Machine Yearning goes to Cannes Lions

Machine Yearning goes to Cannes Lions

Machine Yearning posts its fourth episode this week, and already we’re breaking our format. We approach the podcast like everything in life: stay rigid, get stuck, nothing but problems follow…

We’ve used this podcast to jump start conversations about how much we don’t know about the worlds of AI, machine learning, and conversational commerce. We’re standing right on the edge of the talking internet and we can feel the wind at our backs pushing us forward. We’re all making the leap, but when we’re honest with ourselves and others, we’re doing it knowing how little we’ve figured out but how much opportunity there is ahead of us.

Things are moving fast, but at Machine Yearning we want to go faster, so we headed out to the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Basically, the Cannes Lions is one of the most concentrated gatherings of the international advertising, marketing, technology and creative communities. We knew it would be a good place to speak with brilliant people and meet folks who weren’t on our radar — but deserved to be heard. We used the opportunity of being in a critical mass of great thinkers and doers, and healthy dose of serendipity, to roll up a ton of interviews.

The week over-delivered. The Cannes episodes that you’ll hear over the next few weeks will show why we find the AI and machine learning worlds so complicated, challenging and invigorating.

Empathy keeps emerging as a dominating, recurring theme. It’s fascinating to encounter one person after another grappling with the underlying question: if we can’t figure out how to speak, and listen, with empathy toward one another, how will we teach the machines to do it on our behalf?

Gender exclusion and cultural bias, we keep hearing, are going to kick our ass unless we make a major upgrade to our practices around diversity and inclusion. A monoculture of leaders, technologists and marketers will hobble these new opportunities. If we want to have an internet that works for everyone, we need everyone at the table.

Ultimately, people are obsessed about the need to create and operate at the highest levels of intentionality in this next phase of the internet. We can’t ignore the chorus of voices we’re encountering who warn that we won’t create meaningful experiences that improve peoples’ lives if we don’t dig in, get more people around the table and commit to service that goes beyond hitting the numbers.

Up this week, we have Australian filmmaker Jessica Allan, Facebook exec Eric Oldrin and LivePerson CEO Rob LoCascio. Next week, three more folks who are pressing up against big issues in AI and machine learning who were all interviewed from LivePerson’s base of operations in Cannes.

Well… OK… it was a boat. Actually, a yacht. LivePerson had an amazing yacht and they let us camp out and roll all these interviews. Big shout out and thanks to everyone at LivePerson! They were great.

Please say hello on Twitter. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud. Make sure you share an episode or one of the chapter excerpts with a friend or colleague who cares about the talking internet and whether we get this right!

Here’s the specific chapters from our first 3 guests:

Robert LoCascio:

Jessica Allan:

Eric Oldrin:

Reach out to if you’re interested in anything messaging and voice automation, chatbots, AI or just have some ideas. Assist is the leading enterprise platform for automated assistants on messaging and voice.

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Jamie Larson