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The Turing Fest Newsletter #2 – 9th November 2022

November 9, 2022

After an incredibly encouraging response to our newsletter debut, we’re back with another collection of articles, content and resources that we’ve found interesting and think you’ll find valuable. 

If you’ve any feedback on the content or have any thoughts on what you’d like to see more/less of in the newsletter then drop us a reply anytime with your suggestions as we’re building this for YOU! 

📚[BUILD]Machine Learning is speeding ahead in the voice recognition race, but is our privacy trailing behind?

  As the availability and technological sophistication of voice recognition software advances, it poses a new question about how consumers can protect their privacy. Machines are able to infer your age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, health conditions, and more, and use this to bolster their sales funnel and conversion rates. Are we ok with this? Or, do we need to keep ourselves safe from Alexa and the machine learning mob?


Read the article now 

[Matt Burgess, WIRED]

📚 [GROW] Brand marketing is here to stay and is replacing paid media: lessons from Airbnb.

Having recorded its highest profits per quarter to date, Airbnb has started to see the reward for its change of strategy over recent years. Instead of pouring their marketing budgets into search advertising, they’ve shifted focus to more traditional marketing techniques with brand marketing paving the way to greater profitability.  

Read the full article now

[Megan Graham, Wall Street Journal]

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📚 [LEAD] The art of internal communication.

The way in which we work has drastically evolved in a short period of time, and increasingly, many of us are working in non-traditional work environments and geographies. Alongside the many benefits, there are clearly challenges too – with clear communication amongst teams more important than ever. 37signals shared their guide to internal communication, documenting principles that they have established within the organisation to allow for better and more consistent communication. 

Read the full article now

[Jason Fried, 37signals]

📚 [BONUS] Bye bye birdy?

You’d have to have been living under a rock to have missed Elon Musk’s tumultuous Twitter acquisition, and even then, you were probably tweeting about being under a rock. Can the mercurial Musk improve Twitter, or is he destined to destroy it? The jury is out, but the scale of the challenge is fast becoming clear.

Read the full article now

[Nilay Patel, The Verge]

🎥 [ARCHIVE – TF22] Jonny Brooks-Bartlett – Hello, is it me you’re looking for? Improving Spotify search.


When a Spotify user types a query into the search bar it sets off a cascade of algorithms which ultimately ends in the user being shown a set of music and/or podcast results.

This cascade of processes can be very complex as we must try to understand exactly what the user is looking for and choose a handful of results from a set of 10s of millions of potential options. As more and more items are added to the Spotify catalogue, from music to podcasts and soon audiobooks too, the Search team has increased in size and scope to try to tackle the growing challenges.

In his highly praised talk at TF22, Jonny shares an overview of a typical search system, the algorithms that drastically improved Spotify search quality and the lessons he’s learned building Machine Learning models.

[Jonny Brooks-Bartlett, Spotify]

P.s if you enjoyed this newsletter, share it with a friend or colleague who you think would like it too! There’s enough content to go around

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