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Technically Correct ≠ Good Branding
And can AI bring back the dead?
1. The Beginning of a (Much Needed) Rebrand
Let’s be honest, NFT (Non-Fungible Token) isn’t the sexiest name for a unique, blockchain-based digital asset. But it is still ‘technically correct’.
NFTs were never supposed to be a ‘consumer facing name’ and weren’t exactly focus grouped by the crypto enthusiasts that first began experimenting with them. Their extreme rise in popularity (and in some cases notoriety) was largely unexpected.
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And while not many were not surprised by the inevitable “bubble” bursting, the future use-cases for this technology became obvious.
Now, the largest companies in the world are beginning to implement NFTs, but that’s not what they are calling them.
And now, Starbucks is implementing ‘Journey Stamps’ into their loyalty program with over 25M million members. Participants in the Starbucks Odyssey experience will be able to:
“…engage in Starbucks Odyssey ‘journeys,’ a series of activities, such as playing interactive games or taking on fun challenges to deepen their knowledge of coffee and Starbucks. Members will be rewarded for completing journeys with a digital collectable ‘journey stamp’ (NFT).”
“NFT” has already become a loaded term. For some, just hearing ‘NFT’ is triggering for a variety of often unfounded reasons — with associations ranging from environmental destruction to total scam. But soon, these same people may become unwitting owners of NFTs themselves as they collect ‘Journey Stamps’ to enhance their coffee experience.
2. Ethereum Done Merged
The biggest event in crypto went off without a hitch officially making Ethereum a ‘Proof-of-Stake’ blockchain and reducing it’s electricity usage by over 99% (and global electricity 0.02%).
That massive reduction in environmental impact is expected to make Ethereum much more palatable for adoption by many ESG oriented companies and institutional investors.
The moment of the ‘Merge’ was live-streamed and over 250,000 streamers tuned in around 2AM EST to witness a historic moment in crypto. And the actual merging of the Ethereum blockchain with the parallel running Beacon Chain, in-real time and without a moment of downtime, is an impressive technical feat of coordination that even Budweiser recognized.
3. Ghost of AI Past 👻
Artificial Intelligence will be involved in almost every aspect of our lives in the coming years and it’s estimated that 90% of online content will be ‘synthetically generated’ by 2026. With the right ‘inputs’, AI tools can work wonders.
DALL-E can create beautiful images, Sudowrite can finish an essay for you, and chatbots can pass the Turing Test (tricking humans into believing that they are chatting with a real person).
These chatbots largely run on OpenAI’s GPT-3 software, the latest in language generation software. Chatbots can be ‘customized’ with inputs like quotes so that their messages can represent a character like Spock from Star Trek, or even real people (living or passed).
One grieving man did just that with his late fiancé —inputting memories and quotes before starting a conversation with the resurrected “Jessica.”
More recently, the concept was in explored in Rick and Morty. In the latest episode, Rick programs his late wife as an AI to always be ‘one room away’ — able to talk to him around the house as a form of comfort. As expected, it proves to be too much, and Rick has to flee that universe to a new one.
The entire concept is spooky, but could there be applications for AI for the bereaved? It’s certainly not the first time that the living have tried to get in touch with the dead as a form of therapy…
4. Coinbase Enters the Political Arena
With 2022 and 2023 being the years of ‘crypto regulation’, Coinbase is making moves to ensure favorable policy is considered.
Coinbase’s 103M users will be able to access profiles showcasing the attitudes of their representatives as it relates to crypto policy — and soon, users will be able to donate directly to their campaigns (with crypto of course!).
The scale of Coinbase’s userbase —one that is presumably already ‘invested in’ and ‘for’ crypto — will not go unignored by potential representatives. If this platform is effective in generating political action and donations, expect those running for election to lean into it.
…And In Case You Missed It
370 news words added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary including ‘metaverse’
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