Portraits, Programmers & Writers AI! – Beyond Social Media Show 277

welcome to episode number 277 of the beyond social media show the podcast for all of you marketing advertising public relations and communications professionals we are recording live on YouTube on July 27 2019 you can find us online by searching for us or just search for be on social media show this week we have a ton of things to talk about as usual including tact seal breaking expectations secret AI D a DEA database hey I portraiture emerging careers second acts retro Spotify boxed wine and cheese influence scams gabbard's gimmick and a lot lot more ble take it off the best story of the week what do you got well what's best about this story is that it became an internet wide mystery and then the Washington Post solved it and it's a story about how democracy needs good journalism so what happened was that on Tuesday the president made a speech at Turning Point USA student summit and in many ways it mirrored the production style that was similar to all of his rallies where he'd they have a big movie about him beforehand and how fabulous he is and and then he comes out and the presidential seal is behind him only in this case there were two presidential seals went on either side of the screen and one of them was fake and nobody noticed it was up there for more than an hour and so what happened was that on closer examination there were alterations and the seal was nobody knows nobody claimed to know who created it but on Thursday morning the a conservative group the turning point said they fired the low-level employee the old fire the intern thing who was responsible for displaying it so I tweeted when I saw the fake seal to begin with I said oh my god I hope it's a member of the resistance and as it turned out it was and so the person who created it was Charles Lizotte he's a graphic designer he's a former Republican he voted for Bush twice but he couldn't stay a Republican with Trump in office and he made this seal as a joke that was going to go to people he knew and he made a little website for the seal he said it's just a goofy thing I for some people I knew I had no idea would blow up like this so what he did was he substituted the arrows in the eagle's claw for a set of golf clubs because that's Trump's favorite thing to do and he swapped the olive branch for a wad of cash and he replaced the United States eople or boom oommen I don't have like every buzz yes he replaced that with a Spanish insult and the Spanish insult 45s Tierra means 45 is a puppet and so the Russian Eagle which on the Russian seal the Eagle there are two of them there they're facing each other so instead of the one that's on the presidential seal there were two and he wakes up Wednesday morning and there's a reddit group talking about the chaos I was happening and and you know they've they found his fake seal well any hope chaos followed the media came and everything else and so but loser says whoever did that knew exactly what they were doing because you had to look for it to find it it's been out there since 2016 he thinks a person did it intentionally said it's a load of crap that it was an accident there's no way this is an accident is all I'm saying so when the Post published the story that saying nobody knew everybody went looking and when you know when it was found that all the shirts sold out immediately and he said I've got to be honest I'm so tickled the most petty way possible that the President of the United States whom I despise stood up and gave a talk in front of this graphic whoever put that up is my absolute hero and you know what mine too so I saw reports that the person who did put it up had been fired but no reporting on who actually put it in the in the display behind the wall that he was that he was giving a speech to so when that person comes forward I'm curious about finding out who that person is well stay tuned so this I came across this well as going through scrolling through my LinkedIn feed the other day and I wanted to share it because it's just insanely creative it was from a post by a guy named David Tsai more simian not quite sure how to pronounce that name this person is a virtual augmented reality specialist I'm not connected to this person I don't know why I showed off my feed but it did and I'm glad it did so I'm scrolling through my LinkedIn feed and come across this video that displays an ocean tide that are rushing and it kind of just caught my eye because it's you know it's emotion and everything and it's ocean water though but the water was overflowing the frame of the LinkedIn social post so it was a tide coming in but the tides water flowed over and onto like user reactions at the bottom would they do that first I don't know the theirs came over the view count it came over the likes and the comments and the share button over the user comment but it was just a cleverly designed video that appeared to look like an actual LinkedIn post so the video was created by a guy named Tim gray there's a motion graphic designer in the actual post where a David same shared the video he he commented and this is common captures it perfectly now to get noticed it's vital to stand out so try and make sure you always present your business in a way that surprises and breaks with people's expectations this beautiful piece from Tim gray perfectly demonstrates the power of different and so you know the reason it caught my eye was the motion but when I looked I was captivated by the fact that it was you know if break it broke my expectations but a LinkedIn post is post it looked like so we'll share that a little bit embed the video