Farsighted looks toward a safe self-driving world and the very unsafe Westworld (Farsighted, Ep. 2)
And welcome to Farsighted.
I'm your host, Eric Mack, and it is the waning days of November.
There's just one month left in 2016.
And so far, it's been a year dominated by Well some pretty wild politics but if you can get past all those headlines it was actually a really big year for the kind of technology we like to watch here at FarSighted.
Now I know the events of 2016 have changed The vision many people had in their heads of what the next five, ten years might look like [UNKNOWN].
But no matter where your head is at right now one thing 2016 has showed us is that life in, say, 2026 is a lot more likely to involve self driving cars and [UNKNOWN] technology that will move us and our stuff around.
So This seems to be the year that this technology was being mostly hyped to, dare I say, mostly inevitable.
We've got self-driving Ubers, we've got self-driving big rigs, we've got autonomous Teslas.
And that's really just To name a few.
An even bigger signal that this stuff is the real deal comes in the fact that there's an emerging ecosystem around this technology and companies trying to figure out how we'll weave it into daily life in the future in a way that makes sense and is safe.
And so for today, we've actually pulled in one of the folks who is doing that work.
That you'll probably appreciate in the not quite too distant future.
So please let's welcome our guest there in studio in San Francisco, Paul Sakamoto the COO of Safari.
Thank you Eric.
How are you doing Paul?
So this is a company that's
[INAUDIBLE] Working on all the other stuff that we need to connect not just to our cars.
But also to our cities and to their environments.
So that all kind of works together.
And works [UNKNOWN].
Is that a fair description?
What would you say is your mission over this?
Larger time scale.
Autonomous vehicles are great.
The whole idea of having a bunch of essentially robot cars.
But they don't become really, truly effective until they're all connected.
If you kind of think of the real promise of having autonomous vehicles it'd be not having them be little islands of self-driving self-awareness but actually to be coordinated in their driving So that they are actually much greater than a human driver could ever be, because one quick example, they come to a stop light, a bunch of cars are stopped, and if you want them to all get going today, even if you have an autonomous vehicle, it's gonna wait for the car in front of it to move before it moves.
If they're all connected they can all just take off at the same time and it seems like a small thing But if you think about the amount of efficiency that you gain in both throughput and safety and especially energy conservation, it's tremendous.
It's one small example.
So what do you envision all the technology is going to mean, for us about ten years down the road?
Are you of the mind that we're going to do away with human driven cars, eventually?
How long we looked at that transition, or is this more, just going to be kind of a technology that just doesn't go mainstream quite as soon?
Well not only as the market evolving a lot, Eric, but also the way that we're even thinking about the market evolves as time goes by
And it's very geocentric.
For instance in the United States that's gonna evolve a lot differently than it does in say Malaysia or Japan or some other area.
I think you can look at the different regions of the world and you can think of some places are already very very comfortable with much more of a public transportation or mass transportation kind of mentality.
And ownership of a private vehicle is actually something that is uncommon, right?
And so in those areas, we think autonomous technology will just immediately take off and be of great benefit and rapid market And over.
In areas like the United States there's gonna be both regional and market differences across the nation.
If you can imagine, once again, a New York City much more likely to be a rapid take off.
San Fransisco, same thing.
Out in the middle of the United States maybe not so much because their needs are a little different and the market Mentality is a lot in each of those areas and maybe actually the real need to have independent transportation might be a lot different out there in the middle of the Atlanta than it is in populated area.
And so your company Subaru actually, correct me if I'm wrong but you signed some sort of a deal in china right?
What are you doing over there?
How this different there?
Well, we've engaged the largest car manufacture in china which is
Shanghai automotive corp or as they call themselves SAIC.
So SAIC is a joint venture, in a joint venture with some of the major OEM car makers like General Motors and others to manufacture those types of vehicles in China.
Both the brands that I mentioned and their own SAIC brand.
