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⚡️ Sports brands are getting into the Metaverse

SEEN FROM SPACE: Fast fashion creates a massive pile of trash in Chile

The Precap

  • Bill Gates: AI assistants are the future

  • Report highlights that a staggering 79% of companies worldwide consider innovation as a top-three priority for 2023

  • A nonprofit organization transformed a historic industrial building into a vibrant hub for artists

  • A pioneering program called New Voices helps printmakers.

  • TikTok is suing the state of Montana over their ban.

  • There’s a fast-fashion trash heap so massive it can be seen from space.

  • Sports franchises are getting into virtual Intellectual Property in the Metaverse

In Short

Trends & Changes

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, envisions a future where the most influential company in artificial intelligence (AI) will create a personal digital agent capable of performing various tasks for individuals. This groundbreaking technology has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with the digital world. Gates believes that once this AI assistant is developed, there will be no need to visit search or productivity sites, or even platforms like Amazon. The agent will understand our needs and habits, helping us stay informed by reading the content we don't have time for. While Gates believes there is a 50-50 chance that a startup or a tech giant will emerge as the leader in this field, he expresses his confidence in Microsoft's ability to compete. He also acknowledges the promising potential of startups like Inflection.AI. However, Gates emphasizes that it will take time for this powerful digital agent to be ready for widespread use. In the meantime, companies will integrate generative AI technologies, like OpenAI's ChatGPT, into their products. Beyond AI, Gates discusses the role of AI in healthcare and its potential to accelerate drug development and medical innovations. He believes that humanity is getting closer to finding cures for diseases like Alzheimer's, with human trials for new drugs possibly taking place within a decade. Gates also highlights the transformative impact of generative AI technologies on both white-collar and blue-collar workers, predicting that cost-effective humanoid robots could replace human employees in various industries. In light of these developments, the question arises:

How do you think things will change for you, if Gates’ prediction is correct?

In a world of economic uncertainty, innovation has emerged as the driving force behind successful companies. Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) latest report, "Reaching New Heights in Uncertain Times," sheds light on how innovation leaders are pulling ahead and building resilience in the face of challenges. The report highlights that a staggering 79% of companies worldwide consider innovation as a top-three priority for 2023. Moreover, 66% of these companies plan to increase their innovation spending, with 42% of them aiming for an increase of over 10%. This starkly contrasts with the previous downturn in 2009, where innovation ranked lower on the priority list, and fewer companies planned to increase their spending. BCG's research identifies the 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2023, with tech giants continuing to dominate the list. Apple maintains its top spot for the third consecutive year, followed by Tesla, which climbs three positions, and Amazon at third place. Additionally, the report emphasizes the role of innovation in driving performance, as BCG's portfolio of the most innovative companies has consistently outperformed the broader market in shareholder returns. One of the key insights from the report is the growing significance of artificial intelligence (AI) in innovation. Approximately 61% of companies are investing in AI and machine learning in 2023, surpassing other technologies like robotics and process automation. However, despite widespread implementation of AI, only 45% of firms have successfully translated this investment into business impact. Those companies that harness the power of AI and generate tangible results become idea-generation powerhouses, producing significantly more ideas and innovative products. The report concludes that companies need to establish a self-reinforcing cycle of innovation to stay ahead. AI serves as an example, where more ideas lead to the identification of the best use cases, and implementing AI in turn generates even more ideas. This virtuous cycle creates transformative competitive advantages and propels companies to new heights.

How are you making innovation a priority?

👩‍🎨 Powerhouse Arts, a new venue in New York, has breathed life into the city's arts scene. The nonprofit organization transformed a historic industrial building, once known as the Batcave, into a vibrant hub for artists. With the vision of philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz and the expertise of renowned architecture firms, Powerhouse Arts now offers production facilities, education spaces, and event venues for local creatives. The opening marked the culmination of years of hard work, but the real challenge lies ahead—securing sustainable funding to sustain the center's operations. However, it is the artists themselves who will be the driving force behind Powerhouse Arts. By empowering them, nurturing the next generation, and involving the community, the organization hopes to make a lasting impact on the city's arts ecosystem.

How can you support and amplify the voices of artists in your community?

