Saturday, December 14, 2019

Smart News

We examine the emergence of fake news and its disruptive impact on traditional press, digital media outlets, and social media giants, as well as innovative solutions tackling misinformation and dissemination of data and news content. 

China’s Facial ID Leader Megvii Files for IPO Amid Hong Kong Unrest

A big player in China’s plan to dominate artificial intelligence filed to go public in Hong Kong against the backdrop of violent protests in the city, where protests are decrying encroaching Chinese control and companies have pulled or delayed IPO plans.

Qutoutiao Lands $117M Loan From Alibaba

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Qutoutiao Inc., a Chinese mobile content aggregator, landed a $117 million loan, fully convertible, from the international conglomerate Alibaba on March 29. The loan will net Alibaba some 4% ownership in Qutoutiao. Details...

TikTok Parent Denies Plans for Hong Kong IPO as U.S. Expresses Security Concerns

Karma_News Summary_TikTok
ByteDance, the China-based parent of popular video music platform TikTok, has been in denial mode the past two days.  ByteDance last night denied a Financial Times story that it would launch its much-anticipated public offering on the Hong Kong...

Cheddar CEO, Founder Collective Invest in GDPR Compliance Startup Ethyca

Ethyca, a startup that helps companies manage customer information and comply with European privacy regulations, raised $4.2 million on Thursday, a day after the U.S. levied a historic fine on Facebook for violating consumers’ data security rights. The seed...

“One-Way Mirror” Used by Data Miners to Snoop While You Shop and Surf Online, Study Says

Karma_News Summary_Data mining
Click through Facebook, ask Google for directions, shop on Amazon -- you know you’re leaving an electronic trail. What you may not know is that hiding in the dark corners of the Internet countless data brokers and advertisers are hoovering up that...

CyberRisk Alliance Invests in Cybersecurity Collaboration Forum

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Cybersecurity risks multiply by the day. Then it’s no surprise that companies combating those risks are racing to keep up. Enter CyberRisk Alliance. In its second acquisition in five weeks, CyberRisk Alliance, a B2B...

Sale of AMI’s Tabloids Will Test National Enquirer’s Political Relevance

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. American Media Inc. (AMI), owner of the scandal-ridden National Enquirer, Globe, and the National Examiner, has put the controversial tabloids up for sale. A handful of potential buyers have been mentioned,...

Autistic Workers Sought by Tech Giants to Meet Surging A.I. Job Demand

Microsoft, SAP, and Dell are among tech giants hiring workers with autism, as demand for those jobs is forecast to surge over the coming years. Companies have found autistic workers perform Artificial Intelligence tasks well and the employment opportunities...

Expanding Voice Recognition Market Sees Influx of Apps on Alexa Growth

Startup ID R&D is unveiling the latest version of its voice biometric product, joining a host of rivals creating new apps and seeking funding as voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice increasingly show up in homes and offices worldwide. 

Medium Still Searching To Fix the Internet — and Itself

When Billionaire Ev Williams founded Medium.com in 2012, he thought it would help him fulfill his self-appointed mission to “fix” the Internet that, as a founder of Twitter, he helped break.  That goal appears as elusive as ever.  

Sarah Brandt: NewsGuard “had the idea that the best way to solve a journalistic problem was by using journalism”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. The manipulation of personal data and proliferation of ‘fake news’ during the 2016 U.S. election cycle have led to serious damage to the reputations of some of technology’s biggest names, particularly...

Twitter, Facebook Clash over Political Ads, Cryptocurrency in Fight for Moral Supremacy

Karma_News Analysis_Twitter vs. Facebook
The Dorsey-Zuckerberg battle for the future of social media ramped up this week, and both sides sought to claim the moral high ground. Jack Dorsey banned paid political and issue advertising from Twitter, saying taking money out of the...

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube Fail NATO Test on Fake News

Karma_News Summary_NATO fake news test
Take it from a NATO group reporting from near the Russian border: U.S. social media remains a breeding ground for fraud, fake news and manipulation.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram are failing to make good on efforts to eliminate...

Intel Backs AI Startup SambaNova in $150M Funding Round

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Intel Capital led a $150 million Series B funding round for SambaNova Systems, adding its name to the list of big-league backers of the startup building a systems platform for the...

Sizmek, Once an Ad Tech High Flier, Bellyflops into Chapter 11

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. In a twist of that old saying, “You can’t fight City Hall,” ad tech pioneer Sizmek announced that its efforts to compete with Google’s DoubleClick platform have drained it of cash...

