The future of brands in a post-human world

Much of our communication is now computerised. So many of our services that we enjoy for free and with spontaneity are served to us via an algorithm. By 2020, it’s predicted that the internet of things will be present in about 30bn devices and there will be more machine-to-machine communication taking place than human-to-machine communication. More of our communication will be artificial and less of it will be human. If you don’t believe this, have a think about your own communications and how your language has changed even in the last couple of years. Today, verbal and textual language almost constantly interpollinate each other. If you say LOL out loud, or start tweets or emails with ‘Um’, or sign off with IMO, then your language is already an expression of a human-machine hybrid world. As Greg Rowland of the Semiotic Alliance put it to me: “This demonstrates a viral evolution of linguistic tics that are derived from clickbait more than actually ‘lived’ language.” Our communication is changing, as are our behaviours. In fact one might argue that our behaviours are changing faster than the systems around us. Much of that is an evident source of tension in the world: the clash of the old and the new; the traditional and the modern; the digital and the analogue. We’re in transition.

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