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Streaming Giants Form Trade Group as New Regulations Loom

Some of the nation’s biggest streaming services have banded together to form a trade group, the Streaming Innovation Alliance, that will lobby at federal and state levels for policies that support their goals. Early members include Max, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, The Walt Disney Company, TelevisaUnivision, ViX, BET+ and the MPA. Signing on as advisors are Washington D.C. veterans Fred Upton, who headed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Mignon Clyburn, once acting chair of the FCC. The creation of the trade group comes as new online regulations loom. Read more

FCC Preps Draft Proposal That Plans to Restore Net Neutrality

Championed by the Democratic members of the Federal Communications Commission, net neutrality rules are making a comeback now that the party again controls the FCC’s majority. Enacted when Barack Obama was president and repealed in 2017 during the Trump administration, the guidelines that once prohibited telecommunications and cable companies from blocking or throttling smaller content platforms, or those in which they had no ownership stake, could get a vote as early as next month. Speaking at the National Press Club, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said she is “sharing with [her] colleagues a rule making that proposes to restore net neutrality.” Read more

Walmart Extends E-Commerce Push, Adds Sponsored Videos

Walmart has doubled the size of its Marketplace platform in the past 18 months, with about 100,000 active sellers. Now, the company — which receives seller applications at the rate of about 20,000 per month, about 10 percent of which get approved — feels it is within striking distance of Amazon. Some say Walmart has been emulating the moves of the Seattle-based e-retail giant, including now adding sponsored video ad units in time for the holiday shopping season. The Walmart+ online brand has been emphasizing convenience, membership, free delivery and even a Paramount+ Essential plan, similar to Amazon’s approach of offering Prime Video. Read more

OpenAI’s ChatGPT Upgraded with ‘Talk’ Tech, Image Search

OpenAI is experimenting with new voice and image capabilities in ChatGPT. According to the company, users can now “speak with ChatGPT and have it talk back,” thanks to an intuitive new interface that, in addition to facilitating voice conversations, will allow users to show ChatGPT an image to discuss. “Snap a picture of a landmark while traveling and have a live conversation about what’s interesting about it,” OpenAI explains, alternatively suggesting you “snap pictures of your fridge and pantry to figure out what’s for dinner” or have it help with homework based on pictures of a math problem. Read more

Spotify Uses AI to Copy Host Voices for Podcast Translations

Spotify is using AI to drive podcast language translation in what sounds like the podcaster’s own voice, which has obvious implications for film and television dubbing. Working with podcast notables including Dax Shepard, Monica Padman and Bill Simmons, Spotify used AI to mimic their voices in Spanish, French and German for several episodes. The proprietary Spotify technology uses OpenAI’s new text-to-speech voice-generation technology as well as its open-source Whisper speech recognition system, which transcribes spoken words into text. The result, Spotify says, is “more authentic” and “more personal and natural” than traditional dubbing. Read more

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