Microsoft Office’s AI Upgrade

Nobody can deny the excitement of a good competition (especially when you’re on the outside looking in). Uber vs. Lyft, Apple vs. Android, Facebook vs. YouTube vs. Snapchat, Netflix vs. Prime Video vs. Hulu. These rivalries fuel headlines and push innovation forward. Perhaps one of the greatest rivalries of all time, though, is Microsoft vs. Google. Not the battle over search engines. Rather the battle for the office suite.

Just about everyone can remember the time when Microsoft Office was the premier (basically only) choice in office suite products. I, along with millions of my fellow Millennials, learned to type on Microsoft Word and copy the Ken Burns style of presentation on PowerPoint.

Talking with Holograms

The very way in which we share our experiences and upload remnants of our lives online is going to completely change once the metaverse swallows up the Internet. (If you need a quick refresher on the metaverse, check out this video.)

As we transition into the metaverse and change our digital lives, how we interact with the Internet’s info – from social media to news – will get a very nice upgrade from holograms. Yes, the future of digital asynchronous communication (info spread when people aren’t together) is going to be led by holograms.

Boycotting Amazon Prime

In most cases, it’s an achievement for a company to “top a list”. The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. The Giving 20. America’s Most Just Companies. All great lists to top. However, one list you don’t want to top: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s “Dirty Dozen” Employers list. It’s a list that highlights companies that put workers and communities at risk due to unsafe practices… of which Amazon is a consecutive champion.

Miraculously, Amazon has endured a decade of exposes’ on the oppressive working conditions at their warehouses.

The Next Apple Empire

Apple’s latest keynote ushered in the era of Apple as a Services Company. The introduction of Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Card, and Apple Arcade on top of the already existing Apple Music, iCloud, and Apple Care. But the service everyone seems to be short-changing as the true dark horse of Apple services is Apple Business Chat.

Introduced in 2017 to a select number of retailers, Apple Business Chat opened up the coveted iMessage platform to retailers (and their developers) to create personalized messaging experiences for their customers. Some of the first retailers involved were: The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Newegg, and 1-800-Flowers.

Conceptualizing CRISPR Gene-Editing Technology

In November of 2018, the scientist He Jiankui revealed that he birthed healthy twins which had been genetically engineered without the CCR5 gene – hopefully rendering the offspring resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera. Immediately, there was a global uproar in the science community which mounted fear mongering proclamations in mass media that the era of designer babies was among us. Seven months later, a Russian biologist is looking for approval of a similar experiment.

The Declaration of Digital Independence

The tyrannical powers above us have dipped their greedy fingers into our wallets, profited from us, and given us little in return. They’ve overpromised a better life and given us no voice in the matters which control our future. It’s time for a revolution.

If you think this is an account from 243 years ago, describing the feelings which would precipitate into the fight for American freedom, then you are sadly mistaken.

What is Cardiac Surveillance?

Did you know that your heart is one-of-a-kind? Not metaphorically, speaking. Literally, your heartbeat (cardiac signature) is as unique to you as your fingerprint. While cardiac signatures are most commonly used to detect fatal heart conditions (the Apple Watch’s EKG monitor is already saving people’s lives), your heartbeat will soon be used to identify who you are.

And just like the research in all other areas of biometrics (fingerprints, irises, palm prints, faces, gait, DNA, typing rhythm, and voice), cardiac signatures will fall into the identification purgatory of security and surveillance.

How AI draws our voting districts and sways elections

Pizza lovers swear that the way you cut up a pizza affects the way it tastes. Similarly, politicians know that the way you cut up a state’s districts can have a profound impact on which party wins the majority in that state. And for decades AI has helped politicians in this endeavor. What’s the story behind this early use case for AI?

Partisan gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing legislative and congressional districts to help one’s own party win more elections. When done right, gerrymandering can sneakily turn a politically red state into a state with a majority blue House seats (this interactive map will help you visualize the power of redistricting). Also, John Oliver has a further explanation, if needed.

What’s a Real Estate Robopreneur?

Back in April of 2019, we put out a piece declaring We’re Living in the Era of the Robopreneur, setting forth a guideline to being an ultra-productive entrepreneur with software and algorithms by one’s side. We told the story through relevant Robopreneurs such as Casey Neistat, Kylie Jenner, and even Casper mattresses.

And then we found out about an incredibly savvy, early Robopreneur that’s still working his magic more than 3 decades under his belt as a Robopreneur.

