The Future of Artificial Intelligence - Is It In The UK?

HERE/FORTH is bullish on the power and the potential of A.I. but we are also realists which is why The TimesInternational Business Times and Sky News all reached out to us for comment when Theresa May made comments at the Davos Summit about the UK's future in the A.I. race that is just getting started.


We'll post the Sky News clip soon but for now here's an screengrab (that Paul doesn't like that much).  ;)


Company, Helpful

TNN (The New Normal) Update

TNN has had an amazing first quarter. The info-feed Slack Community (see video below) continues to grow and 'Speak-Ups' from Wired's Rowland Manthorpe, what3word's Giles Rhys Jones and EVRYTHNG's Andy Hobsbawm have also helped add to the community through offline events. We presented a slide yesterday to the crowd which really shows the variety of people TNN is bringing together; from VC's, big brands, agencies of all sizes and shapes to entrepreneurs, TNN is connecting smart people. We hope you'll join us on Jan the 16th to see Twitter VP, Bruce Daisley, 'Speak-Up' on the subject of the Future of...Work. Don't worry

We'd like to thank TNN's amazing sponsors and recommend you use them in 2018;, Knomo, Sliced Bread Animation, Natalka Design, Firebox and Sandler Training.  

Helpful, Company

2017 C_NCENTRATE End Of Year Reader Survey

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Every six months we ask a selection of C_NCENTRATE readers how we are doing to make the next six months better than the last for readers. It's a task we take seriously. With +18,000 readers it's important to understand what's working and what they would like to see changed moving forward. Overall we're doing well with just over 59% of respondents giving C_NCENTRATE an A or an A* but it turns out readers miss the *MUST READ* element (so we'll be adding that back in 2018). Based on prior feedback we dropped the number of links from ten to five but it appears you missed them so we'll be adding a few more. Finally, the new design will be going live in 2018 - it was promised this year but work got in the way - we're excited to show you a fresh and streamlined look.


FOCUS: The top five answers (via categories) were; Emerging Technologies, Strategy, New Tools (new), Consumer Insights and Big Picture Analysis. These will feature more heavily over the next six months. 
MISSING: Three elements popped up when asked (unprompted) what C_NCENTRATE was missing; robotics, tweetable links (we’re honoured!) and content that discussed 'purpose'. We will look for content in these areas and add tweetable links to each
BIGGEST ISSUES IN 2018: The areas that readers are finding challenging; strategy, what should I do, Content Marketing, next steps in verticals/tech (social media, Blockchain, advertising) and A.I....A.I. is very much of interest to readers. We overdid Bitcoin/Blockchain, however. Sorry. 
MISCELLANEOUS: A few people requested increased frequency which is sadly something we cannot commit to at this time but there is always TNN, #social_lens, 8ight and 15 Minute Executive if you want more of us! Several respondents requested more implications of technologies for the everyday consumer so we'll do our best to include these moving forward.

NOTE: Sample size n=200, optional incentive used (75% entry rate).


A Busy End To The Year...

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From YouTube woes, Bitcoin's future to what the world will be like in the 22nd century, we've had a busy close to the year. The launch of TNN has been incredibly well received and we're excited to see where it goes in 2018. The final TNN of the year is next week (we have opened up extra seats) We're currently planning our trip to CES (let us know if you'd like a round-up of what we find there) and working with Coutts on a big project that we'll tell you more about in 2018.

Thank you for a great 2017. Here is to a great 2018 for all HERE/FORTH clients (past and present), all the C_NCENTRATE readers, #social_lens subscribers, TNN members and extended family. We couldn't do it without you. Stay well wherever you're spending the holidays.

Company, Interview, POV, Insight

BBC NEWS: "China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close"

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HERE/FORTH CEO, Paul Armstrong, was asked for his thoughts on China backing away from Bitcoin by ordering the closing of its cryptocurrency exchanges by BBC News: 

"China is shutting the exchanges down for good reasons - I think it's right they're being cautious at this time," Paul Armstrong, an emerging technology adviser and author of the book Disruptive Technologies, told the BBC.

"Bitcoin is by proxy unregulated and peer-to-peer, it's a very volatile currency."

However, Mr Armstrong does not think that this will be the end of Bitcoin in China for good. "They're shutting it down for now, but it doesn't mean that in six months or so they won't create new Bitcoin regulations like Japan and Australia did," he said.

