Posts tagged with "AI"

Nightclub Gif by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

MERGING VERSES NFT

The future of fashion is the merging of two verses, the virtual world (metaverse) and the physical world. We explore this through the unity of traditional photography and animation—where humans and AI co-exist.

The NFT world is something that is growing and still confusing for many people not directly involved in the producing and purchasing of these new age art pieces. 360 MAGAZINE was able to interview several people directly involved in the production side of NFTs, including producer and model Bee Davies and photographer Jacques Burga.

Interview with Bee Davies

  • What made you become interested in NFTs?

I became interested in NFTs when I started doing virtual production and realized that there was no marketplace for digital art. More than that, there was no fan base. We know famous photographers and people who collect their photographsbut there’s not the same kind of hype surrounding animators. An NFT marketplace not only legitimizes their work, but provides a platform that opens up the door for a whole new kind of collector.

  • How do you respond to people suggesting NFTs are overly expensive and pointless?

Couldn’t you say that about all collectibles? Digital art, like any art, is meant to be enjoyed; the NFT marketplaces and wallets allow you to do that much more easily.

  • What is your favorite NFT?

The one I produced with Jacques for 360, because it exemplifies the merging of the real world and the metaverse.

  • Was it odd to see yourself become an NFT?

Not at all. Since the dawn of social media we have all had virtual versions of ourselves, this is just an overt way of expressing it.

  • What are your biggest artistic inspirations?

I would like to create and produce a completely virtual fashion show for the industry’s top fashion houses (this means AI talent, virtual runways, and digital clothing/accessories…as well as an audience attending in VR). And of course, mint every bit of the digital experience so it can be enjoyed in the metaverse for eternity.

  • What are some upcoming projects you’re looking forward to?

I have a bunch of NFTs that will be dropping soon that I’ve collaborated on with different animatorssome of which feature the actors from the SciFi TV Pilot I created.

Interview w/ Jacques Burga

  • What made you become interested in NFTs?

It’s a whole new way of making business. I enjoy pushing boundaries when it comes to projects related to my field. It also makes me feel there’s always a next step to follow and to explore disciplines that I wasn’t precisely an expert in.

  • How do you respond to people suggesting NFTs are overly expensive and pointless?

To keep the mind open to new ways of mixing technology and creativity may be good advice.

  • What are your inspirations as a photographer?

I am inspired by People and Beauty

  • Why did you decide to blend photographic elements with virtual ones?

Our world has become very virtual. Photography gets elevated when it’s blend with other disciplines such as Art or Technology (virtuality.)

  • What is your relationship with digital artwork?

I’m working on digital projects related to Fashion and NFT. My relationship is continuously growing.

  • When did you become interested in photography?

When I left an internship at a high profile magazine in Paris and decided to become independent and nurture my desire to create fashion.

  • What, in your opinion, is your best piece of artwork/photography?

I cherish every project since it is composed of pieces that create a nice puzzle for me.

  • What projects can we expect to see from you in the future?

I will always want to explore and collaborate with new technologies and artists that share my vision of fashion and people.

NFTs available on OpenSea.

MEET THE TEAM

Media Partner: 360 MAGAZINE

Studio: Daylight Studio

Producer: Bee Davies / Hive Global Media

Photographer: Jacques Burga

Make-up Artist: Sarah Tweedy

Hair Stylist: Christine McManemi

Wardrobe Stylist: Yash Joshi

NFT Marketplace: Opensea

Digital Designer: Edward Harber

Model: Bee Davies 

Animator: Vizzee

Virtual Model Creator: Vizzee

Metaverse Creators: Vizzee / Mercedes Luna Larrahona / Zoë Jane Bernet

PA: Stefanie Murza / Aleko Syntelis

nft image for use by 360 magazine
nft image for use by 360 magazine
nft image for use by 360 magazine
nft image for use by 360 magazine
nft image for use by 360 magazine
nft image for use by 360 magazine
Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

Banner Public Affairs Launches New Artificial Intelligence Tool

Banner Public Affairs is excited to announce the launch of BannerAI – a new artificial intelligence platform that further amplifies Banner’s ability to pair the right reporters with the right story, amongst other expanded capabilities. Custom-built to meet our client’s needs, our tool combines IBM Watson and AI Natural Language Processing to analyze a database of thousands of articles from key reporters and news outlets. From showcasing top keywords and concepts to identifying article sentiment, BannerAI helps our professionals pinpoint emerging trends within industries, select the right reporters to pitch, and uncover the best language to use in pitching reporters. The tool can find clear connections between keywords, outlet, title and reporter – giving next-level insights with 100% confidence. Through artificial intelligence and data analytics, our PR experts can discover prominent insights and recommendations for clients – keeping them one step ahead of their competition.

