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  • Nicholas Sollazzo

    Thank you for everything @daniel-romano!

    Your difficult and deep question reminded me a lot of the scene in Marvel Avenger: Infinity War (SPOILER ALERT), where Thanos has to choose between Gamora (his “daughter”) and the soul gem; and I think I would behave exactly like him and choose to give more importance to my dreams.

    I know too many people that, in their lives have chosen relationships over their dreams and ended up regretting it.
    I don’t want to make the same mistake of putting others before myself: if they do really love me, they will understand how important my dreams means to me and they will support me even if this will make them suffer.

    Also, I belive that in the end, the gratest act of love is letting go.

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    @daniel-romano I posted several times my answer on your question but they didn’t show up on the blog, could you check please?

    I temporarily posted it here ( so everyone can see it.

    Let me know if something changes,

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Hi guys,

    Today’s webinar with Andrea Vaccaro was fascinating and I like to think that he had the opportunity to work with Hyperloop and Google thanks to his experience with Silicon Valley Study Tour.

    Traveling certainly brings you many opportunities and opens your mind quite a lot and, as @katia-palma I also would like to visit Silicon Valley to breathe its creative air.

    With Katia I can also relate to the goal of “doing something great in life“: I always swing between study for university, study new technologies and doing my projects so sometimes I also struggled with the “Am I good enough?” question. However, I think it’s a dumb question because we should always find new ways to improve, and we cannot do that if we don’t ask question to ourselves.

    If things are not failing, you’re not innovating enough!

    Elon Musk

    Life is a journey and if we want to make something grate in our life we should not be afraid to fail.
    I agree with @silviag when she said “the risk of failure or the failure itself, it is what keeps me alive and motivated” and with the quote from Elon Musk that @valeriomarcociampi posted, I’m more comfortable than ever to say that Luca Prasso and Andrea “succeeded” in life thanks to their daring aptitude in life: Luca because he chooses to follow his own path and passion outside university and Andrea because he was never afraid to ask around, send emails and “try his luck”.

    Since today in the webinar we talked a lot about new technologies (in the widest meaning of the term) I would like to answer the question @daniel-romano asked: “what’s tech topics are you interested in the most?“. To me the most exiting tech of all are: distributed technology (like: Bitcoin, IPFS, Matrix, ActivityPub, etc.) and containers. These are like drugs to me: I can never get enough of theme!

    How about you guys? Do you have something that keeps you awake at night and that you can never have enough of? Let me know because I’m always open to explore new things 🙂


    I hope we all be “part of something important”. I think that if you didn’t find something, than you should build something important (FYI that’s what I want to do in my life).

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Howdy everyone, hope you all doing great!

    A thought very deeply about what @simone-dalledonne said a couple of weeks ago: that “the greatest value I have is to be Italian” and “What values do you think distinguish Italian people?“.

    I think determining what are the value of Italians, is a really interesting and not at all easy concept: our way of thinking, our economy and our culture are all due to a unique and unrepeatable historical path (as for all other nations).

    To explain what I thought, I want to begin from the interview between Fabio Fazio and Renzo Piano shown in the video shared by Simone:

    We Italians must understand that we are like dwarves on the shoulders of a giant: the giant is ancient culture, which has given us an extraordinary invisible ability to grasp the complexity of things, to articulate reasoning, to weave art and science together and this is a huge capital and for this Italianity there is always a place at the table for the rest of the world.“.

    – Renzo Piano

    The aphorism that Renzo uses “We are like dwarves on the shoulders of a giant” is attributed to Bernard de Chartres, a 12th century French philosopher, who claimed that being (modern) dwarves on the shoulders of giants (the ancients) “we can see more and more distant things than they are, not because of the acumen of sight or the height of our body, but because we are lifted up and carried high by the stature of giants“. This quotation is notoriously ambiguous because it can be interpreted in two ways:

    1. humble: often undertaken by most adults who, as in the Middle Ages, rest on the laurels of the “good old days“, pedantically following what has always been done for years, rejecting in every way the novelties;
    2. superb: often undertaken by young people, who think they are better than the “ancients” because they have their knowledge “at no cost”, i.e. they do not have to spend time and energy in research but they already have everything at their disposal.

