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New Zealand’s Rise as a Tech Giant

Oh oh This is Muriwai Beach in New Zealand This is a sheep and this is gandalf Most people come to new zealand to check out the country’s unmatched beauty and to get their middle-earth fix and that makes perfect sense But on this trip. I’m hunting for something else something less obvious I’m after the innovations being brought to life behind these doors in these buildings and in this studio I’m heading out on a 400 mile journey across new Zealand’s, North Island from Auckland to Wellington to find the most breathtaking Inventions these kiwis have cooked up.

You said it wasn’t gonna be Friday. This is the first one that’s going to go on yep The computer model has just become conscious of something on this episode of how the world will check out a mad scientist some And an AI baby hi, baby, I’ll either warm your heart Or leave you weeping over humanity’s grim future Silicon Valley may be home to some of the biggest tech giants in the world, but it’s being challenged like before Crazy Tech geniuses have popped up all over the planet making things that will blow your mind My name is Ashley vance.

I’m an author and journalist and I’m on a quest to the most innovative Tech creations and Meet the beautiful freaks behind them hello world oh Hello, Sky This is auckland The home to million of New Zealand’s million people People living outside of Oakland 10 Tanaka Des congested and hectic Meanwhile people living in auckland celebrate the way of life it offers. that a lot of place everybody’s going go to The City has a bustling food scene There’s a gorgeous harbour surrounded by fertile volcanic land and those gannets and black sand beaches you saw earlier There just a half hour drive from downtown This next gonna sound cheesy but honest to God, it’s true Auckland is full of cheery uptil mystic people to feel good when you’re here like you can do stuff big stuff crazy stuff like say replicating human consciousness on the inside of a computer Face it’s our primary means of communication Yeah But it’s been untapped in terms of a human-computer interface here Dr..

Peter can Express itself to you in a human-like way, which is emotional that’s cognitive, no That’s when you start getting to sort of interesting place. Go on a cai, baby on a sunny afternoon The fellow you meet next is a Madman in the best possible way pull the muscles which basically lower the brow He’s Mike sager a computer scientist at the University of Auckland So nice would be yesterday’s , and she’s noise up mark became famous for building super detailed simulations of the human body and ended up winning a couple of oscars for his work on films like avatar and King Kong sorry stay here and These days mark is how to put this? trying to reverse engineer the human brain He’s built a series of simulations around how the human face moves how we express emotion and how our neurons fire? we’re trying to build a computer which has experiences can IMagine and Basically it has its own sort of existence in a way.

So now what we’re gonna do is I’m going to run baby s What we’re building here is a computer that can learn So this is baby Please sort of looking at us and hearing us if I make a loud noise And I should get a fright. This is what she can see so you can see my face here a through that so she’s not Copying my smile She’s responding to me and now this is her little fist baby’s fist weird book So you can pick a bigger page in a show or something, but she has to be looking at it’s a get her attention Hi, baby, hi, hi Hi, what do you see? What’s this? Puppy very good. What’s that baby? This is cuz we’re new zealand you show your shape. Yeah, I’ll give her the word yeah. Yeah, hi baby, hi What do you see, baby? Sheep very good, baby the long-term goals is can we create a Computational model of consciousness because then you get go okay the computer model has just become conscious of something is that thought on Now all the facial expressions everything is driven by neural nets so as we look I’m going his nails remove her face basically and so this is what’s driving in the background And so what you’re looking at now these are all the connections lighting out right as the baby’s doing stuff And this is like a simulation of what you have an ingress in this brain? Yeah, because if you’re going to make a character biological and behave naturally then you’ve got to use a natural model so this is sort of what’s going on inside baby X Now we take this stuff, and we now connect it to cognitive computing systems.

