'Farsighted' looks on the technological bright side of 2016 (Farsighted, Ep 3)
Good afternoon and welcome to Farsighted, CNet's show about what is just around the corner and beyond.
I am your host Eric Mack and I'm joined in the studios there in beautiful San Francisco at CNET by Jeff Sparkman, the man dealing to a poker table full of ghosts and Stephen Beacham behind the controls there.
Which camera, that one.
And so we're here today to talk about the year that was, the year that's
2016, recently there's been a lot of ink and pixels declaring 2016 the year of humanity's discontent.
And it's tough to deny in the realm of geopolitics at least, when we're talking about pretty awful conflicts, in places like Syria, acts of terrorism worldwide, the discontented casting votes for Brexit and Donald Trump
And [UNKNOWN] is feeling high anxiety over their victories.
But look, the world went on, and so did some important work in the areas of science and innovation.
In fact, if you sweep the ugly parts of 2016 under the rug, and then check the place out, I swear it's not too shabby.
What really makes 2016, in my view, Is the Buick.
It overlooks the future which believe it or not is much more bright and exciting than it appeared 12 months ago.
Not everyone there at the table agrees with me.
But today we're going to talk about some of the events of 2016 that will have a lasting and positive impact, five, ten, even 100 years in the future.
We'll also discuss a few other things that we're looking forward to in 2017 and In fact let's start right now with the one thing in 2016.
They were actually still looking forward to which is Rogue One a Star Wars story.
But first let's say hey to the guys.
It's a ship of fools here with the men behind the controls.
How it's going Steven Jeff?
[LAUGH] Good good Ola.
Yeah, we actually had, our two regular co-hosts are sick today.
So we hope you feel better Kelsey and Bonnie.
It's a bummer that you're not here.
[LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] We're wrapping up the year.
They're just saving up energy for Rogue One
Tonight and tomorrow.
Exactly, I'm pretty sure that.
And we also want to say to everyone else who's watching on Live Stream or YouTube.
We've got the chat rooms open.
It's livestream/cnet/farsighted and if you go to youtube/cnet you can find the farsighted link there if you want to get into the chat rooms.
Also, tweet at me @ericcmack, E-R-I-C-C-M-A-C-K, I'll be
I'm monitoring that.
If you got any questions or comments, we'll try to get that in.
But so, first, let's start with the Rogue One.
A few people has seen it, have already seen it.
Premiere is tonight but our own witch trend home over in London has actually already submitted his review.
Do we have that to start the discussion.
I'm gonna load it right now.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a movie called Star Wars.
What we didn't know until now is that around the back of Star Wars [UNKNOWN] another movie was playing out.
That movie was Rogue One.
[INAUDIBLE] the dream.
Rogue One, the first Star Wars spinoff, takes us to a host of new worlds, and introduces us to a bunch of new faces.
But it's intertwined with the saga we know, and these previously unknown minor characters and bit part players do their best against the evil empire Stealing a plan from the dreaded death star, and we all know how that turned out.
The ragtag band of new characters, led by plucky Felicity Jones includes the hilarious Alan Tudyk as straight talking droid K2SO and expecting Donny Yen as a warrior monk with a touch of the Jedi about him.
Together they take on Ben Mendelsohn's ambitious Imperial bureaucracy.
In a gritty, dusty [UNKNOWN] large tale that largely takes place at street levels.
Somewhere around the corner from the original movies.
As Rogue One rubs up against A New Hope, we do meet a few old faces, some of which work better than others.
But it's pretty liberating to watch a blockbuster in which you know there's no sequels or franchises or civil wars to come, and so you genuinely don't know which characters are going to make it.
Well despite knowing roughly how it's all going to turn out, there are a lot of thrills to be had.
Director Garret Edwards dives into the classic Star Wars toy box for eye popping, pulse pounding action that dials the classic series up to elven.
The climax is electrifying proving you don't need Skywalker to tell a spectacular Star Wars story.
Placing the dark side at street level, Rogue One is a force to be reckoned with.
All right so there you have it.
So I know I'm planning on going tomorrow night with my family for the first showing here in New Mexico.
What do you guys have planned?
Are you gonna go see it?
What's the vibe?
I'm definitely gonna go see it, but probably not this weekend cuz it's probably gonna be, I'm just gonna be too busy, but I'm gonna try to see it in LA actually when I'm down there next week.
So I'm excited, but you know what a lot of people are doing is that they're rewatching A New Hope before they go see Rogue One, because there's a lot of information in A New Hope that comes out in Rogue One So they're kind of like prep, you know they're like just getting a refresher on a new.
On A New Hope, on the first, well it's the third, episode three right?
So I would recommend if you're gonna watch Rogue One this weekend maybe watching A New Hope.
And hopefully you get an original one, not one that Lucas messed with.
What about you Jeff?
You gonna go see it a little to the east there?
