In Episode 34 of my weekly update, I’m sharing stories and insights about the first long-distance heart surgery performed via robot, Jack Ma and Elon Musk sparring over the future impact of AI, and Alibaba’s brick-and-mortar maneuver in Madrid, Spain as part of its strategic plan to take on Amazon globally.
In Episode 19 I shared how Google and Northwestern Medicine developed an AI model capable of detecting lung cancer better than radiologists, as an example of industry leaders leveraging intersecting exponential technologies to deliver advances. We continue to see this across the health industry spectrum; from advances in synthetic biology where companies like Moderna Therapeutics are programming cells, to progress in the emerging field of telemedicine using robotics for remote surgical procedures (surgical robots market is projected to be worth over $8B in less than a decade). For those interested, see the fascinating paper, Long Distance Tele-Robotic-Assisted Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: A Report of First-in-Human Experience, published in The Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine.
A person rejected from working at Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a person who sent a car hurtling into space, walk into a bar…seems like a great setup for a hilarious joke based on the real life experiences of Jack Ma and Elon Musk. However, Ma and Musk are anything but that. As two of some of the most prolific business leaders in history, they have driven considerable progress in the digital age. With a long and publicized history of disagreeing on the overarching menace of AI evolution, sharing the same stage to discuss that very topic was a highly anticipated global event between two giants. Beyond the various memorable jabs (for example Jack Ma noting, “We invented a computer…I never saw a computer invent a human being”), the discussion illuminated how key innovators are seeing the future of industry and our daily lives.
With an annual revenue that is 4x that of its own, Alibaba has been systematically chipping away at Amazon’s epic global stronghold on e-commerce and retail. Each conglomerate has been innovating both at the most technical levels (Amazon Prime Air drones set to begin autonomous one-day drone deliveries), and with traditional digital tools (Alibaba giving 30 million American manufacturers access to create commerce sites on Alibaba’s platform). Through its first European store in Madrid, Spain, Alibaba’s brick and mortar play allows shoppers to browse and test products, and then purchase them online.