News

  • SoftBank-backed travel platform Klook raises $200M amid COVID-19
    by Rita Liao on January 26, 2021 at 4:18 am

    Klook, the Hong Kong-based travel activities platform backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, announced the closure of $200 million in funding for its Series E round, lifting the startup’s total capital raised to date to $720 million. Aspex Management, an investment fund focused on Asia Pacific led the round, alongside existing backers Sequoia Capital China, Softbank […]

  • Forget winning, can Amazon survive in India?
    by Manish Singh on January 26, 2021 at 4:10 am

    During a visit to India in 2014, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos made a splashy announcement: His firm was investing $2 billion in the South Asian nation, just a year after beginning operations in the country. Amazon’s announcement underscored how far India had come to open up to foreign firms. The nation, which had largely […]

  • Blackberry and Baidu deepen autonomous, connected car partnership
    by Kirsten Korosec on January 26, 2021 at 3:02 am

    Blackberry and Chinese search engine giant Baidu have agreed to expand a partnership that aims to give automakers the tools they need to launch next-generation connected and autonomous vehicles in China. Under the deal, Baidu’s high-definition maps will be integrated into Blackberry’s QNX Neutrino Real-Time Operating System. The embedded system will be mass produced in […]

  • President Joe Biden commits to replacing entire federal fleet with electric vehicles
    by Kirsten Korosec on January 26, 2021 at 12:30 am

    President Joe Biden said Monday the U.S. government would replace the entire federal fleet of cars, trucks and SUVs with electric vehicles manufactured in the United States, a commitment tied to a broader campaign promise to create 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry and supply chains. The commitment, if it bears out, […]

  • Facebook News launches in the UK, the first international market for its curated news portal
    by Ingrid Lunden on January 26, 2021 at 12:04 am

    As the United Kingdom prepares to sharpen its focus on how it regulates big tech companies, Facebook is taking a big step up in the role it plays in presenting media to the U.K. public, and into how it works with the country’s media industry. Today it is launching Facebook News in the U.K., Facebook’s […]

  • Debunk, don’t ‘prebunk,’ and other psychology lessons for social media moderation
    by Devin Coldewey on January 25, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    If social networks and other platforms are to get a handle on disinformation, it’s not enough to know what it is — you have to know how people react to it. Researchers at MIT and Cornell have some surprising but subtle findings that may affect how Twitter and Facebook should go about treating this problematic […]

  • Daily Crunch: Twitter unveils Birdwatch
    by Anthony Ha on January 25, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Twitter pilots a new tool to fight disinformation, Apple brings celebrity-guided walks to the Apple Watch and Clubhouses raises funding. This is your Daily Crunch for January 25, 2021. The big story: Twitter unveils Birdwatch Twitter launched a new product today that it says will offer “a community-based approach to misinformation.” With Birdwatch, users will […]

  • Smart lock maker Latch teams with real estate firm to go public via SPAC
    by Brian Heater on January 25, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    This week, Latch becomes the latest company to join the SPAC parade. Founded in 2014, the New York-based company came out of stealth two years later, launching a smart lock system. Though, like many companies primarily known for hardware solutions, Latch says it’s more, offering a connected security software platform for owners of apartment buildings. […]

  • Fintechs could see $100 billion of liquidity in 2021
    by Walter Thompson on January 25, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    We believe one of the most important trends to gain traction in the last three years to be point-of-sale financing, now referred to as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). […]

  • Walking with Dolly
    by Brian Heater on January 25, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    A walk is, more often than not, a solitary experience. As far as the age of COVID-19 is concerned, that’s probably more bug than feature. It’s a way to escape the confines of a shutdown for a few glorious moments, to get some air and, for better or worse, reflect on the day that’s passed […]

