When will AI outperform humans at work?

352 AI experts forecast a 50% chance AI will outperform humans in all tasks within 45 years, and take all jobs from humans within 120 years. Many of the world’s leading experts on machine learning were among those they contacted, including Yann LeCun, director of AI research at Facebook, Mustafa Suleyman from Google’s DeepMind and Zoubin Ghahramani, director of Uber’s AI labs.


Get the full research document HERE. Go to page 14 to get details on predictions

Valedictorian Has His Graduation Speech Censored

 

WHY ITS HOT:

The ability to speak the truth is continuing to be censored by authoritarian figures and is part of a larger trend in this country for those in power to control the narrative they want to hear.

This year, school across the country are censoring student’s words in yearbooks, newspapers, and classrooms. Students are able to complain about schools, expose wrongdoing and rate teachers — often anonymously — on social media. Yet schools seem uneasy about hearing them.

When public schools tell a student not to disclose information or express a heartfelt opinion solely because they want to control the narrative or fear the repercussions will make them look bad, it un-ravels a lifetime of education of civic responsibility.

 

Not Hot: Amazon’s ironic patent

Amazon’s long been a go-to for people to online price compare while shopping at brick-and-mortars. Now, a new patent granted to the company could prevent people from doing just that inside Amazon’s own stores.

The patent, titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” details a mechanism where a retailer can intercept network requests like URLs and search terms that happen on its in-store Wi-Fi, then act upon them in various ways.

The document details in great length how a retailer like Amazon would use this information to its benefit. If, for example, the retailer sees you’re trying to access a competitor’s website to price check an item, it could compare the requested content to what’s offered in-store and then send price comparison information or a coupon to your browser instead. Or it could suggest a complementary item, or even block content outright.

You can read the entire patent here.

Why it’s not hot?
Amazon’s patent also lets the retailer know your physical whereabouts, saying, “the location may be triangulated utilizing information received from a multitude of wireless access points.” The retailer can then use this information to try and upsell you on items in your immediate area or direct a sales representative to your location.

It’s the very sort of thing that Amazon itself protests. Amazon is among companies that signed ‘day of action’ against FCC’s planned rollback of net neutrality rules
https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/6/15745974/net-neutrality-day-of-action-tech-companies

Increasing Organ Donation With a Check Box

Over 22 people die everyday in the United States as they wait for an organ transplant. This area of medicine is a particularly tricky version of supply and demand. But what if a simple check box was all it took to help increase the supply to the thousands on waiting lists?

Enter Libertarian Paternalism. Initially coined by economist Richard Thaler and legal scholar Cass Sunstein, this is the idea that ones behavior can be affected without removing ones freedom of choice.

“it tries to influence choices in a way that will make choosers better off, as judged by themselves”

Many countries have used this method to increase organ donation with a simple check box. They have moved to an “opt-out” method – meaning citizens must choose to NOT donate. This is  behavioral economics in practice. Law makers can influence behavior, but citizens still have the freedom to chose.

So what difference does this slight wording make? In Austria who employs an “opt-out” method, has over a 97% rate of citizens sighed up for organ donation. Neighboring Germany? Only 12%. One can assume that cultural attitudes and customers between these countries have similar feelings on organ donation. The only difference? Opt-out vs. opt-in policies.

Using the theory of Libertarian Paternalism to set “defaults” can be a powerful tool and should be used with respect. We must remember that as problem solvers we hold the ability to not only work through complex issues, but also “nudge” people in one direction or another.

Can these 5 Brain Hacking companies give us immortality?

Brain-hacking? Kind of a Frankenstein term.

The human brain has 100 billion neurons firing away all day and night. Can they be channeled, stimulated or directed in some way that benefits society? No surprise, here comes Elon Musk and Neuralink. His and four other companies are all approaching the idea that human-machine interface can change everything — especially for those suffering neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, these could be life transforming.