Yeah, I'm gonna go see it tonight at 10.
Are you excited?
Don't I look excited?
It is kinda this weird thing, a couple friends last night were like, well, now that Disney's bought the franchise, we're gonna get hammered every year or even more often with these new
These new movies, these new parts of the franchise.
And it's the question of is that gonna dilute it and degrade the quality?
Or is it awesome?
And I've got to say so far I think it's been pretty awesome.
Episode VII, I was pretty impressed with and I'm hearing so far really positive reviews of this one.
Yeah, same here.
I don't think it's degraded because
Since the first Star Wall came out, there just been books and TV shows and all kinds of stuff.
Not like they kept it quiet at any time.
Yeah, yeah, totally, so, I don't, I don't see how, you know having more Star Wall movies is going to be a negative effect on the French Eye.
Actually, I'm pretty shocked that they got this one out this soon.
Because the other one just came out, it was this year, right?
The Force Awakens?
No, it was last year.
[CROSSTALK] The end of last year, I see, okay, okay.
For some reason it was still fresh to me like it happened this year.
It's the new Christmas tradition!
Star Wars movie every Christmas.
So yeah, I mean I don't think it's gonna hurt.
I think it's just gonna help, people love to write about it and talk about it.
So we're here talking about.
Yeah, I mean I've tried to avoid other than seeing a trailer here and there.
I've tried not to really learn too much about it.
Just so I can go and, I don't care about spoilers and stuff like that all that much.
Figured, let's see how much of the movie I can actually see in the theatre rather than beforehand.
Just to see if I can [UNKNOWN] it.
And I'm hoping that, when Force Awakens came out there was a meme, or it wasn't a meme, but it was a mean message going around YouTube and other places, which gave away the plot.
I got that on Twitter last year.
I got it on a YouTube comment.
And i was trying to avoid it
And I saw that and it's like stuck in my head.
And when the movie was unfolding I was like that.
That a hole was right.
So let's just hope nothing like that happens for this film.
Well now I'm waiting to like countdown to somebody doing it in a chair.
[LAUGH] It's always the chat.
It's so tempting, I wouldn't blame people.
[LAUGH] I like what Rick's have to say about
It'll be an interesting experience since this is kind of like a side story.
We don't have the entire linear episodes one through seven that we gotta kinda, okay, well now we know what's going on here.
It actually is like almost a fresh look at the Star Wars universe.
So it'll be interesting to be able to come at this The entire universe, kind of with fresh eyes.
Trying to figure out kind of like you know okay well where does that fit into the whole thing?
Game of Thrones and the Walking dead have melted my brain enough trying to keep track of a billion characters and other things.
So it would be nice to just be introduced to a whole new set of characters that would like don't have to necessarily worry about how they fit into everything.
Even though there is a little of that.
Yeah, and also
This one's more like, I hear it's a little darker, which is cool.
It's like more war, it's a little heavier I guess compared to the other ones.
So I'm kinda looking forward to that, like a grittier one.
And as for a droid carrying information, who knows?
We don't know [LAUGH].
There is a woman, a powerful woman which is a Star Wars theme, so
Allen Tudic is one of the [UNKNOWN] so that's cool as well.
Yeah, yeah, totally.
But you know, but what we really need after 2016 is something a little darker.
Yeah, cuz we haven't had enough darkness yet.
So for everyone who doesn't know, you've probably seen there's been tons of stuff
Around the internet over the last few weeks.
Don't know what triggered it, but about how 2016 hasn't been maybe the best year in recent memory.
And, Jeff and I are going back and forth a little bit on
Our feelings about 2016 and I certainly understand the sentiment about how maybe it hasn't been the best, but I'm determined to see this glass half full and maybe convince Jeff.
I'm not really sure where you stand, Steven, that it's It's better than it appears.
And so to kick that off, we're gonna talk about some of the good parts of 2016 for the rest of the show.
And some stuff we're looking forward to in 2017/ If you want to talk about some of the worst parts you might find something on the internet about that elsewhere.
But let's start with this video that
I've got their, Steven, and I'll set it up real quick.
This is just some audio of a conversation that I had a couple weeks ago with John Scully, who's the former CEO of Apple and of Pepsi before that.
He was the guy who was the head of Apple in between the two Steve Jobs reigns.
He's Jeff Daniels in the movie [LAUGH] but in this millennium, he's basically been doing a bunch of investing into startups that are working on building a better future in a lot of ways.
In particular in the health care field.
So we had a long talk recently and here is just one thing he had to say about where he thinks the future is gonna take us pretty soon, recent terms of health care.
I was talking to a friend of mine Geoffrey [UNKNOWN], a doctor and I said so kids who are born today
What can they reasonably expect their lifespan will be?
He said, reasonably, 125 years.
And these are kids who are already born.
So by 2050, they're gonna be in their.
