Adobe has acquired voice technologies startup Sayspring in a push to develop natural command solutions beyond the traditional mouse and keyboard. Adobe revealed the acquisition in a blog post on Monday. The company has been "actively experimenting" with voice interfaces over the past few years and the purchase of Sayspring is what Adobe calls the "next step forward" in creating voice-based products and solutions. Financial details have not been disclosed. New York-based Sayspring assists developers in prototyping and creating voice-based applications for voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Australian Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has announced the launch of a new Bureau of Communications and Arts Research paper on 5G. Speaking during the CommsDay Summit in Sydney on Monday morning, Fifield said the paper is the next phase of the work being done by the government's 5G Working Group on the impact of 5G on agriculture, health, and autonomous vehicles. "Today, further to this work, I'm pleased to release a new paper that examines the potential impact of 5G on productivity and economic growth," Fifield said. "The Bureau of Communications Research paper was one of the first items considered by the working group when it met earlier this year." Impacts of 5G on productivity and economic growth: April 2018 Working paper [PDF] estimates that 5G will improve multifactor productivity (MFP) by adding between AU$1,300 and AU$2,000 in gross domestic product per person within a decade after being rolled out.
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba said it will acquire all outstanding shares in Shanghai-based Ele.me, the leading online delivery food delivery platform in China. Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial currently own a combined 43 percent of Ele.me, and the latest deal will value the food delivery startup at $9.5 billion, Alibaba said in a statement on Monday, according to a Sina news report. In 2016 and 2017, Alibaba invested twice in Ele.me at a combined $2.25 billion. "Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba's infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba's diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail initiative," said Alibaba's CEO Daniel Zhang in the statement. Wang Lei, a vice president of Alibaba, will become the CEO of Ele.me, while its founder Zhang Xuhao will step down and serve as a special advisor to Alibaba's CEO on New Retail strategy.
Adobe and Nvidia have announced a partnership that will see both companies deliver new artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning services for Adobe Creative. Making the announcement during the Adobe Summit keynote in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Adobe CEO and president Shantanu Narayen was joined by Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang. Machine learning, task automation and robotics are already widely used in business. These and other AI technologies are about to multiply, and we look at how organizations can best take advantage of them. The CEOs said the partnership will see both companies work to optimise the Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning framework for Nvidia GPUs.
Kakao will unveil its own open blockchain platform within the year but will not create its own virtual currency, the South Korean chat giant's co-CEO has said. The company formed a blockchain subsidiary based in Japan called Ground X this month. The goal is to make an open platform that others can participate in that will be the biggest in Asia, Kakao said in a press conference in Seoul. Co-CEO Joh Su-yong also denied previous reports of an ICO, locally or abroad, and said the firm had no plan to print a so-called "Kakao coin". Joh said a blockchain platform that is combined with multiple services will be greatly influential, but at this stage the company is making a foundation for such developments in the future.
Formed in Marseille in 2010, peer-to-peer car-sharing startup Drivy has grown into a business serving 1.5 million users with around 50,000 cars available for hire across France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium and -- most recently -- London. The company's next priority is to expand its operation throughout the UK during 2018. Drivy currently employs 100 people and is headquartered in Paris, with regional outposts in London, Berlin and Barcelona.