Here is Elon’s mission statement (and this site is a one-pager!): Neuralink is developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Initially, the Brain Computer Interface (BCIs) will be used for medical research, but the ultimate goal is to prevent humans from becoming obsolete, by enabling people to merge with artificial intelligence — perhaps even avoiding death.

Sounds amazing…but what does it really mean? Basically, why is this hot?

First, because they all seem to be heading towards an even more grandiose vision; avoiding death. No joke.

Second, the four companies means the competition is real:

FACEBOOK: a few weeks after Neuralink was launched, they announced an initiative to “let people type their thoughts”. Imagine a child with autism, someone with a mental disorder, so many sufferers, being able to “speak” this way. The news reports say it will take two years for a prototype medical implant and is being developed in their top secret Building 8 facility.

KERNEL: Kernel plans to build a flexible platform for recording and stimulating neurons, with the goal of treating diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s. 

EMOTIV: (Their home page says it all):

EMOTIV Mental Commands and SDKs makes our technology an highly effective Brain-Computer-Interface and can put EMOTIV at the center of the Internet of Things and the ability to control the world around you.

DARPA: Ok, the government, but still, they are investing in several companies to develop a device that will record 1 million neurons and stimulate 100,000 in the brain. DARPA wants it the size of a nickel. Since they ‘invented’ the Internet, I’d say they have a good chance of pulling it off.

I encourage you all to visit their web sites and learn more. After all, can brain hacking help us live forever? Or is it hype?

 

Gone In 6 Seconds

Australian retailer Myer hosted a flash sale using YouTube’s six-second pre-roll ad slots.

The 6 Second Sale ads feature more than 100 Myer products with discounts greater than those available in store and online by 5%. Viewers have only six seconds (the length of the pre-roll ad) to secure the deal being offered, with those that manage to click on the offer in time are taken to a pre-populated shopping cart on Myer’s site.

The campaign created using Google’s Vogon –  customization tool that lets brands create unlimited variations of the same ad by changing the text, audio or images. The targeting used in the 6 Second Sale ensures no YouTube user will see the same ad twice.

The 6 Second Sale is being promoted through Myer’s website, social channels, catalog and print.

Why It’s Hot

-It merges shopping impulse with a platform experience that times out in a very short amount of time

-Leverages scarcity to heighten the need to buy and drive sales

-Great example of a brand “hacking” a platform to drive a campaign

 

 

Relive The Drama of AIM In “Emily Is Away Too”

In 2015, game designer Kyle Seeley released the freeware title Emily is Away, a romantic epic divided into five virtual acts told through the nostalgia of an AOL Instant Messenger chat with the titular Emily. Emily is Away Too takes place in 2006, the protagonist’s senior year of college.

The game not only captures the social and dating experiences of its creator from that time, but also a year of transformation and expansion for digital culture.

This game is all about how we first portrayed ourselves online – the AIM platform was such a pivotal part of self expression growing up. Opening up and reliving those past relationships and conversations developed through outdated technology helps evaluate who we are and who we choose to be in the future.

 

WHY ITS HOT:

Millennials are more nostalgic towards old tech because we’re the first generation to uniquely experience these complete shifts in communication at the same time together. Past generations shared the passive, much more gradual rise of film or television. Meanwhile, the internet, its interactivity and social applications, fundamentally changed how we created memories with childhood friends.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/relive-the-torrid-human-dramas-of-old-aim-chats-in-emily-is-away-too

 

Twitter Follows the Rules — And Makes You Feel Creeped Out

In an act of compassion in this data driven world, Twitter announced new data controls, allowing users to customize what data they share with the company and how they are tracked. In their press release yesterday they emphasize:

“Privacy is built into our DNA as a company.”

This is all well and good, but how do you keep a populace from freaking out (let alone opting out) when presented with this pop up upon login.

Additionally Twitter is allowing you to edit your interests in order to serve you better ads… as marketers we search a lot of stuff we’re not interested in.

