Data Download: Accelerating Technological Change
Data Download: Accelerating Technological Change And… New Twitter, same as old twitter? View this email in your browser
Accelerating Technological Change
While many of us were left feeling a little sluggish after the holidays, the world of tech continued to race ahead at breakneck speed. Twitter has a new CEO in Parag Agrawal who replaces co-founder Jack Dorsey. One of his first moves was to announce that images or videos shared without an individual’s permission are now against its policies and can be removed on request.
Although most people are aware of phishing attacks or ransomware, Wired warned users to be on the alert for watering hole attacks. Elsewhere, Google got a step closer to human-level perception by teaching AI to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ simultaneously. But despite further hype and arguably fear-mongering in some circles, we don’t have living reproducing robots to contend with just yet.
All this comes at a time where the lines between fact and fiction continue to blur as NASA smashes an asteroid in the name of planetary defense. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. Scorsese producer Niels Juul hopes to raise $10m and make the first Hollywood movie funded by NFTs. With all of this combined with TechCrunch Live and the CMO Forbes summit returning, we can expect another busy week ahead.
As always, we value and appreciate your feedback and input as we start to plan for the year ahead.
The NYC Media Lab
An Introduction to Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s New CEO
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recently announced he would be stepping down as chief executive of the company. So instead, the baton has been passed on to Parag Agrawal, who has worked his way up from an engineer to top executive. Most notably, in his time as CTO, he oversaw the company’s decentralized Bluesky platform, which was touted as an open and decentralized standard for social media.
Could Agrawal’s background and interest in decentralized Web3 platforms be a hint of a new direction for Twitter’s future?
The Verge/ 4 min read
Google’s Teaching AI How to See and Hear at the Same Time
A scientific collaboration between Google Research, the Alan Turing Institute, and Cambridge University recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art (SOTA) multimodal transformer for AI. In laymen’s terms, they’re teaching AI how to ‘hear’ and ‘see’ at the same time. Although it’s early research from a pre-print paper at the moment, it’s a clear indicator that the race to make multimodal systems the norm is officially underway.
TNW/ 2 min read
Tech + Media
Twitter Will Remove Images Tweeted Without Consent
It was a busy week for Twitter’s press team this week. The social media platform also revealed it would be removing images and videos of individuals tweeted without their consent. In a bid to solve the toxic reputation of the platform, Twitter is actively trying to stop images from being used to “harass, intimidate and reveal the identities of private individuals, which disproportionately impacts women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
At a time where YouTube has removed the dislike button from videos, critics are debating if Twitter’s broad ruling could also be used to stifle free expression on the platform”.
BBC/ 5 min read
Scorsese Producer to Make First Hollywood Movie Funded by NFTs
Niels Juul is best known as the executive producer behind blockbusters such as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. But after getting frustrated with Hollywood’s antiquated funding system, he is on a mission to democratize the process by making the first movie funded entirely by non-fungible tokens (NFTs). But, of course, whether investors will get a share of any profits or be left out of pocket will depend on the film’s success.
The Guardian/ 3 min read
What Is a Watering Hole Attack?
As a subscriber to this newsletter, it’s probably safe to assume that you are digitally street-wise. So you probably won’t be caught out entering a password on a convincing-looking phishing page or accidentally downloading a malicious attachment. But what about watering hole attacks? After being included in several high-profile incidents lately, maybe it’s time to brush up on your cyber-self-defense lessons.
Wired/ 7 min read
What We’re Watching
NASA Is Deliberately Smashing an Asteroid in the Name of Planetary Defense
Hollywood movies such as Armageddon and Deep Impact envisioned a future where the world would need to explore ways to protect our home from planet-killing asteroids or comets. But once again, the lines between reality and fiction are beginning to blur.
Twenty years later, Scientists at NASA and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory are pinning their hopes on a DART mission that could eventually help us save Earth from a catastrophic impact. Watch how this double asteroid redirection test spacecraft will deliberately crash into a near-Earth asteroid to try and knock it off course.
CNET YouTube/ 8 min watch
What We’re Listening To
3G Is Ending. Who Will Be Left Behind?
Many are excited about the shiny allure of 5G and how quickly they can download boxsets on their smartphones. Others are daring to look further into the future and the possibilities that 6G will eventually unlock. But as we prepare to wave goodbye to 3G, could it make America’s digital divide even worse?
As telecommunications companies phase out 3G, Cat Zakrzewski reports how vulnerable Americans could find themselves left behind if the transition is managed carefully. In this podcast episode, the team discusses how users with older 3G devices can prepare for the inevitable.
Spotify/ 26 min listen Listen Here
Virtual Events & Jobs
Building Products In The Hyper-Growth Stage
Monday, December 06, 2021
This session is perfect for startup founders looking to derisk expensive decisions early and build to move fast without needlessly breaking things. It promised to shine a light on how ideas and concepts become a reality and how a PM continues to improve upon products long after they’ve made it to consumers’ hands.
Forbes CMO Summit
Tuesday, December 07, 2021
It’s hard to believe that the Forbes CMO Summit is now in its 17th year. But it remains the ultimate gathering for innovative CMOs showcasing resiliency and driving meaningful change during this period of uncertainty.
As marketing becomes more integrated with everything from technology & revenue to diversity & sustainability, CMOs are tasked with balancing rapid innovation & collaboration more than ever before. This session will cover all these areas as the great convergence begins to take shape.
Tech Crunch Live
Wednesday, December 08, 2021
Following product & business development roles at Uber, Annie Case joined Kleiner Perkins in 2018. She led Modern Health’s Series A round in 2019, & the startup, founded by Alyson Watson, has now grown to raise more than $160 million in funding. Hear how Case & Watson chose one another a few years ago & how they work together moving forward on TechCrunch Live.
NFTS Beyond Art: Community Building inside the Metaverse
Wednesday, December 08, 2021
NFTs are becoming bigger than art. Case in point: fish at the SF aquarium? Yep, they’re NFTs now. So what’s Universal Music Group up to? Oh, they just teamed up with Bored Ape Yacht Club to launch Kingship, the first NFT band to host activations & experiences in the metaverse.
What were once collectibles, limited edition merch, and indie Kickstarter projects are all becoming NFTs, creating communities of superfans eager to support their favorite creators and own equity in their projects. Tune in as experts tell us what the future holds for this new tier of crypto-community, engagement, and fandom.
A Deeper Look
Interesting Research, but No, We Don’t Have Living, Reproducing Robots — Yet.
When scrolling down your newsfeeds last week, you might have encountered the headline, “the world’s first living robots can now reproduce.” But before you get too concerned that kinematic self-replication will result in the rise of the machines and turning against humans, the reality is quite different. However, this latest research is nothing short of fascinating and is a must-read for anyone that likes to explore the exciting stories behind the sensationalized headlines.
ScienceRobotics and Ars Technica