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ANDRÉ CRAMER

… my view of where technology innovation will lead us

Month

April 2016

Must-Read to understand where Facebook is heading: Facebook May Have Peaked as a Social Network. But It’s Reinventing Itself as Something Bigger (Will Oremus)

Even before it was the title of a movie, the phrase “the social network” was synonymous with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s startup snatched the title from MySpace in 2008, and its pre-eminence among social networks has gone unquestioned ever since.

Now there are signs that it may have peaked. Not as a media platform, or as a place where people simply spend time on the web, and certainly not as a business. But as a social network per se—a place where people go to connect with friends and acquaintances—Facebook may be just beginning to wane…

Source: Facebook May Have Peaked as a Social Network. But It’s Reinventing Itself as Something Bigger.

Great Article on purpose-driven Entrepreneurship: Does Your Company Know Why It Exists? (John Battelle)

Many of the World’s Top Companies Can’t Explain Their Purpose. Why Knowing Yours Will Be a Competitive Advantage.

It’s remarkable to think that in an age defined by purpose, most large companies have no idea what their reason for existing actually is. The next 10-to-20 years will bring extraordinary challenges for big companies — nearly all of the Fortune 500 is threatened by massive secular change. If ever there was a time to identify your business’s core purpose, it’s now…

Source: Does Your Company Know Why It Exists? — NewCo Shift — Medium

Awesome Longread: Clay Bavor, Google’s VP of VR, on His Plan to Make Virtual Reality Amazing for Everyone (WIRED)

IN LATE 2013, Clay Bavor began experimenting with teleportation. He paired an Oculus Rift headset to a robotic arm, upon which he mounted a couple of GoPro cameras. When he moved his head, the thinking went, the cameras would mimic the movement, acting as a second pair of eyes. If it worked, he’d be able to “teleport” himself (or his eyes, at least) a few feet away. He still has a video of the first time he ever got it running: There’s Bavor, tall and thin in a t-shirt and jeans, standing among the contraptions with the Rift on his face. He reaches out his arm, waving his hand in front of the cameras at his side while simultaneously seeing it in front of his face. “Whoaaa,” he says to himself. “This is crazy. This is like the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.”…

Source: Clay Bavor, Google’s VP of VR, on His Plan to Make Virtual Reality Amazing for Everyone | WIRED

This is one key Point addressed where there is not much coverage about these days: Why messaging bots are a looming security threat (Karissa Bell)

How do you tell a bad bot from a good bot?

Last week, at its F8 developer conference, Facebook revealed the first wave of Bots for Messenger. These automated, interactive programs respond to natural language and allow users to shop, order food, read the news and get personalized weather forecasts — all without leaving the Messenger app.

Separately, messaging app Kik also revealed its bot store, while Slack and Telegram have been experimenting with bots for some time. Microsoft also made a big push for bots at its Build 2016 conference, introducing developer tools for creating bots for Skype and other Microsoft services…

Source: Why messaging bots are a looming security threat

Really great Insights: The Storyteller’s Guide to the Virtual Reality Audience (Stanford d.school)

As VR storytellers, we are charged with molding experience itself into story, and none of our storytelling tools have prepared us fully for that. As we stumble our way into this new, mysterious medium, we ask ourselves, “How do we tell a story for the audience when the audience is present within it?”

Being bodily present in the story seeds the need to be active, to “do.” But how does the audience know what to do? And how do we take their needs and perspective into consideration? To even scratch the surface of these questions, we need to better understand the audience’s experience in VR — not just their experience of the technology, but the way that they understand story and their role within it…

Source: The Storyteller’s Guide to the Virtual Reality Audience — Stanford d.school — Medium

That’s impressive: WeChat blasts past 700 million monthly active users (TechInAsia)

Well, we knew it was coming, but according to a new report from Chinese data tracker Quest Mobile, it’s now official: Tencent’s WeChat broke the 700 million monthly active user (MAU) barrier in March.

WeChat has been China’s social app of choice for years now, of course, but Quest Mobile’s report – which is based on data from both Android and iOS devices in March – shows just how far Tencent is ahead of the competition when it comes to user base…

Source: WeChat blasts past 700 million monthly active users

Great AI & Biotech Infographic: IBM Watson and clinical cancer trial recruitment (Business Insider)

Nearly 14 million Americans are fighting cancer, but huge obstacles stand in the way of finding a cure: It takes too much time and money to fill clinical trials, which are needed to explore whether a treatment is safe and effective. See how IBM Watson Health uses cognitive computing to connect patients with researchers — which speeds up the development of cancer therapies — in the infographic…

Source: IBM Watson and clinical trial recruitment

Great Overview on the M&A Race for AI: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple Grab and the Artificial Intelligence Startups they have grabbed

Over 60% of the AI companies acquired in the last 3 years had VC backing. There have been 4 major acquisitions already in 2016.

More than 20 private companies working to advance artificial intelligence technologies have been acquired in the last 3 years by corporate giants competing in the space, including Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Yahoo, Facebook, Intel, and, more recently, Salesforce. There have been 4 major acquisitions already in 2016…

Source: Race For AI: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple Grab Artificial Intelligence Startups

Some good thoughts on AI & impact on our Economic System: Will capitalism survive the robot revolution? (Zoltan Istvan)

Economic experts are trying to figure out a question that just two decades ago seemed ridiculous: If 90 percent of human jobs are replaced by robots in the next 50 years — something now considered plausible — is capitalism still the ideal economic system to champion? No one is certain about the answer, but the question is making everyone nervous — and forcing people to dig deep inside themselves to discover the kind of future they want…

Source: Will capitalism survive the robot revolution? | TechCrunch

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