in the show notes so you can take a look at it those it's brilliant how clever yeah wow that that's really that really is brilliant so this is sort of a cautionary tale this is about AI that the creators have decided is too dangerous to release and and it's reminiscent in a way of the story about the physicist J robert Oppenheimer who created the first atomic bomb and when he saw the first one explode he regretted what he had made and he said at that time and I have a link to the video where he said that he said I remembered the line from Hindu scripture now I am become death the destroyer of worlds and his reticence to his resistance to continuing to work on the atom bomb cost him his job and he was labeled as a communist he was blacklisted he never worked again in this case because the creators realized before they release it that they've made something that could be incredibly dangerous and they feel like they have to figure out how it can be harnessed before they can release it so this is like a problem waiting to happen so it's a revolutionary AI system it's called GPT 2 and it can write incredibly realistic news stories and features and works of fiction and it's so good that the risk of malicious use is so high that they feel like they have to have more time to discuss the ramifications so basically it's a text generator but it's pushing the boundaries of what anybody thought was possible in terms of the quality of the output which I'll which there's an example of in the article that's mind blowing and the wide variety of ways it can be used so for example you feed it the first line of George Orwell's 1984 or the lead of a guardian story about brexit and it completely writes credible plausible passages that match the originals in in style and subject and it was trained on a dataset of more than 10 million articles and the whole thing about AI is the training and how deep that is and they've picked the articles that they tried that if I'm really weird they pick the articles they train it on by trolling a reddit site and so the collection of text is 40 gigabytes enough to store about 35,000 copies of Moby Dick and that's the database and so by structuring the way that the text is input it can perform and also do translation and summarizing and it can pass simple reading comprehension tests often performing better than a eyes that have been built for just those reasons and they say they there are so many people better than us at thinking of what it can do maliciously and so we're not saying we know the right thing to do we're not laying down the line and saying this is the way we want to develop more rigorous thinking here we're trying to build the road as we travel across it this is scary yeah well I mean it's admirable that they are thinking about potential misuse of it and being cautious with the release of of what they've created but I kind of think that that's whether they released or not somebody's commit somebody well yeah exactly exactly so another depressing story this is this is actually good because it's an excellent example another another excellent example of Washington Post data journalism they have gained the newspapers gain access to the Drug Enforcement Administration's automation of reports and consolidated orders system as a result of a court order and what that is basically the the post team with HD media that that which publishes the Charleston Gazette and Mail in West Virginia and waged a year-long legal battle for access to this database which contains government and drug industry information that that was sought to keep secret the reason was keeps they wanted to keep the secret was it's a database that tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States by manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city so the post is made a public they sifted through nearly 380 million transactions from 2008 to 2012 and analyzed shipments of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills which accounted for the three quarters of the total opioid pill shipments to pharmacies so they've made the made the data publicly available by county and state levels to help the public understand the impact impact of these pills ship and some of their communities the records the the records provided a look at the surge of legal pain pills and obviously the fuel fueling the prescription opioid epidemic and that epidemic resulted in nearly 100,000 deaths during the seven period time frame that they they looked at so you can look up your own County and download the raw data I did that for for Carver County which is relatively unscathed by the open opioid epidemic but of course Carver County includes Chanhassen where Prince lived and Prince a famously died of opioid overdose well that is depressing but you know I mean there's there's a I I don't know if I can call it a larger issue but there's a big issue here and that is that there is a panic epidemic there are a lot of people who are in pain and there needs to be a better way to deal with it and and that I don't know if if or when that may ever happen but you know people don't start out taking opioids just for fun or most people don't but apparently the rate the rate at which you can get addicted is really quick like it is I would I would not I would take issue with the the notion of a pain epidemic I think we have been the same level of pain throughout history I don't think there's all of a sudden for some reason were ever a lot more people are in pain but it's the yeah it's the it's the prescription and the quickness to which you can get addicted and I think I think the the solution largely is is the legalization of