From showcasing top keywords and concepts to identifying article sentiment, BannerAI helps our professionals pinpoint emerging trends within industries, select the right reporters to pitch, and uncover the best language to use in pitching reporters. The tool can find clear connections between keywords, outlet, title and reporter – giving next-level insights with 100% confidence. Through artificial intelligence and data analytics, our PR experts can discover prominent insights and recommendations for clients – keeping them one step ahead of their competition.

“The combination of Artificial Intelligence blended with our public relations experts takes Banner Public Affairs to the next level,” wrote Brett Thompson, one of the firm’s partners. “By analyzing thousands of stories and providing actionable data, the AI tool allows our PR professionals to find the perfect reporters and outlets to cover our clients’ stories.”

About Banner Public Affairs

Banner Public Affairs executes winning strategies to achieve the unexpected and avoid the predictable. Our bipartisan team of experienced lobbying, public relations, and digital professionals provides best-in-class counsel and executes long-term growth strategies with a short-term hustle, problem-solving mindset. With a track record of victories, Banner is a natural and sought-after partner for the big moments. Banner is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has offices in St. Louis, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

statistics illustration via Maria Soloman for use by 360 Magazine

Micro:bit and Raspberry Pi: What’s the Difference?

Back in 2016, the BBC delivered its first mini-computer to one million school children in the UK. Originally unveiled in the summer of 2015, the plan was for the computer to “…change the way children think about their ability to make things happen digitally,” according to then BBC director-general, Tony Hall. 

At the time of the BBC micro:bit’s launch, schools across the country had already been using Raspberry Pi in the classroom for a few years. The Pi was first launched in the UK in 2012 and in the nine years that have passed, this single-board computer has become part of a market that’s grown rapidly, with an estimated worth of $3.8 billion by 2027.

So, what’s the difference between the two? Read on to find out how they compare and what they offer. 

The BBC micro:bit – computers for curious kids

The BBC micro:bit was developed to help children master basic coding and give them the opportunity to gain an interest in programming early in their education. It is known for being basic – but that’s the point. Its purpose is to offer a user-friendly approach to coding for young people. 

This palm-sized mini-computer has a 25-LED matrix screen, two buttons, compass, accelerometer and Bluetooth. It also has 3 PINs so that it can be connected to external inputs and outputs like thermometers, lights, and buzzers. Last autumn, it received an upgrade, with new models featuring a speaker, microphone, and AI capability.

Crucially, it’s a microcontroller. This means that it has no interface that’s accessed by hooking it up to a monitor. Instead, you write a program on it computer and the code is uploaded to the board. 

The Raspberry Pi – computers for everyone

The Pi is a very different device to the micro:bit. This is a credit card-sized single-board microcomputer. Unlike the micro:bit, which is a microcontroller, the Pi has an interface that can be accessed by plugging it into a monitor. While the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched its first microcontroller – the Pi Pico – earlier this year, it’s still known for developing microcomputers. This is significantly different to the micro:bit. 

Another major difference is that the Pi is more advanced. It offers access to a range of applications that suit children and adults alike, with Scratch being a popular option among schoolchildren. 

However, the Pi can be used as a desktop, too. The latest model, the Pi 4, comes is fast enough to operate as a desktop replacement that works well for internet browsing, writing notes, and other basic functions. 

What’s the difference? 

BBC micro:bit was never meant to rival the Pi. In fact, it was designed as a steppingstone for children to learn the building blocks of coding before moving on to the more advanced Pi. 

It’s worth keeping this in mind if you’re trying to decide between the two. If you’re starting out in the world of coding and programming, the micro:bit has what you need. But if you’re planning a bigger project and have already laid the coding groundwork, the Raspberry Pi could be ideal. 

statistics illustration via Maria Soloman for use by 360 Magazine

Seven tips that will ensure your website’s calls-to-action get results 

Offering high-quality products or services is great, but it’s not always enough to make a sale. You also need to ensure you have strong calls-to-actions (CTAs) on your website. 

