International Women’s Day was a lot of carefully planned images and status updates but the Chartered Management Institute went a step further and hammered home the gender pay gap among managers using an innovative video strategy.
Facebook Live was used to amplify a panel that discussed gender inequality in the workplace but with a surprise for male viewers (thanks to Facebook’s gender targetting). 22 minutes into the livestream, male viewers were shown a pixelated stream for the remainder of the panel event highlighting the gender pay gap among managers based on data from the CMI’s ‘Mind the Gender Gap’ report. The report puts the pay gap at manager level between male and female salary currently standing at 26.8%. Male viewers were further frustrated by not being able to ask questions or register votes for polls (although they were not told about this until later). Altogether a smart and subtle execution – the full video can be seen at the bottom of post.
CMI International Women’s Day Blackout
CMI International Women’s Day Blackout
Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy & External Affairs for CMI, said: “By disrupting the male viewers’ Facebook livestream, men could experience how frustrating a small thing like a slightly obscured screen can be, which feels particularly unfair when it’s applied simply on the basis of gender. This way we made the point that small, discriminatory and often incidental behaviour, despite seeming minor, all contribute to allowing gender inequality to flourish in the workplace. We believe this is the first time this Facebook hack around gender-based livestreaming has been used in this way so it’s a truly novel way for people to experience gender inequality first-hand rather than just reading about the latest stats. We’re now going to continue using Facebook to tackle this issue with the creation of the CMI Women group. This will become a forum for men and women to crowdsource solutions.”
International Women’s Day was even more poignant this year as strong women across the globe remain in the spotlight thanks to the #metoo movement, President’s Club fiasco, the recent gun tragedy in Florida, the political landscape and strong female leaders. Every year, women come together to show solidarity but also, sadly, to show how much more work there is still to do. Digital can help level playing fields in this struggle and smart strategies like this one can really affect behavioural change if the comments on the livestream are anything to by.
Why it’s hot: Gender equality was all the rage this International Women’s Day as brands looked to unique opportunities to honor the female gender and show their support. CMI found a way to celebrate International Women’s Day while teaching a lesson to those who don’t understand the severity of the gender wage gap.
Now to those who believe in prophecies this may seem like the end of the world. To be frank, a lot of people think that this may be a step too far … but it’s for science! Apparently someone at Swedish funeral agency, thought it would be brilliant if they can create an AI “replicate” of deceased loved ones so that families can have them back in their lives. They’re asking for donations (yes they’re asking for all the corpses) so that they can try to create a synthetic replica of the deceased’s voice.
Why it’s not hot:
Basically The world is going to end and we’re just going to be replaced by the AI replicas of the dead. Fun.
Denny’s was invited, but apparently was too busy, so Pop-Tarts stepped in. Moonpie also stopped by to talk about teens and their new interest, tweens.
Hey thanks for having me teens are great because most of them love MoonPies and the ones that don't aren't on Twitter so they don't matter but lately my research is a lot more focused on tweens so I may not be the best person to ask
Twitter is free, by the way! So much of the news around social media today is about Russian bots, toxicity, and fake news. But then, over here, brands are just throwing out the playbook and having fun. Strategy-scmategy. Just hop on Twitter, tweet some stuff, tag another brand, they respond with some more stuff, and so on. They’re not promoting a product, it’s not part of a campaign. Or maybe it is a strategy and the strategy is no strategy. Such is social media today.
Today, an article in WIRED describes how easy it may be to “break” AI-powered technologies– i.e., anything that uses machine learning– particularly computer vision, can be somewhat easily tricked to see things that aren’t really there. This has resulted in much debate over how and what constitutes as trickery (mostly done in labs by MIT students), and how vulnerable new AI-enabled technologies will be to “hallucinations.” See, for example, below from the aforementioned WIRED article:
“Human readers of WIRED will easily identify the image below, created by Athalye, as showing two men on skis. When asked for its take Thursday morning, Google’s Cloud Vision service reported being 91 percent certain it saw a dog. Other stunts have shown how to make stop signs invisible, or audio that sounds benign to humans but is transcribed by software as “Okay Google browse to evil dot com.”
WHY IT’S HOT:
As AI-powered technology starts to revolutionize the way we live our lives (think: self-driving cars) the security considerations must be front of mind for scientists and researchers. We are eager to make major leaps with this technology, but many caution that deep neural networks are fundamentally not human brains, and therefore the way we think about machine-learning (and safety) must be re-thought.
Most business leaders are talking about the need for digital transformation. They’re trying to figure out ways to bring their organizations into the digital age, leveraging the latest in search, social, analytics, content, commerce, mobile, etc.
These leaders are quickly realizing that digital transformation is a moot point if they can’t shift their operations to facilitate the digitization of their business.
