Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Daniel Sieberg, CEO, Founder @Stealth
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
I've always wanted to explore the intersection of humanity, technology, and stories. So my career arc started with my undergrad studies at the University of Victoria with a B.F.A. in writing/film followed by my grad studies at the University of British Columbia to obtain my M.J. (technology). But those degrees were 20+ years ago and so much has happened since. I've worked at some of the largest media organizations in the world including as science and technology correspondent at CNN and CBS News and hosted a show about tech trends for ABC News Digital.
In 2010 I wrote my first book, The Digital Diet: The Four-Step Plan To Break Your Tech Addiction And Regain Balance In Your Life and was recruited by Google in 2011 to help build a team called Google for Media and eventually the Google News Lab (now also the Google News Initiative). I spent 6 years at Google - mostly in NYC but had the opportunity to travel to 25+ Google offices around the world and serve as Google spokesperson on numerous occasions including as a regular guest on NBC's Today Show. I left Google in 2017 to venture into entrepreneurship and I've co-founded two startups (Civil and GoodTrust) prior to starting my own company, which is currently in stealth mode. I co-wrote my second book in 2020 called: Digital Legacy: Take Control Of Your Online Afterlife. And I've also worked in parallel with companies including Huawei USA and Moody's Analytics with their marketing, communication, and customer experience and innovation teams. Today I'm excited about where my newest venture is headed and can't wait to share more when we're ready.
What are the highlights of the key digital innovation trends for 2022? Can you give us some major examples?
Everyone is talking about AI these days - and our stealth project also has AI at its core - but AI is nothing new in many ways and I can remember thinking about AI back in the 1980s from reading Isaac Asimov. There's no question that AI is increasingly now a part of our lives thanks to consumer-friendly products like ChatGPT or Bard. But for the moment they are useful tools to help anyone accelerate their tasks and gain greater efficiency or to aid in creating something that previously felt like it would take too much time. So there's a real benefit to AI in society. However, the pitfalls are many and without the right people in the room assessing everything from ethics to misinformation to the "why AI" then we're destined to repeat the mistakes of our past. I'd like to see us seize this opportunity to ensure greater sustainability of our planet and everyone on it before we imagine that AI can take us to another home. Beyond AI, I know many companies are assessing new technologies like quantum computing (massive data sets analyzed at a mind-bending speed - some day, still years away), AR/VR but more emphasis on the AR part like Apple's Vision Pro, and all the ways that people can now create their own nuanced businesses thanks to limitless tools online to help anyone get started. The innovation Venn overlap should be feasibility, desirability, and viability. Those "lenses of innovation" remain true today.
Based on your experiences, what are the impactful trends in digital innovation that are becoming more important in the context of 2023?
Certainly there are developments in areas like social-media monitoring to gain better and more accurate insights into customers, the rise of streaming services and on-demand content that we've never seen before, and as mentioned that connection between AI and AR/VR or the pairing of different technologies to become something of an alchemist. These new technologies will also evolve - and perhaps more rapidly than in the past - but we must remember to put customers at the center of business and design from the user experience outwards for optimal success. A digital innovation applied without a "why" will leave people shaking their heads and wondering why bother. It's also now possible to get more granular insights from big data and ensure a better fit with any marketing or communications campaign. It can also allow for better customer segmentation and targeting with more precise customer personas and information.
In your opinion, how can they create high value for organizations?
Well, for example, AI is not just a product or tool but also a creator to the degree to which we like what it can do - for example AI that is capable of receiving a description of a logo and generating some examples. In my opinion there's no replacement for a true human artist, but it can shorten the time from inception to execution if you can spark people's imagination at an earlier stage. Something like AI can also help reduce the time from 0 to 1 when creating anything new such that a blank page or screen is no longer as intimidating or daunting. The value add for any organization - either internally or externally - will be a test of any new technology. And not every company needs all of them. Finding a winning proposition - not just one with high value - can help take any new technology from being a nice-to-have to a must-have.