AI Is The New Machine Learning; Facebook Creating News Curation App

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Minority Report For Realz

Forget machine learning; the new buzzword is AI. Publicis’ Sapient division, which focuses on digital tech, acquired a minority stake in the artificial intelligence company Lucid on Thursday. The goal is to create detailed histories of consumer buying patterns in order to understand years-long shifts in who buys a certain brand’s product. There’s ultimately an attribution play here, as better knowledge would enable sharper measurement of branding campaigns. Read the announcement.

Facebook Seeks News Angle

Facebook is working on an app, Notify, that allows users to create a curated feed of all the news they’d like to follow. So instead of getting sucked into watching a Facebook trending story like “Rat vs. Pigeon” (horrifying), someone can go to the app instead and get Huffington Post’s updates on the 2016 election. This might be the next logical step to bring publisher revenue to Facebook after it gets the Instant Articles kinks worked out. Read The Awl’s analysis.

Head In The Clouds

Walmart will be open-sourcing the code from OneOps, a cloud-management company it purchased in 2013. Walmart’s traffic and activity is literally too big for one cloud partner (like Microsoft and Rackspace), so it needs to jump between clouds. But there are big advantages in avoiding “Cloud Lock-in” for smaller ecommerce players too, says Steve Lohr at The New York Times. And now Walmart will be helping competitors to do the same. Although wouldn’t you know it, the move undercuts one of Amazon’s fastest-growing businesses. More.

Bird’s Eye View

Twitter is launching conversion lift reports to help advertisers measure the incremental impact of their Twitter campaigns on the bottom line. Blog post. From the Twitter perspective, “Simply seeing an ad on Twitter yields positive results.” But Ad Age’s Tim Peterson brought a dose of cynicism to Twitter’s endeavor: “The move is Twitter’s latest attempt to appease direct-response advertisers who are looking for tangible business outcomes from their ads and have been previously disappointed by Twitter’s ability to target those ads or track their performance.”

Yahoo’s X-Device?

Yahoo released a feature called Account Key that ties a user’s account to her mobile device. If that user needs to access that account on, say, a laptop, rather than typing in a password, she’ll get a push notification on her phone. Read more from The Awl. Yahoo’s messaging around this feature is that it’s about security and ease of use. It’s easy to see that case. But as Facebook and Google confront the cross-device dilemma with their deterministic data sets, it’s hard not to wonder if Yahoo might leverage this feature to toss its hat into the ring. Here comes a new challenger?

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