0.56 Blockchain Nerdery w. Matt Walters & Rhys Lindmark

We are joined this week by Matt Walters (Blockchain Engineer at Consensys, former Techstars CTO), and Rhys Lindmark (Independent Blockchain Engineer) for a very special Blockchain episode of StartupCTO.io.

Join us as we share stories about web3, a hacking story, Blockchain Engineering stories, and to learn about “the human operating system”.

0.55 – The primacy of the network & Web 3.0 — Vince Horn & Ryan Oelke of CryptoMind

Todays episode is a cross post from Vincent Horn’s new podcast, Crypto-Mind.  With permission, I’ve reposted it from  Crypto-Mind podcast.  This podcast is about contemplating deeply the societal, spiritual, network implications of the networked Web 3.0 world.

This episode is all about networks.  Specifically,

  • What’s it mean to be a part of the network?
  • Why are networks important?
  • How do we organize ourselves?
  • How do we identify ourselves?
  • What’s it mean to create value and distribute that value?
  • Which network do I want to put value into?
  • How much whats happening to cryptocurrency is _just what’s happening in the world_ reflected back into crypto?
  • The big network is the Life and all life that we know. Making connections there seems really important.
  • Is it ethical to run a bitcoin node in a world where there is climate change. Is POS a moral eventuality?
  • How a simple Google bus is analogy for new world and a lightning rod for some. 
  • Taking the model of the king and democratizing it some. If you are a good entrepreneur you are king. You have followers .  Take that model and took it apart so everyone can be king in their own way.
  • Rise of mindfulness when attention becomes a constraint.

Subscribe to the  Crypto-Mind podcast here.

0.54 — The Ethereum Ecosystem w. Raine Revere, Lead Architect at Prism

Raine Revere is the Lead Architect at Prism — The world’s first trustless portfolio market platform.

Join Raine and special guest co-host Kevin Seagraves as we discuss blockchain, ethereum, and the future of Web3.

0.46 — AI, Automation, Jobs & The Economy w. Jeff Rose of ThinkTopic

Jeff Rose presenting in a very special Boulder Startup Week 2017 talk.   Artificial intelligence is undergoing a renaissance, with the number of relevant research papers, startups, applications, and new ideas expanding rapidly.  These new capabilities will enable people and result in greater aggregate productivity, analogous to the invention of the steam engine that powered the industrial revolution.  At the same time many laborers, drivers, assembly line workers, and even some more skilled roles in society will be made redundant.  This shift will have both positive and negative consequences for individuals’ lives, society, and the economy, which is why it is important to start understanding the trends and preparing now.

Join Jeff Rose, CEO of Boulder AI company ThinkTopic, to discuss the technology, economic and political landscape of our automated future.

0.45 — Programmable Money w. Piper Merriam

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to be TCP/IP of money. What does the future look like if they do to money, what the internet did for information? Learn about Ethereum, one of the top cryptocurrencies of 2017.  Piper Merriam, Ethereum developer, presenting at Boulder Startup Week. 

Video of this talk available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPoaMC1qNFY and embedded below:



0.15 — What you need to know to build a Virtual Reality app — Mark Manes

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The week’s episode features Mark Manes; Director of Mobile Development at Markit On Demand and organizer of the Colorado Virtual Reality Meetup.  Mark takes us through a state of the VR ecosystem and the different build options for Virtual Reality apps.

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0.13 – The Human Brain, Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity w. Jeff Rose

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This week’s episode is a Boulder Startup Week talk featuring Jeff Rose, the Founder and CEO of ThinkTopic.  Jeff’s expertise is in operating systems, algorithms, neural networks, image processing and information retrieval.   Jeff’s talk is about Artificial Intelligence;which has seen a lot of hype recently from big dollar startup acquisitions to doomsday predictions. These lead to more questions than answers such as – What is at the core of AI advancements? What’s driving the hype? And what are the true promises and perils of a “super intelligence?”

Jeff will walk through the design of the neocortex, how the mechanism of the human brain translates to AI software, and the reasons why machine learning is taking off today. Finally, get a “hype-free” view of its potential while engaging in some fun thought experiments on future AI utopias and dystopias.

