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Embracing Game-Changing Tech
 
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is one of the most influential people in tech you may have never heard of. In the 80’s, Lee invented the world's first continuous speech recognition system for his Ph.D. thesis at Carnegie Mellon. Today, the Sinovation Ventures CEO has a larger social media following than Madonna or Oprah and has become the face of the Chinese tech world.

Lee uses his influence to prepare the world for the imminent AI-powered future. But he recently spoke at the TIME 100 Summit in New York about the current state of AI. His key message? We need to embrace game-changing technology. 

Too early-stage, seemingly too complex, not really relevant — these are the excuses we give to avoid embracing new tech and encouraging others to do the same. Not to mention all the issues surrounding big tech right now. Privacy, security, job displacement and wealth inequality are a few that Lee mentions (check out his full speech in today's Deep Take).

But Lee believes tech problems can be solved with better tech. Our best shot at detecting AI-generated deepfakes will be with AI detectors. Data privacy concerns could be eased with technology that allows for custom privacy settings. And tech that replaces human jobs will offer equally as many new positions. 
 
(Photo: 52 Insights)
 
So yes, AI will radically transform our world and bring plenty of challenges with it. But solutions born of AI can make our lives easier today and are already at our fingertips if we’re willing to use them. 

It starts with basic understanding of what’s out there and how it can be used. As many of you know, we created a study guide to facilitate deeper learning at the intersection of content and intelligence. But it’s not enough to just read about and acknowledge that this stuff is out there. To get any real value, we need to use it, and in some cases, create it. 

AI is presenting us with an opportunity to rethink the way we operate on a daily basis. Whether it's testing innovations like Textio’s recruiting tool in today's first link or Google’s new AR search function and other features announced at the I/O 2019 keynote. Or even identifying intelligent tools you didn't realize you were already using. Familiar products like Siri, Alexa and Gmail Smart Reply are likely already making your life easier with the use of intelligence. Recognizing where a new tool could be applied, or even created, is when embracing new tech leads to innovation.  

Intelligent technology isn't going anywhere. And the current pace of change requires that we rise up to the occasion and embrace it quickly. When it comes to getting the most out of emerging tech, the best learning is applied learning.

 
Chris Perry 
@cperry248

P.S. The subject line references Media Genius as the new name for the newsletter. It better reflects how the content within has evolved and what you can expect to see as the worlds of artificial intelligence and media come together at a breakneck speed.  

As always, if you find this newsletter valuable I would be grateful if you encouraged others to sign up by directing them here.
What We're Reading
Artificial Intelligence
Textio's New Tool Will Take the Words Right Out of Your Mouth—and Maybe Improve Them
By Michal Lev-Ram, Fortune

Text analytics startup, Textio, studies the way companies in search of more diverse candidates communicate with prospective hires. The company is launching a new product with artificial intelligence capabilities that will actually write job descriptions for you with words that are statistically proven to appeal to more people.

Content Experience
I Tried the New ‘Smart’ Fitness Machines (and Mirror) to Find Out What’s Worth It
By Karen Iorio Adelson, New York Magazine 

In the past few years, smart fitness brands like Peloton have launched at-home workouts with the ability to track your performance and adapt to keep up with your fitness gains. New tech like connected weights, subscription rowing experiences and smart boxing gloves indicate that the smart home fitness boom is here to stay. 

Artificial Intelligence
Hearables Will Monitor Your Brain and Body to Augment Your Life
By Poppy Crum, IEEE Spectrum

Wearable devices that tuck into our ears—also known as hearables—could monitor our biological signals to help us focus on the sounds we want to hear, reduce sounds that cause us stress and even connect to other devices around us. Despite these benefits, privacy and security concerns could delay widespread adoption of the devices. 

Artificial Intelligence
The Comedian is in the Machine. AI is Now Learning Puns
By Gregory Barber, Wired

AI continues to adopt more humanlike behavior. The latest advancement? Puns. A new AI-powered pun generator marks the beginning of bots that are more natural and fun to talk to. Researchers hope the approach can be applied to other creative tasks like storytelling. 

Leadership Instincts
How Did James Holzhauer Turn ‘Jeopardy!’ Into His Own A.T.M.? We Asked Him
By Victor Mather, The New York Times

For 34-year-old James Holzhauer, knowing the right answers on Jeopardy! is the easy part. His huge scores — he now holds the top seven best daily totals in Jeopardy! history — come largely because of his aggressive strategy. The professional sports bettor isn't afraid to take big risks for big payoffs. 

Content Experience
In A Chaotic World, Audiences Are Turning To “Slow Cinema”
By Andrew Russell, Quartzy

The Calm app and lifestyle movements like "hygge" and “gezellig” have one thing in common: escaping the frenetic pace of the modern world and relishing in the small things in life. Now stillness and silence are having a moment in cinema with the rise in popularity of slower-paced films like Netflix's Roma

Leadership Instincts
Followership
By Fred Wilson, AVC

There are many important qualities for a leader to embrace, but if they don't have followership in the form of a team that lines up behind them and their ideas, it is extremely difficult to be effective. When everyone is behind a leader's mission and delivers on what they ask of the organization, productivity and innovation thrive. 

Emerging Technology
Google Search Adds AR and Big Lens Upgrades
By Edgar Alvarez, engadget

Google is going to start displaying search results in augmented reality, the company announced at its I/O 2019 developers conference. The idea is to bring visual information directly into search by letting users take advantage of their smartphone's camera. A combination of computer vision and augmented reality will turn your phone into a powerful search tool, whether you're looking to shop or wanting to learn more about the Solar System.

Deep Take
AI Expert Kai-Fu Lee Says We Need to 'Embrace' the Game-Changing Technology
By Patrick Lucas Austin, TIME
AI expert and Sinovation Ventures CEO Dr. Kai-Fu Lee took the stage at the TIME 100 Summit in New York to discuss the current state of artificial intelligence, arguing that it will do as much for society’s well-being as electricity. In his talk, Lee also touched on how governments and businesses can take advantage of artificial intelligence to improve nearly everything from infrastructure to the relationship between individuals and the companies handling their data.
Copyright © 2019 Weber Shandwick



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