Brooklyn-based artist Jacquelyn Strycker has faced numerous challenges in recent years, including adapting to parenthood and navigating the pandemic. Despite these obstacles, she has transformed her printmaking approach to make the most of limited resources. Strycker is part of the pioneering New Voices program at the Print Center New York, which supports emerging artists who engage with print media. The program's inaugural exhibition, curated by Carmen Hermo, explores the theme of transformation and will open on June 1. Strycker joins seven other talented artists, each bringing their unique perspectives and practices to the show.

The program aims to provide professional development opportunities for the artists, including virtual and in-person events and a generous honorarium. While the artists are not required to create work during the program, they will have the chance to engage with print professionals, participate in public talks, and tour iconic print media locations in New York City. The focus is on nurturing the artists' voices, needs, and goals.

Have you ever had anything like this in your creative journey?

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has filed a lawsuit against Montana's ban on the app, claiming it infringes on free speech rights and is based on unfounded fears about Chinese government access to user data. This comes after five content creators filed a similar lawsuit. Montana's governor recently signed the bill into law, set to take effect in January. TikTok has maintained that it does not share user data with the Chinese government and has taken steps to protect user privacy. Concerns about national security and potential Chinese government influence have prompted bans on TikTok in various U.S. states. TikTok's lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Montana's ban.


The ongoing legal battle between TikTok and Montana raises important questions about free speech, privacy, and national security in the digital age.

It reminds us of the delicate balance between protecting citizens and avoiding overreach.

As individuals, we can reflect on the importance of understanding the policies and implications of social media platforms we use.

How can you ensure your own privacy and navigate the complexities of digital platforms while still enjoying the benefits they offer?

A federal judge delivered a significant blow to a lawsuit accusing YouTube of facilitating piracy by limiting access to copyright tools. The composer Maria Schneider filed the lawsuit, claiming that YouTube allows major copyright owners to protect their content through tools like Content ID, while neglecting ordinary owners. However, the judge ruled against certifying the case as a class action, narrowing its scope. The judge explained that copyright claims are not suitable for class-action treatment due to their individualized nature. While the case will proceed to trial with Schneider and two other plaintiffs, it raises questions about the effectiveness of YouTube's copyright policies.

Key takeaway:

The digital landscape continues to change in face of copyright s

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Solutions Sought

Satellites have captured a haunting image of a massive clothing dump in Chile's Atacama Desert. The towering mound is composed of discarded clothes from the US, Europe, and Asia that failed to sell in stores. This grim sight serves as a stark reminder of the environmental consequences of the fast fashion industry, which contributes to carbon emissions and textile waste. Over 39,000 tons of these non-biodegradable garments accumulate in landfills, polluting the environment and posing health risks. The image also reveals the harsh reality faced by impoverished communities residing near the landfill, as migrants and local women scavenge for items to wear or sell. The story serves as a call to action for consumers to be mindful of their fashion choices and the impact they have on the planet. By opting for sustainable and ethical fashion, individuals can contribute to reducing textile waste and protecting the environment.

How would you address the problem of fast fashion?

Open Questions

From football clubs creating virtual fan communities to basketball teams offering immersive experiences, sports brands are leveraging the power of the Metaverse to engage fans and unlock new revenue streams. However, as this technological frontier unfolds, intellectual property (IP) rights become a crucial consideration. Sports organizations must navigate the challenges of trademark portfolios, design rights, brand collaborations, and building their own Metaverse. By understanding these IP risks and making strategic decisions, sports brands can protect their valuable assets while immersing fans in unforgettable experiences.

Key Takeaways:

1. Intellectual property rights are vital when venturing into the Metaverse. Sports brands must ensure they have proper trademark registrations and conduct comprehensive searches to protect their brands from infringement risks.

2. Design rights provide an additional layer of protection. Obtaining registered designs for significant items recreated in the Metaverse safeguards the brand's uniqueness.

3. Collaborating with established platforms is common in the Metaverse. When entering into partnerships, sports brands need to carefully define licensing terms, exercise approval rights, and establish recourse in case of IP misuse.

4. Building a sports brand's own Metaverse involves various IP considerations, such as securing broad IP rights and understanding copyright protection for graphics, audio, designs, and computer code.

5. Global Metaverse initiatives and blockchain technology add complexity to IP enforcement. Brands must assess local law implications, ownership rights on third-party blockchains, and measures to address misuse or infringement.



New Tools

As mentioned in the story above with Bill Gates, Inflection.Ai is certainly one to watch.

Watch & Wait

PBS NewsHour is set to premiere a special on the future of agriculture.

Check it out: