New Thinking

Thoughts and insights from the thinkLeaders community

The future of advertising: Personal and contextual on all touchpoints

A future with fewer screens is not only imminent—it’s necessary for our future happiness. Typing on tiny keyboards is tedious, push notifications and ad interruptions are annoying, and social media’s endless scroll is overwhelming. A number of research papers have linked rising rates of depression and anxiety to increased screen time and social-media use. A […]

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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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How VR Can Be an Engine for Empathy

Virtual Reality is often called an “empathy machine.” The underlying promise is that VR will present an immersive experience with realistic emotive characters that will bleed off onto the headset user. In comparison to the detached position we may take with TV or film, VR’s allure is its capacity to more meaningfully convey the feelings […]

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With ICOs, Blockchain Goes Big Despite Big Setbacks

It’s impossible to escape certain buzzwords in business and tech media, and last year’s “bitcoin” has given way to “blockchain,” the technology that undergirds the cryptocurrency which promises to change how we think about everything. The summer of 2017 could be dubbed the Summer of the ICO, or Initial Coin Offering. Blockchain startups sell “tokens,” […]

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IBM and the USTA: Telling the story of a live event with digital experiences

The technology partnership between IBM and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) sees its 27th US Open Tennis Championships this year. That’s 27 years developing tools which allow the tennis community to engage with the game on a deeper level—almost three decades of innovation aimed toward spreading the action of the event around the globe. […]

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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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Building a brain trust for good AI?

Whether or not rapidly-advancing artificial intelligence has doomsday potential is a debated topic, with luminaries such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg disagreeing about the degree of risk. The overall threat to employment through automation and digitization, along with the possibility of AI learning to act against human interest, is either grossly exaggerated or a […]

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Automation and the world of apps

About a year after the first iPhone was released, Apple unveiled something novel: An “App Store” where users could download small software programs, or apps, designed especially for iPhones. It turns out users loved apps—by 2016, there were more than 2 million iPhone and iPad apps on the market. Apps comprise a massive part of […]

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Building an analytics layer for virtual reality

Companies can learn a lot about you by examining how you interact with a simple banner ad. They know where you came from and how long you’ve spent scrolling. With a pre-roll video spot, they can determine more. Now that brands are dipping their toes into VR experiences, they are poised to unleash rivers of […]

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“Alexa: What’s the future of conversational interface?”

Inspired by the conversational system from Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise, Amazon announced the release of Alexa, alongside its Echo device, in November 2014. What at first seemed unusual and futuristic has since become accepted and commonplace. Consumers are becoming more comfortable talking to their gadgets. Instead of going to a website or downloading an app, […]

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Follow The Leader

We have a leadership bubble. It might seem invisible, but bubbles usually are. What’s more, a surplus of leadership might seem counterintuitive in a highly networked, diffuse, and uncertain economy. But trends in business—and in culture and politics, too—all seem to gravitating toward a deeper entrenchment of the executive. And in a culture increasingly premised […]

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Innovating for people with disabilities: Why companies should invest in universal design

Sensor technology, automation, artificial intelligence and the evolution of natural-language processing have made our personal electronic devices more intuitive and functional than ever. In recent years, these technologies have converged to make up the Internet of Things (IoT)—that is, a movement to make everyday items “smart” by embedding sensors and enabling network connectivity. We now […]

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