Is AI Going To Make Most Of Us Irrelevant?

Is AI Going To Make Most Of Us Irrelevant?

Check this video out. I bet that you are going to be impressed by what Microsoft will be introducing to the mass market in the near future. In my opinion, it is impossible to not be exited about this technology from a technological point of view. Do you agree or disagree? What I’m not sure is if these upcoming technologies will be very good for the common men and women.

Thing about it. If you can clone yourself into a hologram, you technically can clone your brand. What is as amazing is that you can clone your brand to speak in any language you desire with fluency with this upcoming technology. Although the former is a dream come true to established brands, I bet that it will be a nightmare for the upcoming ones. Let me explain.

With all things being equal, would you rather book Mark Cuban “Hologram version” to speak at your convention or a local speaker? How about distance education… Would you rather study at Harvard University “Hologram Campus” or your state college for the same price? Do you think that your kids would prefer to watch Jojo Siwa “Hollogramania” in their bedrooms or attend a local kid’s concert? Well, we don’t know exactly what people would do for obvious reasons but you know exactly where I’m going with this. People would thing about it, wouldn’t they?

If people do, the small breed small town (city) upcoming artist is in big trouble. Perhaps, for the first time in human history, we are going to literally be able to clone ourselves in a way that people will perceive that they are getting the real us. We have done this with video technology and podcasts but it isn’t the same because the message appears mediated. Holograms are a different ball game all together because of its undeniable realism.

I honestly cannot tell you if college students in 2027 would rather learn from me face-to-face in a brick and mortar college or from a professor at Oxford in Hologram format if the tuition prices were comparable. I would argue that the “Dr. A” experience comes with passion, care and much feedback. However, let’s be real — I’ve never worked for an Ivy League university.

Oxford administrators would probably say the following, “That’s true Luis, you have face-to-face access to students, is passionate, caring, and provides much feedback. We have our Oxford brand and some of the very best scholars in the world who can deliver content to students all over the globe in their own mother language asynchronously. Hmmm, interesting.

foresee the wealthy, the powerful, and the elite cloning themselves and gathering most of the world resources in the near future. I’m not sure if the middle class will be able to sustain itself with such a threat. Artificial intelligence will be the fuel that the few will use to extend their domination. Colleges and universities will be forced to reshape themselves for survival. I don’t know if the public will choose the average option 68% of the time, which leads me to believe that companies will prefer to design and develop technologies for innovators instead of the average consumer.

Maybe the “average consumer” won’t have enough money to buy these innovations in the future. It’s a scary thought, I must add. Who knows? I don’t know. I’m intrigued and paying attention to the trends. It’s interesting, that’s for sure.

Is AI going to make most of us irrelevant in the grand scheme of things in the future? Perhaps.

 

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People Still Want To Buy Physical Books, You Know?

People Still Want To Buy Physical Books, You Know?

Ok. Let me just say this. Paperback books rose by 5 percent in sales last year and e-books declined 17% during the same time period.  The reasons for why traditional books rose in popularity is due to a number of variables that we will discuss in this blog post. At least this is what I think. So let’s maybe get started.

We still buy a paperback book because…

  1. You can hold a paperback book. I like holding mine! Do you like holding yours? It is easy to share the book with others too, if necessary. I love that.
  2. Not all reading is speed reading. I like reading books slowly, underlying words, writing in the book and not be distracted by links and stuff. Basic.
  3. E-books often hurt people’s eyes. Physical books are printed at 300 dpi. Ebooks are 72 dpi. No wonder why e-books are declining in sales in this country. Have you ever have a headache when reading books on your iPad? I have.

I don’t know if I’m the future we are still going to buy books in print like we are buying today. Only God knows what will happen in the future. What I also don’t know if there will be too many people who will read from these electronic devices in the future to be quite frank with you.

For now, paperbacks aren’t dead yet and millions of people still read them. Paperbacks are increasing in sales in this country. E-books are declining. I don’t know about you but I like underlining words in books, live without head and/or eyes pains, also.

