J. K. Rowling’s Crisis Communications Victory (Maybe), DeepMind’s AI Generated Puppies, and More


The subtlest hint of fall is finally in the air outside. Indoors, however, it definitely feels like winter, where I estimate the temperature to hover slightly below freezing. The crispness has us all reaching for our favorite seasonal sweaters.

In this week’s Lunch Break, AI is generating lifelike images, here’s how to create a content culture, get your chatbots ready for 2020, and J. K. Rowling’s questionable crisis communications victory.

[bctt tweet=”Did J. K. Rowling come out on top of the #nagini Twitterstorm? Get the scoop on this and more #crisiscomm #pr #ai ” username=”stantoncomm”]

Talk to the AI

Are you ready for the chatbot takeover? Hubspot would like to blast you into the near-future of marketing with its new conversational marketing deep dive.

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Is Content in Your Culture?

Blogs, social media and podcasts are all awesome, but if a company’s culture doesn’t have what it takes to sustain them, there’s really no point.

A company culture well equipped for long-term content marketing success is forward-thinking, adaptable, and collaborative. It can be hard enough to consistently create useful content that effectively targets your audience … but what about continuing to grow and adapt new technologies and strategies as digital marketing evolves?

To set up your company for content success, start here.

Hey Google, Build a Puppy

The next time you take the puppy clickbait for a bit of mental downtime, consider this: images just like this are now being created by an AI algorithm, thanks to an intern at Google’s DeepMind and two of its researchers.

Called BigGAN (short for generative adversarial network), the algorithm uses neural networks to combine two functionalities: one that generates random images, and another that uses real images to determine how far off the AI’s creation is. In short, its functionality is not on par with the major leap seen its results—Google has just thrown a massive amount of computing power at the problem. But the results—incredibly detailed and lifelike images of puppies, as well as other animals and scenes—are eerily realistic.

So, is it an early predecessor of Skynet? Probably not. But someone call Linda Hamilton just in case.

Fandom, Grown Up

As the Harry Potter universe has expanded and its Millennial fan base has grown up, the high standards inspired by the series for fairness, bravery and love have worked against Rowling as representation of diversity has become a recurring pain point. The trailer release for Fantastical Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald poked the bear by revealing that Nagini, a snake kept as a pet by Voldemort, was in fact a cursed Asian woman.

Rowling took to Twitter to respond to fans’ accusations of racism, sharing posts that fans found hard to believe about the development of this character, as well as inaccurate information about the origin of naginis.

PR News stated:

“Brand leaders with a direct tether to their audiences should take note that it’s OK to be incorrect, so long as you’re coming from a place of transparency and positive intention.”

But looking back at the top tweets for #Nagini in the Twitterstorm’s wake, it doesn’t look like Rowling’s fans agree firing back at them was the answer.

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