Enterprise hits and misses - Oracle and Red Hat tussle, gamification creepifies, and AI regulatory pressures mount

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed July 17, 2023
This week - as regulatory pressures mount, CIOs and CTOs are in the generative AI hot seat of opportunity. "Creepy gamification" gets skewered, as does crypto-blockchain. Oracle and Red Hat tussle over open source, and I'm in the whiffs section.


Lead story - the creepification of gamification and the crypto corruption of blockchain - where do we go from here?

This week, George Lawton unloaded on much-beloved wildly overrated aspects of enterprise tech discourse: gamification and blockchain. George lost his first gasket (or two) in The 'creepifacation' of gamification - a killer app for generative AI to tackle the problem?:

Something creeped me out one recent week when two separate PR sources pitched me on new gamification approaches powered by Metaverse technologies.

Even the tech we once fancied can creep too far into our lives:

These days gamification seems to be creeping into every aspect of our technology, fueled by likes, notifications, badges, streaks, levels, points, miles, and dark patterns. Business leaders are clamoring to gamify the work experience and retailers to make the shopping experience more fun – or at least more profitable.

As someone who howls into the wind as frequently as anyone, I don't want to be the one to break it to George - already on edge from bad Ryan Air flights - that this particular tech train has left the station. Our attention is too fleeting, and too important, not to be constantly sought after via incessant notifications, reward incentives, and - increasingly - real-time 'opportunities' as we enter new physical locations.

But you don't have to drive your own customers bonkers. Personal example in my case: Southwest "Rapid Rewards." These rewards have material impact. Therefore I don't have to be pestered. If companies do this gamification thing right:

  1. It's easy to opt-out.
  2. It's easy to turn off notifications.
  3. The "rewards" are materially helpful, ensuring our buy-in.

George's notion that fighting off gamification is the "killer app" of generative AI is a fun premise, and perhaps not too far off: generative AI could be enormously helpful allowing users dictate their own preferences, without having to dig into the bowels of app settings to turn off gamification blight. For now, if you ask me, the killer app of generative AI remains generating code, with generating images in a firm second place and content in third (I'm excluding generative AI's two biggest black hat use cases, search engine gaming and disinformation-at-scale, from consideration).

George had some spleen leftover for our crypto-blockchain pals in Why blockchain is BS - calling out the crypto-mania! It's ironic that the crypto-scammers who helped to popularize blockchain, for better and worse, are also sullying it. As a relentless blockchain critic myself, it might surprise that I'm with George: the biggest loss from this crypto-scourge is losing track of a sober review of blockchain's valid use cases:

The fundamental issue is that the casino mentality driving the cryptocurrency mania completely overshadows any real value of blockchain tech innovations.

Indeed. I can vouch that out there, under the radar, some very interesting enterprise blockchain use cases do persist; some are more accurately described as distributed ledger pursuits than blockchain per se. Outside the hype cycle is often the best place to bear down on problems anyhow.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my top choices from our vendor coverage:

A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - The NHS has 86 live AI projects, says NHS England AI Director - Chris filed an AI health care adoption update: "Handled ethically and appropriately, that data could be a boon for citizens, as long as the government focuses on positive outcomes rather than on monetising its greatest asset."  Meanwhile, Madeline continued "What I'd say to me back then" series - Zendesk SVP Global Marketing, Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, on hiring a team to win the ‘Champions League’ of technology.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

An interesting Twitter thread ensued:


Overworked businessman


Yeah, "AI appreciation day" is a thing. It happened yesterday, in case you missed the excitement:

Air taxis have hit a few snags. Now it's more like a rooftop bus terminal:

But let's just keep calling them "air taxis" because "rooftop airbus terminals" isn't all that energizing...  Via Clive Boulton, some cloud backup whiffery, followed by PR whiff pile-on:

Finally, if you've been on a Zoom call with me you've met my charming/skeptical pink flamingo:

Hey, at least it's more interesting than a green screen. See you next time...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Adobe Stock.

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday, Planful, Zendesk and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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