But they're gonna need him just early middle aged.
And they may be 50, 55 years old.
Maybe we won't even call that middle age then, who knows?
And I think that the good news is that the possibility of regenerating.
Organs, being able to find ways in which blind people can see, deaf people can hear.
All of those types of problems are gonna be increasingly solvable.
So, that's John Sculley again.
One of the things I wanna point out is
Within weeks of he and I having that conversation, a group of scientists at the Sulk Institute, using the techniques he's referring to, they actually did, they were able to edit genes to make blind animals see again.
This is stuff that's happening right now.
And the thing he said about these generation of kids being able to comfortably expect to live to 125.
I mean, I'm kind of a techno optimist but that seems really optimistic to me.
But all three of us here, we're all fathers.
We all have kids and he's talking about our kids.
And so this is stuff that has really kind of begin to come into its own and gained some momentum.
In the last year.
So it's okay, it's okay Jeff, see.
Do we wanna live to be 125, that's a question?
Yeah I mean, I feel like.
That actually that was another part of our conversation is, so you know he went on to say, and a lot of wha the's talking about is
Using gene editing techniques and what's called precision medicine.
Which is basically kind of combining big data and health right?
And using kind of algorithmic techniques that run.
A lot of our life now to get a better sense of how our genes work.
And there's something called CRISPR Cas9, which is the weird scientific name for it.
But it's basically an enzyme that can be use to edit genes and that's what they use to be able to make the blind animals see again.
And so those are the kind of techniques you talked about as a technologist that are really coming into their own.
And using that, he was saying he expected cancer to be solved in 10 to 15 years and then once cancer falls that frees up a whole bunch of resources- money resources, scientists, researches to then attack other diseases like Alzheimer's Dementia, Parkinson's and then he saw these maladies just starting to fall like dominoes and that's where you have kids today then being able to live much longer to, basically, the lifespan of the human body which a lot of people think the body could live to 125 and then it just like, that's really the kind of edge of it.
But a big part of this conversation is okay, well, what do we do about these people who are around living forever then?
In terms of that's a lot of people to manage and kind of a burden on the society.
So that's actually something he's working on.
I have got a profile of John Sculley that's coming out.
In the next week or two where we'll get into that a lot more.
But that's just these genetic techniques and what they can mean for health and for curing disease and for having a higher quality of life, health wise.
That's just one of the things that really began to move forward in 2016.
Something else that we've covered a lot on CNET is how much further we're going out into space.
But I suppose before we get into that, we should answer your question which is, do we want to live to be 125 or not?
And I don't know, what do you guys think?
I don't think I want to be that old, because I'm gonna be frail, I won't be able to do anything for myself.
And it's just gonna be uncomfortable, so [LAUGH].
There's only so many books to read, only so many shows to binge watch.
I mean, unless we all have robotic bionic bodies that can carry us around and do, maybe.
If my brain is still active in a jar like that Teenage means Ninja Turtles character.
Maybe, but it just doesn't seem like you would have much quality of life if you're 125 years old.
And I'm saying that as somebody my age and horribly undershape, so there is, just like, the thing that I was actually curious about with the
How they restored vision in mice, I'm wondering if you were to restore vision to somebody who had not like ever seen before how does the brain know how to interpret the information that is now coming, like would they.
You are restoring but is there.
Like a way for that to be processed so they can really see or is it just gonna be kind of just data that's going into the brain?
That's a good question.
Right I mean that becomes another question perhaps for technology to solve.
And I mean, you know, a lot of the people like Around Silicon Valley, like everything's kind of an engineering problem and so there must be a way to use technology to, like if you have somebody who's had their vision restored for the first time and it's like freaking out some of the capabilities of their brain, well Probably there's a way to put some sort of a limiter or a transmitter into the brain that can then interpret that in a way that is safe and keeps them sane.
So [UNKNOWN] it really comes down to do you have the faith in technology to actually solve all these things or is that a bridge too far?
Yeah, it's really, it's really interesting to think about all the problems that would need to be solved.
It's not just the one big problem.
There's all the ancillary problems that you have account for.
For as well.
Yeah, it's really gonna affect my BART ride because right now [LAUGH]
I can barely get on BART and-
That's a good point too.
I had this stand like 45 minutes the other day for an hour ride.
There's just too many people on the planet right now and not enough infrastructure to handle everybody.
If everybody's living longer that just means more jackasses gonna be in front of me on the train.
Basically the problem.
Well so fortunately if the planet, I think we all agree or just saying it's getting pretty crowded.
But fortunately there's people who this year who made some pretty big announcements in terms of moving beyond this planet which I think a lot people see as the next step.
And I know we're talking far out here but something else happened in 2016.
Several things happened actually, to make the Star Trek universe and even the Star Wars universe, although that's a lot more focused on trade wars, but the Star Trek universe, honestly it suddenly seems a little less far out after 2016.
