A chatbot to convince someone of evolution

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.

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“Thrumm” based wind power generator

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.

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Errands

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.
  • Mow the lawn, $10
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Odd Shoes

My left foot is half a size bigger than my right. I want to order a pair of shoes of different sizes. This site would stock the big brands but mix and match shoe sizes.

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AI for suicide prevention

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.

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Drone Parking Inspectors

Startup that creates drones that can give out parking fines. They can cover more territory, and the parking inspectors are taken out of the front lines.

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Attribute Fridge Cam

or, A Fridge Camera System for Identifying People’s Lunches in the Workplace

The idea comes from the monthly fridge cleanout that workplaces have to do, nobody likes it. So this uses a camera that sits on the outside and a camera on the inside (IR perhaps) that essentially ID’s the person on the outside using face recognition (or perhaps just takes a photo of them) and then does a visual diff of whats changed when they close the fridge again to attribute the food to a person. Meaning you can get some idea of ownership and start to do things like alert them that they’ve left their lunch in there.

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Lighter than plastic bags bags

The idea here is to make reusable bags for fruit and veg that are actually lighter than your regular fruit and veg plastic bag so that as you pay for fruit and veg by weight, eventually (over many many shops) you end up ahead. Essentially creates an economic incentive to bring your own bags to complement the ecological one.

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My Business Rules

A show that is a reverse of SharkTank. People come in with drive, but no real ideas, and the panel gives them an idea based on their likes and dislikes and personality and sends them out in the world to make it happen.

The camera follows them around for 12 weeks and has voice overs like “It’s critical that they validate their core value proposition within the first 2 weeks” and it’s called My Business Rules.

It’s a cross between Shark Tank and My Kitchen Rules and The Apprentice.

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Scrubbers Swarm

Very similar to previous idea of building systems which stop you having to pull a boat out to treat it, my scrubbers swarm are able to “walk” over the hull using suction/magnetic legs and scrub the underside of a ship.

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