Ten Stories We’ve Enjoyed This Week

26th April 2019

From MIT. ‘Scientists have turned brain signals into speech – it’s a step towards a system that would let people send texts straight from their brains. A team in San Francisco tapped the signals your brain sends to your lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx when you speak to create a device that’s capable of spitting out complete phrases.’ 

From NYT. ‘On the east side of Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, three cameras on the roof of a restaurant film the lunch crowds, tourists and commuters — everything that goes on each day. The feeds are streamed publicly online… (This) shows that a person equipped with just a few cameras and facial recognition technology can learn people’s daily habits: when they arrive at the office each day, who they get coffee with, whether they left work early. If you are an adult in America, there’s more than 50 percent chance you’re already in a law enforcement facial recognition database.’ 

Interesting piece from Ogilvy on ‘planning in a post digitalworld’. Strategic Making, is ‘a time-bound planning process that consists of iterative cycles of observations, hypothesis, and experimentations. It’s a customer-centric way of developing strategy, where the emphasis is on getting the customer as involved as possible.’

Most of UK online adspend now comes via smartphones. Twelve years after the iPhone launch, adspend on smartphones has overtaken desktop for the first time.

In the tenth episode of Nesta’s Future Curious podcast series, you can find out about the rise in loneliness in the age of technology. Why do people feel less connected to one another and how can we ensure technology brings us closer together? You can subscribe and listen to previous episodes, here.

From Genius Steals. ‘TikTok is to social media what humans are to logic. New and not easily understood. As TikTok goes mainstream, it looks to be the most significant shift in social media since Snapchat Stories launched 6 years ago. Among its most passionate users in the USA are theuniformed services. Military humans are especially active on TikTok.’

A rather lovely, gentle side to live-streaming site Twitch. People are tuning in to watch long train rides or knitting marathons.

From WARC. ‘Podcast advertising is set to double over the next three years but the market is being constrained by a range of factors that will need to be addressed – much of this money is coming from brands’ experimental budgets and advancements in audience measurement and programmatic buying are required for this nascent format to unlock future growth.’

If you think child labour is a thing of the past, check out “kidfluencers”. They’re earning their parents millions, but have virtually no legal protections.

I tend not to make TV series recommendations. I know we all have our favourite TV series; and friends, colleagues and acquaintances are always suggesting one’s that ‘you absolutely must watch’.  People have have different and personal perspectives on what is bad and what is good. However in (a rare but) direct contravention of this policy I cannot resist talking about Fleabag. It starred and was written by the amazing Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who also penned Killing Eve; and here is Campaign Mags perspective – All hail the Fleabag effect on Creativity. 

An illustrator imagines a world where gentle giant animals live among humans.

Why do 90 second flights exist? Conde Nast Traveler takes a look at the world of short-haul rides.

From Marketoonist – ‘creative briefs and talking like a human’. And finally, these guard cats refuse to let the neighbour’s dog anywhere near their property.