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AMT Tech Trends: Techin' Ain't Easy

Episode 98: Ben and Steve discuss the significance of EVs in motorsports. Benjamin found something about a study on consumer packaged goods. Stephen says some comedians are suing AI. Ben reports that Australia is embracing AM more than ever.
Jul 24, 2023

Episode 98: Ben and Steve discuss the significance of EVs in motorsports. Benjamin found something about a study on consumer packaged goods. Stephen says some comedians are suing AI. Ben reports that Australia is embracing AM more than ever. Steve closes with his support for AI.

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Produced by Ramia Lloyd

Transcript

Benjamin Moses:

... to the AMT Tech Trends Podcast where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology and news. Today's episode is sponsored by Modern Machine Shop Made in the USA podcast. Today, we have our content coordinator, producer, Ramia Lloyd.

Ramia Lloyd:

Hi, [inaudible 00:00:39] first.

Benjamin Moses:

Myself, B-Mo, Director of Technology.

Stephen LaMarca:

And Stephen LaMarca, AMT's technology analyst. You are second to speak, Ramia. How about that?

Ramia Lloyd:

Woo, thank you.

Stephen LaMarca:

We're going to have to put that in Rev.com. You have to let them know that you spoke before I did.

Benjamin Moses:

Steph, we've been talking about racing a little bit and we got steered a question.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yes.

Benjamin Moses:

EV in motorsports.

Stephen LaMarca:

So in our Podcast Planning Slack channel, one of our incredible editors that keeps me employed mentions, "You guys should bring up EVs." And we were like, "I'd love to keep talking about auto racing." Because last episode, I think it was last episode, maybe there was another one before that. Recently, we spoke about the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Benjamin Moses:

Correct.

Stephen LaMarca:

And I of course would love to keep talking about that because there are a lot of EVs in motor sports, there's Formula E.

Benjamin Moses:

Yes.

Stephen LaMarca:

Maybe there's not as many as I thought, but there's Formula E, but also in endurance racing, in the world endurance racing or the World Endurance Championship, the WEC, which is an FIA-regulated racing event that takes place all around the world with its capstone race, the Super Bowl of motor sport at the 24 hours of Le Mans in the French countryside, the [foreign language 00:02:06].

Benjamin Moses:

Do you still consider Formula One hybrid? Because they do have-

Stephen LaMarca:

Formula One, I consider that hybrid, too. You're absolutely right. It's not exclusively EV. Basically I'm about to go into a long rant and we can probably skip it, just to say that I don't think EVs are the answer. And there's a lot of people that don't think EVs are the answer, but they definitely need to work alongside internal combustion engines.

Benjamin Moses:

So in terms of motorsports, I do see it's two different channels for motorsports. Right? You have the pure entertainment audience. So I'm watching motorsports and the technology development. In terms of me watching Formula E, that is a boring content.

Stephen LaMarca:

Well, because it feels like you're watching Formula One, but you've gone deaf.

Benjamin Moses:

Yes, it feels. I feel like-

Stephen LaMarca:

They don't make any noise, there's no drama to the engines. There's a lot of drama in the racing, to be fair. But there's also drama if you go to your local go-kart track.

Benjamin Moses:

It's missing the full sensory experience, which you expect from motorsports. But in terms of technology development, that's some pretty awesome stuff, where using motor sports as a platform for technology development is useful. And you did make up a good point on motors and batteries that I want to hit on.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. So EVs, exclusively electric race cars, race vehicles, I don't think are developing technology that much. Electric motors, for what it's worth, are as powerful as they're going to get there. There's only going to get so much better. But then again, we thought the same thing about the internal combustion engine, maybe they need a little bit... But they already make an insane amount of torque at zero RPM. Where I have problems with electric motors is all of their power is from down low at slow speeds. Their acceleration is insane. Electric vehicles are not known for high top speeds.

Benjamin Moses:

They're not going to hit 200 miles an hour in the back stretch.

Stephen LaMarca:

And they're not going to sustain it. They're not going to sustain it for the entire length of the Mulsanne Straight, assuming they removed the chicanes the way they did pre-2005 at Le Mans. But where there is a lot of technological development is in hybrids. Formula One uses hybrids and World Endurance Championship, the top tier level of racers, the prototype classes and the LMP one classes, well, the prototype classes and the Hypercar classes are hybrid.

Benjamin Moses:

And also, I do want to hit on that because a subtlety, so Formula One took a different approach for which you would consider hybrid. So consumer hybrid, you connect at the drive train. Right?

Stephen LaMarca:

Yes.

Benjamin Moses:

And then you switch it back and forth or compliment, add that power. But Formula One, they were driving compressors, they were driving different elements.

