AMZN - Amazon.com, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
1,792.57
+16.45 (+0.93%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close1,776.12
Open1,792.89
Bid1,790.00 x 800
Ask1,791.80 x 800
Day's range1,784.72 - 1,802.46
52-week range1,307.00 - 2,050.50
Volume3,051,559
Avg. volume3,685,374
Market cap886.705B
Beta (3Y monthly)1.58
PE ratio (TTM)74.37
EPS (TTM)24.10
Earnings date23 Oct 2019 - 28 Oct 2019
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est2,261.27
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • A Capital City in the Jungle? It’s Not a Crazy Idea
    Bloomberg

    A Capital City in the Jungle? It’s Not a Crazy Idea

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Indonesia’s president wants to spend at least $30 billion to move the capital to a forest on the island of Borneo. The proximate trigger is climate change – Jakarta is sinking into the sea. President Joko Widodo is planning a giant wall to keep big waves out, but global warming presents a clear danger to low-lying cities. After analyzing 393 cyclone-vulnerable coastal cities in 31 countries, World Bank economists have concluded that 40% of the damage from storm-surge catastrophes would fall on three Asian cities — Jakarta, Manila and Karachi, Pakistan.  The Philippines is shifting government offices from coastal Manila to higher ground: the old American air base of Clark City.No wonder Widodo wants to move to the province of Kalimantan in Borneo, an island Indonesia shares with Malaysia and Brunei. The private sector and financial center will remain in metropolitan Jakarta, a megalopolis teeming with 30 million people. Yet in practice, the relocation will be a big prize for the private sector, with everything from real-estate development, urban gas supply, hospital management and many others up for grabs. The move is planned to start around 2024.What kind of capital will the nation of 267 million people get? A Naypyidaw, the nearly empty new city in central Myanmar conceived by a military junta? Or something more like Brasilia, which Brazil carved out of the Amazon in the 1960s to lessen the over-arching role that Rio de Janeiro had played since Portuguese colonial times? Widodo will be hoping for a Brasilia and to shake up the primacy of Java, the main island of the more than 18,000 that make up Indonesia. The move could also tilt the economic growth model away from state-owned enterprises, which are playing a bigger role since the president, known as Jokowi, came to office in 2014 and pledged to develop infrastructure in far-flung parts of the country.Indonesia has a historic mistrust of private enterprise. The resource-rich archipelago was plundered by foreign concessionaires and their cronies under former President Suharto’s 32-year dictatorship, which collapsed in the 1998 Asian crisis. Since then, Indonesia has been maturing as a democracy and stars like the ride-hailing app Gojek are the face of a youthful new private sector. A $30 billion new city project can be a playground for creativity – or a den of corruption. Indonesia has to choose wisely.A similar choice exists for the environment. The annual haze that engulfs Singapore and Malaysia emanates in part from forest fires in Kalimantan as farmers clear land for plantations. Will having the president in the neighborhood improve the policing of oil-palm estates? If the foul air quality in the Indian capital of New Delhi because of paddy-stubble burning in Punjab is any guide, the answer isn’t obvious. But if Jokowi does succeed, it will be a PR coup — European ambassadors’ children living in Kalimantan could persuade their home countries to stop objecting to the use of Indonesian palm oil in biofuel. That would safeguard the livelihood of 6% of Indonesians. The history of planned, new capital cities is mixed. The broad boulevards of Naypyidaw still await that one ingredient without which no city is complete: people. But there are successes. Why shouldn’t moving the seat of political power give Indonesia its own Canberra? The century-old, low-profile Australian capital is home to 400,000 residents. How hard can it be to fill a new urban agglomeration with 1.5 million inhabitants, asks Bambang Brodjonegoro, the minister of national development planning. Indonesia has 11 times as many people as Australia. Then there’s Brasilia. As Portugal did with Rio, the Dutch East India Company made Batavia – modern-day Jakarta – the epicenter of a vast trading network. And just as post-colonial Brazil felt the need to weaken Rio’s centrality, Jokowi  has tasked Brodjonegoro to reduce the political role of Java, the most-populous island and a 59% contributor to annual GDP. Dated as Brasilia’s pioneering modernist look might seem now, the city helped change Brazil for the better. “Jakarta is in Java,” the minister tells me. “It reflects the Javanese identity.” But Indonesia is meant to be more than Java. If the idea is to reduce the entrenched homogeneity of majority Malay-Muslim Javanese power and diversify across the ethnic, cultural and religious mix that makes up ``Indonesian flavor,’’ as Brodjonegoro describes it, then the effort is praiseworthy.There’s no escaping the prevailing global zeitgeist of majoritarianism. By today’s standards, just wanting to lean against it makes Jokowi a very different kind of leader.To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at amukherjee@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Management Talks One-Day Shipping, Video Advertising, and More
    Motley Fool

