Pierre Hughye, UUmwelt, 2018

As AI gears up to create, how can culture preserve its ability to enrich?

Tasked with future-proofing the company’s global video businesses, Telefonica Group’s Media & Entertainment Innovation team is exploring how technologies like VR, AR and AI are changing how stories are created and consumed — and how these changes could, in turn, affect audiences and fans. This post focusses on what we have learned about AI in the context of culture creation so far.

“If it got to a point where a robot was screenwriting and it wasn’t good, then that might turn people off storytelling. …

How to understand what people expect from emerging technologies and why this matters to the future of innovation

Image: Polluted Water Popsicles, created by Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Cheng Yu (National University of Taiwan, 2017)

Grasping Duality

The popsicles in the image above were made by a group of students at the National Taiwan University. After collecting water samples from over 100 different polluted sources across Taiwan, they cast them in resin in an attempt to raise awareness of water pollution, and to inspire behaviour change among their fellow citizens.

They can also be viewed as a powerful analogy for the duality inherent in emerging technologies such as AI, biotech, and 5G. On the surface, they appear…

what food history, culture and corporations can teach us to help us tackle mental obesity in a hyperconnected age


Time has never not been scarce. Ironically enough, the effort invested in saving more of it by streamlining one’s work, one’s home, and even oneself, is tailed by boundless opportunities to fill it again — and not always with the meaningful things we plan to fill it with. …

consequences of the conflict between infinite streams and finite attention


“At first, it was horrible. I was angry with everyone. I hated the world. I was really hungry, ate everything in my kitchen. But then, I started doing other things. I started reading. I was spending more time with my family. I went outside. I started to relax.”

- Anna, 21, Madrid, describing her experience of being deprived of connectivity as part of a three-day experiment

As access moves towards becoming unlimited, and information and content experiences continue to push infinity, we are starting to…

Nola by Studio Drift (used with permission)

what will it take for us to trust emotionally intelligent machines with data & decisions?

It’s your voice of reason — keeps you in check, pushes you, but also knows what’s best for you.” — Adnan, UK

The Shape of Things to Come Everyday services will soon embrace a layer of functionality akin to the human quality of emotional intelligence, enabling them to be responsive to what their users are feeling. We can also assume the emergence of another breed of services that will seek to regulate or manipulate emotion, as and when — and to what end — the…

[2016 archive]

In a previous post, we mapped out the needs and desires surrounding the future of connectivity, extracted from our global study Impressions of Connected Futures.

As we explained in our introduction to the last post, our discoveries revealed significant tensions between the benefits of connectivity and their detractors — and how, in turn, opportunities for innovation can be found at both ends of the spectrum. Moreover, a lot of the emerging detractors are becoming a responsibility we must own up as a provider of a utility people are struggling to switch off to detrimental effect.

In this second…

[2016 archive]

Impressions of Connected Futures was a strategic research project that aimed to help us all imagine what people will need from connectivity and connected experiences in both, the near and distant future. It was executed in partnership with C Space.


The study spanned five markets (Germany, Spain, UK, US, S Korea). …

what do people really know, care about, and need when it comes to their personal data?

[2015 archive]

Amidst an era-defining debate about personal data, many studies have emerged to suggest that around the world, people are increasingly concerned about their privacy. One study even claims that privacy fears are on a par with global terrorism and economic recession. No surprise, perhaps, in the wake of Snowden’s revelations and high profile security breaches on everyday services like the iCloud. Commercial opportunity ensues: 50% of all Internet users claim they will pay for services to protect themselves.

Looking Closer New research…

Lucia Komljen

Director of Insight & Innovation Strategy at Telefonica S.A. This is a collection of writing based on our research into what humans expect from technology.

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