These are words or phrases, often presented on a button, that tell your customers what to do next. Sometimes, people just need a little bit of a push! 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to optimize your website’s CTAs so you can make more sales. 

Make sure your calls-to-action are bright and bold 

The design of your CTAs is just as important as the wording! You don’t want them to blend in, or readers might not spot them. So, you need to put some thought into how you can make them stand out. 

Typically, CTAs are presented on a clickable button. When choosing the color of yours, try to pick a hue that fits in with your branding, but that will still stand out against the background it’s on. Make sure the button is big enough, too — it should be one of the first page elements people are drawn to when they land on your website. 

Let’s take a look at a few examples for inspiration.

Paramount Plus, a new TV and movie streaming service, has a bright and bold CTA right on their homepage. 

There are two things in particular that stand out: first, the copy says TRY IT FREE. Because Paramount Plus is so new, it’s important that they reel in customers this way — after all, there are a lot of streaming services out there, so people will want to try before they buy. Additionally, the color of the button is a bright and clear blue. Not only does this color work with the company’s branding, but the blue also contrasts well against Spongebob’s yellow, making it even more eye-catching. 

KiwiCo, a kid’s craft subscription service, has a stand-out CTA right on their homepage as well. 

They’ve used a bright and bold green color to ensure their CTA button stands out against the grey background, and they’ve also added a fun light bulb icon that draws the eye. Not only does this help the call-to-action to stand out, but it could also spark a website visitor’s imagination and convince them to click through to “get a crate”. 

Think about how you could ensure your CTAs stand out on your website. What colors would work well, and are there any fun icons you could add for some extra interest? 

Stir up a sense of urgency 

If you create a sense of urgency with your CTAs, you can make your consumers feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t act now. This can lead to more people taking the action you’re looking for right away.

You can help create a sense of urgency with timers that outline when a particular promotion will end, or how much stock you have left, for instance. Let’s take a look at an example of a business that uses this tactic well.

For instance, Amazon likes to let people know when stock of a particular product is running low. They’ll then tell you to “order soon” to avoid missing out on the items you need.

This is a powerful technique that could provide a sense of uncertainty that will be just enough to push people into making a purchase. They even have two different buttons customers can press — one of which says “buy now”, which increases the feeling of urgency. Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, so this is clearly a tactic that has served them well. 

Play on your website visitors’ FOMO 

Similarly, fear of missing out, or FOMO, can be a very effective motivator. So, it’s worth playing on this with your calls-to-action. Make your readers feel like people just like them have taken your desired action and are better off because of it!

To provide you with some inspiration for your own CTAs, let’s take a look at a company that does a great job of stirring up a sense of FOMO with theirs. 

Venngage, a company that specializes in helping people to create infographics, makes sure to instil the fear of missing out in their audience in their guide to what infographics are.

Within their article, they promote a webinar they’ll be hosting on the topic, and urge people to “SAVE MY SPOT”. This creates a sense of scarcity, and encourages people to act fast to avoid missing out. Plus, the CTA is presented on a bright green button, which really helps it to stand out. 

If you’re hosting an event or promoting a limited edition product, make sure you make it clear to people that they could miss out if they don’t buy their ticket or item right now. It could just be enough to boost your conversions. 

Provide different calls-to-action for different people

Different people who visit your site might be at different stages of the buying journey. This means it can often be helpful to have different CTAs that correspond to these different stages. For example, you might want to encourage one person to make a purchase, but direct someone else towards giving you a call to get more information about what you do. 

Let’s take a look at some businesses that use this tactic well. 

For instance, you’ll find several different CTAs on Loganix’s link building services page. At the very top of the page, you’ll see a button that urges people to “get started” — this is great for people who have already decided that they would like some help with their link building and that Loganix is their company of choice.

However, people who scroll down the page to find more information will also find a range of other CTAs, such as “learn more” and “read more testimonials”. These target people who aren’t quite sure about this service or want to know more about the company in general. 

This approach is particularly effective for a service-based organization like Loganix. They’re providing something slightly more abstract than a physical product, so people looking to spend money with the business might need more convincing. These different CTAs are sure to point them in the right direction. 

Similarly, Best Value Schools have multiple CTAs on their homepage. The website helps prospective students to choose the next step in their education and career, which is always going to be a huge decision. So, they have different calls-to-action to attract people at different stages in their journey. 