    In Italy as well as abroad, the idea that the genius of Italians is based above all on the past, on our great cultural and artistic history is certainly more widespread; but it is precisely because of this ideology that people like Tom Kelley, partner of IDEO (the world’s leading design consultancy company), consider almost all industrialized countries more capable than us of innovation, starting from Singapore: “You can immediately understand it from the fact that there, unlike in Italy, people talk more often about the future than about the past“.
    Further proof of this can be found in the fact that Italians appreciate above all the traditional tre F (fashion, food and supplies), despite the fact that many of the most recent and interesting economic agreements were born thanks to Italian companies active in high technology sectors.

    The reality is that our country is full of contradictions and any definition that concerns it could be easily refuted.

    – Carlo Alberto Pratesi, Professor of Marketing, Innovation and Sustainability at the University of Roma Tre.

    In the Harvard Business Review of March 2010, Professor Alberto Pratesi posted an article that I think summarizes very well the characteristics of Italians:

    1. Personals: we like the things that are (only) for us, cuddling ourselves with some objects that we don’t like to share with others. This is also the reason why we tend to have little regard for what is by definition “public” (spaces, services, greenery, etc.) and that, although we are attracted by globalization, we do not willingly give up local dialects, customs and products. The positive aspect of this attitude is that we have a very clear idea of how a good (and beautiful) product should be and we are the best at making things “custom-made” adapting ourselves without difficulty to the needs of individual customers; this brings the advantage that, if something goes well for an Italian, it has no difficulty in being appreciated by anyone (and this explains why the great fashion and luxury brands are often Italian’s).
    2. Flexible: Our propensity for flexibility in time management makes us chaotic; what we do is hardly well organized, even if we are improving in recent years. We hate to plan ahead of time and when we do, nobody expects deadlines to be strictly adhered to; long-term plans (when they exist) are set in a generic and rather vague way. As much as we strive to be on time, we easily find convincing justifications for our delays, and this has a dramatic effect on public administration, which has biblical decision-making times. On the other hand, our flexibility makes it easy for us to find “last minute” solutions to problems and to react effectively to unforeseen events and turbulence in the context: a skill on which our managers are often valued and praised.
    3. Prepared for verbal communication: We like to talk a lot and this leads us to be much less inclined towards written documents. However, this does not necessarily means that in business the words “spoken” are definitive: sometimes we say “yes” more out of politeness than conviction. So whoever wants to do business with us should ask to put things on paper according to the rule verba volant, scripta manent.
    4. Based on a network: We are committed to creating a network, adding connections upon connections to our network of friends. It is no coincidence that Italy is the home of industrial districts, where countless small businesses interact with each other creating a series of interesting synergies or the strong presence abroad of Italian communities that help Italians like the Silicon Valley Italian Hub as quoted by @cbrugo. We are also very capable of seeing problems from different angles, according to a holistic approach that combines different disciplines and perspectives that on the one hand allows us to avoid making big mistakes and on the other hand slows down processes and projects.
    5. Conditioned by the hierarchy: We firmly believe that an individual’s power is given by the number of strong relationships he has managed to build over time, and that’s why we try to connect to those “nodes” (influential people, main companies, brands, etc.) that we believe are more important, but using incorrect metrics of judgment because, as Trompenaars explains to us, “in people we give more importance to the role than to the results obtained by them“. In the world of work this often leads us to have to “endure” hierarchies in order to expand our network.
    6. Mobility (but not always): We like to move (especially for holidays), but we are very reluctant to move permanently: we are very loyal to companies and hardly ever change jobs. However, this makes it very difficult for us to rationalize our organization by moving from one city to another.
    7. Innovative in terms of design and technology: The Italian obsession for quality drives us to continuously search for the most innovative ways to achieve it and this generates a symbiotic (and unique) relationship between creativity and technological innovation.
    8. Affectiveness: Italians lean towards an “affective” attitude, directly expressing their thoughts and moods with gestures and physical contacts: the way we talk is completely original, gestures are our prerogative and we need them to relate better to others.

