First, they beat us at chess. Then it was Go. Now it’s basic reading comprehension. The robots are coming. Alibaba says its deep neural network model has outscored humans in a global reading test, paving the way for the underlying technology to reduce the need for human input. The Chinese tech giant's research unit, Institute of Data Science of Technologies (IDST), said it had developed a deep-learning model that attained a score of 82.44 in Exact Match on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD). Humans had clocked a previous score of 82.304, it said.
The proposed acquisition of global payment service MoneyGram by Alibaba’s Ant Financial is off after the U.S. Government blocked the $1.2 billion deal. Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate which controls Alipay — China’s top mobile wallet — and other financial services, announced a deal to buy Nasdaq-listed MoneyGram in April 2017 after it beat off a rival bid from Euronet. Ant initially bid for MoneyGram in January 2017 as a means to develop its cross-border payment network into the U.S., and major corridors including India and the Philippines, but instead it will “explore and develop initiatives” to collaborate with MoneyGram’s business.
China’s e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group is reportedly set to open its first brick-and-mortar department store in its hometown Hangzhou next April. The space, called “More Mall,” symbolizes the “New Retail” concept, which has long been advocated by the company. According to reports in the Chinese media, the new mall will occupy 40,000 square meters of space across five floors. It will curate brands that already have an established presence on Alibaba’s two major online platforms: Tmall and Taobao Marketplace.
Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, in an interview to CNBC, said the rising technological advancements in artificial intelligence could lead to World War III. Speaking to the news channel, the billionaire Chinese business magnate said there is a need for the world leaders to educate people about the pain that the rapid rise in automation and artificial intelligence will bring. “The first technology revolution caused World War I. The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution,” he said. “People are already unhappy because lot of machinery, artificial intelligence is killing lot of jobs,” he added.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s executive chairman Jack Ma said the company’s ambitions to link up with Hollywood remain strong and also urged people to give President-Elect Donald Trump “some time” because “he’s listening.” Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, the Chinese billionaire said Alibaba had a debate five years ago about what Chinese people want. “Happiness and health,” he said. “We believe the movie industry brings happiness. Today, no one is happy. Rich people aren’t happy. Poor people aren’t happy. At least when I watch a movie I’m happy.”
Yahoo, one of the Internet's most venerable companies, won't exist for much longer. According to SEC paperwork filed on Monday, it will be rolled into a publicly-traded investment company called Altaba. Basically, Verizon is paying $4.8 billion solely for Yahoo's core internet business, leaving behind Yahoo's 15% of Chinese retail giant Alibaba and a part of Yahoo Japan, which is a joint venture with Softbank. Those assets will continue to exist in a separate company that will now operate under the catchy Altaba name.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is back on the U.S. government's annual list of "notorious markets" that sell pirated goods. The listing carries no penalties but will likely be an embarrassment for Alibaba, which has been trying to burnish its image in international markets. On Wednesday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative dumped Alibaba back on its Notorious Markets List, which “highlights prominent online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.” This comes four years after the USTR had removed the Chinese e-commerce company from the list after it made some progress in combating fakes.
SIX Payment Services and Alipay, the third-party payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, announced their close cooperation for the acceptance of POS and E- Commerce payments across Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, Alipay’s payment service will be integrated into the payment application of SIX in order to enable merchant clients of SIX to accept Alipay payments from Alipay users. SIX currently has a customer base of 220,000 merchants locations, principally in Switzerland, Luxemburg, Austria, Germany.
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