Tag: Amazon

Canalys: Amazon shipped 10.4 million smart speakers in Q3 2019, almost tripling Google

The global smart speaker market is on the upswing, according to Canalys, which today released shipment estimates for the most recent fiscal quarter. The firm reports the segment grew 44% to reach 28.6 million units in Q3 2019, coinciding with substantial growth in the smart display category. Amazon shipped 10.4 million smart speakers in Q3 […]

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AI ethics is all about power

At The Common Good in the Digital Age, a tech conference held in Vatican City recently, Pope Francis urged Facebook executives, venture capitalists, and government regulators to be wary of the impact of AI and other technologies. “If mankind’s so-called technological progress were to become an enemy of the common good, this would lead to an […]

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Some ‘Broad City’ And ‘The Good Place’ Alums Will Star In Amazon’s ‘A League Of Their Own’ Series

Early last year, Amazon revealed Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson and the creative team behind Mozart in the Jungle were adapting the 1992 comedy classic A League of Their Own for television. Since then, little else about the project has been revealed, either through official releases or through breaking news stories regarding unconfirmed casting reports or […]

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Amazon’s AI rewrites ‘millions’ of Alexa user commands to reduce defects by 30%

The AI underlying assistants like Alexa gets better in part through manual data transcription and annotation, which takes outsized time and effort. In pursuit of a more scalable approach, scientists at Amazon — noting that people tend to reformulate misinterpreted commands — leveraged feedback from interactions to glean insights. In a paper detailing their work, […]

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How Microsoft, Amazon, & Airbnb avoid product experimentation pitfalls (VB Live)

Presented by Optimizely Experimentation is an incredibly powerful technique — but there’s some common techniques developers make when they’re testing. Learn how to make the most of your A/B testing, choose the right metrics, avoid the biggest testing pitfalls and more when you join this VB Live event! Register for free here! Every year, Netflix […]

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Researchers used a laser to hack Alexa and other voice assistants

Usually you have to talk to voice assistants to get them to do what you want. But a group of researchers determined they can also command them by shining a laser at smart speakers and other gadgets that house virtual helpers such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant. A Google Home smart speaker sits on […]

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Kacey Musgraves Spreads Christmas Cheer With Camila Cabello And More For Amazon’s First Holiday Special

Kacey Musgraves is giving Mariah Carey a run for her money as “Queen of Christmas” by partnering with Amazon for her first-ever holiday special. The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show will premiere on Amazon Prime November 29 and features stars like Camilla Cabello, Kendall Jenner, Lana Del Rey, and Fred Armisen. Musgraves previewed the special’s glittery […]

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ProBeat: Alexa Answers devalues Amazon’s virtual assistant

Crowdsourcing the content that powers your platform can be wildly successful. See the likes of Wikipedia and YouTube. Crowdsourcing the content that powers your platform can be hugely problematic. Again, see Wikipedia and YouTube. Ultimately, crowdsourcing content only works if, above all else, you spend the resources to ensure quality. Amazon clearly isn’t doing that […]

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Amazon is poorly vetting Alexa’s user-submitted answers

Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana can answer all sorts of questions that pop into users’ heads, and they’re improving every day. But what happens when a company like Amazon decides to crowdsource answers to fill gaps in its platform’s knowledge? The result can range from amusing and perplexing to concerning. Alexa Answers allows any […]

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The Best ’80s Movies On Amazon Prime Video Right Now

The ’80s were a pioneering time in the world of film. The action got bigger, the sci-fi epics pushed boundaries, action heroes were established, and movie icons introduced. When it comes to the history of cinema, no decade had as great of an impact which is why this list of essential ’80s flicks on Amazon […]

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Amazon’s voice-based Alexa skill personalization is now generally available

Future voice skills built for Alexa might respond uniquely to your voice. That’s thanks to Alexa skill personalization, a feature of the Alexa Skills Kit that enables developers to provide personalized experiences, greetings, and prompts for recognized users. Amazon launched skill personalization in preview in September, and today, it announced that it’s generally available. “Until […]

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Werner Vogels: For IoT, security and privacy are top concerns

Startups and tech giants alike are vying for a slice of the burgeoning internet of things (IoT) market, and Amazon is in pole position with an estimated 34% of IoT developer market share. Its lengthy list of IoT services includes IoT Core, which lets connected devices interact with cloud apps, and IoT Greengrass, which extends […]

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Alexa gains lighting features like sleep timers and dimming Routines

Alexa will soon be able to orchestrate your home’s smart lights with more finesse, Amazon announced this morning. Starting today, customers in the U.S. who’ve connected their lights with Alexa can set wake-up lights or sleep timers and create new Routines that dim or brighten their lights over a duration. The wake-up lightning functionality mimics […]

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Blade raises $33 million for its cloud gaming service Shadow

Blade has raised $33 million in venture capital as the Paris-based company continues to expand its Shadow cloud gaming service. Founded four years ago, the Paris-based startup created Shadow to allow games to be played and streamed across any computer, tablet or TV. With the latest funding, the company has set a goal of reaching […]

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Amazon set to challenge loss of $10 billion Pentagon JEDI cloud computing contract

(Reuters) — If Amazon.com decides to fight the Pentagon’s decision to award a highly contested $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft, it could act as early as next week. A challenge to the Defense Department’s award announced Friday is widely expected by legal experts, analysts and consultants, especially after President Donald Trump publicly derided […]

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Amazon expands Alexa Gadgets toolkit to 12 more regions

Ever heard of Alexa Gadgets? They’re Bluetooth devices meant to “enhance” voice interactions with compatible Amazon Echo devices, like connected lightbulbs synced to a killer soundtrack. Amazon made available a software development kit in September 2017 and launched the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit in beta in September 2018, but today marks the rollout of the Gadgets Toolkit […]

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Amazon researchers reduce data required for AI transfer learning

Cross-lingual learning is an AI technique involving training a natural language processing model in one language and retraining it in another. It’s been demonstrated that retrained models can outperform those trained from scratch in the second language, which is likely why researchers at Amazon’s Alexa division are investing considerable time investigating them. In a paper […]

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The Amazon earnings silver lining: advertising and streaming

This week saw intense media coverage of Amazon’s disappointing earnings, which tended to focus more on whether Jeff Bezos would lose his position as the richest man in the world, rather than on the fundamentals of the business. While it is tempting to focus on the negative aspects like sky-rocketing shipping costs or decreasing profit […]

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