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0.11 — Connecting Humans in Virtual Reality w. Greg Schafer

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This week’s episode is a talk by Greg Schafer, presented at the ‘Future of Tech’ track at Boulder Startup Week.    Greg is an engineer at Occipital, a full stack Spatial Computing company based in Boulder Colorado.  Greg’s talk is entitled ‘Connecting Humans in Virtual Reality’.  In it, Greg articulates an optimistic vision for humanities future of people being connected, to their passions and to each other, through the immersive technology that is known as ‘Virtual Reality’.

Find Greg on twitter @ https://twitter.com/grschafer and find Occipital at Occipital.com.

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Intro: Welcome to this week’s episode this week we’ll be continuing our Boulder startup week, the future of tech events and we have a talk from Greg Shaffer. Greg is a backend engineer at Octipital he’ll be talking about Virtual Reality. If you’ve never tried VR this might not be for you. There’s a certain amount of presence that modern VR headsets, like the HTC Vive and the Oculis Rift create for their users. A lot of folks that I’ve talked to who are skeptics have just never tried it. But I’ve never talked to someone who is a total skeptic after trying VR. If you’ve never experienced VR, it’s probably worth getting a Google cardboard, they’re only ten bucks on Amazon and getting enough VR experiences under your belt before listening to this episode. Alright enough with the caveats. Greg’s talk is about connecting humans in VR. In his talk, Greg presents a vision for the future where VR is not a medium for escapism but rather a medium for education, training and connecting people with their passions and to each other. Enjoy!

Greg Schafer: I’m talking about connecting humans in VR and there are a lot of visions of the future where we isolate ourselves we build up incredible machines and artificial intelligences that that look after us and anticipate our needs
they’re just really really helpful. But more seriously, the technologies we’re building and the technologies from stories of the near future, they engage us more forcefully than any natural thing has. They manipulate our chemistry and our sense of self. They can enthrall us and in more extreme versions of these stories they can turn around and enslave us. So these visions of the future they might be easy to dismiss. They are sci fi or whatever but thats the thing about technology is that it moves really really fast and that’s especially true of virtual reality. Things are gonna change so fast in ways that people can’t really predict and in some ways we’re not all that far away from being constantly plugged in and seeing virtual worlds as our home and as where we belong. I’m not here to be an alarmist or the fear monger about this, I just want to emphasize that VR is incredibly powerful and it represents a huge opportunity for us to grow more connected rather than more isolated. There’s a lab in Stanford that’s been running psychology and sociology experiments in VR for over a decade an they’ve had a lot of interesting results about how powerful or effective VR is for different things and this a quote from the director where he compares retroology to Uranium, where he says it’s this really powerful thing saying it can heat homes, it can destroy nations. It’s all about how we use it. So he wants us to try to create positive experiences, because of a very tense experience in the virtual world, changes you in the real world. And that’s one area where VR has a lot of power is in creating presence and manipulating our senses and causing these psychological and sociological changes on a deep fundamental level. One of their studies they took a group of kids and had them play with whales in VR. One week later they said they remembered as if it actually happened in the physical world. And kids would probably be some of the heaviest users of VR as they’re growing up and getting used to this technology and they’re very impressionable it will make a lasting impact on their development. But it’s not just that VR has a powerful effect on kids it does on adults as well. Another study they ran they opened up a pit in the floor underneath participants and they had grown adults shrieking when the pit was opening, they freak out, they quiver, they sweat, their heart rate rises and it’s all because VR with presence attaches them to a very low level of our brain. And it’s very powerful and can also be very useful. In one of their studies, they used it to try to create empathy. So the lab took an avatar of you and then you could see yourself in the mirror and replace yourself with an avatar of a different race, or a different age or sex and then you experienced discrimination in VR based on your new avatar appearance. And they’ve done a variety of these kinds of studies based on body image, agism, sexism, etcetera and repeated exposure and adjusting to this reality could have a big impact on how we treat each other. Or it could become a non issue if we end up spending the majority of our time interacting in VR instead of real life which is kind of the premise put forward by Ray Cursweil whose a famous futurist in two thousand three he said “” By the twenty thirties, virtual reality will be totally realistic and compelling and we’ll spend most of our time in virtual..”””