marijuana absolutely I mean I have to tell you after my shoulder surgery that was the only thing that helped of course it was medical marijuana okay so so alright a happier story we need to have we need more stories like this this is about an AI application that turns selfies into these fabulous classical portraits and this is from a story in the verge by James Vincent and it uses an algorithm that's trained with on 45,000 classical portraits to render your face in a faux oil watercolor or ink there's huge number of styles everything from Rembrandt to Van Gogh and they each put out a very unique portrait I have not been able to try it because the result was so overwhelming that the site is currently down for maintenance but certain elements in any selfie will prompt it to use a specific style so that they say that the algorithm decides on the style depending on your facial features and that if you try a different selfie you may get different results and the privacy policy is apparently not one you need to worry about like with face app so when this comes back this will definitely be something fun to try yeah develop the app is the question oh well it's not Russians so this is another very interesting story this is from the Star Tribune Kevin burger is the is the reporter Susan Erickson in David Kawachi it's it's a feature on these two this couple here who are classically educated theater professionals and they are making their living reading aloud they are among a prominent and among the most prolific of an emerging form of artists which is the book narrator audiobook narrator they estimate that they that each of them has narrated more than 500 titles and they're skilled at using voices to capture an author's tone but also have an app for slipping into vocal Cadence's demanded by the dialog and they they use foreign accents they have regional dialects they use inflection to build a scene and create distinct characters who argue cajole over converse plot and sometimes fall in love they began narrating nearly more than 20 years ago when audiobooks books were starting to expand from just an audience aimed at those who were visually impaired but that obvious had that audience was obviously expanded a great deal to the release of due to the internet and and audio books but you know starting from cassette tapes to where we are now we're audible is a big a big business is pretty impressive it is the fastest growing sector of publishing audiobooks are according to audio publishers association us sales jump from jump to 2.5 billion in 2017 which was a 23% hike over the previous year and the six year of double-digit growth so audio books are no longer an afterthought they used to be released after the publication of a book went through its printed publication lifecycle and it was released on cassette tape now they're same-day publication of a printed book in the audio version of it so I was wondering who read all of that you know my dad is visually impaired and he has a machine that comes from the library is free and he listens to the Atlantic and he listens to The New Yorker and he says like a an issue of the Atlantic takes three days you know to go from cover to cover but of course he loves to do that because the writing so good but I wonder who did that that's so interesting yeah well I mean there's different versions of it like my my echo will read some Kindle books that are they're formatted to be read by a machine so it is a mechanical voice that goes reading in them there's the audible version where it's actually grabbed and recorded by actual human beings I have listened to several fiction books and I'm not really good at listening to fiction as an audiobook because I tend my mind tends to wander and with business books it's easier to do that not lose a lot of the a lot of the content but fiction books demand your attention so but I listen to a book called Lincoln in the Bordeaux which was just fabulously done there's the the plot the point the point of the the the premise of the story is Lincoln visits the the graveyard where his son his is buried and the the story is told from the point of view of all the dead people in the cemetery and so there's the billion different voices and they just did a beautiful job of capturing all the different characters of those those dead people in the cemetery I go on what's the next story the next story is about MailChimp which recently rebranded itself as Believe It or Not an entertainment company well they have an entertainment division so they've teamed up with Vice and they've created a five-part series that follows people who quit their day job to start their own businesses as their second act so in June they they launched this entertainment division and the headline on it that an article by Matt Lopez said you know MailChimp is making entertainment but why you know why not so they said that they had outgrown their original role and they introduced a bunch of entertainment projects including co-productions with a lot of different partners and award-winning directors and producers like Jason wall najran and her Kesha ray and they have popular talents in there and so this five-part series follows five people who quit their day job the first episode follows Paulie G a New Yorker who spent 30 years in corporate industry before deciding he wanted to open a pizzeria there are others who include Mary and Deborah Jones aka the Jones sisters they opened a barbecue restaurant to help Debra's daughter pay her way through college and then there's Abigail Carroll from Portland Maine who worked in finance for her whole career and quit to pursue a life as an oyster