"All the other countries have digital currencies and are making important decisions about it, so it doesn't make sense for China to dismiss it out of hand." He added that China's decision could prompt Chinese investors to seek alternative options to digital currencies, such as moving out of the country and operating exchanges or Bitcoin mining pools in other regions.



2017 C_NCENTRATE Mid-Year Reader Survey Results

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Every year we ask a sample of regular readers of C_NCENTRATE how we can tweak the newsletter and make it better. With more than 17,000 subscribers it's important to understand what readers want as needs change and we're in a period of significant change. We asked general questions and open ended ones – here are the main results and decisions we are making as a result. Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey.

Not signed up yet? Sign up here [free] and you will get C_NCENTRATE in your inbox every Sunday ready for the Monday morning commute (but naturally you read it when you want to!).

TOPICS: Respondents said they’d like to see less marketing, advertising, social media content (33%). Strategy remains a key area of interest/reason for reading C_NCENTRATE (50% want to see more). /// ACTION: We’ll be cutting back slightly on these areas in favour of things like big picture analysis, disruption, emerging markets and having more strategy signposts and analysis

NEW DESIGN: A resounding 68% of respondents favoured less links but more images and explanation. /// ACTION: We'll be exploring some new layouts in the coming weeks. Bear with us as this takes time/approvals etc.

EVENTS: 25% of respondents – without prompting – want to regular meetups to meet each other and network. /// ACTION: We’re exploring this and will be announcing something in the coming weeks. If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring these, please get in touch here.

MISCELLANEOUS: Several comments mentioned the flashing nature of several image assets distracted from reading the links. /// ACTION: With the new redesign we will limit flashing elements to the top and bottom of C_NCENTRATE. 

NOTE: Sample size n=500, optional incentive used (75% entry rate).


HERE/FORTH Launches New Product : #social_lens

HERE/FORTH is proud to launch our latest service, #social_lens.  Focused on social technologies, the service helps busy executives who need actionable insights not just regurgitated news.  #social_lens features analysis and platform deep dives besides the main focus - the weekly round-up. Using a private Slack channel, #social_lens covers Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ (along with other companies of interest).  Subscribers can receive alerts, network with other subscribers and ask questions in a safe environment.

Launch subscribers include executives from HSBC, Virgin Media, Snapchat, Maxus, Shell and Cyber-Duck who join others subscribers from companies including Santander, Apple, Google, SABMiller, Samsung, Mindshare, Citygroup amongst others.

#social_lens is the perfect companion to help busy brand and agency executives who are frustrated they are bombarded by ‘news’ but missing important insights and strategic help. Beyond great information in a digestible format, #social_lens enables subscribers to network, ask questions and stay ahead in the increasingly fast-moving and complex social technologies arenas.
— Paul Armstrong [HERE/FORTH, CEO]


C_NCENTRATE 2016 Survey Results


Over 300 subscribers recently answered our newsletter survey.  Here are the topline results but look out over the next few weeks for some changes.  

The top bit still rules but you want more.
- We heard the 78% loud and clear - the top bit will be untouched.  The links section is a very close second favourite with 'Use It' coming in last so we are thinking of using that space for something else.

You want to be able to share the content easier.
- Good to hear! We're looking into this.  Bear with us.

You like the Links section as text.
- We proposed moving the Links section to a more graphical interface but respondents overwhelmingly (78%) did not want this so we'll leave it as is.

You want even more strategic advice.
- 62% of respondents wanted more strategic advice so we're thinking about ways of breaking this out from the rest of the content.  The rest of the themes showed more variation, people want
MORE OF: Strategy, Big picture, Emerging markets, New tools, 
ABOUT RIGHT: Emerging technologies, Disruption, Startups, Social media, Advertising, Marketing, Video, Mobile
LESS OF: Time management, Work/life balance, Emerging markets

Some interesting nuggets
- The following nuggets came from the 'more comments' section of the survey.   We are considering trialling the following;  More retail info (no particular decision to stay away from it so we'll add some in), special editions (respondents like the varied nature of information but are also interested in 'Special' or 'Dedicated' issues - we're in, watch this space) and more Women (a couple of respondents wanted a Women's edition - we're researching this more too).