcome our colleagues from One, the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, including the regional
innovation centres. You will see an impressive delay (?) of innovative companies from across
Ontario on the show floor, including 27 companies from Northern Ontario. The last but not least
mission of Discovery is to introduce you and welcome youth to the exciting and rewarding
world of innovation and entrepreneurship. This year we have more than 100 young companies
emerging from universities and colleges across Ontario in our Young Entrepreneurial Zone,
which is sponsored by Omers. We are also delighted to welcome finalists from our elevator and
investor pitches, The David McFadden Energy Entrepreurship Challenge, and our 19 finalists
from high-schools across the province and the Young Entrepreneur Make Your Pitch competition.
And 16 companies who are looking to hire are meeting with our young bright minds in the
Career Zone to talk about future opportunities. We want to do all we can to help young people
gain the valuable entrepreneurial and real world work experience that they need to succeed.
I would now like to introduce Jonathan Simmons, Omers’ Executive Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer to say a few words. Omers significant support for Discovery has been
greatly appreciates. Welcome, Jonathan. *applause*
Thank you very much and good afternoon everybody. I just had a report from Google. There have
just been 2000 hits on its website searching for Ghengis Khan. I will be doing my search
after the meeting today. I am proud to be here today on behalf of Omers. Omers is an
acronym: it stands for the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and we’re proud
to be a sponsor of the event today. At Omers we are one of Canada’s largest pension plan,
with over $65 billion of net assets and our primary goal is very clear: our job is to
ensure that the people who serve in our communities here in Ontario can retire knowing that their
pensions will be paid. And I’d like to salute OCE today, its staff, your leadership, you
board, for your outstanding work. So. What is a pension plan like Omers and OCE have
in common? Well, for one thing, we both believe that Ontario can and should be a leader globally
when it comes to science, technology, and innovation. And some of you will be familiar
with Omers already because you’ve read about what we’re doing on the investment front around
the world. But let me make it absolutely clear: as one of our former CEOs often said, and
he’s here today “We won’t forget that the O in Omers stands for Ontario.” And at Omers
we’re very interested in Ontario. Whether that be through our real estate arm, Oxford
Properties, which is a real estate company which is very much focused on sustainability
and employing innovative techniques to ensure our real estate operations are, and continue
to be, stable into the future. Or through Omers Ventures, our venture capital ring.
Your Excellency, you’ll be pleased to know that Omers has allocated $400 million to venture
capital in the technology space. It’s a small step, but it’s a beginning. Or whether it’s
through Borealis Infrastructure, our infrastructure arm which is a major investor here in Ontario,
in the Bruce Nuclear Power Station, the world’s largest nuclear power generating facility,
and one that recently was involved in a project to restart a number of the reactors. That
required tremendous innovation, right here, at home, in this province. And I could go
on, for a while telling you about Omers, and telling you about OCE. But I’ll share with
you one brief example of why OCE is close to my heart. I serve as a director of the
Canadian Youth Business Foundation. That organization provides business coaching, start-up financing,
and mentoring to young Canadians to help them start businesses. We support young entrepreneurs.
And last May, at this conference, CYBF and OCE signed a partnership agreement for a three-year
term. I’m pleased to say that has now been formalized and CYFB now provides a fast-track
mechanism for fellows of OCE to get access to more finance, more information and to our
business mentoring system, and we hope that that will be beneficial to all of you in this
room who have aspirations to start your own businesses. But back to the matter at hand.
This fantastic event today, this Discovery 2014. I want to wish all of you, every participant,
a great and productive conference. Thank you for doing what you’re doing, thank you for
what you’ve done, and please keep innovation moving in Ontario. And now I’d like to hand
over to Debbie Fisher OCE board member to say a few words. Thank you.
*applause* 0:08:02 Thank you Jonathan. As many of you
know, last year we began our connection with Singularity University, when we had its co-founder
Peter Diamandis here as our keynote speaker. And we’re pleased today to build on that relationship
with our double-bill keynote session today. We’re going to be introducing to you shortly
Saleem Ismail, Global Ambassador and Founding Executive Director of Singularity University
and Brad Templeton, Networks and Computing Chair at Singularity University. Both are
proud Canadians, and graduates of University of Waterloo. No applause? Ok. *laughs* *applause*
Saleem Ismail is a highly sought after speaker, strategist, and entrepreneur, based in Silicon
Valley. He spent the last four years building Singularity University, based at NASA Aims
(?) and before that built and ran Brick House, Yahoo’s internal incubator. His last company,
Angstro, was sold to Google in August 2010. He has built eight startups, and has also
lived in eight countries for over a year, so he brings a strong international perspective
to his startups. Brad Templeton is an internet entrepreneur, futurist lecturer. He’s a developer
of self-driving cars, and lectures and blogs about the emerging technology of automated
transportation. An expert in copyright law, and political and social issues related to
computing networks, he was the chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was
also founder, publisher, and software architect at Clarnet Communication Corp which in the
1990s became the first internet-based business, creating an electronic newspaper, a Canadian-based
company. You’ll see that there are opportunities for you to ask many questions today. I want
to advise you that you can be thinking about your own questions for keynotes and either
ask them at one of our mics on the floor or submit them via our mobile event guide. Once
you’ve logged on, visit the polls and feedback section and click on “opening remarks and
keynote address.” And now it gives me great pleasure to welcome Saleem Ismail and Brad
Templeton. *applause*
Ladies and gentlemen just before we hear from Brad and Saleem I ask you to please rise for
the departure of His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnson, Governor General
of Canada. Thank you. *applause*
Alright. Welcome everyone, and first of all thank you for OCE and Discovery for having
us here. This is such an important event. I’m going to touch on a few remarks as to
why we think it’s so important. We’re hitting an inflection point in the world in a way
that we’ve never seen before and I’m going to talk through some of what we’re seeing
and why this is such a critical time and why, specifically, Ontario has such an important
role to play. We’ve talked through a little of my background, there’s my Twitter handle,
I am a Waterloo graduate, barely. I went through the co-op program and one of the issues with
that program is you learn very quickly that what you’re working on out in your work terms
has nothing to do with what you’re studying back at school. And so it de-motivates the
heck out of you and then you really have to struggle and my marks kind of steadily dwindled
right down to the end and I scraped through I think on the behalf of David Johnson’s gratitude
or “get him out of there as fast as possible.” I’ve spent ten years in Europe restructuring
large European companies which is why I’m bold, and I think if you’ve spent time in
Europe you’d probably understand that. Even harder to restructure than Canadian companies,
European companies than Canadian ones, and I’ve spent the last decade or so in the US
and Silicon Valley specifically, building out first Yahoo’s incubator and then doing
a few startups there. Peter Diamandis spoke here a year ago, he’s our Chairman and co-founder
at Singularity. How many of you were here last year? Can I just see a show of hands?
So quite a few of you. Many of you will remember his talk, he touched on three elements.
The first, exponential technologies and some of the power that we’re seeing there. Secondly,
exprize (?) and some of what we can do with incentive competitions. And thirdly, the shift
from scarcity to abundance. We’re going through this inflection point today and I’m going
to talk through a little of what we’re seeing. As was mentioned, we’re based at NASA Aims.
There are ten NASA centres around the country in the US and at Aims is where they do all
of the R&D and super-computing for all of NASA and we have access to some of that research.
That curve is the one thing not to forget in terms of how we think about the world.
