Monday Miscellany 6 May 19

The not-so-smart speaker Artificial intelligence is as biased as the data used to train it, and the coders programming it. Last week, I came across a simple exam of the latter: It turns out that, if you are in England and ask Google Home to “play the national anthem”, you get the US version.   If … Continue reading Monday Miscellany 6 May 19

Limiting users’ time on Facebook, makes great business sense

Facebook has announced that it is rolling out features to help us spend less time on Facebook or Instagram. At face value, this is a surprising move for a company that has taken so many steps to create a platform that we return to over and over again (e.g., via notifications), to maximise the amount … Continue reading Limiting users’ time on Facebook, makes great business sense

A peak into tech giants’ terms and conditions

I don’t think that I have ever read a full set of terms and conditions from one of the tech giants. And I think that I am in the majority, here.   Most terms of service are extremely long, as illustrated by Dima Yarovinsky’s installation at the Visualizing Knowledge 2018 exhibition. The artist printed the … Continue reading A peak into tech giants’ terms and conditions

Phones in restaurants. Yay or Nay?

A pub in the Welsh town of Wrexham is offering 25% off the food bill to customers who lock their phones away, during their meal. The move, it is argued, is an attempt to get customers to “concentrate solely on one another and the fun night out they are having", according to the article on … Continue reading Phones in restaurants. Yay or Nay?

Instagram: one product, two needs

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, provided an interesting example of why we need to understand and focus on consumer needs, instead of being dazzled by product features. Talking about the launch of Instagram Stories, in an interview with Kara Swisher for the Recode Decode podcast, he said: We found that the biggest problem people had with … Continue reading Instagram: one product, two needs

Instagram switching to relevance algorithm – what it means for you

Instagram announced that it is changing the way it presents content in our feeds from reverse chronological order to ‘presumed relevance’. According to the company’s press release: The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and … Continue reading Instagram switching to relevance algorithm – what it means for you

Spotted elsewhere: interview with co-founder of Instagram

What? A short interview with Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, by BBC's Steph McGovern.   Where? Spotted on the BBC website.   So what? It is a short interview, but Steph McGovern and Kevin Systrom cover quite a bit of ground such as longevity on social media, Instagram's rivals, kids spending too much time on … Continue reading Spotted elsewhere: interview with co-founder of Instagram