Snap Working on Drone; Twitter Ups Troll Protections; Facebook Using AI for Suicide Prevention

Snap has reportedly been working on a drone. The New York Times says it’s not clear that it’s a product that will make it to production, but the company has said they feel we are just at the beginning of what cameras can do, and that their products are moving towards making taking videos a fun and seamless part of everyday life.

Twitter has been a virtual haven for trolls over the years, and now the company is announcing some new features to help stem harassment. According to recode.net, you will be able to mute specific words including usernames from your timeline. You can mute for a day, month, or permanently. You can also mute ‘eggs’, those accounts that use the egg avatar and haven’t provided a photo. Further, you can block accounts without confirmed email addresses or phone numbers. While this won’t kill off trolling completely, it will at least thin them out and slow them down.

Facebook has started using artificial intelligence to spot people that may be at risk of killing themselves. BBC.com reports that the algorithms pick up on comments in posts or the comments friends leave, and then a human review team jumps in to contact the person and works to suggest ways the person might get help. Right now, the AI tool is just testing in the US.


Microsoft- ‘Conversation as a Platform’; Apple Patents Stackable Magnetic Connector

A major theme of Microsoft’s Build conference is artificial intelligence…essentially chatbots being utilized as what they are calling conversation as a platform. Geekwire.com notes that a preview millennial chatbot Microsoft rolled out had to be pulled from the web when it was taught to be racist, so the tech is in a very early stage. Nonetheless, Microsoft is pushing forward with conversation as a platform. As we’ve reported, Microsoft, Google, and Apple are all working towards what may ultimately become the next big operating framework…augmented reality…and AI could play a very big part in that.

Meanwhile, at Apple, they have patented a stackable magnetic connector. Think of the mag safe connector MacBooks have used for power, only allowing for power, data, and peripherals to be daisy chained to the same base device simultaneously. Theverge.com notes that it could be used for more than just connecting a keyboard to a tablet. Theoretically, you could mount your iPhone or iPad like a drive on the desktop of your laptop…and conversely, access files and information on your laptop on a connected phone or tablet. Stay tuned…this could be a cool feature from Cupertino.