Take a quick peek at your preferences as Twitter sees them. https://twitter.com/settings/account

I’m apparently interested in:

  • Daycare
  • The NFL
  • Indy cars
  • Wresting

Why it’s hot:

It’s important that Twitter is taking privacy seriously, its possible they’re committing harder to “don’t be evil” than Google is. But, it’s hard to make this pill go down, maybe they need better marketers, not better data policy.

Twitter Is Giving Its Users More Control Over Personalization, Data Usage

Beyond The Pill is moving to Game On!

Can conservative Pharma companies becomes Gamers? Although a large investment by Merck and AMGEN was announced several months ago, the repercussions are now being felt. This could help open up the long pent-up demand for innovation by Pharma manufacturers.

The investment news came last summer, as quoted in FierceBiotech: “Akili Interactive Labs, the Boston-based startup developing nonpharmacological therapeutics for various cognitive disorders like autism and Alzheimer’s disease, got an $11.9 million boost in funding, raising its total Series B proceeds to $42.4 million.” Basically, they use gamification to improve cognitive function.

Recently, the new Pharma and gamer partners announced their first accomplishment, EVO, the game:

The first game application for children with a cognitive disorder has proven highly effective. This gives the marketers a differentiating aspect to their Rx. Being a fact-based industry, this is big news.

Why is this hot?

  • The terms “Beyond The Pill” has become the industries code for “innovation” — trying to offer some technology or service to make their drug stand-out in the minds of doctors and consumers. “Innovation” is a word that is intensely frightening to most Pharma marketers. For several years, as more and more blockbusters (drugs with sales over $1 billion) become generics (70% of ALL drugs are now generics), Pharma has been haphazardly explored partnerships and technologies, but has often failed due to cultural entropy and conservatism in the C-suite. This is a first.
  • Change needs to come from the C-suite: $11 million is a lot of money, especially for an industry so conservative and ROI-obsessed.  Every company, even MRM-McCann clients, are looking for ways to engage patients from clinical trials through drug adherence — the entire product lifecycle.
  • I have been “selling” into one of our Pharma clients an Artificial Intelligence platform from a company that did Sgt Star on the U.S. Army site; we have had several meetings to try and issue AI as their Beyond The Pill strategy for launch of a new ADHD drug; this success with Akili may make that path easier.

Did Dove ruin its body image?

It starts with a cheesy line “Real Beauty breaks mold”. After years of encouraging women to love their bodies, Dove set out to give its plastic bottles a makeover. The idea: “Just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too”

They have rolled out six different shapes of Dove-branded plastic body-wash bottles. Each roughly correlates with a (woman’s) body type. There’s an hourglass bottle. A tall, thin bottle with smaller curves. A pear-shaped bottle. An even squatter pear-shaped bottle.

Consider this scenario. A pear-shaped woman has run out of body wash. She visits the local drug store, where she finds a display of Dove Real Beauty Bottles. To her chagrin, now she must choose between pear- and hourglass-shaped soap. She must also present this proxy for a body—the one she has? the one she wishes she did?—to a cashier to handle and perhaps to judge. What otherwise would have been a body-image-free trip to the store becomes a trip that highlights body-image.

Why it’s hot?
A lot of people have been offended by it but no one has been able to explain why. The jury is still out on whether it’s stupid or genius.

Viewers Pay More Attention To Connected TV Ads, Study Finds

A new multiscreen viewability study that measured consumer attention to advertising reveals that overall attention to pre-roll ads is highest among connected TV (CTV) watchers.
Eye tracking showed that 89% of a CTV pre-roll ad was viewed, compared to 81% on mobile and 78% on desktop. The multiscreen viewability research, conducted by Nielsen and video ad tech firm YuMe, found that CTV ads achieve a higher level of attention, recall, favorability, and purchase intent, all key brand metrics.
The study compared the actual time a viewer spent watching an ad (according to eye tracking) against the total time the ad was viewable for CTV, desktop, and mobile campaigns. The study defined a viewable ad as the total time an ad is in view in seconds.