We look at this prize (?) performance of Moore’s Law as you think about it and we’ve looked
at his extraordinary pace of change in the last 50, 60 years. Ray Kurzwell plotted that
all the way back to 1900, and found that we’ve been steadily doubling the prize performance
of computing for over 100 years. And he asked the question when he saw this data, why is
that curve so smooth and so predictable. We’ve had wars, recessions, ups and downs in the
semi-conductor industry, this thing is moving like clockwork. Doesn’t make sense, and he
spent about a decade doing research on this, trying to understand why. And his fundamental
observation at the end of that was that once you take a domain or discipline or an industry
area and you base it in information properties and power it with information flow, it’s prize
performance starts doubling very steadily every year or so. Once on that path, nothing
shakes it off that path, it stays on that doubling pattern. When you add up all of the
technologies we’re seeing going through this pace the results are fairly mind-boggling.
This is our founding conference, five and a half years ago we brought together 60 thought
leaders from around Silicon Valley and we asked the question “is it worth creating and
educational institution only focused on accelerating technologies?” The observation that was made
there is that many of the biggest problems we’re facing in the world today — the spread
of pandemics or aspects of climate change or the financial crisis that we’re all struggling
under — they’re rooted in accelerating factors and exponential factors. The spread of a pandemic
is exponential: I give it to two people, you give it to four people, and it goes geometric
from there. The financial crisis, driven by the acceleration and the underlying derivatives
and other instruments. Our leadership around the world, business or political, does not
have a good handle on this. Our essentially mission statement is to educate a new generation
of leadership that understands the pace of exponential change and how could you leverage
that and harness that to solve the biggest problems in the world. By the way in that
photograph there’s about twelve Canadians, out of the 60 there, is an extraordinary representation
of Canadians there. So, we’ve been looking at all of these technologies and seeing extraordinary
disruption across each one. This afternoon when Brad and I do our separate
sessions we’ll delve a little bit more into those technologies, I’ll touch on them briefly
here, but we’ve have gathered together the world’s leading experts across all of these
areas to come and talk and teach and see what they’re looking at. Vince Serf who created
the IP address system, Craig Venture who sequenced the very first genome 12 years ago, and essentially
they are all seeing at the edges of their field this extraordinary disruption. So being
able to, with their peers, look at the adjacent spaces is interesting for them. I mention
our mission statement is to leverage this acceleration to solve the biggest problems.
Because for the first time in the history of humanity, we have several technologies
all moving at this pace. And it’s the biggest lever we’ve ever seen in humanity, that the
world has ever known. If we can harness that pace of change, it becomes the higher order
bit and everything else pretty much gets washed away. Mobile phones, we find exponential growth
in mobile phones doubling every year from 100 million in the year 2000 to now almost
6 billion out in the world. What could we have done if we’d harnessed that pace of change
early on and layered solutions on top of it? Here’s one of the companies, we challenge
our students to come up with ideas that would impact a billion people within ten years.
Every summer we do a summer program, a graduate program, for people average 30-years old,
students, and they come and live with us at NASA. Half the summer we give them a briefing
on where these technologies are going, what is the future of all of these technologies,
and then we ask them to form a team and build out a crazy idea. So, this team is looking
at 3D printing. Meat in a petrie dish because it’s ecologically than hacking it out of the
side of the cow, the cow is also a lot happier if you can do that, and it tastes terrible
today. Our joke is the taste is doubling every year, we’ll see how that works out. This team
was looking poverty a couple years ago and they noticed that all the roads in Africa
get washed out during the wet season. 85% of all the roads disappear and how do you
alleviate poverty if you can’t move anything around? Chris Anderson from Wired magazine
came in to talk on drones, you’ve all seen these quad-copter things, and they had the
idea to use drones to deliver medicine and food around. This is a live test from Haiti
a few months ago. Interestingly about these drones, today you can carry a 2kg package
about 8km or 10km, that’s the range. But the underlying technologies are moving so fast
that they’re doubling in their capability every nine months. So by the end of this year
4kg, by next year 8kg, and now things get really interesting. We’ve already had a phone
call from FedEx a bit nervous saying “Hey what are you doing over there?” You may have
seen this announcement from Amazon that they want to deliver packages using drones. This
was inspired by some of the work that we’ve been doing. This, by the way, was a complete
fraud. They have no such capability but they managed to get the story out on 60 Minutes
the day before Cyber Monday, so their PR people have had a huge bonus as a result, and for
us, we love it because it legitimizes the space. We had a lot of people start thinking
about it. Even if this idea doesn’t work, you can see it will inspire a whole new way
of thinking about the problem. And that’s what we’re also trying to do.
We also run one-week executive programs. How many alumni do we have here in the audience?
Can I see a show of hands? You can recognize them, they’re a little sleepless, we also
call it Sleepless University because of the density of our programs. This is a program
that we do with Deloitte, where they bring 75 or 80 Fortune 500 CEOs to us for four days
a couple times a year. We ask these CEOs beforehand, “what awareness do you have about these technologies?”
And most said “we’ve never really heard about these.” At the end of the four days we ask
them how big of an impact do you think this will have? 100% agreed that it would have
a game-changing impact within five years and 80% said that would happen within 2 years.
That’s the gap we’re trying to bridge. Beforehand, most people don’t know about these breakthroughs
and these technologies, but afterward 80% think game-changing impact within 2 years.
And 100% had an urgent action item the minute they got back to the office. That’s essentially
why we exist. This is probably the most interesting attribute of our model. Because we’re focused
on fast-moving technologies, we actually update our curriculum very frequently. Before every
time we run a program we re-visit every lecture. We’ve almost had to develop a real-time curriculum
just to keep pace with this pace of change. So that’s a little bit about Singularity,
let me run through what we’re seeing out in the world and what the implications are. The
first and most obvious is digitizing the world. Our memories aren’t in our heads anymore they’re
in our smartphones. All our communications today area digital. All our relationships
are digital, via social networks, etc. If you’re below 30 years old the appearance of
your Facebook profile is much more important than how you’re dressed that day. And we can
tell by how they’re dressing these days that that’s really the case. As we hop, once something
becomes digital, it hops onto the next bandwagon and starts doubling very steadily and we’re
seeing that explosion take place. The favourite analogy I have for describing this is photography.
Some of you are old enough to remember film photography. You’re operating when you do
film photography from a scarcity model. You can only carry so much film around, it costs
about a dollar a photograph to get it processed and the cost of film, it takes some time to
get the film processed, etc. When you move, when you change the substrate from a material
substrate to a digital substrate, and you shift from film photography to digital photography,
two things happen: the first is the marginal cost of an extra photograph goes to zero.
You can now take 1000 more photographs and just keep the ones you want, it doesn’t cost
you anything extra. The second and more importantly as a result of this, is the domain explodes.
In 1996 there was about a 3/4billion film photographs processed that year around the
world. Today we are uploading, per day, 3/4billion photographs up to Facebook and Instagram,
Snapchat etc and you can see that domain totally exploding. Now we have billions of photographs
out there, maybe too many, and now we have an abundance problem. Now the question is
how many different copies do I have of all my photographs across all my different devices,
where did I put the chip, did I share these etc etc? And we change the domain space pretty
significantly, and this explosion of going from film photography to digital photography,
this analog, is essentially what we’re saying across all of these technologies. And when
you add those up the aggregate result is quite profound.
Of course, once you have something in a digital environment you can apply modelling, and machine
learning, and simulation and correlation, and that drives the pace of change even further.
We’re seeing that today in 3D printing, many of you are familiar with this technology.
We’ve essentially now information enabled manufacturing and there are two inflection
points in 3D printing that have it accelerate. The first is you can make things like the
object on the top right that can’t be moulded. That has to be assembled, you know mould can’t
manage that, yet a 3D printer can spit that out and that’s kind of an interesting thing
to be able to do. The second and more important in 3D printing is that in manufacturing, it’s
always been true that a more complex object costs more. The design, the fabrication techniques,
the cost of the materials, etc. With 3D printing for the first time ever, complexity is free.
