It's time for everybody's favorite quiz on recent news from the intersection of marketing, media, tech and pop-culture. Good luck!
1. The New York Times recent reporting on The Spooky Side of Machine Learning, included a project in which artificial intelligence was trained to come up with Halloween costume ideas. Which of the following was not one of the costumes created by AI:
A. Zombie Schoolgirl
B. Toaster Boy
C. Ruth Bader Hat Guy
D. Frankenstein's Bunny
E. Vampire Baseball Clown
ANSWER: E According to the Times, the neural network in the project produced different names at different stages or "epochs" of training that included Zombie Schoolgirl, Toaster Boy, Ruth Bader Hat Guy, Frankenstein's Bunny and Baseball Clown, to which we changed to Vampire Baseball Clown. One of our favorites was Donald McDonald, a cross between Ronald McDonald and the Donald. None of these, however, beat McGrimace dressed as Thanos at ComicCon.
2. Which of the following was not seen as a potential global development in next few years according to a new survey of C-level executives from AT Kearney:
A. Global 500 companies will be increasingly vulnerable to fake news campaigns
B. Corporate leaders will increasingly be expected to play roles in society beyond narrow corporate interests
C. Backlash against GDPR in the will inspire other countries to slow down efforts to expand privacy regulations
D. Extreme weather events will act as a drag on economic growth
Answer: C According to eMarketer reporting on a study titled "2018 Views from the C-Suite: An Annual Survey of Global Business Executives" from AT Kearney, each of these is something C-suite executives expect to see in the next few years - except for item C. Instead of a backlash against GDPR, the survey finds executives believe GDPR will inspire other countries to expand privacy regulations. Case in point: California's Consumer Privacy Act will have a dramatic impact on how tech companies, collect, store and use consumer data when it goes into effect in 2020.
3. Which of the following television shows had their premiere on October 25, 1971?
A. The Superfriends
B. Electric Company
C. Sigmund and the Sea Monsters
D. The Brady Kids Go to Rehab
Answer: B The Electric Company debuted on October 25, 1971 and starred heavy hitters from stage, screen and improv—including established stars like Rita Moreno, as well as lesser known performers like a guy named Morgan Freeman who went on do a few things after leaving the show.
4. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on Deep Fakes, which are:
A. Fake news items created by the imaginary Deep State
B. Videos made with AI that make it possible to show anyone saying anything you want
C. Videos made with Ai that makes it possible to show anyone do anything you want
Answer: BDeep fakes are videos that can be made to match people's facial expressions and voices to make it appear as if they are saying anything you want them to say (see the WSJ video above). In a society where reality is questioned, this technology may have enormous implications—further breaking people into tribes that only believe what they want.
Cheetos is having a moment with the success of its recent pop-up restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles.
In New York, The Spotted Cheetah booked all 300 seats, and a 1,000 person waiting list for its three-day pop-up, which served delicacies such as White Cheddar Mac N' Cheetos. In LA, The Flamin' Hot Spot played up Flamin' Hot Cheetos-themed dishes, including the Hot Cheetos Burrito.
In terms of novelty, the stunt was spot on, pardon the pun. And let's face it: Marketing is no longer just about engagement or interaction. It's about experiences. And with tastes, sounds and more, this Cheetos pop-up restaurant idea has legs.
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