Posts tagged with "google"

illustration, 360 MAGAZINE, Alejandra Villagra

The Decline of Black Media

Spokesperson for the Save Journalism Project, Nick Charles, has a new op-ed in the NY Daily News discussing the impact of Google and Facebook’s decimation of the news industry’s business model and specifically the decline of black media. What were traditionally spaces for communities of color to spread news and ideas are being forced to shutter their newsrooms because of big tech’s stranglehold on the industry, resulting in a lack of representation and a rapid decline of coverage for these communities.

As Charles explains, “revenue from digital advertising, which used to go to news publishers, is more often than not in big tech’s pockets, leading to an unchecked balance of power and gaping holes in local news coverage nationwide… Informing African-American communities should be put before Facebook and Google’s profits. People of color have worked and died so American democracy includes everyone. But there is no democracy, no freedom, without the fourth estate.”

Charles’ op-ed is below and available online.

Some remember well the world where events, issues, policies and histories impacting black people were rarely acknowledged or reported by the mainstream press. In New York City, if it happened above 96th St., it wasn’t news. That began to change after the urban riots of the late 1960s and the Kerner Commission, which prompted mainstream media to begin hiring African-American reporters. African-American media, which had always filled the breach, did hemorrhage talent, but continued invaluable community coverage.

With the emergence of the internet, as legacy media, newspapers, magazines, radio and television news were joined by newer platforms and social media, there was always space to cover disasters like Hurricane Katrina as well as enduring environmental, racial and social injustices. But now that space is shrinking rapidly. McClatchy filing for bankruptcy is just the latest and most ominous example.

An unfettered and thriving press is paramount, especially to otherwise forgotten communities. But what happens when outlets are forced to shutter because big tech chokes off advertising oxygen that is essential to the media’s survival?

Newspapers that adapted and survived the last digital revolution did so through advertising. But today’s digital ad market is dominated by Google and Facebook. Revenue from digital advertising, which used to go to news publishers, is more often than not in big tech’s pockets, leading to an unchecked balance of power and gaping holes in local news coverage nationwide.

Google recently announced it was doing away with third-party cookies by 2022, further jeopardizing the fate of the voices and publishers of communities of color. The move will hit smaller news outlets hard by substantially reducing the value of advertising on their websites. Most don’t have the kind of first-party information nor the kind of scale that will now be required to be valuable to digital advertisers.

Newsrooms across the country are experiencing layoffs at an alarming rate. In 2019, the media shed over 7,800 jobs. The number of black journalists and reporters in newsrooms has also been impacted, with the number of black journalists working at daily newspapers dropping by 40% since 1997. Countless colleagues have left the profession, taking with them their passion, expertise and the trust they amassed over years with community leaders, politicians and activists.

Unable to keep up with a business model steamrolled by the likes of Facebook and Google, the industry is reaching the point of no return. Big tech’s dominance over the digital ad market and unrivaled capacity to scale and monetize its platforms is having drastic effects on journalism as a whole — with especially profound impact on communities of color.

Black legacy outlets, home to some of the most committed journalists and activists in our country’s history, have been the bulwark of accountability for many when racial tensions kept even the government from its role in protecting its citizens. The Chicago Defender itself was one of the sparks in The Great Migration.

Alongside downsizing and retracting their print editions, examples like the Amsterdam News showed a 21% drop in circulation from 2014-2015; The Chicago Defender’s circulation fell by 18% in 2015. Not only are black communities losing their news outlets, black perspectives across the news industry are losing the spaces to voice their opinions.

Founded in 1943 and for decades a space for black communities to share the most pressing news and ideas of the time, Alabama’s longest-running black newspaper, the Mobile Beacon, reported it was planning to close its doors after 2019. It is one of many black legacy media icons in jeopardy.

Frederick Douglass once said: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Informing African-American communities should be put before Facebook and Google’s profits. People of color have worked and died so American democracy includes everyone. But there is no democracy, no freedom, without the fourth estate.

Charles, a freelance writer, works with Save Journalism Project.

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.

https://savejournalism.org/

tech, computers, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

Facebook Enters Stage of World Politics

By Dr. Nick Oberheiden, Esq.