The reality is that people still want to buy physical books, you know? Go figure.

 

The TechnoModeration Manifesto

The TechnoModeration Manifesto

Use technology but in moderation…

If you like technology too much learn to unlike it a bit. Get away from computerized devices to move more, help people, help yourself, celebrate others, exercise, go to church, go on a date, and read a book. Play, laugh, smile, enjoy, make it happen, and don’t forget to disconnect in the process. Do it now not tomorrow. Give yourself permission to be in control of your computerized devices use. Don’t be a slave to your smartphone. Converse and build relationships that last off-line and make friends not on-line followers. I dare you to control your life not technology. Focus, be alert, think, reflect and act. Be the change you want to see in others. Be in control of you and never, under any circumstances, let technology dictate how you live. After all, you are a son or daughter of God not an object to be plugged in a wall somewhere.

Live.

Why I Turn Off My Phone Four Times A Day

Why I Turn Off My Phone Four Times A Day

I turn off my phone four times a day. Let me tell you. I’m glad I do It and you should, as well. Why do I turn off my iPhone four times a day? Because I want to live the best life I possibly can.

I turn off my device before I leave the house in the morning to work, during my lunch hour, and after supper for about an hour and before I go to sleep.

There is no reason to have your device on 24/7. By giving your smartphone a break you give yourself a break, as well! Don’t wait until tomorrow to get a break from your smartphone today, I say.

It pays off to disconnect and as a value added, you can do so many things with your extra time. These are some of the things that I now do because I turn off my phone for times a day.

1. Exercise. I now exercise three times a week for an hour. The result: My blood pressure is lower and I lost 5 pounds already.

2. Go for a walk. My wife and I go for a walk at least one a week and we love it. We are now closer than ever.

3. Read a book. I found Seth Godin’s work by disconnecting! Love this. It has changed the way I see modern day marketing.

4. Rest. It is good to be at home and literally not be doing anything. Turning off your phone helps you to recharge your energy and that’s a necessity for anyone who wants to live a good life.

5. Master the art of timing. I now have time to critically think about those who matter to me and introduce ideas to my tribe, accordingly.

Moral of the story. Turn off your smartphone tomorrow. Four times throughout the day. Not just once or none. Give yourself the much needed time to recharge and live the life you deserve.

You won’t regret it.

Go See A Doctor — They Know What They Are Doing

Go See A Doctor — They Know What They Are Doing

 

Early this morning, I woke up with gunk all over my eyes, a headache and a coarse voice. It is Sunday. It is church attendance day for our family and choir performance for me. I thought about staying home and recovering from the numerous times I woke up during the night to sneeze and itch my eyes for a moment. Yeah… I forgot to take my Allegra D the night before and paid the price at 5:31am this morning. Lack of technology had an impact on me but it wasn’t enough to keep me home and not listening to the Sunday sermon. We were going, I told my wife.

As soon as we got there, I decided to stop at the food/drink desk, get a donut, and fill up my  water bottle for choir practice. I thought to myself… Crap, we left home without me taking the allergy medicine. This can be disastrous and I knew it. My voice gets scratchy every time I don’t take the appropriate allergy medicine.  Drinking water was my only option I had to attempt to control the allergy symptoms I was experiencing. Before the choir practice began, I decided to drink as much water as I could but my throat was still itchy. Oops, “this isn’t good news” and I knew it as singing with a scratchy voice can make me cough non-stop. Oh well, it was too late to go home and take my allergy pills.  Rather, I decided to go straight to singing.

As I begun singing church hymns in the Bass choir session, all I wanted to do was to cough. It took literally two songs for my body to say enough and feel the side effects of having no allergy technology in my body! I went ballistic on coughing right after. I had to excuse myself to get a bottle of water. What a terrible morning I had today. I paid the price for not using technology properly!   I am glad to be a TechnoModerator not a TechnoPhobic, that’s for sure.

