Google Home gets ‘Beauty & The Beast’ promo, but Google says it’s not an ad
If you asked Google Home what your day was like last Thursday, it might’ve reminded you that Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” was opening. Google told Search Engine Land “This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.”
YouTube to end Annotations in May
On May 2nd, Google’s Annotations Editor will be discontinued. As a result, text, links, or hot spots layered over video will no longer be available to creators. With End Screens and Cards, YouTube says annotations, which only work on desktop, have gone down by over 70%. Compared to annotations, setup for End Screens can be 10x faster. After May 2nd, the only course of action will be to delete annotations, but existing annotations will continue to appear when viewed on desktop.
Google Tweaks Algorithm To Flag Offensive Content, Move Follows Criticism
A member of Britain’s Parliament reprimanded Google’s VP of public affairs in EMEA for negligence in banning offensive search results (ie: video by former KKK leader). Now, Google wants algorithms to flag “offensive” search result content and YouTube videos.
Independent global contractors will mark the content to prevent it from appearing. Google wants to teach algorithms to better identify offensive/inaccurate information. New guidelines explain an Upsetting-Offensive Flag and how to assign it. They define hateful/violent material based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, citizenship, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Content with racial slurs, offensive terms, graphic violence, animal cruelty, child abuse, or explicit/harmful how-to information will be flagged.
Amazon Syncs Alexa With Ecommerce App
Amazon is syncing Alexa with its e-commerce app, allowing users to have Alexa search for items, reorder items, and track orders. On Android app, Alexa is capable of the same functions it fulfills on Amazon’s Echo smart speaker. Amazon also paired with Dish Network Corp., which is coupling its Hopper DVR with Echo and Amazon’s Dot. Whirlpool is teaming up several of its appliances with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, and Lenovo is incorporating Alexa with some smart devices. Alexa can now better contend with Siri, Ok Google, and Cortana.