Making Sense of What We Can't See
"I think about all the people before eyeglasses were invented. It must have been weird because everyone was seeing in different ways according to how bad their eyes were. Now, eyeglasses standardize everyone’s vision to 20-20. That’s an example of everyone becoming more alike. Everyone would be seeing at different levels if it weren’t for glasses.” — Andy Warhol

This quote by Warhol is relevant given the range of perspectives peppering our every day. Society could use a collective sense of what's happening before us.
According to CNBC, candidates are placing big bets in social media equating to over $350 million on Facebook alone. The message story is equally outrageous — according to the Wesleyan Media Project, negative ads have increased by 61 percent since the last midterm season.

Maybe even more telling is what's playing out beneath the surface. The manufacturing of consent is taking on completely new dimensions. Building off deep academic research decoding media strategies from the presidential election, The New York Times yesterday documented how a meme from the edges became the enduring message platform for the Republican campaign. The article documents how, in less than two weeks, a three-word phrase expanded from the corners of the right-wing Internet onto some of the most prominent political stages in the country, days before the elections.

In addition to the links below, I encourage you to check this out to see how different, and how fast, the media game is being reshaped beyond what's seen on the surface.

Chris Perry 
Chief Digital Officer, Weber Shandwick

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What We're Reading
Synthetic Content
Deepfake-busting Apps Can Spot Even a Single Pixel Out of Place
By Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review

The advent of AI-generated imagery has made it easier for anyone to tweak an image or a video with confusingly realistic results. Two startups, U.S.-based Truepic and U.K.-based Serelay, are working to help people discern true images from these manipulated creations.

Media Forensics
The Attention Games
By Megan Garber, The Atlantic

Americans typically think of attention as a relatively straightforward proposition: a thing people have, and a thing people give. Attention is currency. But it is also something deeper than that. It is also a moral good. It is a force that, summoned or squandered, has the power to bend the arc of human lives.

Synthetic Content 
The Skills Kids Need to Avoid Getting Fooled by Fake News
By Diane Stipley, Mashable

Today's kids may have grown up with technology, but that doesn't mean they're experts at deciphering information. A large-scale study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education found that young people were consistently unable to differentiate news from advertising, or false information from the truth.

Artificial Intelligence
Is Artificial Intelligence Set to Become Art's Next Medium? 
The Portrait of Edmond Belamy is a painting created by artificial intelligence that sold for $432,500 on October 25th at Christie’s in New York. The price was nearly 45 times its high estimate, signaling the arrival of AI art on the world auction stage.

Media Forensics
The Surprising Nuance Behind the Russian Troll Strategy
By Kate Starbird, Fast Company

A group of researchers set out to study internet discourse around #BlackLivesMatter — instead, they unintentionally learned about the Russian information operation to undermine democracy.

Artificial Intelligence
Global Preferences for who to Save in Self-Driving Car Crashes Revealed
By James Vincent, The Verge

If self-driving cars become widespread, society will have to grapple with a new burden: the ability to program vehicles with preferences about which lives to prioritize in the event of a crash. While human drivers make these decisions instinctively, algorithm programmers will have to make ethical decisions in a morbid real-life version of the trolley problem.

Media Forensics
Remember Bookmarks?
By Steve Rousseau, Digg

Feeds were not always the dominant form of consumption. Before, the internet was like a large book you could flip through. If we don't want to leave our consumption habits up to profit-seeking algorithms, the solution is the bookmark. 

Artificial Intelligence
20th Century Fox is Using AI to Analyze Movie Trailers and Find Out What Films Audiences Will Like
James Vincent, The Verge

Machine learning is, at heart, the art of finding patterns in data. That’s why businesses love it, and why film studio 20th Century Fox is using AI to predict what films people will want to see.

Emerging Technology
This Tiny Picture on Twitter Contains the Complete Works of Shakespeare
By Joseph Cox, Mashable

What if you could fit entire literary collections on Twitter? Scrap the 280 character limit: this week, a researcher demonstrated how it’s possible to squeeze the complete works of Shakespeare into a single, tiny image included with one tweet.

Deep Take
Announcing United Minds: A Weber Shandwick Consultancy
By Weber Shandwick
We introduced our Solve for X mindset to design solutions to the new and unforeseen problems clients face in today’s fast-changing environment. Now we’re doing more to put Solve for X into action with the launch of United Minds, a new global management consultancy that specializes in business and organizational transformation. 
Copyright © 2018 Weber Shandwick

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