Walmart driverless trucks pass first test
Since last summer, Walmart has been shipping goods a 2-mile distance between stores in its hometown of Benton, Arkansas. The pilot vehicles have completed a total of 70,000 miles. The driverless program will now be expanded to Louisiana. CNET
dis-rup-shun: The retail giant, once the innovator in consumer sales, has fallen behind giants Amazon and Google and has some catching up to do. Beating some of its rivals in driverless delivery will not only provide a cost advantage in some scenarios, but give it some innovation chops needed, as Amazon has beat Walmart to cashier-less store innovations, streaming video dominance, Prime membership, and of course, in number of online shoppers.
UK proposes content rules for social media
The UK government has proposed regulations that will fine Facebook, Instagram,TikTok, Twitter and other social media giants for allowing access to harmful content. The proposal calls for a very significant fine for those social media companies that allow harmful or toxic content. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: This move is aggressive, but definitive. The EU legislators are drawing the line — determining that social media is not a free speech platform, but must only exist as a platform for civil discourse. The challenge, of course, is deciding who gets to draw the line through content that may be “in the gray” and in enforcing standards. How do you define toxic? Okay, how do you define probably toxic? How do you police the millions of sites and posts of dozens of social media platforms? This is an opportunity for AI to be pressed into service. Don’t expect this legislation to pass without some significant compromises.
Spotify amps up podcasting arms race with Prince Harry and Meghan
Spotify adds to its significant podcast lineup that already includes Kim Kardashian West, Joe Rogan, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Prince harry and Meghan will be joining the streaming audio provider, following a similar contract signed with Netflix for documentaries. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: The power couple clearly have good business counsel, as they are combining Meghan’s showbiz chops with one of the most popular and private institutions – the Royal family. The combination is nearly guaranteed success. And Spotify is in an arms race with audio content competitors, including Apple, to redefine the entertainment landscape. What was, a few years ago, a scrappy Swedish streaming music service is now a major entertainment provider going head to head with some of the world’s largest media companies. Strong vision and execution have made Spotify a great story to watch.
Amazon Echo devices now provide live translation
Amazon has announced that Echo devices are now capable of translating a conversation between two people in different languages. This follows Google’s similar service, Google Translate, that has been available for the past year and offered across multiple devices, including Google’s smart speaker, Google Nest Home. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: The ability to easily translate across languages could mean that Amazon’s and Google’s technology could find themselves in the heart of commercial transactions — helping make a transnational sale, or negotiate a contract. It is certain that the tech giants want to move their technologies more deeply into not only the home, but into the enterprise, and being the chief translator across the globe will likely given them a strong position in many global operations.