Brilliant Reads: the future of work, VR therapy and artificial vs human intelligence

Welcome to Brilliant Reads. This week we’re discussing the future of work, how VR therapy can help mental health and whether we value artificial intelligence more than human intelligence.

What will the future of work look like?

Young talent aren’t buying the ‘work hard, play hard’ culture of the traditional creative industry. They want and expect the freedom to work flexibly around every other aspect of their lives.

Millennials are the first generation to inherit a poorer and less economically stable world than their parents. Low starting salaries and rising living costs mean there’s a challenge for the world’s creative capitals. In this article, our People and Culture Manager Alice, suggests that one way of addressing this challenge is to provide ways of supporting employees beyond their basic salary.

It’s no longer about a race to retirement. Millennials and Generation Z want more options and room for change over the course of their work life. Traditional retirement options can look bleak, so they’re looking for ways to progress differently by taking sabbaticals and career changes over a longer working life.

Creative organisations must focus on how they attract, motivate and keep the best talent because employees are their most valuable asset. The employees must also consider how they’ll create the future of work for themselves.

This is the future of work
Campaign, 11 minutes

Will Facebook’s new feature rebuild our faith in news?

Earlier this month, Facebook introduced a new feature to help people evaluate news stories in their feeds. This is part of their ongoing initiative to combat fake news circulating and escalating on the platform. The ‘i’ button now appears on news stories and shows information about the source including their Wikipedia entry, Facebook page and related stories.

Improving content integrity is a priority for Facebook to ensure publishers continue to see them as a key channel, and so they don’t lose consumer trust.

Facebook tries fighting fake news with publisher info button on links
TechCrunch, 3 minutes

More human than human

In this article, Andrés Colmenares – founder of Internet Age Media – discusses the danger of prioritising technical proficiency over critical thinking.

He thinks that there is too much focus on artificial intelligence and not enough on advancing human thinking. He argues that by focusing on the binary nature of computers we are in danger of losing what it means to be truly human.

Andrés suggests that instead of chief technology officers we need critical thinking officers and post-binary minds to influence our future. He also thinks that there’s a problematic narrative around teaching children to code, and that we should be teaching the ability to think critically about technology instead. He believes that by focusing on problem solving technologies, we are not prioritising the ability to understand the problem in the first place.

Are we teaching humans how to code and machines how to learn?
LS:N global, 4 minutes

Is VR therapy the answer to our mental health issues?

Early trials of VR therapy for patients with mental health issues or phobias have been promising and are soon to be used as part of NHS treatment.

“There are very few conditions VR can’t help, because, in the end, every mental health problem is about dealing with a problem in the real world, and VR can produce that troubling situation for you,” says Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and pioneer in VR therapy.

Two million people sought help for mental health issues in 2015, while the number of mental health nurses fell by 15% between 2010-2016. VR therapy could offer a time and money saving solution where the positive results tend to be quick and operating costs are low.

‘After, I feel ecstatic and emotional’: could virtual reality replace therapy?
The Guardian, 17 minutes

Retail disruptors

We’re used to talking about how disruptors like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix changed the way we travel and watch TV, but who’s changing the way we shop? This beautifully presented BBC article (published on Shorthand) shows us the ideas that are redefining retail.

As we get more e-payment options, the need for cashiers decreases. In China, a Swedish start-up called Wheelys has been testing the Moby Mart – a remote controlled cashless, cashier-less convenience store. You use your phone to unlock the store, scan the produce you want and pay. The vision is to combine self driving vehicles and smart technology so that we can order a convenience store to our location and pick up groceries whenever and wherever we want.

Retailers are acknowledging that while consumers love online shopping, the majority still like the experience of shopping in a store. The challenge is how to maximise and interlink both experiences seamlessly.

The Disruptors
BBC News, 10 minutes