Category Archives: Uncategorized

Facial Recognition and AI Therapists

Happy New Year all!

A little before the holidays, Cathi and Nora recorded our first ep for 2022.

This time, Cathi talks about the news, initially reported by Politico, that facial recognition company Clearview AI received patent approval for what's being dubbed a 'search engine for faces'. Read Gizmodo's account of the details here.

Nora talks about Technology Review's look at the possibility of training machine learning systems on speech data from sessions between mental health professionals and clients. The idea is to look for patterns that would help improve therapy and train more (human) therapists, but Cathi and Nora talk about the potential for actual AI therapy to address the shortage in mental health access. 


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Holiday Special: Robots…and Meat!

It's our traditional Christmas wish list ep!

Nora would like a home robot. Product Hunt's newsletter recently touted some cool examples of home robots. She wonders whether home robots are ready for prime time.

Cathi would like...lab-grown meat for Christmas. Nora doesn't eat meat and Cathi's a hard-core carnivore. What will they make of it?

Hope you have a wonderful holiday, and here's hoping things are brighter in 2022. Thanks so much for listening!

 


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Trends: Group Buying and AI Meal Kits

Hello!

This time on the podcast, Cathi Bond talks about social commerce, which has taken off in China, and is growing elsewhere in Asia (via Fast Company) Fast Company talks in particular a company called Pinduoduo, which is a sort of group buying platform. 

Nora talks about Gobble, a meal kit delivery service that uses AI to learn more about customers' tastes, and customize food. Check out the article on Venture Beat (H/T @hypervisible) 


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Digital Nomads and Transitional Housing

This time on the podcast, Cathi Bond and Nora Young talk about interesting responses to two pandemic developments.

Nora talks about this plan to attract so-called 'digital nomads' to work in small villages in Spain. After a year and half of remote work, will (former) office workers opt to work wherever they want? What's the role for the face-to-face in the future?

Cathi talks about this intriguing design for transitional housing as an alternative, temporary option for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Toronto, like many cities, has an increase in tent encampments in the wake of the pandemic. Could this type of thing be a bridge to permanent housing?


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Futuristic Green Buildings and Virtual Walking

Hi there! On this episode, a couple of thoughts on the importance of access to nature. Cathi Bond talks about "farmscrapers": giant skyscrapers that incorporate organic-looking podlike structures and lots of trees and greenery to help with pollution. Check out the photos here. Nora Young talks about this thought-provoking article on virtual exploration through walking simulations in game environments. The author did it as a solution during the pandemic, but are there limits to simulations of the natural world? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/21052934/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Would You Sell Your Likeness and Portable Green Generators

Woo hoo! It's been a looonnnnng time, but we launch a new season of The Sniffer! Thanks for sticking with us. 

This time, Cathi and Nora talk about the potential commercial future of deepfakes and related technologies. Could we see a future of more manufactured images take jobs formerly done by real individuals? Would you sell your image for use in deepfakes? (story via Technology Review)

Meanwhile, Cathi loves a good alternative energy story! This time, it's a tiny, lightweight and inexpensive hydrogen engine. Read more and see how it works here.


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Trends in Customization and Cool Materials

Happy summer, all!

Back in late June, Cathi and Nora connected virtually in the middle of a scorching heatwave to talk sustainable futures in retail and materials.

Cathi brings you a plan by Ralph Lauren to let shoppers customize their own clothes, which would then be created on demand. The plan is also to disburse manufacturing more broadly, so clothes would be created closer to where they're purchased. Check out the interview with Chief Innovation Officer David Lauren in Fast Company. 

Meanwhile, Nora brings you a cool story via Scientific American about 3D printing ink made from microalgae, as a sustainable material for household objects.

Cathi and Nora are taking a much needed summer break, but will be back in late August fresh and ready to rock. Have a lovely, safe, summer!


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Retro Special: Return of the Catalogue and Vintage Denim

Hey there,

Cathi Bond and Nora Young meet again virtually with a look at some intriguing retail trends. 

Cathi got a Uline catalogue delivered in the mail. It's basically a company that will ship you...shipping materials. It's got her wondering if more regular individuals will be developing their own retail side gigs, and whether she should open "Cathi's Shed".

Nora talks about Levi's Buy Better Wear Longer campaign, which encourages people to skip the fast fashion and wear jeans for longer. It follows on their move to encourage people to customize and resell their denim (via Fast Company).


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Wild Innovations in Retail and the Hidden Cost of Machine Learning

We are back! Cathi Bond and Nora Young got together (virtually!) to talk future of retail and carbon footprint.

Cathi talks about Showfields, a digital/physical hybrid store in New York, and their new Magic Wand app (via PSFK). 

Nora talks about this article from two Université de Montréal professor/researchers on the 'hidden infrastructure' required for machine learning: the carbon footprint of training machine learning applications on lots of data. 

Hope you're all well and coping ok! 


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Trends in Autonomous Vehicles and Streaming Video

This time, Cathi Bond and Nora Young "get together" virtually from their respective homes for a pandemic-appropriate recording.

Nora talks about Zoox, the Amazon-owned autonomous vehicle company (check out the details and images at Fast Company). The shuttle design reminded Nora that Toyota is aiming at a similar shuttle application, and that autonomous vehicles supported by LIDAR technology was a buzzy topic at this year's CES. 

Cathi Bond has been thinking about Netflix, which has commissioned a ton of original content for 2021. She wonders if it could signal a return to the old Hollywood studio system for a new era.


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