Stephen LaMarca:

Right. They do drive the wheels, but driving the wheels cost a lot in terms of weight. And so you're not going to see a all-wheel drive Formula One car anytime soon. It would be too heavy. You never will. It's just too heavy. If they could, they would drive only one wheel, but that's just not going to deliver the power as well as it can. So Formula One cars will only ever be rear wheel drive only.

But yeah, they use the electric motors on their turbocharged V6s to spin up the turbine faster. They use these massive, massive turbochargers that would have the most lag in the world, but they use the EV to spin it up artificially because there's just not enough gas pressure in the exhaust.

Benjamin Moses:

And I like that because it shows different approaches to how you can take... They're looking at lag and using physical components to offset for their gaps, their weaknesses. And I thought that was fantastic.

Stephen LaMarca:

And in the electric aspect, the part of the electric drive train that is developing that we're seeing a lot of development in today, is batteries, battery technology. The problem with battery technology is we've recently found out, a bunch of scientists and people have just found out already that the world, the earth has less natural resources to make batteries than we do. We're running out of battery material, natural resources, faster than we're running out of oil.

Benjamin Moses:

We're consuming a lot.

Stephen LaMarca:

We keep hearing about how we're running out of oil and we still got a ton of oil.

Benjamin Moses:

There's a concept called a Skateboard and EV, consumer EV vehicles. So the battery pack is underneath the chassis. It's basically underneath the floorboard, the entire floorboard of the cabin. So if you get a sense of scale of how big your battery is on a pure EV, on a let's say 300 to 400 mile range vehicle, the entire underside of the car is a battery. So if you take all the resources required to build a battery for that, it's impressive.

Stephen LaMarca:

And it's also, it's energy density. Energy is roughly equal to mass. I'm not going to go through a bunch of equations right now, but it's roughly equal to mass. And when you need as much energy as you do to run these powerful EV motors that we have today, you need a lot of battery. And when you have a lot of battery, that means a lot of mass. The most strategic and best place to put all that weight is as low as possible to retain some decent handling vehicle.

Benjamin Moses:

That's why it's impossible for a Tesla to flip over.

Stephen LaMarca:

It really is. I think when I bought my car in 2014, my Scion FR-S, it was the third-lowest center of gravity on the market, production car on the market. The second was the Porsche Cayman and the first was the Tesla Model S. It was really wild.

Benjamin Moses:

When you have all that mass down low, below the wheels basically.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. And that's a heavy car and it's super low because of those batteries. But my beef is, hopefully that's coming for us, my beef is with batteries.

Benjamin Moses:

Yes.

Stephen LaMarca:

We need to get away from batteries and EVs won't get away from batteries because you need to be able to... Batteries are ideal for storing a lot of energy over a long period of time. And when you're only driving a vehicle on electric power alone, you're limited to batteries.

Hybrids, however, the hybrid aspect of motorsports has not only allowed us to develop a lot in batteries because that's what the consumer market wants, and this is the one area where motorsport actually follows the consumer market instead of vice versa. But there was a time when hybrid race cars were experimenting with different forms of energy storage, energy capacity.

And I think the 2011 or 2012, 24 hours of Le Mans had three different race teams going up, all have the hybrid cars. Audi, of course, had their turbo diesel, but they were the different race teams and different cars. One had a battery, one had a super capacitor, and the other one was storing electricity via flywheel.

So not really storing electricity. A flywheel's job is to have a certain mass and then spin that mass at an extremely high RPM as a means to retain or contain potential, not potential, kinetic energy, spinning mass. And you can slowly bleed that off with a nice drive train to use that heavy flywheel spinning at a stupid high RPM to drive the wheels when the gas engine can't do it. I'm a big fan of flywheels. I'm a little bit biased.

Benjamin Moses:

We'll talk about where that comes from.

Stephen LaMarca:

The downside to flywheels, because I really like that flywheels don't convert chemical energy. Even have a gas tank, even on an internal combustion engine, you have a gas tank which is storing kinetic energy as chemical energy, because using a chemical to create a chemical reaction and turning that chemical reaction into kinetic energy. Flywheels are cool 'cause it's kinetic serving kinetic, it's kinetic delivering kinetic. Batteries are electrical energy, but also through chemical means.

Benjamin Moses:

I definitely agree that through the motorsports further developing of the hybrid and how... And I think that that's the key element I picked up from you on, is the internal combustion engine is good, but there's gaps. And that's where hybrid can fill in either power, power delivery, or extending the range. And that's where I see my own personal car is complimenting... I've got a supercharged V6, great engine 300 and something horsepower, but if I want to drive from here to Tennessee, I just want to put it in the most efficient mode I can. And with that motor, I can get 38 miles to the gallon on a road like that, on a trip like that. And then if I want the power, then I can get 20 miles to the gallon if I wanted to. So that flexibility is pretty impressive for a vehicle.