So you’ve got Biological Neural Networks connected to artificial intelligence models and the potential for that’s enormous That’s where the future is probably going to be There’s a term new zealanders have for possessed inventor types like They’re part of the country’s number 8 wire culture like so many things here the story of number 8 wire goes back to those sheep Farmers used to make their fences out of wire gauge metal Then they started to use the wire to fix just about any problem on the farm over time a number 8 wire mythology evolved to capture the Can-do spirit of people living in a remote place and other people who had to solve problems in any clever way they could But while new zealanders remain fond of the 8 wire idea there’s an undeniable sense that the country ready to level up It’s time to start inventing with more purpose and polish the Gritty Garage Workshop is giving way to this a Pristine mad scientist’s Lab that looks like it could be for sale an apple avery embodies kiwi ingenuity He’s a prolific scientist and inventor sir avery this is Ashley vance He made a fortune in the pharmaceutical industry and then decided to dedicate his life to helping the world’s poorest people Hence the sir all right this way so cool house all right.

It’s a to the Magic wardrobe I Followed sir avery through a door into his garage slash lab where he creates his objects I? Knows everything of the houses. did you’re wearing white yeah? Yeah? Yeah, I mean, a bit like Steve jobs I have two dresses. I have black for winter and white for summer the thing is that I know that I’ve got 4,795 days left to live how do you know that well because I’ve done the algorithm Analysis of somebody my age born in my time how much Chardonnay are drains all that sort of so I know what I’m going to do with the next ten years of my failure is Really just for people are unprepared you don’t waste time on Things that aren’t going to get you to where you need to go in things like clothes Sir avery is well known for taking complicated medical devices and making them simple cheap and durable Did you make this in here? Yeah? Yeah, this is your workshop lab, okay? Currently he’s working on this incubator It really is a life apart because it’s almost like you know something that Superman would be Happy to be in and the shape of it is really much more about getting even air distribution and trying to make it look all The life Pod costs $2,000 versus $40,000 for typical incubators the hope is that it could save thousands of lives each year I’ll tell you this is really cold.

This is oh my God, free pretty pretty ugly he also has this giant block of frozen chicken slurry as a way to amplify the nutritional value of trash meat, that’s after Kentucky fried Have taken all their bits the legs and the chest mate make it into this stuff mmM chicken slurry just have a spoonful that later Sir a remixes the trash meet with of all things kiwi this breaks it down into the basic amino acids So your body can absorb the nutrients more easily It’s aimed at helping malnourished children if you take that then you’re going to get instant energy You don’t need to digest it. Go straight across gut this will save millions and millions of kids lives you know Einstein said the most elegant solution is always the most simplest and Kiwis have that a very practical way of doing things if you take away the noise that you have often with things like silicon Valley and just have a bunch of guys in sheds for the lathe and a Few bits and pieces they come up with stuff that nobody able to thought off Coming up.

We’ll take a look at rockets. This is a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to be in the back Then I cheap that I’m hoping that I live after this relaxing afternoon one of New Zealand’s Most Adventurous and affable inventors is a Scottish import named Richard little we know there’s probably about five million people around the world that could benefit from Using the rakes he’s one of two engineers who started Rex Bionics My best friend was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and like the need to use a wheelchair in his future I Said why don’t we build your robot legs? So we spend four years in the garage, and we actually got something working could stand and it could walk We knew then we would be able to do this So the thing you’ll notice with the rex of course right away is itself support and It’s the only device of its kind like that because of that most of the people who use rex or spinal cord injured Although it can be any mobility impairment if you stand in it If you push the Joystick forward and let it go Will take one step and stop if you keep holding it forward? I’ll keep moving forward okay.

What is the red button? Do that’s the emergency scale so if it all turns the custard press the red button, okay? So if you push it forward and let it go, that’s it. You’re going to lean to that site, okay well It’s crazy. I mean you really don’t have to put it . You don’t do anything. Yeah Going to be Michael Jackson impression This is jared He lost the use of his legs in a car accident years ago, and is now a employee Customer and test driver. How long would you use it each day use it for an hour day? , give me a couple of days paint relief off my lovely It’s safe, and it’s general in general the general in the bones When you sit in a wheelchair all the time, you know you lose bone density It causes skin issues bowel, or Bladder and the Act of walking helps resolve it I’ve taken it home and walked into my local bar because all I do you know walk back in there for the first time Ever drink with my mates standing up around a and to the people to borrow what a trace Yeah, the day.

