Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Tag: privacy

Gilbane Advisor 3-4-20 — IKEA, T5, AI

IKEA sets a new privacy standard for marketers

Tim Walters reports on an impressive approach by IKEA to earn consumer’s trust, by doing rather than (just) promising. As Tim says, you should really watch the IKEA video description and demo with their delightfully down-to-earth Chief Digital Officer, Barbara Martin Coppola. Read More

Transfer Learning with T5: the Text-To-Text Transfer Transformer

Many of you are familiar with natural language processing (NLP) from the rule-based machine translation in the 80s to today’s more successful machine learning approaches. This post from the Google AI Blog describes a promising new Transfer Learning technique and openly available tools. Slightly technical with a link to the academic paper.

With T5, we propose reframing all NLP tasks into a unified text-to-text-format where the input and output are always text strings, in contrast to BERT-style models that can only output either a class label or a span of the input. Our text-to-text framework allows us to use the same model, loss function, and hyperparameters on any NLP task, including machine translation, document summarization, question answering, and classification tasks (e.g., sentiment analysis). Read More

The new business of AI (and how it’s different from traditional software)

Martin Casado and Matt Bornstein from Andreessen Horowitz wrote a thoughtful piece for AI startups and investors on the differences between the business models of AI companies and software companies. As investors they have a particular interest in the margin potential look at the resources and costs associated with each. My take is that is that they have identified a difference of degree rather than of kind, at least in the case of enterprise software applications, which have similar scaling, “humans in the loop”, interoperability, custom development, and support requirements. Large scale content management systems and “digital experience platforms” are examples. In any case, this is a good read, and all the authors’ recommendations should also be considered by traditional enterprise software companies :).  Read More

Update on technology transformations

McKinsey reports on enterprise’s view and appetite for continued technology transformation. Tldr; it’s hard but showing benefits, and competitiveness demands its continuation. Read More

Business side support IT in top companies


The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

Gilbane Advisor 1-14-20 — chatbots, pages that last, replacing martech

Dear Reader:

We have updated our privacy policy to include information about support for California’s CCPA and encourage you to read it. If you don’t have the time right now there is a link at the bottom of every issue of this newsletter and on every page on our web site. Note that we do not sell or share personal data.

Lessons from the failed chatbot revolution

“… and 5 industries where the tech is making a comeback.” This free report from CB Insights nails the story of the crazy hype and why some chatbots are succeeding. Read More

Chatbot shopping by age

This page is designed to last

Jeff Huang, in his Manifesto for Preserving Content on the Web, asks “How do we make web content that can last and be maintained for at least 10 years?”. It doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, but as someone with a 20+ year old website he didn’t need to convince me. Keeping up with varying life-cycles of web development tools, design trends, and links to sites no longer functioning, is not for everyone. And depending on platforms designed for non-developers is too risky for 10+ years. There is no simple solution but Professor Huang’s article has some suggestions for both tool developers and site managers. Read More

Open federal grant data is the default in the U.S.

Congress has quietly made an open, license-free identifier for the recipients of federal grants the default option for agencies in the United States. While truly open grant data is not mandatory, every agency must now decide whether to use non-proprietary identifiers or not. Read More

83% of marketers rip-and-replace a martech app each year

Scott Brinker highlights findings of a recent research report (link to full report included) on what martech applications are being replaced and why. While 83% will sound scary if you’re a vendor, remember how many martech apps there are. Also, about half the replacements were for custom in-house systems. (CMS vendors will be relieved to hear that only 4% of commercial CMSs were replaced, lower than most categories). Scott also notes that better integration was tied with better features and cost reduction as the top reason for replacement. Of course better integration directly affects operational costs and makes additional features possible. Read More


The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

The Attention Economy

Lot’s of talk about ‘attention’ here at ETech. Thinking of attention in terms of economics is fascinating and thought provoking, but I have not quite got the essence of the excitement – just saw Tim Bray who also said he was not sure he got it, and everyone at my lunch table squirmed and then said they didn’t get it either.

The last thing I want is someone managing or making money or even knowing about my attention allocation. I don’t mind some – I am not averse to sharing certain preferences and behavior – but it is mine to share or not, and mine to monetize or not. As a consumer, what is the return? I get more personalized ads? I get stats on my own behavior? I get more people and advertisers paying attention to me? I definitely am not yet interested in making it easier for others to try to influence me based on some attempt at interpreting my activity/interest – is this a matter of not just being good enough at it yet? Maybe.

Will Attention Trust make a difference? I don’t know.

I understand that some people have more intense desires to communicate everything they think and do and will buy into attention for that, but surely that is an edge group…?

Attention and its scarcity and therefore value are important to pay attention to when deveoping products or businesses – but it is not all in the user’s interest.

Listened to Michael Goldhaber’s talk on the economy today at ETech. He’s the one who everyone quotes. Interesting talk, but I still don’t get it. I suppose the desire for attention might be as rational as the desire for money (although I hope not – it doesn’t seem as practical, you can’t simply bank attention over time without its value diminishing). Trading in “attention bonds” as Seth Goldstein wants, is a bit scary in that it depends on people who don’t think they get enough attention!? I thought Seth’s talk was the most enlightening on the topic.

And this will be it for the updates. See Jon Udell’s and Doc Searls’ comments on this.

Well, it is now 2018, and does this dated or what!

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