Dr. Astro Teller (Eric Teller) was born on 29 May 1970 in Cambridge, England and raised in Evanston, Illinois. He earned his nickname “Astro” after carton dog from the American animated sitcom The Jetsons. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic computation (symbolic and heuristic computation), also from Stanford University, and a PhD in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University. Astro was also the co-founder and CEO of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company that was sold to Jawbone in 2013. Astro is also co-founder and a current Director of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, a hedge fund management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. He holds numerous U.S. patents related to his work in hardware and software technology.
Presently, he’s X’s Captain of Moonshots. X – The Moonshot Factory’s vision is “We create radical new technologies to solve some of the world’s hardest problems”. In a technology context, is an ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking project undertaken without any expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and also, perhaps, without a full investigation of potential risks and benefits. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin always believed in investing some of the company’s resources in hard, long-term problems. In 2010, a new division forms to work on moonshots: sci-fi sounding technologies that aim to make the world a radically better place.
Their recent projects
Transforming mobility with self-driving cars
Waymo vehicles have sensors and software designed to detect hundreds of objects 360 degrees around the vehicle, even in the dark.
Transforming the way goods are transported
Wing is developing a new method of transporting goods that’s faster, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly than what’s possible today on the ground.
Expanding Internet connectivity with stratospheric balloons
A cell tower’s coverage area is limited by the height of its antennas. By lifting these antennas up into the stratosphere, we can deliver connectivity over a much larger area.
Inventing new technologies and services to help people live healthier lives
Verily is putting technology and data science to work on diseases and other global health problems that stand in the way of people enjoying healthier, happier lives.
Harnessing wind energy with kites to create renewable electricity
The Makani energy kite is an aerodynamic wing tethered to a ground station. As the kite flies in loops, rotors on the wing spin as the wind moves through them, generating power that is sent down a tether to the grid.
Storing renewable energy in molten salt
Malta is built on research conducted by a Nobel Prize-winning physics professor, who came up with a theoretical system that stores electricity as heat in high temperature molten salt and cold in a low temperature liquid similar to the antifreeze in cars. The energy stored in the system can be kept for days or even weeks, until it’s needed.
Reducing heating costs and carbon emissions with geothermal energy
The Dandelion geothermal system is cleaner and results in lower and steadier home energy costs simply by using the energy under a homeowner’s yard.
Helping companies find and stop cyberattacks
Finding a way to bring greater speed and insight to security teams struggling to stay ahead of cyber-criminals.
Bringing the benefits of AI and machine learning to everyone
Brain’s work was central in catapulting “deep learning” from the academic arena to the commercial prime time.