farmer so as for where is maelstrom getting all this money to make these major investments it brought in six hundred million dollars in revenue last year and recently told TechCrunch it's due to bring in seven hundred million this year that money comes from eleven million active customers who send more than one billion emails every day and they facilitate more than 1.25 million ecommerce orders every day through marketing campaigns sent through its platform so it's an interesting second act and I think it's a fun project that they're doing this is this is a fun project as well or I don't know if it's a project or not but this is from the Verge's John Farber who shared did a post on a concept artist named Sheng Lamb who has reimagined tech brands what they would look like if they were actually made for a bygone era and so this is like tech brands a retro imagination of a truck tech brand so Facebook is is designed the the the imagery for Facebook is of a disk drive and a floppy disk because you think of Facebook everything you're doing Facebook is regarded right twitter is reimagined as a telegraph key used for sending short Morse code messages YouTube is a VHS cassette and player SoundCloud is a portable CD player and Instagram is a Polaroid camera of course but they're just fabulous illustrations we'll share them for the link in the show notes very cool that's fun that's a little bit like the AI that turns you into classical portraits so this is a absolutely brilliant brand partnership that David Berkowitz pointed out in on the serial marketers newsletter there's a company called house wine and their wine comes in boxes and cans and they claim that their wine is as good as and you're going to get in any bar and so now they have a box that combines wine and cheeses and the site says they went like hotcakes if I cakes came with a side of wine and cheese missed out you're not totally corkscrewed our expert guide will have you pairing your wines with cheese and crackers like a pro and the Brent the blend that was in this box was I don't drink so this is weird to me 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot is that strange I have no idea I think wine is usually one thing yeah I think you're right yeah so but anyway I thought there was a very brilliant way of of doing the pairing oh cool I'm done with the good stuff where we got any more I don't so I have just one and this is from a story in Jezebel by Maria Sherman and it's about how influencers have been scamming their employers last year the Atlantic published a story about influencers with moderate followings who managed to take themselves on lavish vacations and they presented their holidays as paid promotions through a series of elaborate photos and hashtags you know the hashtag ad and they did that to attract brands and hopeful that they be included in more paid vacations in the future often that worked so marketers spend this blows my mind approximately eight point five billion dollars a year on influencers and that number is sapote is likely to reach 11.5 billion next year and so the business of fashion came up with those numbers and the check and the University of Baltimore also found that fake influencers with bought followers are going to cost advertisers 1.3 billion this year so there's a new study from the University of Baltimore and check which is a cyber security company and it was reported in the business of fashion they said fake influencers those who've purchased there bought followers to make it look like their mega influence are on the rise and the study says that and I think a lot of us knew this $49 buys you a thousand YouTube followers $34 buys you a thousand Facebook follows and the rate is cheaper on Instagram very convenient for Instagram influencers a mere 16 dollars for a thousand followers so Roberto kuvira's who is a University of Baltimore economist said he surveyed 10,000 influencers and he found that 25% of their followers were bots and he told he said that 50% of engagement levels on sponsored content is absolutely fake and that's just crazy but the article points out it's easy to spot the fakes if an Instagram influencer has more likes on a post than they do views it's probably BOTS liking the post if there's limited engagement but thousands of followers it's probably BOTS if there's a remarkably consistent number of likes and comments on every image instead of regular human fluctuation its BOTS so you know buyer beware so I'm confused the the power influencer scamming their employers right in other words the brands that dad and Tory them are thinking that they have these millions of followers when I thought they bought them got it that's is misleading headline it's like I was thinking that they had jobs yeah I know I know people who consider themselves influencers who have who and I have a job they go on vacations and set themselves up as as being so this mine is – a I call and this gimmick I think this is from CNN's Donny Sullivan who reports that Democratic Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google because she claims the company is being biased against her she the company Google suspended her came and she's running for president hurt one of the many and one of the many she the Google suspended her candidate her campaign sorry Google ad account following the the last presidential debate so the campaign is alleging that Google quote used its control over online political speech to silence end quote the candidate and said the campaign is their inability to run Google ads was they lost out on campaign donations as a result so after the first democratic debate last month Google released