The second episode of Click's State of America special features underwater drones, stories from Silicon Valley and the Silicon Slopes of Utah as well as tech helping the homeless.
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This week - madness in the States with superhuman diving drones,
a robot in a hat and four hackers doing the Macarena.
So here we are again, the hottest place on earth.
Silicon Valley, stretching from San Francisco all
The cafes are awash with start-ups, people are brimming
with ideas and the streets are paved with silicon.
And at the heart of it all is Stanford University.
As you would expect, there's tonnes of innovation around this place.
In fact, you never know who you're going to bump into next.
And actually, he's trying not to bump into you.
He's bristling with sensors and trying to learn how the people
What social conventions they follow, whether they group together,
whether they get out of your way. Or not.
The hat and tie are there, apparently, to show
The whole look, I have to say, is a little too Westworld for me
but the aim, according to his master is to create an algorithm that can
help a robot learn how to move through pedestrian environments
and how to behave in different parts of the world.
We often refer to it as a socially aware AI.
Having artificial intelligence that is socially aware
of its surroundings, or going beyond IQ,
to emotional intelligence. That is our goal.
So how is this different from self-driving cars?
In self-driving cars, you have well-defined rules.
But in social crowds, you have unwritten rules.
Humans interact with each other based on social conventions,
Nobody has really sat down and started to write that.
We want to see if the machine can learn these rules by observation.
Have you found that people react differently in different
We believe that every culture, every country has its own behaviour,
and that is why we have decided to develop an algorithm that
can learn on the fly, that can learn from observation how
humans interact with each other and simulate it.
Just to be clear, Jack is not learning how to move,
he is learning how to learn how to move.
The resulting algorithm can then be used by any bot,
to learn the social conventions of the place it finds itself in,
be it an Asian market, a European hotel or an American city.
Mind you, not all American cities are the same.
Marc Cieslak has been to a place with a slightly different
These are the silicon slopes of Utah.
Welcome to the streets of Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City in Utah is perhaps most famous as the home
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
Perhaps less well-known is that in recent years a whole number
of established and start-up tech companies have moved
into the surrounding areas, and the state of Utah itself.
Josh Coates is a veteran tech entrepreneur whose business life
And here he is dressed as a panda melting a ribbon
with a flame-thrower to open his offices in Utah.
He is CEO of Instructure, a company which creates training
and learning management software for education and business.
He tells me they do things a bit differently around here.
When I moved here in 2005 and I was doing a start-up,
The first year I was here, I was like, oh my gosh,
it's seven o'clock and the parking lot is empty.
It's a really hard-working, exciting, driven culture
You've got young people but they're married and they have kids.
And they don't go out and party, generally speaking.
They have good times in more family-friendly kind of ways,
and they're not working 80 or 90 hours a week.
Utah has a unique culture, it is kind of a weird state.
Whenever you get a lot of young people and you sprinkle in some
ambition then cool stuff comes out of it.
While property in Silicon Valley is at a premium, Utah has
With properties commercial and domestic costing less
That combined with an abundance of tech talent from local
Brigham Young University is the largest private religious
99% of the students are members of the Church of Jesus Christ
The Mormon faith focuses heavily on family values.
It also prohibits the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
I think we have a really unique group of students.
I remember when I was at college, if I had an 8am class,
I would get there and there was about 60 students supposed to be
at the class, and there would probably be about three
or four of us there at the start of the class.
A lot of them tired or hungover from the night before.
And it's really different to see them awake and alert at 8:00am
in the morning and just ready to absorb and learn information.
Professor Rowe runs the University's information technology course.
A team of its students recently took part in a national
The National Collegiate Cyber Defence Competition is one
where teams from around the United States come
together and basically we are given a scenario.
We're put in individual rooms by team where we have an IT
infrastructure that has been given to us and our job is to defend that
infrastructure from active attacks that are happening
It's kind of two days of anxiety, but it's also incredibly fun.
To relieve the stress of the competition, the team
The BYU team ultimately took second place in the competition overall.
We were the first team that has gone to NCCDC that had
an equal amount gender wise, so we had 50% women, 50% men.
Not really having any opportunity to have a criminal record of any
sort has made it really nice to be able to go up to companies
and they can look at your record and say, oh, you look
like someone who we can trust with sensitive data.
However, there is a perception that the Mormon faith places
an emphasis on men working while women stay at
One of the reasons that I actually became an IT major was
because it is so adaptable to be able to work from home,
or I can just work on projects if I would like.
And so that was actually a big selling point for me,
that it was something that I could do and be with a family.
So this is a state with a vibrant tech scene which differentiates
itself from Silicon Valley in more ways than one.
Welcome to the Whee Kim Tech. It was the week that poor command goal
proved controversial. Players move around in the real world to achieve
objectives in the game. Some have injured themselves. Some have good
players into remote areas to rob them. We might be closer to
hypersonic travel. That would mean a plane travelling from London to
Sydney in four hours. The European Space Agency has provided the final
cash and get -- cash injection for this vehicle. It could jet into
space. Land Rover's research could make it tonne is striving possible
on any surface or to rain. The camera and sensors should be able to
see better than a human. It should allow the vehicle to plan a route.
Do you think there is not enough room for everything? Maybe you need
some reported furniture. Created using MIT media lab technology, this
moves the river around making space in the right place at the right
time. This has already been deployed to
investigate sea beds. It can doubt be deeper than a human can. The
controller sets on a boat. He can feel through feedback in the
controllers. Although the robot has eight thrusters and 14 motors, they
have managed to make it intuitive to control where you can steer the
entire robot using these two controls here. Today and driving the
3-D simulation and taking me through my paces is this researcher. You can
rotate your wrist. This is the first time I have done this. I got. Why
did you decide to make a robot in the shape of a human? Partially it
is due to functionality. If it has two arms and two legs than as you
control it you feel like you are there and there is one-to-one
mapping in terms of manipulation. The robot is meant to work around
humans and the human friendly sold by shaping it in a human manner it
comes across as a friendly robot and we want to get the right impression,
it is a robot that it is safe to be around. Per8-mac I will just pop the
stone there. -- I will just put this down here. Per8-mac for controllers
with more expertise, Ocean one has already created Treasurer. It found
this has lain at the bottom of the Mediterranean for 350 years.