As I was walking towards my Sunday bible class after choir practice, I passed through a number of good folks along the way. We exchanged both verbal and non-verbal communication clues until I reached my destination. The Study had started at 9:00m. It was 9:20am when I finally arrived in the meeting room. Sunday school lasted exactly twenty-five more minutes until the Sunday school teacher made a motion to adjourn the meeting followed by a prayer. Even though I was quiet during the entire class, my throat was still very itchy. All I wanted to do was to couch profusely and go home. In my way out of the door, our bible study teacher who happens to be a physician quickly stated, “Luis, I can see that your eyes are inflamed. You have allergies…”

At that point I thought to myself, “TechnoHitlers sometimes don’t understand that a trained physician don’t need technology in order to identify and prescribe a treatment to a patient… I left the room smiling and celebrating TechnoModeration. Although I had a rough morning due to spring allergies, today ended up being a great one as all the allergies I felt during choir practice didn’t affect me in the actual church performance.

Allergies exist are the are real.  Not sure about you but when it comes to allergies… I want to see an allergist in order to get medicine to alleviate symptoms. I trust a media doctor and their ability to diagnose an illness just by looking at a patient. I am not sure if I would be comfortable listening to health advice from a robot. It doesn’t seem right to me. Allergies Anyone? Go see a human doctor. They know what they are doing.

A Touch Of Humanity Is Necessary

A Touch Of Humanity Is Necessary

Eight out of ten small businesses fail within the first eighteen months in America. Who can deny that the odds of building and running a successful small business are totally against us, entrepreneurs. How can anybody create real change with these kinds of odds? It is very tough, I must add. Well lads, let me offer you a potential answer for this former dilemma. It won’t be exactly what you are expecting to hear but I hope you are taking notes. Are you ready? Here we go: In order for contemporary entrepreneurs to make things happen, they have to use technology combined with humanity.

Yes, you heard that right. You need to reinvent your craft by using both technology and human skills in order to survive these days, long term. Depending on peoples’ circumstances, people may be better off running a store on a truck, promoting their business through social bookmarking or hiring talented freelancers working on commission, I don’t know. Only by trial and error, we shall find out the answer but one thing is certain, our solution must involve technomoderation!

What I do know is that you will need to be different. Technology will be a part of peoples’ operations whether people like it or not; as well as, their ability to act like a fine human being exercising good judgement with others, building influential connections through meaningful conversations, and many times by getting involved in local affairs with passion and enthusiasm as a means to build goodwill with your fellow citizens.   

You need to be a river of innovation flowing towards an ocean of opportunities in real life! You can’t afford to be a dinosaur of ideas in a world driven by artificial intelligence. Stop! Don’t even start it. I am not saying that people need to be using their smartphones all the time or that life should be about being on the tablet all of the time. What I am saying is that the future of business is to be created by us all combining elements of technology and humanity with a touch of moderation.

Wow, I am poetic today! Do you like it? It reminds me of when I was a teenager, when I used to write poems for a fee for friends. Hey, entrepreneurship is nothing new to me! Anyways… let’s get back to the article.    

Listen to this middle age, foreign born, Brazilian-American citizen who loves to shop local here in Cleveland, Tennessee. This idea that technology in itself will solve all of our problems is overrated. What we all need to do today is to use social media wisely along with strong elements of public relations. As I said before, people will need technology in order to design and develop products and services. In fact, responsible social media work will be a necessity to advance people’s most intricate dreams along with tangible artifacts. There is just no way that entrepreneurs today can scale anything these days without a strong integrated media based method for positioning their brand driven by a strong message delivered by a human being.

Real differentiation in the market and client gain is now dependent on technology with a touch of human ingenuity. Remember: Maximization of human resources should definitely be a part of your business strategy innovators of Southeastern Tennessee. Don’t give up on the human element if you want to build a successful business in 2018 and beyond.

Let me leave you today with this: What used to work in 1975 doesn’t work today, for the most part. Department stores are closing their doors everywhere. Car dealerships now give 10K in rebates! Where are the librarians? People need to understand their local market and what they need locally, not globally. Use technology to help you build your brand but don’t ignore the fact that people, not technology, tell a resonating story to you audience. Your remarkable ability to communicate will be the differentiator. What I am saying is: Your humanity, as well as technology are the ingredients for success in 2018. There is no alternative.

