productivity tags

Bull Session

The Productivity Paradox

November 16, 2018          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we discuss the Productivity Paradox, inspired by the recent article in MIT Technology Review, “Advanced tech, but growth slow and unequal: paradoxes and policies”. While we’re experiencing an unprecedented boom in technology, the accompanying massive productivity boost that we might expect to see has failed to materialize. In fact, in many major economies, productivity growth is slowing. So, what’s the reason for this unexpected outcome? To begin with, our ability to absorb, integrate, and leverage technologies effectively — from mobile to artificial intelligence to the internet of things — has limits. While the technology might be present, it is not been distributed and utilized in ways that have yielded productivity gains in rapid fashion. Constructing the systems, workflows, and roles to take advantage of these new technologies will take time. And, in concert with these, it will be vital that, as a society, we develop policies that support and enable people to shift into new work roles and invest time in learning new skills. Join us as we discuss.

Advanced tech, but growth slow and unequal: paradoxes and policies


Bull Session

Sleep and Creativity

June 15, 2017          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week we explore sleep, sleep tech, and creativity.

Before technology ruled our nights, humans had a much different relationship with sleep. Our rhythms, creative and otherwise, were ruled by our internal clocks and the rising and setting of the sun. But with the advent of industrialization and electric lights, and the eventual influx of glowing screens into every aspect of our lives, sleep is something that we began seeking inconsistently and increasingly doing without.

For the modern day quantifiers and body optimizers, sleep is increasingly a new realm of interest. For instance, Apple recently acquired the Finnish sleep tech company Beddit, which makes a device for tracking heart rate, breathing, and sleep time.

And, sleep is, of course, vital to our health, our mood, and our productivity. For artists, designers, and creative people in general, the sleep cycle can be intricately entangled with their creative routines and output. Whether you’re an early riser, a segmented sleeper, or a night owl, the interaction of sleep and creativity can be very important. Join us as we discuss.



Broken Sleep
The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People
Apple just bought a sleep tech company
Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor

Bull Session


January 26, 2017          

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss workplace automation and the technologies that will make it happen — from robotics to artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning. The McKinsey Global Institute released a new study on the topic this month, “A Future that Works: Automation, Employment and Productivity”, which contains some interesting insights.For instance, almost every occupation has the potential to be at least partially automated, and it’s likely that more occupations will be transformed than automated away. However, people will need to work in conjunction with machines as a part of their day-to-day activities, and in this new age of automation, learning new skills will be critical.Add to this the fact that working-age population is actually decreasing in many countries, and we can see how the story of automation is multi-faceted. The path to automating the workplace is a complex one that could raise productivity growth on a global scale.

Report – McKinsey Global Institute: Harnessing automation for a future that works