We're using them as our distributor in China, and also as our partner to help penetrate the Chinese market.
Which is great because in China for instance, as an example of a different market, you do have to have some amount over government cooperation in order to have anything like this be successful.
And SCIC is a private-public cooperative company, sort of a A joint venture company between government and private sectors.
Okay, so lay it out for me, what is this going to look like?
For example, you and I had a conversation about an hour ago as you were on your way to the studio there in San Francisco.
You were stuck in traffic And we're talking about being active and point of view, to be where everyone else was, how is that journey different in the future if everything you guys are working on **** it.
Well in that future let's say it's the 2026 vision you are talking about
Instead of having a sort of an estimate of time that ends up being off by a factor of two to contest San Francisco to make that journey from Silicon Valley up here.
The estimate wouldn't be, an estimate, that would be a direct forecast and be accurate to the minute.
They are absolutely, it'd be like A train in Europe, or something.
It wouldn't be like getting in a car today, and taking a journey.
I think, at a very high level, that the predictability of transportation, the safety of it, would completely change, as well as the productivity, because I wouldn't have to sit there looking at the license plate in front of me, as I'm traveling along.
I could be doing some actual work, work And you'd probably have cars that are a lot better at doing their job than I am.
I forgot to introduce everyone else [CROSSTALK].
So let's throw it to questions from you guys.
I forgot to introduce you guys.
Of course you've got Kelsey Adams [UNKNOWN] Jeff Bruckman and also joining us from Sydney, Australia, over the Google Hangout is Boot Lancaster.
Hi guys, sorry I forgot [UNKNOWN].
Go ahead and jump in.
I was wondering, we usually talk about smart cars in th context of sort of smart cities, at least when I think about smart cars it's usually
In a large group, as you were saying, maybe approaching a light or as part of an integrated network.
And there have been contests to try and design smart cities and so on.
And so I'm really interested in this question of how you would take this technology to rural areas here or in China.
Could you say more about that?
The technology actually applies across all of these different situations.
I think the way that you would wanna coordinate traffic and use energy more efficiently or even clear the path for emergency service vehicles in a city is fairly straightforward.
You'd have control or priority established between the car communication and communicating with the stop lights, etc.
And also through the traffic management centers, which look like a big War room like in the movies.
These things really exist.
But I think out in the country it's a little less obvious sometimes, but the way that it plays out is you can use this same technology to locally broadcast road conditions.
For instance, we could actually transmit a condition of ice, or a slick road, or something that's hidden from a viewer like
If you're traveling through a canyon road and it's out there in the middle of nowhere, if a proper transponder was located at that blind corner where there might be ice and you wouldn't see it, instead of hitting an ice patch at 60 miles an hour, you would understand you need to slow down to a near crawl.
And therefore, avoid a potentially very bad accident.
One example, there's actually active programs that are going on now out in some rural areas to actually have programs where in the middle of the United States, they end up with a lot of accidents which are, believe it or not, crosswinds blowing semi trucks off the road.
And so, having a sensor that could actually say, okay we've got a 60 mile-an-hour crosswind coming, when you come down out of the pass
Slow it down to about 20 miles an hour and crawl, or else you're going over, buddy, is a message that could be broadcast back up the traffic chain with enough warning so that the trucker could avoid that accident.
By the time they can sense that on they're own, they're already down.
So it's an issue that
The number of trucks blown over in Wyoming is tens of incidents per year.
I was stunned.
Yes, I actually saw a video the other day.
I was just watching stuff and it was just, somebody's dash cam video of a semi in front of them and you can just see it starting and starting and then just [SOUND].
That sounds like a problem we could fix already, before self driving cars, right?
We just need sensors and communications
Well a particular censor technology that we use today where we envision a roadmap of different radio technologies.
The actual algorithms and the idea, putting little black box on every car.
Actually, our box is silver.
To give you idea, black box in every car.
And then they don't run to each other or they can be
Message as far as issue go is something that we could technically do today.
