Morgan Childs

Taking Tech Branding Beyond the Cliché

Clichés in the branding of new technology have become so familiar that their purveyors are ripe for parody, even outside the insular world of tech. But it’s still possible for emerging and established brands to find a unique language amidst the babble—and even to enjoy the process. Just ask the team at Aperto, a Berlin-based […]

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To bring “good” taste to scale, first build trust

Brian Smith knows wine. The co-founder of Winc and the company’s Chief Wine Officer (“The title you get when you’re allowed to give yourself your own title”), he studied to become a sommelier and even worked in wine production in Provence and Argentina. But when pressed, he expresses resistance to the notion that one becomes […]

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Podcast advertising sticks to no script

Blue Apron may be the presenting sponsor of the Crooked Media podcast Pod Save America, but it’s also the butt of the jokes. Although the fresh-ingredient meal service provides the show with polished ad copy, hosts Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett rarely stick to the script. Here’s what was on the menu this spring, according […]

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When machine learning detects mental illness, ethical questions arise

Instagram knows if you’re depressed. Twitter can indicate PTSD. Facebook posts and tweets describe a region’s relative public health. These are some of the findings of the research conducted by the Computational Story Lab, a group led by Chris Danforth and Peter Sheridan Dodds of the University of Vermont. How do these platforms know so […]

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Machine Translation in the Age of Displacement

Just a few years before the launch of Unbabel Inc., a global machine translation agency based in Portugal, the world was a very different place. In 2009, Greece conceded its €300 billion debt, sounding the alarm bell on a crisis in the Eurozone. Within two years, social media communication assisted in fomenting the wide-scale protests […]

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For more diversity in AI, a look to the next generation

Seek for reasons to fear the loss of women’s jobs during the artificial intelligence revolution, and ye shall find them. Here’s a headline in Bloomberg on a story about the 2017 World Economic Forum: “The Rise of Robots Will Make the Tech Gender Gap Even Worse.” That meeting took place in the shadow of a […]

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Designing the devices users fall in love with (or not)

Don Norman has a bone to pick. “This is an old Apple charger,” he says, holding up a USB power adapter on a recent Skype call. “So I was wondering the other day how much power it put out because I’m trying to find more powerful chargers nowadays. See, can you read it?” he asks, […]

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Could AI fight fake news? Yes—with the help of humans.

He was one of the first people to develop a self-driving car, and now he trains fish to play soccer. But it wasn’t until he began to grapple with the problem of “fake news” that Dean Pomerleau finally hit on a task that seemed to exceed the limits of plausibility. In late November of last […]

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Can upstart European contenders unseat Soylent?

Is anything more American than Soylent? Since it launched in 2013, the drink that seeks to meet the human body’s every nutritional need has come to serve as a shorthand for Silicon-Valley utopianism, in turn praised as an alternative to traditional “fast” foods and pilloried for taking an anachronistic view of the American food system. […]

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Can virtual reality convince people to believe in climate change?

Last fall a group of MBA candidates at MIT plotted to attempt the near-impossible: to convince skeptics that climate change poses an imminent threat to human life. The students aimed to inspire dialogue and collective action within communities, using seawater rise and its consequences on the lives of Miami, Florida residents as a case study. […]

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Neurostimulation Could Optimize Our Brains — If It Can Overcome the Stigma

Dr. Brett Wingeier has thought of everything. In late April, he demonstrated the design functionality of Halo Sport, a pair of headphones that purports to stimulate the brain’s motor cortex to “prime” it for an optimized workout. Along the inside of the band is a plot of soft electrodes that sink into hair and press […]

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