Among the study’s findings:
–Unaided ad recall is highest on CTV. Pre-roll ad recall for CTV was 73%, compared to 69% on mobile, and 65% on desktop.
–Nearly all CTV ads meet the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Media Ratings Council standard for viewability with 98% of all CTV ads tested exceeding the minimum mobile viewable display advertising impression standard of two seconds and 50% of an ad in view.
–Time spent viewing an ad correlates with overall brand lift. Across all the devices and ad formats tested, length of viewing time correlated with higher recall and purchase intent.

“It’s a credit to an experience that closely mirrors broadcast and cable TV viewership,” Michael Hudes, chief revenue officer, YuMe, told Real-Time Daily via email. “Given the positive brand resonance, CTV should be considered core to marketers’ cross-screen strategies.”
Hudes noted that the findings build on insights gleaned by YuMe through a study with IPG’s Media Lab, in which pre-roll was found to be the most engaging and least intrusive video format.
Ads from auto, consumer packaged goods, financial services, and retail marketers were viewed by consumers for the study. YuMe said 400 respondents interacted with video content across CTV, desktop, and mobile to compare viewability.

Why It’s Hot

Connected TV users are forecast to reach 202.1 million by 2020, and represent 60.4% of the US population, up from 56.1% in 2016, according to eMarketer. The trend is led primarily by the popularity of smart TVs and streaming devices from Amazon, Google and Roku and from subscription services, such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
Marketing Implications – SVOD subscriptions are particularly strong among millennials and families with kids, according to Frank N. Magid Associates. The company noted that 72% of US internet users subscribed to an SVOD service in 2016, but the percentage among millennials was considerably higher, at 86%. Families with children in the household also indexed higher.
Connected TV allows marketers to marry the visual appeal of TV-style ads with the targeting and measurement capabilities of digital.

Can Facebook Turn Blue Into Green?

Can advertisers target teens when they’re feeling sad? Facebook might want to help them find out. Facebook came under fire this week when leaked documents showed Facebook Australia promoted advertising campaigns that exploit Facebook users’ emotional states—and how these are aimed at users as young as 14 years old.

According to the report in The Australian, the selling point of this 2017 document is that Facebook’s algorithms can determine, and allow advertisers to pinpoint, “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” If that phrase isn’t clear enough, Facebook’s document offers a litany of teen emotional states that the company claims it can estimate based on how teens use the service, including “worthless,” “insecure,” “defeated,” “anxious,” “silly,” “useless,” “stupid,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” and “a failure.”

The data is specific to teens in Australia and New Zealand only.

Facebook responded to the report: “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state. The analysis done by an Australian researcher was intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook. It was never used to target ads and was based on data that was anonymous and aggregated.”

https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/05/facebook-helped-advertisers-target-teens-who-feel-worthless/

Why its hot

Facebook knows everything about us and this ability to gather incredibly intimate data raises obvious ethical questions. Should a pharma brand be able to target medication to mother’s with sick children? Should a sports supplement brand be able to target kids who feel weak?

Doctors media preferences…Social? Maybe. Print and email? Yes!

When  it comes to digital adoption, it seems a no-brainer; isn’t everyone engaged? No. A notable exception are medical professionals. Doctors and nurses (NP/PA’s) tend to lean towards the conservative — not only politically, but in terms of their digital adoption. A recent study by HealthLink Dimensions, an email list and Big Data firm, produced a study on their information-gathering preferences among 700 medical professionals.

Email may seems so…yesterday. Yet, 75% of NPs and PAs and 66% of MDs prefer email for communication regarding the following:

• Industry news

• Product updates

• Research opportunities

What device is favored for reading email? Specifically, almost 52% of NPs/PAs and 46% of MDs utilize mobile devices; while almost 53% of NPs/PAs and 51% of MDs use desktop computers to comb through their emails.

