Tech Architecture Builds New Face of Silicon Valley

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Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Paul Goldberger, Vanity Fair contributing editor, examines the architectural revolution in the tech industry on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Live from pier three in san francisco, welcome to the early edition of "bloomberg west," where we cover the global technology and media companies that are reshaping our world.

I am emily chang.

Our focus is on innovation and technology, and the future of business.

Let's get straight to the rundown.

Companies like facebook and walmart are developing the facial record -- regulars and technology to be used from everything from security to advertising in google now owns the cheetah and other robots from boston dynamics as it buys another robotics company it is all part of a secret company project.

And silicon valley turns its attention to style as the players like apple and facebook commission the first -- the world top architects to design new headquarters.

Worst to the lead, facial commission technology could be that -- one of the next big things from facebook to walmart, and they are working on it did not only some technology getting closer to widespread use, it is also getting closer to government regulation.

Starting in february, the u.s. commerce department will hold meetings with industry and privacy advocates to draft a voluntary code of conduct for facial recognition products.

Some uses and good scanning -- a good scanning faces for ads.

Cory johnson is joins us from new york.

It could be really big.

In some ways it already is, but we are starting to see as processing power goes way down, and security concerns go way up, a lot of people look at this as a way to solve a letter problem's. i think in places where we have seen it, and government security that actually use this, like in las vegas, where they do not want people counting cards when they have used facial working knowledge -- facial recognition that bills you for a long time.

It is about to get much broader.

How exactly did facial recognition work?

Other different types of technologies ? on the front-end, the image of someone's face is captured, and then algorithms look for where things are.

Look for the eyes, nose, the mouth.

You start to find things with those figure points that make the face particularly unique.

That is when you compared to a database and match the identity.

The ability to do all that processing on the fly is what makes it much more accessible.

When that technology was there years ago, the processing hour wasn't. now it is involved in desktops and everywhere else.

What kinds of conferees re: spell -- the buddies are planning to use this technology?

Facebook is planning to use this for tagging and marketing purposes.

Walmart says they're using it only for security at their facilities right now.

Apple and google are looking at this to unlock phones in the same way that apple has a thumb print on their new iphone 5 and they're hoping to look at this in a different way so that the photos who you are.

Finally, lockheed martin is using this with specific government security military uses.

They may be the leader in the field because that is where the leap -- feel has been up to this point.

Thank you.

If you recognize the face in that graphic but i want to bring in our washington correspondent who's been looking into the regulation side of this.

Tell us more about the process of the commerce department and how this is going to work.

President obama actually test the commerce department to look into this as well as well as the number of privacy issues come a that was back in 2012. it is a multi-stake holder process, and so the commerce department is going to bring it industry groups, and also privacy advocates.

They will be getting in february, the whole is to have a convict agreement by june.

It will be voluntary, but if the companies find -- sign on, they could be subject to oversight by the fdic.

The whole thing reminds me of the mayor nor to report -- of the minority report.

And a lot of company's are expired temerity with this -- arts parenting with this.

Internet giants can match photos to individuals in the facebook tagging system.

For the business side of this, one research firm estimates the global market for racial -- facial recognition but it's could reach several billion dollars by 2018. privacy is a concern if there is some really strict regulations.

That number could change.

Are you expecting any controversy here, any tension at these meetings?


This is a very controversial topic them and you retailers sitting next to privacy advocates.

The privates he gets -- privacy advocates ask you because still be on a miss in public.

We talked to one of the pioneers of this industry, he says there needs to be some piece to this.

We need to transparency in the industry, at the level of the customers.

We're not talking about the knology with minor impact with society we're talking about technology with district of consequences.

A retail group makes the case that regulation could slow the technology rated walmart is looking at it, apple is looking at a cost that will be part of their argument.

Has there been any pushback from lawmakers who want to see tough privacy rules?

Privacy always a hot button issue, and i'm assuming there will be people who are not happy about this.

They're not really talking about legislation so much, they are the stakeholder process take place.

Senator al franken who is a big privacy advocate in congress did send a letter voicing his concerns to the commerce department.

His point is that this data is permanent.

It is not like credit cards or bank account numbers.

Want to get into the wrong hands it is not very easy for you to change your face.

It is something he is voicing concerns about at this point.

A number of lawmakers also back in the spring expressed some concerns over global glass and facial recognition with that.

They did take that off the table and say they did not included, but hackers are trying to grade some work around there.

It will take a hot topic.

Thank you for that update, we will be watching.

Google is expanding its arsenal of robots with the new acquisition to find out why boston dynamics and a wildcat robot is a smart target for the search giant.

Next on "bloomberg west," you can always watch a streaming on your phone, tablet, and a

? this is "bloomberg west," i am emily chang.

Google is grabbing another company for its robotics arsenal.

The search giant acquiring austin wrote -- austin dynamics, known for creating a machine that can run and walk like a cheetah.

I asked the founder about the plans for glass and robotics.

When it's not going to be on the market?

Next year.

Can you tell me anything about the robot stuff you're working on?

That will be best left for andy.

Not a lot of information there.

So what is former android haed ead andy working on there?

I believe this company boston dynamics was spun out of something that was going on at m.i.t.. you are familiar with this project, and it is totally mind blowing and bills with these robots can do.

Boston dynamics was founded by an m.i.t. professor roulette -- gave up his tenure and left m.i.t. to pursue his vision to create some of the coolest robots in the world.

Flies in mocha motion -- they specialize and roccoin locomotion.

It captures their imagination when i show these to my students.

It is on the cutting edge with what you can do in a challenging environment today.

We are looking at how they move right now, but what are some of the practical applications about his robots?

It seems like something that the military should be buying, not google.

I do know that boston dynamics has done a number of contact for the military, for example they are building a robot called atlas which is being used something that is something called the robotics challenge.