Most of the hurdles have to do with economics and regulation, and the usual friction to life that we categorically encounter.
Can you tell us a little bit of the devices that
that pick up signals from the traffic lights.
So basically all the cars are just kind of telling each other where they are, right?
And then, so they avoid each other
and so that they can also that helps to to find it helps to tell a driver when there might be traffic and stuff up a head or something
Well the number 1
Mission of the vehicle to vehicle communication or v to v as we call it is to give each car whether it's being driven by a robot driver or if it's being driven by a human driver about a three second warning that another vehicle app is about to intersect it.
Now you'd think well, a lot of those things you can already see.
You can use radar, you can use lidar.
But specifically because this technology can cover a 360 degree field around the car, means that when you're pulling out from say, a blind corner.
Like from behind a van parked in front of your driveway, or near your driveway,
Or some other kind of circumstance.
It can see around that corner.
That's the main advantage of this, is being able to see around blind corners for safety.
Now, for the infrastructure case, communicating to the roadside unit, that's got a safety piece which has to do with communicating conditions, as I said, but also on more common Inside a city like in a smart city application we're talking about.
It doesn't matter if you have an autonomous vehicle or a human driven vehicle.
You can get information to the driver of the car, once again, robotic or human, that tells it okay, the stop light is at this particular phase and it's got so many seconds to go to either turn red, green, amber, whatever.
We can also do the emergency service vehicle preemption, where the ambulance is coming through, shutdown traffic on all the cross streets.
Which is a function, that once again, they have a rudimentary version today, but it's what we call line of sight, right?
There's a beacon that goes out, triggers the next stoplight, but it doesn't
Clear the whole road.
So as a result, it doesn't fix the problem for the whole route to the hospital, the fire, or whatever.
It's a much different kind of last generation sort of technology.
So those are just a couple examples, and then there's lots of others.
One thing that people Probably don't know about is we've already prototyped and demonstrated with the US department of transportation, a cellphone base text so you would have like pedestrian or tablet cellphone, so here's a quick pitch for why cellphones are a great sensor Today most of you CNET watchers listeners, if you were to leave your wallet at home, you might not go back for it.
If you're to leave your phone-
At home you probably would go back for it because you're in a horrible state, if you don't have your phone.
So what we've already done is, as shown that we can actually use a phone as a sensor for a pedestrian
Keeping in mind thousands of pedestrians are run over each year.
And actually use that to communicate with the infrastructure and say, you're about to step into a busy street, don't do that.
And I think we read in the paper maybe once a month or so someone does that.
Also we could signal a vehicle that's approaching that they're about to run over
Maybe a preoccupied pedestrian.
I'm gonna be generous.
[LAUGH] That's very cool.
So, I wonder if there's when you're kinda building your environment network of sensors.
So that these vehicles are always aware of the environment.
How do you kinda build in?
Some of the more unpredictable factors.
I'm thinking like wildlife or.
We also recently published a piece on CNET about how a lot of drivers are excited for self driving cars.
That they wanna mess with them, or **** with them like cut them up on purpose and stuff.
How do you prepare for those kind of factors?
Well my general statement is don't, never let the great be the enemy of the good, right?
I think the US DOT is estimating they can cut down traffic deaths by about 80% by complete installation of this technology.
We're killing about 35,000 people a year so I think Be, the 20 some odd thousand people that are saved, that's worth saving.
Not to mention the million injuries.
But to back up to those other things, this is not a replacement technology for every other sensor that can go into a car.
It's one of a number of sensor technologies.
So if you can imagine the car of the future, the 2026 car that we're talking about, would have Radar, it will have LIDAR, which is the laser version of radar.
And it will have also echo location.
It will have cameras of course, cameras everywhere, probably 360 degrees around the car of cameras.
And any other sensor that we can come up with including this one so that we can actually Beyond human sense for the car, and I think that that's the car of the future.
So we're absolutely looking at things like the deer.