We will become virtual humans. So if we’re spending the majority of our interaction in VR, we should make sure that VR lends itself to connecting people, because the alternative is where we all sit in our rooms, throw on our headsets, and live out in our own little worlds and our own fantasies in isolation, and there are tons and tons of studies that talk about how social isolation is really bad. It increases your likelihood of death by 23 percent and is a risk factor for disease on par with smoking and obesity. It leads to stress, inhibits learning, and causes a whole host of other negative mental and psychological effects. So VR is a powerful tool for affecting human psychology, and it may very well take over how we live our lives and interact. So I think it’s really important that we find ways to connect with other people in VR. And in some ways, interacting in VR will allow more flexibility and creativity than in real life, ’cause you’re not limited by geography or by physical tools at hand or the scale or available space around you, and this is where a lot of the business opportunity of VR is: is in connecting people, creating these connections that are more compelling than solo experiences. One obvious business example is enterprise telepresence. That’s been talked up for decades and yet we’re still sending people around the world on business trips. Employers know that it costs a lot of money to send people around, it affects the environment, it affects emloyees’ work-life balance and productivity, but we’re still kinda stuck doing that right now. Soon, VR will make it so that we don’t have to, we can have telepresence around the world just by making a call. Telepresence definitely isn’t limited to just enterprise. Consumer telepresence will be a valuable way to connect with family and friends and relatives across the world as well. This is one vision of what that might look like, with microsoft hololens, it’s just going to be kind of a more immersive and interactive kind of skype or facetime, and those apps are used for billions of hours every day. In the same vein of sharing experiences and presence with friends, this is an example of oculus social, where you can watch movies and TV shows in VR with friends, and the film industry is huge: they’re still trying to figure out how VR will affect what they do and how they distribute their content. The same is kind of true of gaming. This is another oculus demo, and I particularly love this video because it harkens back to the childhood days of unstructured but incredibly engaging and creative play, just messing around. And there’s just tremendous potential in being able to build and play with others in virtual spaces. VR is also going to bring people together around events. You can follow your favorite sports teams with friends across the country, around the world, and engage with that kind of content in ways that have never been possible before. You can also share experiences like concerts with friends. Artists like beck, paul mccartney and jack white have already started recording and streaming their concerts in VR, and music festival coachella handed out cardboard headsets to attendees, which makes no sense, but okay. VR will also be important in collaboration, in engineering and design of products, or of systems, vehicles. And a lot of this is just being able to get the vision out of your head and being able to share it with co-workers in your office or on the other side of the planet. To be able to walk around your creation, to collaborate more readily and iterate on it with colleagues. And not only design of products and devices but of spaces also. Architecture and interior design, urban and city planning will all benefit again from getting the idea, the vision, out of your head, being able to share it, and walk around it, and to experience it in an immersive and kind of first-person way. Perhaps the most utopian application of VR will be in education, and in terms of bridging culture. So soon, you’ll be able to take a third grade class and have them go on a trip with a third grade class from india or mexico or anywhere, and share those language and history and all those skills together. This particular program, expeditions, is from google, and they send all of the VR hardware to a school for a day so they can take virtual field trips to the bottom of the ocean or ancient ruins or inside the human body or around the solar system. And what we’re really getting to is magic school bus, which is awesome. And it works. There have been tons of studies that show VR increases engagement and attention and retention and helps with autism and learning disorders.
“Beyond education in the classroom we will also continue learning in simulation and training. VR is especially useful for dangerous or expensive situations like astronauts, Pilots surgeons, law enforcement, firefighters all these teams of people can come together VR and improve their real world skills. So VR has an incredible power to transport us to other worlds to share experiences and ideas and in some ways it could be the next big step in our evolution as humans and as a civilization. You are the ones that are going to be building and using this new superpower, and I emplore to make it shared experience for you to encourage connection and to bring people together and most importantly please no virtual reality Clippy I don’t want it. So thanks.