I was 17 you Later we raced up mount Eden to catch the sunset It’s here on top of a volcano that you reminded how young this landscape and people are industry only began here in earnest in the 1850s and yet has come an awfully long way and the next stop for New zealand be space I think new Zealanders don’t think big enough they don’t go after the really big problems and the big billion-dollar ideas I Started building rockets when I was at school And the very first rocket that I built ended up putting on a bicycle Most Rocket companies are started by wealthy governments and billionaires Rocket Lab was started in 2007 by this maniac Peter Beck Peter is of the most capable people on the planet He never went to college Opting instead to hone his own engineering craft in the garage and machine shops.

, I don’t know why rockets make me so happy Now he wants to make much easier and cheaper to put small satellites into space If you had to set a lot on your lap right in one week, I can have not an orbit moreover I can have that on orbit an order magnitude less cost than any other way of getting it there The first rocket launch will take place later this year wow this is the first one. That’s Gonna go up yep Commercial customers have already signed up, and there’s a two-year waiting list much are you gonna charge per flight weight million dollars okay? For point nine million dollars might seem like a lot But it’s actually a remarkable figure and liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and dragon The cheapest way to get to space today is on one of elan musk from Spacex and that costs sixty million dollars per trip Propulsion Performing Rocket labs prices would open space to a whole new set of customers including scientists and businesses and in effect democratize space This is what the aerospace world has dreamed of for decades.

This is the second stage second stage . You can lift it up. Yeah You rolled your eyes a little bit of this eight wire thing why is that if someone says you know rocket lab is a number Right company, they’ll get you sorted off The side just gone because number a wire it’s about sort of bodging stuff together to make network and it’s really not what new zealanders have evolved to it’s about really high Tech innovation and doing really really clever things with Large day approaching the pressure is on Today, they’re running an engine test at a site near the auckland airport the worst case scenario a blog hop blows up in the best case is how does it deal or shut down? Building a company is hot yeah building rocket company damn near I hitched a ride with peter to the test site and arrived just in time for Countdown three The engine test was successful, but there’s still a ways to go What does it feel like in your gut that countdown clock in the office and everything that comes with sleep much? It’s probably the best answer to that question with a bit of luck Peter will maintain his sanity through 2017 That’s when rocket lab plans to start flying for paying customers This is a tiny company of a hundred people that will have bested entire nations and firmly put New zealand Stamp on the world That’s not eight wire culture.

That’s just flat-out amazing And with that it’s now time to leave auckland and Journey to Middle-Earth We could have flown from Auckland, Wellington, and it would have taken an hour But we wanted to be basted in Hobbit Vibes We had to see the land dear laptop New Zealand is everything they said it would be Burger smells like meat take Slice or grind If aliens ever visit Earth and want to see what it has to offer first stop would have to be New zealand It’s like a sampler platter of landscapes Rolling Hills deserts Plains Tropical forests whizzing by one after another That’s it for now. Thanks for listening laptop love Ashley Three hours outside of auckland, we made a pit stop in a hot spring All the times leading into this place for you that you’ll get meningitis if you stick your head under water I’m hoping that I live after this relaxing afternoon Now before I learn about the meningitis the more afraid I have that I have the vagina You know you come to new zealand, and it’s all a wire cultures.

You can set up Xt you know dunk your head underwater that you’re dead, so is cool. Just reminds me of love it living her out of my brain Coming up next on hello world action. I steal Peter Jackson’s camera, okay, wait You’ve got a run for and get sucked into virtual reality Welcome to a rainy and famously Windy, Wellington New Zealand’s capital City and home to a thriving film industry Director Peter Jackson is the local boy made good He famously made lord of the rings here, and then shot past being a one-hit wonder peters created an entire movie industry based around his film production company wetty This is well.