They have options to “find your school”, “view all resources”, “view all rankings”, and more. Think about all of the different types of people who could be browsing this website. “Find your school” targets people who already know what kind of path they want to pursue, while the CTAs that urge people to find more information are more suited to people who are earlier in their journey, and who might not even be sure that higher education is for them. There’s a CTA for everyone. 

Consider who’s likely to land on your website, and what they might need in their current stage of the buyer journey. Do they want to make a purchase straight off the bat, or will they need more information? You should add CTAs that cater to everyone. 

Make it very obvious if you’re offering a freebie

If you’re creating a CTA to promote something that won’t require your website visitors to spend any money, be sure to make that very clear. This can work well for free templates, free trials, free consultations, and the like. 

Keep in mind that offering something for free is also a great marketing strategy in general. It shows people what you do, and is likely to lead to them spending money with you in the future.

To provide you with some inspiration, let’s take a look at companies that incorporate freebies into their marketing and CTAs well.

For instance, Bay Property Management Group, a real estate management company with multiple locations across the east coast, promotes their free property management analysis on their Philadelphia location page. 

You can clearly see where you need to click to get a free property management analysis, as the bright blue CTA button really stands out! Just above their freebie call-to-action, they also outline the benefits of clicking through — doing so will help prospective to find their ideal tenants without breaking the bank.

The company is offering a very valuable service for free, and they’ve made that very clear with their CTA. This is sure to lead to a lot of click-throughs and could drive a lot of future business for the company. 

SocialPilot does something similar partway through their guide to Facebook analytics tools.

They provide their own social media platform so, along with outlining the pros and cons of all the different tools out there, they’ve mentioned and promoted their own. Not only that, but they’ve also encouraged people to try it for free.

The bright blue banner really makes this CTA stand out, and they’ve made it very clear that trying out their tool won’t cost the user anything. They’ve mentioned “free” twice and even clarified that they won’t take your credit card details, so you won’t be stung if you forget to cancel at the end of your free trial. This is sure to convince a lot of people to give it a go and could lead to a lot more sales for the company. 

Could you offer something valuable to your prospective customers for free? If so, make it very clear that engaging won’t cost them anything, and it could actually boost your bottom line in the long run. 

Lead with a strong verb 

The whole point of a call-to-action is to convince someone to do something — that means you should always lead with a strong verb. Words and phrases like “sign up” and “submit” might do the job, but they aren’t very powerful, so you’ll want to go with something stronger for the best results. 

Here are some examples of CTAs with strong verbs that you could use: 

  • Download now
  • Get started
  • Create your account
  • Explore now
  • Discover more
  • Schedule an appointment

All of these CTAs are clear, convincing, and make it very obvious what you prospective customers should do next. 

Inject some personality into your calls-to-action 

You want your prospective customers to engage with your CTAs, and injecting them with your personality can really help. To start, you should identify your brand voice, if you haven’t already.

Consider how you want to address your customers, first and foremost. Are you professional? Funny? Playful? Inspirational? Think about who your audience is and how you want to relate to and communicate with them.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that do a great job of incorporating their brand voice into their CTAs for the best results. 

For example, Express, a clothing retailer, does this well on their homepage. 

When you first visit their site, you’re presented with a banner that urges you to “join the TikTok challenge”. They’re trying to get their customers to post about their lives post-pandemic, and want them to share their outfits (which are hopefully from Express). This CTA wouldn’t work for every business, but it’s effective for Express, which is a young and savvy clothing brand with an audience that is immersed in the online world. This shows the company is engaging, boundary-pushing, and adventurous, which increases the chance of their ideal customers clicking through and jumping on board with their challenge. 

There’s also plenty of personality in the CTAs that the luxury vodka brand Grey Goose uses on its homepage.

One of their most interesting examples is “uncork the truth”. This phrase suggests a few different things about Grey Goose’s personality. First, using a word like “uncork” is fun and relevant, as they are an alcohol distiller. Second, the phrasing shows that they want to be transparent in how they make their products and what ingredients they use. Consider if you can use a similar play on words in your own CTAs to show off your brand personality.

Summary

Your CTAs are some of the most important aspects of your website! To get people to do what you want them to do, you have to give them an extra push. In this article, we outlined seven different ways to enhance your CTAs, including using your brand personality, improving your design, using strong verbs, and more. There’s work to be done — get to it!