    Amazon Management Talks One-Day Shipping, Video Advertising, and More

    Here are three must-see takeaways from the e-commerce giant's second-quarter earnings call.

  • Amazon, Swatch, Daimler and the Risks of a Global Recession
    Bloomberg

    Amazon, Swatch, Daimler and the Risks of a Global Recession

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Investors are bracing for a significant downturn in the world economy, cutting earnings estimates amid a market sell-off. While all cyclical industries face some form of risks, some companies within each sector are more vulnerable than others as the outlook deteriorates.In recent recessions, technology and finance were the triggers -- the internet bubble caused the 2000 market crash and subprime lending led to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis that spread to housing, manufacturing and consumer demand.“The financial sector was leading in 2002-2007. In this cycle, it’s the tech sector,” said Bloomberg Chief Equity Strategist Gina Martin Adams. Still, she cautioned that in spite of the warning signs, it may be too early to predict a recession, adding that “tech is the strength of the economy.”Here are five global companies that may stand to lose more than others:AmazonAmazon.com Inc. is among the most cyclical U.S. internet companies because the Seattle-based e-commerce giant relies heavily on consumer spending. It’s also been building its employee base, adding more than 600,000 jobs and hundreds of huge warehouses to store and ship products. Some of those costs are fixed, while others may be hard to reduce quickly if there’s a steep economic decline. It also faces regulatory risks.“Amazon’s near-term growth may be at risk as macroeconomic conditions worsen, regulatory scrutiny rises and spending cycles spark concern,” Jitendra Waral and April Kim, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a recent note. “If demand were to slow amid Amazon’s increased spending on logistics, profit would face a double whammy.”One of Amazon’s fastest-growing new businesses -- digital advertising -- is also susceptible to economic ups and downs. Still, Amazon is riding a broad e-commerce growth trend that is unlikely to reverse during a recession.SwatchMakers of luxury items tend to endure more risks in a recession than producers of mass-market consumer goods. This time around, the effects would be compounded by U.S.-China trade tensions and protests in Hong Kong, which has already hurt the city’s economic outlook.Swatch Group AG, the biggest maker of Swiss timepieces, has more exposure to Hong Kong than any other luxury company, generating more than a third of the group’s sales in the Greater China region, according to Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox. The maker of Omega watches also has a smaller presence in the steadier luxury categories of jewelry and fashion than rival Richemont, which owns brands including Chloe, Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.The high-end segment has also been far less elastic in a downturn. In 2009, Swiss watch exports slumped 22% amid the financial crisis.So far, the economic slowdown in China has done little to damp the appetite of Chinese consumers for luxury goods. But watchmakers are feeling the effects of the sometimes violent demonstrations in Hong Kong, their largest export market. Timepiece sales there could plunge as much as 40% in the second half, Cox said.Swatch also faces sluggish watch sales in Europe. If the U.S. takes a turn for the worse, the industry could be hit by a reversal of the recovery in its second-biggest market.Swatch ExportsDaimlerThe German corporate giant just doesn’t just face a slowdown in its home market -- it also has substantial exposure to a potential downturn in the U.S. The automaker produces two high-margin SUVs in Alabama and its Freightliner division is the leader in the North American heavy-truck market. Demand for transportation of goods tends to closely mirror broader economic swings and analysts say heavy-truck sales in the region have peaked following years of robust growth.Daimler AG relies on the U.S. for about a quarter of the group’s revenue last year. That’s more than Germany or China, where it operates a joint venture with BAIC.After two back-to-back profit warnings following their debut in May, Daimler’s new leadership duo has vowed to improve efficiency. Profitability at the Mercedes-Benz passenger-car division has been sub-par compared with its peers, and the car unit is up against waning demand in its two biggest markets by volume: China and the U.S.CaesarsAn economic downturn could be particularly ill-timed for Caesars Entertainment Corp. The largest owner of casinos in the U.S. is about to increase its debt load again to finance a megadeal, after struggling for years to recover from a 2008 leveraged buyout that left it saddled with debt at the height of the Great Recession. (Caesars ended up putting its largest division into bankruptcy to clean up its balance sheet.)Caesars is set to merge with Eldorado Resorts Inc. early next year in a deal that involves $8.2 billion in new financing, amid rising competition from new casinos, both online and at its properties. Unlike some of its peers that focus more on luxury, such as Wynn Resorts Ltd., Caesars operates a lot of casinos in small markets including Tunica, Mississippi, and Metropolis, Illinois. Combined with Eldorado, it will have 60 owned, operated and managed casino–resorts across 16 states.And even the Las Vegas Strip, once considered invincible as a gambling destination, has yet to see casino revenue return to its 2007 high.Toll BrothersA major economic slowdown would almost certainly hit home sales and prices for builders like Toll Brothers Inc. “If we do go into a recession, housing isn’t going to be the cause,” said Drew Reading, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It’s going to be the victim.”The bigger challenge for the industry right now is affordability, especially in high-cost metros on the West Coast. Toll Brothers, the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, has been trying to diversify geographically. But it’s still highly reliant on California, where it got nearly a third of its revenue last year.One the plus side: Single-family housing starts still haven’t returned to historical levels more than a decade after the financial crisis, which means homebuilders won’t be sitting on as much supply if the economy takes a turn for the worst.\--With assistance from Christoph Rauwald, Kevin Miller, Corinne Gretler, Noah Buhayar, Ian King, Christopher Palmeri and Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: Cécile Daurat in Wilmington at cdaurat@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at tharrison5@bloomberg.net, Linus Chua, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Top Stocks That Are Cash Cows
    Motley Fool

