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Still hold true? “The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do.''
—B. F. Skinner

April 20 | 3PM EDT | Zoom
Earth Day
Earth Day was started over 50 years ago in the US and is now celebrated in over 190 countries worldwide. What has the meetings and events industry done for Earth Day? A lot, but not enough. Join us on April 20th with Sherry Huss, Tanya Pinchuk, Malcolm Leach, and Lauren Bergloff as we look at how our meetings affect the planet. Wear a flower in your hair! 
The United Nations Knows Its Meetings
Anytime you think you’ve got meeting troubles, think of the UN. They held approximately 8,000 meetings in 2022 (most had to be remote). Many of these meetings are open for the public to watch, or listen to, including special cultural events, exhibitions and discussions. Nearly 40% of the meetings are held with interpretation, and between 70 and 80 million words in official documents and publications are translated every year, making the work of the United Nations widely accessible. 

I had the opportunity to showcase some of the newest tools and techniques for “teching up” meetings at Innovent2, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. I discussed tools like Descript and Otter.AI, platforms like MAP, which have built-in “snippet repurposing,” and newly enhanced Engagez with 3D always-open offices were just a few examples. While the UN’s meeting conveners have budget constraints and procurement procedures that can be daunting, they’re meeting the challenges head-on.

ChatGPT Goes from Princess to Banished in a Few Months

As fast as generative AI was born, that’s how fast regulators, CEOs and some prominent tech luminaries are trying to shove it back into the womb. 

In general, we are not big fans of banning anything. In general, neither are the CEOs of big tech companies, tech luminaries and academics. So we were a bit taken aback when the Future of Life Institute penned an open letter suggesting a 6-month moratorium on providing generative AI tools to the general public. That letter now has over 2,500 signers, including many folks we’d always thought of as having a strong libertarian streak. A few days later, Italy made the first geo-move with a country-wide ban on ChatGPT until regulators get a better grip on privacy and misinformation. 

ChatGPT has plenty of company. Midjourney, the popular generative AI graphics tool closed its doors to free trials due to what it calls “extraordinary abuse” of the platform. That includes both plagiarism and porn. (I checked Midjourney on April 1st and it was still operating though it said the free trials were “too crowded to join.” You need to pay a minimum of $8/month to subscribe.

How do you feel about a ban? On the one hand, experimenting with something as world-changing as generative AI is damn scary. We are human guinea pigs, not knowing whether to believe what our computer lords are telling us and having no idea about what’s behind the algorithms that make them do the things they do. A magic black box is not healthy. 


On the other hand, banning things has never worked particularly well — not with books, film or free speech. We are going to need to develop critical thinking skills to know when we should be questioning our computers. We need to start doing that now. 

My suggestion? Don’t ban. Form an oversight committee. Appointing a commission (the way ICANN was formed in the early days of the Internet) or the Metaverse Standards Forum is the logical way to go. A committee of stakeholders, from journalists and artists, to academicians and corporations, should be organized into task groups insuring we’re creating a fair, equitable, and manageable AI. 

Image created with Stable Diffusion based on the prompt “image of people burning books in surreal style”

ZOOM Boosts its IQ
As every program ever created tries to up its AI muscle, Zoom is no different. Its expanded Zoom IQ summarizes chat threads, organizes ideas, drafts content for chats, emails, runs whiteboard sessions, creates meeting agendas, and more. The company announced it will use OpenAI. Other apps that are flexing newfound AI muscles include MS Office, Canva, Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Slack


Metaverse Retrenches
Mea Culpa. We were super cheerleaders for the metaverse. What we’re experiencing now is not, as many imply, a surrender, but a minor setback. While Futurism predicts the center cannot hold and the metaverse is doomed to fail, we’re still bullish, especially for events. 

Skittish investors, tech layoffs, schizoid VCs and Mark Zuckerberg’s confiscation of the very word are some of the problems that are forcing metaverse creators rethink and reducate. Disney pulled its metaverse plans this week. Microsoft shuttered AltSpace VR. Landgrabs have stalled in places like Decentraland and Sandbox

That said, we’ve already seen enough proof points for digital twins, kids who see worlds like Roblox as an extension of their own, immersive worlds, and retail and entertainment experiences. We’re stalled in traffic, not at the end of the road. Speaking of metaphors, this month’s King Arthur medal for de-mythologizing the metaverse goes to Domhnaill Hernon, Global Lead of the Metaverse Lab at EY, who’s been writing a lot about what the metaverse is, is not, and will be. 


Two Tools for Generative AI Videos

  • Kaiber is a quick and easy way to turn single images with a prompt into a generative short video.
  • Pictory is a more advanced video editing toolkit that includes generative content or a mix of generative and pre-recorded videos cut together with algorithm-matched content. 

Younger Event Goers Want Event-u-tainment

Freeman's Q1 Trends Report shows how the times they are a-changin'. Two things stand out. One, live events are back with a fury. People can’t get enough out of being together. Two, next-gen event goers (about 20-44 years old) are very different than older cohorts. They want experiences, not passive learning. They prefer opportunities for networking over other activities. They also want some feeling of exclusivity. The report goes on to say that organizers might want to optimize their events for activities that can only be done in person, considering virtual for the others. 

The  report also claims that augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain are all emerging as foundational elements to solve the challenges of navigating content, networking, and wayfinding, pointing to their use at festivals, sporting events, and retail.

VEG Events
NAB Show Meets the Creator Economy
April 15-17 | Las Vegas

It’s been a blast working with the NAB Show and Jim Louderback to showcase how the Creator Economy is changing broadcasting. Here are just a few of the creator-ish types joining us at NAB. Renee Teeley, Chad Wild Clay, Philip Nelson, Jon Duncan and Barry Owen from Wowza, Benjamin Nowak from Cinamaker, Alex Lindsay, Shira Lazar and more. We’ll also be podcasting from the show. Let us know if you’ve got something to say about tomorrow’s broadcast environment. And… sssshhh. We’ve got an ultra VIP password-protected creator afterparty. Space is limited so use this form to reserve yours.

An AI Fest
May 18 | 3PM EDT | ZOOM

Mark Your Calendar for May 18, when we will look into generative AI with Evo Heyning and Ben Parr. See the masters at work.


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Robin Raskin | Founder
917.215.3160 |

Gigi Raskin | Sales/Marketing

917.608.7542 |