    In my opinion, young people must leave. They have to leave, but out of curiosity, not desperation. And then they have to come back. Young people have to go, a bit like I did: I always left and always came back. And they must go to understand what the rest of the world is like, but also for something else, even more important: to understand themselves“.

    – Renzo Piano

    From this quote one can understand the importance of traveling, knowing the world and oneself, but I would like to say that there is no perfect nation, free of injustice and inequality: Every nation has its pros and cons, Italy included. For this reason I think it is important, as Renzo rightly says, to come back and import the knowledge learned during our travels here in our country: to tip the scales towards the pros.

    I would like to know what do you think about the characteristics I have found Italian’s have and how we could tip the scales towards the pros in our country.

    See you tomorrow at the webinar with Luca Prasso!

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Hi everyone.
    Yesterday’s webinar with Andrea Baldini was really interesting and he has surely experienced a lot in his life.

    It was specially interesting in hearing about the Cisco’s story and how they became the leader in the telecommunication field.

    I agree with Andrea regarding the difficulties of being an entrepreneur and starting a start-up; but as Katia (@katia-palma) said “intelligence and resourcefulness are the keys to succeed in life” and I believe that too. I think being an entrepreneur is a way of life: an entrepreneur is someone who does not follow but leads. A real entrepreneur has to be bravestrongclever, a life-long learner and crazy enough to distinguish yourself from the reality that everyone perceives. Crazy enough to see the hidden beauty and the potential of the world around you and then bring it into the light for everyone to see.

    As Valerio Marco (@valeriomarcociampi) said, Andrea also spoke about cybersecurity. This topic, together with the privacy one, is very close to me so I would like to point out how important they are and how we should be careful. As Daria (@dariaarena) said, it’s “easier to agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Police without reading what they include”, and after that cry about how Facebook is using our data for commercial reasons. But it’s also true that if we want or have to use that product from that company, we’ll have no other choice but to accept whatever that company wants.

    Katia also talked about being “digitally prepared” and “practically ready”. Well, I don’t think anyone in the world is. Internet and network infrastructures as they are now, are not good enough to meet the ever-increasing needs in the world.

    The current system is built to make money for the giants of telecommunications and technology and not as a human right. It is not surprising that “innovations” (if we can call them that) are driven by economic laws such as supply and demand, rather than to lead humanity forward. Don’t get me wrong, that’s nothing bad about it, but I don’t want to ask for permission to some company if I invent something that could help people, but destroy their whole business model.

    For example: Solar energy is great, but oil and electrical industries aren’t happy about it. They have money and power and they can use it to stop this innovation to happened.

    We are constantly dragged down by the same company who should lead us up. That is because they have an economical reason to keep society drugged as it is now, and they don’t want it to get clean.

    We need a radical open revolution: we need to put aside our differences to work together for the greater good. In the open source community you can see people from all around the world collaborating with each other on software and hardware in order to create something good for everyone. Couldn’t we do the same thing with science and medicine?

    I’m not saying that money is bad or evil and everything should be free, what I’m saying is that innovation should be open, meaning that everyone should be able to access the same information and that people should be able to build whatever they want without worring about stepping on some titan foot.

    I’m aware companies invest time and money in R&D in order to have an advantage over other companies, but if everyone had kept their inventios for themselves, the Mac would have been the only computer with a Graphical Interface, Ford the only car brand with a combustion engine and the United States the only ones to have internet.

    Harric Hoffer, an American moral and social philosopher, once said: “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”. So my question to you is: Are you a Learner or a Lerned? Are you a leader or a follower? Will you look around and see the hidden beauty of the world and work with each other in order to bring that beauty into light? Are you brave enough?

