Thanks to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and computer processing ability, machines are now evolving faster than humans. At some point within the next decade, according to proponents of the Singularity, machines will become so intelligent that they will start making decisions for us in ways that we could never imagine or understand.
I've lost count of the number of articles I've read over the years declaring the death of online advertising. The reasons cited usually touch at some point on banner blindness, falling click-through-rates (the average CTR having dropped to less than a tenth of 1%), and the uneven distribution of clicks (Comscore's 'Natural Born Clickers' study for example showing that only 8% of Internet users account for 85% of all clicks).
There was something of a kerfuffle recently when it became public knowledge that travel website Orbitz were recommending different price ranges of hotels based on the user's operating system. Data mining had told them that Mac users typically pay a premium of upto 30% on a night's stay so they were using data to improve content recommendation, and in the process their chances of selling products at premium prices.
In the early stages of digital, businesses first dipped their toe on the Web by launching brochure like Websites which had to be located initially through a browser "URL" (WWW) followed quickly by search engines which organized the Web. Today, the Web and the digital landscape looks dramatically different compared to the Internet's frontier years. For starters, the Web has become mobile, with 1.2 billion of the world's population accessing the Web through a mobile browser.
"This is the first time the world has seen this scale and quality of data about human communication" Cameron Marlow, Facebook
Social Networks are of-course giant data gathering machines, and Facebook is the bucket-wheel excavator of data. I wonder if we're even coming close to imagining the potential of how it all might be applied.
When I talk to clients about getting into a 'digital mindset' I often end up talking about the differences between distributed and destination thinking. Destination thinking is the kind of media approaches that have been with us for many years. We create content, attract (or 'drive') users to that content in order to keep them there for as long as possible, serve advertising at them, or make money from them in some other way.
The future of social communication is mobile, at least if you believe the latest round of evangelism coming from the technopunditry. I actually buy it, mostly, and I think the idea of being immersed in a web of background, insight and opinion at any given moment is kinda cool in a cyberpunk consensual hallucination sort of way.
By embracing new Web and mobile technologies, green energy companies are creating a new Cleanweb movement in which formerly expensive alternative energy sources - such as solar power - are suddenly accessible to the masses at a significantly lower price point. Think of the Cleanweb as what happens when green energy meets Moore's Law.