Delicious Digest #4 – Aesthetic Intelligence, Propaganda Machines, and Anxious Achievers

A weekly newsletter of what I’ve seen in (mostly) tech & games and thought was interesting. This week: Aesthetic Intelligence, Propaganda Machines, and Anxious Achievers.

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😳 Must reads of the week

◼ AI is industrializing drug discovery. AI everywhere, the hallmarks of general purpose technology. How we can leverage this more in games? Link (Video)

◼ Top 1% of mobile publishers take 82% of downloads and 95% of in-app purchases. This isn’t new but a good reminder – and it won’t go away. Link

🗞 Tech News

◼ TikTok stays the most downloaded social media app. Remember: this is the first globally successful social network that is not owned by Silicon Valley VC money, but by a chinese company. If people weren’t worried handing over their data to Facebook, teens surely aren’t worried about handing them over to China (but maybe they should). Link

◼ Quality is hard, even for companies with “infinite” money: Apple is adding kill switches to iOS features. No brainer. The quality of the latest OS releases was truly horrendous. Link

◼ “To Truly Delight Customers, You Need Aesthetic Intelligence”. Interview with Pauline Brown, former chairman of North America for Louis Vuitton. Link

◼ Great eloquent speech by Sacha Baron Cohen (yes, Borat!) calling social media companies “the greatest propaganda machine in history” – and calling for more regulation. Easier said than done. Link
See also: Lies spread faster than the truth. Link.
and Amnesty International’s piece “Facebook and Google’s pervasive surveillance poses an unprecedented danger to human rights”. Link

◼ Interesting question: can you actually copyright work produced by AI? Link

🕹 Games

◼ Superdata: Consumers spent $8.84 billion digitally across all games in October. Link

◼ Mythical Games raises $19 million for blockchain-based games with “player-owned economies”. Link

◼ Chartboost launches “open source in-app programmatic ad platform”. Ads everywhere, easier, and better return. Sounds useful for small devs. Link

◼ VR continues to make people sick. Despite years-long hype and hundreds of millions of VC $$$ poured into it, it’s still just 2.4% of the global games market. Will it ever truly lift off? More innovation is needed. Link (sign-in)
See also: “Magic Leap Executives Quit as Company Struggles with Cashflow”. Link

◼ Games on the Apple Watch? I am not holding my breath on this one ever becoming huge. Could it be a gaming complement though? Link

◼ Minecraft Earth has generated 1.4 million downloads in the first week. Not a big hit yet but it’s apparently also a slow roll-out for this behemoth of a franchise. Link

◼ Malmö based tech startup from Playdead, Unity, EA DICE veterans aims to democratise building scalable and persistent virtual worlds for teams of all sizes, raises $2.5m seed funding. I am as skeptical about their success chances as I wish them to succeed. Link

◼ “Sony AI division established, deemed Critical to enhance value of gaming & sensor businesses.” AI everywhere. Link

◼ Amazon is reportedly working on its own game streaming service that may launch in time for Christmas 2020. If this goes like the Movie/TV streaming wars, it’ll be good news for content creator (i.e., us). Link

◼ Meanwhile, “Google Stadia is the best game streaming option around, but still falls short in almost every way that matters.” Ouch. Link

😋 Tasty Tidbits

◼ “The Anxious Achiever” is a fairly recent Harvard Business Review podcast dealing with mental health at work. Mental health problems still carry a huge stigma at the workplace and they can interfere with anyone’s career in many nasty ways.
Link (HBR). Link (iTunes). Link (Spotify). Link (Overcast)

◼ Nerdfest: connecting your iPhone to 1999 Iomega Clik Disk. Link

◼ “Sweet Child O' Mine” recreated in less than 5m only in GarageBand on an iPhone. Link

◼ For the data scientists and the artists: Mathematician Robert Bosch rereates famous paintings as solutions to the travelling salesman problem: each image is a continuous, shortest possible line connecting a series of points without revisiting any single point. Check out Mona Lisa. Love it! Link

◼ Facebook and researchers train AI to generate worlds in a fantasy text adventure. AI is everywhere. Link

◼ The origins of stop motion animation. Link (Video)

◼ Playing with fluids (in your frickin browser!). Strangely mesmerizing and calming, superduper awesome. Link (via Rob Sillery)

◼ Real world Fruit Ninja! Barcelona-based brothers Jordi and Arnau Puig are creating some stunningly creative photos. Swipe to see how they made it. Link

I work for King. All views in this newsletter are personal and my own. They do not represent the views of King or ActivisionBlizzard. This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only and it’s surely no investment advice. This newsletter links to other websites and information obtained from third-party sources and I cannot ensure nor verify accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.