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Quick reads … Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Brain scans reveal a ‘pokémon region’ in adults who played as kids

By scanning the brains of adults who played Pokémon as kids, researchers learned that this group of people have a brain region that responds more to the cartoon characters than to other pictures. More importantly, this charming research method has given us new insight into how the brain organizes visual information.


Google’s AI Assistant aims to transcend the smart speaker

When Google launched its now distinctive digital assistant in 2016, it was already in danger of being an also-ran.

At the time, Amazon had been selling its Echo smart speaker, powered by its Alexa voice assistant, for more than a year. Apple’s Siri was already five years old and familiar to most iPhone users. Google’s main entry in the field up to that point was Google Now, a phone-bound app that took voice commands but didn’t answer back.


Where top VCs are investing in media, entertainment & gaming

Most of the strategy discussions and news coverage in the media & entertainment industry is concerned with the unfolding corporate mega-mergers and the political implications of social media platforms.

These are important conversations, but they’re largely a story of twentieth-century media (and broader society) finally responding to the dominance Web 2.0 companies have achieved.


Facebook will change video ranking to prioritize original content

Facebook wants to make it easier for filmmakers to grow their audiences and for viewers to connect with content creators. To do so, over the coming months, Facebook will change how it ranks videos. It will give more weight to videos based on their originality, intent and viewing durations. In a press release, the company said this will affect how videos are distributed across platforms like News Feed, Facebook Watch and Facebook’s video recommendations.


From Friction To Empathy: A New Branding Model

Traditional advertising is based on a reach and frequency model, which focuses on how many people brands reach and how frequently they can reach them. While the industry has spent decades perfecting this model, it hasn’t stopped to think what that frequency is based on: interruptions!


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