Digital Transformation

Posts I've written about Digital Transformation. Subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything.
Monochromatic Crowd
I'm not really worried about rogue computers threatening our lives. I'm worried about the small number of programmers and coders charged with realizing the financial and political goals of their patrons. Could a ubiquitous social network skew or even direct an election? Could a traffic control system delay certain people from getting to work on time? Could an AI-enhanced financial services company deny loans or insurance due to zip code or race because it is the "best outcome" based on its programming? Could we train the AI that controls our news, communications and entertainment to restrict us to our comfort zones without even realizing what we've done? Continue Reading →
Clickbait
Much has been written about why and how Facebook is killing clickbait and what effect that might have on publishers, agencies and marketers. But to truly understand the impact of this newly updated anti-clickbait algorithm, you need to consider a few other recent Facebook policy changes that, when taken together, will make it harder and more expensive for publishers to bundle native content, drive traffic and accomplish their reach goals. Continue Reading →
Pokémon Go
Augmented Reality (AR) is not new, but thanks to Pokémon Go it is newly relevant. The game has broken every record for adoption, users, and time spent, and it has given Nintendo a much-needed boost in both buzz and market cap – oh, and it's super-fun to play. Even if you never download the game or even look at a screenshot, here are a few things about Pokémon Go's epic launch that may move you from "I couldn't care less" to "Hmm … that's interesting." Continue Reading →
Lavish "Diamond" Reynolds
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. Continue Reading →
Blue Flatline
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. Continue Reading →
Google Home and Amazon Echo
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? Continue Reading →
Blue Disco Ball
A vice president at a very large company just sent me a purchase order for a "blue disco ball." That's my metaphoric name for a specific kind of middle management error that most vendors, suppliers and even solutions providers love most. What is a "blue disco ball?" It's every senior executive's worst nightmare and every vendor's holiday bonus all rolled into a budget-busting good time. Continue Reading →
react.js screenshot
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. Continue Reading →

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