Weird discoveries, spooky science – The future of marketing?

Just when you think things are as weird as they can get…

The future of marketing – Weird stuff

The world’s biggest artificial brain

Introducing the world’s largest artificial neural network. Researchers at California’s Stanford University have collaborated with the graphics company Nvidia to create a machine that models the way humans learn, with a whopping 11.2 billion parameters representing connections between real neurons.

Will it teach us more about the brain works? If so, the findings will eventually filter down into marketing, where they’ll make consumer resistance a little bit more futile.

Another massive brain experiment

BigBrain is the most detailed map of the human brain ever made. A 65 year old woman’s brain was embedded in wax then sliced into 7,400 or so sections and imaged. Why? To provide a better picture of how the different regions function… which will also filter into the marketing consciousness.

Memristor slime brings biocomputing closer

You know that bright yellow slime you sometimes see growing on rotten wood and leaf matter? It might not seem particularly useful but it could hasten the arrival of the biocomputer.

Apparently the slime has memristor properties, which means it can be used to create data processing circuits. The slime can be used to carry out all the logical functions of conventional hardware components, which hints at plenty of computing weirdness to come. What will I be typing on in ten years’ time; a jellyfish keyboard, perhaps?

The fine art of nudging your audience

World leaders love it. Politicians have adopted it with gusto and glee. The bandwagon is rolling. So what is ‘nudge’ and how will it affect the way marketers sell stuff?

Humans are fatally flawed. None of us make rational decisions based on logic. We are all prone to cognitive bias, emotional reactions and simply getting things wrong, all of which interferes with the lovely, clean and utterly fictional process of rational self-interest. Nudging people means subtly offsetting or exploiting these biases to persuade them to make better choices.

Governments see it as less crude than trying to change behaviour through the legal system, regulation or tax. Ideally it supplements tougher, more obvious measures. And in a perfect world those tasked with nudging would be accountable for the results of their nudges. But other than that, it’s interesting because it hints at new ways of advertising and marketing. Anyone who’s a fan of evidence-based marketing tactics will appreciate the behavioural insights gained from controlled nudge trials.

You’ll find the best selling book, Nudge, on Amazon.

 Google Glass

Back in 1968 Ivan Sutherland, then at Harvard university, created a head-mounted cathode ray tube display which let users explore wireframe graphics by moving their heads. More than forty years later Google Glass is on the way, a little less Steampunk but still quirky enough to raise eyebrows. Sometimes ideas take a very long time to come to fruition.

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