And I mean nobody's signing up for Star Fleet just yet, but.
Our understanding of the Universe actually expanded quite a bit in 2016.
And we had probably the biggest-
Makes the highest quality.
Sorry about that [LAUGH].
What was that?
Sorry, I just screwed up, audio thing, keep going, keep going.
Yeah, I can't hear the audio from the clip there.
But, yeah, so we had, we discovered Proxima B this year, which is an exoplanet that's around Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star, To Earth.
So this is literally the closest planet beyond our solar system that could exist.
There's no other stars closer than this one.
And on top of everything, there's a chance that it could be habitable, it is in the habitable zone where liquid water should be possible.
So I mean, this happened over the summer, and there's already plans to try to send Some really tiny ships there.
You know, they would actually just be like a postage stamp sized ship that would go like a 5th of the speed of light to take really close pictures of it.
See how habitable it could maybe.
So, that happened in 2016.
And then, also speaking of getting To a place where where humans might be actually able to get to in our lifetime.
There's a guy you may have heard of.
His name's Elon Musk who's really serious about going to Mars.
He's dead serious about it.
And you've probably got some of the video of this.
He wants to send a million people to Mars by the end of this century.
Pretty darn ambitious.
But he came out in September with a detailed plan for it.
How to get a million people there.
We'll see if that moves forward.
But it sure looks like There is going to at least be some humans landing on Mars within the next 10 to 20 years for sure.
So we're moving towards reducing the overcrowding problem that you guys are seeing, and just one more thing in terms of space travel and this is probably the craziest thing of all.
But in 2016, we also saw something called the Electromagnetic Drive or the EMDrive.
And this is something that NASA's been working on.
We've been hearing about it for a couple years.
But it's kind of been this thing that your hear on Space Flight Forums and it was kind of a sketchy story for a while.
Well, this year, in 2016, the EMDrive passed peer review.
And is headed towards actually being tested in space.
And just to give you some context of what the Mdrive is, a lot of people think it could lay the foundation.
So in other words a first baby step towards a warp drive like the actual warp drive from Star Trek.
And again, this thing, maybe they'll test it and it won't pass the test, and it could still be a fantasy.
Cuz it basically technically defies the laws of physics, [INAUDIBLE] drive.
But hey, either way, whether it pans out or not, a lot of progress made towards getting past Earth, solving our little overpopulation problem So promising stuff there.
So if we do live to 125, then maybe we'll actually have a place to go by then.
You guys would be signing up to go to Mars at age 101?
I would, if they proved that there's a safe way to get there and I'm gonna survive.
I'm gonna get there and come back, I don't wanna stay there.
But if they can prove and show that there's a safe way to get there, I would love, I want to just take one of those Jeff [UNKNOWN] blue origin ships and go to the edge of space, and come back.
I mean why not, that would be a blast.
Piggybacking off your space talk, we also had This first Space X Rocket land itself in the ocean.
On the water drone, which I have a cool video of.
And, also, there's a company called Arks Packs that build those hoverboards.
They're actual electromagnetic hoverboards not like The choosy one that you see the kids riding on with the wheels, but they have been working with NASA to build a tracking beam.
So that's another thing that they press released this year, that we didn't really discuss a whole lot.
But they've working with NASA to build a tractor beam that would literally send a signal to some object in space and Grab it and be able to pull it in or push things out.
That's another thing.
Look at [INAUDIBLE].
They're in, what do you call it?
Here's actually, a headline.
I believe they're in-,
Los Gatos, okay.
Yeah, so they're working on a tractor beam.
So, all these things that we see in.
And sci-fi movies are actually happening.
I mean art dictates life.
Like some artist comes up with an idea, let's make this tractor beam, let's make space time travel.
Well scientist see that stuff.
Let's try to make that for real.
And 2016 seems like the year that A lot of these scientists came up with actual concepts that can do these sort of things.
So, 2016 was pretty awesome for space travel.
And I'm glad you pointed out what Blue Origin and Space X are doing, because we've been hearing about this kind of futuristic stuff frankly since before we were born, right?
Like the suggestions have been around for Decades and decades and you know we're always talking about this really futuristic stuff.
And it never quite seems to come to pass cuz frankly we can't get our own stuff together on the planet earth.
But space X and blue origin are really interesting because what you have there.
Is, those are people, between [UNKNOWN] that are actually now building a business model, for going to space.
So, like when you see people who are actually managing to make this stuff practical and profitable.
Guinness like okay this isn't just a pipe dream in a research lab somewhere.
People are building a business out of this.
This is actually moving forward.
So landing a rocket is really cool.
Just watch this footage.
It's incredible just to watch this thing.
The little Arms come down.
I mean they tried this.
How many times did they try this before they nailed it?
The fourth or fifth time they got it.
Yeah it was quite a few times when you watch this place explode.
