Tinius Digest March

Tinius Digest

Tinius Digest report on changes, trends and developments within the media business at large. This is our key findings from last month.

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Download this month’s report (PDF) here.

Insight March 2021

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6 out of 10 willing to share personal data with news organisations

A survey conducted by Kantar on behalf of the National Association of Media Companies (MBL) shows a significant willingness among Norwegians to share personal data with news organisations.

Download the report (in Norwegian).

Four main findings:

1

Willing to share shopping habits

58 percent are willing to share personal information with commercial news organisations, including shopping habits (15%), location (27%), income (16%) and date of birth (38%). 30 percent answer that they are willing to share user data to get ad-free content. 31 percent want more relevant news.

2

Young adults stand out

Norwegians under the age of 30 are more willing to share user data than their older compatriots. They are also more open to micropayments: 58 percent want to buy access to single articles or news content.

3

Expects ad-free subscriptions

68 percent say ad-free content is ‘important’ when they subscribe to news.  Only user-friendly login (82%) is more important than removing ads.

4

More consumption of foreign news

18 percent of Norwegians use foreign news channels weekly or more often. This is an increase of 50 percent since 2018.

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The most influential tech trends

The 14th annual Tech Trends Report was presented during South By Southwest in March. This year the  Future Today Institute has divided the report into 12 separate reports grouped by subject – and included close to 500 trends.

Download the full report – or the individual reports.

Five developing trends worth noting:

1

Diminished Reality (DR)

Diminished reality focuses on virtually removing or suppressing objects and other features from the users’ environment. DR will become commonplace over the next decade as smart glasses proliferate.

2

Sensory Journalism

Wearable devices with integrated sensors will change everything we know about user interaction. Instead of creating content for particular platforms, storytellers will optimize content for individual users’ senses.

3

Everlasting content

Artificial intelligence will adapt and update both software and content to relevant changes – making new software viable for 100 years and evergreen content genuinely everlasting.

4

Digital fashion

The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of traditionally analog products. Among these are digital fashion, virtual makeup and cloud-based virtual wardrobes.

5

Breakthrough for e-sports

The e-sport ecosystem snowballs and the pandemic have accelerated the interest in playing and watching e-sports worldwide. The increased interest both creates an opportunity for new leagues and a demand for professional training academies and university programs.

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Algorithm learns to recognize photos by itself

Facebook AI Research has unveiled the work of the algorithm SEER (SElf-supERviced). This algorithm trains itself to recognize the content it sees to a much greater extent than previous algorithms.

Download the research article.

Three main findings:

1

84 percent accuracy

The researchers gave the program 1.3 billion parameters and then let the program train itself on around 1 billion random Instagram photos. The algorithm achieved 84.2 percent accuracy, which is one percent better than the best programs trained by humans.

2

Expands the recognition field

Image recognition algorithms are normally trained by feeding them images, which in turn are tagged to let the program know what the image shows. The new algorithm makes it possible to scale the technology for a diverse world.

3

Widens the usage of the technology

Better image recognition technology can be used for everything from better image search, more relevant ad placements and moderation of content – to personalisation of news feeds and spotting tumors in CT scans.

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AI-research shift its focus to drug design and industry

The pandemic has not slowed down interest and investments in artificial intelligence (AI). Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence has published the fourth edition of the AI Index Report. 

The report aims to be the most comprehensive and credible source of knowledge on the topic. However, it’s a wee bit US-centered.

Download the report.

Four main findings

1

Growing interest in drug design

AI investment in drug design and discovery increased significantly in 2020. ‘Drugs, Cancer, Molecular, Drug Discovery’ received the greatest amount of private AI investment in 2020, with more than USD 13.8 billion (NOK117bn/SEK119bn), 4.5 times higher than 2019.

2

The industry shift continues

In 2019, 65 percent of graduating North American PhDs in AI went into industrial companies – up from 44.4 percent in 2010, highlighting the more significant role the industry has begun to play in AI development.

3

Mass surveillance increasingly ubiquitous

Surveillance technologies are fast, cheap, and increasingly ubiquitous. The technologies necessary for large-scale surveillance are rapidly maturing, with image classification techniques, face recognition, video analysis, and voice identification all seeing significant progress in 2020.

4

AI ethics lacks benchmarks and consensus

The need for a common ethical ground for AI development is obvious – but still absent. The field generally lacks benchmarks that may measure or assess the relationship between broader societal discussions about technology development and the development of the technology itself.

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Autocratization turns viral

68 percent of the world’s population now lives in autocracies. And the pattern is similar: ruling governments first attack the media and civil society.

The V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg has published its fifth annual report. It shows how 2020 was yet another year of decline for liberal democracies and press freedom.

Download the report.

Three main findings:

1

Back to the 90s

The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2020 is down to levels last found around 1990. 55 autocratic regimes engaged in major or moderate violations of international norms. Several G20 nations (such as Brazil, India and Turkey) are among the top 10 decliners.

2

Threat to press freedom

The threat to freedom of expression and media intensifies. 32 countries are declining substantially, compared to only 19 just three years ago. 2/3 of all countries have now imposed restrictions on the media.

3

Rays of hope

Democratization is still occurring, but small countries dominate this trend. Tunisia and Armenia are the two best performers, while South Korea and Ecuador resurge after a period of decline.

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U.S. commission predicts Chinese AI dominance

The United States is not prepared to defend or compete in the artificial intelligence area. 

That is the main conclusion from a bipartisan commission lead by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence has now published its final report – a 756-page wakeup call. 

Download the report.

Three main findings:

1

Chinese AI-threat

If the US does not act, it will likely lose its leadership position in AI to China in the next decade and become more vulnerable to a spectrum of AI-enabled threats from a host of state and non-state actors.

2

The U.S. needs allies

The report encourages the US to ‘enlist its oldest allies and new partners to build a safer and freer world for the AI era’.

3

The beginning of the beginning

The report describes the current situation as ‘the beginning of the beginning’ of the artificial intelligence revolution. A revolution that will impact the economy, national security and welfare.

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