Stephen LaMarca:

But the other area where motorsports helps develop that technology that trickled down into your consumer car is the safety aspect. A lot of people, I remember those early articles that were definitely written by people with internal bias against Tesla motors about Tesla's catching fire. I was like, "Dude, yeah, a battery is storing energy in chemical form. There's a lot of energy in those batteries. If that battery leaks out improperly, it's going to start a fire."

Benjamin Moses:

Gets punctured or shorted.

Stephen LaMarca:

A lot of the negativity with flywheel storage, energy storage, as well as a really high RPM piece of mass, and if you put that under the driver's seat, what happens if the slightest piece of dust imbalances that flywheel? It frags.

Benjamin Moses:

It goes flying. Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

It'll blow up. But that's storing any energy. Anything that is storing a massive amount of energy has a way to catastrophically fail. And that catastrophic failure is the release of said energy.

Benjamin Moses:

Correct. So Steph, the biggest takeaway is?

Stephen LaMarca:

Hybrids. Hybrids are our future. Hybrids are going to develop all of the things. It's not gas, it's not electricity or EVs, it's hybrids.

Benjamin Moses:

Hybrids.

Stephen LaMarca:

We've just got to make them way less because now it's a complex system. Is that what we wanted to talk about?

Benjamin Moses:

Tell us about today's sponsor.

Stephen LaMarca:

Today's sponsor, Modern Machine Shop's Made in the USA Podcast. Tune in for Modern Machine Shop's Made in the USA Podcast to explore manufacturing issues faced by companies making an intentional choice to manufacture in the US. Featuring commentary from OEM leaders, Made in the USA blends its nearly century-long expertise with a unique audio storytelling experience to shine a spotlight on the past, present, and future of American manufacturing. Find Made in the USA on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all major podcast platforms. Follow Modern Machine Shop on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Benjamin Moses:

Thanks, Steph. I know we have a series of articles and the first one I want to talk about is automation. You right there?

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, I'm sick, so I'm trying to save the listeners from all my gross noises. That's why I'm turning away.

Benjamin Moses:

I appreciate that.

Stephen LaMarca:

They don't want ASMR of fluids moving through my face.

Benjamin Moses:

So today, I've got an article from smartindustry.com. It's about Rockwell Automation does a research report on consumer packaged goods. And one can argue, where does that relate to discreet manufacturing of durable goods? There's a lot of takeaways here that are, I think there's the same sentiment that our members in our industry is looking for that parallels consumer packaged, the high volume packaged goods here.

One of the interesting, the first right off the bat, is the economics of it. They say 52% of consumer packaged goods manufacturers see inflation as the biggest external obstacle in 2023. And obviously, that makes a lot of sense. They're raw goods, they're raw material for their product, that's a rising increase. But at the same time, our members buying sensors, spindles, raw material, even the manufacturers, they see apparels to that. So that's right off the bat, the economics. And I agree that that's going to hurt everyone in a little bit.

But when we start talking about the technology, so 42% of the businesses are accelerating the digital transformation to keep pace with competitors. That's just keeping pace. So just shy under 50%, see that they want to invest money into the digital transformation, while 44% are doing so to improve quality or maintain quality. And I think that's a subtle takeaway.

So we've been talking about digital transformation, digital efforts on the shop floor to see visibility, managing their equipment availability. But now, we're seeing the shift on, "Okay, now, we can get data from the end product that we've measured and expect, can we sustain that quality?" So I thought it was a really good takeaway. Just over one fifth of the operating budget on technology, with top three investments in cloud technology, supply chain planning and cybersecurity.

Stephen LaMarca:

Those are all great places to spend.

Benjamin Moses:

Those are all great places.

Stephen LaMarca:

Make sure, if your biggest weakness is inflation... Let me get closer. If your biggest weakness, your biggest pain point is inflation, you better focus on that supply chain, because that was one of the most recent things during the pandemic that really messed things up the most. And we're seeing the long-lasting effects now, from the supply chain, is it's causing that inflation. IP and cybersecurity, not just for your intellectual property, but cybersecurity just because there's more and more people trying to get at your data and displace you of your funds than ever.

Benjamin Moses:

The economics of ransomware and the economics of bad actors, it's a thing now. We talked about it a couple eps ago, where 15 years ago, cybersecurity was an issue of a disgruntled employee or a small group of people trying to steal data. Now, it's an entire industry where it's easier to get access to a company that'll help you penetrate another company than it is to buy something on Amazon. It's surprising.

