Google I/O Highlights; Amazon ‘Pauses’ Selling Facial Recognition Software to Police; Auto-Transcribe Zoom Meetings With Otter

Google kicked off I/O yesterday, and there is a lot of buzz about the new Android 12 look. Theverge.com reports that one of the big features is allowing more customization of the interface and apps by users. 

On a less whimsical note, there is also a new privacy dashboard. The beta is out. Google has also made Workspace more connected. They are touting ‘smart canvas,’ and you should find it easier to work between products. Included is the ability to start a Meet video call right from Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide.

On the Wear front, a big move…Wear OS and Samsung’s Tizen are being rolled into one platform. The result should be more seamless operation, faster app launches, and extended battery life. 

The AR Live View tool has more info in Maps now. Different restaurants at different times of the day and points of interest will be featured, in addition to being able to see how busy an area of town is. 

Digital car keys will come to ‘select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones.’ Right now, BMW is the only car maker supporting, just as they were the first with Apple’s iOS.

There has been no shortage of criticism of Amazon’s facial recognition software, and its use by police agencies. Now, according to cnet.comm, Amazon will pause sale of the software to police ‘indefinitely.’ There have been numerous accounts of the Rekognition software disproportionately misidentified women and also people with dark skin tones, incorrectly flagging them as matches to photographs. Amazon had already paused selling the software after the killing of George Floyd, but it was due to start back up next month. 

Couldn’t make the Zoom meeting, but really need a recap of what went on? Now, there’s a way. Mashable.com says that Otter Assistant can be linked to your Google or Microsoft Outlook calendar, and can instantly join and transcribe meetings as they happen…with a link shared to the attendees. Attendees can even collaborate on the transcription, highlighting parts, or adding slides. The Assistant is available with Otter.ai Business accounts, which run $20 a month. 



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