1. Google Employees Declare War on the Pentagon Project
Over 3,ooo employees at Google have signed a petition addressed to Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO. The petition urges the company remove themselves from a Pentagon pilot program called Project Maven. Additionally, the employees stress that the company avoid similar partnerships in the future. Project Maven was established to speed up the military’s AI technology, specifically around improving the targeting capabilities of drones, but Google employees state they “believe that Google should not be in the business of war.” More information should be released soon on how Google will choose to respond.
(Source: The Hustle)
2. Alexa Announcements Now Available
Yesterday, Amazon announced a new feature called Alexa Announcements. The feature allows you to broadcast messages to any Echo in the house by speaking to it. Although users already had access into an intercom feature for two-way conversations between devices, the new one-way Announcements feature is designed to broadcast information intended for all to hear. The messages will be available for playback on the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look. Alexa Announcements is now available in US and Canada, and Amazon hopes to expand to more locations soon. Husbands can now hear friendly reminders from their wives through Alexa: “Did you take out the trash?” “Reminder to unclog the drain.” “Make sure the children brush their teeth.”
(Source: The Verge)
3. Facebook Modifies Terms and Conditions
Facebook announced a change in their terms and conditions for the first time since 2015. The announcement took place just a few hours before the reveal of their massive data breach affecting the majority of the 2.2 billion Facebook users. Facebook claims that the terms were in the works long before the Cambridge Analytica breach; however, users are still very upset. According to Facebook, no data collection has been modified by the change. Although the team is restricting 3rd party API access, Facebook will continue to have access to user data including mouse movements, message history, cell tower proximity, and nearby electronic devices. Facebook’s step toward transparency is in hopes of slowing down the #DeleteFacebook movement and recapture the billions of dollars lost the last few weeks. Zuck-It is schedule to appear before Congress soon.
(Source: The Hustle)