Okay the deer would be pegged not by the radio technology but it would actually We found by the Lidar and the Radar in the camera that those three would take a look at it, there'd be what's called a fusion sensor, or sensor fusion computing program located in the car.
And it would make a decision about whether that was a real image or not, what the urgency is, and a bunch of other factors, and take appropriate action.
Or recommend appropriate action If a human is still driving the car.
So that's the net of it.
And then this communication technology could be used to send that information back to the car behind you.
Which would be, perhaps, key information, depending on how tightly the traffic is packed.
So it's going to be amazing.
I'm curious what this sounds like to Luke.
I don't know.
Luke, can you hear me?
Okay so I was told when I was in Australia that they have a much stronger car culture there than we do here and here we sort of have a tradition as a sign of independence, right, and adulthood and so forth.
So I"m just wondering what this sounds like to you Luke.
We definitely do have a car culture but that's because I guess we've got the space for driving.
In a city I could definitely see something like this, especially because we have a very strong public transport culture, as well.
Like, buses and trains.
I guess that would be my question about this.
In terms of shaping public attitude is it easy to sell to your average driver to do this as something that's based around public transport first?
Actually that is something that's happening now.
A lot of the early projects for autonomous driving that include connected cars Client connected vehicles rather are taking places with some of the Uber pilots and other things where they're looking at different ways to connect the cars, they're looking at a bunch of varieties of technology.
They're using autonomous vehicle technologies primarily to supplant their drivers which are their cost center And I think the best thing about the public transportation is unlike private ownership, you can very very tightly scope the mission of the vehicle and that's actually important for success.
If you think about it, cutting down the checklist to things you have to do with an automist vehicle, tremendously increases your chances of success with it and so, yeah, you can imagine I'm only gone as do this Ten blocks of downtown San Francisco during these hours of daylight, and if it rains, forget it.
Makes it a much easier task to do than if you're saying, I'm gonna let any Tom, ****, or Harry have their autonomous vehicle and try to break it.
Which is, I think you mentioned earlier, is that something people will try to do?
Well, I think everyone talks about that guy who Managed to Darwinize himself with the Tesla car.
And that's going to happen.
That's going to be happening.
There will always be someone who is somehow going to overcome few thousand PhD [INAUDIBLE] of work that go into the safety systems.
And then we'll.
Pack another few years of energy into it.
I mean, people have been doing that with regular cars for years.
Dukes of Hazzard, I mean, they're flipping cars over jumps and stuff.
[LAUGH] So people are gonna do that stuff no matter what.
People are [UNKNOWN].
People like to be daredevils.
Yeah, I think what we're trying to do is, I think it'd be a little ambitious are arrogant to even say we're gonna eliminate traffic death, but we're gonna manage them down a lot.
That's what some of the major car manufacturers have been saying though.
They want to eliminate traffic deaths completely by 2020 I think was the year.
You think that's a realistic number or a realistic year?
I think I would say that there's what someone says like that I think is a goal, right?
If he, let me jump sideways, clean out attack and go to Management Theory.
You have to have a BHAG, right?
A Big Hairy Audacious Goal, I think that's theirs, and I wish them, and I'm not kind of bet against them, good luck with that.
But at the same time, people are safer driving than flying but are usually more afraid of flying because we don't like to feel out of control, right, we don't like to feel helpless.
I think there's a lot of people that way but I think ir's changing.
If you look at the dynamic from say, 40 years ago even, versus today, I think it's shifted quite a bit.
I think when you look at the dynamic of The desire, or the car culture, you know, people wanting to have their own independence and have their own car and drive whatever way they please you know, kinda being scofflaws and saying the speed limit is a serving suggestion.
You know, that's when I was a kid and now today, I have to say millennials, like my children, they're like driving is kinda optional.
It'd be nice if I had a nicer car, but frankly, I just need to get from here to there.
And I think it's a generation that's much more prone to start that trend, so to say I didn't really want a car.
