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Re/act: Artificial Intelligence for Project Managers, DIY Medicine, Truck Technology, Augmented Reality, and 3D Application Design

Ready to catch up on some of the latest tech news? Here’s what caught the attention of our team this week. If you’re interested in knowing why we launched this blog series, catch-up on the first week.


What Product Managers Need to Know About Artificial Intelligence - article by Ty Magnin (@tymagnin)

“Simply put, we can program a machine to do just about any job a person can do.” - Ty Magnin, Director of Marketing at Appcues

No, artificial intelligence is not something to be afraid of… at least not right now. When working at its best, you likely won’t realize that some of your favorite apps and websites are utilizing machine learning to constantly enhance UX…via artificial intelligence. If its true value is understood, the data gleaned from AI can be instrumental in allowing product managers to improve their customer experience. Rather than viewing AI as a replacement for workers and various jobs, it’s being refined as an amplifier. AI will help efficiency, productivity, data retention and comprehension, and a strong predictor of what users might do. But it’s important to remember, that machine learning offers only a prediction. It’s doesn’t guarantee a user will do as it predicted.


Meet the Anarchists Making Their Own Medicine - article by Daniel Oberhaus (@DMOberhaus)

The Do-It-Yourself (or DIY) movement has a bit of a cult following in the tech world; but DIY medicine? It could be trending soon. The nearly half-trillion-dollar Goliath-like pharmaceutical industry is faced with a David in the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, which hopes to provide affordable, DIY medicines for those who are disenfranchised across the world by cost-prohibitive treatments required for their survival. Their hope is while DIY medicine strives to improve on safety measures that people with orphan diseases — rare conditions that affect such a small part of the population that medicines are not manufactured or offered for lack of demand — will be able to take matters into their own hands and will never be without life-saving drugs.


Trucks Shift Into Higher Gear With New Technology - article by Erica E. Phillips (@eephillips_wsj)

A lot of headlines have been devoted to smart devices in homes, like Alexa or Google Home and other smart appliances, but enterprise and industrial IoT has the potential to have a monumental impact on the world’s economy. Companies that have been transportation or logistic firms for generations are transforming overnight into technology companies. Take rigs, for example. Big trucks are being laced with sensors tracking all kinds of information in an effort to get trucks running more efficiently, lower operating costs and accounting for drivers’ wellbeing by tracking their hours on the road, making sure their heart rate isn’t out of the ordinary and analyzing driver performance and avoiding accidents where possible.


The New York Times’ Graham Roberts on why augmented reality is suited for hard news - article by Shraddha Kakade (@skakadeTT)

The Times has quietly been an industry leader in providing readers immersive technology to create and tell news stories. One of those ways is through Augmented Reality, the application of machine technology to overlay digital information and interactions on the physical world. This article provides an in-depth look at how a digital-focused director at NYT views the future of spatial computing — and its impact on journalism in the long run.

“One of the things we’re doing with augmented reality is breaking out of this very limited mobile, two-inch screen.” - Graham Roberts, Director of Immersive Platforms Storytelling at The New York Times.


Mobile Designers Will Shape the Future of 3D Application Design - article by Paul Reynolds (@MugOfPaul)

Though strides are certainly being made in Augmented Reality development, it remains far behind 2D applications. The issues stem from the sheer complexity of 3D design, difficulty sharing the work (inter-operability issues and no reliable standard file type) and a lack of tools for each step, making the 3D prototyping process frustrating and exponentially more time consuming. Luckily, help is on the way in the form of new apps and tools that are gradually filling in the gaps in 3D workflows in hopes of making it easier to prototype, development, and release new 3D experiences.

“Prototyping for mobile AR is like dragging yourself up a huge mountain only to reach the top and find another mountain looming in front of you.” Paul Reynolds, CEO and co-founder at Torchat


Re/act is our weekly take on some of the tech world’s biggest stories curated by humans not bots. Cantina is a strategic design and development agency based in Boston, Massachusetts. We help organizations innovate, grow and deliver better digital products and services that matter to customers.

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