When political and military leaders from around the world convene this week for the annual Munich Security Conference, one attendee does not seem to quite fit the convention’s profile: Mark Zuckerberg. The CEO of Facebook will sit next to over 40 heads of state, intelligence officers, and military commanders at the world’s preeminent international security conference.

Zuckerberg’s visit marks a dramatic shift in world politics. Governments and law enforcement agencies have discovered the enormous utility of platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to connect people, places, and events. China and Russia have expanded their definition of national security to include virtually any data set: from military drone footage to online tracing to consumer behavior. Zuckerberg does not wear a military uniform, nor is he an elected or appointed official, but Facebook plays a pivotal role on this intensifying cyberspace battlefield.

With over 2 billion Facebook users, Facebook controls an unimaginable amount of digital data such as user contact information, physical whereabouts, cell-site locations, email addresses, IP addresses of websites visited, and records of interpersonal communications. Zuckerberg is the king of information. Facebook has transformed into a hybrid platform where commercial businesses and political activists spread messages, inform (and misinform) to influence politics, the economy, and society. The few publicly available numbers confirm this heightened political dimension of Facebook. Year over year, Facebook reports an increase of FBI National Security Letter (NSL) requests pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 2709 (Section 201 of the Electronics Communications Privacy Act of 1986).

In this war of information, the United States is at a crossroads. While some lawmakers support consumer activists who attack Facebook for its criticized handling of privacy rights, too many American politicians still overlook the strategic value Facebook plays in what Zuckerberg himself called an “ongoing arms race” with Russia and China in his 2018 congressional testimony. Others hesitate to introduce legislation that could be seen as infringing on the First Amendment rights of speech and association – which apply to corporations as well as natural persons.

When governmental agencies begin to depend on commercial businesses for information, it’s time to rethink national security in this country. For example, how should U.S. companies respond when a foreign country that is considered an enemy of the United States requests sensitive economic information from such a private company? Revised legislation may be needed to capture the geopolitical threats of our time. Congress may need to step in to define how much intel U.S. companies may share with foreign governments and whether the dissemination of certain national security data to non-NATO partner countries may be penalized. Checkpoint Charlie does not exist anymore. Today’s files are carried digitally, no longer by spies with a suitcase. The need for prevention and deterrence, however, remains. Traitors and defectors tempted to cash out by offering critical data are the spies of our time.

Zuckerberg knows that he is holding the oil of the 21st century: sensitive information. Coincidence or not, Zuckerberg’s journey takes him from Munich to Europe’s capital Brussels to negotiate Facebook’s tax and antitrust deal with European lawmakers, many of whom will fawn over him at the Munich Conference. Zuckerberg will enter these negotiations from a position of strength.

Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the founder of federal litigation and trial law firm Oberheiden P.C., which is largely comprised of former Justice Department attorneys.

AI and Humans: Super Bowl Ads Explore Relationship

Voice Tech Zeitgeist: SuperBowl Ads Reveal Our Complex, Ever Evolving Relationship with AI

By Eric Turkington, RAIN

SuperBowl spots reveal barometers of what the world’s biggest brands think the American public wants to hear. And in 2020, perhaps more starkly than ever, SuperBowl ads telegraphed the complicated relationship we humans have with our AI counterparts.

SuperBowl advertisers often converge around common themes each year based on the prevailing sentiment from embracing nostalgia to championing social purpose to retaining our humanity amidst technological revolution. Striking about the several commercials that featured voice AI in 2020 was how different they were, with each revealing a distinct belief, fear or hope that we harbor about this technology as it becomes an ever more central in our lives.

Here’s a breakdown of wildly different takes I saw about the role of voice assistants at the dawn of a decade.

Amazon goes for humor to reinforce modern AI dependence. Amazon’s Alexa ad tapped
celebrity star power to explore a hypothetical: Real life couple Ellen and Portia wonder what life was like before Alexa. Clearly no expense was spared to imagine humorous takes on this question across a range of faux historical settings, from court jesters to bottle blowing musicians. The ad reinforces the notion of servility:

Alexa is the agent serving the human master while also overtly calling attention to the humanness of the voice assistants’ name (every vignette includes a person with a name that begins with A-L. This ad touches on two controversial questions in voice AI: First, should we be teaching our children to treat voice assistants as fundamentally less than human, worthy of subjugation of our every request? Secondly, was it fair to people named Alexa to have their names be co-opted by Amazon for a voice assistant positioned broadly in popular culture as a servant? Lauren Johnson, founder of Alexa, who is a human, certainly would have a thing or two to say here.