The 3D printer just like your ink jet printer does not care if you’re spitting out a single
letter or a very complex image the 3D printer doesn’t care what shape you’re printing out
it just is throwing out the ink or material. Those two inflection points have this technology
accelerate fairly dramatically. Here are some of the shapes you can make,
many of you are familiar with this. I won’t touch heavily into this but this is the winning
entry out of the Tech Crunch Disrupt contest held a couple of days ago. This Harvard graduate
is taking ink jet printer ink cartridges and creating make up out of it. You have a $300
printer and essentially you can make makeup and manufacture it at home to whatever colour
combination you want as you wish. So this is now gonna threaten heavily the entire cosmetics
industry which all their old business models and supply chains are going to be done. And
this is like, one or two people in a lab in Harvard. Pretty extraordinary stuff you can
do. Another technology we look at very heavily
and maybe the most powerful that we’ve seen in a long time is biotech and bioinformatics.
When you learn a new language, which is essentially the language of life, you learn how to read,
and then we do comprehension, and then we do writing. We’ve learnt how to read DNA profoundly
well over the last couple of decades. It costs 2.7 billion dollars to sequence the first
human genome 12 years ago. It cost about 400 million to do the next one, about 50 million
to do the third, and about 14 million to do the fourth. Today it’s down to $1000. We’ve
gone from $2.7 billion to $1000 in about a decade. It’s almost an order of magnitude
of change per year and how do you build a business with the price point changing that
aggressively? Now we’re reading and sequencing every single life form that we can find, and
it’s brining up all sorts of interesting moral dilemmas. The giant panda is alive because
it looks cute. We can now sequence the genome: should we let it go extinct, should we restore
its habitat, how do we handle that? And so we’re starting to encounter some really interesting
ethical and moral implications because as these technologies explode in their capability,
that’s the biggest question: how do you handle the morals and ethics around all this? And
that’s partly the reason why we exist is to examine those questions. Now we’re starting
to understand if you have a heart attack they will give you Plavix, a blood thinner. If
you have a particular gene you need a triple dose of that drug to have it be effective.
Or if you have perfect pitch in music as a singer that’s actually governed by a single
gene. This is a team working on the woolly mammoth. We’re about two years away from a
real woolly mammoth wandering around. It will be a little confused when it shows up, its
habitat will have changed fairly significantly. But now we’re starting to learn how to write.
And as we start to learn how to write DNA and manipulate it in the same way we do software
engineering, essentially now we’re playing literally with the fabric of life forms and
how will we handle that? This is a photograph from the IGem competition, teams of college
students are getting together to hack DNA in interesting ways. These guys have taken
a glow in the dark substance and crossed it with the DNA of a cat. You can buy this pet
that glows in the dark. The cat’s not very happy about it, it can’t hide anymore but
pretty extraordinary stuff that you can do. This is an open source bio-hacking space in
Silicon Valley. The girl in the middle there is 8 years old, and she’s leading the class.
It turns out she’s really good at synthesizing DNA. She knows how to hold a pipette at the
right angles, she’s teaching the adults how to do it. And she has no moral concept or
grasp of what she’s really up to but she’s actually manipulating life forms. How will
we deal with that and how will we instil in her, or that generation, the appropriate use
and responsible use of these technologies? I grew up hacking PCs, the kids today are
programming the internet. I’ve a 3 year old, he’ll be hacking the family dog. Or me, if
I’m not careful. And how will we deal with this? This is an artist who can pick up a
cigarette butt and by looking at the DNA on the cigarette can recreate the face of the
person that smoked it. Pretty extraordinary stuff. Here’s she’s creating a picture of
herself and there’s a whole company that’s sprung up making mug shots for the police
based on DNA found at crime scenes. I’m sure the NSA is all over this in terms of what
you do with this. Now, we’re all leaving DNA wherever we go, on glasses on doorknobs on
the clothes that we wear. As the cost drops drastically how will we handle it? This is
the inflection point. Peter mentioned this last year. Craig Venture three years ago created
the first fully artificial life form and the parent DNA of this bacteria is an email file.
That’s a pretty big inflection point. The world will never be the same again. We’re
going to see organisms that never existed in nature and how will we deal with this?
In robotics we’ve all seen the kids playing with these $20 helicopters. Four years ago
that same capability cost $700. Eight years ago that wasn’t possible, that level of miniatureization,
servo motors, stabilizers, wasn’t possible at that scale. It was $700 and now it’s 20.
Pretty extraordinary stuff and you’ll see some videos of this, this afternoon from Brad.
This is interesting (can I drop the volume on this?). This is Baxter, an industrial robot.
How many of you are familiar with Baxter? Can I see a show of hands? The Baxter is an
industrial robot you move its arms to show it what to do on a stock line. It then manages
itself. It uses video processing image recognition and then does the job at hand. It costs $22,000,
it does not unionize, it does not take coffee breaks, it does not get sick. It’s dropping
in price 50% a year. Pretty extraordinary stuff. And the inflection point here is that
in industrial robotics we’ve already decided to program the robot per task. Now, for the
first time ever, you just literally move it, it takes about 25 minutes to teach this thing
what to do. This fellow is smiling away, but it’s about to take his job. So how will we
handle that? In neuroscience, I’ll cover this one last
technology, the inflection point we’ve hit in neuroscience because we’ve not had an upgrade
to our brains in about 50,000 years or so, if you were using a 50,000 year old iPhone
you would not be happy about it, we’re hardwired with a lot of old BIOSes. The inflection point
that’s happened in neuroscience is the fact that we can actually image what’s happening
today. That’s our view of the brains from before, a lump of jelly, we didn’t quite know
what was going on. We can today spot a single neuron firing in your brain in real time.
That feedback loop gives us an extraordinary capability. What happens when you apply all
of these accelerating technologies to this organ that we still fundamentally don’t know
how it works. We still don’t know why we sleep, for example. Here is Interaxon, a Canadian
company, that’s your old EEG, now look at this fairly stylish looking thing. I made
a very risqué joke in the Middle East, I said if you wore an Arabic headdress you wouldn’t
even know you were wearing it. I just about got away with the joke, kind of a dangerous
thing to say out there. Today you can get $100 headsets that give you a pretty good
sense of what’s happening in somebody’s brain. The one on the right there, the eye brain,
is used by Stephen Hawking the physicist. He literally thinks of the word and the device
reads the word and speaks it out for him. You can buy these trans-cranial headsets that
actually double your retention, if you wear this for 30 minutes your learning retention
goes up 100%. They’re training pilots with this and they found that it’s an extraordinarily
effective technique for depression, more effective than any of the medicines we’re giving today
if you can do this. It looks a bit ridiculous I agree but if you’re using it for therapeutic
purposes… This is a team that’s taking it in a whole other level, this is a Japanese
team. You go to sleep in an MRI machine. It literally stores the images coming off your
visual cortex, the idea being to play your dreams back to you the next day. My wife wants
to get her hands on this, I’m literally not so happy about that. How will we deal with
that? Some interesting implications come out as
we deal with this. I don’t have time to go into this, we’ll do that a little more this
afternoon, but seeing the same explosion across all of these technologies. This is stress
vs strain. If you’re in materials engineering you’re familiar with Hook’s Law, which is
a linear stress vs strain equation created in 1660 by Robert Hook. For 350 years we’ve
been operating off that little purple area at the bottom in that curve because we didn’t
have the comprehension (?) to go elsewhere. And over the last 5 years we can now model
further out into the curve and we have all that available to us. I love this graph here
because it kind of shows how explosive the new possibilities are just in material science.