Thanks Greg

Questions for Greg?

Are you excited about no man’s sky and the applications?

Yeah ok.

Yup, yup, ok for exploring definitely. I haven’t heard that much about it but, it, it seems really cool and kind of Harkens back to the scale thing just having the entire universe fly around and explore yeah.

(Inaudible comment)
No man’s sky is a game as far as I know it’s kind of like a universal exploration game. You have your spaceship and you can go land on planets and there will be procedurally generated creatures and foreign fauna and you get to find and label them or something like that.

So you had an example of a surgeon and the idea is that they would practice the surgery with no real world real world problems us moving towards maybe not even calling it virtual reality, but alternate reality because isn’t that like an incentive to just live in the world where you can’t mess up. Do you see the far future people living this reality that we create and abandoning the reality we live in now?

Potentially and that kind of gets to some of the borderline fear-mongering at the start our people might just plug in and try to forget, yes it could happen.

Are you interested in it or not really?

In it happening?

I don’t mean it in a fear way but I feel like there’s a social stigma about virtual reality because of that and I feel like once it’s more common ground they might be conversation of doing that.

Yeah, I mean escapism has always been kind of part of the human experience, and I think it always will be. But there’s going to be limits and moderation I’m not sure anyone wants to go way to plugging in maybe some people do I don’t know



So my wife actually has an idea she’s in Healthcare, patients, we just don’t know where to begin. You know like where do we begin, exploring, finding someone that can build that technology that particular technology (Inaudible) exists so I’m kinda figuring out where do I start with all of this?

I’m probably not the person to ask

I’ll take that one


The next topic is titled building virtual reality, that and we have a VR workshop on Friday at 2 or 3 p.m. at Gorilla Logic it’s, it’s full but come say hi to me after the event anyway and we’ll find a way to make it work