Google tugs at heartstrings by showing an emotional side of voice AI. Considered by many to be among the best of this year’s crop, Google’s “Loretta” tapped into the emotionally raw and relatable circumstance of dealing with a loved one’s death. A man uses Google Assistant–the name is never mentioned in the creative–to remember advice his wife gave him and to pull up memories of their time together. In contrast to Alexa’s portrayal, Google Assistant is playing the role of supportive companion and memorialist. This isn’t the subjugation of AI for menial tasks, but for an elevated purpose that augments the relationship we have with one another, whether living or dead.

Snickers raises that ole eavesdropping concern. Snickers used a generic voice assistant as one of many antagonists in a broader tableau of internet-gone-wrong. An older man sings “the surveillance state’s got a brand new trick,” to which a female voice assistant inside a speaker remarks, coldly, “I am not spying.” The moment was fleeting, but it’s nonetheless telling that the notion of spying smart speakers is a part of the dystopian tech narrative as selfie culture, sexting, and adult scooters.

Coca-Cola makes voice a tactical channel. Coca-Cola’s spot touting its new energy drink did not directly make reference to voice assistants, but Alexa has been among the biggest part of the launch campaign for the same product. Before the ad ran on SuperBowl day, Coke launched a large-scale sampling campaign and leveraged Alexa as a channel for consumers. Using the command “Alexa, order Coke Energy”, consumers would get a free sample of the new product, all which reportedly sold out before the game. While the ad creative was devoid of calls-to-action on Alexa, Coke made savvy use of voice as a sampling strategy to build buzz for the product before its big SB debut. Perhaps if they had a few (million) more samples on hand, they would have included an Alexa call-to-action at the end of the spot

Voice AI has become —and will be even more so — an indelible part of our culture. As voice is able to do more, the references to voice may well become less thematic and topical and even more practical and functional. Indeed, the promoted utterance might be the most prominent hashtag in 2021

Eric Turkington is the VP of strategic partnerships at RAIN, a firm specializing in voice strategy, design and development.

Toyota,prototype,future,city,Mt. Fuji,Japan,artificial intelligence,infrastructure,Woven City,Akio Toyoda,commercial,academic partners,scientists,Bjarke Ingels,Danish,architect,ces,vegas,Vaughn Lowery,360 magazine,design,art,ai,tech,app,google,

TOYOTA – WOVEN CITY

At CES, Toyota revealed plans to build a prototype “city” of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Envisioned as a “living laboratory,” the Woven City will serve as a home to full- time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment.

“Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure. With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology… in both the virtual and the physical realms … maximizing its potential,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come work on their own projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator.

“We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.

For the design of Woven City, Toyota has commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His team at BIG have designed many high-profile projects: from 2 World Trade Center in New York and Lego House in Denmark, to Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters.

“A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life. With the breadth of technologies and industries that we have been able to access and collaborate with from the Toyota ecosystem of companies, we believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG.

Design of the City

The masterplan of the city includes the designations for street usage into three types: for faster vehicles only, for a mix of lower speed, personal mobility and pedestrians, and for a park-like promenade for pedestrians only.  These three street types weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomy.

The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells.   Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.

Residences will be equipped with the latest in human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. The homes will use sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively.

To move residents through the city, only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries, as well as for changeable mobile retail.

Both neighborhood parks and a large central park for recreation, as well as a central plaza for social gatherings, are designed to bring the community together. Toyota believes that encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience.

Toyota plans to populate Woven City with Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. The plan is for 2000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves.

The groundbreaking for the site is planned for early 2021.