II would it’s just like hollywood, but without any of the glitz and Studio and sound Stages are dull and unmarked they’re tucked into a quiet suburb called Miramar Wetty has started to expand into virtual reality and I was invited to take a look at their first Vr. Movie scene from the Hobbit where Smaug wakes up from a nap You said it wasn’t gonna be fried a thief in the shadows It’s crazy bad. I mean you feel like real emotions. What you see it That’s the nice thing moving you get the people get such much more emotional experience than seeing something like a videogame or whatever ? Think that’s kind of where the space We’re in the content generation in the custom technology on the software side to kind of enable these these high-end experiences Next the studio where they filmed Lord of the rings just want to grab that and have a look around Where I got a crash course in motion Capture filmmaking using Peter Jackson’s very own custom-made camera Which isn’t really a camera, but more of a device to place a director in a virtual world There’s a screen on the top that shows a rough version of the final graphics while dozens of sensors around the room Record all the cameras movements all you’ve got to do is yell action yep They’ll do this stuff, and you say cut like any other film actually Get inside Hey good way.

You’ve got a run same thing this tech brings a human element back to green screen filmmaking It’s more tactile It makes the director actually feel like he’s shooting the film again cut really good sport When it became an industry of its own and after the success of lord of the rings startups that are their own mini wettest I’m actually On my last stop went to one of these startups studios It’s a Vr.

Company that is recording people in three dimensions to bring them into virtual reality the from looking at a video to seeing a hologram that looks just like the real thing so powerful a tie is developing software that will bring Vr to the masses? The day you can capture a loved one in virtual space is almost here We’ll show you some experiences where we’ve captured some humans with off-the-shelf cameras It feels like you’re in the room with a person to check it out sure , so you can see the room yep? alright, so oh Hello, we create a virtual environment But then we capture a very lifelike motion of the cloth and the human performance and we can compose those together So you’d been a wet ever used to making these CGI fantastic creatures But it just wouldn’t work for a normal person that happened You don’t want to drop a visual effects, Hollywood production budget just to record your child Experiencing the first step right and as we saw that these headsets were coming along there was no clear efficient cheap scalable solution to capture reality and to author Experiences at a scale and a realism and have a pace that would create a similar sort of content database for people to enjoy Let’s see how your fear heights is so this is Gonna be like a movie.

Oh my God That’s crazy because I’m sort of like afraid of heights oh I Mean I felt like I was gonna like walk off a cliff. That was really Friday Although I was a bit skeptical it was time to scan myself So I could meet the virtual Ashley Which way do I look like this way you have to look anywhere, okay? You’re captured from from all sides have fun, I just have to stay in the circle pretty much I was surrounded by 30 cameras all perfectly spaced and measured it was like in ocd Paparazzi, I’m Ashley vance except I’m not really ashley vance. I’m a digital . That’s being made at a ThAi studios And then in post they put together all those different angles to make a final 3D version of me If you get really nerdy this is called volumetric cinematography just for the nerds hands and pockets Hands and pockets it since my little virtual friend So I get to see my virtual self.

Yes You’ve seen yourself many many times in 2d video, so I think I would be underwhelmed I think I’m just see what I always look like in the mirror I don’t know why seeing like a 3D version of yourself would be a big deal I would much rather be chased by so I can just walk around that yeah That’s kind of strange The details it’s saying maybe you can see like whiskers, right yeah I mean the cameras are just that good and we’re looking to increase that resolution as well, Kira sausage Step into yourself. , is crazy Well, I also did know where I was in the roof So I thought it would be really janky, and I mean it is You know and so I guess was biggest surprise for me So you think people are going to want Vr to be human? I’ve got two boys and they grew up so quick And it’s like oh Man, if you could just remember how they talked and their gestures and the funny things they said that would be really cool here’s the thing about new zealand its economy today depends on sheep cows and tourists and Everyone knows that needs to change Technology is the Country’s future Thanks to companies like rocket lab rex bionics and the change is already underway foreign investors have started to pour money into New Zealand and Engineers are staying at home because there are good jobs to be if you’re an outsider looking to come here Well, why not the scenery breathtaking? The weather is good and the 8 wired days have passed New zealand is taking on some of the hardest problems in the industry.

It’s working on the technology of the absurd In the next episode of hello world go to sweden and hang out with moose Hunters at the Arctic Circle Take over the country’s electrical grid seems incredible to raise the two people would handle half a country’s power and eat cinnamon buttons with spotify Is Daniel like it seems more wholesome than like a cinnabon. Yeah .

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