The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech's Future - NYTimes.com

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The resounding win by a Google artificial intelligence program over a champion in the complex board game Go this month was a statement -- not so much to professional game players as to Google's competitors. Many of the tech industry's biggest companies, like Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft, are jockeying to become the go-to company for A.I. In the industry's lingo, the companies are engaged in a "platform war." A platform, in technology, is essentially a piece of software that other companies build on and that consumers cannot do without. Become the platform and huge profits will follow.


One of the world's biggest tech shows is about to begin

Mashable

If CES is the tech industry's Super Bowl, IFA is like the NCAA Football Bowl. Not quite the trendsetting tech event of the year, but still worth getting excited for. Held annually in Berlin, Germany, IFA is essentially Europe's version of CES with one big key difference: It's open to the public and not just industry folks. We'll be bringing you all the major tech news from the proceedings all week. It's been a quiet year for smartwatches.


Silicon Valley In 2016: A New World Order Begins To Arise

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Why Samsung May Release A Foldable Smartphone Next Year -- Even If It Won't Make Them Any Money By all accounts, 2016 has been an extraordinary year for Silicon Valley. Not only have the technology behemoths mustered a growing influence on Capitol Hill, their sheer market capitalization also testifies to one undeniable fact: They are the ones who change the world. The tech industry's missions are unapologetic and filled with passion. Their corporate myths are often wrapped up in their early days as startups. That some awkward twenty-year-old could turn their social ineptness into their biggest advantage and build a global enterprise from their garage is the highest expression of the American dream.


2016 In Review: A New World Order From The Silicon Valley

Forbes - Tech

By all accounts, 2016 has been an extraordinary year for Silicon Valley. Not only have the technology behemoths mustered a growing influence on Capitol Hill, their sheer market capitalization also testifies to one undeniable fact: They are the ones who change the world. The tech industry's missions are unapologetic and filled with passion. Their corporate myths are often wrapped up in their early days as startups. That some awkward twenty-year-old could turn their social ineptness into their biggest advantage and build a global enterprise from their garage is the highest expression of the American dream.


As Facebook plans for the future, VR looms large

Los Angeles Times

When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at 99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost 598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for 2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.