Media & Entertainment

Lavish "Diamond" Reynolds

The Video Selfie That Changed the World

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Today, there are over 2 billion ordinary people carrying social network–connected video cameras. Notwithstanding what you're hearing from talking heads on TV, this is not new news. The number of smartphones is racing toward 3 billion, and the trajectory and pace of this technological change are well understood. What is far less understood is the impact ~2 billion social network–connected, video-enabled smartphones will have on how we live our lives in the 21st century.

1776

8 Hottest Tech Trends in 1776

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In the 1770s, America was a relatively low tech, agrarian society. But all that was about to change. So here, for your Independence Day reading pleasure, are the eight hottest tech trends circa 1776.

Blue Flatline

What We’ll Do When Ad Tech Dies

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When you analyze the effects of fraud, viewability and ad blocking on the digital display advertising business, then add the ever-increasing abilities of the traffic launderers to game the system, you reach an inevitable conclusion: ad tech has evolved into a toxic ecosystem that is killing itself, and it is taking digital advertising with it.

Google Home and Amazon Echo

I’ve Talked to the Future and It Talked Back

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Sometimes I walk into a room and say, “Alexa, what’s the temperature outside?” She answers by speaking the current temperature followed by an abbreviated weather report. She’s so human-like, I have to resist the temptation to say “Thank you” when she finishes. Importantly, Alexa is not a she; it is a component of Amazon's Echo natural language processing system. Amazon has anthropomorphized Echo with a female voice and a feminine name, which makes it easy to call Alexa a “she.” Should we be polite when we speak to it, or is it OK to be abrupt or even abusive? The device won’t care. It doesn't have feelings; but how will we teach our children to differentiate between machines that sound and act like people, and other disembodied voices that actually are people?

react.js screenshot

I’m Taking Your Job!

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We just used a few overeducated millennials and some open-source code to get a bunch of cognitive nonrepetitive workers fired. Which sucks! Incredibly, we didn’t use AI or machine learning to do it, just imagination and some free stuff. The bad news is that unless these people learn to do higher-value cognitive nonrepetitive work, they are not going to be employable. And the really bad news is that even if they do learn to do higher-value cognitive nonrepetitive work, when we start using machine learning and AI tools to do their jobs, they will actually be unemployable.