Interested in partnering with Toyota on the development of Woven City? Visit: Woven-city.global

FUNAI, 360 MAGAZINE, android TV

FUNAI Android TV

Funai further expands range of Android TV devices in North America with 2K, 75-inch and Hands-free voice control later in the year

Funai Corporation, Inc. today announced the expansion of their 2019 Android TVTM device line-up with the Google Assistant. The range will be extended with small screen 2K 5505-Series and large screen UHD 5704-Series, and in the second half of 2020 with the Hands-free voice controller 6705 Series (43- to 75-inch). All products will be available in the United States and Canada. The 5-Series features seven display sizes ranging from 32-inch to 75-inches, and the 6-Series offers five displays ranging from 43-inch to 75-inch — and all will be unveiled at CES 2020, January 7-10, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Philips Android TV televisions deliver the most technologically-advanced viewing experience, providing access to apps, games, and more, right from the TV. Users can access over 500,000 movies and shows and over 5,000 apps and games from the Google Play Store (Subscriptions may be required for certain content providers.) Easy-to-use voice search and personalized recommendations mean users spend more time being entertained and less time hunting for something good. With Chromecast built-in, users can easily cast movies, shows, and photos from their Android or iOS device to the TV.

The new Android TV 5-Series televisions all include the Google Assistant, with a Google Assistant voice button on the remote control, allowing customers to do more with their TV. The Google Assistant allows users to quickly access favorite movies, shows, or music with their voice. Easily find and enjoy vacation photos on the big screen. Control devices around the home like dimming the lights from the comfort of the couch, or asking your personal Google Assistant questions and get answers, including the weather report or sport scores. Users can even manage tasks like viewing their schedule and adding appointments without picking up another device. Just press the Assistant button on the remote to get started.

The 6-Series televisions include an integrated far-field, echo-cancelling microphone array giving users hands-free voice-activated access to the Google Assistant, so there’s no need to touch the remote control to control your TV. Dual noise-cancelling microphones are embodied at the bottom bezel of the television, capturing voice commands while eliminating background noise – including the TV’s own audio.

The integrated Auto Echo Cancellation has been fully integrated with the quad core TV IC to optimize the response time and accuracy of the Google Assistant. In the center of the microphones are four LED to inform users of the status of Google Assistant, even if the main display is powered off. In addition, users can ensure privacy with a mute button that when engaged cuts off the power to the microphones and illuminates in orange providing you with full privacy control.

Users simply say, “Hey Google,” to activate their personal Google Assistant to quickly search and access entertainment, ask questions, control other smart home devices, such as the Philips Hue Play, Nest thermostat as well as other Google Assistant compatible products. And even add products to their Google Express cart from anywhere in the room. With Chromecast built-in, users can wirelessly cast photos, movies, apps and more directly from their smartphone. The built-in Google Assistant is ready to control all smart home devices.

“These new Philips TVs deliver an unmatched level of convergence between television, entertainment and multi-zone connected home control,” said Peter Swinkels, Director Product Planning, Funai Corporation, Inc. “This new series gives users instant access to their favorite entertainment programs in 4K, while also offering convenient, centralized voice control smart lights, thermostats, cameras, and more.”

The Philips 4K UHD Android TV series also features HDR 10 and is equipped with Bright Pro, a backlight boost that brightens the image by up to ten percent compared to standard LED displays, delivering exceptional brightness and contrast even in brightly lit rooms.

Connectivity options include HDMI, antenna RF, Wireless 802.11ac dual-band MIMO, Ethernet and USB multimedia, and audio options include digital optical and Bluetooth 5.0 for optional headphone, keyboard or other accessory connectivity.

To learn more about Funai’s latest smart home entertainment technology, and to see the full range of new and award-winning lifestyle technology products, visit www.funai.us.

For more information, please visit https://www.usa.philips.com/.

About Funai Corporation, Inc.

Funai Corporation, Inc., located in Torrance, Calif., is a subsidiary of Funai Electric Co., Ltd. and is the exclusive licensee for Philips consumer televisions and home video products, with marketing and distribution rights in North America. Funai Electric Co., LTD. established in 1961, and headquartered in Osaka, Japan, is listed in the Tokyo Securities Exchange First Section (Ticker 6839), as a designer and manufacturer of innovative consumer electronics and OEM products. The diverse product and technology portfolio is composed of televisions, Blu-ray players, thermal inkjet modules, microfluidics dispensers, and electric vehicle modules.

