future of #martech and #manufacturing and some #ai and #bitcoin worries

I read a lot across a broad range of topics that can broadly be described by #tech #innovation #busin
future of #martech and #manufacturing and some #ai and #bitcoin worries
By Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani) • Issue #3 • View online
I read a lot across a broad range of topics that can broadly be described by #tech #innovation #business #growth. Below are the best of the stuff I read this past week (I publish each week’s thoughts every Sunday). Feel free to discuss further on Twitter.

#marketing
With 2017 in full flow (where did January go?) - I published my own thoughts on martech and whether this year is going to be an exciting one or a roadcrash.
Meanwhile, medium.com, an excellent publishing platform which has transformed the way writers (and publishers) can go to market is changing its business model away from ads to a subscription model. Info is scarce on the ground but the company founded by Ev Williams (co-founder of Twitter) has and I think will continue to execute well. For me, publishers should not be worried about technology. Instead they should focus on content and medium is focused on helping publishers do just that. The publishing industry is slowly coming around.
#artificial intelligence
Unsurprisingly we are not seeing any slowdown on AI progress. The most interesting news I read recently was the creation of an intermediate language that allowed Google Translate’s AI to translate directly between languages it has never been taught to. I would love to uncover and analyse this intermediary point..
The games that can only be won by humans continues to diminish as poker - no limits texas hold em no less - has been beaten by AI. This is no mean feat as this form of poker (the most popular and often used in poker tournaments) is thought to be more art than science. The gaming companies may have to up their defense ;)
#bitcoin pains
Bitcoin has been in the public consciousness for several years now and the recent political turmoil has suggested it is mimicking gold in performance. However, it seems that the earliest adopters of bitcoin are being targeted and thanks to insufficient security surrounding the storing of bitcoin, people are getting their coins stolen. In itself this isn’t a flaw with bitcoin, but it does suggest that bank level protection is something that is needed quickly if bitcoin is to enter the mainstream. 
#future of manufacturing is already here
Copyright: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES
Copyright: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES
There has been plenty of talk around bringing manufacturing back to the western world to save jobs. However, commentary for over a decade has been around automation. In China, increased competitiveness has meant that it too has had to automate its factories to compete with even cheaper manufacturers from elsewhere. These aren’t countries just in the Far East like Vietnam but also Mexico where hourly wages are 40% lower than in China. Factories in China that used to be run by 650 employees, now just need 60 to get the job done.
So it is no surprise that the US and other western countries are able to be competitive again thanks to automation. In fact, the US has seen manufacturing double in the past three decades. The problem is that the US lost about 5.6m manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010 with 85 per cent of these jobs lost attributable to technological change — largely automation.
Further, the jobs being created are no longer for high school graduates. People need better skills thanks to the increase in technology in the factory.
#virtual reality
The ability to read thoughts from people’s heads is (whilst still amazing) nothing new - every year we get better at it - albeit the resolution is dire. With every advance comes the opportunity for abuse of course. Tamara Bonaci created a game to covertly read responses to subliminal images using a brain connected interface. The obvious leap is that VR headsets could potentially do the same.. cue VR manufacturers jumping up and saying they will protect their customers. Actually they aren’t saying anything yet.. as it hasn’t hit mainstream news. This is something that will need to be protected against - likely in the same way subliminal advertising needed to be prevented.
books worth reading
Stories of your life and others - short stories by Ted Chiang. Wired called it thought through science fiction. If you saw Arrival, it was based on the short story “Story of your life”. Worth reading.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - with the rise of fake news and the increasing torrent of information, Huxley feared we would be reduced to passivity and egoism and that truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Ring a bell? 
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Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani)
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