I wanted transport, right?
And I think that's a key market change And it's not gonna happen everywhere at the same time.
It'll be uneven I go to say I drove home from Tahoe this weekend and I wanted an autonomous car badly.
I was tired, I was telling my wife, I'm like if my car can drive me I wouldn't have to worry about, I'm staring off into the woods.
And the robot wouldn't do that, or the autonomous car wouldn't do that.
It would be paying attention the whole time.
So yeah I mean.
I hope your wife took the wheel at this point.
Yeah so I can't wait.
I can't wait.
So we do have somebody in the chatroom asking, why do we need self-driving cars in the first place?
And saying the tech has replaced a lot of middle class jobs and is this a threat?
Would anybody like to just Just take on that basic question.
Why do we need these?
I mean, I've talked a lot, but I continue to talk if you like.
Yeah if you like.
Yeah, so this is something that you look at.
In the US, maybe there's three and a half million jobs here, directly dependent on driving.
And would those jobs be affected?
Initially, and there's probably actually more drivers.
And the reason is, is cuz you look at every autonomous pilot that's come out so far, and what do they have?
They have another driving actually sitting there in the driver's position, ready to take over if the autonomous system fails.
So temporarily, I don't think that there's an issue, probably for years and years.
Now eventually there's gonna be certain classes, you know when you break through in certain areas and certain market segments you're gonna be affected more than others, maybe certain aspects [UNKNOWN] might get affected but I think the same that we're gonna push back [UNKNOWN] vehicles as something that's gonna reduce a certain number of jobs In the trucking industry, for instance, is to say, well why didn't they push back on triple hookups for trailers?
Right, cuz they were running one third less trucks all of a sudden.
No one, they didn't hear trucker strikes over driving that.
I think there's all sorts of issues and I think that it won't be an overnight thing where all of a sudden 3 and a half million people are out of a job.
I think that this is going to be a very gradual transition into each of these segments.
And you're going to find, for instance, all truckers won't get taken over for years and years.
That's why I think unlike some other things, it's not like a factory closing, right?
It's not like saying we're gonna move 20,000 jobs out of Detroit and in to Mexico.
It's a lot different.
I think over time it changes.
Which probably doesn't completely fix it for everybody.
But I think it's, I would put it in the natural evolutionary kind of notion of job changes and job market changes vs.
overnight someone made a decision and killed 3 million jobs.
Yeah, so any final thoughts Paul, in terms of Not just where you think we're going with this kind of technology in our cars, but also in our cities.
Anything you wanna add?
Sure, I think that by the time that this actually happens, a lot of things that we've experienced, whether it's consumer items, like HDTV and things,
We were able to do it a long time before we had it.
And I think that that's the case.
We were actually able to do, actually all of this stuff.
The tech already exists, it's already had millions of miles of road test.
Particularly the connected vehicle tech.
I think, let me pull up a couple of things.
We already have a thousand of things installed in test beds across the United States and in other places in China and other locations.
And this is the thing that communicates with the car and the traffic signal, or back to the traffic management center, whatever you're doing.
And can relay messages around to the other vehicles in the traffic stream as to road conditions, etc.
It's called a roadside unit.
And these are available for a thousand-ish a piece kind of level and the price is going to go down.
It's definitely one of those things that the price goes in half every couple years.
And so it'll be essentially something that's easily made ubiquitous.
When we look at this box here, this is actually not even our latest one.
This is the little box that goes in every car.
The eventual price of this is gonna be a few tens of dollars that goes in every car.
So if you think about the impact of this, social priority, etc., I'm frankly a little conservative on that.
So normally I wouldn't say it this way, but actually it's one of the few places where government could come in, do a mandate now, save thousands of lives within the next five years.
And they gonna have a tough time doing it.