Google and Android TV and Chromecast are trademarks of Google LLC.
All trademarks and copyrights are the property of the respective owners.

Pace University, Randi Priluck P.h.D. , professor, social media, marketing

Twitter Bans Free Speech?

Twitter has banned all political ads on its platform becoming a hero for a day. It was a surprising move given the reluctance of tech companies to get involved in the content posted on their sites. Like most such actions, the actual impact will hardly be noticeable. Since Twitter is the only site to ban political ads, people will still be exposed to paid content from candidates on other larger networks. According to ComScore, Facebook and Google have significantly more unique users in the US than Twitter, so people will still be exposed to online political advertising. Second, Twitter makes news when influential people tweet. The more outrageous the statement, the more likely the information will spread, not only on Twitter, but in traditional news outlets as well. Pairing that with the fact that people tend to trust paid less than organic content, the tweets will still hit their targets who will be even more likely to believe what they read.

So, is it a public good that Twitter is banning political ads or not? It’s certainly a relatively easy thing for Twitter to do. It is much more difficult to monitor the ads and determine their veracity. This process would require flagging suspicious content and hiring people to evaluate the messages. The problem is that banning all political ads means that candidates who do not have strong Twitter followings will be less able to reach audiences with their messages, thus giving even more power to the powerful.

Artificial intelligence techniques are improving and tech firms may have more tools in the future to effectively monitor. In 2018 Instagram announced that they are using a machine learning platform called DeepText to detect bullying language. This kind of technology could be applied to political ads to flag them for internal review. However, the platforms may be reluctant to adopt the monitoring technologies because of the potential for increased scrutiny of their businesses by political and governmental entities.

Professor Randi Priluck P.h.D.
Priluck is Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies at Pace University. She also serves as Director of the Masters in Social Media & Mobile Marketing program in the Lubin School of Business, Pace University.


Tech’s Impact on Journalism

In the epicenter of big tech, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) joined Audrey Cooper, the Executive Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group Neil Chase, and Save Journalism Project co-founders Laura Bassett, a laid-off HuffPost reporter, and John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed, to shine a light on the plight of local news and a key culprit: big tech.   

n the first quarter of 2019, the media has shed more than 2,400 jobs – including East Bay Express staffers – and, over the past 10 years, newsrooms have declined in size by 45%. The plight of the journalism industry has generated bipartisan congressional action, a rather unique occurrence in this polarized political climate. And while the journalism industry faces many challenges, the focus of Congress’ current action is to halt big tech’s negative impact on the economic sustainability of the free press. Wednesday’s speakers will address this unusual bipartisan action and the widespread consequences of the loss of local news.

According to Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), “Not that long ago, the Bay Area was home to over 1,500 journalists, but now there are less than 300 serving roughly 7 million people. This problem is not unique to our community—it is happening in every corner of the country, and we need to act. During a time when fact and accountability are under constant attack, today’s conversation about ways to preserve and protect local news and high-quality journalism is critical to the health of our democracy.”

According to Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group, “I’m glad we had such a deep, meaningful conversation about the challenges facing journalism today, right here in downtown San Francisco. If we can’t solve it here, we can’t hope to help the places across America that don’t have the technology and financial resources that are available in a place like this.”

According to Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost senior politics reporter and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “As our country grapples with natural disasters, political turmoil, violence, and everyday life, Americans rely on journalists and the news industry to explain and break through the chaos. But, for that process to survive, we need well-staffed newsrooms and a blossoming industry. Instead, big tech is decimating journalism. Facebook, Google, and big tech have consumed the digital landscape and continue to threaten local and national journalism. We need our elected officials to weigh in, to reign in big tech, and to save the journalism industry, before this goes any further.”

And, according to John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “The irony of all ironies, we live streamed today’s event on Facebook to ensure it reached the largest audience. The mere fact that we had to rely on the conglomerate proves our point: Facebook and Google have too much power. Together, they control the landscape, the audience, and the content. I saw this first hand at BuzzFeed, when Facebook, without notice, changed its algorithm, resulting in huge viewership and financial losses for the company. As more and more local and national news outlets feel the death grip of big tech, we need Congress to step in and save journalism.”

