Weekend update: Microsoft's AR Army contract controversy, gaming analytics in 2019, data's relationship with marketing and New York's best bits

A compilation of all the most exciting, most engaging and most cutting-edge stories from the world of tech and business composed by the Innovation Enterprise team this week


We're used to a state of perpetual breathlessness as we keep up with the pace of technological disruption and this week has been no different. In the last seven days, we've watched Huawei finally unveil its foldable phone, just a few weeks too late to beat its number one rival Samsung to the punch. We've hotly debated Microsoft's decision to provide AR HoloLens' to the US army as employees claim that the "intent to harm is not an acceptable use of our technology" while the company countered by stating it would not "withhold technology" from democratic governments.

We've cheered from the side-lines as Google used DeepMind to improve wind power by 20%, even while Apple's self-driving car division saw 190 layoffs in the wake of flagging iPhone sales was a sustainability blow.

Below, we highlight some of our other favorite stories, interviews and analysis from across our Channels.

Five 2019 trends in gaming analytics

Gaming today is a serious business.

NewZoo estimates suggest that there are 2.3 billion gamers across the globe, spending a whopping $138bn in 2018. As such, there are countless brands dominating the industry, including the likes of Tencent, Sony and 

Blizzard, while startups nip at their heels, ready to break through and cause chaos if the incumbents dare take a breather.

Ahead of our Gaming Analytics Summit, part of DATAx San Francisco, on May 14–15, 2019, DATAx counts down the five biggest trends in gaming in 2019.

"Augumented reality: AR's ability to superimpose computer-generated images onto screens and use vision-based recognition algorithms to create sound, video, graphics and even smell has the ability to truly bring gameplay into the real world, adding a new dimension to gaming – literally."

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Data and the customer/marketer relationship

There is a serious Catch 22 in the customer/marketer relationship today: Customers want brands to know them better while simultaneously craving anonymity. It's a difficult situation to navigate, to say the least.

Ahead of the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in New York, we chatted with Mark Montgomery, global head of digital analytics at GlaxoSmithKline about data's role in crafting relationships with customers today.

"The assumption of a relationship does not equal a relationship and we cannot have assumptions in marketing," said Montgomery. "We have to be really focused on the end-user experience and build our relationship on their needs not ours."

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Making sense of the confusing world of IoT platforms

The IoT has whipped the global marketplace into a frenzy, converting skeptics into firm believers in its wake. However, with all the conflicting information out there, it's hard to know what and who to listen to. We throw our hat in the ring and take a look at everything you need to know when it comes to making sense of the confusing world of IoT platforms.

"Keeping up to date on IoT platforms: Above all else, don't let your hefty investment into an IoT platform be ruined by a lack of digital security. Data privacy and the integrity of your digital defenses are increasingly important facets of success in a competitive marketplace, especially since consumers are abandoning companies which don't take IT security very seriously."

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Alphabet's GV invests in light beam-powered AI chips

Advancements in AI today are coming close to bashing their heads on a glass ceiling as current transistor-based technologies are fast approaching the limits of their physical capabilities. One Boston startup, Lightmatter, thinks it's found the solution: Using beams of light on chips to develop super-fast AI.

And this week Lightmatter announced it has received $22m in a Series A -1 funding led by GV, a venture arm of Google's parent company Alphabet.

"Lightmatter is building a next generation computing platform at the cutting edge of photonics and AI, at a time when there is a growing need for new hardware-based approaches to AI acceleration," remarked Tyson Clark, general partner at GV. "We believe the team's theoretical expertise and engineering talent are clear differentiators in the market for AI accelerators."

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Ebook: DATAx Guide to AI in Healthcare

You can't have missed the legions of articles proclaiming that AI is the doctor's new best friend (several of which we've published on our own channels, we'll admit). From drug treatments, local practitioners and chatbots, to major surgery, nursing and health apps, AI is changing the face of healthcare for good.

Our latest ebook, DATAx Guide to AI in Healthcare, offers a snapshot of how AI could disrupt the industry, insights into the ways it is already starting to do so and some of the challenges it needs to overcome before the revolution can begin.

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DATAx presents: The transformative power of AI in marketing

AI is a disruptive force transforming marketing departments the world over. Its potential is huge, but its currently being limited by a general lack of understanding or willingness to embrace the technology. To understand why the industry appears to have been slow on the uptake, we spoke with Prasanna Kumar, global ecommerce/data lead and president of the APAC regional client team at WPP.

"The industry doesn't yet have a stable cost structure for the technology," explained Kumar. "While some solutions are free, others ask for 10% of media spend and most vendors do not define their offerings correctly – it's being shown as a silver bullet, which is not correct and rather confusing."

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A marketer's guide to visiting New York

And finally, we're really starting to feel excited ahead of Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in New York next month where some of the world's brightest marketing minds will be converging, including industry leaders from AP, Condé Nast and Captain Morgan.

That's why we've scoured the City that Never Sleeps to uncover some of the best spots for our visiting guests. From the common New York musts, to something for the Culture Vultures among you, to spots just made for a cheeky bit of Insta fodder.

This editor's top pick? The Museum of Illusions where "nothing is as it seems". From deceptively sized chairs to serving your own head on a platter, you're in for a load of like-worthy pictures for your Insta’ followers before you check into the summit to catch up on all the latest in social media.

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