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Howdy! My name is Nicholas Sollazzo, I study Economics and Business Administration at the University of Milano-Bicocca and I have a background in computer science. I chose this degree course because “when I grew up I would like to be an entrepreneur”: I knew that there were no real university degree courses to be an entrepreneur, but this seemed pretty close to me.

    I would like to be an entrepreneur because I would like to do something to change the world: everyday I see things that are done fundamentally wrong, like privacy, environmental protection, financial system and I think I could help to make it right. I could help to improve that.
    That’s why I want to be an entrepreneur. To build something to help. Something to create value for every single person on earth. Something to fix what, in my opinion, is wrong or could be done better in this modern age.

    But in order to do that I’m aware that i have to learn more about how companies works. Luckily i’m a very corious guy and I love to learn and that’s why I would like to participate to Silicon Valley Study Tour: to learn from the best, to learn about cultures and mindsets different from mine and to grow as an individual.

    This is who I am.
    This is who I want to be.
    This is who I will become.

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Hi everyone,

    I wasn’t ablet to post my answer to @ismaelepaoli‘s question for 3 days (I think it’s because it is too long) so I uploaded it to a public gist on GitHub in order to post just a link here.

    You can find my answer here.

    Thank you for this great opportunity, I hope to see everyone soo 🙂

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    hi @desa and welcome to the forum!

    While I think that temperature scannings drones are a great way to find and help people that could be infected with the SARS-CoV-2, I don’t think that the app is a great idea: this could lead to throwing and discriminating against people just because they have COVID-19. Besides that, I think that tracking all people in this way raises a lot of questions about privacy.
    All these innovations could help but let’s not turn this situation into a Black Mirror scenario.

    In my post here I talked about a smart, wearable device that can detect personal health in real time. This could also raise many questions about privacy, but I think they could be more effective than drones flying around scanning every living thing or app that can track all infected people, don’t you think?

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Much has changed since we addressed this topic: first the virus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and then Europe became its epicenter.

    With the decree #IORESTOACASA, Italians had to equip themselves to work and study remotely, forced to stay at home to limit contagion. In this context, technology has become a very important tool to deal with the difficulties of the moment, as well as having adequate facilities and infrastructures.

    From the data collected by Growth From Knowledge it would seem that, after a very first moment of disorientation, Italians have reorganized themselves towards product categories more suitable for the use of online content and services: chatroom, to talk and meet with friends, e-commerce, to make purchases without having to physically go to shops and ** e-learning platforms**, to continue and deepen their studies.

    Moreover, thanks to the digital solidarity initiative promoted by the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitisation, more and more digital services and platforms are offering free bundles to help “pass the time” pleasantly or to facilitate work and study from home.

    This “technological spring” that Italy is going through in this moment of crisis, would seem to have also reached politics, a more conservative and refractory to innovations. In fact, several politicians, such as Delrio (PD) and Magi (+Europa), have already begun to make proposals to remote voting so that the political gear does not stop working at the very moment when it is most needed.

    And as the icing on the cake, a game has also been developed to help find a vaccine for COVD-19. It’s called Foldit and it’s a free puzzle game that engages players with foldable protein chains to change their behaviour.

    It was originally created by developers at University of Washington in 2008 to research potential cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and HIV/AIDS with the help of people, but a new coronavirus puzzle has recently been added.

    Players will need to create or modify proteins that can bind to one of the “spike proteins” of SARS-CoV-2 that would then prevent it from infecting human cells and replicating.

    Despite its more technical and research origins, Foldit is simple enough to play: you can ignore all the medical and scientific jargon and just concentrate on moving the structure around and earning points. All you do is click on a section of the protein and drag it to change its shape, to try to make it match the objective of the puzzle. Foldit assigns points to players based on efficiency and effectiveness, and tracks their results with an in-game scoreboard.

    If all this seems impossible to you, PCGamer notes that Foldit players helped researchers decode the AIDS virus in 2011, something that has plagued scientists for years.

