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Are self-driving cars just a fantasy?

The Status Man decodes secrets of AI in healthcare, automobile, and military.


Barun Sharma & Barun Pandey
February 24, 2023

GM! Welcome to the Status Code.

We're like woodpeckers, persistent and always tapping away to help you find what you need in AI.

Here’s what we have for today:

  1. 🏎️ Self-driving- future or fantasy?

  2. 👨‍⚕️ Where is AI healthcare headed?

  3. ⚔️ How will AI impact wars?

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(Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 52 seconds)

🏎️ Self-driving- future or fantasy?

Five years ago, autonomous driving was the talk of the town.

Self-driving startups popped up everywhere. Nikola, ahem, ahem.

And Elon claimed we would have a self-driving car by 2019.

But it’s 2023. I’m still driving my car. And I don’t think anyone’s using AI as a chauffeur yet.

So, what happened?

Since Tesla announced AutoPilot in 2015, we have made lots of technological progress.


got Light Detection and Ranging Technology (LiDAR)

introduced computing systems for driving decisions

built 360-views of the car using radar, LiDAR, and god knows how many cameras

developed 3D map models around cars

And, it has brought us assistive systems to help drive around.

But Musk ignored the Pareto 80-20 principle. The final push is proving to be difficult.

Mainly for two reasons:

Technology: Self-driving cars struggle in extreme conditions. And there’s concern about sensors getting blocked.

Regulation: The main blocker, though, is regulation.

When a human driver commits an accident, car manufacturers need not worry.

The rules are clear. The driver is responsible.

But who takes the blame when a self-driving car commits an accident?

Tesla and other manufacturers say the car owner should.

But common sense says the car owner is trusting the technology, so maybe the car manufacturer should.

As a result, car manufacturers deal with a lot of lawsuits. And they are wary of introducing technology and going bankrupt due to legal issues. The outcome? Slow progress.

Meanwhile, they are focusing on semi-autonomous vehicles instead. It’s what the people want anyway.

A study shows that people prefer semi-autos over autonomous cars.

Maybe, it’s in human nature to be in control of the machines (or at least feel like we’re in control).

And maybe, it’s for good.

My college coach always said slow and steady, consistent progress is good.

And when the time is right, I may focus on writing newsletters during my daily commute. Now, though, I’m okay being the driver.

👨‍⚕️ Where is AI healthcare headed?

When it comes to Healthcare, we spend the bulk of our time and money on two things:


Medical institutions need to enter data, process claims, and schedule appointments. All that while they also listen to me babble about a discount.

It needs a lot of mundane, repetitive work.


And they need to move the needle of progress too. So they set aside large budgets to find new treatments and new drugs.

And those new treatments don’t come cheap!

To do that, we need to find patterns in large data sets or fetch specific kinds of information in scientific literature. Both need a large number of experts and time.

But lucky for us, they are both ideal use cases for AI.

No wonder the smart guys at Harvard claim AI can save the healthcare industry $150 billion by 2025.

And companies are queuing up to join the trend.

Pharma companies are investing in drug discovery and development platforms. They say it is making them 50% more efficient.

***plays the NARCOS theme

But that’s not it.

Butterfly Networks is developing hand-held ultrasonic devices using AI.

Health insurers like Anthem use AI to identify when their customers need medical intervention. Or to identify fraud.

There are a lot of use cases.

But the health industry deals with people’s lives. So the adoption of new technologies is often slow.

But Covid-19 seems to have boosted that. 82% of health institutions increased their use of AI after the pandemic.

Maybe, the extreme pressure on health infrastructure during Covid called for efficiency.

Or maybe, adopting telehealth (after Covid) showed them what other opportunities they had.

Whatever it is, the health industry is getting a major OS update.

Companies want to provide more personalized care. They want more portable diagnosis devices (like portable medical imaging).

And studies expect the digital health market to reach ~550 billion.

What a time to be a Techie!

⚔️How will AI impact wars?

Imagine you’re at home playing The Last Of Us on your PS8. (the same first edition. Others stink.)

An AI jet flies from a distant military base. Launches a missile onto your house!


But you have a security system that detects missiles and counter-attacks them. Blink! Blink! Blink!

Your intelligent system intercepts the missile in mid-air. And you’re there killing some zombies.


Is this the future? I don’t know. It’s a good plot for a movie scene, though.

Anyway, Ukraine’s use of AI in the war seems to suggest it will play a major role in security.

So how is Ukraine using AI?

Discourse Monitoring:

Ukraine is keeping tabs on every enemy movement in the media. Through social media, calls, radio, events, and programs. You name it.

And by doing that, it is getting important intel on what tactics the opponent is developing.

AI Drones: 

Some claim Ukraine has "the world's first naval fleet of drones".

The Drones feed on live satellite data to predict, attack, and suicide bomb targets.

One drone even spotted a 10-mile cavalry of armored vehicles. The tactical team then breached them and disrupted Russia’s plan.

And there are countless other examples. AI is helping Ukraine get an edge.

But, there are questions about what level of AI use is okay. Maybe they are too good at what they do.

It’s like my uncle Joe and uncle Brian having a wrestling match. They were both very good at landing punches. One would win. But both would sleep injured for days after that.

The issues don’t stop there.

What about privacy? Should we let these AI spy tools track our every move?

Or what about accountability? If an AI goes berserk, who do we blame? Do we attribute it to a bug or hold the parent country accountable?

We must address these concerns before AI reaches the wrong hands.

But hey! There is still hope.

When 60 countries sat down for the first Global Summit on Responsible AI last week, they signed a commitment to responsible AI use.

Besides, researchers are working on developing filtered systems.

Filtered systems = systems with limited functionalities. And controlled by a global organization, like the UN for Responsible Artificial Intelligence (is the UN itself effective?).

What do you think about AI’s use in warfare? Do you think it’ll be possible to limit its uses?

🦾What happened this week?

  • Plan your next workout using ppleGPT

  • This tool can convert high-quality leads into personalized promotion

  • ChatGPT doesn’t work? Try NeevaAI

  • This AI tool tells about you from your tweets

  • AI books are booming because of ChatGPT

  • IBM Chief says that AI will replace “white-collar clerical work”

  • Sama said that prompt engineering is a high-leverage skill

  • Traveling? Use this AI hotel reviewer

  • Watch these AI-powered electric shoes

  • Cohere summarize launched Cohere Summarize Beta

  • This can turn your scribes into images

  • Skype is getting Bing-like ChatGPT features

  • This AI will generate your dream room

  • Spotify launched a DJ feature for more personalized music

💰 Funding Roundup

  • Veridion, an AI startup has secured $6M for building AI products

  • raised $2M in a pre-seed round for their slack integration

  • Tome, a storytelling startup raised $43M in a series B funding round

  •, raised a whopping $23M in series A funding this Thursday

  • AI startup Rivet landed $500000 in pre-seed funding from VCs

🌿Agrotech AI is booming!

🐤Tweet of the week 

Behind the scenes on my early @runwayml GEN-1 experiments

Still very early tech, but it will only get better -

Soon there will be a whole new generation of filmmakers who can make whatever they can imagine - and they'll no longer be limited by their budget

— Karen X. Cheng (@karenxcheng)
Feb 23, 2023

😂 Meme of the week

That’s it for this week, folks! If you want more, be sure to follow our Twitter (@CallMeAIGuy)

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