Twitter Loosens Up, AI in Design, Instagram Polls and the Latest in Science

Lunch Break October 3rd

Lunch Break October 3rd


It is a somber Tuesday Lunch Breakers, as flags fly at half-mast and the country tries to process the tragic events that occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

With the string of terrible news from Las Vegas, the destruction left in the wake of three hurricanes and learning of the death of singer Tom Petty, we all could use a little distraction. We recommend queuing up “Learning to Fly,” or another Petty favorite and snacking on this week’s Lunch Break stories on Twitter’s tweet length trials, calls for AI in design, the introduction of Instagram polls and scientific breakthroughs.

Busting Loose From 140 Characters

Twitter is trying something new. After finding that almost nine percent of all Tweets in English hit the 140-character limit—compared to 0.4 percent of Tweets in Japanese—Twitter is testing out a longer length. Soon, Trump may have double the space to spar with “Rocket Man” using a whopping 280 characters.

Twitter acknowledges this may come as a shock to avid 140-character fans, but assured users that “Twitter is about brevity … That is something we will never change.” Furthermore, “we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.” Twitter hopes we will all enjoy a little more character space.

Designers Suit Up for AI

Watch out world. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and sending shockwaves throughout industries far and wide. With the promise of revolutionizing the user experience, innovators are calling on designers to integrate AI-centered interfaces into their work. Educators such as John Zimmerman, interaction designer and professor at Carnegie Mellon, says designers are behind the curve and need to understand, “people are going to be asking this of you.” Zimmerman also proposes a team matchup, pairing data scientists with designers. Whatever the solution, Zimmerman notes that designers need to start adding AI to their tool kits, and fast.

Because Decisions are Hard

In addition to all the other bells and whistles, Instagram is now adding a poll feature to its list of capabilities. The new “poll” stickers allow users to invite further interaction with Instagram Stories. In addition to polls, Instagram is adding a “color picker” and alignment tool. The designer in me is thankful for these last two adds, but the verdict is out on the polling. What do you think, poll or no poll? Okay, maybe it’s not so bad an idea after all.

Ride the Wave

Did you hear? Einstein was right! Kind of… Today, Rainer Weiss, Kipp Thorne and Barry Barish were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of gravitational waves. Einstein theorized this concept of ripples in the space-time continuum, but said it could never be measured. Turns out Einstein was right about his prediction, but these modern-day scientists proved him wrong about finding a way to detect it. Thank goodness for scientists and lasers.

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