The Verge: The Great Fiction of AI

The Verge: The Great Fiction of AI. “In order to survive in a marketplace where infinite other options are a click away, authors need to find their fans and keep them loyal. So they follow readers to the microgenres into which Amazon’s algorithms classify their tastes, niches like ‘mermaid young adult fantasy’ or ‘time-travel romance,’ and keep them engaged by writing in series, each installment teasing the next, which already has a title and set release date, all while producing a steady stream of newsletters, tweets, and videos.”

The Verge: Today I learned Amazon will recycle small electronics for free

The Verge: Today I learned Amazon will recycle small electronics for free. “If you have a flip phone that you haven’t used in over a decade, or maybe even a broken tablet, Amazon will pay for a shipping label that you can use to send it in to get recycled. Apparently, this recycling program has been a thing for a while now, but several of us at The Verge never even knew about it until we saw this tweet from journalist Dave Zatz, and thought it might be a good idea to spread the word.”

TechCrunch: Amazon sues admins from 10,000 Facebook groups over fake reviews

TechCrunch: Amazon sues admins from 10,000 Facebook groups over fake reviews. “Amazon filed a lawsuit Monday against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that coordinate cash or goods for buyers willing to post bogus product reviews. The global groups served to recruit would-be fake reviewers and operated in Amazon’s online storefronts in the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Japan and Italy.”

TechCrunch: Amazon agrees to drop Prime cancellation ‘dark patterns’ in Europe

TechCrunch: Amazon agrees to drop Prime cancellation ‘dark patterns’ in Europe. “Amazon has agreed to simplify the process required for cancelling its Prime membership subscription service across its sites in the European Union, both on desktop and mobile interfaces, following a series of complaints from regional consumer protection groups. The coordinated complaints about Amazon’s confusing and convoluted cancellation process for Prime were announced back in April 2021 — so it’s taken just over a year for the e-commerce giant to agree to change its ways.”

Heriot Watt University: New project helps Amazon create dataset to advance multilingual language understanding research

Heriot Watt University: New project helps Amazon create dataset to advance multilingual language understanding research. “Researchers at the National Robotarium, hosted by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, have created a Spoken Language Understanding Resource Package (SLURP) aimed at making it easier for AI and machines to understand spoken questions and commands from humans. One of the items included in the package is an open dataset in English spanning 18 domains. Amazon recently localised and translated the English-only SLURP dataset into 50 typologically diverse languages, creating a new multilingual dataset called MASSIVE.”

Wall Street Journal: The Surprising Reason Your Amazon Searches Are Returning More Confusing Results than Ever

Wall Street Journal: The Surprising Reason Your Amazon Searches Are Returning More Confusing Results than Ever. “If you want to be reminded just how tiny you are, you could travel to a remote part of the world and behold the night sky, or stand atop a mountain and contemplate its immensity, or you could try to find the best garlic press on Amazon… Granted, there are many more stars in the night sky than the 300 or so garlic presses visible on Amazon’s U.S. site. But wading through page after page of those listings, for items with tens of thousands of collective reviews, is, like many searches on Amazon, increasingly an exercise in frustration, despair and confusion.”

TechCrunch: Amazon launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI pair programming tool

TechCrunch: Amazon launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI pair programming tool. “At its re:Mars conference, Amazon today announced the launch of CodeWhisperer, an AI pair programming tool similar to GitHub’s Copilot that can autocomplete entire functions based on only a comment or a few keystrokes. The company trained the system, which currently supports Java, JavaScript and Python, on billions of lines of publicly available open source code and its own codebase, as well as publicly available documentation and code on public forums.”

CNBC: Stolen goods sold on Amazon, eBay and Facebook are causing havoc for major retailers

CNBC: Stolen goods sold on Amazon, eBay and Facebook are causing havoc for major retailers. “For the U.S. Government’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, organized retail crime probes are on the rise. Arrests and indictments increased last year from 2020, along with the value of stolen goods that was seized. While data is imprecise about the perpetrators, there’s growing consensus that an entirely different group should be held accountable: e-commerce sites.”

Amazon Prime video: The little search engine that couldn’t (Analytics India)

Analytics India: Amazon Prime video: The little search engine that couldn’t. “Interestingly, Amazon accounts for 54 percent of all product searches on the internet and has one of the best recommendation systems and search engines in the business. However, Amazon Prime Video–available in nearly 200 countries– has a bad search engine. To make matters worse, Prime Video’s clunky UI is a real pain in the neck.”

MarketWatch: Amazon, Microsoft, McDonald’s and Citi to examine their impact on civil rights and racial equity. Will more companies follow suit?

MarketWatch: Amazon, Microsoft, McDonald’s and Citi to examine their impact on civil rights and racial equity. Will more companies follow suit?. “After years of shareholder pressure that ratcheted up after the racial reckoning in summer 2020, some of the world’s most influential companies have agreed to independent racial-equity or civil-rights audits to consider how their policies, products and practices affect the civil rights of and equality among employees, customers and society.”

CNBC: Amazon is flying internet influencers to luxurious resorts in bid for social media clout

CNBC: Amazon is flying internet influencers to luxurious resorts in bid for social media clout. “For three days in May, more than a dozen stars of Instagram, YouTube and TikTok convened in the coastal town of Todos Santos, Mexico, where they were treated to sunset dinners and spa sessions. It’s the type of luxurious weekend that internet influencers have come to expect from the growing number of companies trying to capitalize of their online fame. But the event on Mexico’s Pacific Coast wasn’t run by one of the powerhouses of social media. It was hosted by Amazon.”

NBC News: Wickr, Amazon’s encrypted chat app, has a child sex abuse problem — and little is being done to stop it

NBC News: Wickr, Amazon’s encrypted chat app, has a child sex abuse problem — and little is being done to stop it. “Wickr Me, an encrypted messaging app owned by Amazon Web Services, has become a go-to destination for people to exchange images of child sexual abuse, according to court documents, online communities, law enforcement and anti-exploitation activists.”