We’ve talked through some of the technologies I want to talk about the societal disruption
around this because that’s where the big concern from our perspective comes in. The technologies
are all very sexy they’re hitting front page news all over the world. But fundamentally,
we are not set up for this. All of the structures that we use to run the world, our civics,
our politics, our legal systems, healthcare, education, intellectual property, you name
it, every single one designed for a world a few hundred years ago. Not for today. Definitely
not for where the world is going. We need to re-architect every single one of our societal
constructs to bridge into this new world. And we’re seeing the stress around the world.
The Arab Spring is an information revolution. The younger generation leveraging information
in a way that the older can’t even conceive of and that’s causing a lot of stress. For
me, an entrepreneurship perspective where you have this opportunity; where you have
the stress you also have enormous opportunity. Peter mentioned last year that the biggest
problems in the world also represent the biggest marketplaces. Healthcare, energy, clean water,
education. Today we have technologies that actually apply and bridge into that new world.
You’ll hear a bit more about the Google car from Brad who will speak next to talk about
these specific and extraordinary power that comes from this one development. I want to
play you a little video of what is like to ride in the Google car. How many of you are
familiar with the Google car? Autonomous car, drives itself, Brad will cover it a bit more.
Here’s a video, there’s a little swearing so bear with me as I go through this. If I
could get a bit of volume for this one please? Sorry. *holy shit* Sorry *oh my god* *what?!*
*drives itself* *aaahhhhhh* You get the general idea. That scream, do
not forget that scream. That’s the visceral scream of humanity meeting advanced technology.
*laughter* When you first get into that car and it takes off at high speed around that
obstacle course faster than you could drive it yourself and there’s nobody in the driver’s
seat, you freak out. It’s a natural reaction. After about 10 minutes of driving it it’s
like getting into an elevator. You press a button it take you where you want to go. The
first reaction though, is a freak-out reaction. What we’re seeing around the world right now
is the world is freaking out on this information paradigm. This is the prime minister of Turkey,
this is a smart thoughtful experienced leader around the world and totally freaking out.
This is his scream. Going social media major menace to society. The US completely overreacting,
trying to use old structures to address new problems. Information may not want to be free,
but it definitely wants to be liberated. It’s too hard to use these old structures to keep
this in place. Brad, who was the Chairman of the EFF, has
been showing this image for about 6 years at Singularity. This is the 4th Amendment,
the right to privacy in the American constitution, warning that it’s going to be wiped out because
of technology. Now we’re there. The 4th Amendment has disappeared in the US. A fundamental pillar
of American society has disappeared with no public discourse around it. As Canadians don’t
have an expectation of privacy down there anyway, but if you’re an American a pretty
bad place to be. How do you update the Constitution in this political climate? You can’t. The
Constitution is the software that runs the country and we have no way of updating it.
Now we’re seeing this stress at a macro level and at a country level. The patent system,
now fundamentally broken. High tech companies spending more on litigation than on R&D, which
is a really bad place to be. I showed you the Baxter video, this is the 500,000 person
Foxcon plant in China being replaced by 20,000 people and 1million robots. Those 480,000
jobs are not coming back. We’ve made a prediction that within 10 years no human beings will
be needed for manual labour anywhere in the world because of that acceleration in robotics.
How will we deal with that from a social perspective? That may be the biggest concern that we have
today is jobs and how do we deal with that. Our one hope is that everybody turns into
makers and entrepreneurs but actually a very small percentage of the population that really
has that capacity. So we’ll need to create — engineer — some social solutions to
that. I mention our curriculum planning meetings,
even though we have the leading experts, thought leaders, scientists, in the world coming to
teach we can’t become an official accredited state-sanctioned university because to do
that you have to fix your curriculum and not change it. It brings the general class of
problem of how does any regulatory framework keep pace with this technology accelerating
away from us? This is the inflection point that we’re seeing around the world that all
of our old structures are stressing and will start to break in the next decade or so. I’ll
also cover this briefly, we’re seeing a huge demonitization take place. When you have an
information enabled industry, we see about a 10x drop in revenues once the internet and
the full information paradigm hits. The newspaper business, the music business, Netflix vs Blockbusters.
Here’s how badly we get it wrong, Vinoa Cosla the founder of Sun Mircosystems looked at
this exponential growth in mobile phones I mentioned and he went and asked the question,
what did the mobile industry expert analysts say would be the growth of mobile phones.
In 2002 he looked at Gartner, Forrester, Jupiters, Mckinseys, etc and found that collectively
they predicted 16% year on year growth. Two years later it had gone up by 100% so they
were off by a bit. Two years later they predicted 14%. Doubled again. Then they predicted 12%.
Doubled again. In 2010, 2008, unable to spot the fact you’ve had three doublings in a row,
of 100% they predicted 10%. And then it doubled again. How much more wrong can you be from
10% to 100%? And you’re the mobile phone industry expert in that space. Vinoa was able to show
this wasn’t just in mobile phones it was in network pricing, it was in solar energy, it
was in bandwidth, wherever you saw this exponential curve the experts in the field always project
linearly. There is an enormous threat and an enormous opportunity because if you can
spot that trend you have an enormous advantage. 3D printing, for example, has been around
for35 years but it’s been slowly doubling away. You don’t notice it when it’s doubling
from .001 to .002 to .004. When it gets to 2, 4, 6, 8 and it’s taking off everybody goes
“Oh, black swan.” You could actually call us Black Swan University, we’re kind of teaching
people that there’s these huge disruptive events and how do you navigate through this
area. This last area is the most exciting and probably
the most extraordinary for use because the sheer democratization of this. A farmer in
Africa with a smartphone has more information power in his hands than Clinton did when he
was president. That’s an extraordinarily amazing thing to be able to say. That we go from maybe
the most powerful person in the world to one of the poorest in a generation. Here’s a guy
who’s taken this to another level, drones, he’s building a drone that follows his kid
to school so he doesn’t have to walk his kid to school. We’re seeing the full democratization
with all the pros and cons around this. You can buy this online if you so choose. This
is a company out of Canada, how many of you are familiar with the Arctic Apple? This is
a great little biotech company out of BC, they found the gene in the apple that has
it turn brown and turned it off. So the apple doesn’t turn brown it stays green it stays
fresh for a much longer period of time. It’s a much higher fidelity way of doing it than
our old way of doing this which is called “breeding.” For thousands of generations we’ve
been crossing dogs and cats and horses and plants and selecting for the traits we want
and now we’ve information enabled it. This is Emiliano Cargimen one of our alumni. He’s
been voted by our faculty the most likely to actually impact a billion people. He’s
designed nano-satellites that are about the size of a shoebox and once he has a cluster
of them up in space he’ll be able to provide real-time video anywhere on Earth to about
a 1m resolution. His first two satellites have already launched. The total cost for
him doing this is about $150-$200 million. Down from $5 or $10 billion to the Redeem
(?) satellites etc from a couple decades ago. He’s going to open up an App Store capability,
you may have seen Skylabs and some of the other companies doing similar things. You
can get these $100 headsets that give you a good readout of what’s happening in your
brain. This is Will Henshaw he was the guitarist for the Eurythmics, the band from the 80s,
one of our alumni. That’s me on the left in the silhouette, that’s my brain. He is composing
music that when you play the music it puts your brain into a focused alpha state so you
can get work done, you’re in the zone, essentially. This is my brain before and after he plays
the music, and you can see that my brain is flooded with alpha waves. Mostly free service,
you can go look at it. The leading experts in ADHD have found this is more useful than
any drugs for kids. Pretty extraordinary when you have that kind of result. All from that
feedback loop we’re able to see what’s happening in the brain. This is a multi-gajillion dollar
idea and he’s doing this with a Mac and $100 headset. Pretty extraordinary stuff. This
is ten-person lab out of LA that has solved the superbug problem for which we don’t have
antibiotics. They’ve figured out how to solve this. It’s a ten-person lab, a side-effect
of what they’re able to do allows them to solve all allergies. They can cure all allergies
as a result of this. It’s extraordinary what people are able to do, what small teams can
do today. Many of you are familiar with Eric Migivakovsky
with the Pebblewatch. He put this up on Kickstarter it resulted in a $10million funding round
as a result of his Kickstarter campaign. The crowd-funding phenomena is phenomenal not
for the funding side but for the first time you can have market validation before you
actually build a product. It’s kind of an amazing thing to be able to do, to not have
to build a product to get market validation. Bitcoin, if you’re familiar with Bitcoin,
forget Bitcoin the currency, look at the underlying protocol called a Block Chain. This may be
the most extraordinary thing I’ve seen in my entire career because it allows you to
have a secure trusted transaction on an unsecure network. That’s something we’ve never been
able to do. There’s a computer science problem called a Byzantine General’s Problem, that
hasn’t been solved in 35 years and Bitcoin accidentally solves this problem, and it will
completely change the game in the next few worlds (?).
