Elon Musk thinks we live in The Matrix, Facebook uncorks a text-reading A.I.

If you drive for Uber, you might think about asking for a raise. Why? Because the country of Saudi Arabia just decided to invest in the ride-sharing start-up to the tune of $3.5 billion. That’s a whole lot of Uber Pool rides for a country that doesn’t seem to need ride sharing in any capacity, so why the sudden windfall for Uber?

Saudi Arabia’s rulers apparently recognize that depending on oil revenue to keep the nation solvent is probably not going to pan out in the long run. In fact, Saudi Arabia is working on taking their state-owned oil company, Aramco, public in an upcoming monster mega-IPO, with many financial analysts pegging the value at near two trillion dollars. So, they’ve decided to start diversifying their investment portfolio and the Uber windfall is just one small step.

Saudi Arabia also owns $116 billion worth of the US debt, so dropping $3.5 billion into Uber suddenly seems like pocket change. We’d expect more big “investments” in the near future.


No one has ever accused Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City boss Elon Musk of having a lack of vision, but a vision he recently shared at a tech conference has people talking… about reality.

Or more specifically, what our human reality might really be, as in a giant simulation of reality being run by super-intelligent beings, possibly super-intelligent artificial intelligences. The meta-tech subject came up from a questioner at Code Conference, where Musk was a panel guest. Musk says he has thought about the idea “a lot,” and thinks we probably are in such a simulation. Right now. And granted, this is not a new idea, it goes back over 40 years.

Musk cites the rapid progress of video games, from Pong to nascent VR, which he says – and you’ve gotta agree here at least – will eventually become so good as to become indistinguishable from “reality.” And the logic goes that if the VR game you’re playing gets good enough, why not simulate people, setting, societies, entire planets and so on? Right? Sims, anyone? Anyway, we’ve got the clips of Elon pondering the big questions here, and it’s worth watching.


Speaking of big thinkers, the folks tinkering with A.I. over at Facebook have released Deep Text, a language-processing engine that, as you might expect, reads your posts and then tries to help you out. The ability for a computer to “read” text is no great challenge. But understanding the nuances of written communication – and then deciding on an action to take – are different challenges altogether.

With Deep Text, Facebook says they are hoping to decipher the intent behinds what is written, and then act on that – say, if you need a ride somewhere, or are hungry, or need to talk with someone – like maybe one of the chatty A-I bots they’re also refining, of course.


Qualcomm's 3D Sonic fingerprint sensor could make your next phone more secure

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The 10 best 'Black Mirror' episodes are thought-provoking, disturbing, mesmerizing

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one special, we've selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: YouTube Premium and drones that fly forever

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler welcomed Laura Major from CyPhy and Ben Lee from Rootstrap to the show. Plus, the future of YouTube Premium after news that the streaming giant will be offering exclusive content for free.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: HyperloopTT’s Dirk Ahlborn discusses the future of travel

We chatted with HyperloopTT's Dirk Ahlborn about the newest way to travel. The Hyperloop travels at nearly the speed of sound and has already been commercially approved in China and the UAE.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: A runaway Tesla, new Airpods, and Hyperloop updates

On episode 28 of Digital Trends Live, host Greg Nibler and guest Adrien Warner explored the biggest tech news of the day, including rumors of new Airpods, a police chase involving a Tesla, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa-enabled Billy Bass, ‘Gear.Club Unlimited 2,’ and more

Alexa-enabled fish and Boring Company lawsuits highlighted this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chris Rosario to talk about Gear.Club Unlimited 2 and Ian Williams of Deadstock Coffee joined the show from Tokyo, Japan.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Harlem Globetrotter Big Easy talks new app, favorite gadget

We welcomed Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel Lofton to talk about how he became a Globetrotter 14 years ago. Big Easy also told us about the brand-new Harlem Globetrotters app that is now available on Android and Apple.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: First 5G phone, Batcole Foundation, and a new data breach

Tuesday on Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler discussed trending topics such as the Quora data breach, and Jeremy Kaplan was joined by Katie Linendoll from the Batcole Foundation to discuss the benefits of AR and VR in hospital rooms.
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa updates, Uber’s self-driving cars, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Senior Editor Caleb Denison discussed the best streaming devices and we welcomed Danny Pyell and Felia Mano, the Nintendo Power Couple, and Kelly Dachtler from OBVS to the show.
Digital Trends Live

CEO of shoe startup OB/VS talks about exploration-focused footwear

Today we had the founder of OB/VS Kelly Dachtler to talk about why he wanted to start a footwear company, what makes the shoes his firm manufactures unique, and what future products are in store.