AdTech/MarTech

Posts I've written about AdTech/MarTech. Subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything.
Facial Recognition
In a rare show of bipartisan unity this past Wednesday, Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight Committee expressed concerns over the rapid spread of facial recognition software used by technology companies. This should make you stop and think very long and hard about what your elected leaders do not understand about the world we live in.

What is a Radio Brand?

PLJ 95.5
Cumulus Media confirmed that New York City's iconic FM radio station 95.5 PLJ will sign off for the last time on Friday, May 31. Clearly, there was no longer a profitable business to be made using FM radio broadcasting technology to aggregate and monetize the PLJ audience. Radio stations change ownership all the time and, as you know, media M&A has become a blood sport in the past 24 months. Still, this particular sign-off signals something significant.
Wikiality, “the best narrative wins,” has all but replaced reality. Fiction often replaces facts. Lies are harder and harder to separate from truths. A pure democracy is truly dangerous to powerful people. Narratives are hard to control. Which raises the question, can a constitutional republic (or a bunch of other elected central governments) control a true democracy that is the direct voice of about 55 percent of the global population?
Shanghai
Google dissolved its 10-day-old AI ethics council. Why? Because of AI bias, a super-important, completely misnamed topic. We can chat all we like about human biases creating AI biases with our Western cultural ideology, but if there is going to be anything like an AI bias council, it should probably be held in Beijing, Shanghai, or Shenzhen. Chinese cultural and political norms are going to have a much bigger influence over AI bias than anything we do here in America.

Facebook and Common Sense

Mark Zuckerberg is founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, the world’s largest population. In reading his op-ed in the Washington Post, Mark Zuckerberg: The Internet needs new rules. Let’s start in these four areas, I was struck by its similarities to Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense, which for all practical purposes incited the Colonies to rebel against the King. Both of these manifestos deserve to be read in their entirety.

Society vs. Social Media

A Battle Royale is brewing between society and a narrow, focused use of AI we'll call, algorithmic curation. But are the AI tools social media uses to put the right message in front of the right person in the right place at the right time really the enemy?
I’ve been at SXSW (one of my favorite annual gatherings) for about 24 hours and my head is about to explode. While there are incredible experiences to be had here and there is some amazing tech on display, Buzzword BS is at record levels. Here are just a few excerpts from the dozens of elevator pitches I listened to today.

Alternatives to Facebook

Facebook Alternatives
Facebook has been under relentless attack since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Broadcasters and news publishers have declared open season on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other senior executives at the company. And while not quite ubiquitous, #deletefacebook pops up every time there’s a story about data privacy. The EU has fined them, the US is trying to figure out how to regulate them, and the notion that free services should be absolutely free (as opposed to checking a box on a terms and conditions page that allows the free service to use your data as payment) is gaining traction. Whether or not Facebook deserves the scrutiny it is under is a great topic for another article. Today, I want to have a look at alternatives. If you don’t like Facebook, what might work for you? Is the time right for the reemergence of focused social networks?
Angry Mob YouTube
They say that if you ask the wrong question, you are guaranteed to get the wrong answer. Asked as, “Can YouTube ever be brand safe?” the answer is no. There is no possible way to make YouTube, or any environment that relies so heavily on user-generated content (UGC), 100 percent brand safe. Asked as, “Is YouTube safe for my brand?” is a better question, and it is the proper lens for any serious marketing discussion.

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