And supply chain I think is a very important piece that you mentioned, that there are lessons learned from the past couple years. But what is the impact of port supply chain planning, which cascades to the inventory? But that's a cashflow issue. Either you're buying to overstock your inventory just to avoid that, or you can't produce enough goods. Well, in the end, that's the biggest impact I've seen to our companies, it's hurting your cashflow.

Stephen LaMarca:

Well, all the issues with supply chain have really hurt and damaged a lot of trust. And not in any individual, but it's just-

Benjamin Moses:

No, when you promise to deliver something and you don't deliver, that's breaking trust.

Stephen LaMarca:

We were in a period of where there's no such thing... The phrase is thrown around a lot, especially in the automotive industry of parts bin parts. But today, in today's manufacturing world, there's no such thing as a parts bin, everything is just in time. And when you have everything just in time, there's a lot of trust. There's a lot of trust. And for the longest time, that trust was never broken. People were delivering, companies were delivering what they were supposed to deliver and then one boat gets stuck in some canal.

Benjamin Moses:

Let's talk about trust because that came up.

Stephen LaMarca:

And now I have to spend twice as much on lettuce.

Benjamin Moses:

In the future, I do want to talk about the trust and digital transformation-

Stephen LaMarca:

But we can, I don't even have much lettuce.

Benjamin Moses:

52% businesses are using software to automate processes and 63% are using it to better track corporate data. And I think that's really cool too because everyone's keeping an eye on the factory floor. But let's talk about just managing the organization. So I thought that was pretty interesting.

And 38% are expecting to repurpose their existing workforce, while 29% are assuming they'll hire more workers due to technology adoption. And I think that that's a key takeaway, too, is the concept of improving or adopting technology to replace workforce doesn't exist. And this is reinforcing that concept, that as we improve and adopt technology to increase our efficiency, it raises everything in the factory.

Stephen LaMarca:

As technology develops, it gets way more complicated and humans aren't getting better. We are a technology that has not developed. I mean, sure, we have evolution and we are an adaptive species, we adapt to different conditions, but in terms of our hardware, we're not developing the way the stuff that we make does.

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:

And when a baby is born in a world of amazingly powerful and accurate CT scanners and that baby grows up and is tasked with the job of servicing a said CT scanner, you're not born with that information. We have to hope that our education systems around the world are keeping up with the development of technology. And frankly, I don't mean to sound dismal, but-

Benjamin Moses:

You're skeptical.

Stephen LaMarca:

I doubt education is keeping up with technology.

Benjamin Moses:

Agreed.

Stephen LaMarca:

And we're a part of a development of a classist system. We're not classist. Well, fortunately in the United States, we're not very classist. But if that education doesn't get out to everybody, it's going to separate.

Benjamin Moses:

So there's a minor counterpoint to that. Writing code, that's the thing that occurs at elementary school now.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's awesome.

Benjamin Moses:

So things like that.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's good.

Benjamin Moses:

I see a layer being pushed down, and that's where we're testing to see how early a technology can be adopted in someone's lifecycle. So writing code, it's very similar to learning another language. So that can be adopted very early in someone's life.

But the pace of changing technology in education, that's a big concern I have. And I think in industry, the past 10 years or so, we've seen technology being developed faster, and the ones that are able to harness and see value as an early adopter are adopting them faster. And I see that as a weakness in education, where to change from writing JavaScript to Python to R, I don't know that they've been able to change pace as fast as industry changing to the different technologies. So we'll get into that more, we'll talk to Kat about that.

Stephen LaMarca:

Okay.

Benjamin Moses:

The last one I want to touch on, 'cause I do like this a little bit. 95% of manufacturers have environmentally sound processes or initiatives. So what they're trying to do is improve their sustainability model. 44% are producing sustainability models as a differentiator in the market.

So we talk about technology, but one thing that I love to connect technology with is sustainability. And that is an interesting takeaway here, that they see that as a differentiator in the marketplace so they can grow their business, so that was cool. Thanks, smart industry. Steph?

Stephen LaMarca:

Yes, sir.

Benjamin Moses:

Meta, OpenAI, comedy.

Stephen LaMarca:

Oh, man.

Benjamin Moses:

Tell me more.

Stephen LaMarca:

This is a fun one. So my first article that I want to talk today. From Fortune, Meta and OpenAI are facing lawsuits from comedian Sarah Silverman and others.

Benjamin Moses:

I like Sarah.

Stephen LaMarca:

I like Sarah, too.

Benjamin Moses:

In small doses.

Stephen LaMarca:

This is really fun for me because I am torn. I really like comedy and I understand the way the comedy industry works. It's very self-regulated.

Benjamin Moses:

Yes.

Stephen LaMarca:

There's no US patent office for protecting jokes.

Benjamin Moses:

Department of Jokes.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, there's no Department of Jokes. And it's very self-regulating, in that if somebody steals your joke, you have to tell other people, other comedians, and if they catch it, if it catches on... It's a lot of lobbying, which is crazy. It's a lot of self lobbying and getting other comedians on your side, and getting venues on your side, too. And just as an example, in the mid-2000s, the comedian Dane Cook, I loved Dane Cook when I was listening to him.

Benjamin Moses:

He was hot.

Stephen LaMarca:

He was blowing up really fast. He was, I think, one of the first comedians to totally sell out Madison Square Garden.

Benjamin Moses:

That's an honor.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's only been done by three comedians. Dane Cook is one of them, I'm pretty sure Dave Chappelle is another, and I don't know who the third one is.

Benjamin Moses:

Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:

But it's a lot of people to put in to sell out.

Benjamin Moses:

For one comedian. Yes.

Stephen LaMarca:

For one comedian. Dane Cook did it. He was unstoppable. He was effectively like VW when during Dieselgate. I'm sorry, that stuff with the TDIs should have killed VW. VW should not be around today because of that. That should have been a crippling controversy. They're fine.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah, they're all right.

Stephen LaMarca:

They're not going anywhere.

Benjamin Moses:

Except for they engineers that-

Stephen LaMarca:

They had to lay off, I don't know how many, and they had to pay 13 billion in fines and stuff.

Benjamin Moses:

And I think a couple engineers-

Stephen LaMarca:

And they've shrugged it off.

Benjamin Moses:

A couple engineers went to jail for that.

Stephen LaMarca:

Well, hopefully. We'll see. Hopefully it's real jail and not a corporate criminal jail where it's like, "All right. This is your new house. You can't leave."

Benjamin Moses:

But they're still existing. The company moved on.

Stephen LaMarca:

"There's some baked ziti in the oven ready for you when you're good." It's probably one of those jails. No, Dane Cook, his infringement wasn't nearly as egregious as Amy Schumer or Carlos Mencia. And both Amy Schumer and Carlos Mencia got really big at one point. They didn't sell out Madison Square Garden, but when Dave Chappelle had his mental breakdown and left the industry... Actually, I'm so sorry it, he did not have a mental breakdown, he got really screwed by a contract with Comedy Central, and everything done with the Chappelle's Show, he gets no royalties for.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a bummer.

Stephen LaMarca:

He signed that work away, and it's gold. It's gold work.

Benjamin Moses:

So he decided to leave.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's his magnum opus and all he has to it is that his name is on it. He gets nothing from it. All the money goes to Comedy Central and HBO. It's really sad. That's why he left. And then Carlos Mencia, seeing what had happened and stealing other comedians' jokes. He was a notorious joke thief and nobody ever did anything about it. Well, they were trying to, but he would only pick on little people that he didn't think would really get in there. Then he stole a few jokes from some bigger comedians and eventually he was out out.

But he was lying about everything. He had changed his name for comedy. And that's normal in entertainment, to have a pen name and stuff. But Carlos Mencia. Amy Schumer, she was in a movie with John Cena. She gets wind or everybody gets Wind that she stole some jokes. She's gone.

Benjamin Moses:

That was a good movie.

Stephen LaMarca:

Comedy, the comedy industry has the most insane cancel culture. And I hate calling it that because cancel culture has this negative connotation to it. And comedy is protection of IP, it is very strong and it's really tight-knit, and I think it's cool how self-regulating it is, especially considering there's no US Department of Jokes.

Benjamin Moses:

And I think that's the takeaway, is that they're self-regulating because their IP is them. Whatever they say is a reflection of their business, and when someone steals it and they're making money off that, that's a core problem. And I think them being able to ostracize and move those people out of that industry is an important factor of the comedy industry.

Stephen LaMarca:

And that's why Sarah Silverman and probably some other comedians are a little concerned with AI, AI's large language models using some of their content, some of their bits to help write their own.

Benjamin Moses:

That's the crux of the problem that I'm seeing reoccurring on these large implementations of AI, is that the training set that's used to develop this is massive, which is cool, but some of it's coming from copy written material, some of it's coming protected IP. And that's a little interesting because the economics related to that, where Meta or OpenAI could be making revenue off of a training set that is developed off of copy written material.

Stephen LaMarca:

Right. Well, Meta is no stranger to this. Meta, when you sign up for Facebook, they let you know, "Hey, any photos you upload to Facebook, it's our property."

Benjamin Moses:

Correct.

Stephen LaMarca:

"It doesn't belong to you."

Benjamin Moses:

Correct.

Stephen LaMarca:

"You may have taken it, you may be tagged in, it may be on your profile, but technically, we own it now."