Let me run through where we go next and I’m going to wrap up. If you look at the collective
zeitgeist of all these technologies we’re seeing extraordinary stuff. I would love to
see the Ontario Centres of Excellence be renamed Ontario’s Crazy Entrepreneurs. Because what’s
going to save the world in the next decade is really the entrepreneurship ecosystem and
let me explain why. This is solar energy. It’s on an exponential curve. It’s doubling
every couple of years in its price performance. In ten years, solar energy will make the entire
Athabasca oil sands irrelevant. They’re in danger now but they’ll be irrelevant. Fracking
in the medium term, solar energy in the long term. Canada in the last 20 years has lost
its industrial bases and is now a largely resource based economy. As this paradigm plays
out these accelerating technologies graphine (?) other mechanisms, it’ll change the economic
basis of the entire economy in the next 10 years. We will not have a choice but to shift
the economic landscape. Big companies aren’t going to do it, because all new jobs come
from startups. And all risk-taking comes from startups. Big companies cannot take risk.
When I was at Yahoo trying to build our Brick House, we found that if you try and take extreme
risk in a company the immune system of the company will come and attack you. Those of
you who’ve tried corporate innovation at that level will understand that. Therefore, the
startup world is the only way to do it. It means Western Canada will not be able to navigate
the future because they’re in the status quo and they’re the existing experts in that field.
It will require new entrepreneurship leveraging new technologies. That’s what you have here.
What we’re thrilled about what we see here with Discovery, with what Omers is doing,
1-11 etc, we think you need a hundred times more than that. If you’re in the innovation
enablement space, because one of the great things about Canada it actually encourages
this, I would encourage you to think about two things. Take way more risk than you’re
taking now, fund the entrepreneur that you think is maybe questionable, every single
entrepreneur that’s great has a very questionable past. Every single great one. So you fund
those guys, or retire. And let somebody else do it, because we will need to take on a lot
more societal risk. As I look around the world and I travel around the world, much like His
Excellency does, the US cannot change the situation they’re in, they’re in a structural
mess, because of the Constitution the politics, they’re stuck. Asia is stuck for different
reasons, Europe in a complete mess. Canada has not just the opportunity but I think the
obligation to think about and create the structures for this new world. The practical common-sense
approach is what we need here. With that, please think about going and doing crazy things.
Thank you very much for having us here. *applause*
Brad Templeton as we introduced him earlier is our head of networks and computing, was
a Chairman of the EFF. As an engineer at Waterloo he put the dot into dot.com. So in terms of
impacting a billion people .. Brad Templeton, welcome.
*applause* Thank you. In a strange ironic twist in fact,
my first summer job as a teenager was groundskeeper at the new CN Tower where I picked up the
garbage and mowed the grass, literally right underneath where we’re standing, so that’s
a little bit bizarre. Well, things are a bit different today, and I want to talk to you
about a technology that I’ve been working on that I think is going to have a dramatic
change for the world. Cars that drive themselves and they change transportation but so much
more than transportation. I’m going to cover for you five different pillars of society
that I think will be changed dramatically by this. The most important is saving lives,
but there are actually huge effects from energy to our cities and how we do parking and manage
our land, to congestion, and also to retailing and delivery and all the other aspects of
what a city is like. Now, saving lives should be enough to understand
a technology like this because we see 1.2million people around the world die every year, because
humans are not very good drivers. They cause huge amounts of accidents, and they kill not
just those millions of people but injure far more. In the United States, the National Highway
Transportation Safety agency worked out a cost for accidents of $230billion. If you
work that out per mile it’s about 8 cents a mile, which is about the same price as the
gasoline in a Prius and in California you’re legally required to drive the Prius. But think
about that. Paying more for you share of the cost of accidents than you’re paying for your
gasoline in a car like that. Also that country drives, every year, 50billion hours doing
this… The whole country only works 240billion hours. In Canada, they do a little better.
2000 Canadians every year killed on the roads, 150,000 injured, and that’s just a little
bit less, actually than the United States on a per/km basis. So we can’t get too smug
here. 40% of those accidents come from drinking and one thing that’s nice about robots is
they very rarely drink. 80% of those accidents come from inattention and actually that’s
also something computers are pretty good at doing. They don’t not look, they have this
unblinking stare that we don’t like when it’s the NSA but we like when it’s a car that’s
driving for us. We lose a lot of our lives to congestion and
we’ve given over huge amounts of our city. LA is not the poster child, but more than
half the land in Los Angeles belongs to the car. It’s driveways and garages and parking
lots and streets. 25% of the entire energy budget of rich countries like the US and Canada
goes towards personal transportation and about 25% greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s my favourite
statistic: as a planet, every year, we are driving 1.7light years. How often do you get
to use light years in your work if you’re not an astronomer?
Let’s take a look at the reality, why this is not science fiction, why this is happening.
This is, as they like to say in Silicon Valley, Garage Innovation, taking place in garages.
But this is not AI of the sort that has to be as smart as a human, it’s more like being
as smart as a horse or even being as smart as a bug. Something that we can achieve. Ten
years ago the American military held a series of contests to build the first generation
of self-driving cars. The first contest was a complete failure. Nobody got more than about
7km. My friend Anthony entered a motorcycle that he forgot to turn on at the beginning.
The second contest had five cars complete 150mi course through the California desert.
Cars that were empty going down dessert roads and windy mountain ravines, all without much
money at all because the prize was only $2million and the teams didn’t spend that much. Well,
Google was smart and they hired the team that won this contest from Stanford and they hired
the people that won the contest after it to produce the next generation of vehicle. Here
you’ll actually see Chris Ermson the chief engineer of the Google project, pushing the
button on the car (Chris was Canadian by the way, so we’re everywhere). Here’s the car
driving as it has done now for over 700,000mi on urban streets and highways in California.
Stopping at lights, making left turns, avoiding pedestrians (Google has thanked these people
for participating in its research). Seeing very differently from a human being and all
directions, 360 degrees, all the time, not the way a human sees. Not the way a human
drives. In that course they’ve gone done the streets of busy urban centres like San Francisco
and dealing with left turns, dealing with joggers and stop signs and things like that.
Running down through the toll gates here on the Golden Gate Bridge, which I’m sure some
of you have done. Going down the entire coast of California, here you see the pretty town
of Monterey. Driving along windy mountain roads, dealing with things that scare even
human drivers as they’re coming along. Seeing the same night or day, which is actually pretty
handy sometimes. Going down even, this is a little tourist attraction, this is the windiest
street in the world called Lombard Street. This is sped up a bit, I don’t actually recommend
Lombard Street at this speed, but it’s an example of what you can do. They’ve also done
hard problems like merging onto a busy freeway. At Stanford they actually taught their car
to park in a way I don’t recommend that you park.
