Friday Reading #91

Ah, you’re still reading this? I commend your commitment! Though you probably ought to get to the pub. Or at least we hope you’re picking this up on Monday. Though Monday Reading just doesn’t have the same ring to it eh?


Ford in Spain has created a smart crib that allows you to record a car ride through an app and then it recreates the movement and sound, to help babies fall asleep without their parents having to drive them around the block. The ‘Max Motor Dreams’  baby crib is a novel way to advertise the Ford Max family car range & is a brilliant creation which will be more than welcome to parents – and may be put into production if demand is high enough. Given that car manufacturers are increasingly looking to make vehicles into a tool for wellbeing, it’s a smart move for Ford to associate itself with a good night’s sleep for everyone.

AI has slowly but surely infiltrated almost every facet
of our lives online – from Facebook prioritizing newsfeed content that it
thinks you’ll be interested in, to Amazon providing you with a recommended
shopping list, we’re no stranger to the idea of machines inputting directly
into our daily routines. However, when it comes to managing funds and making
financial decisions, would you still be so confident in the decisions of AI?
WIRED have explored the issue in depth, citing one particularly significant
incident of a fake tweet from the White House
causing a $136 billion cost to
the market in around 3 minutes. As the article concludes, despite advancements
in machine learning, the challenge for fintech is one of ‘consumer trust’ above
all else.

Facebook’s iconic status prober, ‘what’s on your mind?’ was
originally a gateway for people to share thoughts, feelings and emotions with
friends, family and strangers from all over the globe, as a way of keeping
people connected. Well it’s no surprise that Facebook has gone one step
further towards the wonderful world of AI and have expressed plans to find out
what’s really going on inside our minds. Zuckerberg announced plans to
work closely with software engineers to improve technology that allows people
to type words simply by using their minds. Brain implants already allow 8
words per minute, however Facebook are hoping to introduce non-invasive
technology which allows users to type 100 words per minute
. Providing the
software is success, the platform could offer an  incredibly beneficial
communication tool for people suffering with a range of speech and language
disabilities.

What would a future without the smart phone look like? Well,
excluding any impending nuclear apocalypse or similar, the rise of personal
assistants, wearable technology and augmented reality are putting us on a path
with an end point pulled from a Philip K Dick novel. Computers are starting to
hijack our senses, and create a layer of technology between us and the world –
which either will allow us to remove the distractions of phones and plastic
tech
and bring balance to our experiences, or a Facebook glitch radically
changing your actual perception of the world.

As long as we can still play flappy bird, we’re easy.

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