Social Media? They love their closed, private peer-to-peer communities, such as SERMO (600K doctors)

Per the survey, 66% of NPs/PAs and 63% of MDs don’t use social media to communicate with patients. Instead, only one-third of these medical professionals are active on social media – mainly Twitter, LinkedIn, SERMO and Doximity – primarily for networking with their colleagues and peers

Last is print: 50% of NPs/PAs and 46% of MDs frequently use printed materials provided to their practices

Why is this hot? As with all customers we strategically serve, their content consumption habits have a major impact upon our planning. Knowing this, we must always realize to be customer-centric is to not fall in love with a shiny media object or a cool platform…

  • Time is a critical factor for HCP’s which drive what they consume and how; with an average of less than 15 minutes per patient, you know when it is a mobile device, they are on the move, doing rounds, trying to solve problems in real-time; your content and experience should embrace that. So, snippets of content are smart when you want them to be consumed at POC (Point-of-Care); conversely, HCP’s often have to consume intense medical journals, clinical studies and dense scientific content, which requires a desktop or laptop
  • Using Performance/Analytics to see how your clients’ content is consumed by time and device provides an invaluable insight into content strategy; if you want it to be useful in the NOW, then snippets, mobile-first; if you want to provide deeper content, then plan for desktop, but always offer email/download functions to account for mobile

 

 

Now there’s a dating app in Slack




The dating app Feeld, previously known as 3nder and commonly known as “Tinder for threesomes,” has just announced a Slack integration – “Feeld for Slack

According to the Feeld, the bot works like this — just open a direct message conversation with Feeld and @-mention someone you “have feelings for.” For them to find out that you did that, they’ll have to initiate a conversation with the bot and mention you. Otherwise, Feeld promises, your secret dies in Slack. It doesn’t mention how long the bot will wait for your crush to reciprocate.

Why it’s hot?
What could possibly go wrong?

The Art of Color in Design

No matter what type of design we take on – graphic, experience, code or visual; each will eventually employ color as a major pillar of the final product. Though following brand guidelines are paramount, we as designers have the opportunity to use the psychology behind colors to improve the overall experience.

 

Studies have shown that in many purchasing decisions, especially in retail , cite color and aesthetics as key reasons why a puras was…or was not made.

Why Its Hot

As we all work on diverse accounts, using color theory to create, reinforce or stop an emotion could be very beneficial. In our pharma work for example, imagine as a patient learns of a diagnosis, or is introduced to a new drug. What could they be feeling? What experience do we want them to have? And are the colors showin guiding them towards or away? These questions can help us drive creative and give our customers the experience they deserve.

Hey can that robot make me live forever?

Robots, nanobots, human-looking robots…the race is on. It’s not a race to market. It’s actually a race to immortality. The Japanese pioneered the robot development as early as 2005…with RI-MAN: 

But the evolution has gone much further and, like so many things, is accelerating.

As the author, Peter Nichol says on CIO.com: Medical nanotechnology is expected to employ nanorobots that will be injected into the patient to perform work at a cellular level. Ingestibles and internables bring forward the introduction of broadband-enabled digital tools that are eaten and “smart” pills that use wireless technology to help monitor internal reactions to medications.

Robotics for healthcare are classified in three main categories of use:

  1. Direct patient care robots: surgical robots (used for performing clinical procedures), exoskeletons (for bionic extensions of self like the Ekso suit), and prosthetics (replacing lost limbs).  Over 500 people a day loses a limb in America with 2 million Americans living with limb loss according to the CDC.
  2. Indirect patient care robots: pharmacy robots (streamlining automation, autonomous robots for inventory control reducing labor costs), delivery robots (providing medical goods throughout a hospital autonomously), and disinfection robots (interacting with people with known infectious diseases such as healthcare-associated infections or HAIs).
  3. Home healthcare robots: robotic telepresence solutions (addressing the aging population with robotic assistance).

