Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ante Pelivan, iZone
Title photo: Opening ceremony was something like opening of the Olympic Games. A row of speeches, a row of confetti, and a row of light effects
Photo: Beto Ruiz Alonso
Before we start our review of the host of interesting lectures from the Next Web Conference, allow us to ask you an interesting question about Millennials:
Which emoji they believe best describes them?
The answer will come in just a few lines.
Conference as a warm-up for the festival season
Cues for lectures are comparable to the rows of people waiting for beer at your favourite music festival.
Photo: Marina Cumbo
Next Web conference is dedicated to the merging of technology and marketing, and is situated in an old factory in the centre of Amsterdam. The atmosphere at the conference was similar to the one at Zagreb’s InMusic or Novi Sad’s Exit festivals. Aromas of (very, very expensive) food flooding you from all sides. Most participants walk around with plastic cups of beer, and, for some reason, already at 11:00 am you can hear electronic dance music. The only difference is that the “performers” at this festival don’t have a procession of dancers on stage, but rather a bottle of water. Or in some cases a robot.
Terminator might be lurking behind the corner
This year the unofficial main theme of the conference was the artificial intelligence (AI). Data scientist Siraj Raval spoke of two pessimistic scenarios of AI development. The first is the extermination (the Terminator scenario according to Raval), and the other is manipulation. Manipulation doesn’t sound so bad next to extermination, right? Well, just remember all the fake news during the US presidential campaign and think again. The situation is so serious that Facebook is developing its own AI bots to counter fake news AI bots. A similar (pessimistic) view of technology development came from a security expert Mikko Hyppönen. According to him, the basic feature of all “smart” systems is vulnerability. Hackers are developing AI systems that will be able to disable the entire “smart” city and then ask for a ransom. We are in for ransomware on steroids.
At moments, Next Web looked like a Comic Con. 2018. Perhaps we will also see an Iron Man prototype.
Photo: Janus van den Eijnden
On the other hand, Craig Cannon from Y-Combinator believes thing are not so bleak. The life of opulence is at our fingertips thanks to the AI. The biggest challenge, according to him, will be to overcome our own limitations that often make us bring poor decisions (from interrupting a diet to adverse financial decisions).
Can we talk about marketing now?
James Temple from the agency R/GA has shown us that by using AI we can reach the holy grail of advertising – personalized 1-on-1 communication with the user. Nike on demand brought together 240 athletes and connected them with Nike’s sports experts, who during 6 weeks worked with athletes to achieve, or as Nike puts it, to crush their goals. Suggestions on diet, running routes or messages of support were generated by an AI, which learned what suits a certain user, but communication was led by real people. The campaign was a huge success, so Nike is preparing to scale up communication with customers with the help of – you’ve guessed it – AI.
Special rooms were organized for one-on-one business meetings, which was a great opportunity to expand business.
Photo: Janus van den Eijnden
Let’s move away a bit from AI and let’s get back to our question from the beginning of the article – Which emoji best describes Millennials? The
According to Ray Chan from 9gag, the majority of the 100,000 (onehundredthousand) Millennials surveyed in their study said they identify with this emoji. The explanation that Millennials gave on why they feel like is that their life is not going exactly how they imagined it, but that’s not a reason to shake the smile from their face. Bob Marley would be proud of them.
Speaking of the emoji, do you know which “saucy” emoji beat the mighty Apple? Member of the Unicode Emoji Board (yes, this position exists) Jeremy Burge told us a story about the great victory of . In iOS 10.2 beta, Apple decided to modify the emoji to the point that it could no longer be “used” for sexting. Soon the news of this spread on social networks, and after major uproar of users, in the next iteration, 10.3 beta, Apple brought back the :peach emoji: in its full glory. Sexting survived Apple’s attack.
We will end the overview of lectures with David Karp, founder of Tumblr, who talked about Tumblr’s political activism (for example, they were active in the fight against SOPA and the struggle for women’s reproductive rights). Karp believes that this strengthens the sense of community with users and they become a community in the true sense of the word. With a little courage, Karp says, every brand can create such a special bond with its customers.
Leader of the free world also pitched in via phone. He wasn’t happy with the conference though. Only fake news people!
Photo: Dan Taylor
This is just a short overview of all that the Next Web conference offered. We most certainly missed some lectures which you would go to, and the recipe to prevent that is very simple – be in Amsterdam in May 2018