Two Lawyers Propose An Information Fiduciary; Amazon's AI Success Challenges Google

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A Fiduciary Truce?

“Doctors and lawyers are prohibited from using clients’ information for their own interests, so why aren’t Google and Facebook?” asks a pair of law professors in an essay for The Atlantic. The legal concept of a fiduciary, where one party holds a legal and ethical responsibility to maintain another’s privacy, needs to be applied to information-age titans like Google, Facebook and Uber that also hold troves of personal data, argue the scholars. Legal compliance is becoming a chronic migraine for Silicon Valley, and a fiduciary system could alleviate the tension. More.

The Home Front

Amazon has a healthy head start on in-home AI, with millions of Echo devices (each carrying the Alexa assistant software) already sold. Now Google just debuted a competing product, conceding that voice-search AI embedded in smartphones and tablets won’t get the job done, writes The New York Times. Google is taking an unusually aggressive approach, saying vendors that support Amazon Alexa won’t be allowed to integrate with its Google Home device. Amazon, meanwhile, is hiring a small army of machine-learning and developer-ecosystem specialists within its Alexa and Echo divisions.

AMPed Up

Google’s expansion of Accelerated Mobile Pages links from top stories to general search results is well underway, Search Engine Land reports. While not yet fully rolled out, the plan is for all standard search results to be presented through an AMP link. The shift opens up AMP beyond publishers to commercial, vertical and non-news publishers. Google claims that AMP isn’t a ranking factor, but load time is. Site owners take note! More.

Game On

With the rise of “engagement time” as a prominent mobile metric (in contrast to overall ads served), more brands and agencies are gamifying their campaigns. The trend is heavily influenced by Snapchat, which works with blue-chip brands on boutique campaigns amplified by its Discover platform, as Adweek’s Kristina Monllos reports. Google and Under Armour, for instance, recently released interactive Snapchat games with many levels and minimal branding. Gatorade’s logo is discreet in its game, but the average user played for 217 seconds, compared to an average Snapchat ad engagement rate of three seconds. More.

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