I was super excited to see that hydrogen fuel cell cars were finally here. Cars with zero emissions, just water. And a fuel that can be produced using water and energy. And then I did some research and humanity disappointed me again. Turns out that cracking methane from gas and fracking is cheaper than producing it by splitting apart water… with the byproduct being carbon-dioxide. :face-palm:
So, what we need to do is make it so that there is a financial incentive to not use methane. i.e. produce hydrogen cheaper than it can be done using methane cracking. What we need is water and energy. Plenty of that in the sea!
Offshore wind turbines produce electricity which desalinates and splits water, compresses hydrogen into tanks, which autonomous ships ferry to ports. Of course the ships run on hydrogen, so actual running costs are extremely low, they refuel by simply swapping their running tank out for a full one.
The capability to produce hydrogen from salt water does not require huge plant costs, so this solution is scalable in a way that oil processing is not. We would be hydrogen magnates 🙂
I would like to write a bot that can answer questions about climate change at a level that makes sense to the reader. It’s pretty hard for a 7 year old to read wikipedia, so it has to to walk them through “air” and “molecules” and get all the way to talking about the sun and solar systems, but it sort of has to do it in levels so that they can ask questions that have simple answers to digest, but they can dig further. For instance, “What is climate change?”, it is the warming of our planet due to things called “greehouse gasses”. There are many parts to this topic, the sun, trees, cars, “fossil fuels”, what would you like to talk about?
Ideally it’d also be able to hold up to the crazies who don’t “believe in” it. Like the previous bot, it’d actually be able to bring them around.
I was talking to someone at work who said quite openly that he didn’t believe in evolution. “Believe in” evolution! Like do you believe in air? You can’t see that either. Anyway, what I thought was that you can never say the right things at the time, but there is logical ways to bring them around without challenging their beliefs directly, and that perhaps this is best done by a sophisticated chatbot that is there not to just chat about something but to actually change someones opinion. It is of course backed by facts, but it’s important for it to not just spout facts, because that doesn’t actually convince people. Would be a hell of a challenge.
Inspired by the “thrumm” you hear when you have one window down in the car and that alternating pressure that results, I’m wondering if you can build a box with a curved membrane in it that pops in one way and out the other based on the changes in pressure. Attach a magnet to that and you’re moving a magnet back and forth inside of a coil, boom, generator. I can’t see it being more efficient than a proper three prop turbine, but perhaps there are some niche applications. It’d need some code/motors to tilt into the wind to get the right thrumm. Needs significant wind to work.
Lucas, over the road, is 13 years old and is saving for a drone. He knocks and asks whether there are any odd jobs he can do to earn pocket money. This idea is to build an app that connects Lucas with people on the street to run errands. Examples:
We are away, can you please put our bins out, $2
Wash our car, $20
Go down to the local shops and grab some milk and bread, $3
Sweep up the leaves in the front yard, $10
Pull the nut grass from the front garden bed, $50 if it’s all gone by the end of the summer.
I was shocked to hear that 50% of suicide cases went for help and couldn’t find it. Lifeline can have hour long wait times. ER can have a “there’s nothing wrong with you, go away” mentality.
My proposal is to take transcripts from interactions on systems like lifeline, put them through GPT2 and generate a bot that can act as the ear that someone needs. Using googles new voice stuff it might be able to interact with a troubled person and give the impression that it cares. It’s NOT a replacement for real services, but these people need help and they cannot find it. Perhaps therapy bots will be the first to succeed.