  • Birdwatch is Twitter’s new community-based fact checker
    by Napier Lopez on January 26, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Twitter has tried a variety of fact-checking measures in the past few years, but these normally only apply to tweets from prominent accounts or popular topics. Now the company wants to add context and labels to more tweets by implementing a community-driven fact-checking system called Birdwatch. To start, a group of contributors will be able to “respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable.” Currently, this context will be available on a dedicated Birdwatch page, but the eventual goal is to make these notes available right on Twitter once “there is a consensus from… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Twitter […]

  • How AI can make the world more fair for ‘gifted’ kids
    by Tristan Greene on January 25, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    A team of researchers from Las Vegas recently developed an AI model capable of judging a human pianist’s skill level. On the surface, it might not sound like the kind of breakthrough research that could change the world overnight. And it’s probably not. But it represents what could be a crucial component in a machine learning stack that could make the world fair for smart kids. Education doesn’t work the same way for everyone. In the US, for example, most public school systems have programs in place to identify so-called “gifted” children. Unfortunately, there’s no consensus in academia or government… This story continues at The Next Web […]

  • Google Maps is adding COVID19 vaccine sites
    by Napier Lopez on January 25, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    With COVID19 vaccines beginning to make their way around the world, there’s a glimmer of hope for this pandemic to end sometime within the next year. Searches for “vaccines near me” have increased fivefold, according to Google, so in the coming weeks, the company will begin to make vaccination locations available on Google Maps and Search. The feature will roll out initially in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississipi, and Texas, “with more states and countries to come.” The feature will display information like whether you’ll need an appointment or referral to get vaccinated, if the vaccine is limited to certain population groups,… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Google Maps,Goog […]

  • Maker of Sophia the robot plans to sell droids to people seeking company during COVID
    by Thomas Macaulay on January 25, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    The maker of Sophia the robot plans to sell droids to people craving company during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hanson Robotics aims to roll out four models — including Sophia — in the first half of 2021. “Sophia and Hanson robots are unique by being so human-like,” CEO David Hanson told Reuters. “That can be so useful during these times where people are terribly lonely and socially isolated.” The Hong Kong-based firm aims to sell “thousands” of the droids this year. Hanson believes they could help fight the pandemic, which has accelerated demand for automation and robotics. [Read: How this company leveraged AI to become the Netflix… This story continues at The Next Web […]

  • Report: Brexit could help China and the US in the global AI race
    by Thomas Macaulay on January 25, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    The EU is falling further behind the US and China in the AI race, and will lose more ground after Brexit, according to a new report. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation assessed the trio’s AI capabilities by analyzing data across six categories: talent, research, commercial development, hardware, adoption, and data. The think tank found that while the US still holds a substantial overall lead, China is reducing the gap in several important areas — while the EU’s position is slipping: Absent significant policy changes in both the EU and United States — particularly the EU changing its regulatory system to be more innovation-friendly, and the United States developing and funding… This story continues at The Next Web […]

  • Fintech may end up the real buzzword of 2021. Here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor
    by TNW Deals on January 25, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    TLDR: The Ultimate Fintech and Blockchain Bootcamp Bundle explains the revolution in financial services happening around the globe right now — and how you can join in. If you aren’t all that familiar with the term Fintech yet, you might want to address that deficiency. Because after a mostly stellar year for many companies applying new technology to financial businesses, even in the teeth of the pandemic, investors are dumping millions into growing and developing more tech-driven financial services operations in 2021. It’s a booming industry. And with the training found in The Ultimate Fintech and Blockchain Bootcamp Bundle ($39.99,… This story continues at The Next Web […]

  • Skyrim modders are using AI to generate new spoken dialogue
    by Thomas Macaulay on January 25, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    If you’re unimpressed by some of Skyrim’s hilarious dialogue, a new AI app called VASynth lets you take over the scriptwriting. The tool uses voice samples from Bethesda games to convert text into speech. You can generate dialogue in the style of many voices from the publisher’s back catalog, including Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Morrowind. YouTuber Adriac used it to produce a pretty impressive trailer — although the tone of voice sounds slightly artificial at times: Others are using it for more quirky creations, like this mod that forces characters to compliment your naked body: The tool was created by… This story continues at The Next Web […]

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