Deepfakes are a social, not a technological problem

News about deepfakes has not stopped for the past two weeks and probably won’t slow down anytime soon. Unfortunately, the media stories are consolidated around “deepfakes cause political strife”, with the only possible solution being technology.

This narrative is important but limited in scope, which is why I will continue to propose new ways to think about deepfakes (remember deepfakes in marketing).

What’s next for consumer robots?

It disappoints me that in 2019 the most effective and popular consumer robot is still the robot vacuum cleaner, Roomba. Honestly, it’s not that surprising. We want our robots to achieve one thing really well and relieve us from that thing. However, I don’t think robots are doomed to human servitude. There’s room for robots to be free with no particular purpose and still be useful.

It’s time to rethink Privacy Policies

We have a major problem with privacy policies.

Purple, a UK WiFi hotspot provider, hid a “Community Service Clause” into its service agreements. 22,000 people at coffee shops and restaurants across the UK agreed to 1,000 hours of menial labor when they signed onto use Purple’s WiFi. The labor included cleaning local parks of animal waste, cleaning portable lavatories at local festivals and events, and more.

6 Fascinating New AI Use Cases

These past few weeks have been exciting for future-thinkers like me because of the entirely novel ways that AI is being introduced and used in society. Although I’m a fan of following and talking about the continued progress of something meaningful – it’s also refreshing to get an onslaught of new ideas. Without further ado…

Are we ready for human-machine collaboration?

What does it mean for humans and machines to collaborate? Naturally, the images of robotic arms in an auto assembly line and Amazon’s warehouse floor where Roomba-like robots move products around come to mind.

Both scenarios have humans and machines working together. But they aren’t necessarily collaborating. The machine has a rigid path or capability and the human works around that path to do what the robot cannot.

An introduction to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

I cannot think of a technology that has gone through more tumult and re-identification than cryptocurrency. From being pegged as the bad-influence technology that enables illicit transactions on the web, to becoming the get-rich-quick scheme on CNBC, to then becoming another instance of overhyped technology, seriously, crypto has been through it all.

Along this wild ride, the true fans have never lost sight of why blockchain was created and how cryptocurrencies fit on top of this technology. Among those true fans is Facebook, who unveiled their plans to enter the market.

How Apps Can Incriminate You

Nobody likes a snitch. They are seen in movies and in public as the lowest of the lows. Should we view technological snitches in the same way? Well, what’s a technological snitch, you might ask?

Spain’s top soccer league, La Liga, was fined €250,000 ($280,000) by the country’s data protection agency for monitoring its Android app users’ microphones and locations without proper approval.

My 5 Plays for the Future

Being Boy Future, I often get asked by people of all types, “What do I need to know to stay ahead of the future?” Of course, it’s much more of a rolling answer than it is a one-time rebuttal.

But, when the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin asked me to give the keynote presentation at their annual Breakfast of Champions at the historic Harley-Davidson Museum – on the topic of the very question I opened this email with – I knew I had to come up with something both timely and timeless.

Are E-Scooters the answer to all of our transportation prayers?

If you don’t live in a major US city or haven’t visited one in the past year, then there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the e-scooter sharing economy. It’s just like Uber and Lyft except the vehicles are electric scooters. Flashy or not, their rise has been meteoric.

The two frontrunners – Lime and Bird – are each valued at over $2 Billion and they’ve been operating for less than 3 years. Bird was the quickest company to reach unicorn status ($1B valuation) – achieving it in just 10 months. Even Uber, Lyft, and Google are all staking their claim in this market.

You’ll soon be ordering food from an AR menu

We’ve all had the unfortunate restaurant experience of aimlessly poring over the menu for 15 minutes and nothing stands out. We go so far as reading the ingredients, praying that our taste buds will speak up. It’s a painful feeling. Conversely, we’ve all been to a restaurant where the menu speaks to us and within mere seconds our eyes land on exactly what we’re in the mood for. This is no coincidence.

Menu designers will tell you a menu is equally as important as what shows up on your plate. But what if the menu described (and showed) the food you would be served?

Why you should pay close attention to this thing called the Metaverse

The Internet has evolved to the point where we can share and communicate almost anything we want across space and time. We find love through apps. We trust our digital neighbors to give us the best suggestions for food and housing. We place our most precious photographic memories in the hands of digital giants to protect for eternity.

The Internet has become this expansive virtual, shared space for almost anything you can think of. But surely this isn’t the best version of the Internet. Like any form of existence, it must continue to grow and evolve.