Right, so the vehicle the vehicle communication the vehicle there everything communication is something for a few billion bucks and some effort we can probably save thousands of lives and if you think about other ways that we spend money that don't do that I think that's a, is shame and hopeful everyone who kinda Starts asking the questions about why we don't and that plus autonomous vehicles, think about 80% times the 35,000 people in United States per year.
Let's think about 80% times the, I think it's actually closer to a couple million people who are killed or seriously injured.
In the, in the world.
In traffic accidents and taking that number down by even a more modest amount, it's, it's actually, I think it's an imperative that we all get behind those and, and back autonomous and connective driving.
And, and the devices here you're showing us there's gonna be standards in cars pretty soon right.
The function will be standard in cars.
The fact is that most of the power of this is located in a, right now say a dozen IC's and it gets shrunk into a couple of IC's.
There's some ambitious projects that have reduced it already.
I think very much that the Physical contents gonna be subsumed into the overall vehicle computing and communication architecture.
And that the remaining thing, and one of the things that we specialize in, is actually all of the artificial intelligence and the algorithm That determine the hard part which is, are you going to run into that car or not?
Think about being in the traffic jam I was just in, we have to filter thousands of messages per second and determine which three are the ones coming from cars that are going to potentially harm you.
And that's the thing that will continue to evolve also.
I'm really glad that you're working on this and I think we're all really excited to see where it goes and it's great to meet the person who got our safety definitely at heart or one of them at least.
And I wish you success and I'm excited to see where it goes so I would be watching.
Thank you very much.
I think, we are gonna take a quick break, and then come back, maybe, talk about Westworld.
I don't know if you're a Westworld fan, Paul, but you're welcome to stick around and join the conversation.
Or, if you need to get on down the road, please feel free.
Well, thanks for asking, and thanks for having me here
You got it.
Yeah, we'll take a little break and be right back, guys.
Welcome back to Farsighted.
I'm Eric back here in New Mexico.
We've still got Sophie Adams, Jeff Sparkman, and Stephen Beacham there in the studio in San Francisco.
And Luke Lancaster joining us from.
At Australia in Sydney.
And so we started off our show with a few technical glitches.
But if there's one place where you really don't want to run into technical glitches it is the world of Westworld, HBO's latest hit sci-fi series And if you don't know, really quick synopsis, the basic idea is an amusement park, maybe in the near future, that is populated by incredibly life-like robots That you can do all kinds of things too.
[LAUGH] But in theory, you're relatively safe from them as long as the code remains stable and stuff.
Well, you gotta watch to find out.
The season finale is.
Coming up on Sundays, and I think everyone here but Steven's seen something so this is really just a seminar to bring Steven up to speed.
I haven't seen anything.
And interestingly it's based off a film from the 1970s.
And some of you guys think, so you know, the 1970s, it's not actually a very good film, by the way It's basically more what you would imagine robots to be in the 1970s, just kind of these metal tin cans with really well done layer of skin over them, I guess.
And now the more modern version is Flesh and blood robots that are basically 3D printed, I think.
But I always found it interesting that the show [INAUDIBLE]
whereas I think if the show were based on something more contemporary, it seems like it would just take place in virtual reality.
Am I the only person that thought that?
You think it's a virtual reality, like a dream?
The whole show is a dream?
Now, the show takes place in a physical amusement park in the west.
But I think it takes place that way because it's based off a 1970s movie when they didn't even have virtual reality back then.
But it seems like this concept winged itself some much more then virtual reality.
I love the way I've derailed this conversation already.
Well, then if half the point of going to these places to have sex doesn't it make more sense to have solid objects?
Sure, if you're into solid objects.
Yeah but, [UNKNOWN] or just a really good body suit.
[UNKNOWN] anybody, anybody.
So it's all about the nerves.
Anyway, let's just talk about the show.
What do you guys think of the first season so far?
I'll shut up.
Well, I'm only caught up through episode four.
I just wanna go back to that, of the whole virtual reality thing.
And I guess this is kind of what I think about the show as well.
There's a whole sort of creating life element to the people who built the park.
