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Apple Music on Amazon Echo review: Not as good as HomePod, but good enough

Mashable

Apple will never admit it, but the arrival of Apple Music on Amazon's Echo speakers is an obvious admission that HomePod isn't getting the job done. Don't get me wrong, HomePod is a fantastic-sounding "smart" speaker, but its premium pricing, limited Siri capabilities, and missing support for third-party streaming services like Spotify and Pandora make it a device only an Apple fanatic would appreciate. Putting Apple Music on Amazon's Echo devices expands Apple's music-streaming service beyond its own smart speaker and potentially gives it access via over 50 million sold devices if The Information's sales numbers are remotely accurate (Amazon doesn't share how many unit sales for Echo devices). Since installing an Echo in my home three years ago (just thinking about how spoiled I am by Alexa is kind of mind-blowing), Spotify (requires premium account), Amazon Music, Pandora, and iHeartRadio have been my go-to music services on the smart speaker and I can almost always find the song I want to hear between the four services. I can't say I've been pining for Apple Music on Echo speakers.


Chrome OS beta brings Google Assistant to more devices

Engadget

To date, native access to Google Assistant on a Chrome OS device has meant splurging on Google-made hardware like the Pixelbook or Pixel Slate. You won't have to be quite so picky for much longer, though. Google has started testing Chrome OS 72 in beta form, and the new release brings Assistant to third-party Chromebooks for the first time. It works in the same way as you'd expect on the Slate, with support for both voice and written commands through a pop-up at the bottom. The beta also brings Android 9 Pie to hardware beyond the Pixel Slate.


NYT digs deeper into Facebook's creepy data sharing excesses

Engadget

We regret to inform you that we may have published our article titled "Facebook's terrible 2018" just a few hours too early. Tonight the New York Times has once again dug into the social network and assembled -- based on internal documents and interviews with employees, former employees and business partners --an unflattering picture of the data it has been sharing for years with the likes of Bing and Rotten Tomatoes. Taken as a whole, these revelations make the Cambridge Analytica data leak revelations seem almost insignificant. Even with the last few months and years of revelations, the behavior described is surprising -- and not just for users. According to the article, companies like Apple and Russian search giant Yandex claimed to not know how much access Facebook had given them to user information.


The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it's accelerating quickly

#artificialintelligence

The rate of progress in the field of artificial intelligence is one of the most hotly contested aspects of the ongoing boom in teaching computers and robots how to see the world, make sense of it, and eventually perform complex tasks both in the physical realm and the virtual one. And just how fast the industry is moving, and to what end, is typically measured not just by actual product advancements and research milestones, but also by the prognostications and voiced concerns of AI leaders, futurists, academics, economists, and policymakers. AI is going to change the world -- but how and when are still open questions. Today, findings from a group of experts were published in an ongoing effort to help answer those questions. The experts include members of Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the nonprofit OpenAI, and the Partnership on AI industry consortium, among others, and they were put together as part of the second annual AI Index.


Google Assistant will warn you when it predicts flight delays

Engadget

Google has predicted flight delays for a while, but only if you've searched for a flight yourself. Wouldn't it be better if it warned you before you packed your bags? In addition to bringing delay predictions to Assistant, Google is rolling out proactive warnings over the next few weeks. If your post-holidays return trip is likely to start late, Assistant will both let you know and provide a reason if one is available. You'll know to grab an extra book or TV episode for that longer wait at your gate.


Google's China search engine project 'effectively ended': report

FOX News

Members of the House Judiciary Committee peppered the head of Google about potential bias against conservatives and Russian influence and misinformation; Gillian Turner reports. Google has been forced to shut down and "effectively end" its controversial China search engine project, code-named Project Dragonfly, after members of the company's privacy team raised complaints, according to a new report. The tech giant led by CEO Sundar Pichai was forced to close a data analysis system it was using for the controversial project, according to The Intercept, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The news outlet originally broke the news that Google had been considering launching the app-based search engine. Google has not yet responded to a request for comment from Fox News.


How to use Alexa Routines to make your Amazon Echo even smarter

PCWorld

One of the most powerful features of Amazon's Echo smart speakers is called Routines. Instead of just letting you do one thing at a time, Routines can tie multiple actions to a single voice command. They can even automate tasks without needing you to speak at all. Still, setting up Alexa Routines--and getting the most out of them--takes a bit of work and creativity. Here's everything you need to know about making your own: To begin creating Routines, open the Alexa app for Android or iOS, tap the menu button in the top-left corner, and select Routines.


Christina DiArcangelo Puller on LinkedIn: "AI Health Outcomes #technology #artificialintelligence"

#artificialintelligence

CannaBot is paving the way for patients to easily get connected to reliable MMJ info and businesses using the power of AI via Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Skype more.


Ethical implications of artificial intelligence

#artificialintelligence

In the race to adopt rapidly developing technologies, organisations run the risk of overlooking potential ethical implications. And that could produce unwelcome results, especially in artificial intelligence (AI) systems that employ machine learning. Machine learning is a subset of AI in which computer systems are taught to learn on their own. Algorithms allow the computer to analyse data to detect patterns and gain knowledge or abilities without having to be specifically programmed. It is this type of technology that empowers voice-enabled assistants such as Apple's Siri or the Google Assistant, among myriad other uses.


The Morning After: Amazon's Alexa adds security to its resume

Engadget

As we feel our way through the haze that is a combination of corporate party and holiday-season prep, Monday kicks off with stories on Alexa's new security talents, a car coming in 2021 that we already drove, and expect Year In Review reports to start hitting Engadget later this week. Amazon's framework can arm your system with just your voice. Amazon has upgraded its voice assistant to work with security systems. You can arm or disarm them, specify certain modes (home, away and night) and simply check in. The functionality is available now in the US, with companies like Abode, ADT, Honeywell, Ring and Scout Alarm already using it.