Twenty-Twenty-Done or Twenty-Twenty-Fun?

Australian bush-fires, Suleimani assassination, plane shot down, Black Mamba, COVID-19's first wave, market crash, lock-downs, mass unemployment, negative oil, “I can’t breathe”, work from home, tech dominance, Beirut explosion, RBG, California fires, elections, vaccinations… How far we are from the naive and self-centered opening lines of my 2018 predictions : “Salt Bae made us swoon, La La… uhm “Moonlight” won Best Picture, Harry put a ring on it, we couldn’t get “Despacito” out of our heads, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) afford Bitcoins and the iPhone X”.

Yes, this year has been the worse. But we’ve made it. And…

How the Amazon CEO could take control of the world

A week ago, Jeffrey Bezos went to space. You of course know about this, because his few minutes off Earth got as much coverage in a day as climate change got all last year. Who knew irony was penis-shaped?

It’s been a busy year for the multi-billionaire : through 2020/2021, Bezos (and/or his minions) paid no taxes, busted unions, failed to comply to basic health guidelines, illegally fired workers, forced employees to live in squalor, killed hundreds of small businesses… But, hey, at least Jeffrey acknowledged that we are all paying for his midlife crisis.

The fact that we let…

And how to make it on your own

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Over the past 3 decades, Chris Hunt’s “real career” has been in fashion. In that time, he’s worked both as an agent and as a photographer/film director. Then came OnlyFans. In early 2020, he began working with a model specialising in erotic modelling. She hadn’t yet created an OnlyFans account but was considering it, having sold pictures and videos on other similar platforms. She asked Hunt to help her set up a profile and to take professional photos for her subscribers.

Hunt describes how it all went very fast after that. “We were hiring models by the day for our…

Affective computing and the dystopian future it promises

Facial recognition technology has become a part of our everyday life. But now… it’s almost old tech. Next up? Emotional recognition technology.

The concept is easy to grasp. A computer vision algorithm mimics what a human would do when looking at someone; having been trained to log specific points on faces, it will try to figure out what expressions someone is making, and link it to an emotion.

Effectively, an algorithm could tell your mood from the way you look, and offer a product or service in accordance. Got a smile on your face? How about a Starbucks advert for…

In as few words as possible

Photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash

A lot of ink has been spilt in the name of NFTs over the past 6 months. With that in mind, you’d think the average tech aficionado would by now understand what an NFT is, what its potential use cases are, the technology it’s based on… and why it’s such a dumb concept.

My guess is that this fog of war is purposeful : tech journalists cannot outright dismiss a new trend while there is so much excitement surrounding it. That’s doubly true when personalities such as Jack Dorsey and Michael Jordan are fabricating so much excitement around it. …

All Is Not Well In Music-Land

Technology may mean better, faster tools, but does it mean better music? As the music industry continues to slowly recover from the death of the CD, we must ask : “will it ever recover from Spotify”?

The music industry had a fantastic 2020, driven primarily by its Lord & Saviour: streaming revenues. Global recorded music revenues grew 7.4% and reached $21.6 billion, much higher than 2008’s $17.7 billion in revenues. At last, the entirety of the decline in recorded music revenues over the past 10 years has now been reversed. Streaming was the largest driver of that growth, accounting for…

Go Back To School? I just left!

You’ve seen the headlines: “Robots Will Destroy Our Jobs — and We’re Not Ready for It”, “You Will Lose Your Job to a Robot — and Sooner Than You Think”, “Robots May Steal as Many as 800 Million Jobs in the Next 13 Years”. Over the next few years, talks of the mix between artificial intelligence and robotics will only continue to increase. The subject of automation of both blue and white-collar workers will of course be at the center of that conversation, though matters such a war, body enhancements and ethics are also sure to gather a wide range…

Blockchain technology should ensure we’re paid for our data

Over the past couple of years, calls for the regulation of Big Tech have become mainstream. The likes of Facebook, Amazon and Google have been attacked on all fronts. Privacy, political influence, cyber-security, monopolistic behaviour… something needs to change, and said change needs to be BIG. One solution that’s been repeatedly put forward to solve many of these issues is making tech giants pay users for the data they use to create their incredibly profitable platforms.

As a stand-alone, the idea may appear ridiculous. How is it fair to ask this of these companies? How might we even go about…

Can I reach Nirvana through apps and corporate retreats?

Click here for more fun graphs!

Last year, I drove to a friend’s get-together in a remote French village. The roads were icy and I swerved into a lake. I passed out, and came back to underwater. It was dark. And cold. And I didn’t even know which way was up. This was it, I was going to drown. And then I noticed that when I opened my mouth, the air bubbles floated up, and that’s how I knew which way to swim.

This entirely fabricated story (from a great TV show) is a good way to introduce this mindfulness-themed article: when you find yourself lost…

You shouldn’t be able to put a price on everything

Picture the following scenario : you go to Paris. Once there, you head to the Louvre to have a look at the Mona Lisa. While in front of the painting, you turn to a nearby stranger. “I’d like to own this”, you tell him. The stranger, an accommodating fellow, waves a note and replies “Sure. Give me 65 million dollars and I’ll burn down an unspecified amount of the Amazon forest in order to give you this here receipt of purchase”. Because you’re a gullible rich socialite who doesn’t care about the environment, you pay him. So far, so good.

Adrien Book

Strategy Consultant | Tech journalist at | AI writer of the Year

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