Google launches its first WeChat mini program as its China experiments continue – TechCrunch

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Google is continuing to test new strategies in China after the U.S. search giant released its first mini program for WeChat, the country’s hugely popular messaging app. WeChat is used by hundreds of millions of Chinese people daily for services that stretch beyond chat to include mobile payments, bill paying, food delivery and more. Tencent,
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Google builds its own subsea cable from the US to France – TechCrunch

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Google, like all major internet companies, often participates in building new subsea cables because it wants to own the connectivity between its data centers around the world. Those cables are typically built and owned by a consortium of companies (and sometimes shared by competitors). Now, however, Google is building its own cable that will span
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Other people’s lives are not fodder for your feeds – TechCrunch

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#PlaneBae You should cringe when you read that hashtag. Because it’s a reminder that people are being socially engineered by technology platforms to objectify and spy on each other for voyeuristic pleasure and profit. The short version of the story attached to the cringeworthy hashtag is this: Earlier this month an individual, called Rosey Blair,
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Facebook reportedly hires AI chip head from Google – TechCrunch

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Facebook is continuing to devote more resources to the development of AI-focused chips, bringing aboard a senior director of engineering from Google who worked on chips for Google’s products to lead its efforts, Bloomberg reports. We’ve reached out to Google and Facebook for confirmation. Shahriar Rabii spent nearly seven years at Google before joining Facebook this
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As facial recognition technology becomes pervasive, Microsoft (yes, Microsoft) issues a call for regulation – TechCrunch

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Technology companies have a privacy problem. They’re terribly good at invading ours and terribly negligent at protecting their own. And with the push by technologists to map, identify and index our physical as well as virtual presence with biometrics like face and fingerprint scanning, the increasing digital surveillance of our physical world is causing some
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Microsoft wants to make you a better team player by nudging you into submission – TechCrunch

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Microsoft announced a number of new tools for its MyAnalytics tool for Office 365 users today that are geared toward giving employees more data about how they work, as well as ways to improve how teams work together. In today’s businesses, everybody has to be a team player, after all, and if you want to
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Facebook’s AI researchers task ‘tourist bots’ with finding their way in NYC – TechCrunch

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Facebook is getting guide bots to help tourist bots explore Hell’s Kitchen in a virtual New York City. It’s not just for kicks, either; a new research paper published today by FAIR is looking to examine how AI systems can orient themselves and communicate observed data better than humans can. The setup for Facebook’s “Talk
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Apple combines machine learning and Siri teams under Giannandrea – TechCrunch

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Apple is creating a new AI/ML team that brings together its Core ML and Siri teams under one leader in John Giannandrea. Apple confirmed this morning that the combined Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning team, which houses Siri, will be led by the recent hire, who came to Apple this year after an eight-year stint
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