And then finally in April they did it.
Those were awesome too.
And when Jeff
And when Jeff Bezos I remember like ridiculed them like, welcome to the club.
You finally landed in spaceship.
I love the billionaire of Space Rocket [UNKNOWN].
It's a good part of 21st Century.
For me it's Kate Blair, I mean Elon Musk even joked about building his own secret lair in some volcano somewhere after he landed the space x ship.
So I mean, this is real life stuff now.
And this year, it all got glossed over a lot by You know, war, terrorism, and Donald Trump.
I don't know.
So, it's cool that we're reliving all these media things that happened, you know.
We're making space great again.
Yes.>> What do you think Sparkman?
You headed to Mars any time soon.
You going to sign up for that one?
As long as I got a spare weekend or two.
[LAUGH] A year.
Yeah I've always wanted to experience weightlessness just like for a long period of time.
Longer than like the hill on a rollercoaster.
It's parabolic airplane.
Yeah I mean it always intrigue me.
I'm wondering would that feel weird being weightless the entire time?
You're going there.
Because I remember there was an old wonderful world of Disney thing before we had actually gone to space, talking about the effects of weightlessness.
And they referred to it as, your stomach is bracing for an impact that never actually comes because you feel like you're falling.
And that always intrigued me and I'm like kind of make it hard to concentrate on doing a lot of things, just kind of like being all floaty and stuff.
Which is a scientific term for it, floaty.
You know and we should be realistic.
I mean there's a lot of stuff to figure out and a lot of challenges to solve before anyone's actually going to live on Mars.
I mean The radiation dose you get from there is insane, and-
There's a lot of people who have been working in NASA for a long time who think Elon Musk is just totally crazy, and that he really
Can't pull it off because there's these huge challenges to solve.
And that's to say nothing of the fact that if you had a kid on Mars, because the gravity is different there, if you had a kid on Mars and they were raised on Mars, they could never come to visit the grandparents on Earth, because their spine would be crushed by the gravity here.
So, there's these challenges to figure out, but our ancestors came to the US against like ridiculous odds and lived in horrible conditions and I mean even today, immigrants spend time walking across the desert.
So I mean, there's challenges to be figured out, but there's always seems to be the drive to To move somewhere, it's just getting too damn crowded on our planet.
Yeah, I mean there's a lot of other things which we haven't taken into account, like spreading disease, we can easily spread disease to Mars and vice versa.
That's War of the Worlds, that's how that movie ended.
So there's so many things to think about.
It's not gonna happen overnight, but If Elon Musk is in charge, it's gonna happen pretty soon.
[LAUGH] And it won't be boring if he's in charge.
Cuz they nothing else.
And speaking of other companies that are actually kind of trying to make a business out of the future, I swear, guys, I
Think the flying cars are finally coming.
Leave it to one of the unicorns to finally bring us flying cars.
Uber revealed a plan this year Okay, wait for it.
So this will solve your park problem as well, for commuting via self-flying, ride-sharing, vertical take-off and landing vehicles.
Yeah, it's a funny way of saying flying Ubers.
So they've got a plan where we could possibly see those rolling out, frankly, depending on the regulatory hurdles, we could see this rolling out in ten years or so.
And these are literally, they're kind of like a cross between a plane and a helicopter.
They take off like a helicopter and then they can fly like a plane, basically.
The [UNKNOWN], they're called.
And so Uber wants to have basically ridesharing flying Ubers that would take off from kinda points around the city, and then they could fly you out to the suburbs for your commute.
And then eventually also making them basically drones, so they would have pilots at first and then eventually be basically ridesharing drones that take you around your commute.
That sounds terrifying to me.
[LAUGH], [UNKNOWN] will be less expensive than owning a car.
I mean, this is what Uber is saying.
So, I mean what do you think?
We've been waiting for flying cars since the Jetsons, or even longer.
Maybe my great grandmother was waiting for a flying car too, I don't know.
Do you think this is just bluster?
Do you think we could actually be flying around for our commute in ten years?
I don't think in ten years.
Let's put it this way, I would be surprised if that happened in ten years.
I'm all for it.
Flying cars and public transit that doesn't smell like piss?
That would be great.
I just don't see that happening in ten years.
Yeah ten years seems pretty fast.
It's pretty fast.
Go for it.
But take away the flying part because in 2016 we saw just regular self driving cars.
You don't have to fly.
Self driving cars, I swear before 2015 we were really only talking about Self driving cars is kind of just crazy Google side projects which now they've outsourced, they spawn that off.
But in the meantime it seems like in 2016 like everyone jump on the self driving car, band wagon.
Whether it was Uber and Uber also, I mean they've got cars.
Driving around Pittsburgh right now.
There's some right down the street.
CNET actually broke this, I feel like CNET broke the story.
Because we went to our Christmas party last Thursday night and we're walking.