And like, there's a physicality to that, you know?
And like they're making people, essentially.
So I don't know if the whole virtual reality thing plays in to that.
No, I think that's fair.
I think I just watch and it seems like logistically just it would be so much easier if it were literally just those.
Unlike much easier to turn off when, if, if things go poorly.
Luke says that like he's never seen a holodeck episode.
[LAUGH] Those things never break.
So yes, yeah I'm super into the show, I'm in deep.
We've got our water cooler catchups, which we haven't had in the office for ages.
So Luke, can I ask you-
Right, it's like Game of Thrones level.
And it's kind of the quick whip around, who's up to date, who's up to date so you don't spoil anything.
So, can I ask you, what makes it-
Go ahead, Kelsey.
What makes it special is cuz I'm hearing a lot about this show.
People keep telling me I need to watch it, it's so good but I, okay, I don't wanna sound horribly dated here but I feel like anybody who's been reading science fiction, watching science fiction their whole lives has seen all the basic plots and questions before.
Like what's really a person?
What's really free will?
Can you really allow that the dehumanizing to her and a robot and, you know what I mean?
It's just seems like I'm just wondering what makes this one particularly great?
Or different or something?
I don't know if anything particularly does.
I'm a pretty big sci-fi nerd myself and they're not new issues but they're done in a really entertaining Way, I guess.
It's quite well made.
It's a very well made show.
And it seems to be a show the production value is through the roof and it does a really good job of hitting that in the serialized TV HBO format which I think has sucked a lot of people in.
And it kinda like the Game of Thrones thing.
That doesn't do anything you in terms of fantasy but people have jumped on it because For a mass audience that might not be huge fantasy fans you know.
And that's kind of a cool aspect of it, a meta aspect of it which is not completely unique.
But the fact that the characters are in a fantasy world within the fantasy world that you're watching.
I kind of find that appealing in it.
It's a lot of popular [UNKNOWN] kind of a prestige TV right now in terms of those constant twist and turns and uncertainties and surprises [UNKNOWN] done particularly well.
[CROSSTALK] the first Go ahead.
Sorry, I didn't realize you were still talking, you sounded a little bit odd.
I was just wondering if you guys have favorite characters, like are you sucked in on a personal level?
Or is it more about the ride, the experience?
I think it's more kind of the narrative for me rather than any specific characters.
It hasn't been revealed yet, but I'm pretty sure there are several different timelines happening, and it's kind of piecing that together as the show unfolds.
It's really interesting for me.
And that's something that I just kind of seemed to realize over the last couple weeks.
And people had to point it out, because I'm kind of dense when it comes to this.
I think time is like an added dimension to the whole thing.
And that they're going out of the way to not make it obvious, we think.
We're not quite sure.
But I've also noticed in terms of characters, and Luca and Jeff, you can tell me what you think, but it's another one similar to Game of Thrones, where you're not really sure who's good Good or really if there are any good guys, good gals involved.
And so far the ones that do seem to be potentially the protagonist or worth rooting for also seem maybe to make just terrible decisions and not be super Great.
Hard to root for many of them.
Poor James Marsden, every episode-
He gets put through the ringer.
So Jeff, if I understand right, you watched maybe the first two.
What are your impressions?
I like it a lot, I went and watch another two episodes last night instead of sleeping and it's just, it's interesting just to watch all of this kind of like unfold and like unravel but then also kinda like twist around and And I tend to kind of have a short attention span these days so the fact that I was able to keep paying attention seem like a good thing.
I just, it occurred to me that I feel like Michael Crayton must have really just hated the hell of out Disneyland.
Well I mean yeah, cuz i was just trying to describe this, and I'm like well it's sort of like Jurassic Park, but with cowboy robots.
And then I'm like well, it kind of is.
Not the series, but the basic premise of the original movie.
And then I'm like, well why does Michael Crichton have all these Theme parks that just go horribly awry, like you just had a really crappy time waiting at the Matterhorn or something.
