On Friday, Elon Musk announced he was pausing his $45bn purchase of Twitter because he had only just discovered some of the accounts on the site were fake. But that's not the strangest thing that has happened to the beleaguered social media platform this week. Because on Tuesday the current top brass, perhaps trying to demonstrate their vision for the site, released a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter's private policy. The platform unveiled Twitter Data Dash, which plays like a vintage side-scrolling platformer that's been draped with a healthy dose of disinformation anxiety. You take control of a blue-hued puppy named Data and are tasked with retrieving five bones hidden in each of the game's day-glo urban environments.
The retail business is getting back on track and has been witnessing steady growth after the dismal impact of the third wave. There has been buoyancy in the market with the removal of lockdown restrictions. After a long time of distress and uncertainty, things are getting back to normalcy as businesses have started taking pertinent steps to resume operations and focus on sales, marketing, and inventory management. The realization of digital transformation coupled with the indispensable role of artificial intelligence (AI) has been one of the major outcomes of Covid-19 implications on the retail sector and the vast possibilities and opportunities it can create with such transformations. With the emergence of e-commerce, buyers experienced the first crucial shift that successfully made it possible for them to buy things from anywhere at any time.
Alphabet Inc's Google unveiled a palette of 10 skin tones on Wednesday that it described as a step forward in making gadgets and apps that better serve people of colour. The company said its new Monk Skin Tone Scale replaces a flawed standard of six colours known as the Fitzpatrick Skin Type, which had become popular in the tech industry to assess whether smartwatch heart rate sensors, artificial intelligence systems including facial recognition, and other offerings show colour bias. Tech researchers acknowledged that Fitzpatrick underrepresented people with darker skin. Reuters exclusively reported last year that Google was developing an alternative. The company partnered with Harvard University sociologist Ellis Monk, who studies colourism and had felt dehumanised by cameras that failed to detect his face and reflect his skin tone.
Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently an independent business technology journalist and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 20 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings. Big Data Exchange (BDx) has marked its entry into Indonesia's data centre market through a joint venture agreement with PT Indosat and the latter's two subsidiaries. The move aims to tap increasing demand for cloud services and connectivity. Estimated to be worth $300 million, the deal would see BDx enter a conditional sale and purchase agreement of shares (CSPA) and establish a joint venture with PT Indosat, PT Aplikanusa Lintasarta, and PT Starone Mitra Telekomunikasi (SMT). Under the agreement, BDx, Indosat, and Lintasarta would set up data centre and cloud operations in the Asian market, BDx said in a statement Thursday.
Google has become synonymous with powerful search, incredible hardware, and quirky, fun technology. Unfortunately, that includes stretching the limits of privacy and a reputation for giving up on its product lines too soon. But these negatives notwithstanding, Google is at it again at its Google I/O event near its company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., enticing developers and consumers alike with a number of new hardware products, software and services. Yes, Google just revealed new Pixel phones, including the Pixel 6A and the Pixel 7. But those weren't the coolest technologies Google showed off on Wednesday.
Investment in fashion-related technology increased by 66% during the pandemic, according to research by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey. The report found that the value of the top 50 investments in fashion-related technology across the past year, either by fashion retailers or businesses that sell products and services to fashion-related companies, has increased by 66% to $16.2bn since 2019, indicating an increase of capital put into technology in the fashion sector. According to The Business of Fashion and McKinsey, around 55% of these investments went towards ecommerce technology, while the rest was mostly put into payments technology, buy-now-pay-later tech and social commerce. Investment in resale technology, supply chain and logistics management, non-fungible tokens, and virtual reality companies closely followed. Imran Amed, founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion, said: "The pandemic cemented technology's critical role in the fashion industry, particularly in terms of ecommerce adoption. But now the industry must lean even further into new technologies by experimenting in the metaverse, embedding fully digitised workflows across their organisations and investing in traceability tools to help them reach sustainability targets. Those who choose to wait on the sidelines risk being left behind."
Google I/O 2022, the most awaited developers' conference of the year, is around the corner. With more than 200 speakers, the summit will cover a broad spectrum of topics and will have a slew of announcements on the latest innovations in AI and ML. The I/O adventure also makes a comeback this year: Users can explore the platform to see product demos, chat with Googlers, earn Google Developer profile badges and virtual swag, engage with the developer community, create an avatar, and look for easter eggs. Seek out your next Adventure at Google I/O 2022! The conference is scheduled to start at 10:30 pm IST on May 11, 2022, and will kick off with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai's keynote speech.
For years, tech companies have relied on something called the Fitzpatrick scale to classify skin tones for their computer vision algorithms. Originally designed for dermatologists in the 1970s, the system comprises only six skin tones, a possible contributor to AI's well-documented failures in identifying people of color. Now Google is beginning to incorporate a 10-skin tone standard across its products, called the Monk Skin Tone (MST) scale, from Google Search Images to Google Photos and beyond. The development has the potential to reduce bias in data sets used to train AI in everything from health care to content moderation. Google first signaled plans to go beyond the Fitzpatrick scale last year; internally, the project dates back to a summer 2020 effort to make AI "work better for people of color," according to a Twitter thread from Xango Eyeé, a responsible AI product manager at the company.
Stephanie Condon is a senior staff writer for Red Ventures based in Portland, Oregon, covering business technology for ZDNet. Last year, Google unveiled LaMDA, an experimental natural language platform that's designed to engage in natural, free-flowing conversations. On Wednesday at Google I/O, the company showcased LaMDA 2. During the I/O keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai called it Google's "most advanced conversational AI yet." The tech giant is working on LaMDA and other models to improve Search, Google Assistant, and other tools. "We need people to experience the technology and provide feedback," Pichai said.