Why is this hot?

  • Robotics, pioneered by the Japanese as early as 2005 (RI-MAN above) is fast moving to nurses with human features and AI ability to do Q&A. They are already in research and university hospitals.
  • While the 3 categories are a general framework, the nanobot itself crawling through your bloodstream, checking for cancer cells, knitting your arteries, oxygenating our blood, preventing them from hardening and causing heart disease.
  • For those of you under 30 who think your immortal, you may have a chance.

I leave you with a forward-looking TED TALK on this topic from January, 2017:

 

Unilever Gives Birth to Baby Dove

(Baby brain alert!)

Unilever’s Dove and Dove Men+Care are proud parents of Baby Dove, the brand’s first major category extension since launch of the aforementioned men’s line seven years ago. The new line of baby washes, lotions and wipes kicks off with a digital video today to be followed by a broader digital, TV and #RealMoms social campaign.

“Baby Dove is building on the 60-year heritage of cleansing and care and moisturization of the Dove brand,” said Nick Soukas, VP of Dove. One of the key insights behind the products is that baby skin loses moisture five times faster than adult skin, so Dove’s heritage of moisturizing products fits particularly well, he said. Beyond the moisturizing heritage, Dove has been squarely focused on moms and dads with its existing product lines for years, making the leap to babies fairly easy. Marketing for Dove Men+Care in particular has been focused on men’s roles as fathers since day one.

But Baby Dove will be focused on the primary buyer in the category — moms — and in particular bucking up women’s self-esteem vs. pressure to be perfect. Instead of Real Beauty, think of it as a campaign for real parenting. Read more here.

By coming from a place of support, acceptance & advocacy, the campaign has won a typically critical “mom community” online. Initial fan reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, with comments like: “Love how inclusive Dove is for all walks of life, regardless of color, gender, and sexuality. Keep it up!”  And popular mommy blogs have picked up on the conversation too, sharing the campaign with their own accompanying messages of positivity and in support of the launch. See examples here, here, and here.

Why it’s hot:

Being in tune with the role your brand plays in consumer lives + understanding the power of real consumer truths = A breakthrough campaign that will get the target audience sharing & talking.

On the heels of major mess ups (::cough, pepsi, cough::), it’s worth remembering that this simple combination of knowing your audience & knowing your brand can lead to a campaign that strikes a chord & feels right for the company.

Snap to Store

Snap is now giving advertisers a better idea of how effective their ads are at getting people to visit a specific store or see a movie with a “Snap to Store” tool that’ll help track just that.

Snap to Store initially launched for select companies, including Wendy’s, 7-Eleven, and Paramount Pictures. It lets advertisers know where users go after viewing a sponsored location-based ad. Snap explains that Wendy’s, for example, sponsored a geofilter for its jalapeño chicken sandwich that resulted in more than 42,000 people visiting the fast food restaurant over the week.

Why it’s hot
Snap tracks not only the user who took a photo with a sponsored geofilter but also which friends saw that photo and subsequently visited the store. The tool relies on users’ location data and a partnership with Foursquare to power its geofilters and figure out where users are at a given time.

strategy = only the right stuff…


image credit: martin dyhouse

Strategy is about choices, but mindful choices.

Doing everything is doing nothing, as the story goes.

The brilliant and legendary creative Dave Trott recently wrote a blog post relaying an anecdote from World War II that illustrates this idea that strategy is about choosing what to strip away (or to avoid) to create something truly powerful.

Why It’s Hot: 

As we build things, we should keep in mind above all – what does this ad, product, site, app, experience need to do. If something doesn’t need to be part of the thing in order for it to do what it needs to do better than any other thing, we don’t need it. Conversely, if it’s going to strengthen the effect of the thing, that’s what we need to do.