Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Cambridge Analytica to close down
In the wake of the Facebook data harvesting scandal, the consultancy company is shutting down, according to the BBC. Investigators will continue to pursue the case, despite its claims employees have acted ethically and lawfully. The negative attention has reportedly resulted in the company’s clients and suppliers distancing themselves.
Amazon expands AI tech hub
Amazon announced it will hire 2,000 new staff to expand its Boston technology hub focussed on developing artificial intelligent (AI), machine learning, speech science, cloud computing and robotics. Telecoms reported the expansion of staff will impact multiple areas of the business particularly Alexa and the development of its online interface, however, to remain truly competitive it will need to develop stronger algorithms than Google.
Trump administration says 5G is a priority
The US Commerce Secretary said building a next-generation 5G network is a top priority for President Trump. Reuters reported, the development will strengthen the proposed merger of wireless carriers Sprint Corp and T-Mobile who claim they would invest $40 billion over the next three years to upgrade networking to accomodate 5G.
Facebook & Google ”digital sweat factories”
The European Union’s data watchdog has compared the technology giants Facebook and Google to sweatshops where nobody is allowed to clock out. The reference was made by European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli who criticised the way internet companies depend on regularly farming personal data. According to the Telegraph, the Cambridge Analytica scandal served to expose the unbalanced ecosystem.
Facebook to enter dating market
The social media giant has announced it will create an ‘opt-in’ feature for Facebook users to join a new dating community where users profiles will be shared with other people attending the same events with the opportunity to begin text-only conversations, reported CNBC from the Facebook F8 conference. Facebook also announced a new feature where users can watch a video together, and VR headset Oculus Go has started shipping, among other company announcements, reported Business Insider.
Cisco acquires startup Accompany
Business intelligent startup Accompany has been acquired by Cisco for $270 million to employ AI to develop a database of knowledge. The AI company has been likened to a digital personal assistant able to supply executives with information in context before meetings.Tech Crunch reported Cisco plans to pay in cash in the stock deal.
Hulu surpasses 20m subscribers
Hulu executives announced its subscribers have grown in excess of 20 million and has plans in the pipeline to rival Netflix with its upcoming content offerings. Elisabeth Moss stars in The Handmaid’s Tale, with season three just confirmed and Mindy Kaling’s adaption of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, the streamer is set to become the second favourite online player according to CNN media.
Online TV viewing to overtake linear TV in 2018
It is predicted the online consumption habits of television will exceed that of traditional linear TV, according to GroupM. Consumers will spend 38% online versus 37% with the remainder spread across print and radio. Broadband TV News reported Google and Facebook continue to be the key growth drivers for online.