AI-Generated Stock Photos

The media has manufactured a fear amongst us all that GANs – Generative Adversarial Networks – will bring the demise of democracy and civilization. (GANs are the AI behind deepfakes, in case you’re wondering). Sure GANs are a threat. But I’m adamant that they’re largely an opportunity. An opportunity for entrepreneurs.

If I were starting a GAN company today, I’d either be using it to create legal synthetic media like Synthesia or a stock imagery company.

The Metaverse Artists

At least a couple of times a month I’m hyping something new about the metaverse. How companies are preparing for life in the metaverse, restaurant menus in the metaverse, how workplaces are being uploaded to the metaverse. That’s because it’s one of the bets I continue to stand by. People frequently ask me what the metaverse will look like. To which I always point them in the direction of some of my favorite metaverse artists.

These early metaverse artists aren’t just creating concepts of 3D universes. They are actually creating the universes themselves.

Alexa, Find Me A Job

Name a technology and I’ll tell you how it’s been used for job-hunting. Maybe not all technologies. But there are so many different mediums in which you can search for a job. Each created for the sake of simplicity and accessibility. The newspaper classified section, college job boards, apps, recruiters, etc.

This means it’s only a matter of time until smart speakers join the ranks. To what extent will Alexa provide help in job-hunting?

Adaptive Music

It’s a beautiful feeling when a song “hits your chord”. You belt out the lyrics as if they were written about you. Your entire body reacts as if the groove is coded in your DNA. What if every song you listened to had that effect? This is the goal of Adaptive Music.

Adaptive music is designed to reflect the current situation of the listener. It’s a soundtrack that is crafted real-time to help you relax when you’re anxious, get energy when you’re feeling lethargic, focus when you’re distracted, and so much more.

Dynamic Living Spaces

If you want to know what’s next for American culture, one of the most reliable places to look is Japan.

A 1982 New York Times article, Culture of Japan Blossoming in America, documents the first major shift toward a general American curiosity in Japanese culture. Nine years later, a Fortune Magazine article, Japan’s Influence on American Life, shows the emotional apprehension in middle-America to early Japanese influence.

The Japanese influence is unavoidable.

Visual Search Engines

How often do you see an artwork, a plant, or an item of clothing that you’d like to look up on the web but can’t put words to it? Probably not all that often. However, when you occasionally come across something you’d like to search which words cannot describe, it’s very frustrating and ultimately a lost cause. Text-based search is imperfect. That’s the idea behind visual search. To fill in during those moments which words won’t help.

Supposedly visual search is the next great frontier in building upon our current search engines – Amazon, Google, Pinterest, etc. And many efforts have been made over the last few years to make it a hit.

Why BMW Hired Me

What if cars could communicate with cities? How would this change the way we traveled? What would it do for the environments we poison with carbon dioxide?

This is an idea I haven’t stopped thinking about since BMW brought me out to Frankfurt two weeks ago. They gave me a sneak peek of some of their newest automotive technology that sparked an idea in me. An idea where car and city might one day communicate. Not in the verbal sense. But in a way that moves us closer to better harmony between humans, their machines, and the environment.

Ghost Kitchens

In statistics, there’s a phenomenon where random variables will regress to the mean. In culinary conquests, there’s a phenomenon where humans will naturally regress to take-out food. We love ordering in and when our favorite options are less than five clicks away, it’s just too easy.

However, this new abundance of take-out requires a better type of kitchen – the Ghost Kitchen. And out of this climate, we’re seeing the emergence of InstaChefs.

The Advantage of Elderly Tech Founders

If we’re fortunate to reach the age where our speed slows and needs grow, then we get the unfortunate result of being viewed as an out-of-touch old person. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What if that’s actually an advantage of later life? What if this period produces some of the next great companies

Often times we think that every great company needs to be founded by some whiz-kid, college-dropout. But those are actually far-and-few between and more likely to fail than elder founders.

Autonomous Finance

The simple fact is that spending has gotten messier. It’s more sporadic because we’re always an advertisement and a one-click buy away from breaking our budget. Practically the only extraneous spending we can account for is the Netflix and AmazonPrime subscriptions. And let’s be real, we all buy them and forget we even have.

The confusion that’s come out of financial planning today makes people want something easy. Something they can set, forget, and hit every financial goal. They want autonomous finance.

