• Artificial Intelligence M&A Slows In April
    Unlike March, April had no $15 billion deals for artificial intelligence technology. What's more, not one April AI deal included an announced value. But the number of deals AI picked up - nine - remained well above last year's average of six per month. Being a long-time observer of tech M&A, however, I've seen this pattern before. While I don't expect another $15 billion deal all that soon, the combination of low value plus (relatively) high deal volume usually means timing is a factor. Expect more large AI deals to come.
  • Can A Modern Brand Dance Like No One's Watching?
    For the latest/greatest marketing technology -- and, more to the point, still-emerging machine-learning capabilities -- to really create awesome value, marketers must connect it to brands' emotional roots. Only by combining technology with core insights about the emotions motivating human behavior can we genuinely touch hearts and minds -- and thereby influence behavior.
  • Can A Modern Brand Trust 'Artificial' Intuition?
    Artificial intelligence offers endless possibilities for marketers - and everyone else, for that matter. It can predict disease from patient records far better and faster than any human method, and it can drive cars far more safely. For marketers, it can improve audience insights, helping us to better understand what content will most engage them. It can individualize ad campaigns, automatically, and at scale. But there's a problem looming: the most advanced computer intelligences cannot explain their thinking. They can't say why they do what they do.
  • What's Your Sci-Fi Future?
    Perhaps, like me, you're amazed and also find it ironic that some iconic science fiction stories are coming true. The Jetson's original video chat, for instance, is now part of everyday life.
  • AI Aids Medical Tricorder's Arrival -- 250 Years Early
    I can't decide which aspect of this story astounds me more - the fact that a consumer medical device with capabilities akin to Dr. McCoy's tricorder has been successfully prototyped, or that it was done by two brothers from Pennsylvania, one an ER doctor and the other an engineer, who beat out a Taiwanese consumer electronics giant.
  • Top 4 Marketing AI Startups
    Here are the top four advertising/marketing AI tech startups, as agreed on by CB Insights and Fortune magazine.
  • Blurred Boundaries: Where Might You End And Your AI Begin?
    This column is jumping the gun a bit, I admit it. But in the last two weeks people have started sending me links to stories about the crazy near future that are, like, totally blowing their minds, man. First, everyone is writing about the rise of artificial intelligence. Then there are "one step beyond" stories, like Bill Gates talking about taxing robots and using the proceeds to support the people they've thrown out of work, or Elon Musk's "neural lace" startup (which has catapulted into the popular press speculation about smartphones evolving hard-wired connections to your brain).
  • The First AI Acquisition Over $1B -- WAY Over
    March was a milestone month for artificial intelligence M&A. There were a cool dozen deals in March 2017, roughly double last year's monthly average. But this month's big milestone was the first deal for AI technology to top $1 billion: Intel acquired Mobileye, a maker of machine-learning-infused autonomous driving systems, for a breathtaking $15.3 billion.
  • AI: The Elephant In The Room
    Earlier this month, I co-moderated a roundtable with about a dozen prominent marketers and influencers from the Bay Area to discuss how AI is fitting into their plans. While AI is still in the early stages of deployment for most of these marketers, it is high on their agendas, and they are actively figuring out their next steps.
  • Can A Modern Brand Dance Like No One's Watching?
    For the latest/greatest marketing technology -- and, more to the point, still-emerging machine-learning capabilities -- to really create awesome value, marketers must connect it to brands' emotional roots. Only by combining technology with core insights about the emotions motivating human behavior can we genuinely touch hearts and minds -- and thereby influence behavior.
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