Alright cool thank you

Can I just throw out something I’m in the position I’m working with a group over in, in Burnfield that is negotiating right now with NASA they do a virtual surgery and what’s funny is they, like two years ago they one of the guys said this isn’t working. When I make a mistake I want the subject to go uhh, so one of the things that they are finding now is the surgeons that are using it they are spreading their surgical system for training and now NASA has bought on, I think they are buy 3 units and in development. One of the things the doctors are saying when the patient goes uhhhh it, it, they have heart palpitations. It’s, it’s, they are finding out surgeons the will sweat as much as if they are stepping in and they said there are things they just never conceived of, but they said one of the best things is that the other surgeon Tilly said that my students, it was a guy from Helsinki said my students will learn nothing, you’re teaching them in a similar (Inaudible) I need to hear uhh or they will become brutal and its funny, his singular insight all the surgeons are trying the same thing.”
“1:..appreciate that…
2:Yup! That’s a good point. Yup!
3: inaudible
2:I work at Occipital and back in um web engineer, um we’re kind of doing VR, um so or mixed reality, and that’d be something to cover in the talk um tomorrow as well um, kind of more of a demonstration of what we’re working on. Kid’s VR.
1:…is for kids….actually although the answer to that…do you guys…
4:…Julian who’s with the CO VR had actually done a program recently where they were doing kind of a unity development um workshop, this kind of all day project, and uh you know let kids come in and work with work with adults on building, basically building…so I so I know people….I don’t know
2:what was the name of that?
4:um the the guy is Julian Lenge and he’s actually the one who is running the workshop or doing the workshop with you on Friday..
1:on Friday yeah
4:so I would go check it out talk to him
1:yeah..that’s..that’s more targeted at professionals but come grab me after, after the conversation, we’ll figure it out, so I think we have time for maybe two more questions..
2: in the back
5: I have a question about VR, I think it’s interesting I recently saw … open kit, fascinating and it was interesting I knew how to do whatever I wanted without my buddy who owned it telling me what to do. I have been training a publications company that does management operations…all various….in business spaces…software video company and so Boston dynamics and other companies are working with these multimillion dollar robots that they are a huge failure it takes like 500,000 lines of code for them to take one step, put some rocks down on the ground and they fall all over the place, and so I start thinking you know as a child I had to learn how to walk and crawl and do all these things and yea so if we want these robots to be autonomous you know if we were all on fire right now we would want this robot team to come in a break us out right? That’s the idea, the future is coming. And so one of the potential reality of humans to create the…steam up and the landscape mentally to be uploaded to these robots give them the understanding of what is learning and crawling and picking things up and breaking through barriers and can you see a….fit of…occipital,..virtual reality teams working together along with these…robots..that maybe could..human casualties we don’t have to have soldiers coming back with limbs missing, what do you see..im sorry now I know that’s a really long question..
2: yeah ha
5:taking all that together, I think that’s why a lot of us are here, what are the possibilities?
2: uh yeah that’s a big question..i mean a big a big part of the robots is the hardware, that a huge part of the expense and controlling that um, I mean some of the decision making and planning you might be able to like apply deep learning to or put humans in virtual reality um learn based on that and kind of apply it to robots
5:..human intuition…
2: yeah, I mean that’s kind of a machine learning question which I am no expert at um…one more? Go ahead.
6: So uh I was a doubter about virtual reality until I got the latest HTC set and now I I I just love it its amazing…so think about the interactions and not having … developments going on in partnership with other technology so that not only do you have the psychological experience but you are interacting with your environment..you get feedback so you can feel things around you or you get um you you you you can have the sensation of you know somebody just tapped me on the shoulder or something like that, are there things like that starting to happen?
2: Um, to an extent, uh the Standford lab um like they have their fancy virtual uh VR headset and uh like speakers and the floor is able to like vibrate uh based on what’s happening in the game um for some of the fear of heights stuff they did, they had like a railing that they would move as well…there’s another example I was trying to think of, there’s another meet up, or talk, relevant, i’ll let you pitch that.
1:….so yeah the mixed reality event tomorrow there one of the speakers is going to be talking about forced feedback in virtual reality which I think is basically the…
1: So, today an implication, a lot of focus is on hands-on, students having a hands-on activity. Do you see VR can reach them get there? Hands-on, obviously, you cannot do for everything. What do you think about it?
2: Uh, in terms of actually physically interacting with stuff?
1: Yes, yes. Hands-on today means physically interacting, but then in reality you cannot put hands-on on every subject, so, I mean, do you see VR can bridge that gap?
2: I mean, if you’re referring to, like, the physical feedback portion of it, I think it’s, to some extent, been shown that people aren’t still engaged and immersed, even though they aren’t, like, clicking triggers on controllers to grab things and to interact with things. Again, like, having the physical feedback is a good thing to see the talk tomorrow about force feedback. But in general, Virtual Reality, your imagination is the limit. Anything can be made there. You’re not limited by scale, or physics, or gravity or anything, really. So, you can imagine and portray all these different fields, and educate about all these different things. Sorry, very vague answer, but, yeah, VR is going to powerful in pretty much changing or educating about anything, I think.
3: I think that’s all the time we have for questions. Thanks, Greg.

0.9 – ZCash, a Privacy-centric blockchain w. Zooko Wilcox

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This week’s episode is a talk on privacy-centric cryptocurrencies by Zooko Wilcox.

Zooko has more than 20 years of experience in open, decentralized systems, cryptography and information security, and startups. He is recognized for his work on DigiCash, Mojo Nation, ZRTP, “Zooko’s Triangle”, Tahoe-LAFS, BLAKE2, and SPHINCS.

Find zooko on twitter @ https://twitter.com/zooko and find ZCash at https://z.cash/

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0.7 — A world transformed by Cryptocurrency & Smart Contracts — Piper Merriam

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Piper Merriam is a Senior Software Engineer at QuickLeft and a contributor to the Ethereum Project.  In his talk at the Boulder Startup Week 2016, he presents his vision for “The World in 2026”; a world in which the world is transformed by Cryptocurrency & Smart Contracts

Follow Piper on twitter at @pipermerriam.

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