 

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.

One Hour Translation: Google Wins the Battle of Real Time Voice Translators

OHT used expert in-house linguists to compare the performance of Skype Translator, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri in translating business and tourism expressions from English into Japanese, French, German and Spanish and vice versa

On average across languages, Google scored the highest – 4.54 out of 6, Skype second (4.32) and Siri third (4.09). Google was the best in Japanese (4.01), German (4.5) and Spanish (4.8), while Siri led in French (4.87) 

Google Assistant is the top performing real time voice translator, according to a benchmark conducted by One Hour Translation (OHT), an online platform which provides translations in more than 100 languages and 3,000 language pairs.

With demand for real time voice translation on the rise, OHT decided to test out the leading services: Skype Translator (run by Microsoft Translate), Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, and rank them for accuracy.

With the help of expert in-house linguists OHT took 16 business and 10 tourism expressions and translated them from English into Japanese, French, German and Spanish and vice versa. The same sentences were then given to real time voice translator devices, apps and digital assistants to see just how they performed. The results were rated by the linguists on a scale of 0 to 6.

On average across languages, Google scored the highest – 4.54 out of 6, Skype second (4.32) and Siri third (4.09). Google was the best in three out of the four languages – Japanese (4.01), German (4.5) and Spanish (4.8), while Siri led in French (4.87).  Overall Japanese was the hardest language to translate with an average score of 3.7.  French was the easiest language for the instant voice translator devices to translate with an average of 4.75, followed by Spanish (4.54) and German (4.41).

“The real time voice translators were more accurate in translating tourism related experssions in comparison to business expressions” said Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He attributed this to the use of a lot of business-related abbreviations which are not easily recognized by real time voice devices. Kaufman added that “despite the recent improvements in all of the assistants we tested, real time voice translations still cannot be relied on for business related content.”

Some examples of the sentences: “Stay on budget for this campaign, we can’t have it affecting our ROI”; “R&D are cutting too many corners, the product is undeployable”;  “Schedule a meeting between your CMO and our product manager”; “Do you have any allergies? This dish contains peanuts and avocado”; “I need to find the fastest way to the airport, my plane is leaving soon”; “My travel insurance should cover that bill.”

There are also new developments on the horizon in the field of real time voice translation. Among other advancements, Amazon is planning to release a DIY toolkit for creating translation apps and Xiaomi has released a new and advanced physical device for real time translations.

About One Hour Translation

One Hour Translation (OHT) believes that businesses should be able to reach any customer, anywhere, anytime, with no language barriers.

One Hour Translation’s AI powered cloud-based translation management platform, HALO,  helps enterprise customers reduce overhead by automating their translation process and workflow. HALO combines automated workflows, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) and professional translation services, to process all of the enterprise content quickly and easily via API/WEB. A dedicated NMT engine is automatically trained as the translations proceed and as a result the project’s cost keeps decreasing while translation speed improves. HALO is easy to implement and use, encrypted, secured and allows the enterprise to use any mix of its translators and reviewers with those of OHT, as well as any mix of NMTs for optimal quality and cost. The platform also allows OHT to manage a company’s resources and in-house budgets earmarked for translation in order to obtain the best possible results.

OHT is the leader in translations for enterprise customers, currently serving over 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, HP, Xerox, Acer, Shell, Deloitte, HSBC, Procter & Gamble, IKEA, 3M, McCann, Allianz, Xiaomi and many other organizations.

One Hour Translation specializes in translation for 30 expert domains, including law, technology, marketing, website translation, applications, software and more.

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ONEs – OHT NMT Evaluation Score

How Big Tech Is Destroying Our Press

Ahead of today’s House Judiciary Hearing, the Save Journalism Project held a press call with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11); journalists Laura Bassett, laid off by HuffPost; and John Stanton, laid off by BuzzFeed; and Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times.

The monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple is destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlet.

 This week’s hearing on how digital platforms affect news organizations marks the much-needed return of congressional antitrust scrutiny to big tech companies, which have gained a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. 

