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Weekend reading list – week of March 20, 2017

March 24, 2017

Each week, we share the top five articles that caught our attention. Here are your must-reads, published here and abroad, for the week of March 20th 2017.

Gucci breaks the Internet
Forget Grumpy Cat and Doge… Gucci has launched a meme campaign that’s vying to beat out all your other favourites. TFW Gucci is a series of memes created to promote the brand’s new watch collection and it’s already rocking the web (although not in the way that other Gucci ads have created a fuss). How can brands capitalize on certain trends, without ruining them?
Read it on Glossy Pocket

Hello, Watson!
One of the biggest “celebrities” in the AI community is Watson, a computer program created by IBM. This artificial intelligence already has the ability to compose music, help doctors consult and identify the mood of the person it’s interacting with. Havas has now teamed up with Watson to help brands leverage AI research and data. But the big question looms: just how far can the program go? How far will its skills be developed?
Read it on Le Monde (In French) Pocket

The web is saving culture, not killing it
Innovation kills tradition and, consequently, kills art and culture. After all, hasn’t every new media caused the demise of its predecessors (think: newspapers, radio, TV, etc)? With its proliferation of click-bait and sponsored articles, as well as “fake news”, the Internet is certainly a threat to the pull and authenticity of rich content. But Farhad Manjoo, a writer at The New York Times, believes the opposite is happening—that the web is actually enabling an artistic and cultural renaissance.
Read it on The New York Times Pocket

Who is the real Betty Boop?
She may be 87 years old, but the original pin-up girl, Betty Boop, is still as sexy and as culturally significant as ever. This past February, this icon appeared in a new cartoon with designer Zac Posen to promote his new (Boop-inspired) collection, MAC Cosmetics launched a Betty Boop lipstick and Woman’s Day magazine put her on the cover of its March issue. Despite this resurgence, no one remembers “Baby” Esther Jones, the black singer on whom the character is actually based—right down to the “boop-oop-a-doop”.
Read it on The Cut Pocket

Why isn’t wind as sexy as solar?
Most recent energy innovations have focussed on solar energy. For Apple, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley giants, solar panels are the investment of choice for their office buildings. And yet, wind energy has existed for hundreds of years and it accounts for a greater percentage of the U.S.’s power supply (also, in the X-MEN universe, Storm is definitely stronger and sexier then Sunspot). So what’s with all the hype for solar?
Read it on Fast Company Pocket

The favourite campaigns of BETC’s founding chairman
#Sponsored
Michael Lee, founder of the Madam collective and former ad exec, interviews his once-colleague Rémi Babinet, Creative Director and Co-founder of BETC Paris. Babinet talks about his three favourite ad campaigns and the one genius idea he could never produce.
Read it on Forbes Pocket

In your earbuds: Important, if true
In an effort to better understand the absurd reality in which we live, each week, designer and composer Chris Remo, along with Jake Rodkin, co-founder of Campo Santo, and Nick Breckon, a writer and designer, try to answer your questions about the most fascinating, inane and inexplicable happenings in life. Their responses may be exaggerated (and almost definitely inaccurate), but the process is just as important as the answer, right?
Listen to it on Idle Thumbs

This week’s favourite thing
Writer, technologist and artist James Bridle recently found a way to trap self-driving cars using ritual magic… How did he paralyze the car’s computer with a simple salt circle laid around the car?

Image from Gucci