For any bootstrapped business, especially in the chaotic information space, every year that passes is another celebratory year of survival. Ryan and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us and are excited to roll out an even better Inevitable/Human experience in 2020 – filled with an ever-evolving platform and new ways for you to get ahead of the future.
Speaking of the future, we thought that we’d give you a sneak peak of what emerging technology we’ll be watching with a very keen eye in 2020.
Just a fair warning, this is not us telling you to invest in Bitcoin in early 2017. No get rich quick schemes here. But we believe all of these to be “get rich long-term“ schemes.
Any periodic reader of Inevitable/Human could’ve guessed this would make our list. The Metaverse is the major evolution of the Internet. This migration is happening slowly but surely.
Facebook is betting big on virtual reality hardware – from their standalone headsets to hand-tracking technology. And they’ve just announced an Oculus for Business division that will focus on making VR experiences that help in the corporate setting. Adobe Aero is new software for creating metaverse content. And the Insta360 makes creating VR video simpler than anything else.
Anyone interested in capturing a small slice of the Metaverse must think about longevity. Best to invest little by little as this is far from an overnight moonshot. We suggest getting an Oculus and getting a feel for the apps and experiences out there first. Nonetheless, this year we’ll be keeping a sharp eye on small ways to get ahead of the Metaverse.
2. Brand Avatars / Digital Humans
Interrelated with the Metaverse would be digital humans. Aside from a couple of digital humans that have been on the cover of Vogue among other fashion outlets, digital humans are still uncharted in their abilities.
Mostly techies and culture-obsessed people have known about digital humans. But under the slightly different moniker of “brand avatars”, digital humans are going to get more play in 2020. In 2020, I think we’ll see brand avatar experiments for value creation in business. Specifically employing brand avatars on social media, in-store guidance, and as online points of contact.
Brud, the digital human agency behind Lil Miquela, and UneeQ, the agency that makes digital humans for business, are both of the companies we’ll be watching here.
3. Voice User Experience
We’re still in the gimmick stage of voice apps, where the apps are at best something to kill 15 minutes. But gimmicks are what laid the foundation of the Apple App Store.
Inevitable/Human will be at the Project Voice Conference in January 2020 – looking to see what everyone’s strategy will be for voice experiences in 2020. We’re looking forward to parlaying that information on to you.
4. AI for Value Creation in Business
I know this sounds fairly broad. However, we’re looking more specifically at machine learning tools that are not quite consumer-facing but have great implications for obscure automation.
GPT-2 is a great example. It’s the largest model for generative language, which has been used to create tools like Talk To Transformer. I used Talk To Transformer to generate a business plan. People can get creative with other NLP tools like Hugging Face – using AI to write for you. Come the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, you’ll hear more and more about AI writing the news updates (just like it did in 2016).
With the 2020 US Presidential Election around the corner, deepfakes are going to be on high alert. And while deepfakes have been crowned the narrative of media destruction and dystopia, companies like Synthesia are using deepfakes for automating marketing media. The business potential of deepfakes for business is extremely overlooked.
5. Miscellaneous Tech
Every year, interesting and random applications of technology always catches us by surprise. In 2019, it was the Instagram Bookstore, BMW’s incentive system for electric driving, the explosion of TikTok for marketing, live concerts on Alexa, and Ghost Kitchens were just a few.
We’ll be dragging our net on the bottom of the emerging technology ocean and surfacing more of these obscure uses of technology.
Overall, we’re looking forward to a great 2020 and hope you are as well!