I enjoyed writing this week’s joyful digital news. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Ikea for dogs and cats!
This fabulous image features just some of the products available for doggos, puppers and kittehs.
My favourite item is the adorable cat house on legs (which you can see proudly inhabited in the middle of the lovely scene above), as apart from being very cute it reminds me of the iconic Maunsell Forts, some of which still stand in the Thames Estuary (take a trip to them by watching the video below).
After that slightly incongruous interlude, you are now free to read more from Deezen on the design of the Ikea pet product range, including a dog bowl that discourages wolfing. You can also read more from Econsultancy on previous Ikea campaigns and SEO hacks.
Headline of the week
My hat is doffed so often to The Verge that I’ve chafed my pate. This week it gave us this jewel:
“This AI robot will strengthen your ping-pong skills and your relationship with your daughter”
Want see the comportment of such a robot? Watch this..
There’s also a very honourable second-placed entry for ‘headline of the week’ from another Verge article. It reads thus:
“My cat ate (part of) his fitness tracker”
The article has an aww-inducing opening sentence – “I live with a six-month-old cat named Pretzel who likes to sprint from one side of my apartment to the other…”
New social network of the week
Taylor Swift has launched The Swift Life. Gives me an idea for my own social network called Swift Half, a private space where you can do all your drunk posting.
Quote of the week
“When I take off my headset and leave the virtual world, my breathing is fast and shallow … I feel both ecstatic and emotional. Tearful, almost.”
That’s not a line from Blade Runner 2049, it’s Simon Hattenstone in the Guardian describing his experience with VR psychotherapy.
Yep, VR is being used at the University of Oxford as a treatment for everything from vertigo to acrophobia. It’s worth hearing more about the vertigo example, as a chap called Chann undergoes a headset session:
Today, [Chann] is going to level four of a 10-storey building in New York to rescue a kitten stranded on a branch of an indoor tree. Chann has to use a lever to push himself on to a small platform towards the cat.
Outdoor campaign of the week
Jigsaw gets political and spreads a bit of heart-felt common sense.
Impressive ads by fashion retailer Jigsaw in London’s tube stations, saying: ” immigration” pic.twitter.com/V2kcBfZIK3
— Wolfgang Blau (@wblau) 11 October 2017
Gadget of the week
Remember Casio, the brand that helped you surreptitiously sabotage the TV in your school lessons by changing the channel from your watch? No?
Well, now the brand is pushing snazzy selfie cameras in China. The TR series can cost up to $900, come with plenty of lighting and editing features to help you take the perfect selfie and are known by fans as ‘selfie God devices’.
AI might be creating jobs, not killing them
A Capgemini survey of nearly 1,000 organisations shows 83% of firms that implemented AI systems have seen jobs created as a result.
More absurd video of computers learning how to be human
There’s no soundtrack unfortunately, but you can’t have everything.
This video shows work from OpenAI, with AIs learning and adapting as they engage in successive sumo wrestling bouts. The AIs learned human-like behaviour such as getting down to lower their centre of gravity and dodging out of the way of lunges.