If you judged the state of tech by what happens at tech conferences, you’d be very worried

I am very tired.

I’ve spent far too much of 2018 on the road at technology conventions. I’ve been to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show; Barcelona for Mobile World Congress; and most recently, Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest. Over the course of these weeklong tech bacchanalia, I’ve helped document the biggest announcements, keynote speeches, and experiences that people have been talking about for our pop-up Daily Briefs. It’s been quite a difficult task to sift through the bluster of brand activations, marketing jargon, and buzzy trends to find out what is actually important.

The role of technology should be to improve the quality of our lives in some meaningful way, or at least change our behavior. In years past, these conferences have seen the launch of technologies that have indeed impacted our lives to varying degrees, from the launch of Twitter to car stereos and video games.

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