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NTEN: Emerging Tech Trends

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While in the midst of a pandemic and the world transforming around us, the only time you might think about emerging tech is while you’re endlessly doom-scrolling on your phone. Although we are caught in a cycle of rapid cultural and technical innovation, there are tools (quite literally at your fingertips) that you can use to help guide you and your organization through this difficult time. 

I recently had the chance to lead a webinar with a group of brilliant social impact specialist via our strategic partners at N-TEN focused on 

  • emerging tech trends, 
  • how we can use them for social good, and 
  • how to prepare for a digital-first paradigm. 

Covering AI, chatbots, deepfake videos, blockchain, IoT, augmented reality, newer social platforms like TikTok and Parler, we strategized how to navigate new tech and pave a new way forward. I’ve pulled out some of my favorite highlights here, and you can view the full presentation here to get up to speed quickly.

Use of AI in Racial Justice Movements 

One of the most interesting recent discoveries came from a partnership between Do Big Things and Swayable. Using AI and NLP provided by IV/AI, we analyzed the most preferred language around eliminating police brutality. While those who were categorized in the Gen-Z and Millennial categories preferred “Defund the Police” as a mission statement, those in older generations responded most positively to big idea phrases such as “Reform” and ‘Re-Imagine”. Although the sentiment and overall message remained similar in terms of dramatic change for criminal justice in America, we discovered something as simple as changing wording depending on age maximized engagement and generated positive sentiment. Through advanced digital-based audience testing via AI, we were able to better understand how to reach different target communities with language that is relatable and actionable across a broad spectrum of people. 

Bots Will Meet You Wherever You Are 

If you’ve shopped online recently, you’ve encountered a chatbot. While telephone-based customer service can take hours between the line transfers and endless holding patterns, chatbots are instant, concise and accessible. The goal for all organizations now should be to reduce barriers to entry and engagement—that means meeting people where they are and reaching those we may not be able to reach traditionally. For example, while a chatbot might be ready to answer a question at 2AM, I’m most likely sleeping. Or someone your nonprofit or campaign may have a pressing question to ask on a Saturday night — fortunately, the chatbot will be ready to take on the workload. During this chaotic time, we can’t expect people to adhere to “traditional” hours, work days, or schedules. Chatbots can help campaigns and causes scale up their outreach using human-friendly automation for frequently asked questions. Why not be prepared to meet people halfway? 

Connected TV is the New Frontier 

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the rise of Connected TV, and it most certainly won’t be the last! Streaming TV is on the rise due to the lockdowns and an increasingly digital-savvy population. As a result, Connected TV and streaming entertainment has become a critical avenue for getting your message in front of younger, more diverse audiences. Most recently, we were able to push digital ads for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to reach people under 25and those in the Midwest and South successfully on platforms like Twitch, Hulu, A&E, ABC, HGTV, NBC News, TLC, Univision, and Vevo where climate messaging has been infrequent at best. By using authentic, mission based content paired with the power of Connected TV, we were able to market an effective, action-driven ad campaign to key target audiences who may not have engaged otherwise.

These three topics just skim the surface of what’s yet to come. To learn more emerging tech trends, check out my full NTEN presentation and let’s talk.

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