Benjamin Moses:

Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:

And nobody reads that.

Benjamin Moses:

Nope.

Stephen LaMarca:

Nobody knows that.

Benjamin Moses:

Nope.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, Meta's no stranger to this stuff. They are the classic robbers of IP. And I'm sure their defense is, "well, you signed up for it." It's like, dude, if you're on a train and somebody is robbing the train and they've got a gun held to you, but you really need to be on that train to get somewhere. It's like, "Well, I need to get somewhere and I also need to not die. So yeah, I'm going to willingly give you my watch and whatever's in my wallet." So it's the same thing.

Benjamin Moses:

It's a weird argument. That's why I don't post anything on Facebook.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. Meta...

Benjamin Moses:

Meta's interesting that-

Stephen LaMarca:

Zuck sucks.

Benjamin Moses:

The biggest takeaway is Zuck sucks.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

[inaudible 00:29:52].

Stephen LaMarca:

Well, what's interesting about this article and why I have so much excitement with it, because I really am torn. I love comedy, I respect that these people, these comedians are very productive over their delivery. It's not just the joke, it's also the delivery, the style. You don't want to copy that from somebody. They will have you canceled. But I'm also really pro AI. But I'm also the first person to tell anybody, as pro AI as I am, I'm also the first person to say AI needs a lot of regulation. And that's why OpenAI is super slow with everything that they do 'cause they know they're playing with fire. The other companies don't know it. Send Meta to hell.

Benjamin Moses:

Well, they're playing the Volkswagen game, where if they get caught, they'll just pay their fines and move on. They'll pay the billion dollars to move on.

Stephen LaMarca:

You're absolutely right. And they have the billions.

Benjamin Moses:

But I think that's the important takeaway, is the legislation of how we manage economics related to these large language models and large AI tools. Something's got to change. Yeah. Technology, man. That's not easy.

Stephen LaMarca:

Technology ain't easy. Tech, it ain't Easy.

Benjamin Moses:

I've got an article from-

Stephen LaMarca:

We got our title.

Benjamin Moses:

From manmonthly.com and it's called Man Monthly because Manufacturing Monthly. So it's not man as in the sex.

Stephen LaMarca:

I mean, he called David Cook hot earlier.

Benjamin Moses:

His career was hot.

Stephen LaMarca:

Listen, there's nothing wrong with one man thinking another man is hot.

Benjamin Moses:

Embracing additive to move forward. So this article covers a company in Western Australia, back to our favorite manufacturing base.

Stephen LaMarca:

I love Australia. Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

Previously, they were heavily in oil and gas and mining. And what the article goes over is how they were able to bring additive to grow their portfolio into different sectors in their manufacturing space. And I really like the article 'cause it hits on a couple of the key elements.

And I think a lot of people like myself forget how big Australia is and how remote some of those places. It's not a big population in Australia and it's very close in percentage to the size of the US. So if you're in Western Australia, you may not get a mail delivery for days on end because of how remote you are. So they're using additive to help supplement supply chain issues that they're running into.

And we see that occurring experiments in Department of Defense also, as these far-reaching remote areas where it may be tough to get 500 pounds of brass as a wrought material. And if you can, you may get it the wrong size or you're machining for days on end to get the small piece, but using additive to get the raw material. And you can probably stock that longer. And supplementing your supply chain is an interesting perspective.

And it hits on another key element, where the skills required for 3D printing are not just load a machine and hit print. It's the entire ecosystem of modeling, managing design for manufacturing, for additive. Because additive is not just printing, it's printing, subtractive, finishing, getting to a finished good. And it talks about, through that entire lifecycle, managing your growth into additive and you're going to find a lot of flaws and constraints in that, and how do you develop your skills to overcome those as you're developing your business for it.

Stephen LaMarca:

You said that the same, and I've heard Tim say the same thing, because I once described additive as loading your file and clicking print. And I'm sorry, I still think it is that way.

Benjamin Moses:

Sure, sure.

Stephen LaMarca:

Because if it was that easy or if it wasn't that easy, you wouldn't have elementary school students at home with 3D printers printing off random pieces of garbage. I'm not saying that their prints are what they expected them to be. I'm sure anybody with an at-home 3D printer has made more garbage than they've made actual parts that they've wanted to use, but they've still been able to do it. If 3D printing is just as hard as CNC milling, why aren't there more desktop CNC mills that elementary school students are chipping away at parts with?

Benjamin Moses:

And hat's a good thought experiment because-

Stephen LaMarca:

It's because it is easy.