Cashierless Stores

Timex says we spend 6 months of our lives waiting in line. Silicon Valley believes that number should be zero. Or at least zero when it comes to grocery shopping.

Starting with the Amazon Go stores, cashierless stores have been an optimistic look into efficiency. Amazon spurred others to think up different approaches from Smart Carts to Cashierless Snack Shacks to Scan, Bag, & Go technology. So where do we stand in 2019?

D2C Department Stores

Sears has been reincarnated. Well, not Sears exactly. But the idea of the Sears department store is reemerging with D2C (direct-to-consumer) companies like Dollar Shave Club, Bonobos, and Warby Parker at the helm. Earlier this year, the world’s first D2C Department Store opened and many more are following suit. But first, why would D2C brands, born online and thriving online, open physical stores?

Opening stores seems counterintuitive to the D2C plan of eliminating overhead and pouring those savings into making their goods faster, better, and cheaper.

Ad-Free Internet

Arguably, the pop-up ad was the single greatest and (simultaneously) the worst thing to happen to the Internet. It’s what birthed the Ad-Supported Internet – lending a simple default business model for new creators – keeping information free to users. But, it also created the wrong incentive system for Internet creators.

As an independent content creator that has never monetized our business through ads, this is a topic we feel very passionate about at Inevitable/Human. We exist because of our loyal subscribers and exciting brand partnerships (great things coming soon!).

The AI Wingman

39% of straight couples report meeting their partner online. And according to a bold claim with evidence from the Wall Street JournalDating Apps are Making Marriages Stronger. What if “the machine” is actually quite good at this job? What if it creates more lasting relationships than we ever could through our friends’ connections? That would be a wonderful thing. Right?

But my question is, “At what point does algorithmic matchmaking go too far?” Because this latest piece of technology seems to be riding a fine line.

AI Tools for Creativity

With each decade comes new tools that make creative expression more approachable than before. The electric piano, loaded with sounds and light-up keys became the instrument and the lessons all in one. The Adobe Creative Suite digitized the entire artistic editing process – relieving the possibility for accidental error in art.

The next evolution of tools for creative enhancement incorporates AI into actually helping create the art. They are AI tools.

Alexa Political Donations

The technology behind political donations. It’s something that rarely gets discussed. But it’s such a critical component for a campaign to figure out. Where can they show up that’s new but also familiar? When that is figured out, technology does the fundraising for them.

And Amazon just presented candidates with a prime new opportunity for fundraising. 

Alexa & Voice Gaming

Between professional gaming, the influence Fortnite has had on culture, and Angry Birds becoming a multi-billion dollar media franchise, I think it’s safe to say that parents can no longer scoff at video games. The successes have left everyone wondering where the next opportunity in gaming will be. Naturally, future-thinkers question if voice gaming on Alexa has any potential.

The stakes are higher than creating just a couple of fun games. If they crack the code, then the Alexa Skill Store could be the next $46 Billion App Store.

The Rise of Nurse Robots

Of all the futuristic technology we discuss, I think robots are by far the most unfavorable. We either associate them with joblessness or societal anarchy. Nothing good, really. So wouldn’t you think a nurse robot would be a massive failure?

Surprisingly, this isn’t the case. Diligent Robotics has created a nurse robot named Moxi which has been incredibly well-received during their trials at a few Dallas-based hospitals.

The Deepfake Heist

It’s unrealistic to think that a technology can create impact immediately after its release. Most would say it’s ludicrous. Look at a technology like mesh networking. Established 2012, every future-thinker could see its societal relevance. But it took an event seven years later – the riots in Hong Kong – to bring the tech into mass prominence.

On the rarest of rare occasions, an invention comes along that fits a purpose, finds customers, and has instant cultural virality. The technology enters society like a meteor entering Earth’s atmosphere. Everyone is stunned.

The Metaverse Agency

The metaverse is not a story of “nobody believes in it and against all odds it will win.” To the contrary, it’s a story of “everyone believes in it but nobody knows why.” Overall the investment in the Metaverse has been concentrated around gaming and entertainment. But the Metaverse will be much bigger than just those verticals. It’s the evolution of the Internet. Everyone will be grabbing a piece of the Metaverse.

If you own or work at a creative agency, consultancy, or services company of some sort, I want to answer for you how (not why) you should be thinking about getting involved in the Metaverse.