• The ethical issues of facial recognition…
  • This breakthrough couldn’t have happened five years ago…
  • Self-driving mowers: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you…

Dear Reader,

Should we hold or should we sell?

This is a question that comes up a lot for anyone involved in trading or investing. Sometimes the answer comes easy, and other times it feels impossible to make the call. The reality is the call often depends on any individual’s or organization’s timeframe.

And in the case of ApeDAO, the answer was to sell.

This might sound a bit crazy, but I assure you it’s not. ApeDAO is what is known as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). DAOs are constructed using blockchain technology.

We can think of them along the lines of consensus-driven, decentralized organizations. There is no headquarters. Members of a DAO choose to affiliate with that DAO and they decide on which projects to work on, what tasks to perform, and the ongoing direction of the DAO.

And in the case of the ApeDAO, the goal was to raise capital and buy Apes. More specifically, the goal was to buy Bored Apes, Mutant Apes, and some other popular NFTs.

Bored Ape Yacht Club

Source: NFTS.WTF

Investors, traders, speculators, and degens “aped in” and bought APED tokens, the digital currency of the ApeDAO. 

The money raised was used to purchase 81 Bored Apes, 81 Mutant Apes, and a handful of other NFTs. Those holdings were worth about 13,000 ETH (~$33 million) when the ApeDAO scheduled a vote that was completed on February 2.

It was a very controversial vote. There were a couple of large holders that felt strongly that the DAO should not liquidate its holdings. They believed, and still do, that the value of the NFT holdings will continue to increase… and I think they’re right.

But many others felt that the prices of NFTs had run up so much, and they were sitting on large paper profits. They wanted to take the money and run. There’s nothing wrong with that.

And that’s what they did. Here is a snapshot of the results of the vote:

ApeDAO Voting

Source: Snapshot.org

At 11:50 p.m. on February 2, the votes were in. 65.32% voted to liquidate the holdings and take profits off the table.

And that’s the thing about a DAO. Every holder of APED tokens had a vote for each token they held. So even though some of the largest holders of the DAO voted not to liquidate, the majority chose to do so. 

Of course, the voting status and results were visible in real time, as everything was conducted using blockchain technology.

Wouldn’t that be nice to have for public elections? Only one vote for each citizen, digitally verified, cryptographically secured, and tallied in real time. The technology is here today. We just need to implement it.

Last year, DAOs leaped to relevance as the industry realized the utility for certain applications. I witnessed, in real time, venture capital being poured into startups building the tooling and infrastructure that will be necessary to manage DAOs.

This will be an exciting area of development for 2022 as blockchain projects, corporations, and groups of individuals figure out the best way to use such a unique structure to achieve their goals. 

Pooled investments, like what was done with ApeDAO, are a perfect example. Decentralized exchanges like ShapeShift are another. Nonprofit organizations would also benefit from such a lean structure. 

And DAOs are well designed for open-source projects that benefit from a wide range of contributors.

DAOs are going to be part of a major shift in how we define work, a career, or even earn a living. And while most of us may never participate in a DAO, this is definitely a trend that we want to understand and invest in.

One more note before we turn to today’s topics…

Investors know how volatile the recent markets have been. We’ve seen some wild swings in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq since the start of this year.

That means we need to adjust our investment strategies to adapt to this new environment.

Next Wednesday, February 16, at 8 p.m. ET, I’ll be holding an exclusive invite-only event to discuss just that. Should we buy the dip? Or is this a sign of an imminent crash?

If readers have any money in the markets, please tune in for this special briefing.

There, I’ll explain how we’ll tackle the turmoil in the markets… and a new opportunity to profit in 2022.

If you haven’t already, please go right here to RSVP. You won’t want to miss this night.

Clearview AI is still at it…

Clearview AI just received a patent for its approach to building a facial recognition database, potentially at a planetary scale. The patent award effectively legitimizes the controversial work the company is doing.

We first talked about Clearview AI back in January 2020. At the time, I referred to the company as the early stage startup that may kill privacy forever.

My outlook hasn’t improved since then…

As a reminder, Clearview AI “scraped” pictures from publicly available resources on the internet. This included top social media sites.

To put it another way, Clearview used bots to collect images of people without their consent.

The company scraped more than 10 billion pictures in total. Then Clearview applied its facial recognition technology to all these pictures, and it associated a name with each face.

In other words, the company built a massive facial recognition database.

Anyone who has posted a picture of themselves on a social media site is probably in this database. And if someone you know posted a picture with you in it, you have most likely been “captured” by Clearview’s AI.

As a result, Clearview AI now has the No. 1 ranked facial recognition technology in the U.S. That’s according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Of course, there are big risks here.

