Ad:Tech, How Consumer's Moods Drive Decisions and What if Your Boss Were an Algorithm?

By October 17, 2014 Week in Context No Comments

This week there is our founder’s presentation on Context-aware computing and cross channel personalisation and the upcoming Ad:Tech event, as well as a look at how moods drive consumer decisions and IBM’s Watson getting ready for boardroom duty.

This Week in Context

Your Weekly Update on All Things Context, October 10 2014

Nobody wants to be treated like the average person. That is why you as a client need more accurate profiling,” our Founder our founder explained to an audience of expert marketers and mobile marketing at Digital First. There is value in personalisation for both consumer and brand. “Context-aware computing and cross channel personalisation” is available here on slideshare.

This Tuesday at Ad:Tech London, we will go into more detail about context-aware mobile advertising, with Filip speaking at the Engagement & Experience Summit at 16h20. To arrange meeting up at the Expo, drop by Stand 400/G, contact us at, or tweet @arguslabs.

Joining us is CTO Frank Verbist. Read about his take on context and behaviour-aware mobile advertising on the Argus Labs blog


When asked if people are getting better at articulating their search queries:

“The more accurate the machine gets, the lazier the questions become.” 

Amit Singhal, Head of Search at Google

Five Must-Reads

1. How Consumers’ Moods Drive Decisions

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson has a look at the surprising effect of good and bad moods on what people read, what they buy, and how they act, and how mood – despite its short lifespan – shapes a person’s attention, his entertainment, and his choices. Expect insights into how the weather influences restaurant reviews, on how positive moods can make a person more sensitive to rewards, ‘happiness’ differs according to age (present-based vs future-based). Did you know that if you are in a foul mood, you’ll be more critical, and will prefer easy and familiar things?

2. Controversial Questions About Personalisation

In line with last week’s article about privacy, UX and personalisation, Maarten shared an interesting panel discussion from the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems moderated by Netflix’ Xavier Amatriain. Twitter, Upworthy, The Music Genome Project (Pandora) and Verizon’s OnCue (Verizon) recommender and data experts discuss media and ‘people’ recommendations, and the implications of transparency, privacy and filter bubbles. (Hattip @madevill)

3. What if your boss were an algorithm?

IBM is working on a boardroom-version of its supercomputer Watson that could contribute to board meetings and help develop strategy. “Boardroom Watson would be able to transcribe everything said in a meeting, show answers to research questions on a big screen, and also come up with its own suggestions consistent with company strategy based on algorithms and big data analytics.  Worryingly for some, IBM says Watson would also be able to analyse the contributions made by each board member for usefulness and accuracy,” the BBC writes.  (hattip Frank Verbist)

4. Will smart machines make us more dumb? 

The easier it is for us to acquire information, the less likely it is to stick. With Google makes us all dumber: The neuroscience of search engines, Ian Leslie approaches how our thinking changes due to information being preemptively offered to us, rather than us having to look for it.  Difficulty and frustration – the very friction that Google aims to eliminate – ensure that our brain integrates new information more securely. According to Leslie, outsourcing our memories to the cloud, is  a “short-cut to stupidity.”

5. Chassis, an API for the internet of cars

Dash, an app that offers direct connectivity to your car via OBD-II, announced the Chassis API, a connected car platform that gives other developers access to fuel consumption and efficiency data, driving stats like hard braking and time spent speeding, and providing alerts for those activities. We agree with TechCrunch’s Darrel Etherington, that “while Apple and Google are both offering software solutions that provide platforms for in-car app development, Dash and its ilk are offering another tool for devs to use in creating this software, which could make for very advanced vehicular software experiences.

A Work of Art & Tech

We’ve updated the Argus Labs website, it now sports a visual inspired by NXXCXX ‘s abstract visualisation of a biological neural network in action. You can find (and play with) this great neural network simulation on github.

neural network visualisation

Papers, Talks and Research

This presentation by Kyunghyun Cho offers a great overview of the past, current and future of deep learning; from boltzman machines and Hinton’s 2006 deep belief networks to convolutional neural nets and more. Is it the beginning of deep learning or the end of deep learning?

  • How Happiness Affects Choice (emotion, mood, marketing, paper)
  • Investigating the interactions between individuals and music technologies within contemporary modes of music consumption (music, experience, FirstMonday paper)
  • Behavioural Monitoring and Assessment via Mobile Sensing Technologies (ubiqious computing, mobile sensing, wearables, Behavioral Health Care and Technology: chapter 3)

The AutoUI conference 2014 (Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications) held a session focussing on driver emotions and physiological state, covering the mitigating effect music can have on ‘angry’ driving behaviour (happy or sad music does not matter), and the detection of stress levels from GPS traces: Estimating Driver’s Stress from GPS Traces.

Enjoy the reads, and have a great weekend!
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