Author bio & headshot

Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog. 

Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix image for use by 360 magazine
Home Entertainment System illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Three Ways To Amp up Your Home Entertainment

Your home should be the place you are most comfortable. On top of that, if you’re the kind of person who loves to entertain guests, you want your home to be a place where others can not only be comfortable but have a memorable experience. Here are three things you can do to create a home where you can maximize entertaining others or simply allow yourself to really unwind. 

1. Audio Is Everything 

When you think of an entertaining event, is it possible to think of one that’s totally silent? One reason people love seeing movies in theaters is because the surround-sound audio seems larger than life. When you attend concerts, nothing gets your blood pumping quite like feel the bass resonating in your chest cavity. Whether you aim to entertain with a great home theater or with quality parties, your home audio Nashville must be top-notch. Watching movies is one thing; experiencing them is another. 

2. Drinks Must Be on-Hand

Any good event has interesting drinks available. That doesn’t even mean they have to be alcoholic — having a unique craft soda available can add a unique element to a get-together. Make sure the space you’re hosting parties in has drinks nearby. You might want to have a mini-fridge stocked in the basement, or you could even use an everyday cooler. However it’s done, the point is to make sure nobody has to ask for a drink or question where they might be. 

3. Lighting Is the Cherry on Top 

Going to a friend’s house for some drinks is a party, and parties are great. However, the difference between a party and an event is the ambiance. Imagine going to the exact same event, but their living room has been rearranged and they’ve hung up some interesting lights to create a completely different atmosphere. You are bound to remember that event more than the other everyday parties you’ve attended recently. 

You can accomplish unique lighting in many different ways, and most of them are very simple. The easiest is to buy some string lights that simply plug into your outlets. They can easily be hung temporarily and stored for later use — it shouldn’t take any longer than 10 minutes to set them up every time. You can even experiment with using various colored bulbs in your existing fixtures. You don’t have to go crazy, but just doing something a little different will make a big difference. 

It doesn’t take much to make a party stand out. If you have a quality sound system, you’ll already be leaps and bounds above the average event that has TV speakers or a run-of-the-mill stereo. Just like going out to eat, your friends will be happy if they never have to ask for a refill on their beverage, and you can really make the event memorable by changing the atmosphere. Don’t think you have to do all of this for other people, though — doing all of these same things for yourself will make for an incredibly relaxing night in. 

Art by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

Microsoft Partners with UHHM

MICROSOFT EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSAL HIP HOP MUSEUM THROUGH A $5 MILLION GIFT AS PART OF ITS AI FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM

MICROSOFT WILL CELEBRATE THE PARTNERSHIP AT THE OFFICIAL GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE UHHM ON MAY 20th

Today, the Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM) is excited to announce their expanded partnership with Microsoft, as the leading global technology company gifts the museum $5,000,000 on behalf of their AI for Cultural Heritage program. Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage program leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to empower people and organizations dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of cultural heritage. Through this partnership, Microsoft will become the Official Technology Partner of the UHHM to help empower the museum’s mission of celebrating and preserving the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture to inspire, empower, and promote understanding.

“Preserving the history of Hip Hop, celebrating the cultural contributions of the pioneers who paved the way for today’s Hip Hop generation to thrive and flourish, and promoting the positive economic and social aspects of Hip Hop have been the sole focus of the UHHM for the past decade,” said Universal Hip Hop Museum Executive Director, Rocky Bucano.

With the use of advanced technology, such as AI, Microsoft will work together with the UHHM to ensure the museum has the resources and platforms it needs to become the state-of-the-art institution they have envisioned. This partnership will allow the UHHM to design immersive experiences which will engage global audiences both today and well into the future.

“Since its birth in the Bronx almost fifty years ago, innovators have harnessed creativity and technology to evolve and grow Hip Hop into one of today’s most celebrated musical, artistic, and cultural influences,” said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft. “As a proud supporter and official technology partner of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, we’re incredibly excited about the role that Microsoft technology will play to help document, preserve, and tell this uniquely American story to the world.” 