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) said, “I don’t think there’s anything more important right now than this issue. Being from the Bay Area, I have been to every big tech company. After meeting with them, I think it’s time to make it easier for licensing like the music and movie industries have done. We are members of Congress, you are journalists, and we have to keep an appropriate Constitutional distance, but there are policy proposals in our legislation that protect the freedom of the press and are necessary to keep the industry alive. When I was first elected to the Concord City Council there was a reporter who was consistently in the front row keeping officials accountable. His presence made local government work, and it is vital that we protect the journalism industry to make sure leaders are kept accountable and communities are informed.”

Laura Bassett, a reporter who was laid off by HuffPost, commented, “In the first few months of 2019, I was one of about 2,400 journalists and media staffers who lost our jobs. Even though I was aware the cuts were coming, it was still shocking to be laid off after nearly a decade in my newsroom. The reason for the mass layoffs, I found out, was that Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook are dominating the digital ad market, swallowing about 60 percent of all revenue and making it difficult for journalism to survive. News publishers are being forced to give a cut of their ad revenue to these companies- revenue that would otherwise go to hiring journalists. Because a well-funded news media is vital to a healthy democracy, the public needs to be aware of Big Tech’s death grip on publishers. At the House Judiciary Hearing today, lawmakers in Congress need to address this bipartisan issue and find legislative solutions that regulate tech giants and restore fairness to the digital ad market. Journalists are taught not to be the story, but as Big Tech’s digital ad monopoly benefits off of our revenue streams, it’s incumbent upon us to fight for the future of our industry. One or two companies should not have the power to cripple the free press.”

“After 20 years of covering Congress and the White House for BuzzFeed, I found out layoffs were coming in a tweet from the Wall Street Journal,” said John Stanton, former Buzzfeed Washington Bureau Chief before being laid off. “Despite the great work my colleagues and I were doing for the publication, there simply wasn’t enough money. Because stories that lead to changes in state and federal law, jailing of criminals and exposing wrongdoing — cost money. Money that is increasingly gobbled up by Google and Facebook. To try to survive, slashes had to be made. To entire desks. The reason advertising revenue has fallen so steeply is that Google and Facebook dominate the digital ad market, consuming more than 60 percent of all revenue. And their share is growing, because they devour nine out of every ten new dollars that are spent on digital advertising. Big Tech’s monopoly has a death grip on publishers. Congress needs to be discussing how to regulate this imbalance and restore competitive fairness in the digital market.”

Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times, added, “We all believe journalism is central to democracy. Newspapers have experienced a decline not in the past five years, not in the past ten or fifteen years, but in the past seventy-five years. Newspapers have been declining since World War II. The problem is that we are essentially sitting on a 200 year-old product, but are trying to compete with new and changing technologies. Newspapers have maintained a monopoly for over 200 years. This is how people historically gained all their information; how they found where to buy clothing, where to buy their groceries, and where they got their news. With the change in how society works, all we have is the news. In order to solve this problem, we need a multi-pronged approach. We need to engage in philanthropy, which my company is already focused on this aspect. We need newspapers with benevolent leaders, not the leaders that we have at some major news organizations now. We need support from legislators. And, we need people paying for the news. We need a lot of support from a lot of different places in order to make this work.”

Save Journalism Project Launches To Protect Our Press From Big Tech

BuzzFeed Reports on Recently Laid Off Journalists Serving  As Spox For New Campaign To Save Journalism From Monopolistic Power of Big Tech Companies

Today, BuzzFeed reports on the Save Journalism Project that’s launching to raise awareness and engagement about the critical need to save journalism as it faces an existential threat—the monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlets. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made acquisition after acquisition, gaining a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. Just now are Facebook, Google, and other tech giants facing federal government and Congressional antitrust scrutiny.

Two recently laid off reporters will serve as spokespeople for the Save Journalism Project, Laura Bassett  and John StantonLearn More and Join the Fight at SaveJournalism.org and@SaveTheNews.

BuzzFeed: These Reporters Lost Their Jobs. Now They’re Fighting Back Against Big Tech.

“John Stanton and Laura Bassett are warning about what they believe the tech industry is doing to journalism, as thousands have lost their jobs this year alone.

