July 2018’s Coolest Things

Every month the Sutherland Labs slack channel transforms from a pleasant and effective means of communicating across time-zones into a war-zone. The grand prize of this gruesome affair? Bragging rights, when you are the one who has discovered the coolest thing on the internet this month!

How AI Can Make Us Live Longer

We are endlessly fascinated with AI here at the labs, the concept, not the lacklustre Spielberg movie; so, when an article comes along talking about the way that AI is going to completely revolutionize the way that pharmaceuticals are developed, applied and produced it is going to get us excited. When you then proceed to tell us that new molecules are being developed by pitting two deep neural networks against each other, that professional excitement starts turning into a nerdy frenzy. If the phrase “Longevity Escape Velocity” wasn’t in your vernacular before, it will be after reading this.

Eternal Infographics

The infographic appears to be a very modern invention, optimized for the swift communication of information in a digital age, but the truth is very different from appearances. From a hanky that encourages hanky-panky to a cracking cranial contour chart, the Welcome Collection holds more examples of historical infographics from through the ages than you could shake an appropriately sized stick at. Some of them may seem comically primitive when held up to our modern standards of sleekness, but they are all undeniably effective in getting their point across.

A tool for pinpointing colour, published in 1809 via The Welcome Collection

A tool for pinpointing colour, published in 1809 via The Welcome Collection

Alexa and Lego

It seems a bit strange to think about little plastic building blocks in terms of Voice Strategy, but somebody in Lego has locked on to the idea, developing two skills for the smart speaker in quick succession, clearly aiming to capitalize on the extremely healthy sales that Lego is already making through Amazon’s websites. It is an interesting move not just for fans of Lego (of which there are many adults, don’t worry, you are not alone) but also in terms of business strategy. Lego aren’t just paying to run adverts on the platform, they are developing unique content that users need to use with their products.

River Reclamation

Have you ever looked at the filthy rivers that run through major cities and thought to yourself “I’d love to take a swim in that”? Well, apparently you aren’t alone, because 9 separate cities have begun the work of converting sections of their polluted waterways into swim parks. From simple pools, to more complex filtration systems, these different projects aim to reconnect the people of the cities with the water in a way that many would have considered impossible even a few years ago. This big idea is making a splash!

The Bassin de la Villette swimming pool on the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris.

The Bassin de la Villette swimming pool on the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris.

And so peace gradually returns to our Slack channel as the victors hoot and cheer and the losers slink off to lick their wounds and plot their revenge. Come back next time for another round of Coolest Things!

The Labs Team

Sutherland Labs