The term last-mile problem comes from the telecom industry, which observed that it costs inordinately more to build and manage the last-mile of infrastructure to the home than to bring infrastructure to the hub city or residential perimeter. Businesses are starting to discover a similar last-mile delivery problem in AI: It is much harder to weave AI technologies into business processes that actually run companies than it is to build or buy the AI and machine learning (ML) models that promise to improve those processes. "The path to deploying ML is still expensive," said Ian Xiao, manager at Deloitte Omnia, Deloitte Canada's AI consulting practice. He estimates that most companies deploy only between 10% and 40% of their machine learning projects depending on their size and technology readiness. In fact, the last-mile problem is a bit of a misnomer when applied to AI deployment in the enterprise.
Advances in machine learning, data management, and cloud computing are having a significant impact on the market for drone-based mapping and intelligence gathering. Even as satellite-based imaging gains steam, drones appear to be extending their lead closer to Earth. We are in the midst of a renaissance in drone-based aerial intelligence. From counting the number of koalas in the Australian outback to detecting enemy combatants inside of buildings, drones seem to be everywhere at the moment. The surge in drone use is great news for Krishnan Hariharan, the CEO of Kespry, a 30-person California drone AI startup.
Industrial drones are nothing new, but the growth curve and pace of adoption is pretty astounding. The adoption of industrial drone programs by industry is expected to increase at a 66.8% compound annual growth rate over the next year. The best aerial hardware and technology stacks for keeping an eye on operations, individuals, and valued assets from above. Industrial drones are being used in major industries like insurance, mining and aggregates, using cutting-edge technologies (AI, machine learning, and deep data analytics, to name a few) to drastically reduce the time workers spend gathering and analyzing data while increasing accuracy and positively impacting the bottom line. All of these working together result in a growing field impacting industrial work and forever changing how these industries operate on a daily basis globally: smart inspections.
It'd be easy to miss the unobtrusive brown door to Joon Yun's second floor office, tucked away next to a dry cleaners and a hair salon in downtown Palo Alto, California. But the address itself speaks loud enough. Four-hundred-seventy University Avenue is located in the heart of a neighborhood that holds a special place in the lore of Silicon Valley start-up culture. A few minutes' walk away are the early homes of PayPal, Facebook, and Google. Yet the early ambitions of these famous companies are modest when compared to the ideas I've come to discuss with Yun. I've been led here by Sonia Arrison, a Silicon Valley local and author of 100-Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith. Arrison has agreed to show me around her strange Californian world, populated with very wealthy, very smart dreamers, who share her certainty that a longevity revolution is on its way. We've arrived on Yun's doorstep to learn how and why he, along with a small group of big power players, plan to "cure" aging and extend human health span--and possibly even human life--by decades, if not centuries. "I essentially made a wager to myself that aging is a code," Yun explains to me from across a shiny conference table. "If aging is a code, that code could be cracked and hacked.
These are just some of the innovative ways that startups are tackling mortality and increasing the human lifespan. In this report, we dive into each one and track what progress has been made in the quest to find the elusive fountain of youth. How can we live longer? How do we become healthy enough so that we can extend our lifespans by 5, 10, or even 50 extra years? For example, what if you could feel 25 at the age of 75? These are the big questions that scientists have been trying to answer for decades, with few answers. Understanding how we age on a physiological level is an incredibly complex topic. It shares many of the cellular and molecular processes that underlie age-related diseases like cancer or Alzheimer's, which continue to elude us in their pathology. While aging itself isn't a treatable disorder or condition, companies and researchers focused on longevity are looking at bodily processes at the cellular level to see how aging progresses and trying to find the right drugs, treatments, and vitamins that might slow these processes down. And as a result, we may discover the key to longevity, or living a longer life. For instance, a new class of drugs known as "senolytics" are now being touted as the next big thing in anti-aging research for getting rid of decrepit (but harmful) cells that stop dividing as we age, known as senescent cells.