The shock news yesterday that Google is taking over a health app rolled out to UK hospitals over the past few years by its AI division, DeepMind, has caught the eye of the country’s data protection watchdog — which said today that it’s monitoring developments. An ICO spokesperson told us: “An ICO investigation and an […]

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China’s largest search engine Baidu is getting an offline revenue boost after it led a $300 million strategic round in Xinchao Media, a company that shows people ads when they’re waiting for an elevator – or stuck in one. The tie-up will see the partners collaborate on data integration that knits reams of search data […]

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Uber’s new loyalty program incentivizes you not to check Lyft or the local competitor. Riders earn points for all the money they spend on Uber and Uber Eats that score them $5 credits, upgrades to nicer cars, access to premium support, and even flexible cancellations that waive the fee if they rebook within 15 minutes. […]

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Chinese internet giant Tencent bounced back from a disappointing previous quarter, but for once the company didn’t have its gaming business to thank. Tencent may be best known for conjuring up WeChat, China’s most popular messaging platform, but its revenue is driven by its gaming business, which includes top smartphone titles and a thriving PC […]

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Google Assistant, the voice-driven AI that sits inside Google Home (plus Android phones, newer Nest cameras, and a bunch of other devices) and awaits your “Hey, Google” commands, is already pretty clever. That doesn’t mean it can’t learn a few new tricks. In a quick press briefing this week, Google told us a couple new […]

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Brian Norgard will pursue early-stage investing. His first investment is in a crypto startup called Coinmine.

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Microsoft has been all in on AI this year, and in the build versus buy equation, the company has been leaning heavily toward buying. This morning, the company announced its intent to acquire Xoxco, an Austin-based software developer with a focus on bot design, making it the fourth AI-related company Microsoft has purchased this year. […]

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Amazon’s Fire TV companion DVR, the Fire TV Recast, is available today to the public, after previously having been only offered for pre-order. The new device offers a way for Fire TV owners to easily access free, over-the-air broadcast television directly from the Fire TV’s software. Starting at $229, this cord cutters’ DVR is something […]

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Insurtech startups have raised a total of $1.8 billion in venture capital this year.

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As far as goals for hardware startups go, you could do worse than ridding the air of allergens, pollutants and the like. Launched in 2016 as a Kickstarter project, Wynd is going back to the crowdfunding well this week for two new hardware products. Wind Halo is a pretty nice-looking (from the press material) desktop […]

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I’m a fan of Alexa and of voice computing in general. But when Amazon said it was putting Alexa into a microwave, I wasn’t so sure. The value in voice computing is being able to get to news, information, music hands-free, as well as perform simple tasks, including those for the smart home – like […]

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Nikola, the hydrogen trucking startup currently suing Tesla for patent infringement (those are the actual names, sorry spirit of real Nikola Tesla), today announced that it has raised $210 million in its Series C round of funding. The company had previously announced in August that it had raised $100 million of the round; now it has […]

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DeepMind’s health app being gobbled by parent Google is both unsurprising and deeply shocking. First thoughts should not be allowed to gloss over what is really a gut punch. It’s unsurprising because the AI galaxy brains at DeepMind always looked like unlikely candidates for the quotidian, margins-focused business of selling and scaling software as a service. […]

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UiPath, a startup that works in the growing area of RPA, or robotic process automation — where AI-based software is used to help businesses run repetitive or mundane back-office tasks, to free up humans to tackle more sophisticated work — has raised money for the third time this year. The company is today announcing that […]

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Amazon has confirmed that it will open two massive new offices in New York City and Crystal City, Va., to complement its already massive headquarters in Seattle. And the verdict on the company’s decision is disgust. Amazon played everyone involved in the process: the governments that pandered to it and the media that covered it […]

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