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Google's New Feature Offers Mental Health Support During COVID-19 Pandemic

International Business Times

As the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic, Google is offering a clinically certified questionnaire for those who are searching for information pertaining to anxiety. The new feature launched by the internet giant can be a novel tool to help address mental health concerns inflicted by the pandemic. Beginning May 28, users in the U.S. now have access to clinically approved information about symptoms and treatment options alongside a clinically certified self-assessment, reported Becker's Hospital Review. Partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, Google now displays the questionnaire with 7 questions. Though the tool won't be collecting or sharing the users' results or answers, it will let people know how their self-reported anxiety levels compare to other respondents.


Grindr has removed its controversial ethnicity filters

Mashable

The killing of George Floyd by police officers has spurred not only protests across the United States, but also -- often embarrassing -- responses from brands. The queer dating app Grindr offered its own statement on Twitter and Instagram on Monday, coinciding with the first day of Pride Month. They will take action including not only donating to both BLM and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, but also by removing their ethnicity filters for their next app release: We will not be silent. "We will continue to fight racism on Grindr," the statement said, "both through dialogue with our community and zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform." A Grindr spokesperson told Mashable that racism has no place in their community.


Grindr dating app removes ethnicity filter to support Black Lives Matter

The Guardian

Grindr is removing an "ethnicity filter" from its dating app as part of its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the company announced on Monday. The controversial feature, limited to those who stump up £12.99 a month for the premium version of the app, allows users to sort search results based on reported ethnicity, height, weight and other characteristics. In a statement posted to Instagram, the company said "We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day. "We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.


A summary of the keynotes at AAMAS

AIHub

A virtual edition of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS) conference was held on 9-13 May. Videos of the talks are now available for public viewing, and you can also see the sessions from the various workshops. Alison is interested in how cities work and builds spatial agent-based models (ABMs) to study how people move around and how behaviour plays out in space and time. There are a number of challenges with these kinds of models and they need to be really robust if they are to be adopted by policy makers. So, why should we be interested in modelling cities?


Dating app Grindr removes 'ethnicity filter' allowing users to search for potential partners by race

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Dating app Grindr has said it will remove its'ethnicity filter' that allows users to search potential matches by race. Singletons prepared to pay £12.99-a-month for the'premium' service are currently able to sort users based on their ethnicity, weight, height, and other characteristics. But less than 24 hours after its tweet supporting'Black Lives Matter' received widespread condemnation over the filter, the company has said it will delete it. Protests have rocked the US for six days following the death of George Floyd, who was filmed gasping'I can't breathe' as an officer knelt on his neck in Logan County, West Virginia. Writing on Twitter, the app said: 'As part of our commitment to (Black Lives Matter), we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.


Argo.ai closes $2.6bn Volkswagen investment in European, US push - with help from Ford

ZDNet

Argo.ai has closed a $2.6 billion investment from Volkswagen to strengthen the self-driving startup's presence across Europe. Commentary: Please join our sister sites in fundraising to help address racism. Pittsburgh-based Argo.ai said in a blog post on Tuesday that the funding, initially invested in July 2019, will be used to bolster its position in Europe with the addition of VW Group's Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) team. AID is working on the development of intelligent self-driving car technology for use in urban areas and potential applications such as robotic taxis and autonomous shuttles. Now due to be rebranded as Argo Munich, the team's base will also become Argo.ai's


Yandex updates its self-driving tech on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata

Engadget

Today, the Russian internet giant Yandex revealed its fourth-generation self-driving car, a collaboration with Hyundai. This generation brings Yandex tech to the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. By the end of this year, Yandex plans to add 100 Sonatas to its self-driving fleet, which includes a robo-taxi service in Innopolis, Russia, and vehicles in Michigan. As part of the upgrades, Hyundai's Mobis team modified the Sonata's electric control units to interface more effectively with Yandex's self-driving control tech. For its part, Yandex improved the cameras, radars and lidar.


Grindr will finally remove the app's ethnicity filter

Engadget

Dating app Grindr will finally remove its ethnicity filter, following years of criticism culminating in accusations of hypocrisy regarding the company's stance on #BlackLivesMatter. The app currently lets users filter potential matches based on age, height, weight and ethnicity, but the company -- which says it has a "zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech" -- has confirmed the ethnicity filter will be removed from the next version of the app. The change, which coincides with the start of Pride month, appears to have been catalyzed by responses to a tweet in which Grindr said, "Demand justice. One response to the tweet said "remove the ethnicity filter" and was subsequently retweeted 1,000 times. Grindr later deleted its original tweet, replacing it with the below.


The Morning After: Alexa's new 'Drop In' intercom system

Engadget

For what is probably the lightest news you'll read today, Amazon's new feature for Alexa turns any connected devices into walkie-talkies. While they could already easily send messages from one device to another, now you can ask Alexa to "Drop In Everywhere" and get a live line to all the devices in your house, useful for finding out who wants what on their pizza or getting someone to check for a package at the front door. Just… don't activate it by accident? Researchers have combined biometrics from Oura rings with AI prediction models to detect COVID-19 symptoms up to three days early with, they claim, over 90 percent accuracy. It sounds pretty incredible, but the science isn't just about wearing a bit of tech on your finger.


Indie history: How shareware helped build Epic Games

Engadget

Publishing deals in the video game industry are generally kept secret, with terms hidden behind non-disclosure agreements and the threat of legal fallout. However, in the realm of AAA publishing, it's common for independent developers to sign contracts granting them less than 10 percent of a game's lifetime revenue, in exchange for marketing and financial assistance from a multibillion-dollar organization. In some cases, the developer also signs away their intellectual property rights, losing creative control over the game entirely. Or, a huge company will simply buy the smaller studio outright, devouring its existing library and creative talent, and overseeing all of its future products. In late March, Epic Games launched a multiplatform publishing initiative touting "the most developer-friendly terms in the industry." Under this deal, developers are guaranteed 50 percent of a game's revenue once production costs are recouped, and they retain full creative control over their own titles. Epic also promises to cover up to 100 percent of a game's development costs, including salaries, advertising and publishing fees. "We're building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves," said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. Epic Games has been experimenting with publishing models since the early '90s, decades before the launch of Fortnite, The Epic Games Store or the Unreal Engine. We're talking about the days of BBS, back when Sweeney was building ZZT out of his parents' house and the World Wide Web was just flickering to life.