    The Italian telecommunication infrastructure, however, is being put to the test during this period due to the considerable increase in traffic due to smart workingvideoconferencingshared work softwarestreaming multimedia content and online games. Many people, including myself, have started to use more often software such as Skype, for streaming video lessons, Amazon, to buy online, Discord, to play games and stay in touch with friends and Netflix, to watch movies and TV series.

    Data from Akamai and Cisco Systems reported by Sole24Ore show how internet traffic has doubled in some regions of Italy and many Internet Service Providers, including TIM, are struggling to keep up with the big demand of internet connections.

    In the very near future, where technologies such as drones for deliveries and remote operations (surgical or any other kind), self-driving cars, for deliveries of goods and travel, wearable, to monitor health in real time and VR-Tecnology to meet, play and spend the time, will be part of everyday life and, in the unfortunate (but likely) case where another pandemic situation will knock on our door, the question that arises spontaneously is: will Italy be ready to embrace and harness these new technologies in the best possible way or will it once again find itself unprepared?

    In short, the virus is forcing us to spend more time at home and this has led to both an economic and moral collapse; but after reorganizing ourselves for the new (and hopefully temporary) lifestyle, habits and consumption are changing accordingly: the hi-tech and the online are taking on an even more central role in the lives of Italians; companies and politics are gearing up to ensure the economic machine works and we all are doing our best to limit the spread of the virus and help as we can.

    Everything seems to be saying that It’s all going to be okay (?)

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    The term Phygital (physical-digital) refers to the conjugation of the online and offline world, trying to take the best aspects of each to create a more complete and satisfying customer experience.

    In a world where the user experience is increasingly important, companies need to experiment with new methods to trigger positive emotions in users. For this reason, although it is possible to buy anything using our smartphones, some people still prefer to conclude the purchase in a physical store. This highlights how interpersonal interactions continue to be a highly important element for customers. That’s why Amazon opened its first bookstore in Seattle, USA in 2015. Since then, the e-commerce giant has also opened a revolutionary grocery store: Amazon GO. The revolutionary aspect of this store is that there are no cashiers: you take the item you want, scan the QR Code on the app and, when you leave the store, the Amazon GO app will make you pay for it. Amazon, of course, is not the only company that has embraced this innovation: other companies and brands such as TeslaXiaomiNike and KFC, stores previously only online or only offline, have implemented their methods to create a Phygital experience.

    This new approach is increasingly blurring the line between online and offline, combining the digital sales experience such as speedcomfort and vast catalogue, with the retail experience such as interactions between peopleinteractions with the product and immediacy of purchase. This multi-channel presence is certainly the best way to satisfy an increasingly demanding and hyper-connected consumer by approaching it on multiple platforms.

    Phygital’s concept has made companies more aware of the relationship that customers had with e-commerce and physical stores: many people, in fact, enter a store to see, touch or try out an item and then order it online (Showrooming), often at a lower price; but sometimes they see a product online, and for the haste and desire to own it immediately, they buy it in store (Webrooming) even if they have to pay more. The awareness of this phenomenon has meant that companies can now be present at 360º in the lives of their customers and avoid “selling” to a competitor.

    Once this is understood, any product or service company is able to replicate the concept in order to be more present in their customers’ lives, but in order to achieve a truly Phygital experience, it is essential to have technology that facilitates the introduction of immediacy and immersion, and interaction, which the digital world naturally lacks.

    In the food sector, the arrival of food delivery platforms such as DeliverooUber Eats and JustEat has certainly lowered the barriers to entry, making it easier for shop owners to approach Phygital without too many problems. Platforms such as Glovo have also extended this concept, allowing any business to approach their products from the comfort of a smartphone, and some retailers have even started to develop their own applications.

    Personally, I think this is a win-win for everyone: the consumer feels more connected to the brand, more listened and has a better overall experience with the product/service he is going to buy; the company will have an advantage towards competitors who are not embracing this revolution and, above all, will have more channels of interaction with its customers.