data that showed that gabart was one of the most or was the most searched for candidate during the fight the first debate and to take advantage of the momentum the suit alleges the campaign sought to buy Google ads as a way to reach out directly to people and then on June 28th two days after the debate Google suspended tell C's tell C's Google AdWords account without warning the suit alleges responding to the suit Google spokeswoman Reva Ashley tweto said in a statement that the company has automated systems that flag unusual activity on advertisers accounts including large spending changes in order to prevent fraud and protect our customers that's been well known for years that Google has that quote in this case our system flagged a suspension and the account was reinstated shortly thereafter we are proud to offer ad products blah blah blah Gabor's campaign alleges though that google or someone at Google didn't want Americans to hear tulsi gabbard speech so it silenced her the campaign also alleges that Google's email platform Gmail sends emails from the Gabbard campaign to spam folders quote at a disproportionately high rate evidence is not is not is not included in the in the suit but I just this is this is this is a way for her to gain earn media which she doing but so if you can't if people can't find your own website based without Search Search edge and you're running for president then you're doing something wrong cuz your website is not showing up if you need to buy at your website is not showing up – yeah and all the sudden – dawns on you yeah maybe we should buy some ads so you open up a Google ad account and spend a ton of money that's probably gonna flag Google and what's going on here three political campaigns are notorious for spamming people through email so it's not surprising at all that a lot of your email would end up in the spam button because a lot of it is spam so this is just this is just also gabart is apparently Russia's favorite Democrat because there's so there's reporting earlier that that there's some Russian activity around promoting her campaign so anyway bs all the way through I think that's all I have just one quick thing to say and that is that when Google's algorithm flagged something quickly is and under is an overstatement because it can take them up to three weeks to fix something that is incorrectly flagged so anyway yes that does sound like but well not entirely without blame that way in this case I would say that that they react they she got favorable treatment because they they reinstate her account so quickly yeah and and you're right we call on it yes okay so as I bring us to shiny objects so my shiny object is an app that turns your plant into a pet it's from my modern met and it you can make your house plant a pet that will tell you its needs it's created by Vivian Muller of MU design and it's called the luau smart planter and has your plant will show you 15 animated emotions based on how its feeling so sensors within the planter that you put your plant in trigger the emotion animation after they measure the moisture in the soil the light exposure the temperature so the planter is connected to an app where you can select the kind of plant or customize your settings and then they transform your plant into basically a pet so six of the animations are directly related to the plants health like light exposure isn't enough of vampire emotion will appear if you forget to water it as thirsty animation takes over it can even catch a cold or a fever depending on the temperature and when all as well it will smile it goes to sleep and it wakes up when it detects movement and then it follows you around with its eyes I am great I have in my house I have probably 40 plants some of which are 40 years old so I'm big into plans so this one tickles me but I like to think I know how my plants feel so is it named Groot I know it's not named Groot it's named Wow okay should be named root sorry so this is we've been talking about AI let's talk some more about AI this is from James Vincent of The Verge reports on this this app it says machine learning applied to programming so there's a new add-on app called deep not deep Tab 9 and it is a coding autocomplete ER and so programmers can install it on there as an add-on to their editor of choice and so when they start writing it suggests how to continue by offering small chunks of code at a time it's kind of like Gmail smart to compose feature but for programs it was created by a guy named Jacob Jackson he's computer scientist computer science undergrad at the University of Waterloo and it is trained on 2 million files from github the coding repository github if I find patterns in the data and then suggest what's likely to appear next based on that big Hugh data set it supports some to 22 different coding languages among the language there's a Python JavaScript Java C and C++ PHP Ruby sequel HTML CSS right now you can get a license for tab then it costs $49 for personal use or $99 for business use and individuals having you have to sign up for deep nines beta to get access to the new deep learning features and Jackson justifies the price like this tab 9 will save you at least one second per minute if you value your time at above a dollar forty per hour it will pay for itself in less than a year so there you go have you tried it i haven't tried it yet though i mean you know the whole issue of coding is like one little thing can screw up everything one little comma in the wrong place can screw up everything so i wonder if it equally so finds the errors when you have a good thing so he does say that you need to keep an eye on