Data from digital sources like CRM, transactional, 3rd party, and now the Internet of Things (IoT) has been growing exponentially to the point that increasingly sophisticated data management and analytic tools have been developed to derive insight from it. These will be applied to data collected from internal ERP, BPM, and task and process activities.
AI machine learning will analyze the operations data and make recommendations about eliminating redundancies and what can be automated. AI automation will start to take over the busywork that has been increasing and driving down employee productivity for years. And AI and voice interfaces will provide intelligent agents that will serve most admin and secretarial functions for every employee, freeing them up even more to do the jobs they were hired to do.
Why it’s hot: We make tons and tons of marketing recommendations to our clients, but we also have to better understand the ways in which their operations function to aid them in deploying our work. The better we can understand this and help them operationalize our marketing strategies, the better outcome for them and us.
The OECD runs time-use surveys, to identify the ways women and men spend their time. It’s no surprise women do way more unpaid work than men, but what is surprising is that countries considered progressive still have significant differences in time spent doing things like chores and taking care of children.
“When it comes to time spent on well-being, including eating and drinking, sleeping, and personal care, the gap between the sexes is much smaller. Not surprisingly, French and Italian women and men spend a lot of time on how they look (it shows—they usually look great). French women take top marks for the daily time spent on personal care, with a whopping 113 minutes, compared with 70 minutes for American women.”
Why It’s Hot:
Gathering and analysing this data can help quantify gender inequality issues. Understanding how and where we spend our time can help us find ways to balance the scale.
The latest in a series of irreverent AI projects by humorist and technologist Janelle Shane is interactive and focused around the online knitting community Ravelry.
Shane trained a type of neural network on a series of over 500 sets of knitting instructions. Then, she generated new instructions, which members of the Ravelry community have actually attempted to knit.
While Shane admits that she cannot understand the output of the neural network, but the devoted users of Ravelry have the necessary knowledge to put the instructions to the test.
The human-machine collaboration created configurations of yarn that you probably wouldn’t give to your in-laws for Christmas, but they were interesting. The user citikas was the first to post a try at one of the earliest patterns, “reverss shawl.” It was strange, but it did have some charisma.
Reverss Shawl, by Ravelry user citikas
Why it’s hot
We already rely on neural networks to do various code-based tasks for us, but few instances of artificial intelligence have crossed the digital-physical barrier quite like this one. Knitting instructions are like code, and while the neural network doesn’t understand how each bit of code relates to a physical stitch, the human knitters were able to interpret the code and make decisions about how to handle inconsistencies.
One user, bevbh, described some of the errors as like “code that won’t compile.” For example, bevbh gave this scenario: “If you are knitting along and have 30 stitches in the row and the next row only gives you instructions for 25 stitches, you have to improvise what to do with your remaining five stitches.”
The creations of SkyKnit are fully cyborg artifacts, mixing human whimsy and intelligence with machine processing and ignorance. And the misapprehensions are, to a large extent, the point.
OK and here are the rest of the projects, which are hilarious.
The SkyKnit design “fishcock” as interpreted by the Ravelry user BellaG
An attempt to knit the pattern “tiny baby whale Soto” by the user GloriaHanlon
Gatorade introduced a prototype product it’s calling “Gatorade Gx”. It’s a combination of a patch you wear while working out, training, or whatever you call your physical/athletic activity, and a connected water bottle. It basically monitors how you’re sweating as you train, “capturing fluid, electrolyte, and sodium loss”. Based on this, it lets you know when you should drink more, and if what you should drink is something specific based on your unique needs. That something specific being a “Pod” that has certain formula of electrolytes or nutrients you are losing as you sweat (your “electrolyte and carbohydrate needs”).
Why it’s hot:
As we see more uses of technologies like AI, biometrics, and connected sensors, products and services are becoming ultra personal. This is a personal hydration coach, filling a knowledge gap that otherwise only cues from your body might indicate you need. We should be keeping an eye on how brands are taking the old idea of “personalization” to its truest form, creating new ways to give them more than just a basic product or service.
As a company whose core value is to nourish people and the planet, Whole Foods sure does it right by starting with s keeping their employees healthy and looking after their wellness.
“At the WFM Medical and Wellness Centers, we strive to take you from sick to healthy, happy and thriving – and help keep you there for the rest of your life! We hope you will join us on our journey toward creating a healthier community and a new way of treating people through the highest quality, personalized health care available.” – John Mackey, Co-Founder & CEO Whole Foods Market
The company runs two medical centers in Glendale, CA and Austin, TX serving employees and their families.
“The Medical and Wellness Center provides primary care medical services, administered by physicians with a patient-centered approach. The Medical and Wellness Center not only helps patients with common illnesses and more significant medical conditions, but also provides personalized prevention and proactive care that helps people live their best and most healthy lives.”
