The marriage of biology and silicon is poised to unleash (literal) life-changing innovations

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Computing has already transformed labs. Now it is biology’s turn to reinvent tech and every other industry, a top McKinsey researcher writes. Never before have biology and silicon been so well positioned to interact in a way that will unlock new forms of innovation. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that biology will undoubtedly fuel computing. Conversely, computing is already powering advances in biology. Now is the time for innovators and investors to look carefully at this collision of science and technology that is creating a new frontier. Read Full Story

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How Silicon Valley turned true innovation into an overhyped delusion

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A new book examines the cost of “innovation speak” and how exporting startup values to the rest of our economy is a dangerous proposition. For as long as it has existed, people have been trying to replicate the magic of Silicon Valley, to capture some of its ineffable ability to produce true innovation—inventions that have changed many people’s lives for the better. But despite its real claim to innovation, Silicon Valley has also come to represent something less tangible. Andrew Russell, professor of history and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Lee Vinsel, a professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech, call it “innovation speak.” Read Full Story

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Once we can work from anywhere, does the world need Silicon Valley?

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With tech companies saying they’ll let staffers choose where to live, entrepreneurs and technologists might finally stop flocking to the Bay Area. As pundits and industry insiders line up to say farewell to the dream of the Bay Area and the mythos that accompanies it, Silicon Valley veterans who have weathered previous storms remain skeptical much will change. After all, the cradle of innovation on California’s coast has already survived multiple major downturns, including the dot-com crash of the late 90s and the financial crisis of 2008. Read Full Story

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Silicon Valley expects a chillier relationship with Biden than Obama

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Times have changed since the Obama administration did little to regulate the tech industry. “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan,” says Biden. Now that the Biden administration has announced a transition team and is gradually announcing key advisory and cabinet appointments, the posture of the new administration toward Silicon Valley is becoming clearer. And it’s not the look of a budding friendship. Read Full Story

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Bumble hits 100 million users—and has new plans to take over the dating world

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Led by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, the dating app has a new president and board of directors and is already imagining a new wave of values-based innovations. Just as Bumble, the dating app that allows women to swipe first, hits a milestone of 100 million users, the company is announcing a major reorganization and rebranding that will make the mission-oriented company the new overseer of its sibling dating app, Badoo. Until now, the two apps had been under the umbrella of the holding company MagicLab. But that company is being renamed Bumble after its flagship product. Read Full Story

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Google near the top of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators

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Here’s why Google remains one of the world’s Best Workplaces for Innovators. Whether its famous “20% rule” ever actually existed has become a matter of some debate, but there’s no arguing that Google’s Nine Principles of Innovation (including “Aim to be ten times better,” “Ship and iterate,” and “Fail well”) spawned such high-profile products as Google News, Google Alerts, and Google Maps Street View. The relentless focus on innovation that turned Google into the world’s leader in web services is now driving its recent breakthroughs in quantum computing. Read Full Story

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The secret to building a smart city that’s anti-racist

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Instead of simply extracting data from residents, make sure communities get involved in deciding how technology is deployed. In the face of COVID-19, the smart city movement has increasingly gained momentum. Drones, autonomous freights, and AI-based remote temperature sensing are among some of the new technologies that companies have partnered with cities to deploy in recent months. Smart city advocates insist that the crisis provides a key opportunity to digitally transform urban spaces for good. As the Silicon Valley “innovation firm” Strategy of Things notes, “The adoption of innovative smart city technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and 5G, offers the potential for cities to respond to the pandemic more effectively and will be crucial in both curbing the spread of the virus and restarting our economy.” Read Full Story

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Top 10 marketing-related AI thought leaders to follow

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30-second summary: AI can help marketers deliver better overall customer experiences across all digital channels. The key to success is in using it logically, ethically and in key areas where it can assist, save time and resource and help scale campaigns and performance. To gain a better understanding of the benefits to marketing it is best to build your knowledge from a wide range of perspectives to identify the best use cases. We look at 10 influencers worth following to get a good handle on how AI can and should effect the marketing sector. Adoption of Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing worldwide, with a recent IDC report identifying the ability to deliver a better customer experience, greater employee efficiency and accelerated innovation as the leading drivers for adoption. AI now powers marketing processes across the customer journey, from insights, search optimization and content marketing to personalization conversion optimization, predictive analytics, …

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MIT researchers create a reusable silicone mask to replace the N95

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The mask can be easily cleaned after each use, so it could help solve supply issues. And it’s clear, which could help with communication. As new coronavirus cases spike in the U.S.—Florida alone now has 12 times more cases than the entire country of Australia—healthcare workers still face a shortage of N95 masks. Many hospitals are now reusing the masks, even though they’re intended to be thrown out after a single use. Various solutions for disinfecting masks or increasing the supply are in the works , but a new silicone mask now in development is designed to be used and sterilized repeatedly, and could be as effective as the gold standard of an N95 respirator. Read Full Story

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