    3 Top Stocks That Are Cash Cows

    Apple, Amazon, and PayPal are swamped in cash and could swamp your portfolio with great returns.

  • Bloomberg

    Trump’s Dinner Guest on Friday Will Be Apple’s CEO Tim Cook

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out at technology giants and their leaders, announced on Friday evening that he would be dining with Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” Trump, who is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, wrote on Twitter. “They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”He did not elaborate, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.Heads of other major technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have not fared as well in the president’s tweets and public remarks.He and his political allies have made unsupported claims that social media companies muzzle conservative views. Trump has assailed Amazon for edging out brick-and-mortar retailers and criticized its founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.Pressure on tech companies is increasing in Washington as congressional Republicans examine accusations of bias against conservatives; Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.Earlier this week, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in an interview that he wouldn’t let Trump’s complaints about the size and political inclinations of large technology platforms affect his agency’s decisions.Cook visited the White House in June to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to develop job training programs that meet the changing demands of U.S. employers. The meeting was part of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a working group that includes many corporate leaders. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled the initiative earlier this year.\--With assistance from Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Retail Earnings in Focus
    Zacks

    Retail Earnings in Focus

    Retail Earnings in Focus

  • Amazon.com defeats IRS appeal in U.S. tax dispute
    Reuters

    Amazon.com defeats IRS appeal in U.S. tax dispute

    In a 3-0 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle upheld a 2017 ruling by the U.S. Tax Court related to intangible assets that Amazon.com transferred in 2005 and 2006 to the unit, Amazon Europe Holding Technologies SCS. Intangible assets include such items as customer lists, intellectual property and software. The appeals court rejected a broader definition sought by the IRS that would have boosted Amazon.com's tax bill.

  • Nvidia Impresses Investors With A Bright Future Ahead
    Zacks

    Nvidia Impresses Investors With A Bright Future Ahead

    As both Nvidia and AMD compete to create the next best AI and cloud computing GPUs, the tech is only going to proliferate in performance and both companies stand to gain.

