Monday began with Rob Nail returning to talk about the future of Robotics. He showed us some videos of Boston Robotics. They are always funny! After this session, a group from IBM Watson came and learned us how to use Watson for future startups. To keep it simple for the first time, they thought us how to make a visual recognition app. You can use mine over here: http://multiface123.mybluemix.net/people. Awesome to see something tangible out of your own work!
After creating our own face recognition app we had a session on gender inequality and after dinner a late night art session where we had to paint each other’s dream. Here was my dream according to one of my fellow students. Right after the creativity session, I participated in a brain interface workshop. In the picture, I am controlling the robot with my brain. High activity is going straight and low activity is rotating clockwise. You have full control of the robot just with your brainwaves! On Monday evening we had a party celebrating Adriana. It was an awesome party with the SU-family 🙂
Tuesday, I have, to be honest, I overslept and missed breakfast, no problem! Our first session was about Basic Income and what the future of the workforce is with ongoing automation. Daniel Kraft came in to talk about stem cell biology, Marc Goodman gave us a workshop on how to activate our criminal minds to leverage exponential technologies and made us aware of the fact that not only the good guys have access to new tech. Right before dinner, Jonathan Knowles came in to talk about deep sea exploration. After dinner and playing some soccer with the usual crew it was time for our fire time chat with one of the founders of SU: Ray Kurzweil. I was a little disappointed about the lack of depth about the talk but it was interesting none the less.
On Wednesday we had a Digital Biology session about agriculture. This wasn’t really my topic and I didn’t like it. After lunch, we had a session about digital security and how to protect valuable data from your startup against other parties. Unfortunately one of my classmates had to go back to Singapore, but there was a good solution. The beam, it’s basically a skype PC on wheels. In the afternoon we also had a rapid prototyping session, where we learned the key elements of building your first minimal value product. After dinner, I made with PICAXE a burglary system. It could sense your body heat and it would trigger a sound alarm and flashing light. Awesome.
On Thursday we had a Digital Health day. Numerous start-ups in the HealthTech sector came over to talk about what they are doing and how they are doing it. For instance, Nutrino and Proteus. During the lunch break, we had an impromptu surf class to learn the basics of surfing. The plan is to use these newly learned skills in practice the upcoming week! After Lunch, we had a 4 hands-on workshop to make our smartphones, tablets, and laptops safer. I learned a lot about how to protect yourself against intruders. In the evening Peter Diamandis came back for dinner, fireside chat and drinks. We were able to pitch our new found ideas and he would give feedback, contacts and help or kill it immediately.
On Friday we had a morning session with a workshop on sustainable energy but to be honest I spend the entire morning crafting my idea. We don’t get that much to work on the ideas in the first weeks so this was very useful. After the morning session, we spoke about the problems in financial inclusion and there was a mid-program assessment. After dinner, it was time for the second culture night and Friday night was Europe, middle east and south east Asia. Lots of different cultures but we made it happen, it was over the top! We danced a lot of traditional dances and I prepared some delicious Dutch Stroopwafels and luckily everybody liked them 🙂
On Saturday we had an off-site bio-mimicry day. It was about connecting with nature, being off the grid and trying to capture the force of nature inside you and to inspire you with ideas. We went to the beach and later to the redwoods. It was very relaxing to get out of the NASA campus and be ‘free’ for a day.