Hashtag Trending – Sonos files for IPO; your AI might be human; Pokémon Go turns two

Smart speaker maker Sonos goes public. The Guardian writes about certain tech companies using humans to power their AI platforms instead of machine learning. And Pokémon Go is now two years old.

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Trending on Twitter and LinkedIn: Sonos has filed for an initial public offering. The San Francisco smart speaker maker, which markets its high-end products to discerning audiophiles, hasn’t revealed the number of shares or value for its IPO, though according to CNBC it’s on track to earn $1 billion USD this year. Last year Sonos reported a net loss of around $14 million on revenue of around $990 million USD, and in 2016 it lost around $38 million on revenue of around $900 million.

Reddit’s users are talking about another tech-based story by the Guardian. The U.K. institution’s Silicon Valley-based reporter, Olivia Solon, recently broke down for readers just how many companies – both startups and established brands – use humans to do an AI’s job. Google, for instance, allows hundreds of third-party app developers to access people’s inboxes – with personal information redacted – in order to improve Gmail’s “smart reply” feature. Business expense management app Expensify has used humans, found through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing tool, to transcribe some of the receipts it’s claimed to process using its “smartscan technology.” And then there’s Scale, which offers a bank of human workers who provide training data for self-driving cars and other AI-powered systems.

Finally, on Twitter again, users are celebrating the second anniversary of Pokémon Go. It’s already been two years since those adorable little pocket monsters took the world – and tech media – by storm. The augmented reality game, originally released on July 6, 2016, is celebrating the milestone with a special edition Pikachu, dressed in sunglasses and a wide-brimmed sun hat.

Among the user memories highlighted by Twitter: A Wisconsin player who’s logged more than 1400 kilometres…

…and an Alaska resident who met the guy who became her boyfriend while playing.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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