The venue where our Christmas party was just a couple of blocks away and we're all walking there and we walked by a big garage.
And inside this garage was like 30 Self driving cars, like clearly all marked Uber all shiny, polished, beautiful.And I was like what is going on there?
And then out front there was 20 or thirty young guys, all vaping and smoking cigarettes.
And we're like something is going on.
And we started asking them what is going on here?
And they're like this is a secret Uber garage.
And we happen to be with Dara who writes all Uber stuff for CNET.
Next morning they go there, they stake it out, they took some pictures, we broke the story.
I'm pretty sure CNET broke the story, I can't confirm or deny that.
The DMV of California says, hey [LAUGH] Uber you can't do this you don't have permits.
Uber's like, whatever we're gonna do it.
Then California shuts them down.
This all happen within the last, since last Thursday or Friday.
I think is when we broke the story.
But yeah, there are self-driving cars, driving around San Francisco right now And, I almost wanted to bring my kids to San Francisco just to take them on a ride, just like almost like a Disneyland ride.
It'd be the first time I ever ridden in a self driving time.
I was feeling like I wanted to bring my kids to have that experience with me They are like four and two years old you know.
I know that it is risky, but at the same time this 2016 there are cars driving around the city by themselves.
So I think we are on the right truck, but the flying their owns that is another that is whole other kind of worms men.
I don't know about that.
Well it is like adding an extra dimension.
I mean you basically can find like sort I mean obviously it is three dimensions, but.
Mostly two, you know.
You're going this way, you're going that way.
But with flying, you're going up.
Just think about the traffic control, the air traffic control system.
Like how do you keep people in a lane, because you know if, so they're autonomous, that's one thing, but like if you get some
Your gonna have a person to assess that who's not.
Just rolling out outside, well **** this I don't wanna wait.
Maybe a lot of certain airplanes don't have all these sophisticated technology that's gonna be tracking other aircraft.
It's all visual.
This visual flying and then there's
Flying using just your, instruments, you know there is two different VFR, and AFR, I think it is called.
So, you have to stop these things and little tinny drones flying around with people on them, not just, that seems, you cant even fly over the city actually.
In a regular airplane and the sense that you have to fly.
North of the left tower of the Golden gate bridge.
So [INAUDIBLE] Work in the city like, if you would someday when have to be like almost like rural areas you know, like you can't have drones flying and people picking up in a major city.
It's a, it doesn't seem like it's gonna be possible.
Although didn't Amazons start delivering packages in the UK this week?
Yeah.I saw that and now look,it look like a big advertiser to me,like you delivered the first package to me,sure they did, they probably did but they actually like produce it, have a camera phone here and the interview with the guy who made the order and its like big produced commercial And they actually announced that they're gonna do that three years ago.
So it took them three years to get to this point, where they're delivering, I think they had delivered a Fire TV stick, which is a very small thing, and some books or something.
But it just all still seems like a big publicity stunt to me at this point.
I don't think it's like I don't know I just still am skeptical.
When the drone drops off your stuff are supposed to tip it like the pizza guy?
Hell no [LAUGH].
All that stuff that we need to find out.
Yeah you don't tip, I'm not tipping a drone.
The tip is
The tip is not stealing the drone.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
So I'm not stealing it, just a tip.
[LAUGH] But I think once again, I think it's Elon Musk and Tesla that's kinda rolling this out in a way that makes sense.
Which is, they actually sold the car first.
And then they basically just sent a software update over the air that added some self-driving capabilities to the Tesla
And so, that's the way to kind of make sense to introduce to, okay well, we're gonna add this through baby steps.
And so, now your car has self-driving capabilities.
Basically, it's supped up cruise control while on the highway.
Although, those cars are fully self-driving.
When you're on private party, you can summon them and they'll drive themselves from the parking garage to pick you up at the front door.
So that's probably the way that this becomes part of a society, is like slowly being introduced piece by piece.
And maybe those self driving Ubers, too.
But there is one other dimension of transit that moved forward this year.
Again, it's another Elon Musk joint, he seems to be involved in a lot of these.
And that's the Hyperloop Which you guys remember the hyperloop right?
It was kind of this crazy super-sonic monorail thing that Elon Musk kind of threw a white paper out on as kind of a throwaway because he didn't have time to do it like three years ago, and then suddenly this year, different startups started to move forward and actually tested the technology in Nevada this year.
So that also, that's another possible solution to your BART problem Steven.
I mean it might still smell like piss but at least you'll be moving 600 miles per hour.
[LAUGH] Yeah, which would at least be a good reason for it to smell like piss.
Because you're going so fast you're a little worried.
Here's a video of the Hyperloop actually.
And they tested in Vegas this year, right?
Yeah, over the summer.
Kind of a proof of concept, I think that track is only a quarter mile long or something, but it shows how it would conceivably work
And it was travelling at like 400, 500 miles per hour.
