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Are you familiar with Tinder’s swipe left for yes, swipe right for no model? The online dating application’s selection style has become a standard for their platform and beyond. Now it’s making its way to Google.

In a world in which there is an unfathomable amount of content to select from, viewers often find themselves stuck in a continuous cycle of decision making. Google is here to fix that thanks to their version of the swipe left/right idea model.

Google Search product manager Matt Sheets explains, “Starting today in the US, when you search for things like ‘good shows to watch’ or ‘what to watch’ on mobile, you can tap the start button in the ‘Top picks for you’ carousel to begin rating TV shows and movies. You can swipe through to make some recommendations to start getting personalized choices, tailored just for you.” Once you have made your selection, the search tool also helps you find where it is available, be it Netflix, Amazon, HBO, or on cable television. The system will become more intelligent based on your prior selections.

Many social media services have developed dark modes for using their websites at night. The glare of a bright screen at night usually puts a strain on a person’s eyes. Twitter and Gmail already offer Dark Mode settings and Facebook already has it for its Messenger app. According to software engineer Jane M. Wong, Facebook proper is already using an early version of Dark Mode, but it will take a while for this idea to be fully implemented. Facebook frequently tests new features without making it obvious. However, the company doesn’t have set timelines for when new features are released. This new feature may negatively contribute to the problem of tech addiction. Daytime addiction to social media is already common among web users. Only time will tell if social media companies will ever begin to take the problem of tech addiction seriously.
According to MIT Technology Review, one of Google’s deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) programs called Lymph Node Assistant has already been better at diagnosing breast cancer than human doctors since October 2018. Google trained an algorithm to understand which breast cancer tumors have spread. 90 percent of breast cancer deaths occur because of the spreading of breast cancer tumors which is called metastasis. Now Google AI can detect and diagnosis tumors in real time through its “augmented reality microscope.” This device is a microscope with a camera and running AI software inside. The camera continuously takes photos of body tissue under the microscope. Allegedly the program then provides real time insight onto a screen about whether areas are benign or malignant. The details of this microscope have been published in a paper in Nature recently. This new breakthrough will help doctors treat patients in ways that are faster and more successful.

Scientists are now using phone movements to predict personality traits. Many interesting correlations have been found between certain personality traits and phone usage style. Patterns of physical activity and social activities also predict a person’s personality type.

Researchers have used tiny sensors on people’s phones to track their behavioral patterns. The speed and length we tend to walk often shows patterns about our personality types. Some of the patterns noticed from the study include the following. People with consistent movements on weekday evenings were generally more introverted.

Agreeable people had more random activity patterns and were busier on weekends and weekday evenings. Friendly and compassionate females made more outgoing phone calls than any other group. Conscientious and organized people didn’t typically contact the same person frequently in a short amount of time. Sensitive and neurotic females checked their phones a lot during the night; in contrast, sensitive and neurotic males did the opposite. Inventive and curious people made and received less phone calls than others.

Study leader Nan Gao said that the results of the study have exciting potential applications. Gao thinks the results of this study could be used to improve social media and online dating. He also thinks that we can use self-knowledge of our own personalities to improve our lives. It will be interesting to see how technology-based research might be able to improve our social lives in the future.

            Netflix recently released a low-cost-plan for mobile phone subscriptions which is designed for India. Downloads will be supported through the subscription plan; TV will not be supported through the plan. Ajay Arora, product developer at Netflix, has said that India’s Netflix subscribers tend to watch the video streaming service more on mobile phones than in any other market around the world. There are 373 smart-phone users in India, a small number relative to India’s huge population, but that’s still a lot of users in absolute terms. Netflix is trying to reach a big chunk of the global market. This market is very price sensitive. Netflix currently has roughly 2 million users in India. Netflix is using local Indian programing to tap into the market.

The subscription plan costs only 199 Rupees a month. It only allows mobile users to watch content in standard definition resolution. India’s phone users spend 70 percent of their mobile data on entertainment. This shows how big India’s market is for streaming. Netflix’s competition in accessing India’s video streaming market includes companies such as Disney’s Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. This new plan from Netflix should help them compete for this powerful and profitable video streaming market.

One of the biggest problems with social media is users posting unrealistic descriptions of their lives. People tend to post representations of the positive side of their lives rather than showing the negatives. This problem often leads to socially toxic interactions; it also has very negative psychological effects. When we get an unrealistically positive view of the lives of other people, it can be hard to feel good about ourselves and the lives we have. TikTok has provided ways to combat this problem, helping them to compete with the Facebook owned service Instagram.

TikTok, a video app launched in 2017, has certain features to counter this problem. Certain Instagram users called “influencers” heavily edit the photos they post in order to create unrealistically positive descriptions of their lives. Many social media users are getting sick of this tendency. In contrast, TikTok, a Chinese owned social media service, has a page that a user can follow that filters out unrealistic images and shows posts that reflect ordinary lives as they actually are. TikTok has a page called the “For You Page” which shows images of un-glorified middle-class life.

One TikTok user, who is often referred to as “the Queen of TikTok” in comments, has a very popular profile where she shares posts about her ordinary life which often show up on the “For You Page.” In her posts she often shows herself in her MacDonald’s employee uniform while on break. Her profile is known for being authentic and funny. Despite the alternatives to the status quo, TikTok still has “influencer” profiles which show dishonest life descriptions.

TikTok is big competition to Facebook. TikTok is multilingual and has a huge user base in India. It remains to be seen how far TikTok can take its challenge against Facebook’s dominance in the social media industry.

FaceApp has been sweeping the nation recently. Although it was developed back in 2017, the AI Facial Modification App has boosted its popularity exponentially in the past week. Just when we thought we were experiencing an innocent tidbit of fun it all came crashing down. FaceApp is owned by a Russian company and using FaceApp puts yourself in high levels of risk.

On top of the fact that FaceApp grants access to a users device information and photos, it also contains fine print that basically says FaceApp is allowed to use your data in any way they seem fit. This includes transferring your data from countries and jurisdictions where the data laws are extremely less restrictive.

They can also monetize your face and likeness which means one day you may see yourself as an advertisement or your picture being used with no ownership and no control. This may not seem like too big of a deal to the common person, but imagine all the celebrities that have used the app that now have donated their likenesses to Russia.

We don’t actually know what the results are going to lead to, but it’s safe to say people are sweating now.

The only question left is if we would feel the same if it was owned by any other country?