A new leaf
Whisper, the anonymous messaging app, is rebranding itself into a digital media publisher that helps other big brands enhance their own content.
In a blogpost, Whisper announced the launch of “Perspective”, which marks the company’s definitive departure from the bad rapport associated with being a “dark” site to the highly exposed world of publishers.
Whisper makes a widget
Perspective is designed as a simple widget that would provide readers with easy access to additional articles or videos that are of unique relevance.
The AI technology that powers Perspectives is called Eliot.
It works something like this: the widget scans a web story (of a client) for key topics, places and people. The data is relayed to Eliot, which then auto-generates relevant Whisper content that immediately displays on the client’s story page, thereby increasing “access point” for the reader.
Helping people broaden their horizons
“Our goal with Perspectives is to expose people to unique points of view that they would not otherwise be exposed to”, announced the blog post, which will be rolled out in the coming months.
Whisper has been quite vocal about its focus on AI technology for several years now.
Whisper’s AI pals
With moderating its online content, Whisper has already had success with its AI technology “Arbiter”.
Arbiter works swiftly, effectively, and with little human guidance.
Therefore, Whisper has been able to increasingly focus on revenue generation by moving into publishing.
A tangible example
A very good example is the recent tie-up with HBO. A new show called “Big Little Lies” is about to release on the network. Because of their joint promo, whenever Whisper users engage in threads about lies and secrets, images from “Big Little Lies” will be displayed on their screen.
But the Perspective feature goes a step further.
It can now display Whisper content on third-party websites. This marks Whisper’s move from dependence on its own apps and websites for revenue generation to direct digital distribution.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Gaining steady access to big advertising dollars proved impossible for anonymous apps like YikYak and the short-lived Secret because big brands are hesitant to associate with controversial platforms.
However, Whisper has already found success.
The Los Angeles-based startup has collaborated with companies like Coca-Cola and Hulu. It even ventured with Coke’s anti-cyber bullying initiative, perhaps to atone for its own troubled legacy.
Whisper’s extensive reach
In Florida, Whisper is partnering with the Orlando Police Department on the “It Gets Better Project” in commemoration of the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy and for the upcoming pride parade.
Today, Whisper is used by 30 million people a month, has 3 million followers on Facebook, and boasts 20% click through rate on posts.
There is no doubt that the success of the company stems from its machine-learning technology and the algorithms that help it to generate trends on social media. From all indications, it is only about to grow bigger.
The irony of this Perspective
However, the implications for success or failure of this company can have deep consequences for our society. Whisper notes on its blog post, “we live in an age where the first word is often the last word, and the loudest voices in the room often drain out everyone else’s”.
To counter such an environment, Whisper offers a solution whose end-goal is necessarily just that.Blindly turn to our AI for an “eye-opening perspective”—surely there’s an ironic contradiction in there.Click To Tweet
True perspectives are internally realized by humans, not externally fed by widgets. But for ad revenue, Perspectives may prove to be an attractive opportunity for businesses.
Wow! This synthetic cornea gave a legally blind man his vision back!
(TECH NEWS) Another instance of “technology is amazing:” this minimally invasive eye implant has opened new doors for sight restoration surgeries for the legally blind.
After being the first patient to receive a cutting-edge cornea implant, a legally blind 78-year-old man can see again. Directly after his surgery, the patient was able to recognize his family members and read an eye chart. The KPro implant comes from the company CorNeat.
KPro is the first implant that can be directly integrated into the eye wall, replacing damaged or deformed corneas with no donor tissue. The clear layer that protects the front portion of the eye is called the corona. The corona is susceptible to degeneration or scarring, as well as a number of diseases such as keratopathy, keratoconus and pseudophakia bullous.
While artificial cornea implants already exist, the surgeries are complex and typically only used as a last resort when transplants or cornea ring implants don’t work. That is perhaps what makes the CorNeat transplants so remarkable – it’s a simple procedure that’s minimally invasive.
Additionally, KPro uses a biomimetic material that “stimulates cellular proliferation, leading to progressive tissue integration”. Not only can these implants give you your sight back instantly, but they also can help the natural tissue in your eyes to grow back and integrate. Now, THIS is cool stuff.
CorNeat said that ten more patients in Israel are approved for trials, as well as two in Canada. Six others are in the approval process in France, U.S., and the Netherlands. Professor Irit Bahar of CorNeat stated that he believes this project will ultimately impact millions of people’s lives. Only time will tell.
This advancement in biotech comes at a time where many Americans are uninsured and at a higher risk for health ailments due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent effects. At its best, CorNeat’s KPro offers some hope – while COVID has brought many industries to their knees, advancements in medical technology seem to persist.
