Industry

Decibel Diet: Loud Music is Fattening

  The New York Times: “Behavioral scientists who ran a series of lab studies and real-life field experiments found participants selected more unhealthful or calorie-laden items like red meat and cake when the ambient music was loud, and were more likely to choose healthful items when softer music was played in the background. The genre […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Jun 6th, 2018 | , , , , , ,

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Retail Math: Ladder of Causation

  The Wall Street Journal: “Suppose, for example, that a drugstore decides to entrust its pricing to a machine learning program that we’ll call Charlie. The program reviews the store’s records and sees that past variations of the price of toothpaste haven’t correlated with changes in sales volume. So Charlie recommends raising the price to […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | May 23rd, 2018 | , , , ,

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Ocean Medallion: Smooth Cruising on a ‘Smart’ Ship

Quartz: John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer of Carnival Cruises, “previously worked for Disney, where he was instrumental in the creation of the MagicBand, a wristband meant to help reduce the aggravations of the typical Disney vacation … At Carnival, Padgett and his team quickly set out to create Carnival’s own version of the […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Apr 20th, 2018 | , , , , , , ,

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AI Machines as Managers

The Wall Street Journal: “There is evidence computers may be better suited to some managerial tasks than people are. Humans are susceptible to cognitive traps like confirmation bias. People using intuition tend to make poor decisions but rate their performance more highly, according to a 2015 University of New England analysis of psychological studies. And […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Dec 14th, 2017 | , ,

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Do Smartphones Make Us Stupid?

Nicolas Carr: “Imagine combining a mailbox, a newspaper, a TV, a radio, a photo album, a public library and a boisterous party attended by everyone you know, and then compressing them all into a single, small, radiant object. That is what a smartphone represents to us. No wonder we can’t take our minds off it.” […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Oct 16th, 2017 | , , , ,

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Do Smartphones Make Us Stupid?

Nicolas Carr: “Imagine combining a mailbox, a newspaper, a TV, a radio, a photo album, a public library and a boisterous party attended by everyone you know, and then compressing them all into a single, small, radiant object. That is what a smartphone represents to us. No wonder we can’t take our minds off it.” […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Oct 11th, 2017 | , , , ,

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The da Vinci Code: Observe, Connect & Create

Walter Isaacson: “Today we live in a world that encourages specialization, whether we are students, scholars, workers or professionals. We also tend to exalt training in technology and engineering, believing that the jobs of the future will go to those who can code and build rather than those who can be creative.” “But the true […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Oct 2nd, 2017 | , , ,

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Deep Thinking: ‘Artificial’ Trumps ‘Intelligence’

  LARB: From a review of Deep Thinking, by Garry Kasparov, the chess champion defeated by Deep Blue, a machine, in 1997: “The history of computer chess is the history of artificial intelligence. After their disappointments in trying to reverse-engineer the brain, computer scientists narrowed their sights. Abandoning their pursuit of human-like intelligence, they began […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Jul 7th, 2017 | , , , ,

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IKEA Asks: Do You Speak Human?

The Verge: ‘If you put an AI in charge of your house — letting it control the lights, the alarms, the temperature, and so on — how would you want it to act? Should it be ‘autonomous and challenging’ or ‘obedient and assisting’? Would you prefer if it sounded male, female, or if it was […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | May 3rd, 2017 | , , , , , , , , ,

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Facebook Chatbots Test ‘Conversational Commerce’

The Washington Post: Mastercard “has partnered with Subway and two other major merchants to launch ‘chatbots, ’ which are robots that simulate human conversation. The Subway iteration allows you to order a custom sandwich for pickup, something of a digital version of walking down the chain’s sandwich assembly line.” Cheesecake Factory “allows shoppers to purchase […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Apr 24th, 2017 | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Netflix & the ‘Tinderization’ of Feeling

Tom Vanderbilt: “Netflix, as you may have heard, is … shedding its former one-to-five-star rating system in favor of binary digits: namely, thumbs up or thumbs down … For one, Netflix was transitioning from a DVD rental business to a streaming company. It was less reliant on you telling it what you liked (via ratings), […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Apr 4th, 2017 | , , , , ,

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‘Graph Theory’ & Food & Retail Innovation

The Wall Street Journal: “Every creative cook faces the challenge of choosing ingredients that combine deliciously. This is mostly a matter of culinary experience, intuition and imagination, plus a lot of trial and error. But Big Data can help, too … Enter the food scientist and trained chef Michael Nestrud … Dr. Nestrud uses an arcane […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Mar 28th, 2017 | , ,

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QWERTY: Sales Gimmick as Innovation

Quartz: “Welcome to the concept of path dependence. Paul A. David engagingly outlines the idea in his classic article ‘Clio and the Economics of QWERTY, ’ first published in 1985 … The way David tells it, the QWERTY keyboard was developed by Christopher Latham Scholes, a Wisconsin printer and tinkerer, who ‘was the fifty-second man […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Mar 7th, 2017 | , ,

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Adidas Speedfactory: Robotic Innovation

The Economist: “Behind closed doors in the Bavarian town of Ansbach a new factory is taking shape. That it will use robots and novel production techniques such as additive manufacturing (known as 3D printing) is not surprising for Germany … What is unique about this factory is that it will not be making cars, aircraft […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Jan 23rd, 2017 | , , , ,

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Natural Language & The New ‘Living’ Room

Wired: “Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are all racing to build systems that recognize and truly understand natural language—how you and I talk. If they can put this technology not only in your living room, but in your pocket and elsewhere, they can become the hub of everything you do online. Google wants to retain its […]

By Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Dec 16th, 2016 | , , , , , , ,

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