They are competing for a price to build a robot that can use tools, quite above allers, and responded disasters in areas like after the fukushima disaster.

These are robots that can interact with the physical world and a very powerful and capable way.

That would be relevant to the military, but i think there are a range of civilian applications.

Anything that involves going out to the field, disaster response situations.


I want to bring in jon erlichman.

You spoke with the google heads.

There been so much speculation about what these robotics companies could be working toward and perhaps a production line, long-term google manufacturing supply-chain, what is looking most likely at this point?

Some people don't do that the big dog could track down some of those amazon drones, a new form of amazon versus google.

There are a couple of things to highlight.

Google does make lots of acquisitions and all sorts of different areas.

We shouldn't be trying to sort of tie this back toward what google has been traditionally.

Many of the deals were building a moat around its advertising business.

The deals they do now coupled with some of the various projects we talk about, from driverless cars to the global glass, which highlighted the bear, to balloons that are powering the internet, google fiber, all of these are google looking for its next leg of growth.

A lot of times the conversation of what google is becoming is more like a new version of ge.

Looking for those seven growth -- looking for those new legs of growth as opposed to tying this back to what google has been in the past.

We just don't know yet.

They have done it lots of robotics deals, but this is a company that is ambitious and is trying to figure out where it's future is going to take it tied to the technology that it can go out and buy because it is google.

John, you mentioned that the founder must be very passionate about this company because that's because the game of his tenure at m.i.t. to work on it.

What imagine -- what do you budget and compelled them to sell to google?

I cannot imagine that -- in 19 faculty want to make an impact on the world, and it allowed him to make a greater impact.

A long-term investment into the technology of robotics, and if i use the analogy of a self driving to the vehicle, they went and hired the very best people in the world to lead that effort.

Today, with this acquisition as above the other recent acquisitions, they're getting some of the top superstar talent in the world affiliated with some of these darpa challenges.

I don't know where it might lead in terms of the very short-term, but in the long-term it is an investment and the core fundamental technologies of interacting with the world.

I have to think that that has a value.

It is absolutely fascinating, and we will be continuing to watch for any little clues.

Professor of mechanical engineering at m.i.t., and our very own jon erlichman, thank you very much both of you.

Silicon valley's architecture revolution.

We getting a peek at the plans for tech's stylish new headquarters.

? this is the early edition of "bloomberg west," i am emily chang.

Blackberries executive ranks are getting thinner as interim ceo puts his stamp on the company.

Global public policy mark cameron and others all leaving paid their departures follow those of the cmo, cfo, and coo.

Blackberry said in september he would lay off 40% of its workforce.

Facebook famously again and mark zuckerberg's harvard dorm room, and apple computers were first built and steve job's garage.

That is about to change.

My partner cory johnson has more from new york.

The nations most important a, neck edge in the but -- is the most important economic engine, but in pas far and i card register, it is a joke -- as far as architecture, it is a joke.

Paul global or explained in a jittery it issue -- in the january issue of vanity fair.

This is a great piece.

I think that this these captured silicon valley better than any magazine article i've ever read.

You describe what silicon valley looks like.

The most amazing thing to be about silicon valley is that it looks mostly like any other place.

You have stanford in the mountains, and that is pretty nice, but most of it is kind of a banal suburb.

You expect some magic, but it is not there.

I have lived there for 15 years now, and it is kind of amazing.

I was a money manager for a while, and i would go to let the companies that would never make headlines, and they were inevitably in a strip mall, and little place you could park your car and there would be 30 people there, but they would be a huge company.

Silicon valley at the beginning was very opportunistic.

These guys started in garages, and then when they moved the next level they just took what office place they could find.

I think one of the things you missed was the intel influence.

They have a corporate culture about being cheap, and not flashy in any way.

You are right there.

That set a tone for some of the first big companies.

They didn't do anything but expand the little building they had.

That is taking advantage of what grand rapids was offering in terms of furniture in the 1970's, which was cubicles,, cubicles command more cubicles.

Steve jobs' final appearance was all about this incredible design.

He set the tone for everything, and knew how to up the nk.

-- ante.

He knew how to up the ante in products, and even apple's existing quarters are a little bit different than the competition.

They are little bit sleeker, and little more refined, not much, but he really dreamed of something that would translate the apple athletic into the architectural scale.

This is on an old hewlett- packard owned site.

A little ironic.

I wonder, this is hard to imagine to work again.

-- work in.

I love the ambition of it, and i love that he wanted to raise the architectural level of silicon valley, but i do not think he fully understood that a building is not a gargantuan ipod.

It is not an object, it is much more complicated that involves a lot more inconsistency and a certain amount of mass.

This link is a perfect shape -- building is a perfect shape, huge, bigger than the pentagon.

It will not encourage interaction, which what he and the architect say it is being designed to do.

A really interesting facebook reddit, and at amazon project that you're not too fond of, but i thought it was older interesting that you really identify twitter as possibly the most interesting and important future of technology, why?

What twitter is doing, as a work environment it is really good, but not in itself very different from google and others.

A lot of the other companies that have designed lose lively presence about structured work environments.

They took over three floors in an old industrial warehouse type building in downtown friends ever cisco and ape art of the downtown area -- bayer city and urban.

Silicon valley hate people outside of san francisco.

That is an urban building in an urban place.

A end up with a different type of technology.

The old silicon valley hated the city and what it represented, but all of the workers who are under 30 say i want to live in the city with a do not want to live in the valley, they want to live in the city.

I huge number of startups and they are in the valley.

We are at the beginning of a seismic shift.

The really huge companies are not going to move, but a lot of the others are.

Quite asked -- look at this he's in vanity fair, thank you so much.

We will be right back with more of "bloomberg west," talking code next.


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