For starters, the technology is not perfect; it’s 98.6% accurate. That might seem remarkably good, and it is impressive…

But what if we fall into the other 1.4% where the tech gets it wrong? If used by the police, this could lead to people being falsely arrested for crimes they did not commit.

Still, Clearview AI has aggressively marketed its services to law enforcement. The company has now worked with over 1,800 different agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Homeland Security, and several law enforcement authorities in Canada.

These agencies claim that Clearview’s technology helps them achieve fast results in cases 30–60% of the time. As long as they have the picture of somebody engaged in a criminal act, they have a good chance of identifying the person through Clearview’s database.

That said, the potential for abuse is huge. We should all be aware of companies like Clearview AI.

As I’ve said before, ethically using this technology will be one of the greatest challenges that humanity will face in the years ahead.

Mysterious X particles may provide insight into the universe…

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, just produced an incredible scientific breakthrough. LHC experiments helped physicists identify an unclassified “X” particle that could offer insight into the origins of the universe…

I suspect many readers have heard of the Large Hadron Collider before. The machine smashes ions into one another in a controlled environment.

Here’s a visual:

Large Hadron Collider

Source: CERN

Running experiments in this machine allows physicists to basically simulate the origins of the universe… millionths of seconds after the Big Bang.

This simulation allows them to study the structure of matter and even quantum mechanics – how particles interact with each other. This also gives physicists insight into the origins of matter.

And that brings us to the big breakthrough…

The most recent simulation of the Big Bang featured billions of collisions. And they produced tens of thousands of particles.

In the fray, physicists were able to detect the X particle. It only existed in the first millionths of a second following the simulation.

Fortunately, they managed to capture 100 of these particles for further study.

To be clear, these X particles would not have remained in their current form had scientists not captured them right away.

They are the building blocks for matter like quarks and gluons, which themselves are the matter of atomic nuclei. And the only way physicists managed to identify the X particle amongst all the chaos of the collision was through the use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI).

This is something that would not even have been possible five years ago.

So thanks to advancements in AI, we have now captured a fundamental building block of matter for study. 

The next goal is to better understand the structure of the X particle. This could result in some incredible developments around the origins of the universe and the nature of matter.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that this could even lead to some science fiction-like breakthroughs. That’s why this is such a noteworthy development. 

Incredible developments like these can be hard to understand. It’s easy to think that they won’t directly impact our daily lives.

Yet as we learn more about quantum mechanics, matter itself, and how to apply that knowledge, it will lead to breakthroughs in materials, propulsion, medicine, and so many other fields.

Get ready for self-driving lawn mowers…

Electric Sheep Robotics just released the commercial version of its autonomous lawnmower. It’s called Dexter.

And this very well may be the landscaping industry’s answer to ongoing labor shortages. 

We have talked about self-driving mowers before. But up to this point, the models have been more like a larger, outdoor version of a Roomba – iRobot’s robotic vacuum.

Dexter, on the other hand, is much closer to a self-driving car than a vacuum.

It uses autonomous navigation technology just like a car. And it is loaded with LIDAR (light detection and ranging), cameras, GPS, and ultrasonic sensors. These give it a 360-degree view of its surroundings.

And get this – Dexter easily attaches to new and existing lawnmowers. It is the “brains” that can power legacy mowers. Here’s a look at Dexter in action:

Self-Driving Lawn Mower

Source: The Robot Report

Here we can see how seamlessly Electric Sheep’s technology converts a commercial lawn mower into a self-driving machine. This is a fantastic approach.

This might sound surprising, but landscaping is big business. In the U.S alone, the landscaping services market is worth more than $105 billion.

In fact, landscaping employs over one million people. However, recent figures show over 71,000 positions are going unfilled.

That’s one more sign of the Great Resignation.

And if we think about a typical landscaping business, the biggest constraint is labor. How many yards a landscaping business can mow at a time depends on how many employees are available to do the mowing.

Until now.

It’s easy to imagine a landscaper pulling into a neighborhood with five or six autonomous mowers in tow. The owner unloads the first mower and gets it started on the first yard. Then they set the next mower to work on the second yard… and so on.

In this way, landscapers can instantly improve their productivity. And while Dexter mows, the humans can do the finishing work like edging, trimming, and cleaning up.

This is a fantastic solution to labor shortages.

We’re going to see several startups working in this space, and some of the larger mower manufacturers will likely adopt the technology quickly as well.

Electric Sheep just raised $21.5 million in its Series A1 funding round. This capital will go directly towards Dexter’s commercial launch.

Perhaps some of us will see Dexter in our neighborhoods this summer…


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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