By Rosie Gray”

Two prominent reporters who were recently laid off from digital media outlets are forming a new advocacy group formed to raise awareness about big tech’s impact on the journalism industry.

John Stanton, a longtime congressional correspondent and former BuzzFeed News Washington bureau chief, and Laura Bassett, a former culture and political reporter for nearly 10 years at the Huffington Post, have teamed up to launch a new initiative called the Save Journalism Project. The two have first-hand experience with the troubled state of the news industry: Stanton was laid off from BuzzFeed News during a round of layoffs that affected 200 people company-wide this winter and spurred a unionization drive among the news staff. Bassett lost her job in similar fashion in January after Huffington Post laid off 20 employees as part of larger cuts at its parent company, Verizon Media.

This year has been one of the worst in recent memory for journalism jobs. Across the industry, thousands have lost their jobs: from BuzzFeed News, Vice, CNN, and others across the country at local publications. Media organizations have been imperiled by crashing advertising revenues as Facebook and Google vacuum up available ad dollars.

Their new project will be set up as a nonprofit, according to Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant whose firm is providing the man-power to launch the effort. Vale pitched Bassett on the idea, and the two of them brought in Stanton. Vale said initial funding had been secured from “someone who doesn’t want to be public so Google and Facebook don’t go after them,” and the group plans to continue to fundraise. So far, the pair have co-authored testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighting the tech giants’ impact on the news industry — “since being laid off, we’ve made it our mission to understand how the digital marketplace works and how Big Tech is killing the journalism industry,” they wrote — flown a plane above Google’s I/O conference, and authored op-eds.

A key part of their goal is to get journalists, who aren’t known for showing a keen interest in the business side of their publications or for engaging in advocacy themselves, to take an active role in defending the future of their jobs. In an interview, Stanton said they were “trying to educate the public and members of Congress and also start encouraging our colleagues to speak up.”

“Reporters are not generally super interested in speaking about their own problems and about things that affect them directly because they feel like it becomes a conflict of interest, and in certain ways that’s true,” Stanton said. “But when the future of the free press is being pretty seriously endangered by something, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stand up for ourselves.”

Like many reporters, Bassett said she had “never really had to pay attention to the financial side of journalism.”

But “after getting laid off, I started to become really interested in why all of these amazing news publishers were sort of going under, having to lay off staff, why we were losing local newspapers. It’s a tragedy, it’s really bad for democracy.”

Their effort comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the tech industry on the part of the federal government as well as Congress as public concern mounts over repeated privacy scandals, technology companies’ role in spreading misinformation, and their dominance over certain industries. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission reportedly made a deal to divide potential antitrust investigations between them; Apple and Google will fall under the purview of the DOJ, while the FTC took Facebook and Amazon. The House Judiciary Committee announced it would “conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms.”

The Save Journalism Project’s founders are hoping to steer the public conversation around the negative effects of Big Tech towards its impact on journalism.

Stanton, who lives in New Orleans, mentioned examples like that city’s local paper, the Times-Picayune, which laid off its entire staff last month. Around the country, Stanton said, “local reporters are so overtaxed. They’re doing as good a job as they can but there’s not enough of them.”

At the moment, Stanton and Bassett are more focused on warning the public and the industry about the issue than on proposing solutions.

“I do think that everyone is starting to see a need to break up and regulate these companies or something along those lines,” Bassett said. “And with regards to how they’re going to make journalism viable again, I don’t frankly know…I think right now we’re starting with just getting this conversation out into the public and making people aware of exactly what’s going on. I do hope at some point we graduate into saying, ‘here’s a list of policy proposals, here’s exactly what needs to happen.'”

Stanton and Bassett plan to interview elected officials, candidates and colleagues in the media about the industry’s crisis, and started with conducting on-camera interviews with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Ruben Gallego. They plan to circulate a letter with which media companies can sign on to their cause. And their first official event will be at the annual Congressional Baseball Game, where they plan to distribute a physical newspaper laying out the problems on their agenda.

“The DC press corps is a really powerful constituency within our industry,” Stanton said. “If we can get our colleagues [there] to start talking about this it will help more broadly.”