#1 | IKEA’s new app enables shopping in augmented reality
IKEA is launching an augmented reality (AR) app that will enable people to visualize how selected products fit their homes. If they’re satisfied with the arrangement, shoppers can then order the product through the same app. The new tool will be initially launched in France and the Netherlands and will be rolled out in other markets including Germany, the United States, and China by the end of 2019. The world’s biggest furniture retailer is accelerating its shift towards a digital business model as it responds to the rise of a number of e-commerce competitors.
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#2 | The celebrity sexism problem of Google’s search engine
Left to its own devices, Google’s algorithms can be controversial, to say the least. One of the recent examples is search suggestions on Google Images that focus heavily on the physical appearance of female celebrities. For instance, an image search for Robert Downey, Jr., generates only four algorithmically-suggested search terms related to his body. The same search for Scarlett Johansson results in 14 related visual searches focused on her physical attributes. And while Google might argue that this reflects what people search for, the company is obliged to continuously refine its algorithms and prevent them from promoting racist and sexist views. Also, the problem is wider than female celebrities and reflects the need for Google to clean up data that power its algorithms and ensure its engines show objective and reliable information.
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#3 | Uber to ban riders with low ratings
Uber has decided to hold riders accountable for their behavior and enforce punitive measures. According to the latest community guidelines, customers that threaten driver safety, spew racist rants, and disrespect or damage vehicles will no longer be allowed to use the service. The ban won’t be issued instantaneously and riders will be given a chance to correct their behavior. But if their rating falls below a certain threshold, Uber will no longer be willing to welcome them as customers. Read more here: https://tcrn.ch/2WyowNY http://bit.ly/2Xne6OE
#4 |Google wants to simplify its ad bidding process
Google plans to revamp the rules of ad auctions and level the playing field for advertisers. Instead of a system in which the auction winner pays the amount bid by the second-highest bidder plus a penny, a new unified market would ensure that bidders pay only the amount bid. Also, bidders would compete in a single auction and not in multiple independent auctions run by publishers on various exchanges. And although publishers might see their profits soar, the switch to new approach is technically challenging. Among other things, Google want publishers to limit at 100 the number of rules that govern actions. This move affects ads sold through Google Ad Manager only.
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#5 | Amazon is developing a gadget that recognizes emotions
Amazon is reportedly developing a wrist-worn gadget that could recognize the wearer’s emotional state from the sound of his or her voice. Then, the device could advise on how to communicate more effectively with other people. But it’s still unclear at what stage the project is and whether it’ll ever be offered on the market. Amazon allows its teams to experiment with new technologies even if they don’t have a clear path to commercialization. Emotion-detecting software is one of such technologies and tech giants such as Microsoft, Alphabet, and IBM are also actively working on deriving emotional states from images, audio data, and other inputs.