it but it is amazingly accurate from the from the people that were interviewed for this article the other programs that are you interviewed for this article of try to say it's amazingly accurate compared to other tools that they use the other tools that they use learn as you go so they learn based on your own use and so with this tool because it's already been trained on this huge data set from github out-of-the-box it's it's it's accurate and it's a it's effective rather than having to learn as you use it there goes another career i or my political one basically started to show off I think you have another political story I do this is a this is a too long must read one from the New York Times as kevin ruse called the title of as the making of the YouTube radical it's a good read to understand how vulnerable people can become rattle i iraq radicalized by watching youtube videos but also it's a good read good read to understand youtube's recommendation algorithm so the the article is mainly if it's a feature focus on one guy in particular who got sucked into into YouTube's far right videos and in white nationalist videos and get pulled into into that and how he kind of came out of it and one of the one of the ways that he came out of it was he came across some some left-winger videos that were counteracting what he was seeing what he was seeing in the right right-wing youtube sphere so they were contradicting and providing evidence that contradicted the right-wing videos and that the the left wingers were Natalie when cited in the article or Natalie went and Steve and Bunnell who are part of a YouTube group of youtubers they call themselves bread Tube there and there their specific objective is to provide value to counterweight to the right wing right wing YouTube and the tactic that they use is they are basically alger algorithm hacking or hijacking they by talking about many of the same topics the far-right creators do and sometimes responding directly to their to their videos these left-wing youtubers get their voice their videos recommend to the same audience so it's a way of harnessing what the right-wingers are already doing by talking about the same topics and then getting the recommendation from YouTube so that people who are seeing these right-wing videos are also getting a taste of what the abscissas geophone the opposite side of Safie nuts interesting interesting simply as how how YouTube works well I read that article and it really was fascinating but about isn't it about less than a year ago that YouTube started promising that its algorithm was going to show alternate views when it when it had videos on on on a topic well yeah they I mean was one of the things that they started doing is for its conspiracy related topics like the moon landing for example people who don't believe the moon landed or flat earthers who believe the earth is flat which believe it or not people do believe that they they in the description of those videos they like wicked with licks links to Wikipedia and I in a in a blurb that says you know this actually happened the moon was actually actually did land on the moon etc etc so that's one of the things that YouTube is doing to us yeah it's an article that really you learn a lot when you read it that's for sure so that brings us to your daily numbers yeah it does so this is tic TOCs the big thing these days the new hotness so some tic toc data on the demographics agent income of tic toc users and i'm going to pull this up to my other screen so i can actually read it and here we go so not surprisingly when a new social media platform comes along it usually is dominated by youth and tick tock is no exception 18 to 24 year-olds make up twenty five point eight percent of the users 25 to 34 year-olds twenty four point five percent of this is i read that wrong the US adult users twenty five point eight percent of US adult users who use tick tock or twenty eighteen twenty four percent twenty four so them mangling this anyway household income this one is interesting thirty seven percent or 100 and 100 thousand k or more so uh we'll put a link this chart on the show notes so people can take a look at yourself rather than me mangling it tick tock is is interesting it's also it is we talked about whether things are Russian or Chinese take that because it's made by a Chinese company so you got that gun for you as well I always wonder about the income numbers because I think people fudge those quite a lot when they're asked you what's your household income why would you say I make twenty thousand dollars when you when one of the options is two hundred thousand you know so I I don't know how accurate any of those numbers are when you're self appointed but those are definitely interesting numbers so that brings us to the end of episode 277 of the be on social media show you want to find us you just search beyond social media show and you'll find us on all our platforms you will find links to everything we discussed here today on beyond social media show.com slash 277 and so I'm here with David Erickson who is on Twitter as Dee Erickson on Instagram as de Erickson he's on YouTube as east strategy and his wonderful blog is e strategy blog calm he – strategy blog calm I'm BL aukmen I'm on Twitter as what's next I blog at what's next blog YouTube what's next blog my business site is B elecman calm and the show be on social media show calm where you will find everything we talked about in all of our episodes and you can follow us on twitter at at the s media show and that's it for today thanks for watching thanks for watching

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