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Google turn Austin house into a ‘Fun House’ to promote Google Assistant at SXSW – 12.03.2018

Google turn an Austin house into a giant, connected fun home to promote Google Assistant

Tech giant Google have set up the ‘Google Assistant Fun House’ at this year’s SXSW expo in Austin, Texas to show off the possibilities of its AI assistant platform. The house includes 12 different rooms and activations that allow consumers to see how the Google Assistant can easily control just about every aspect of it by voice, and through any compatible device in the home – from lights, blinds, appliances and even litter boxes.

Read more here. 

*It seems that Google is trying to make people comfortable with the idea that the company not only powers our lives on Gmail, search, YouTube, but also our homes. Will this help Google differentiate itself from other leading voice assistants such as the Amazon Alexa?*

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 Snapchat and Instagram drop Giphy for suggesting racist GIF

Giphy is in hot water with Snapchat and Instagram after people spotted a racist and hateful GIF when searching for GIFs to use on the platforms. Both social media platforms removed their Giphy integrations after learning of the issue. The offending image appears to have been removed by Giphy, but Instagram and Snapchat have yet to bring back their Giphy features.

Read more here.  

* This isn’t Snapchat’s first run-in with racist content. Back in 2016 it was heavily criticised for creating an Asian ‘yellowface’ stereotype AR lens that gave people slanted eyes. Snapchat risks an unsavoury reputation if it can’t keep its content under control.*

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 Facebook strikes music deal with Warner 

Facebook have agreed a new licensing deal with Warner Music which will allow users to freely use music by Warner-signed artists in their posts on Facebook’s social media platforms. The agreement follows a few months after Facebook struck a similar deal with the Universal Music Group (UMG)l Facebook also recently agreed a similar deal with Sony/ATV, one of the world’s biggest music publishers.

Read more here. 


*Facebook now has all the major music labels behind its recent initiative to use licensed music in videos posted by users on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Oculus.  This agreement is the latest in social media site’s push to compete with YouTube.* 

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