How To Deal With Cyberbullying

How To Deal With Cyberbullying

An old U.S marine once told me that going to war is sometimes necessary. Despite all the advances in technology, we can say with certainty that human behavior is predictable and that cyberbullying will never be fully eradicated. If you love your child, you must train them to standup for themselves when a bully confronts them and tell them that facing a bully head on is okay. In the new age of information, we need to teach our kids more life skills than anything else.

Why so many parents are afraid to speak about serious matters with their kids is beyond me. Cyberbullying isn’t going to magically go away but teen suicide rates because of bullying can decrease. We need to help our kids to defend themselves face-to-face rather than making them believe that young and immature kids will stop bullying them especially behind the walls of a social media platform. Kids need to develop strong social skills at an early age and not doubt themselves by what others say on-line. Tell your child: You are so much more than what others say in these social media environments.

All this technology is handicapping our children socially and making talented young minds be scared for life because of cyberbullying. We need to do something about this issue in a meaningful way. Here is my solution. First, start communicating with your children early on about the importance of developing courage and the inevitable reality that they one day will face opposition in life. Explain to them that technology will never protect them from the dangers of cyberbullying or any other bullying. Make sure you tell them that in this world, what they do with technology, not technology itself, is what will help them to be somebody one day.

Second, develop a TechnoModeration strategy for your kids. Enable them to use technology for a few hours each day for educational purposes up to 5th grade. Don’t give your kid their own smartphone before they reach the age of 13 under any circumstances. Install and tell your kids that you have installed TeenSafe on their smartphones and that you will be checking on their smartphone activity once in a while because you are the parent, period. If they give you a hard time about it you tell them, “Ok. You won’t have a smartphone then because I am the parent.” Remember, you are not your kid’s buddy. You are their parent.

Third, when your kid reaches the age of 15, have a conversation with them about sex. Explain that in this life there are tons of predators who want to take advantage of them including those who will bully them for self gratification. Affirm to them that chances are high that one day, somebody inevitably will say something on-line that they won’t like. Give them the assurance that they can and probably should let you know when that happens. Make a vow with them! As long as they use technology moderately, you will pay for their smartphone bill. If you have a difficult time conveying your message to them when they reach puberty, ask someone you trust, a close adult friend, to intervene.

Lastly, before they turn 18 make a deal with them. If anyone attempts to cyberbully them, tell them to ignore the message and ask them to come home. Have a chat with them about the situation and remind them that sticking to themselves is okay. Help them if necessary. The goal is to train them that they, not technology or any other person, control their lives and that you are there for them if they need help. I bet that our indices of suicide in teens among those who experience cyberbullying would decrease exponentially.

Ladies and gents, we can make great strides in cyberbullying by being involved parents. Helping our kids with conquering these cyber challenges is part of our job descriptions as parents. Be ready to coach your son or daughter in this highly technological world we live in these days. Cyberbullying is a problem but we can fix it. All we have to do is to be a bit more involved and pay attention to the early signs of abuse.

An Unseen Problem: E-waste Is Piling Up

An Unseen Problem: E-waste Is Piling Up

Very few people can deny that electronics manufacturing is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world these days.

We are now producing tons of high-tech gadgets all across the world. People are buying these devices left, right and everywhere else, and it’s a trend that is unlikely to be shifted or rolled back.

The business of technology manufacturing is good, there is no question about it. However, all this excessive production of computer devices generates a lot of waste, or what a few of us call  “e-waste.” E-waste is electronic waste, including TVs, computers and smartphones, among others.

 Let’s face it. Our society’s technological turnover rate is staggeringly high, which causes too many of us to change our smartphones every year, even though our work wages have stagnated since the 1970s. People are now upgrading technology devices as often as babies’  diapers are changed.

