Netflix Releases Engagement Report, Reveals Hours Viewed

In a move toward increased transparency, Netflix has begun sharing specifics regarding program consumption data. This week, the streamer released the first “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report,” detailing how many hours the most popular content was viewed January to June 2023. On a call with reporters, co-CEO Ted Sarandos described the information as “a continuum” of improvements to viewership measurement. The report “covers more than 18,000 titles — representing 99 percent of all viewing on Netflix,” which for the six-month period totaled “nearly 100 billion hours worldwide,” according to Netflix. Continue reading Netflix Releases Engagement Report, Reveals Hours Viewed

GitHub Copilot Brings AI-Powered Coding Tool to Enterprise

GitHub Copilot Chat for enterprise becomes generally available in December, and the GitHub site is integrating the artificial intelligence assistant across its entire platform, promising that AI will infuse every step of the developer lifecycle. “Just as GitHub was founded on Git, today we are re-founded on Copilot,” the Microsoft-owned company announced this month. Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, the new configuration will offer inline Copilot Chat for code questions, contextual guidance and “slash commands” for /fix and /test. The AI tool is designed to assist coders with their everyday workflows with a series of “one-click” assists and other shortcuts. Continue reading GitHub Copilot Brings AI-Powered Coding Tool to Enterprise

Google DeepMind’s AlphaDev Can Create Faster Algorithms

Google DeepMind has discovered a way to create AI algorithms that run faster than those coded by humans, which could lead to more cost-effective software development and computing that is more efficient and sustainable, according to the Alphabet company. The breakthrough, detailed in the journal Nature, is called AlphaDev. It uses a form of machine learning called reinforcement that allows computers to build on their successes, honing strategies independent of human programmers. In this case, faster algorithms were developed for computer-science functions like sorting and hashing. Continue reading Google DeepMind’s AlphaDev Can Create Faster Algorithms

Google Cloud Partners with Replit to Develop AI Coding Tools

Google has teamed with San Francisco startup Replit in a bid to challenge Microsoft’s GitHub and the Github Copilot code generator launched in conjunction with OpenAI. Under the new partnership, Replit developers will get access to Google Cloud infrastructure, services, and foundation models via Replit’s software development AI, called Ghostwriter, while Google Cloud and Workspace developers will get access to Replit’s collaborative code editing platform. Replit, which says 20 million developers use its platform, launched Ghostwriter in the fall and in January added a conversational AI interface for generating code and debugging. Continue reading Google Cloud Partners with Replit to Develop AI Coding Tools

Baidu Rushes Ernie Launch to Meet China’s Chatbot Demand

China’s Baidu is racing to meet the March 16 deadline to debut Ernie Bot, which it hopes will be the Eastern equivalent to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Teams have been working around the clock. In addition to programming duties, staff has been reaching out to borrow compute time on high-powered processors that Chinese companies can no longer purchase at their discretion due to U.S. sanctions. Ernie is still being trained ahead of its highly anticipated launch. Baidu intends to roll out its chatbot in stages, first to a limited pool of public users who can provide test feedback, observers say. Continue reading Baidu Rushes Ernie Launch to Meet China’s Chatbot Demand

Nexstar Acquiring Majority Stake in The CW in Cashless Deal

After more than six months of negotiations, Nexstar Media Group has struck a deal with Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery to acquire a 75 percent stake in The CW Network. Paramount and WBD will each continue to hold a 12.5 percent stake in The CW and will continue to provide scripted programming for it through the 2022-23 season after the deal closes, which Nexstar expects to happen in Q3. Financial terms were not disclosed, though Variety reports Nexstar is not paying cash, but rather assuming “a large chunk” of The CW’s “more than $100 million” in debt. Continue reading Nexstar Acquiring Majority Stake in The CW in Cashless Deal

AI Coding Tools Speed Process to Offset Developer Shortage

New AI-powered coding tools such as Amazon’s CodeWhisperer and Copilot from GitHub and OpenAI may be giving some developers the jitters. Following splashy debuts for both programs last week, GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke offered public assurances that Copilot is not designed to replace coders, but to speed the process, alleviating a software developer shortage. Similar to Copilot, CodeWhisperer can autocomplete Java, JavaScript and Python functions based on a comment or some keystrokes. Amazon says it trained the system using billions of lines of open source code, publicly available documentation and its own codebase. Continue reading AI Coding Tools Speed Process to Offset Developer Shortage