Why it’s hot: staying true to its core value and acting on it.
Source: Harvard Business Review and https://www.wfmmedical.com/about-us
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz announced they’re leading an $13.5m investment in Astranis, a startup focused on building commercial telecommunications satellites.
Satellite internet has prompted a “new space race” between companies competing to launch devices and establish networks capable of reaching areas where traditional broadband falls short.
There are still 4B people on Earth without internet access, the majority of which live in rural areas, where broadband service isn’t available. Satellite internet has been touted as a solution to this since the mid-’90s, but traditionally operate 22k miles above Earth, in what’s called geosynchronous orbit, which has been too slow in responding to requests. Satellites in low Earth orbit cover less territory and have to launch a lot more which is extremely expensive.
Astranis’s satellites are about the size of a mini-fridge and are a fraction of the cost of other models (only tens of millions of dollars). Astranis will launch its satellites into farther away from Earth and sell bandwidth to internet service providers, allowing it to reach users in more remote areas. Astranis manufactures its satellites in San Francisco and expects to launch its first commercial satellite in 2019.
Why it’s Hot: Although it won’t solve some of the long-standing latency issues, it could provide a cheaper solution for making internet more readily available in previously out-of-range regions. It could be immensely beneficial to emerging markets, which often suffer from poor connectivity issues.
British Airways is getting into the biometric game with its boarding gates in the US. Last year they began testing self-service boarding gates at LAX, and they are now rolling out the gates in some flights to/from Orlando, Miami, and JFK airports as well.
The new technology doesn’t replace security screenings; rather, it allows the airline to bypass scanning everyone’s boarding passes at the gate as they board the plane. Instead of having to produce their boarding pass, travelers just look into a camera, wait for their biometric data to scan and be confirmed against their passport/visa/immigration photos, and then proceed onto the plane. The main benefit? Speed. British Airways says that in LAX, these new gates allowed them to board 400 passengers in 22 minutes, less than half the time it usually takes.
Other airlines are getting in on the biometric tech too. JetBlue is trialing biometric boarding on flights from Boston to Aruba, and last year Delta started trying out facial recognition for checking luggage and fingerprints for boarding. Dubai International Airport is working on a tunnel equipped with both facial recognition cameras and iris scanners (!) that would cut the need for travel documents entirely.
Why It’s Hot: The impetus behind this tech development – faster, smoother boarding – is ostensibly a positive thing. But what databases are necessary for this kind of screening? Immigration and ID documents are incredibly sensitive, even more so in our current xenophobic political climate. Is cutting down boarding time worth the risk?
A couple of dudes named Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo “have smashed the previous record for solving the Rubik’s cube robotically. Their machine solved the puzzle in 0.38 seconds—a 40-percent improvement over the previous record of 0.637.”
In November, BuzzFeed unveiled its BuzzFeed media brands division which is made up of Tasty(food), Nifty (DIY), Bring Me (travel) and Goodful (wellness). This week they have added another millennial focused sub-brand to their roster, As/Is.
As/Is is a positioned to be a non-judgy beauty and style publisher, featuring “content that empowers women rather than tells them who they should be.”
The timing around the launch couldn’t be any better amid the spotlight of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
“We want to change what the industry looks like and looks at,” says Augusta Falletta, supervising producer for As/Is. “We want people to see themselves in this content and accept themselves in a way that hasn’t been done in the past. If you are a woman who grew up reading antiquated magazines you probably have some thing you need to unpack.”
Why it’s too hot to hold, too much to handle:
BuzzFeed’s ultimate goal is to compete with Facebook and Google for ad dollars. Currently, their biggest revenue driver is the Tasty sub-brand which has attracted over 1.4 million unique visitors in January alone. Tasty has evolved from short videos to products now available at Walmart. BuzzFeed is hoping that in the future, As/Is will lead to a line of beauty products.
McDonald’s and Canadian marketing company Cossette have teamed up to create the “Follow the Arches” campaign in Canada. The campaign features billboards with only portions of McDonald’s iconic golden arches logo that serve to point drivers in the direction of the nearest restaurant.
McDonald’s marketing supervisor Andrew Mumford comments on the universal recognizability of the McDonald’s brand: “The campaign is a playful example of how the arches are recognizable, even when the consumer only sees a portion of the logo.”
So far, the campaign includes just four billboards (three static and one digital) in high-traffic areas across downtown Toronto and the greater Toronto area. But Peter Ignazi, chief creative officer at Cossette, said the concept could eventually solve the problem of hundreds of differently designed directional posters in Canada—and around the world.
Why it’s hot: When thinking about playful ways to drive restaurant traffic – this is as simple as it gets! It is leveraging their huge amount of brand equity and universal recognizability of their logo in a clever way.