For decades we listened to deep space. And many messages were sent into the Milky Way. Nothing. Perhaps in the end, we will find that we have searched the entire universe, only to find ourselves. The Dual Transitions of digital transformation and carbon transparency have Edited Life and Artificial Intelligence as Twin Tracks. To combat climate change and global hunger, Microsoft is researching DNA storage and the building of automated technologies to scaffold biotech foundries. Eric Schmidt invested $150 million in the Broad Institute to accelerate the convergence of AI and biology. Bezos’ “Blue Origin” intends to build on the benefit created by these advances to unravel how humans may be able to survive off-planet.

Large swathes of the world population and GDP are projected to be exposed to increasing compounding risks in the future climate, even under the lowest emission scenario. By using a machine learning generated carbon budget dataset, Oxford’s School of Geography quantified the response of ecosystem productivity to heat and water stressors at a global scale. The results were published in “Nature Sustainability” on January 5th 2023. Oxford concluded that that the threat of drought-heatwave events on future socio-ecosystem productivity could aggravate social inequalities. The results unmasked the devastating impact of compound threats on the natural world and international economies. In January 2023, unseasonable vistas on the Alpine slopes, forced Brambruesch to offer ski buffs mountain bikes.

The world’s glaciers are vanishing. By the end of this century, two-thirds of them will melt out of existence. Using Linked Data to fuel decision-making, companies can achieve some positive financial outcomes while making progress toward net-zero targets. Green impact does not imply spiralling costs or sacrificing profits. Pollinators like bats and bees account for about a third of the world’s crop production. But atmospherics rivers and melting glaciers have inundated fields, making food security uncertain.

Bees are threatened by parasites, bacteria and Colony Collapse Disorder, which occurs when the worker bees abandon a hive leaving the queen behind. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a conditional licence to a biotech firm that specializes in insect immunology to deploy a vaccine for bees. The vaccine was engineered to prevent fatalities from a bacterial condition that weakens colonies. This disease is highly contagious and has no known cure. Present treatments involve burning infected colonies, hives and equipment.

In a world confronted by climate-propelled migration, and food production challenges, China can easily become the world’s top-tiered exporter of sequencers, pharmaceuticals, and solutions to mitigate pollution and extreme weather events like warm winters. By 2050, China may be the largest holder of patents and IP. In the West, Alphabet, Amazon and Apple are established companies. But Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent remain unfamiliar. These technology companies — are often affectionately abbreviated to BAT. These companies are publicly traded and have varied academic departments and university affiliations. Beneath this technological triad of AI companies in China, is the Belt and Road.

Baidu offers products and services, and activities in industries ranging from automotive to healthcare. In 2017, Baidu announced Apollo: a global open-source platform for Autonomous Vehicles that has attracted high-profile partners such as Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, and Daimler, and non-automotive partners like Nvidia and Intel. DuerOS is Baidu’s conversational AI platform that integrates speech recognition, facial recognition, and Natural Language Processing. In July 2019, it achieved the target of 400 million device installations. DuerOS gives digital intelligence to a spectrum of everyday gadgets including smart speakers and refrigerators that suggest recipes using pantry inventory. DuerOS also interfaces with Apollo to enable in-car payments through facial recognition.

Alibaba is an e-commerce ecosystem, that had 726M active users in the first quarter of 2020. Western consumers know Alibaba through their foreign-facing B2C e-commerce platform AliExpress. Alipay is the world’s largest mobile payment platform with 1.2 billion users. With Aliyun (Alibaba Cloud) they provide pay-as-you-go cloud computing services that parallel Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. With data centres all around the world, Aliyun serves a global meshwork.

Alibaba has access to vast amounts of consumer data which allows Alibaba to offer personalised products and services, making Chinese consumers experience unparalleled comfort in the digital world. This is why digital life in China looks like a spectacle of the future. “Ant” is an affiliate of Alibaba. Ant’s $37 billion IPO, which would have been the world’s largest, was cancelled last minute in November 2020. Hangzhou Yunbo, an investment vehicle, has control over two other entities that own a combined 50.5% stake in Ant. Ant operates Alipay.

Tencent’s single product is Weixin or WeChat.  It is an all-in-one multi-purpose Super-App. It started like WhatsApp, but Weixin created separate Apps for separate functions, and then integrated the “distributed solutions”. With Weixin, users send text messages, read the news, make payments, hail a ride, buy products, play games, plan a holiday, and order food. Tencent is considered a video game behemoth. Tencent employs about seventy AI researchers and three hundred engineers at different locations around the world. With a focus on speech recognition, computer vision, and NLP, Tencent has developed state-of-the-art AI expertise. An impatient future awaits us. And the network is the sea, and the sail.