Google Tags Black People As Gorillas, Facebook Adds Ads to Video, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Google makes an embarrassing error, Facebook battles YouTube, PayPal buys Xoom, visit an exclusive website, a Beats 1 Spotify playlist, and Steve Jobs.
Google Confuses Humans With Gorillas
Google’s automatic tagging of photos has been found wanting, after it labeled a black couple “Gorillas”. The embarrassing issue was discovered by New York-based software developer Jacky Alciné, who caught Google’s artificial intelligence software incorrectly tagging his friends.
Alciné reached out to Google via Twitter, as can be seen in the tweet embedded above. The company was quick to respond, with Google executive Yonatan Zunger stating, “This is 100% not OK”. He added, “[It was] high on my list of bugs you ‘never’ want to see happen.”
A Google spokesperson later told BBC News, “We’re appalled and genuinely sorry that this happened. We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of result from appearing. There is still clearly a lot of work to do with automatic image labeling, and we’re looking at how we can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the future”.
This is clearly an embarrassing and controversial mistake to make, and Google should do everything in its power to stop it happening again in the future. However, algorithms are constantly learning , and it’s still early days for automatic photo tagging software.
Facebook Splits Video Ad Revenue
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) July 2, 2015
Facebook has YouTube fixed firmly in its sights, with a commitment to sharing revenues with video producers posting content to the social networking site. Facebook will start showing ads alongside video content in the fall, with content owners getting a slice of the profits.
According to Re/code, the first partners being offered the deal include the NBA, Fox Sports, and Funny or Die. YouTube has offered content creators such as these a share of ad revenues for many years, but the world has changed since the Google-owned site burst onto the scene in 2005 .
Social networks are now THE place to find video content , and Facebook would be dumb not to take advantage of this fact. This is bound to lead to more content creators actively posting their videos on Facebook, but it remains to be seen whether they abandon YouTube in the process.
PayPal Transfers Money to Xoom
PayPal has acquired Xoom for around $900 million (or $25 per share). The two companies are a natural fit, with money transfer service Xoom allowing people to send money to themselves or others online or on mobile devices.
This acquisition augments PayPal’s payments service. However, the real reason PayPal is buying Xoom is to gain a foothold in countries such as Mexico, India, the Philippines, China, and Brazil, where Xoom has a significant presence.
The Most Exclusive Website in the World
Currently behind 16,138 people to get access to the most exclusive website in the world. By my estimate I'll get access in just over 11 days
— Dan Radcliffe (@DanRadd) July 2, 2015
Welcome to the Most Exclusive Website. I say welcome, but you’re not really all that welcome owing to the aforementioned exclusivity of it all. In fact, only one user is allowed access to the site at any time, and then only for a period of 60 seconds. The rest are forced to wait in line holding their virtual ticket.
There are likely to be thousands of people ahead of you in the queue, that is until the publicity dies down and everyone gives up. Unfortunately, this also means I haven’t a clue what’s actually on the website. The Washington Post suggests it’s pictures of animals , because you can’t find those on any other website, obviously.
How to Listen to Beats 1 on Spotify
Apple Music is now available to users all around the world, and one of the key ingredients of the service is Beats 1. This is a radio station with proper DJs playing music designed to appeal to the widest demographic possible. Which is a mixed blessing, to say the least.
However, it does give Apple Music an advantage over the competition, which might leave Spotify users feeling a little left out. Not to worry though, as one bright spark by the name of Peter Bowles has created a Spotify playlist containing (almost) every song played on Beats 1.
This is obviously an ongoing effort, and it remains to be seen how long Bowles and his collaborators can keep adding songs as they’re played on Beats 1. Still, it shows just how little there is separating these music streaming services. So, it doesn’t really matter which one you use.
The First Full Steve Jobs Biopic Trailer
And finally, we have the first full trailer for Steve Jobs, a movie biopic of the late, great Apple founder and CEO. Written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Michael Fassbender as the man himself, this looks to be the definitive film based on Jobs’ life.
The trailer suggests this film doesn’t shy away from revealing both sides of Steve Jobs. As while he was clearly a marketing genius with an eye for good design, he was far from perfect as a human being. Steve Jobs is set to be released in the U.S. on October 9th, 2015.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Should Google be ashamed of tagging black people as “gorillas”? Could Facebook be the new king of online video? Will you be queuing to enter the most exclusive website? What do you think of the Steve Jobs movie trailer?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Rocky Lubbers via Flickr