Demo doubters. We and others made plenty of hay with Google’s amazing Duplex AI phone call demonstration. Now Axios (and former Fortune) reporter Dan Primack has some questions and Google has, so far, declined to provide any answers. Before playing the Duplex taped calls, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the app “was actually calling a real salon to schedule an appointment.” Primack had a few issues, like why the establishments didn’t give their names and why they didn’t ask for contact info.
Inhaling outrage. It’s time to regulate privacy and especially to regulate Facebook, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said this week. Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation law could be a model, he said in an appearance on the show CBS This Morning on Wednesday. “In some ways you can say Facebook has really become the new cigarettes in our industry,” Benioff explained. “It’s a technology that is…addictive, it may not be that great for you and it might be something that you might want to go back to.”
Spit in a tube. Speaking of privacy, after law enforcers cracked the Golden State Killer case by finding the suspect’s relatives with genealogy data, a firm called Parabon NanoLabs is using the technique on at least 100 more cases, BuzzFeed reports. The firm has already found 20 possible matches of DNA collected at crime scenes to the genetic codes of people listed a public genealogy database called GEDmatch.
I see you. Speaking even more of privacy, LocationSmart, a company that collects extensive location data from customers of all four major wireless carriers, was accidentally leaking the information to anyone who visited its web site, security reporter Brian Krebs reports. A demonstration page on LocationSmart’s web site could be used to track anyone’s phone number. LocationSmart took down the demo and said it was investigating.
Coming on strong. The smart speaker market is still dominated by Amazon despite Apple’s recent entry, tracking firm Strategy Analytics says. In the first quarter, Amazon shipped 4 million devices, good for 44% share, Google grabbed 27% of the market with 2.4 million of its speakers, and Apple’s HomePod lagged, shipping 600,000 units, or 6% of the market, the firm said.
First person shooter accommodations. All kinds of people play video games, including people with disabilities. So Microsoft’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller has two large buttons that can be operated not just by hand, but with elbows and feet, also. And it’s compatible with a wide range of other input devices, like mouth-operated quadsticks used by quadriplegic players. All kinds of people write computer code, too. So Apple said it has adapted its “Everyone Can Code” school curriculum for students who are blind or deaf.
Careful what you post. The Trump administration has abandon an effort to create machine learning software that would help with the “extreme vetting” of foreign visitors, the Washington Post reported. The program was intended to scan Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet posts to assess whether a person might be a risk to allow entrance. Instead, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will rely on humans to perform the tasks.