1. WhatsApp introduces pay-to-use tools for brand marketers
A pay-to-use advertising service is produced by WhatsApp. Brands can opt into this service to better customer engagement. This bold step creates a new revenue stream for the messaging app (owned by Facebook), discarding of their subscription fees in 2016 and permits businesses to exchange information or services updates, i.e. delivery information or tickets.
The fee for the pay-to-use service will depend on confirmed delivery, for which advertises will pay a price ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents (0.3p to 7p), depending on the country of origin. This could potentially make the service more expensive than standard SMS messages.
The main feature of this update aims to encourage a conversation between the business and the consumer. If responded to within 24 hours the responses to customer queries will be virtually free. According to WhatsApp, the feedback they have received for the WhatsApp Business app has mostly been positive, with people stating that it’s quicker and easier to chat with a business than making a call or sending an email. WhatsApp says the service will be optional for consumers. Advertisers can feature a ‘click-to-chat’ button on their website or Facebook ad, allowing customers to quickly message them for information about a product or customer support queries.
Uber, e-commerce site Wish and travel comparison site Booking.com have already adopted the service. WhatsApp guarantees that all messages between customers and businesses will remain end-to-end encrypted. Businesses can also easily be blocked “with the tap of a button”.
2. Googles collaboration with China could lead to big trouble
Google employees have been pressing the company for answers about its intentions to build a censored search engine and news app for the Chinese market and they have received their answer from Google CEO Sundar Pichai and cofounder Sergey Brin during a meeting on Thursday and discussed reports that Google planned to launch a censored search engine in China. The meeting however was quickly interrupted as as Pichai and Brin discovered someone was providing real-time reports on the meeting to a reporter.
Several Google employees expressed criticism in view of news of a censored search engine for China and attempted to draw company’s leaders towards the creation an “ethics review structure” to ensure transparency on issues involving ethics. The discussion was abruptly halted once an inside leak was spotted, Brin said he would not continue discussing China because of the leaks. The meeting continued once the leaks have stopped but many details regarding Google’s plans for China remained unknown.
3. New Nvidia GeForce Graphics card leak
Nvidia will finally unveil a new series of GeForce RTX 2080 graphics cards on Monday. While VideoCardz.com reports that Nvidia will launch both an RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti next week.
The alleged specifications for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti are to include 11GB of GDDR6 memory with 4352 CUDA cores. The speed of the card remains unclear however, the amount of CUDA cores will make it a very powerful graphics card either way. The improved memory bandwidth on GDDR6 will also mean this a very capable card.
The graphics card will focus on support for real-time ray-tracing to allow games to render new lighting effects. The ray-tracing rendering technique produces real-time light reflections and cinematic effects that game developers can make use of in titles. Microsoft has created a new DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API to compliment Nvidia’s RTX work, and even Epic Games will be making real-time ray tracing available to Unreal Engine developers later this year.
4. An Elon Musk approved documentary about AI falls short
The Musk endorsed documentary circles around the dangers of AI. Do You Trust This Computer? guides us across a number of various AI-related topics, including job automation, autonomous weaponry, and self-driving cars, all illustrated with CGI robots and quotations from respected researchers.
The documentary zones in on the subject of the potential dangers of our intimate relationship with smartphones and laptops. The documentary proposes the following solutions to the dangers of AI. The documentary states that AI must be regulated in order to manage its potential impact on the economy and autonomous weapons and that to survive humans must be augmented and ‘merge with AI’ in order to control the possibly super-intelligent AI. Musk’s promotion suggests that his enthusiasm is somewhat biased as the documentary supports his theories and financial interests. The AI research community, fed up of unrealistic AI progress news, was seemingly unanimous in its disapproval, expressing their dissatisfaction strongly over Twitter, concluding that Chris Paine and his collaborators (Elon Musk notably among them) produced a documentary on AI which conflates real risks with imaginary ones.
5. AT&T lawsuit. Negligence over SIM hijacking that led to millions in lost cryptocurrency
Michael Terpin, a US entrepreneur and cryptocurrency investor has filed a suit against AT& for negligence following a hacking, due to which he claims he lost millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency. Criminals accessed his cell phone account by carrying out SIM swap fraud and stole the tokens and allegedly transferred his account to an international criminal gang. Terpin is suing for the $23.8 million and an additional $200 million in punitive damages. AT&T denies these allegations.
How does a SIM hijacking occur? Essentially a phone number is transferred to a different SIM card than the account owners without authorization or approval. In this way, Terpin’s phone number was used to access his account which led to three million cryptocurrency tokens, worth $23.8 million to be stolen. The kind of cryptocurrency lost by Terpin had not been divulged, which could mean that given due to the January price fall, the stolen tokens are likely worth far less now. In the US, SIM card fraud has become very prevalent, targeting owners holding large amounts of cryptocurrency.