You can buy today a remarkable amount of stuff, you can buy cars that will park themselves,
keep themselves in the lane, keep themselves a fixed distance from the car in front of
them, see if you’re going to hit a pedestrian or another car, hit the breaks for you. That’s
all in the showrooms today. All the car companies have announcements of what they’re doing.
Audi’s been showing their car driving on the highways of Los Vegas at CES. Tesla, after
Google announced that they would have a car out probably in 2017, Tesla because Elon Musk
the head of Tesla has the largest testicles in Silicon Valley, announced they would have
a car in 2016. Volvo has a project where they have 100 cars in Gottenberg and they’ve also
built a convoy project where people can follow a truck down the road. Nissan has opened a
lab across the highway from us, across the runway from us, and they have promised they
will be selling cars in 2020 that can drive themselves. Daimler Mercedes has a car you
can buy today, the 2014 S Class, which will drive itself in a traffic jam and they have
also said they will sell full self-driving cars in 2020. BMW has a very good project
going out, Ford has just started up a project with their vehicles. This company in France
called Induct is actually selling this vehicle today that has no steering wheel and it is
meant to be a shuttle on campuses, so it can move people from place to place, summoned
by itself while on campuses. Not a science fiction future product, this is something
they are selling today. This is a video (let’s get the audio up) of
Google’s car in action. *here we go* *away we go* *look ma no hands*
*no hands no feet* So, this is the first civilians to use the car. *car’s using the radars and
laser to check and make sure there’s nothing coming* *old habits die hard man* *let’s go
get a taco at the drive-thru* * and we’re turning into the parking lot* *here we go
now we’re gonna creep along here* *does anybody have any money?* * I’ve got money I’ve got
my wallet right here* *95% of my vision is gone. I’m well past legally blind* So as you can see not just the able-bodied
people have something to gain from this. There are millions of people who have disabilities
that stop giving them the freedom of transportation that we take for granted. When I refer to
those people I mean all of you when you get older. You will lose these abilities as well
and this technology will stop you from losing your freedom of transportation. Here’s a video
that was just released a couple weeks ago about Google’s project working in urban situations.
Here you can see it for example detecting traffic cones in a construction zone and avoiding
them. You can also see it detecting a bicyclist making a hand signal in order to turn left
and move in front of the vehicle, it sees the hand go out. Sees the bicyclist go out,
the cyclist is a wimp and decides to abort their particular trip. This is advancing quite
a bit and the number of miles of real driving is increasing.
So how does this work? Why is this a way for programmers to save the world? I’ll very briefly
touch on the technology. On top of the car you saw a spinning sensor, this is a research-side
device that is currently getting much smaller and cheaper. Ten times a second it is sending
out laser beams that scan the world and it works like a RADAR except with light. You
get this 360 degree picture of the world in all directions in full 3D not the fake 3D
you do with your own eyes. This gives the vehicle the ability to see all obstacles and
make sure it’s not going to hit anything and that’s kind of the goal. There are other sensors,
there’s RADAR which is able to see how fast things are going and see through fog which
is nice. There is a GPS in the car but the GPS is not used to drive, and any of you who’ve
tried to drive with a GPS would know why, it’s just good to know what street you’re
on, not exactly where you are. The other sensors do that job. Imagine a world a little bit
more in the future where it’s not a little Prius coming up to you but a vehicle designed
for travel. You pick up your cell phone, you say you want to travel somewhere and within
a minute something pulls up to you and it’s a vehicle which has a desk or a screen or
other features which allow you to work or play or live your life so it’s like being
teleported because it doesn’t take time out of your day. All happening without central
control, all happening without new infrastructure, which is very interesting.
This has several consequences. Driving you around is just one of them. Turns out that
vehicles that can move on their own, that can move empty are also vehicles that can
deliver themselves, they’re vehicles that can refuel and recharge themselves, and they’re
vehicles that can park and store themselves. This has huge consequences for energy and
the car industry. The reason is, today when people go to buy a car they ask one question
in the show room: what car do I need for my life? They want a car, if they ski three times
a year, they get this big SUV. If the move cargo twice a year they buy one of the best
selling cars in our society, the F150 pickup. But let’s change this around, when your summoning
a car on demand, you ask a very different question than what car do I need for my life,
and you don’t have to buy this multi-purpose vehicle that does everything you want it to
do. You ask: what car do I need today? What car do I need for this trip? The answer to
that is remarkably different because most trips are actually you alone and you’re just
going across town. That’s actually most of the travel you do in that big five-passenger
sedan that you came here in today. That makes a huge difference in how much energy we use
for transportation. So much so in fact, that we could reduce the amount of fuel that’s
used, the amount of CO2 by huge amounts. The United States would no longer need to import
oil from overseas. It would still have to buy from Canada, so you can rest a little
easier. The United States has this pesky habit of going to war over the oil it needs from
overseas. You’ve probably seen that. It’s a very bad habit and they should be broken
of it. The idea that software can do that is quite remarkable. Cars, or robots at least,
don’t care how convenient it is to refuel or recharge. That allows you to use all these
alternative fuels, which face this barrier because people can’t tolerate the idea that
they might have to take a long recharge or might have to drive a long distance to get
an alternate fuel. This also has interesting policy consequences.
At first, when I started giving these talks I went around saying “We don’t know if the
governments are going to legalise this, it could be decades before they get around to
it.” The reverse has actually happened. Four states and the District of Columbia in the
United Sates have actually passed laws to enable the technology. This is the first Nevada
licence plate for such vehicles. We’re going to see competition between countries that
want to be the centre of this new auto industry. Singapore, China, India, Israel, they all
compete and try and lead this way. The United States governments are actually waking up
in advance, which surprises me. We’re going to see lots of lobbying. We’re going to see
people with children who don’t want to drive them to practice all the time. We’re going
to see drunk people who want to get wasted and be able to get home easily without worrying
about a DUI. And of course, Jews love this vehicle because there’s nothing Jews enjoy
more than arguing whether it’s legal to ride in car like on Saturday, or not.
Nothing is perfect though, this world might result in the Wall-E world where we don’t
walk anymore to places. That could be a bad sign. And it doesn’t have to be green. Instead
of a tiny little vehicle that’s very efficient you could ask for an RV to follow you everywhere
you go. In fact, why should you have only one RV, why not have six RVs follow you everywhere
you go, and dock and form a house in the parking lot. You could do it, it’s not particularly
green, but it’s possible. You have to worry about how people will abuse everything. Let’s
face it, the military started this and they have other plans, non-civilian plans for this
technology that we should worry about. We also have to worry about how it’s going to
change our cities. It might increase our sprawl or get rid of it. It’s a very difficult thing
to predict. We also have to worry about the consequences to our freedom. If you remember
the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise is riding around in a car like this. This movie pretends
it’s about psychics predicting the future but it’s really about cars that drive themselves.
In this movie this car is driving along and the car says “you have a new destination,
the new destination is the jail.” Well, the police would like a car that does that and
betrays you and takes you to jail, but you might not like that. There are barriers to
this become possible. There’s a fear that people have for whatever reason, people don’t
like being killed by robots. They’d rather be killed by drunks, which is what’s happening
today. That’s a choice we’ll actually have to make as a society. Whether or not we let
cars have accidents because nothing will be perfect and they will have accidents, and
these cars will hurt people. But they’ll hurt fewer people than the driving that we’re doing
today is doing. We as a society will have to get over our fear of the machine if we
want this to happen. There are other people who could get in the way, a profession in
the lower left-hand corner, I won’t name them. As well as of course there is programming
that needs to be done. Let me tell you why I get really excited.