Pinterest Burnishes Clean Image With Tool to Curb Vaccine Misinformation

Hand holding syringe in plain pink background
It seems impossible to go a week without another social network handling fallout from another fake news scandal. Digital pinboard Pinterest, however, is taking more steps to polish its clean image, including the launch this week of a search function to combat...

EU Antitrust Chief Promises Renewed Assault on Big Tech’s Data Use

The European Union’s competition chief has a warning for Big Tech: the heat is staying on. Margrethe Vestager said in an interview that “We are definitely not done yet” when it comes to looking at whether companies are abusing...

Twitter Backs ShareChat, Looks to Compete with Facebook in India

Twitter led the latest $100 million round in an Indian social media app ShareChat, according to a TechCrunch report over the weekend, as the social media giant looks to compete with Facebook’s WhatsApp in the Indian market. Twitter faces...

Blockchain Company Will Test Word-of-Mouth Marketing Channel For Gen Z

WOM Protocol, maker of a Blockchain-based marketing technology, is employing Gen Z shopping platform Yeay to test young consumers’ preference for viral, word-of-mouth marketing over watching ads. WOM Protocol, based in Berlin, enables content makers to earn tokens through...

Bloomberg Media Acquires CityLab As Frenzied Year of Media M&A Draws to a Close

Karma_News Summary_Bloomberg acquires CityLab
Bloomberg LP agreed to acquire digital publication CityLab from The Atlantic, the latest deal in the media industry’s parade of mergers and acquisitions this year. The financial data and news company owned by presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is paying...

Instagram, Twitter Take Small Steps to Fight Cyberbullying

Amid rising concern over the flood of hateful content on social media, Instagram and Twitter are taking small steps to cut the bullying. Not everyone is cheering. Facebook-owned Instagram this week announced two features flagging offensive content and restricting...

Socially Responsible No More: S&P Drops Facebook From Its ESG List

After a series of privacy concerns and data scandals, it’s official: Facebook has been removed from the S&P 500’s socially responsible companies list. S&P 500 Environmental & Socially Responsible Index, launched at the end of April, tracks companies on...

Frank Barbieri: “The future of customer service is one AI negotiating with another AI…”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Frank Barbieri, an investor and co-founder of the San Francisco startup consultancy Ecolese, has worked in senior positions at Microsoft, InfoSpace and other technology firms and guided...

YouTube Removes Kardashian Deepfake For Copyright Violations, Not Fake News

As A.I. enables the creation of more fake content, social media platforms risk a loss of credibility with their users who will find other websites to visit, or disconnect entirely, if they can’t trust what they are viewing. Days...

Deepfake Apps in Seconds — More Privacy Concerns From Video Rage

Digital Portrait:Side view
Not long ago, digitally replacing a face in a video was possible only in a movie studio. Now, thanks to a wildly spreading new app -- and much to the alarm of privacy experts -- it can be done in seconds in...

From Automating Arabic News to U.S. Financial Industry: How Narrativa Is Disrupting Natural Language Generation

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. David Llorente wasn’t happy. Day in and out his writers were grinding out repetitive online gaming news in their Tallinn, Estonia, office and no time...

Racial Flaws in Facial Recognition Tools Show Up Again in ACLU Study

Another study is saying facial recognition software is proving unreliable when dealing with people of color.The American Civil Liberties Union of California recently released their study of Amazon’s Rekognition software marketed to law enforcement authorities. The software mistakenly matched the faces of...

Instagram, Whatsapp May Be Big Fake News Threats in 2020 Election, Report Says

Two liar politicians having a debate on background of a war battlefield
The spread of fake news on U.S.-based social networks like Instagram and WhatsApp will be a bigger threat to the U.S. electoral process next year than foreign sources, an NYU report released this week predicts.  The findings of “Disinformation...

Verizon Unloads Once-Hot Tumblr For A Song as Media Transition Falters

Verizon dumped the blogging site Tumblr this week for a massive loss, an admission by the wireless company that its ambitious media expansion plans haven’t yet met expectations. The sale to WordPress.com’s parent Automattic was reported to be for...

60+ News Orgs Commit to New Effort to Boost Coverage of Climate Crisis

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an unsettling report last year detailing a dystopic future of hunger, population displacements and extreme weather as soon as 2040, brought on by hotter planet.  Among the 50 biggest U.S. newspapers,...
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