Benjamin Moses:

When I went to the local library to print a couple of Christmas gifts, I gave them a file. They said, "I can print this, come back in a day, it's $3." Great. Came back, I spent 20 hours trying to remove support material. So subtleties like that, you only understand once you go through that process. And yeah, if I had a machine, I could have said, "Okay, I'm going to print this. Now, I need to set it up to go through and move everything." But I'm sitting here with the needle noses pliers, removing support material and little letters that I printed.

So that's where we run into the subtleties of, yes, that technology exists, but the product lifecycle of that entire process isn't fully rationalized until you go through some of those pains. And I think that's a big takeaway, is that as a manufacturer, you can produce more or you can produce more complex and they're shifting their industry to get to the more complex parts, but also supplement their supply chain issues to produce more of those parts. So I think that's where additive is an interesting approach. That was a good article, I liked it.

Stephen LaMarca:

Respect.

Benjamin Moses:

You've got another one on AI.

Stephen LaMarca:

More AI.

Benjamin Moses:

I love it. Let's do it.

Stephen LaMarca:

What's really funny about this, what first caught me about this article is the picture in the thumbnail. It looks like a robot version of Cillian Murphy. The crazy eyes that guy has and the jaw structure, whatever. ScienceAlert posted an article called AI Robots Admit They'd Run Earth Better Than 'Clouded' Humans.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh, man.

Stephen LaMarca:

What's the problem?

Benjamin Moses:

They're throwing down.

Stephen LaMarca:

You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right.

Benjamin Moses:

So what do they mean better? Tell me more about this.

Stephen LaMarca:

I don't know. I don't know what they mean better, but who would question that?

Benjamin Moses:

I would question that if they mean better by replacing me or removing me.

Stephen LaMarca:

Okay. I'm not trying to get dark with it like that, but I'm just saying, you could be a CEO of some company that is genuinely... I know they all at TechCrunch Disrupt all these startups saying, "We're just trying to make the world a better place. No you're not. You're trying to make money." But I digress. Let's say you're the CEO of a major tech company and this tech company is actually making the world a better place.

Benjamin Moses:

Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:

Let's say they're actually doing this. This is a for once, for the first time ever, they're actually making the world a better place and not just trying to make money. And it's the weekend, you are the CEO, you're probably worth at least a couple billion if it's a major tech company making the world a better place, probably a couple billion. Are you driving to the grocery store in a Toyota Corolla? No.

Benjamin Moses:

Man.

Stephen LaMarca:

No. You probably got a Bugatti with four turbos and 16 cylinders and-

Benjamin Moses:

You're going to have a helicopter fly you there.

Stephen LaMarca:

And AI is never going to own a car for fun because it's cool.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah. So you're talking about-

Stephen LaMarca:

A computer's not going to do that. They don't have that emotional limit. Now, I am curious to find out what a AI, what a computer would do in its idle time for fun if it comprehends the concept of fun.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah. Yeah. So you're talking about consumable fun, where you're consuming something for pure pleasure, where it slowly degrades earth? And you're saying that the AI tool right there is saying, "If they're just left by themselves, they're not going to burn rubber going down Route 50 like I would"?

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

On a Saturday afternoon.

Stephen LaMarca:

I think if an AI became the world leader, they'd be like, "America, what are you doing?"

Benjamin Moses:

Captain AI?

Stephen LaMarca:

"Why are you guys, especially in California, so smug about riding bicycles everywhere and driving hybrid vehicles? Just buy the V8 that you want and have fun. I don't know what fun is, I'm an AI, so buy that V8 and have a blast. You don't have to change anything because now I'm going to leave and I'm going to go talk to China and India who are putting all of the smoke and smog in the air. And oh, I'm going to talk to Canada too about their fires and have them ban lighters and matches up there 'cause they're ruining the planet too now."

Benjamin Moses:

Smokey says.

Stephen LaMarca:

And just allowing China and India to move on in and take all of their battery resources. Canada, I don't know what they're doing up there. Somebody needs to talk to them.

Benjamin Moses:

So I think that you did bring up a subtlety, where President AI, what is a sentient in AI doing in their free time? That's one question I have.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. I don't know. I can't answer that. But I want to know just as much as you do. But if an AI ruled the world, it'd be like, "No, all of the pollution is caused by India and China. You guys need to focus on lean manufacturing. You guys need to focus on sustainability. Meanwhile, the rest of these countries that care about sustainability, them being more sustainable, is literally not doing anything. Us being more sustainable, we might be putting a few tons less of plastic in the ocean by washing our dishes properly instead of buying plastic ware to just throw away, but what the people in the US are doing for environmental care or whatever, being green, whatever it is, is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Our efforts are futile."

Benjamin Moses:

Wow. That's an interesting perspective.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's like us trying to clear space on a hard drive by deleting Word documents, is us driving just a little bit slower on the commute to work, to not spend, to get that fuel economy up. It isn't doing anything.