Is that what it was?
I don't remember.
I think it only got up to a fraction of the speed that it is designed to go, because like I said they only had a quarter mile or maybe it was a half mile.
I don't remember exactly.
They didn't have the brakes yet.
Yeah, it had to crash into some sand.
But, yeah, they're actually building a real test track in Texas, I believe.
And there's all these teams getting together and they're collaborating.
They're actually working with the Arks Packs people who are working on the hover board and the tractor beam.
The Arks Packs people are showing off their technology for the hyper loop so it'll kind of like hover it through the tunnel.
And that's gonna be something that we're gonna see next year, too, so I'm looking forward to that.
With the name Hyperloop, though, does anybody else kind of imagine a roller coaster with a loop on the track?
Or is it just me?
I mean, I know it's not, but every time I hear it, I'm like!
There's no loop.
I always picture that movie Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Where he's in that little toboggan thing, like what's that ride?
Ride at Disneyland, the Matterhorn.
The Matterhorn yeah.
He's like riding that and he's like people are in it getting killed and stuff, you know.
That's what I always envision when I see that.
So yeah, there should be different ways to get around moving forward in 2017 and beyond.
But you know, other kinds of automation also began to move forward in 2016.
Frankly, we worry a lot about the emergence of Skynet, the evil robot system from Terminator.
Frankly, Skynet's probably already here.
John Scully when I talked to him, he talked a lot about a block chain which is.
It's what was used to make, to underly the technology of BitCoin.
But now it's being used to basically kind of harden and And make the Internet of things more secure.
I mean frankly it is Skynet.
It's like friendly Skynet.
Well that's how they get you.
So you know I think this, the Internet of things
This year we saw implants, they're like the size of, not even your fingernail.
They're literally the size of a piece of dust, that they're sensors that can be implanted in your body, and they have a wireless signal.
So at this point, everything is in the internet of things.
Your liver can be in an internet of things, and it's sending
Data to your doctor directly.
I like it.
After a night of heavy drinking.
Like, liver, fix yourself.
You get a message, you are dead from alcohol poisoning.
You're like no!
It will text the funeral home after the heavy drinking, just have ready just in case.
They'll have Clippy ready to help you.
You look like you're ready to die of alcohol poisoning, do you need?
You're so selfless [CROSSTALK]
So like the logical conclusion of all this kind of combination of everything being connected and everything kind of being a part of the Internet of things is moving to the point where we can combine something like blockchain which is basically kind of like
A brain for the internet of things, right.
A communication system, a nervous system, and combine that with some technology that moved forward this year.
Something called atomic nanocards that they work on at Rice University.
So these are basically machines that are the size of an atom.
And they can be move around and can be used to do stuff.
And this is at a really basic level right now.
This isn't at a consumer level at all.
But, basically, I mean, if you think 3D printers are cool, just wait until this stuff comes of age.
We're talking a combination of robotics and nano technology.
That basically, if you take it to its logical extension, could give us the replicator from Star Trek.
So it's pretty exciting stuff.
This is really far out but the building blocks of this kind of technology that has been in our sci-fi dreams forever.
Like, it's [UNKNOWN] So.
It's kind of terrifying to me cuz I mean an atom is like a little machine in itself right?
It's like a building block, it has protons and neutrons, so we're like, we're gonna build something that's gonna destroy us cool.
Right, you know I mean, you know technology is tools and tools can be used for horrible things.
Yeah, I guarantee this is going to be used for prank videos as soon as this hits the shelves.
As soon as some normal person can get their hands on it, somebody's gonna stick it in their **** and make it launch or something, because that's what you do with
You know, you're worried about all this technology bringing about the apocalypse, but you need to think of the viral videos that come along with the apocalypse.
The fun-pocalypse, okay?
See, everything's going to hell, but if you sell it the right way
It's all marketing.
It's all marketing.
And so, before we get out of here, the final thing, the final technology that we saw continue to move forward in 2016, it's the thing that kind of ties us all together, and that's artificial intelligence.
And, we started the year with, Google had an AI that beat the human champion at the game of Go.
I have no idea how Go works but I think it's similar to Chess or Othello or something like that.
And so, it beat a human for the first time.
Although, by the end of the year a human did get it back and beat it.
Way to go.
We had a big year I think for artificial intelligence that kind of ended in an uncertain way for me with Westworld, if anyone's watching Westworld, that makes you think a little bit about where we're going with AI.
I can't even tell you where we're gonna go with artificial intelligence you know because it's kind of a matter of the imagination.
Beyond that is the matter of what within our official intelligence,well then our official imagination come out with we don't even know [CROSSTALK]
They didn't,like they have a christmas song,they have>>Yeah.
Not a great song, but you know.
And then Google also has this dream thing, that like...
The deep dream?
Yeah the deep dream!
