Category: Disruption & Transformation

Welcome to the Era of Co-Writing … With Artificial Intelligence



Right now people are alternately blowing their own minds with the capabilities of ChatGPT and criticizing it’s current limitations. Whether you consider it dangerous or useful, the most likely use case for generative AI right now is as an automated tool to write faster (and perhaps better). 

Consider the fact that Microsoft is already experimenting with adding ChatGPT functionality to Word, Excel and Powerpoint. It is also inspiring artistic explorations, such as the vintage AI-enabled typewriter built by self-described creative technologist Arvind Sanjeev. It’s no wonder this is already being described as the “Year of AI.”

As the experimentation continues, we will see even more applications of this “co-writing” as writers and creators find more novel ways to use the technology. It won’t take long for classes to emerge on how to effectively write alongside AI. In the process, the discussion online about generative AI will no longer be focused on dissecting the content it creates in order to spot its flaws. Instead, the tool will quickly become a seamless part of how any of us create the written word … becoming as ubiquitous as spell check.

CES 2023: The 25 Non-Obvious Inventions, Technologies and Ideas To Watch



Welcome to the future. Or rather, the future normal. That’s what I expect to unfold today from the Consumer Electronics Show here is Las Vegas. CES 2023 is back with full global participation and much of the usual innovation we have all come to expect from the show. Thinner screens (and foldable now too!), lighter laptops, more connected devices for the home, AI-enabled everything, VR headsets and lots of automation in automobiles. Reporting from the trade show floor all week, here are some of my early picks for the most non-obvious inventions to watch and why they are so interesting.

1. CRDL Therapeutic Instrument

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Sometimes the most interesting inventions defy description and are rife with contradictions. The CRDL was the perfect example … a device that is a therapeutic tool, magical instrument and art piece all in one. It was easily one of the most beautifully designed products at CES this year, and won an innovation award too. The mission of the product is also magical, as it uses tones and human-centered design to enable more meaningful connections between people with physical or cognitive impairments such as dementia, autism, mental disabilities or visual impairments by translating touch into sound. “Different types of touch will trigger different sounds that enhance the emotional experience, enabling people to connect naturally and spontaneously.” The only thing that is a miss with this product is the terrible name. Obviously, “CRDL” is supposed to stand for “cradle,” but it looks like “curdle” or like the keyboard (Read more...)

The Most Popular Non-Obvious Stories of 2022 (Based On Reader Feedback)



Every week for the past year, I’ve curated the most fascinating stories every week in my weekly email Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. This year the newsletter was honored in the prestigious Webby awards too. It’s always interesting for me which stories seem to resonate most with readers based on how many email responses I get, how frequently a story is shared on social media and how frequently the link to the full story is clicked. Based on this combination of quantitative and qualitative data, here is a partial list of some of the most popular stories of the year, based on what my readers shared (scroll down to read the full stories):

  1. The Surprising Forgotten Medieval Habit of “Two Sleeps”
  2. Does Science Need To Be Dumbed-Down To Make It Meaningful?
  3. Why Humans Learned To Laugh (and Naming the Uranus Mission)
  4. The Predictable Failure of Unlimited Vacation Policy
  5. The Backstory of the Bookshelf That Converts Into a Coffin
  6. Is It Ever Possible to Avoid Buying More Stuff For Your Stuff?
  7. The Science Is In. Wearing Your Shoes In the House Is Disgusting.
  8. Oslo’s Secret Future Library Holds Books To Be Published In 100 Years
  9. Why Do So Many Media Personalities Use Our Hate As A Popularity Test?
  10. Why I Just Became A Noble Citizen of the Micronation of Ladonia

Note – Some of the most popular links are to stories that have photo collections such as the winners for the World Press Photo collection to TIME magazine’s best photos of the year (Read more...)

Magazines Create Empathy That Can Change the World. Here’s How To Save Them.



“The print magazine is an antidote to information overload, a form of media that contains a finite amount of content, releasing readers from the laborious task of deciding what to consume in the limited spaces of time in a day.”

Magazines are my favorite media. I read an ode to the power of the printed word in magazines this week and it reminded me of all the things I love about them. The process of curating this email is a constant battle to avoid overload, and I find that magazines always help. Unlike a lot of online content, the stories and images in magazines are usually professionally produced by real talented editors and creators. The long take they regularly offer is unique and their ability to select and publish stories that are timely without feeling outdated is a constant inspiration for me to try and do the same.

Sadly, many magazines are ceasing operations or moving to an online format only. The good news is, magazine subscriptions remain a steal compared to the cost of other things. So if you’re like some of the people interviewed in the article and have forgotten about the appeal of magazines, maybe now is a good time to restart some of those subscriptions you once had – or find some new ones.