Dermatology, Celebrity Endorsements, and Apple Store Simulations Brought to You by AI & AR

Emerging Tech Roundup — May 21

The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.

This week in tech: Facebook modifies their AI memory capabilities, AT&T and Discovery merge, celebrities can curate automated endorsements with deepfake technology, Google launches an AI dermatology tool, Shopify sellers gain exposure across Google apps, the first Apple store is simulated via AR, and Snapchat releases findings from their 2021 AR Global Report.

Facebook Built an AI That Intentionally Forgets Things

(Digitaltrends, May 14)

Much like how the human brain forgets things that are not essential to one’s wellbeing, Facebook is implementing a new AI project Expire-Span in which their machines forget unnecessary details to open up memory for vital information. Expire-Span will be able to determine how valuable information is and accordingly store it for a certain amount of time, slowly dissolving until reaching the computer-established point in time. By disregarding extraneous information, the new AI venture will allow Facebook’s machines to retain an increased amount of useful information.

AT&T Agrees to Merge Media Business with Discovery

(News7Trends, May 17)

AT&T and Discovery announced that they will be merging and renaming their new, publicly-traded company by mid-2022. The new company will own Warner Bros., HBO, CNN, TNT, Discovery, and HGTV, among other channels. David Zaslav, Discovery Chief, will lead the company, while Jason Kilar, WarnerMedia CEO, will keep his current title in the merger.

New Deepfake Tech Allows Celebrities to License Their Voice

(Interesting Engineering, May 17)

A new deepfake application, Marvel.ai, will allow celebrities to curate and offer automated endorsements without having to be at a given event, physically. With proper consent, public figures can even license out their voice to be used. The new technology will allow for significantly more endorsements to be given by celebrities, enabling them to make multiple appearances at once across different locations.

Google Launches an AI Tool to Identify Skin Conditions

(Fast Company, May 18)

Google’s new AI tool will be able to diagnose users’ skin conditions from just a few photo uploads and a series of questions. At this time, the dermatology tool is able to diagnose 288 conditions, presenting the patient with related articles and other content relevant to the diagnosis. Google notes, however, that the data inputted will not be used to target ads. User results can be saved, deleted, or donated to research for better diagnoses in the future of the tool’s use.

Google Announces Shopify Partnership, Sellers’ Products on Google Apps

(Business Insider, May 19)

Google and Shopify will be partnering up, helping sellers to increase exposure of their products through features in Google Search, Images, Maps, Lens, and YouTube. The partnership is said to incorporate the use of Google’s Shopping Graph, which uses data like prices, reviews, ratings, and more to give shoppers enhanced insights on their purchases, allowing for a better shopping experience.

Revisit the World’s First Apple Store with Augmented Reality

(9to5Mac, May 19)

Using a video that was taken in 2001, there is now an AR simulation of the first Apple Store, which users can explore via a semi-interactive experience on an iPhone or iPad. It is heavily detailed, including an accurate amount of computers on each desk, time-appropriate artwork, and books on the shelves. The virtual store even includes the infamous red rotary phone, through which Geniuses behind the Genius Bar would help customers with technical issues in the early stages of Apple.

Snapchat’s Consumer AR Global Report 2021

(Inside, May 20)

Leveraging insights from over 15K customer interviews, Snapchat worked alongside Deloitte Digital to curate predictions for AR in the coming years. The report predicts the number of AR consumers will rise from 1.5 billion to 4.3 billion by 2025. AR adoption is anticipated to increase and accelerate thanks to the rollout of 5G, which will allow for additional accessibility. Snapchat deemed AR to be in the “Toy/Tool” phase of adoption, suggesting that though people are currently experimenting with features for entertainment purposes, they are finding them useful and will soon begin to use them as tools.

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