04.09.2019 The Weekly Spark

The future of AI belongs to... McDonalds?

From McDonald’s acquisition of market-leading optimization software, to Patagonia opting to support more values-aligned businesses…the Spark is here to kickstart your week. Brought to you by Brendan, Kate, Natania, and Sarah L.

(1) Appropriation vs. Appreciation…

This Twitter thread provides extensive resources on the difference between appropriation v. appreciation, how to authentically apologize, and how we treat sacred symbols (not to mention other great people to follow on said topics). [Twitter]

(2) Put your money where your values are.

Patagonia—a company with a lesbian woman at the helm—has decided to stop making co-branded fleece vests for companies they view to be ecologically damaging. Our read? When companies have leaders who come from diverse perspectives, economic and environmental justice aren’t just values; they’re practices. [Put this On]

(3) McDonald’s is acquiring a market-leading optimization software.

Why? Because the majority of Americans who love McDonald’s get their food via the drive-thru, and—because drive-thru menus are digital now— personalizing those drive-thrus means not just addictive foods on the menu, but addictive menus altogether. [Wired]

(4) Design as an act of service.

Designing medical equipment to be desirable or fashionable could remove the stigma associated with it. Here are other subtle but deeply moving ways that design impacts our lives. [Communication Arts]

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(5) Workplace surveillance is central to capitalist exploitation.

Current surveillance technologies have greatly increased employers’ power over workers; and we question if it actually leads to more productivity. [truthout]

(6) AMP is here for email.

Google officially launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for email, in its effort to turn emails from static documents into dynamic, web page-like experiences. Check it out! [TechCrunch]

(7) Yes, tech fuels hate speech. Let’s stop debating it and start fighting it.

The past several Sparks have featured stories on how social platforms are not moving fast enough to remove hate speech from their sites. While the Internet fervently protects the first amendment, what happens when what’s being said threatens your safety to exist? [A List Apart]

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