for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
Your corporate trainer might be a deepfake!
Anne says: A deepfake corporate trainer? How so?
During the past few months of various lockdowns and working from home, corporate learning and development (L&D) departments have scrambled to produce courses and content in a range of online delivery methods. Some more successfully than others (but that’s a subject for another Friday Fave). This article describes how WPP (a global advertising/creative agency) developed 20 training modules using deepfake characters, instead of real life trainers (who were in lockdown and unable to produce video content) for their 5 minute videos. Sounds rather innovative – but wait, there’s more! They also did it in several languages (and there’s more coming in the next release), and they were personalised to say your name and location. Super clever!
What is a deepfake? According to Wired, it’s:
a loose term applied to images or videos generated using AI that look real.
Deepfakes have not always been used in a constructive way, like this context. Typically they are used to harass or mislead – more so now in political environments, but also in porn! In this case, the “talking head” in their training videos is created using AI – and looks like a real person – but they’re a fake. The article describes some of the processes and the progress companies have had in their development – it’s getting exciting if you consider the possibilities. However, I think there could be an issue in the corporate training context. What is not discussed in the article is how the videos and their deepfake trainers were received by the learners. Did they know this was a deepfake AI? Did that change their attitude towards the training content – in a positive or negative way?
The user experience becomes critical in learning contexts – credibility and expertise of the trainer, for example, play a role in how effectively the message is received. If people know this is an AI-created, avatar-style-real, but not really real person, what impact will that have? If, on the other hand, the learners are advised and perhaps even given a detailed explanation as to how the deepfake has been created to personalise their learning experience, the impact may be quite different. In fact, you could expand that a step further and introduce a character, or series of characters, as your AI-created trainers (I’m avoiding using the “fake” terminology on the basis of credibility) who are part of the L&D team. This would also reduce too much attention (or cognitive load) as the learners try to figure out if this is an AI trainer or a real person – meanwhile missing the message.
I’d love to have heard how the learners experienced these videos. And the opportunities associated with their development could have some impressive outcomes – if we spend a little time ensuring we understand the impact on learning outcomes and the learners.
Negotiation 101: How to get what you want at work, according to a hostage expert
Jakkii says: I can’t lie – the headline grabbed me right away. Who isn’t fascinated by the whole concept of hostage negotiations and how they are managed?? I sure am! And so, of course, the idea of taking advice from a hostage expert as to how you can apply negotiation tactics to get what you want at work sounds good to me!
There are 4 key steps in this concise read:
- Step 1: Listen, listen, and then listen some more
- Step 2: Show empathy
- Step 3: Then build rapport
- Step 4: Put your message across
There is a fifth step listed too which is, essentially, “success!”, with a bit of advice at the end about how to act when things seem like they’re going wrong as well.
Now, if that got you interested and you want to take a bit more of a deep-dive, you might also like this HBR article that asks “what’s your negotiation strategy?” The HBR article is a good but much longer read, and covers these key strategic principles:
- Rethink counterparts
- Analyse counterparts’ constituencies
- Rethink the deal’s scope
- Rethink the nature of leverage
- Look for links across negotiations
- Consider the impact of timing and sequencing
- Be creative about the process and framing
For me, I think they ultimately both say similar things, with the HBR article giving more context and understanding as to how you might distill the process down into the 4 key steps, above. What do you think – is it worth a try next time you need to negotiate your way to a specific outcome at work? I’d love to hear how it goes for you if you do give it a go!
Around the house
Jakkii says: This week’s roundup of ways to keep yourself occupied at home, whether you’re back in lockdown or as far into reopening as phase 3!
- Get listening to these 89 Audiobooks
- Dive in to the power of protest songs
- See the world through strangers’ windows
- Enjoy the beauty of these US college campuses
- Find out how nasal breathing helps keep you healthier
- Learn all about the lost art of growing blueberries with fire
- Discover the troubling tale of Baby Peggy, Hollywood’s first child star
- Climate change: A heat wave thawed Siberia’s tundra. Now, it’s on fire.
- Research shows that competitive hotdog eaters are nearing the limit of human performance
- Stock your fridge with some tips based on what the world’s best chefs keep in their fridge at home
- Best travel books to read during coronavirus lockdown: Eight epic travel disasters to take the edge off your wanderlust
- Arm yourself with these 26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren’t convinced racism is still a problem (US data)
My friend’s daughter just entered his home workspace and wordlessly handed this note to him while he was on a conference call pic.twitter.com/qfd8SY09GP
— Helen Rosner (@hels) July 10, 2020
Due to Covid-19 I will not shake hands or hug anymore, You may either Kneel or Bow to me
— Heaven (@HeavenSentMel) July 8, 2020
Twitter: the virus is serious, you should worry
Facebook: the virus is a conspiracy, you are a sheep
Instagram: the virus is here, you should look at this 6 month old photo
Pinterest: the virus has inspired me, you should buy this floral face mask
TikTok: bupbup dadupdeee dadup
— Tim Doutré (@Timdoutre) July 14, 2020
Misinformation Friday Five
- How a fake baby Is born
- Anatomy of a fake news headline
- Mozilla project exposes YouTube’s recommendation ‘bubbles’
- Here’s how Facebook found disinformation networks tied to Bolsonaro and Roger Stone
- The accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy
COVID-19 Friday Five
- Facebook will launch a new section to debunk coronavirus myths
- The impact of Covid-19 on workplace inclusion: survey
- A grim future for business travel
- Coronavirus has changed travel in European cities for good — here’s how
- Smart cameras to track COVID-19 travel patterns
Work Friday Five
- The future of work—the good, the challenging & the unknown
- How to prepare yourself for a return to the office
- Slack ‘reimagines’ the corporate directory with their acquisition of Rimeto
- How workplaces can keep employees safe during the pandemic
- Preparing for tomorrow’s hybrid workplace
Tech Friday Five
- OpenAI’s fiction-spewing AI is learning to generate images
- Gmail is getting a massive redesign to work more like Slack
- Fading light: the story of Magic Leap’s lost mixed reality magnum opus
- Microsoft’s creepy teenage chatbot Xiaoice is getting its own company
- This technique was supposed to replace passwords. Turns out it’s surprisingly easy to hack
Social Media Friday Five
- The social graphics wave
- Biased algorithms on platforms like YouTube hurt people looking for information on health
- EU Court: Nope, YouTube doesn’t have to reveal pirates’ IP and email addresses
- Facebook wants to lure you away from YouTube with official music videos
- The 6 best influencer marketing studies of 2020
Corona Business Insights Podcast
This week: During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine looks like it could lead to a more permanent shift to become a more mainstream part healthcare.
As COVID-19 sets out to change the world forever, join Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer as they think about what’s to come in the future of business.