Nielsen Says Viewers ‘Love’ Streaming but Find It Confusing

Seventy two percent of Americans say they “love” their user experience with streaming services, according to Nielsen’s State of Play report, which notes that 93 percent of those surveyed will increase their streaming subscriptions or make no change, despite nearly half the respondents admitting they’re somewhat overwhelmed by options. As of February, U.S. viewers could choose from more than 817,000 unique program titles, compared to about 646,000 in 2019. In the 12 months ending February 2022, Americans’ upped their average weekly video streaming time by 18 percent, to 169.4 billion streaming minutes, from 143.2 billion. Continue reading Nielsen Says Viewers ‘Love’ Streaming but Find It Confusing

No-Code AI and Prediction Tools Bring Coding to the People

A new AI revolution is underway, turning people who know little about coding into developers. Called “no code,” startups are emerging to productize this new category, which essentially lets people use familiar, clickable web interfaces and even natural language to automate tasks or create simple applications, while machine learning takes over the rest. Proponents predict it will be a game-changer, powering a brigade of “citizen developers” to leverage artificial intelligence without knowing how to write code. Startups entering the space include Juji, which makes creating AI chatbots as easy as programming PowerPoint. Continue reading No-Code AI and Prediction Tools Bring Coding to the People

OpenAI and Microsoft Introduce $100 Million AI Startup Fund

OpenAI unveiled a $100 million OpenAI Startup Fund to fund early-stage companies pursuing ways that AI can have a “transformative” impact on healthcare, education, climate change and other fields. OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman said the Fund will make “big, early bets” on no more than 10 such companies. OpenAI, with funding from Microsoft and others, will manage the Fund. Selected projects will get “early access” to future OpenAI systems, support from OpenAI’s team and credits for Microsoft Azure. Continue reading OpenAI and Microsoft Introduce $100 Million AI Startup Fund

IBM Project CodeNet Employs AI Tools to Program Software

IBM’s AI research unit debuted Project CodeNet, a dataset to develop machine learning models for software programming. The name is a take-off on ImageNet, the influential dataset of photos that pushed the development of computer vision and deep learning. Creating “AI for code” systems has been challenging since software developers are constantly discovering new problems and exploring different solutions. IBM researchers have taken that into consideration in developing a multi-purpose dataset for Project CodeNet. Continue reading IBM Project CodeNet Employs AI Tools to Program Software

IBM CodeNet Enables AI Translation of Computer Languages

During its Think conference this week, IBM debuted Project CodeNet, an open-source dataset for benchmarking around AI for code. Project CodeNet consists of 14 million code examples, which makes it about 10 times larger than the most similar dataset, which has 52,000 examples. Project CodeNet also offers 500 million lines of code and 55 programming languages including C++, Java, Python, Go, COBOL, Pascal and Fortran, making it a Rosetta Stone for AI systems to automatically translate code into other programming languages. Continue reading IBM CodeNet Enables AI Translation of Computer Languages

Netflix Names Sarandos Co-CEO, Subscriber Numbers Grow

Streaming giant Netflix announced that chief content officer Ted Sarandos is now co-chief executive officer with long-time chair & chief executive Reed Hastings. The move is largely seen as clearing the path for Sarandos to eventually succeed Hastings, who noted that the promotion “makes formal what was already informal — that Ted and I share the leadership of Netflix.” The company added 26+ million subscribers in the last two quarters as consumers began seeking more in-home entertainment while sheltering in place due to COVID-19. Continue reading Netflix Names Sarandos Co-CEO, Subscriber Numbers Grow

YouTube to Roll Out Free Originals, Measurement Analysis

At IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts in New York City last week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed that 2 billion monthly global users now watch more than 250 million hours of YouTube content on TV screens daily. The video hub is actively working on brand safety issues, plans to integrate Nielsen Catalina analysis to measure increases in offline sales, and — in a significant strategy shift — announced it would remove the paywall for some of its ad-supported original programming. Starting this year, all of the platform’s new original series and specials will be available for free. Continue reading YouTube to Roll Out Free Originals, Measurement Analysis

YouTube Taps Ben Relles to Lead Programming Innovation

Google’s YouTube is planning new original programming with a focus on live specials and interactive content. Ben Relles, former head of unscripted for YouTube Originals, will assume his new role as head of innovation to lead the initiative. Reporting to Susanne Daniels, global head of original content, Relles will be responsible for the development of new scripted and unscripted original programming intended to foster interaction and engagement with viewers. Interactive content has been getting more attention since the success of Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.” Continue reading YouTube Taps Ben Relles to Lead Programming Innovation