After years of talking about drones they go up, it is nice to see one
that goes down instead. Dave has travelled to one of the most
beautiful places in the United States to see what lies beneath.
People have been living here and visiting here for over a century.
You couldn't drive around the lakes of the only way to get around it was
built. Many ships called the lake their home but only one was referred
to by name. She carried the mail and visitors and cargo to all of these
places where there is no road connecting them, so the connection
was from the steamer. As the boat grew old it was intentionally sunk
in an attempt to preserve it, but it did not work. She sank to deep and
until now all made the most skilled divers could reach it. There are
trucks that let you by sending a live video back to the surface. Our
goal is to inspire curiosity. This underwater drone began as a
kick-start project. Today it is searching for the ship. We will be
doing all our operations from this room, this is Mission control. It
has a camera and lights and batteries. There will be sending a
signal to the surface. We are operating everything from here. The
focus of the project is affordability and accessibility.
This is in a multi-million dollar expedition to the deep, it is a
community effort. We do not know what is going to happen. We are
testing new equipment. Everyone is watching. I guess that is what
explanation is. -- exploration. We are 150 metres down on the lake
and we're just getting a first look at the ship.
No one has been this close to the steamship for more than 70 years.
I think what is most exciting about what is happening here is not so
much that they're able to go to the boat and look around, more the way
they are able to do it. This technology is affordable. That robot
was the same cost as a high-end laptop. The first time anyone who
wants can explore places that we have not been looking at before and
I'm excited to see what they will find.
Last year we revealed the latest multi-dollar idea. We were told that
we should put all our money into the start-up that does this. Delivering
quarters on for your laundry. You pay 15 dollars and you get $10 of
quarries. -- quarters. I do not want to spend time going to the store and
picking out my groceries and I do not want to wait for my close to
watch. I would rather outsource that, pool our pineapple on my phone
and have someone do it for me. It is time to put on this same shirt as
last time and lets see how those ideas are getting on. Thank you for
having this year. Last year we talked about this explosion in
start-ups that were servicing other start-ups, doing your laundry and
you are earning for you. How's that going? That might not have been the
best idea. A lot of start-ups are struggling with that business model.
They were charging too little. They started having a problem making
money and surviving and some have shut down. You can still find
someone to do these things for you, assisted living for the silicon
valley start-up worker is still happening. Is there a bubble? I
think that there is and it shifted six months ago. There are companies
out there we call unicorns, they are meant to be rare, but now there are
many companies worth more than $1 billion. Will it be worth that when
it goes public? We do not know. The problem is that investors are
starting to pull back and really question whether this is a good
business idea. Your laundry start-ups were a perfect example.
Investors are starting to question the value of these businesses. There
is a change in what people are excited about and it is moving
towards artificial intelligence and other futuristic technologies and
less of these OnDemand, subsidise your life options. Thank you for
your time. For all the money that there is this place you do not have
to go far in San Francisco to see the opposite side of things. City
suffers from chronic homelessness. We met one entrepreneur who is
trying to solve one piece of that problem.
It's the world's dumbest problem, according to Komal Ahmad.
So she is using technology to solve it.
The idea sprang while she was at UC Berkeley.
She had invited a homeless man to join her for lunch.
He said, my name is John, I just came back from my second
I have been waiting weeks for my benefits to kick
And then to add insult to injury, right across the street,
Berkeley's dining hall was throwing away thousands of pounds
That lunch led Ahmad to start COPIA, which earlier this
Businesses and event organisers can request a pick-up of their excess
food and have it delivered to feed communities in need.
Click tagged along as COPIA picked up a hefty donation
from The Whole Cart, which caters meals for
COPIA charges for the pick-up and a per pound fee.
For another fee it also provides analytics, an appealing feature
Picking up food from donors, delivering it to recipients
and making sure it doesn't spoil in the process is,
as you might imagine, an enormous logistical puzzle.
But it's made simpler with algorithms.
When somebody opens up the COPIA app, they will say
So they could say, I have 1000 lbs of food, chicken
And our algorithm on the back end will now match that exact amount
and type of food to the nearest nonprofit that can accept the most
amount of food and then it will also match it to a driver
who will have the most efficient route to go and drop
Within an hour, COPIA arrives at a women's shelter run
by the Berkeley Food and Housing Project.
The donated food provides a healthier option to the frozen
And it frees up money to be spent on other services.
It feels good to know that, OK, I won't be hungry,
It is cold outside, it's raining, I'm inside.
In five years, COPIA has helped feed 700,000 people.
An unexpected big donation might require extra staff or vehicles.
And finding nonprofit organisations within close proximity of donors
The plan is to perfect the model in the San Francisco
Other start-ups are also using what would otherwise be wasted.
Spoiler Alert doesn't deliver the food but offers a marketplace
SIRUM collects access medication from nursing homes or pharmacies
and gives it to patients in need at mental health facilities.
The prescriptions are typically for chronic conditions,
It's the sharing economy with a 'waste not, want not' twist.
That was Sumi with a tech idea that seems to be doing some genuine
Next week I'm going to be in LA as our US journey continues.
There are worse ways to spend your summer.
I have been looking for it since they start of June and finally I
have found some hot weather. Things are going to warm up next