309 episodes

Tech that is changing the world. Innovators who are shaping the future.

Deep discussions with diverse leaders from Silicon Valley giants and scrappy global startups. Plus some short monologues based on my Forbes columns.

TechFirst with John Koetsier John Koetsier

    • News
    • 4.8 • 5 Ratings

Tech that is changing the world. Innovators who are shaping the future.

Deep discussions with diverse leaders from Silicon Valley giants and scrappy global startups. Plus some short monologues based on my Forbes columns.

    World's first micro lunar rover

    World's first micro lunar rover

    In January of this year, Peregrine Mission One launched with at least 22 payloads. One was intended to be the first American made rover to land on the moon since the Apollo days: 1972.

    It was called Iris, and it was also the first lunar rover constructed with carbon fiber. It was designed and built by students at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Today, we’re going to chat with them ...

    Despite a mission failure due to the lander experiencing a propellant leak and missing its lunar target, the Iris team achieved significant milestones. They successfully demonstrated that student-made rovers could survive space conditions, including the Van Allen Belt's radiation, and maintain communication and functions in space.

    This project, despite its setbacks, marks a significant achievement in democratizing space exploration and contributes to the broader vision of establishing moon bases and Mars bases as stepping stones for further space exploration.

    00:00 The Future of Space Exploration: Moon and Mars Bases
    00:42 Introducing can the Iris Lunar Rover Project
    05:17 The Team Behind Iris: Roles and Experiences
    09:00 Scientific Goals and Achievements of the Iris Rover
    12:58 Overcoming Failure: Lessons from a Mission Gone Wrong
    22:03 The Next Steps: Future Missions and Career Paths
    25:59 Reflecting on the Golden Age of Space Exploration

    • 28 min
    After AGI

    After AGI

    What happens after AGI?

    AGI is artificial general intelligence: it’s when AI achieves human-level intelligence nd likely quickly thereafter super-human abilities, maybe even ushering in the Singularity.

    I was recently at the Beneficial AGI conference in Panama. One of the speakers was the founder of Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research. He’s interviewed nearly 1,000 AI leaders, his name is Dan Faggella, and he has some good insight into what AGI might do.

    Or at least what the experts think about it …

    We discuss artificial general intelligence (AGI), the potential for post-human bliss through advanced simulations, and various perspectives on AGI's ethical and societal impacts. Fagella shares insights from interviews with nearly a thousand AI experts, outlining a matrix to categorize thoughts on AGI's future and human interaction. The discussion covers the balance between control, collaboration, and open-source development in AI, along with personal reflections on humanity's potential paths in an AI-dominated future. Themes include the ethical implications of AGI, the role of human values in AI development, and speculative futures where humanity merges with or is overshadowed by superior AI entities.

    00:00 Exploring Post-Human Bliss and the Power of AI
    01:31 The Matrix of AI Perspectives
    02:50 Exploring the Future with AI: Preservation, Progression, and Ascension
    04:26 Navigating the Path to AI: Control, Collaboration, Openness
    07:11 Personal Stances and the Future of AI
    19:00 AI's Impact on Society and the Future
    24:23 Envisioning a Post-Human Future: Choices and Consequences
    29:53 Reflections on Humanity's Path Forward with AI

    • 33 min
    No-notch iPhones, FaceID on Android, biometrics everywhere

    No-notch iPhones, FaceID on Android, biometrics everywhere

    If you have an iPhone, you've got a notch. Now there's tech that can get rid of that notch ... and the same tech can bring secure Face ID to Android: at a fraction of the cost.

    In this TechFirst, I chat with Metalenz CEO Rob Devlin about his meta surfaces product. Not only can they produce about 10,000 lenses on a single 30-centimeter wafer, just like computer chips, they can now decode polarization information on surfaces from the light reflecting off of that.

    That gives them data on what that surface is made from, and that is a huge advancement for biometrics, phones, medical devices, and robots.

    The technology, which can capture and process unique wavelengths and polarization information, enables the creation of smaller, cheaper, and more efficient optical systems. Metalenz's partnership with ST Microelectronics has led to the integration of metasurface optics in products that have been previously sold in over 150 different smartphone models.

    00:00 Revolutionizing Optics with Metal Lens Technology
    00:30 The Journey of Metalenz: From Concept to Market
    01:34 Exploring the Impact of Meta Surface Technology
    02:39 Understanding Metasurfaces and Their Potential
    10:48 Introducing Polar ID: A Game-Changer for Biometric Security
    22:20 The Future of Polarization Technology and Its Applications
    22:33 Collaboration with Samsung and the Path Forward
    27:14 Envisioning New Horizons: Beyond Polar ID
    32:36 Wrapping Up: The Future of Metal Lens and Polar ID

    • 32 min
    Billions of robots in 10 years

    Billions of robots in 10 years

    Billions of robots within a decade? A similar growth curve to smartphones?

    We currently have about 30 million robots on the planet, not counting Roombas and similar small bots. RobotLab CEO Elad Inbar says that will hit BILLIONS with a B within 10 years.