This brings that curve of Moore’s law that Saleem showed you. That constantly increasing,
doubling, exponential curve to transportation. The computer becomes the most important part
of the car, not the engine, not the looks. The system that drives it will be the most
important part of the car. Because of that, that important part, that’s on the Moore’s
law curve that’s the thing that’s getting better at the rate that software and networks
and computers have been getting better, while the rest of the car stays the same. We will
have transportation innovation that’s bought by early adopters. Early adopters are stupid
people with too much money, basically. They will go out and buy the 5S of something just
a few months after they bought the 5 under contract. I see some people in the room who’ve
done it. But they’re wonderful people, because they buy these new technologies, perhaps irrationally,
and get them into the market and fund the innovation and development of these technologies.
Compare that to how we’ve done transportation in the past with municipal administrators.
I apologise to the municipal administrators in the room, you’re lovely people, but you’re
not early adopters, you can’t, it’s not the way your job works, it’s not how you’re paid
to do it. So technologies that are sold from the bottom up with innovation and early adoption
compared to technologies that are designed from the top down, there’s no contest in my
mind if you want to know which one to bet on. The question we should ask ourselves though
is: will this technology get adopted at the speed that old industrial technologies got
adopted? Like electric cars, which are actually 100 years old. Or will it be adopted at the
speed we’ve seen for things like smartphones, like the iPhone, where it appeared and suddenly
the people in Waterloo are completely ignoring it and it takes over their marketplace in
a few years. I’m sorry, I went to school with those guys at RIM, they’re great guys, but
they missed this. This can come on so quickly, it can surprise you in amazing ways. I believe
it’s going to be closer to the iPhone than it was to the electric car.
This is a very important question for Ontario. The reason is that I think that when you have
disruptive technology like this, the old players rarely survive the shift to the new style
of technology. The big companies, the Fords and GMs, even the Toyotas, even the Mercedes
Benz, which is currently the leading car company in this area. These companies may not survive
to the next round. Which means we may see the auto industry go away as it existed today.
That’s a big part of the Ontario economy. However, Ontario has a big advantage over
Michigan. I think Michigan is doomed, so sorry, Michigan. Ontario has a chance because Ontario
is a high-tech sector too. You can recruit people to come and work in Toronto, you can’t
do that in Detroit. But this is going to take a real serious effort if Ontario wants to
maintain the part of its economy that has come from automotive in the past. That’s a
new thing they added to the Ford building, that little sign there saying that they’re
no relation to someone else named Ford. *laughter* These vehicles, as I mentioned, they don’t
have to park. They actually can do what is legally called standing, which means they
can move out of the way if they’re in front of a fire hydrant or a driveway. What that
means is we don’t need all these parking lots that we have built. We have enough capacity
to store the smaller number of cars we’ll have when they’re in taxi mode, dropping you
off and picking someone else. With that capacity we can reclaim huge amounts of land in our
cities. My dream is that occasionally we’ll turn parking lots into parkland. I know mostly
they’ll be turned into office complexes and new roads, but occasionally this will happen.
That will be nice. It’s a bonanza for our cities to see that much land suddenly become
available. The most important element of real estate as everyone knows is location, location,
location. That means that we’re going to see a giant change in the value of real estate
as location becomes different. We also have the ability to reduce the amount of traffic
we spend time in (I don’t have time to spend on that in great detail). I will tell you
one thing, in our society today we have one vital product. So important, so vital to our
lives that you must be able to get it, no matter where you are in 30 minutes or less.
What if you can get anything in 30 minutes, not just a pizza. What if you have delivery
robots that can bring you anything for a few cents a km? What does that mean for retailing?
Wal-Mart has destroyed small retailers, now Wal-Mart will fall prey to online retailers
like Amazon that can get you everything you want in a very short amount of time. The way
cities are designed for retailing is also going to change.
I believe that the time is now for a resolve that parallels Apollo. *Kennedy impression*
And that this nation should commit itself before this decade is out to a computer driving
a man to lunch at noon, and returning him safely to work. *laughter* *applause* Ok not
a great… John F Kennedy said something else about the moon launch. He said that some projects
are worth doing not just because they’re easy but because they’re hard. This is one of those
projects that is hard, but not intractable but has this ability to have this immense
change on our society, which is why I’m working on it and why other people are working on
it as well. I think we’re going to see a remarkable change to transportation, the very core of
what cities are, and thus we’ll see a big change to cities as well. Thank you very much, *applause* Brad Templeton. We’re going to do some Q&A
with you now, I want to point out that what you heard from Brad is kind of an in-depth
look at one area. If you roll that across the 35 or 40 different breakthroughs that
we’re seeing with the same depth of impact what does that do? And this project may be
the biggest change that we see in society in our lifetimes. It will shift completely
the way we think about society. My 3-year old will probably never learn how to drive.
This afternoon later both Leem(?) and I will be in the Discovery theatre where we’re going
to get into more depth on a whole bunch of other topics: robotics and AI and biotech
and some other topics so you can ask about those later as well but we’re open to questions
now. There may be some questions that came via the texting but I prefer to talk to you
in person, so if you’ll come up to the microphone. Or are you all completely beaten into stupor?
I see some folks at the mic there. We’ve got about 4 or 5 minutes for questions, go ahead. Blair Automaka I won’t speak the name of my
employer. In 31 days we’re voting for a choice of three politicians who have pledged to restore
manufacturing jobs. How do we get them to think 10 years ahead and not 5 years ahead? Wait a minute you said politicians right?
Well, that’s incredibly challenging. Politicians of course are looking towards the next election
that can come at any time, and this is a problem. Do you have an answer for that because I don’t
know how to change their minds. One of the issues, and we are starting to
work with government a lot right now, all policy today is formulated defensively and
reactively. We need to formulate it proactively and aggressively to look forward to where
the puck is going to be, rather than trying to look at it defensively and wait till something
happens and then try and react. We ran a workshop, Brad and I and a couple other faculty along
with Deloitte three months ago where we brought together 100 or so of the most influential
Canadians and asked them how will you deal with this future as we merge into this? We’re
looking at trying to do that with governments but it’s hard if you’re in government to deal
with that because you’re dealing with re-elections etc. One of the structural issues we have
with democracy is we’re geared towards short-term high-metabolism thinking. Nobody’s really
thinking about the long term, at least not enough. Things like OCE are critical elements
for things like that. The MPPs don’t understand this but the manufacturing
jobs that went away, they’re not coming back in the way they were. It’s going to be humans
working together with machines, even as Saleem pointed in China the FoxCon company that makes
the iPhones? That company has bought a million or 500,000 robots. It plans to replace a lot
of their Chinese workers, the ones you thought were so cheap and out-competing North American
workers? They are getting replaced by robots. That’s actually good new here because the
robots cost the same to the Chinese as they cost to people in Ontario. So if you’ve got
the knowhow you can make it happen. Next question? Is that mic the only one that’s got a line
there? Oh we have one here… Hello? Jeff Tracy, Venus Cyber Security Corporation.
You mentioned a lot of interesting technologies that are going to make our lives easier, make
everybody’s lives much more straightforward and easy. You’ve only mentioned once or twice
in your presentations both of you the element of cyber security around the technologies.
How do you envision that technology being developed in terms of protecting those… It’s maybe one of the biggest concerns we
have because as we digitize things they become hackable. Our faculty for the track that we
have called Policy Law & Ethics is Mark Goodman who’s the futurist for the FBI. So he has
some amazing stories and scary stories and he thinks about how do terrorists use these
technologies unfettered by regulatory and ethical concerns. It’s one of the biggest
concerns. The reason that we’re optimistic in general is that when we found that a technology
gets opened up like the internet, if you take eBay or Craigslist, you can do fraudulent
transactions as easily as you can a constructive transaction. The ratio, sociologists have
looked at this, the ratio between positive and negative is something like 10,000 to 1.