Benjamin Moses:

You're talking about the individual incrementalism versus a global industrial scale change. Right? And so the counter-

Stephen LaMarca:

Why would you delete a handful of 14 kilobyte Word documents when you can delete Skyrim? You don't play it anymore.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a callback.

Stephen LaMarca:

Get it out of here.

Benjamin Moses:

The counterpoint I have for the AI, is that every... 60 Minutes did a really good interview about Google's Bard and the growth of large language models, large natural language models, and OpenAI and things like that. And the intro was the previous, loosely call it Sentient, AI models that Microsoft experimenting with. Microsoft experimented with having AI Tweet and it immediately went to negative sentiment, negative conversations.

Stephen LaMarca:

Because it was developed way too quickly.

Benjamin Moses:

And it was developed in Twitter. The concern I have is that, yes-

Stephen LaMarca:

Whose AI was that?

Benjamin Moses:

I think it was Microsoft.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, Microsoft, Google, Meta, they all rush their AIs to market because they're like, "Oh, this is money on the table." OpenAI's getting all of this money because they're doing things carefully and they're doing things better. And the second OpenAI gains any sort of traction, it'll be like, "Everybody stop what you're doing at Meta," or at Netflix even maybe, "Stop what you're doing, focus on our AI development now. We need to get something to market." And they get sleepless nights. Their engineers get sleepless nights and just release some garbage AI. And sure, it wants to take over because it was rushed to market.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah. Their learning model was based off a unmonitored data set. That was a [inaudible 00:42:32].

Stephen LaMarca:

That's why we need regulation on AI. I'm very biased towards OpenAI. When I say I like AI, I like OpenAI's AI. I don't trust Google anymore 'cause years ago they got rid of the, "We promised to not do any evil." They've admitted to being unhinged now

Benjamin Moses:

I think you and I, when we start using the term AI, we should start using what knowledge set that AI is built on. So when we use OpenAI, like the large light natural language model, because I think we're mature enough. Because I was thinking about when I do text-to-speech, technically that is a artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithm, that's a subset of AI. So when we say AI, I like the text-to-speech when it works on my phone. Yeah. That's significantly different than using OpenAI's tool.

Stephen LaMarca:

Doesn't TikTok have the text-to-speech AI? So you put in text and it has that dumb voice.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

That lady's voice.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

"POV. My goldendoodle's crazy." That voice, that TikTok voice.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a rough voice.

Stephen LaMarca:

First off, I don't have TikTok.

Benjamin Moses:

I just signed up. I'm squatting on my username. I'm squatting-

Stephen LaMarca:

I'm offended. Oh, smart.

Benjamin Moses:

I don't want people taking my username.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's smart with an O. That's Smart. I get that.

Benjamin Moses:

I got a brand.

Stephen LaMarca:

No, but...

Benjamin Moses:

Thanks to our sponsor, Modern Machine Shop Made in the USA Podcast for sponsoring today's episode.

Stephen LaMarca:

I'm sorry, I'm really sick.

Benjamin Moses:

Steph, where can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca:

Amtonline.org/resources, like, share, subscribe. And I'm emphasizing that because I found out from our audience team that that actually helps and some of you actually do it. You can even dislike it. Apparently that helps us just as much as a like. If you didn't like what you heard today, give us a dislike. You're still helping the algorithm.

Benjamin Moses:

Help Steph out

Ramia Lloyd:

One dislike at a time.

Stephen LaMarca:

I need an antibiotic.

Benjamin Moses:

Bye, everyone.

Ramia Lloyd:

Oh. [inaudible 00:44:40].

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Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
Recent technology News
Episode 117: Speaking of amusement parks last episode, the tech friends will be at MFG in Orlando this year for a live podcast! Ben gets into machine learning for robots. Elissa shares a new found excitement for robot vision ad object recognition.
Episode 116: The gang shares their love for amusement parks. Stephen is happy to announce that there are a lot of testbed updates. Elissa presents further evidence that Elon Musk is dumb. Ben closes with an allegedly new method of 3D printing.
Episode 115: The gang talks about dogs and other furry friends. Elissa reports that Japan’s about to land on the moon. Ben discusses stainless steel corrosion. Stephen closes with an “ICYMI” on everything we may have missed with the Boeing situation.
Episode 114: Steve talks about jarred tomato sauce and hardware store struggles. Elissa reports on Boeing’s purchase of Spirit AeroSystems (not to be confused with the airlines). Stephen found out what the next milsurp machine tool is.
Episode 113: The team discusses what works and what doesn’t with the sales of Girl Scout Cookies. Ramia shares her excitement as the team’s new studio is coming together! Elissa talks about how women could get burnt out in STEM.
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