Comment: Google Clips is the company’s first high-stakes AI product that needs to just work

As Sundar Pichai and company love to opine, Google is moving to an AI first world. This transition sees existing products being rethought to see how they benefit from machine learning, while Google is literally discovering how artificial intelligence can be used to create new ones.

One of those new discoveries is Google Clips. With this mostly under-the-radar gadget, Google wants to apply artificial intelligence to one of its most high-stakes consumer-facing uses ever: capturing memories. Moments are literally once in a lifetime events and the company feels that its AI-laden approach is ready to handle that one take for you.

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Microsoft Band 2 is company’s latest attempt to persuade Android owners to use Cortana

With Microsoft almost out of the consumer phones business, it’s working harder to find a new home for its intelligent assistant, Cortana. After initially making it available to Android users six months ago, it has now updated its health app so that you can access Cortana through the Band 2 fitness wearable.

With Cortana on your Band, you can access your personal assistant for instant notifications of important events, communications, and voice-active info without reaching for your phone. Speak into the mic on your Band to Cortana to take actions for you …

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Huawei Honor V8 goes official, complete with dual camera system, Type-C and company’s first QHD screen

Huawei has taken the wraps off its latest Honor smartphone in China and, if the spec list is anything to go by, this could be one of the best-equipped affordable smartphones around. With a 5.7-inch screen, high-end processor, fingerprint sensor, dual cameras and a premium metal build, the Honor V8 looks astonishing for its starting price of 2299 yuan (2).

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Android co-founder Andy Rubin talks new company’s open AI platform, free dashcam

Wired has an excellent profile on Andy Rubin and his latest ventures post-Google. As creator of the original Android operating system that Google would eventually acquire and later a long-time Google employee on various Internet efforts at the company, a lot of people are waiting to see what Rubin does next since leaving Google over a year ago. 

In 2013, Rubin discussed his restlessness with Larry Page, and—as Rubin recounts it—the two men agreed it was time for a change. That March, Rubin stepped down from Android… For a year, Rubin spun up Google’s new robotics division, but he quickly realized that Google’s goals, which reportedly involve creating humanoid assistants, would take a decade of basic research.

We already knew that Rubin’s new company, Playground Global, would provide support and hands-on engineering assistance to hardware tech startups it’s investing in, but Rubin elaborated on the company’s plans, including describing what he hopes will eventually become an open platform for all companies building AI into their products:

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Review: OnePlus 5 is the company’s first truly killer flagship [Video]

OnePlus has a reputation for making high-performance phones — self-branded “flagship killers,” at abnormally low prices. Those prices have climbed with each new phone the company puts out, and the OnePlus 5 sits in the same price range as some “true” flagships like the LG G6.

That might not necessarily be a bad thing, though. The higher cost also means OnePlus was able to put better specs in the 5, and it’s starting to look less like a flagship killer … and more like a proper flagship.

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Xiaomi Mi 5 launch on Feb. 24 will be company’s first at MWC in Barcelona

A few days ago, Xiaomi’s global VP Hugo Barra confirmed on Twitter that the company would be releasing the next eagerly-anticipated smartphone on February 24. Just a few hours ago, Barra took to Facebook to announce that a media preview for the Xiaomi Mi 5 will take place in Barcelona during MWC while the launch event takes place in Beijing…

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Hands-on with Google Wifi, the company’s first self-branded router [Video]

Google just announced Google Wifi, an appropriately-named WiFi router, which — among other things — lets you easily create a mesh network in your home, similar to Eero. It’s not necessarily an OnHub replacement, but rather gives you another cheaper option that is made by Google itself…

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