The vast majority of people do positive things with technology. The problem we’re facing
is the amplitude of the negative is growing and we’re trying to deal with that. We work
with the CIA, the Department of Defense, security agencies around the world to think about how
to look at this future, but there’s no easy answer. I actually give a long lecture on security
and privacy topics during the regular program that we don’t have time for. I think though,
the central question you ask is a mystery. I know how vulnerable our networks and computers
are and they’re tremendously vulnerable. The amazing question I ask myself every day is:
why does the world work? Why is it still working so well and we’re doing so much commerce and
having such good times and being so productive? Remarkably it is because most people are good.
Now, those few bad actors could multiply their effects. Some of you may not know there’s
a thing called a bot net where someone else has taken over your computer and they are
using it to send spam and do denial of service attacks and over 30% of PCs are in these bot
nets, so I want you to look to the person on your right and the person on your left
and it’s not one of them, it’s you. You’re the one sending me all that spam I got so
I’m very annoyed at you. However, we do have to rethink our computer architectures. There’s
no question in my mind. Next question? Last question. Hi, Naomi Cohen representing Ryerson Adapt
Program. Saleem, fashion analysts say that bald is the new afro so I think you’ll be
fine. Alright, you’ve shared so much on all of the changes that have happened and with
the woolly mammoth joining us very soon, how has Singularity looked into preparing our
next generation, especially at the elementary level in public education for these changes? For the educational side we started with graduate
students… Actually we do have more time, we can have
another questions. No we don’t the clock is wrong. Oh the clock is wrong? Ok. I’m getting the hook from over here. Our favourite
joke, actually a Brad joke, is that AI is really easy but AV, really hard. There you
go. For your answer, from an education perspective we’ve focused and we started with graduate
level because having a graduate degree gives you an academic rigor and ability to absorb
the fire-hose of information. The kind of density you heard in our talks is what our
summer students go through for 70 days. So it’s a pretty intense program. We are looking
now at how you roll this down to younger children and most interestingly, if you look at age
group 8 — 11, it seems to be the right age to get a kid inspired about technology. Once
you get into the teen years their hormones are driving them for five or six years, you’ve
kind of lost them anyway. In terms of the younger kids, it’s a critical element. Our
approach was first let’s go with the graduate students, and when we select we have 4000
applicants from 120 countries fighting over 80 slots every summer. It’s one of those,
if I applied I’d never get in, type of thing. We’re looking for who will be running these
countries in the next 10 or 20 years. So that’s our first effort. The second thing we’re doing
is saying, ok let’s have them launch projects that demonstrate and inspire this new future
so that we can get that out there because we think you can learn best by actually doing.
So we try and get them to launch projects and push the edge of this so that we can have
a nuanced discussion about robotic cars and not the freak out discussion in the video
I showed you. Third level is now we’re looking at where do we get to younger and younger
students. We don’t have a clear grasp on that yet. Our programs don’t lend themselves to
an online environment as easily as we could, although we release a lot of our lectures
for free online. I will say, by the way, one topic we track
quite intently is the potential for AI to actually get involved in education and build
systems that can actually teach children through computers in a way that understands how the
child is doing, can understand what they’re having trouble with, if they’re moving forward.
You’re already seeing in a number of efforts from Saul Kahn at the Khan Academy of course
Sarah and Udacity (??) which is founded by Sebastian Throonhough who I worked with on
this Google car project, to build new types of education which flip the way education
is done, having lectures be on video tape from the best lecturers possible and then
having the personal guidance from the teacher be one at a time with the students rather
than the other way around. We think this model is going be expanded when AI is actually able
to give students personal guidance and the slogan becomes: one teacher per child, not
one laptop per child, if you’re familiar with that project. But one teacher per child. This
is something that might come into fruition probably within another decade. And just in terms of that, if we went back
10 years ago we had about 400million connected devices on the internet. Today we have 8billiion
connected devices. By the end of this decade it will be 50 billion. Then about a decade
after we’ll get to a trillion. We think we’re 30, 40 years into the information revolution.
On that metric going from 8billion to a trillion we’re about 1% of the way there. Literally,
all of these 5billion people that are coming online will have one of these. This is the
Canadian Akosh Indian tablet, that’s a 1Gb Android tablet with a phone and it’s $35.
It’s dropping in price 50% a year. In a few years we’ll be giving these out in cereal
boxes because you will not be able to sell anything to those 5bilion people online without
one of these. That’s the biggest marketplace mankind has ever seen, 3billion new minds
coming online by the end of this decade. You want to talk about an entrepreneurial opportunity,
that’s it. …standing there with the hook I believe,
so thank you very much for your attention. *applause* Thank you Brad and Saleem for enlightening
us for new ways to think about the world and the future of technology. You presented us
with some amazing ideas and challenges that will no doubt play a huge role in shaping
our future, including how we work and play, the way we think about ourselves, and how
we can contribute to making this a better world. This has been an excellent beginning
to this year’s Discovery. I’m now honoured to introduce Deputy General Yousung Yong who
will say a few words on behalf of our delegates from China. Please join me in welcoming Deputy
General Yong. *applause* Yong speaks Chinese. Transcription is that
of translator. Thank you ladies and gentlemen I am pleased
and honoured to attend the Discovery conference. On behalf of the Torch Centre of the Chinese
Ministry of Science and Technology and on behalf of the entire Chinese delegation I
would like to extend sincere congratulations on the successful opening of the conference.
In today’s world of innovation, globalization, new breakthroughs are being made every day
in terms of knowledge creation, technology innovation, and industrial revolution. China,
the world’s largest developing country, has been following the policy of reform and opening
up for 30 years. We have been very eager to learn from developed countries in terms of
advanced practices of economic development and science technology innovation. China has
scientific cooperation agreements with over 100 countries around the world and our Torch
Centre has partnership with innovation organizations with tens of innovation organizations around
the world. The cooperation between China and Canada has become stronger than ever.
The Discovery conference is a premium platform in Canada for innovation exhibition and exchange.
It is also an important platform for innovation cooperation between China’s Ministry of Science
and Technology and the Ontario government. Today’s conference showcases cutting-edge
technologies, R&D achievements, and high tech products across different sectors in Canada.
It brings together universities, research institutes, startups, investors, from both
countries. We hope China and Canada can deepen cooperation
exchanges to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation. We hope that through talent exchange, technology
transfer, joint research, and investment, we can bring advanced technologies from Canada
to China. We also encourage Chinese companies to invest here. With our joint efforts I believe
we will unleash huge potential and make more achievements.
Finally, I wish the Discovery conference a complete success. Thank you very much. *applause* Thank you Deputy General Yong. On behalf of
OCE’s board of directors I want to say how much we value your comments and your participation
in Discovery this year. We’re also very pleased to have here at Discovery partners from Alberta
representing our recently announced Alberta Ontario innovation program. We also have partners
Quebec who OCE is working with on the Ontario Quebec Life Sciences Corridor Initiative.
Let me now take this opportunity to acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors. In particular
I want to thank Omers, for sponsoring the Young Entrepreneur Zone, the University of
Waterloo sponsoring our Ask an Expert area, AMD for sponsoring our lunch on day two of
Discovery, Deloitte for helping us bring Singularity University to Discovery, and IBM for sponsoring
the Big Data Analytic Zone. I’m now pleased to announce the opening of the show floor.
If you haven’t yet please sign on to Twitter and let your followers know what’s going on
at this year’s Discovery by using the hashtag #ocediscovery. I look forward to seeing you
all again this evening, thank you very much.