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    My answer to your @ismaelepaoli question is: they should be more present on social networks.
    By now, almost nobody looks for and reads the news directly from the websites of the big newspapers. Almost everyone comes into contact with the news on social networks and then they got redirected to the websites. It’s easier and the user never really leaves the social netowork.

    Unfortunately, realities like WikiTribune and WikiNews are lacking from this point: They have some accounts on social networks like twitter, but they don’t post very often and almost nobody look at them.

    Reddit, on the other hand, being a social network itself, wins on the whole line from this point of view; but, unfortunately, in Italy is still a very niche social network so it’s rare that the average italian knows about it. In my opinion, however, Reddit is the best alternative for most people.

    Anyway, I leave a list of some Italian subreddit for those of you who want to have a look at it 😉

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Fake News

    Our brain is constantly in “energy saving mode”: it is lazy and always looking for shortcuts to save energy; that’s why, when it comes to inquire about something, people have a tendency to rely on a single source, often the first one they come into contact with, and take everything it says as unique and absolute truth.
    Whereas in the past the main source was newspapers, today the main source of information are definitely Social Networks.

    The advent of technology has meant that, nowadays, disinformation is almost impossible because, somehow, we always come into contact with some form of news: maybe a repost on Facebook from a friend of ours, a post on LinkedIn from a colleague of ours, a tweet on Twitter from a person we esteem, a story on Instagram, a video on TikTok and so on; from the problem of disinformation, we have moved on to the problem of misinformation and manipulated information.
    But why someone should bother themselves to “manipulate the information”? Well, Information is power, and “guiding” the thought of the masses towards a specific idea, is convenient especially when someone is fighting a battle to gain more power; and today it has become easier than ever, thanks to this very interconnection that everyone has through Social Networks, to guide the thoughts of the masses on to beliving something.
    The Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown us how all the data that we “give away” online to the Tech-Giants, allowed them to manipulate people’s thoughts to get them to vote for a certain candidate compared to another, or how easy it is to trigger panic when a virus, like the coronavirus, begins to cast its shadow on mankind.

    Of course, after these terrible events and after the pressure of governments, the companies behind the major social networks have started to take steps to mitigate the spread of these Fake News, as highlighted in the article that @ismaelepaoli shared, putting in place techniques such as censorship, warnings and redirecting to an authoritative sources to inform their users in the right way, in order to fight against the spreading of these Fake News.

    But is that enough?

    In my opinion, it is not.
    No, because what these giants do is nothing more than invade our privacy even more, reading every post or limiting the spread of any kind of information on a large scale, as reported in the article: “Facebook-owned messaging site WhatsApp […] announced measures to prevent users from forwarding messages to more than five people or groups. It also adds a tag to heavily forwarded messages “. This seems to me to be a huge violation of personal privacy and it makes me realize that Facebook is able to control certain processes carried out by its users within its messaging app.

    The platforms we use every day are private platforms, owned and operated by private companies whose purpose is not so much to be ethical or to spread verified news, but to make profits, and this puts them in a position where it is easier to forgive than to ask permission. But I’m digressing.

    The solutions to the Fake News problem, in my opinion, are 3:

    1) DYOR (Do Your Own Research): educate the people not to trust a single source but to research, understand, ask questions and make their own ideas based on many sources.

    2) Relying on sites where the news are verified: since, as previously mentioned, our brain is lazy and it is more difficult to do some research than is to read a single article (or a title, in some cases), we should get informed on sites where the news are checked, approved and modified by many people. Sites like: WikiNews or WikiTribunal or even sites like reddit where news are shared and controlled by multiple users.

    3) AI: we have already talked about Artificial Intelligence, so another option could be to train a neural network that takes multiple sources and put them together into a neutral and bias-free articles with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

    Personally I’m very attracted to projects like WikiTribunal and, for this reason, I hope that this project can really be adopted by the masses.
    As we have Instagram for photos, YouTube for videos, Wikipedia for the online encyclopedia and Facebook to remind us our mom’s birthday, I hope that one day, WikiTribunal, could become the place where everyone will go to read the news.