Where it looks for patterns [UNKNOWN]
It takes stuff from the internet and it builds nightmares based on everyone's...
It's basically nightmare fuel.
Everyone's communication on the internet.
We kind of have that stuff.
How could that possibly go wrong.
And then also, was it this year that Microsoft put that robot on Twitter that became completely racist by the way?
[LAUGH] Yeah, that didn't work out as great as it could have.
But baby steps, learning.
That's how you learn things.
You learn from [INAUDIBLE] go wrong.
So we're putting all that stuff out in the world and seeing what happens, and it just turns into a monster, really.
Well, 2016 even saw an artificial intelligence that is actually capable of predicting the future.
They showed it videos and it had to guess what happened next in the videos and apparently it got pretty good at it [LAUGH].
So yeah, by this point next year we won't even have to do a year in review or the year looking forward to 2018.
We're just gonna have an AI do it for us.
I can't, that's gonna revolutionize my job.
It's gonna like type in, we're gonna make a video about this.
And then like come back to my desk and the video's produced, I love that.
There you go.
We're all gonna be in self-driving, ride sharing, flying Ubers on the way to vacation this time next year.
I'm pretty sure it's all just gonna be worked out.
Are you guys talking to your house yet?
Are you talking to your house, Eric?
Like talking in the house, like, I talk to Alexa.
You do have Alexa?
Cool, I just got Alexa, too.
And so, I'm talking to my house.
I just talked to my apartment, there's no actual appliances that will respond, but it gets lonely in that apartment.
So, it's good practice.
We could see, hey Oexa say hi to Steven.
Oexa say hi to Steven.
Yeah when I first got it, I immediately tried to play Jeopardy.
I'm terrible, apparently I don't know anything.
I got every answer wrong.
My wife is like really impressive, great.
But yeah, I mean we're there.
I'm telling her to turn on the lights, play music.
Set alarms for my kids to go to bed.
So, we're there.
My kids are talking to it.
Kid that's 4 years old, Alexa, turn off the lights.
So, that's where we are now, man.
You know, it's so bad.
We actually have two of them.
[LAUGH] I've got the Echo here.
And then, my kid has the tap one that you can carry around.
You gotta press the button.
But yeah, we're Well we're fully embracing the fun-pocalypse in [UNKNOWN].
Well so maybe to wrap up the show, I've talked an awful lot I think about what I thought was good about 2016, and what I'm looking forward to in 2017 and beyond.
What are you guys looking forward to coming up next year?
I, I know I have something I'm looking forward to I'm looking forward to the Spiderman movie that's coming out next year.
Because I saw the trailer for it and it looked fun and Spiderman's even got his creepy little web wings
They drew for like, 12 issues at the beginning and then stopped for like 20 years.
It's really interesting to see this.
Yes, it looks fun.
I wasn't into the last Spider Man, the guy who played Spider Man.
I don't know.
I wasn't like.
Interested, but this one, like fun,you know.
You didn't like Tobey Maguire, Fifty Cent,[CROSS_TALK]
No, I loved the Tobey Maguire, but the guy that actor, after him.
Yeah.[CROSS_TALK] Seen Garfield?
Yes cuz he's
He wasn't even American.
That's a problem for me.
No, I'm just kidding.
Make Spiderman great again.
Yep, yeah, but this guy is like more of an unknown kind of actor, which makes for a better superhero movie in my opinion.
I hear ya.
What about you Steven, what are you looking forward to for next year?
I am looking forward to
I would like my car to be a self-driving car cuz I make trips to Tahoe every once in a while and just drives to LA or whatever.
I would love to just to be able to sit back and watch a movie or something.
During that trip.
You know I'm looking forward to AI improving.
I'm looking forward to Alexa improving so I can ask her more questions and get just more information and have her do more things, you know?
So that's really it.
Artificial intelligence is a huge thing now.
I talk to my phone, I talk to Siri.
I want Siri to be better.
Talked to Siri.
Talked to Alexa.
And that's what I'm looking forward to.
You know, in addition to artificial intelligence improving, I'd like to see real intelligence improve.
Not sure which one's gonna happen first, but here's hoping.
Look Eric, that was optimistic.
There we go.
I am a ray of sunshine, dammit.
2016 sucks for me if Jef isn't happy.
Well I hope it was, at least a descent 2016 for everyone out there and that you can find some silver linings [UNKNOWN] you think this was a great year, maybe you think the world is gonna be made great again
In the coming months, and I certainly hope so.
And I think that's it for Farsighted for the final one of 2016, happy holidays to you everyone around the world, and we really want to see Kelsey and Bonnie feel better.
A big shoutout to our editor Leslie [UNKNOWN] and the best to her family, and to everyone in the Cnet family as well.
Happy holidays and we will see you in 2017.
For Stephen Bochum and Jeff sparkling American actors of far sighted.
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