    We discuss the exponential increase in commercial robots globally and predict billions of robots integrating into daily activities, from service industries to personal assistance, over the next decade. We chat about the evolution of robotics from novelty items to essential aspects of business operations, highlighting the role of robots in automating mundane tasks and their future potential in enhancing customer service and living standards.

    Inbar also emphasizes the importance of service infrastructure to support the widespread adoption of robotics technology, drawing parallels with past technological advancements like mobile phones and cars.

    And we dive into specific applications of robots in restaurants, cleaning services, and healthcare, particularly for dementia patients, and the franchise model RobotLab is adopting to expand its reach and capacity to deliver robotics solutions.

    00:00 The Dawn of the Robot Decade: Envisioning a Future with Billions of Robots
    01:02 The Big Picture: Robots Transforming Business and Society
    07:10 The Current State of Robotics: From Hospitality to Manufacturing
    09:50 The Future of Work: Robots Filling the Gaps in the Workforce
    12:40 Enhancing Customer Service: How Robots are Changing the Game
    13:31 The Restaurant Revolution: Robots Taking Over Service Roles
    16:35 Exploring the Role of Robots in Restaurants
    16:47 Adapting Robots to Different Restaurant Environments
    18:18 Growth Areas Beyond Restaurants: Cleaning and Retail
    22:47 The Future of Customer-Facing Robots
    24:00 Robots in Assisted Living: A Compassionate Solution
    27:09 Unlocking the Potential of Robotics in Business

    • 32 min
    Apple Vision Pro: future of surgical training?

    Apple Vision Pro: future of surgical training?

    Is the Apple Vision Pro the future of surgical training?

    In this episode of TechFirst, host John Koetsier discusses the transformative impact of virtual reality (VR) on surgical training, highlighting the cost-efficiency and effectiveness of VR in reducing the learning curve for surgeons.

    The conversation features Richard Vincent, CEO of Fundamental VR, who elaborates on how VR technology, particularly the Apple Vision Pro, is revolutionizing surgical education by offering rapid, repeatable training sessions without the logistical setbacks associated with traditional methods. They explore the hardware agnosticism of Fundamental VR's software, ensuring compatibility with various VR platforms, and delve into the new possibilities unlocked by the Apple Vision Pro's advanced features, including its intuitive control system, powerful compute capacity, and exceptional optics.

    The discussion also touches on the incorporation of haptics for a more immersive training experience, the potential of VR for remote collaborative training, and the broader implications of VR technology in the medical field.

    00:00 Unlocking the Future of Surgical Training with VR
    01:15 The Cost-Effectiveness of VR in Surgical Training
    03:13 Achieving Competence: The Role of VR in Surgery
    04:45 Hardware From Oculus to Apple Vision Pro
    07:04 The Revolutionary Apple Vision Pro in Surgical Training
    10:35 The Power of Haptics: Enhancing VR Training with Physical Feedback
    13:07 The Impact of Device Cost on VR Training Accessibility
    14:34 Expanding Horizons: VR's Role in Remote Surgery Training
    17:03 The Future of Medical Training and Collaboration with VR
    18:48 Apple Vision Pro: A Game-Changer for Medical VR Applications
    20:15 Closing Thoughts and Future Prospects

    • 20 min
    AGI in 3 to 8 years

    AGI in 3 to 8 years

    When will AI match and surpass human capability? In short, when will we have AGI, or artificial general intelligence ... the kind of intelligence that should teach itself and grow itself to vastly larger intellect than an individual human?

    According to Ben Goertzel, CEO of SingularityNet, that time is very close: only 3 to 8 years away. In this TechFirst, I chat with Ben as we approach the Beneficial AGI conference in Panama City, Panama.

    We discuss the diverse possibilities of human and post-human existence, from cyborg enhancements to digital mind uploads, and the varying timelines for when we might achieve AGI. We talk about the role of current AI technologies, like LLMs, and how they fit into the path towards AGI, highlighting the importance of combining multiple AI methods to mirror human intelligence complexity.

    We also explore the societal and ethical implications of AGI development, including job obsolescence, data privacy, and the potential geopolitical ramifications, emphasizing the critical period of transition towards a post-singularity world where AI could significantly improve human life. Finally, we talk about ownership and decentralization of AI, comparing it to the internet's evolution, and envisages the role of humans in a world where AI surpasses human intelligence.

    00:00 Introduction to the Future of AI
    01:28 Predicting the Timeline of Artificial General Intelligence
    02:06 The Role of LLMs in the Path to AGI
    05:23 The Impact of AI on Jobs and Economy
    06:43 The Future of AI Development
    10:35 The Role of Humans in a World with AGI
    35:10 The Diverse Future of Human and Post-Human Minds
    36:51 The Challenges of Transitioning to a World with AGI
    39:34 Conclusion: The Future of AGI

    • 40 min

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All my babies are beautiful

Hey, this is my podcast, so take this review with a BIG grain of salt. I write at Forbes and have started doing my interviews live on social video. Then I extract the audio for this podcast.

Honestly, at first I kinda sucked. The audio quality wasn’t great, and I didn’t really know how to do a great podcast.

But what I do know is how to I interview people, and for this podcast I interviews the most interesting people in startups and tech about how they’re changing the world and building businesses.

Come along for the ride!

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