Data Download: Is the Metaverse the Final Frontier?
Data Download: Is the Metaverse the Final Frontier? And… Will You Book a Room at a Private Space Station? View this email in your browser
Is Space or The Metaverse the Final Frontier For Tech Titans?
At last, it feels like the tech industry has learned that moving fast and breaking things is not the best way forward. Instead, a more proactive approach that prevents future problems from arising is gaining momentum. For example, in the last week alone, we have learned that the movement to hold AI accountable is gaining steam and that data centers could cause severe environmental damage if we don’t regulate them now.
Despite the Collins Dictionary unveiling NFT as its word of the year and an increasing hype around new online worlds, Snap is bucking the trend by sidestepping the Metaverse. Are we beginning to think bigger than an online or offline world here on planet Earth? Recent news around private space stations coming and exploring what space tourism will look like suggests the future isn’t what it used to be.
The scene is set for humans to explore a new online metaverse, and space tourism will also continue to become a reality. But how did we get here? We invite you to learn more about who Inspired Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ Space Visions and how Tesla has become the world’s biggest robot company.
As we prepare for life in 2022, let us know if you find the road ahead exciting, terrifying, or a mixture of both.
And, if you like what we’re doing, or know someone who you think could be part of our 2022 plan to grow, we may have the job for you! Apply here.
The NYC Media Lab
The Movement to Hold AI Accountable Gains More Steam
As algorithms play an increasing role in our lives, we are beginning to see some of its biggest flaws. For example, automated decision-making systems are now used in healthcare, housing, employment, and education. But a New York City law requires algorithms used in hiring to be “audited” for bias. It’s the first in the US and part of a larger push toward regulation that hopefully removes discrimination and prejudice from algorithms that impact our daily lives.
Wired/ 8 min read
Data Centers Could Cause Serious Environmental Damage — If We Don’t Regulate Them Now
We seldom think about the environmental impacts of endlessly scrolling down our smartphones or binge-watching the latest boxset in glorious 4K. But there is an inconvenient truth around the actual cost of our data consumption. As our insatiable appetite for data grows, authorities are beginning to calculate the real cost of water consumption by data centers, carbon emissions, and impacts of e-waste on our environment.
TNW/ 3 min read
Tech + Media
How Snap Is Sidestepping the Metaverse
What will the next generation of the internet look like? Although web 3.0 failed to reach buzzword status, 2021 will be remembered for the year that people first got excited about NFTs and the Metaverse. But Snap is taking a slightly different route by betting directly on hardware and developers to build an AR future that enables users to perceive and render digital experiences directly into the real world.
The Verge/ 7 min read
Private Space Stations Are Coming. What Can Tourists Expect?
When William Shatner went boldly where no 90-year-old has gone before, the dream of Space Travel quickly went from just a dream to a reality. But recent news that NASA will be developing three commercial space stations to create places for humans to live and work in space could go a long way to bringing the concept of space 4.0 to life.
TNW/ 4 min read
Why Is ‘NFT’ the Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year?
Did you find it difficult to avoid NFT, the more commonly used abbreviated version of non-fungible token in 2021? Collins Dictionary revealed that the use of the term increased by 11,000%, which was more than enough to make it their word of the year.
Although many still struggle to grasp the concept of NFTs, its official definition attempts to simpify things by describing it as a unique digital certificate registered in a blockchain that is used to record the ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible.
WEF/ 2 min read
What We’re Watching
‘Tesla as the World’s Biggest Robot Company:’ Elon Musk on AI and U.S. Innovation
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX recently said in an interview at the WSJ CEO Council summit that government should take a more hands-off approach to innovation. He added that rules and regulations are becoming a growing problem that “hardens the arteries of civilization.” The interview makes for compelling viewing, and it will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions from inspiring to terrifying.
WSJ/ 36 min watch
What We’re Listening To
Who Inspired Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ Space Visions?
Fred Scharmen joins Paris Marx on the Tech Won’t Save Us Podcast. They discuss Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ visions for space colonization, the inspiration they draw from the work of Wernher von Braun and Gerard O’Neill, and what’s wrong with basing our future on those ideas.
Spotify/ 53 min listen Listen Here
Virtual Events & Jobs
The NYC Media Lab (that’s us!) is looking for an Associate Director of Marketing!
This responsibility involves assessing and creating the New York City Media Lab’s voice (in collaboration with the Executive Director), the Media Lab’s marketing plan and marketing strategy, planning, coordinating, and leading marketing efforts. Develop and implement NYC Media lab’s marketing, communications, events and social media effort that targets specific audiences and stakeholders increasing brand awareness and membership. Think this job sounds perfect for you? Then you can learn more and apply here!
NYC Crypto Crew
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
In case you missed the memo, the NY Bitcoin Community is now NYC Crypto Crew! There is a fireside chat at next week’s event with Nodar Janashia, Co-Founder at Zapper. The DeFi dashboard startup raised $15M & recently crossed $3 billion in total transacted volume & DeFrag — a decentralized liquidity market protocol where borrowers can use NFT assets as collateral to get a loan.
Future Of DeFi
Thursday, December 16, 2021
The rise of decentralized finance has become impossible to ignore. The Future of DeFi summit will bring forth industry experts from around the globe to share actionable insights and share case studies about how DeFi is shaping the next era of global finance.
Network with key decision-makers, discover exciting DeFi projects, and explore the current opportunities and challenges in the space with think tanks, blockchain entrepreneurs, policymakers, regulators, and investors.
A Deeper Look
Meet the Man Who Wants to Electrify Every Building in America
Did you know that Buildings account for almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States? And a whopping 80% of domestic energy comes from fossil fuels. Donnel Baird grew up in 1980s’ Bedford Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn neighborhood riddled with vacant buildings. His family would use the oven to heat the apartment because their building had a dysfunctional HVAC system.
That upbringing inspired Baird to launch BlocPower, a startup that helps electrify buildings across America. He shares his mission to ensure that everyone gets heating and cooling — the green way. No fossil fuels, no gas, just clean electricity.
Fast Company/ 5 min read