This donation builds on a long-standing relationship between Microsoft and the UHHM who initially partnered together in 2016 to co-host envisioning sessions that helped shape the museum’s future vision. In 2019, Microsoft and the UHHM collaborated with MIT Professor Dr. Fox Harrell, to bring to life “Breakbeat Narratives” – an experience using artificial intelligence to explore the rich history of Hip Hop music – which is currently on display at the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop, an exhibition designed to give Hip Hop lovers a sneak peek of the Universal Hip Hop Museum. 

The Microsoft partnership will be celebrated on Thursday, May 20, 2021, during the official groundbreaking ceremony at Bronx Point, the future home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum. 

About the Universal Hip Hop Museum

Anchored in the birthplace of Hip Hop culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum will break ground in the Bronx in 2021. Built as a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge and create unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences, the museum is slated to open in Bronx Point in 2024. The UHHM will celebrate and preserve the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture past, present, and future. 

About Microsoft AI Cultural Heritage

Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage program leverages the power of AI to empower people and organizations dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of cultural heritage. Microsoft has committed $10 million over five years to expand access to Microsoft Azure and AI resources, focused on celebrating the people who have made a significant impact throughout history, using digital tools to preserve important monuments and sites for future generations to explore, engaging with communities around the world for language preservation, and creating ways for collections and archives to be more easily accessed and enjoyed. By harnessing the latest tools in ways that support an environment rich in diversity, perspectives, and learnings from the past, and sharing that knowledge and experience to be shared with the rest of the world, every society benefits.

M F Husain illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Conversation with M F Husain

India’s Newest Museum Allows Conversation With A Dead Artist Via AI

The Museum of Art and Photography and Accenture Labs have collaborated to create India’s first conversational digital persona of the celebrated artist, M F Husain. This unique digital experience was created during Covid 19 lockdowns as a way to feel engaged while experiencing art. 

Husain’s persona gives a glimpse into the life and work of one of India’s most compelling artists. Viewers can simply ask Husain’s digital twin a question regarding his early life, family or career to receive a simulated response from him. While Husain’s voice has been digitally created using speech synthesis software, the questions and answers have been prepared through extensive research on the artist. 

The experience will also be available on web and mobile platforms and as a 3D hologram at the Museum’s physical space which is set to open in December 2021.

To speak with M.F. Husain’s AI counterpart, click here.

For more information, click here.

More about The Museum of Art and Photography:

MAP connects India’s past, present, and future by showcasing historical artifacts alongside modern and contemporary works, folk art, textiles, painting, sculpture and photography. The MAP collection currently has more than 18,000 works ranging from the 12th Century to the present day.

Miami Florida illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Clean Cities Clean Future campaign

Investing in Digital Twins can prevent US cities from under-reporting their carbon emissions.

Cities across the United States are underreporting their carbon emissions by an average of 18.3% according to Nature Communications, the journal for research across the natural sciences.

It has reported huge discrepancies in measurement, with some cities under-reporting emissions by as much as 145.5%, and the total amount of potentially unreported carbon equating to 129 million metric tons. But, a Clean Cities – Clean Future campaign launched by leading Digital Twin provider Cityzenith has offered to help them address this.

Kevin Gurney of Northern Arizona University said the cities’ problem is not so much that they are deliberately under-reporting carbon emissions, but the fact that they simply do not have the technology to measure them.

Gurney and his team have developed ‘Vulcan’, an automated measurement system that can estimate fossil-fuel emissions at specific geographic points and across large areas.

The team compared Vulcan’s estimates of greenhouse gas emissions between 2010 and 2015 with those reported in 48 city inventories, which discovered that many US cities were not measuring their emissions accurately.

Gurney used measuring heating emissions as an example: “Heating oil statistics are difficult to get. Cities will often just not include the heating oil in their total building estimates.”

He added that cities are also using different methods to measure emissions from various sources, such as airborne, on-road, and marine:

“The analysis highlights the need for a systematic, consistent approach to accounting for carbon emissions across the US, because inaccurate estimates make it difficult to assess how effective emissions reduction efforts are.”

The World Economic Forum says cities are crucial for the journey to net-zero emissions. Despite only covering 3% of the Earth’s land surface, urban areas are responsible for more than 70% of global carbon emissions.

Emily Tan, City Solutions General Manager at Shell Renewable and Climate Solutions also called for a consistent approach to the problem: “Integrated solutions need to be innovated and delivered. This will require unprecedented collaboration between the government, industry, and society.