[LAUGH] His childhood must have been pretty interesting.
So RD makes a good point in the chatroom.
And I wonder if this is kind of why it's hard to find many Characters to root for in that show, cuz our proxies in the show are the people that are going to the amusement park.
And they're kinda by definition all self-absorbed rich kids.
So that makes it difficult to find somebody to relate to in the show for a lot of people.
But I agree with Luke, the production values And the storytelling still make it worthwhile, even thought it's been kind of hard to get invested in the main character.
But that's kind of similar to the Game of Thrones as well, right?
I still haven't watched it yet.
[LAUGH] You never watched Game of Thrones?
Do you not deal with [UNKNOWN]?
I'm that guy.
Yes, yes, yeah
So you were saying, Jeff?
I was just saying I'm like the one guy who still hasn't watched it yet.
But you can certainly make a great show about terrible people [CROSSTALK] That's no question about that.
Didn't Quentin Tarantino,
Quentin Tarantino just had a movie about terrible people all in one room?
I forget what it was called.
Quentin Tarantino had a movie, you're saying.
What was it called, Luke?
I don't know.
Yeah, like it's very much an along for the ride show for me rather than picking individual characters to root for.
And I think that's okay because it's not getting bogged down in
A lot of those character focus moments, like it is keeping the narrative moving even if it teasing it out really, painfully slowly.
Right, I agree.
Well, you know it's Westworld and if you haven't checked it out I definitely recommend it.
First season wraps up on Sunday on HBO.
We're about out of time, but before we go, I'm wondering if any of you guys had any kind of pop culture things that you're into right now, or that you're looking forward.
And [UNKNOWN], if you want to go around the table, anybody got anything?
Just on the weird Western note, reading East of West, the comic.
It's kind of a postapocalyptic thing about the Four Horsemen and the end of the world, set in the future.
It's really weird, but if you're into Westworld, I'd also say check out East of West.
Awesome, where do you find that?
Comic ships everywhere.
It's a comic book.
And you know what else you can buy as a comic book?
Luke Skyone, it's called Badguys.
I do, I do write a comic called the Badguys.
You should check that out as well, just to shamelessly plug.
Sweet, all right.
Anyone else, final thoughts, final recommendations?
Well, there's a big crossover thing this week with Arrow
The Flash, NBC Legend so that's happening and I'm really busy being terrible at Overwatch personally.
What about you, Jess?
I've been doing a whole bunch of nothing lately.
That's my new hobby.
I have two kids, I don't really have time to do anything.
Except, sleep, so that's about it.
I don't watch tv really, except for Raiders.
Well, that was the wrong thing to say.
In 2026, people will still be fighting over sports.
I'll give a nod to Arrival although I would have liked to seen it shortened by about 20 minutes but I think a lot of people, if they're into the same thing we're into would enjoy it.
So, check that out and as we go out the door I'll also give shameless Plug to a feature I'm working on for CNET that I spoke to former Apple CEO, John Sculley and for one he's the guy in between Steve Jobs.
The two times And for once, didn't actually talk about Apple a whole lot.
He's working on some really interesting project to also deal with future technologies.
And so that will be coming up on CNet in the next week or so, and you'll wanna check it out, if for no reason other than to hear his prediction of how old Steven's children will live to be, and I think you'll Find it surprising.
And that entire generation.
Not just Stephen's children.
He doesn't know Stephen's children personally.
So check that out.
And I think that's our show for today.
Top of the hour.
It's probably almost time for lunch in Australia.
So I want to say thank you to Luke Lancaster in Australia.
And also to our guest, Paul Sakamoto from Safari.
Thank you so much for stopping by.
And also for Kelsey, Adam, and [INAUDIBLE] in the studio see the [INAUDIBLE] behind the controls.
[INAUDIBLE] Burton feel better, we'll see you next time.
Farsighted, thanks for watching.
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