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Howdy! My name is Nicholas Sollazzo, I study Economics and Business Administration at the University of Milano-Bicocca and I have a background in computer science. I chose this degree course because “when I grew up I would like to be an entrepreneur”: I knew that there were no real university degree courses to be an entrepreneur, but this seemed pretty close to me. I would like to be an entrepreneur because I would like to do something to change the world: I would like to create value for every single person on earth by solving problems such as environmental protection, education, privacy, financial freedom, and much more. I’m a very curious guy and I love learning; that’s why I would like to participate in the Silicon Valley Study Tour: to learn from the best, to learn about cultures and mindsets different from mine and to grow as an individual.

    Topic 1: Future of Private Transportation

    With the continuous increase of people and cars surely one of the main problems that we will face will be the fuel: with the increase in demand for gasoline and diesel and the decrease in the availability of oil on earth, combined with the increasing pressure of young people to respect the environment, more and more players like Tesla will appear focused only on electricity as the only sustainable eco-friendly option for the future. In addition to this I think that fewer and fewer people will own a car but instead they will rely on services like Waymo to take them where they need to go with carpooling to get more people together. Fewer and fewer people will also need to get their license and driving will remain just as a sport. Personally I hope in teleportation as in star trek to be able to be instantly where I want to be without long journey times, but I am aware that it will take quite a while yet for that.

    Topic 2: AI and ML

    the scarcest resource by definition is time. Every human being on earth has the same amount of time and, since the dawn of the first industrial revolution, the purpose of technology has been to automate as much work as possible to free up time for human beings and allow them to concentrate on more important tasks. Today, companies use Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Machine Learning (M.L.) technologies to allow machines to “think” in order to entrust them with increasingly complex and difficult tasks and to allow them to learn and adapt like humans. Most AI and ML algorithms are currently used by companies to learn users’ tastes and habits in order to offer them a better user experience creating, almost, an addiction to their products. There are other use cases, such as those shown in the video, where these techniques are used to compose music and to allow people who have lost a limb to have a smart prosthesis that gives them a user experience as similar as possible to that of the lost limb. The human being is unstoppable: if we can dream something, we will surely succeed in bringing that thing into reality; and humans have been dreaming for years about intelligent machines able to serve us and carry out tasks that are impossible for us (such as the case of the firefighter robot that entered inside Notre Dame in flames and managed to tame them from the inside) or human beings that replace whole parts of their body with machines (as in the movie “I robots” starring Will Smith. A story taken from the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov). Robots are in their infancy now, but in the future I’m sure we’ll see them grow and evolve to the point where our grandchildren will ask us how we were able to live without them. We’re already seeing cars that drive themselves, robo-vacuum-cleaners, subways that drive themselves, virtual assistants that enter our homes and entire productions fully automated; and it will only be a matter of time before we find robots at hotel receptions, machines that will clean up the planet from the mess we’ve made (wall-e style) and robots on Mars that terraform the planet ready to welcome humans (this I’m sure is one of the key components for Elon Musk so it will surely happen).

    Topic 3: Unicorn

    The story of Gumroad was very inspiring. I think Lavingia’s choice was definitely right: unfortunately people’s mentality is profit-oriented and there are few people, like him, who have the ethics to put people before it. As far as I’m concerned where almost anything is possible, as it is the case in Silicon Valley, I would certainly take the opportunity and follow my entrepreneurial spirit trying to open my start up. The philosophy that I follow is surely similar to the spirit of Silicon Valley (because it comes from there) and is “fail fast”: the sooner you make mistakes, the sooner you learn (if you have the right mentality) and the sooner you are able to start again. I don’t have, however, a precise idea of what I would do. I don’t have a revolutionary idea on which I would bet everything nor the cure for cancer. I think I have some pieces of a puzzle but I still don’t understand how to put them together. Maybe, if I’m lucky enough to take part in the Silicon Valley Study Tour, I’ll be able to figure out how to put the pieces together in the best possible way and how I can come up with a winning idea.

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Nicholas Sollazzo

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