“But the urgency has never been greater. After all, making cities sustainable places to live and work for future generations will be imperative if the world is to meet the broader goals of the Paris Agreement and move closer to a net-zero emissions world.”

Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen is adamant that the solution to effective measurement and management of carbon emissions within urban areas is Digital Twin technology:

“This report should be a real eye-opener to everyone working to address the 2016 Paris Agreement and push back against Climate Change.

“We already knew that urban emissions were by far the biggest contributor to the greenhouse gases, causing our world to heat up and threaten human life and prosperity, but it now seems that some of the parameters must change through this inadvertent under-reporting.

“Fortunately, Digital Twin 3D modelling through a powerful platform like our SmartWorldOS software can aggregate all new data, and then use AI to develop lasting solutions to the problems highlighted by Nature Communications and the Vulcan team.

“We are raising $15 million through Regulation A+ crowdfunding and as part of our Clean Cities – Clean Future’ campaign, we are donating our SmartWorldOS technology platform to one city at a time for every $1m raised to help create carbon neutral cities.

“And the great news is we have already raised more than $2 million from more than 1,000 new shareholders since launching our investment platform on our website at the end of last year, which will allow the first cities to benefit to be announced in the second quarter of 2021.”

Photo video shoot story illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 MAGAZINE

DAYLIGHT STUDIO

Daylight Studio stands out as the future of fashion. Daylight is a fully equipped 13,000 square foot rental studio located in the vibrant Hudson Yards district. For twenty years it has been hosting photo and video shoots, seminars, castings, workshops, fashion shows, green screen rentals and virtual events.

Over the past year, Daylight has been working to bring you the future of fashion: virtual fashion show. Thanks to advanced technologies such as CGI, AI and Unreal Engine, the virtual fashion show halves your production time and inspires innovation beyond the catwalk.

Daylight’s Virtual Fashion Show package includes venue, runway, models, hair and make-up, photo shoot, video shoot, social media announcement, and buyer’s list.

Cityscape by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

U.S. Smart City Initiatives

U.S. Smart City Initiatives Are Falling Short; New Report Calls for More Federal R&D and Coordination to Demonstrate and Deploy Artificial Intelligence Tools.

The next wave of connected and intelligent technologies—sensors, 5G, and artificial intelligence (AI)—promises to improve the energy efficiency of urban systems. AI, in particular, can help cities save money, address infrastructure needs, and reduce emissions. Yet, cities face significant challenges in researching, developing, demonstrating, and deploying AI and other smart technologies. A new report released today by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, shows that without greater federal involvement in R&D and better national coordination of demonstration and deployment activities, cities will fail to maximize the benefits AI offers.

“City governments ultimately must take the lead in deploying AI smart city applications, but there is an important role for the federal government in funding R&D and coordinating activities,” says Colin Cunliff, a senior policy analyst at ITIF and co-author of the report. “Some federal programs invest in AI or smart cities, but there are significant funding gaps in demonstration and deployment, and that’s because there is no cross-cutting vision or strategy. Increasing federal R&D funding and providing better coordination can drive adoption of AI technologies on a larger scale than cities can achieve working independently.”

The report details many potential applications of AI for smart cities in transportation, the electrical grid, buildings, and city operations that can ultimately make cities more efficient and help them reduce their environmental footprint. To overcome the obstacles of adopting AI, the report shows how United States can draw lessons from how other countries have tackled these challenges. For instance, Singapore has developed a “digital twin” of the island that the government, businesses, and researchers can use as a test bed to run simulations.

While the federal government has undertaken an array of activities to support the development of smart cities, the report notes that these efforts have mostly been uncoordinated, and the government has had no strategic vision for AI R&D, demonstration, and deployment of smart city technologies. Some federal government programs are investing in AI or smart cities, but significant funding gaps remain. There are also no cross-cutting AI and smart city initiatives.

“Smart city investment has been compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic because of revenue shortfalls. Even the most capable cities are struggling to overcome some of the obstacles they face in smart city development,” says Ashley Johnson, a policy analyst at ITIF and co-author of the report. “Increasing federal investment and coordination to jumpstart smart cities would address several challenges at once. Smart cities offer an important opportunity to address infrastructure needs, reduce emissions, and save money to ease strained state and local budgets.”

To view more of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s findings, read their report.

About ITIF

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized by its peers in the think tank community as the global center of excellence for science and technology policy, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress. Learn more on their website.