One day you have an iPhone 6s. Six months from the time you got your brand-new iPhone, you are told your device is outdated and that it doesn’t give you the amenities of the new iPhone 7 model … only to later discover than the iPhone 8 just came on the market because hey, you need what is the newest and the most advanced technology on the market!

Why not release two new tech gadgets a few months apart in the name of innovation? Don’t worry, Android fanboys! You don’t need to be an iPhone user to buy one or two devices a year. There are Android gadgets all over the place for you to buy, many times over, every year if you desire.

Have you thought about what we do with the devices we don’t use anymore? I bet you haven’t.

Throwing away an electronics item is a big no-no. As the device corrodes, the chemical soup inside starts leaking into the ground, contaminating surrounding areas with toxins. Taking your device to an electronics store for disposal doesn’t always work either. Places can use the devices for scrap parts, but then some of the pieces are still thrown away or burned. Burning the device is just as bad. All those toxins are then airborne.

E-waste is a huge problem all over the globe. Waste generated from electronics range between 7,500 tons in Kenya to 60,000 tons in South Africa — all on the African continent alone. E-waste is a much more problematic issue in Asia where the volume of e-waste approached 12.5 million tons in 2015!

China now carries 6.7 million tons of e-waste. Hong Kong and Singapore have the largest e-waste per capita in East Asia, making e-waste a big problem there. What is the e-waste level of Cleveland, Tennessee? Do you know? I don’t, but I bet we have one.

Let me ask you this. Do you know how much future toxic waste you have in your house because you now own all these technological devices? I don’t know exactly how much, but I do know that most of us now have over 50 different types of chemicals and heavy metals in our homes, all because of our obsession with electronics.

Look, computerized devices are toxic and bad for your health. Don’t believe me? Listen carefully: Your smartphone contains heavy metals such as mercury, lead, brominated flame-retardants, polyvinyl chloride and, in some cases, polychlorinated biphenyls. At least, this is what was reported by the Daily Nation.

 Just because we have access to thousands of different gadgets each year doesn’t mean they are free from side effects. E-waste is a problem everywhere, and its consequences must be addressed accordingly.

What do we gain by acquiring all this technology if we destroy ourselves in the long run by contamination? We gain little, if anything.

As I aways say, “We are to use technology in moderation” — NOT completely surrender in our attitudes toward technology. Say “No” to the dangers of e-waste by saying “Yes” to moderation and reasonableness.

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)

Technology Is The New Pacifier

Technology Is The New Pacifier

Cabana is an activity I created to bring Sophia to spend time with me at night and calm her down during her terrible twos’ year. During the early stages of “cabana,” Sophia would come close to me and we would talk below the bed’s sheets. Initially, this activity worked out great as Sophia would then come to see me in the evening, play cabana, get tired and eventually ask to go to her room for nighty night. She would sleep like an angel the whole night. Everyday, my wife appreciated the activity as we both slept like an angel for almost six months straight. For a good while, the word “cabana” meant rest and play at night with daddy in our household. Not anymore.

Daddy! Cabana, Let it go? These are the new words that Sophia uses around 3:30am almost every morning after waking up three times prior to that from insomnia.  She also uses these words at 6:15am, after she leaves for daycare at 7:15am and when we come to get her at daycare at 6:00pm. She asks to play in the cabana at 8:00pm, and of course around bed time. Why are all these activities happening now, you might be asking? Well, it started happening after I allowed Sophia to watch a video on the smartphone while we were in the cabana one day.

I was trying to be a TechnoModerator but technology has back fired on me as now my kid can’t wake up in the morning or go to sleep in the evening without asking to have a smartphone video being played. Of course that in our house, technology isn’t played all the time, regardless of whether Sophia asks for a video to be played or not. But the fact of the matter is that she is constantly asking for technology to serve as a pacifier! At least, this is what it seems to me.

Do you know anybody who has a kid who is constantly asking for technology in order to be entertained? How do they feel about the use of technology in their household? What do you think will happen to the new generation of toddlers being exposed to all these technologies?