If the results of the implants continue to stay as promising as they are now, who knows – maybe we’ll all be receiving cornea implants as a normal part of health upkeep in the not-so-distant future. I know I’ll be first in line.
The top 10 languages you can know as a programmer
(TECH NEWS) Considering a career as a developer or programmer? You’re not alone. Here’s top 10 programming languages to enhance or start your career.
The COVID economy has thousands of Americans reconsidering their career paths – with so many jobs dissolving due to various reasons (i.e., automation, a decrease in full-time creative positions), it’s no wonder why scores of professionals are seeking to reskill ASAP.
If this sounds like you, look no further; have you ever considered the lucrative career of computer programming?
Programmers on average make a salary of $89,590 a year. And better yet, coding jobs might never become obsolete. The trick is to know exactly what you want to do – different coding languages best serve specific purposes. So, which one should you learn first?
Top ten languages for new developers:
- Python – Learn Python if you’re interested in data analysis, machine learning, scripting, web development and Internet of Things (it’s the future!). Python is also the easiest language to learn, so give it a go!
- The Go Programming Language – You can learn to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.
- Java – Want to work on computer programs, games, apps and web applications? What about Internet of Things and robots? Learn Java to tap into these fields. Keep in mind, Java is considered difficult for novice programmers.
- C# – C# is great for websites, web applications, games, and apps – especially Windows apps. It’s also perfect for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
- PHP – Want to get your hands dirty doing back-end website programming? PHP is the language for you.
- C++ – For programming apps, games and web browsers, C++ is the language you’ll need to learn. Though it’s notoriously tough to grasp, knowing this language could be the competitive edge you need to set you apart from the pool of programmers.
- C – C will prepare you for operating systems, compilers and databases.
- R – The world is always in need of those who conduct data and statistical analyses – check out R to dive in.
- Swift – For apps and software for Apple devices, check out Swift.
My advice? Figure out exactly it is you want to do in your new career as a programmer. Set your goal. Then, after you’re sure what direction you want to go in, see which programming language best suits your needs.
Get proficient at one language to start and become top-notch at it. Then, you can expand your rolodex to include multiple languages and grow your abilities as a programmer.
The inventor of the internet wants to give back control of your data
(TECH NEWS) Using the internet has given us access to many things, but we’ve also lost control of our data. Can the father of the internet give it back?
Since it was first introduced in 1989, the internet has come a long way, both in good and bad ways. With several communication tools available online, connecting with friends and family on the other side of the world hasn’t been this easy. However, it has taken away something, too — the control over our data.
Our information is everywhere. Once it’s out there, there is very little, if anything, we can do to control how it’s being used or who’s using it. But, the father of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee, wants to reinvent how users take back control of their data.
“We’re on a mission to change the way the web works and the way to basically make the web a better place for all of us,” said Berners-Lee on The Telegraph Live.
In an attempt to “fix the web”, Berners-Lee launched a privacy-focused startup, Inrupt. Using the company’s data storage technology called Solid, the tech company changes how data is stored to give you more control.
“Solid is the new way to connect to people and data. It’s an open-source web-based protocol that re-architects the way data is stored and shared,” said Berners-Lee.
With Solid, you put your personal data together into a personal online data store called a “pod”. Any kind of information can be stored in a pod such as websites visited, travel plans, health records, or credit card purchases.
The pod can be hosted on any Pod Provider, or you can host it yourself. Pods hosted on a Solid Server are fully compartmentalized from other Pods. Each one has its own set of data and access rules, and you decide who to share your data with using Solid’s authentication and authorization systems. And, you can also remove access to anyone at any time.
Inrupt was introduced back in November 2020, and the Solid technology is already being used by some large companies like the BBC and the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain.
The company’s business model is based on charging licensing fees for its commercial software, which uses Solid open-source technology. According to The New York Times, Inrupt has raised about $20 million in venture funding.
Getting data back into a user’s hands is very good. But, is it something that will quickly be adopted by everyone, including the tech giants?
Well, users will finally gain control of how they share their data. According to Berners-Lee, Solid will provide a “generic back-end store that works with all apps without modification.” This means developers don’t have to worry about creating back-ends for different apps.
And companies, what will they get out of it? According to Inrupt CEO & Co-founder John Bruce, over the years, he found that a lot of companies were “spending a great deal of time and money collecting and protecting user data.” So, “by moving the point of control of data from the organization to the user everybody wants.” (i.e. money is saved)
“This is just the beginning of how we turn the red web right side up, restore some of its original values, like how we empower everyone to participate in and benefit from a web that serves us all,” said the internet inventor. “The future of the web is a lot bigger than its past.”
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