  • Motley Fool

    Why You Should Invest In International Stocks

    Especially if you're an American investor, chances are good that you'd benefit from more international diversification.

  • Motley Fool

    Jumia's Definitely One to Watch

    Frequently called the MercadoLibre of Africa, Jumia has some huge opportunities ahead of it.

  • What's Behind Walmart's Strong E-Commerce Growth
    Motley Fool

    What's Behind Walmart's Strong E-Commerce Growth

    Walmart's online sales continue to grow, but it'll need to keep investing to stay ahead.

  • Disney (DIS) & Charter Ink Multi-Year Distribution Agreement
    Zacks

    Disney (DIS) & Charter Ink Multi-Year Distribution Agreement

    Disney (DIS) and Charter Communications extend a multi-year distribution agreement to feature TV content of the former on the latter's Spectrum network.

  • Stock Market News for Aug 16, 2019
    Zacks

    Stock Market News for Aug 16, 2019

    Markets were lower during the beginning of the trading session on Aug 15, following China's comments of taking retaliatory measures against Trump's tariffs threat.

  • EBAY or AMZN: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?
    Zacks

    EBAY or AMZN: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

    EBAY vs. AMZN: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Macy's, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, Kohl's and Amazon
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Macy's, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, Kohl's and Amazon

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Macy's, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, Kohl's and Amazon

  • The 1 Key Number You Should Focus On at UPS
    Motley Fool

    The 1 Key Number You Should Focus On at UPS

    UPS is making progress in the area that really matters.

  • Pentagon’s $10 Billion Brain Is Frozen by a Contracting Scandal
    Bloomberg

    Pentagon’s $10 Billion Brain Is Frozen by a Contracting Scandal

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- In the latest twist in the fraught competition for the Department of Defense’s $10 billion cloud-computing project, the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office announced a new investigation into whether there have been improprieties or corruption in the contracting process thus far. This probe, described to me as a very significant undertaking by Pentagon insiders, will complement a review already being conducted by new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.The cloud project is formally known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or, in a nod to “Star Wars” geeks, JEDI. It would provide a single managerial system and a single repository for storage of the department’s incomprehensibly vast data streams. As the controversy hit, the contract was reportedly about to be awarded, with the final competitors being Amazon Web Services Inc (the heavy, heavy favorite) and Microsoft Corp.The twin investigations were spurred by pressure from three sources: disgruntled competitors who felt they were out of the running; Congressional actors representing districts and states from where those competitors have a presence; and the Oval Office itself. President Donald Trump said in mid-July that he intended to review the JEDI contracting after receiving “tremendous complaints” about the process from “some of the great companies in the world,” including IBM, Microsoft and Oracle – each of which bid on the JEDI contract.None of this, other than direct interference by the commander in chief, is particularly out of the ordinary for big defense acquisitions, given the byzantine procurement process in the Pentagon. As a newly selected one-star rear admiral in 2000, I was assigned to manage a complex agency-wide telecommunications contract that included creating a new constellation of satellites. By the time it was finally awarded, I had long transferred out of the Pentagon. And in 2013, as I was a grizzled four-star Admiral about to finish up my career, I was still wondering why the satellite constellation wasn’t yet fully operational. The short answer is that at the nexus of big money, political influence and uncertain technology, delays are a certainty.All of this begs the questions of why the U.S. military is pursuing this system, and how it can be brought on line rapidly – by whomever eventually wins the contract.JEDI will be an absolutely vital part of America’s future warfighting capability, especially in the increasingly complex new 5G environment. At heart, the vast cloud would allow a much more efficient information-technology system, replacing the hodgepodge of thousands of hand-tooled, inefficient networks that exist today. This is especially critical for the military, where so many personnel transfer every two to three years, often taking with them a hands-on knowledge of an individual network or complex of software. For a vast organization like the Department of Defense -- the largest “company” in the world – JEDI’s efficiency at scale will be crucial to optimizing expensive resources and operating efficiently.It’s not just about efficiency, though: JEDI should vastly improve resiliency and security. Instead of individual networks and organizations backing up their information locally, everything is stored in a much more defendable cloud structure - just as your personal data and photographs likely exist in the Microsoft or Apple Inc clouds today. The data can be seamlessly transferred, even in the intense crucible of combat. Cybersecurity experts tell us that there is great strength in reducing the number of individual portals that can be attacked and overcome; streamlining and unifying the defenses of the entire department make sense. This reduction of “threat surfaces” is crucial.Finally, from an operator’s perspective, there is great allure in one-stop shopping to stream data (a sort of military Netflix,), to record and store it, to create simple systems to “patch” software, and to build an infrastructure that permits constant monitoring of the entire department’s networks. Lieutenant General Jack Shanahan, head of the Pentagon’s Artificial Intelligence Center, commented recently on the operational capabilities necessary for the emerging era of great power competition, with China in particular.“Imagine the speed of operations in a fight in the Pacific, where you just do not have time to figure out, ‘How do I get my data, clean my data, move it from point A to point B.’” Shanahan said. “If I’m a warfighter, I want as much data as you could possibly give me. Let my algorithms sort through it at machine speed. It’s really hard for me to do that without an enterprise cloud solution.” His comments were echoed by the department’s chief information officer, Dana Deasy, in a rare on-the-record co-briefing to the press they held last week.In order to move quickly to find efficiencies, create new resiliency, and provide a single point of contact for all IT operations, the Department of Defense needs to thoroughly but quickly complete these investigations. If there are real instances of malfeasance, they should be uncovered and the perpetrators punished forthwith. Frankly, Secretary Esper has an unattractive set of options, including starting the competition over; pressing forward to award despite the external pressure; or searching for some middle ground that may satisfy nobody. Whether he can power through all the sand in the gears here will be the first test of his leadership abilities, and will be among the most important he will face.In the likely scenario that all this smoke reveals not much fire but rather disgruntled competitors and political angst (and a strong component of anti-Amazon influence from the White House, where Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is despised), Esper should press through to a contract award as soon as is legally appropriate. Warfighting in the 21st century will be “brain on brain” combat, and a large, singular cloud structure is the gray matter the U.S. military needs.To contact the author of this story: James Stavridis at jstavridis@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • AI Startup Plans IPO at Value of Over $1 Billion -- in China
    Bloomberg

    AI Startup Plans IPO at Value of Over $1 Billion -- in China

    (Bloomberg) -- The promise of artificial intelligence has yet to translate into big business. Now Kai-Fu Lee, a prominent venture capitalist in China and founder of Sinovation Ventures, says his firm’s new startup should be able to reach $100 million in revenue next year and go public the year after.AInnovation, established in March 2018, develops artificial intelligence products for companies in industries such as retail, manufacturing, and finance. Its customers include Mars Inc., Carlsberg A/S, Nestle SA, Foxconn Technology Group, China Everbright Bank Co. and Postal Savings Bank of China Co.Chief Executive Officer Hocking Xu, a veteran of International Business Machines Corp. and SAP SE, has hired staff that work with traditional companies to figure out how to take advantage of AI in their operations. AInnovation is on track to hit $100 million in revenue within two years of its founding, the fastest pace yet for such a startup, Lee said.“We took the approach of ‘Let’s take some of the best business people and let’s target the industries which need AI the most’,” he said.Lee figures AInnovation will be able to go public in less than two years at a valuation of $1 billion to $2 billion. The firm has raised about $70 million so far from Sinovation, CICC ALPHA and Chengwei Capital. Since the company was funded with yuan, it would most likely list domestically, either on China’s new NASDAQ-like Star market, or on the country’s ChiNext.For retail companies, AInnovation sells products including a smart vending machine that opens with facial recognition and software that monitors retail shelves with image recognition. It’s created computer vision technology that detects defects on the production line for manufacturers and underwriting software and natural language processing technology for financial firms. There’s a large market in particular for technology to catch flaws early in the manufacturing process, said Jeffrey Ding, a researcher with Oxford’s Center for the Governance of AI. That effort “aligns with the Chinese government’s priorities to upgrade smart manufacturing capabilities to compete with countries like Germany and Switzerland,” he said in an email.The former president of Google China, Kai-Fu Lee founded Sinovation Ventures in 2009. It manages more than $2 billion across seven funds in U.S. and Chinese currencies. It holds shares in more than 300 companies, most of which are in China. Its investments include autonomous driving company Momenta, consumer AI chip firm Horizon Robotics Inc. and bitcoin mining and AI chip company Bitmain Technologies Ltd.In artificial intelligence, “we’re still at a very early stage in the commercialization,” Lee said. “We’re still at the equivalent of early internet portals, back when everybody was using Yahoo and there wasn’t even a Google, Amazon, or Facebook.”Global economic ructions, however, may present short-term challenges. Venture deals in China have been plummeting as investors pull back amid escalating trade tensions and slowing economic growth. The value of investments in the country tumbled 77% to $9.4 billion in the second quarter from a year earlier.“In an economy that’s slowing down, everything slows, including venture capital. There will definitely be a shakeout,” Lee said. “The positive side is that if the economy is challenging, and valuations are down, it’s a good time for us to go shopping.”Sinovation was one of the first Chinese venture capital firms with a presence in the U.S. With the trade war and the Trump administration’s tighter scrutiny of foreign investments, the firm has scaled back investments and no longer has an office in the U.S., Lee said, adding that investments in America have always been a small fraction of its overall investments.“In the long term, it’s a pity if we have to cause a total separation of two countries because one could argue that AI got to where it got because the whole world has been able to work together.”(Updates with analyst’s comment in the 9th paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Selina Wang in China at swang533@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Peter Elstrom, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Is Buying Amazon Stock. Should You?
    Motley Fool

    Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Is Buying Amazon Stock. Should You?

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  • Will This Be Amazon's "Next Game of Thrones"?
    Motley Fool

    Will This Be Amazon's "Next Game of Thrones"?

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  • Don’t Catch Falling Knives: The JCPenney Story
    Motley Fool

    Don’t Catch Falling Knives: The JCPenney Story

    The retailer may well be too far gone to save, and its ill-defined turnaround plan won’t change that.

  • Facebook Tells Chat Users Nothing About Human Listeners
    Bloomberg

    Facebook Tells Chat Users Nothing About Human Listeners

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. this week confirmed that it ran a program to allow contractors to listen to and transcribe some users’ audio clips. The social network said that the only people who were affected were those who agreed to have their audio messages transcribed.That makes it sound like users agreed to have their chats read by third parties. But based on a look at the Messenger permissions pop-up dialogue box, they didn’t.In the Messenger mobile app, as soon as someone sends a voice message, they get a prompt asking, “Turn on Voice to Text in this chat?” Above the “No” and “Yes” buttons, Facebook describes the option: “Display text of voice clips you send and receive. You can control whether text is visible to you for each chat.”There is no mention of human involvement. Even in a separate information page in the app dedicated to understanding Voice to Text, Facebook explains that users can turn it off for each chat, and prompts people to use it more. “Voice to Text uses machine learning,” it says. “The more you use this feature, the more Voice to Text can help you.” There’s no explanation that machine learning doesn’t just involve software code.Companies including Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Google have been relying on humans to check and improve their artificial intelligence systems -- they’re just not telling their users about it. That’s a critical lapse at a time when all of the companies -- especially Facebook -- are facing regulatory scrutiny for privacy lapses. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which enforces European Union privacy laws, said it was looking into Facebook’s transcription practices.“AI just isn’t at the level yet where it can interpret human conversation,” meaning the companies need to rely on monitoring to help train the systems, said Jennifer King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “But the big issue from my perspective is the non-disclosure. Users clearly don’t know it’s happening.”The report on Facebook’s human transcription program raised the ire of U.S. lawmakers, some of whom were already calling for stronger privacy protections than those imposed by a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission approved last month. Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said the latest revelation about Facebook’s audio collection “is yet further proof that consumers’ expectations of how their data is collected and used radically differ from what companies like Facebook are actually doing.”Some privacy lawyers suggested the lack of disclosure ran afoul of the company’s settlement with the FTC. That agreement, which resolved known conduct before June 12, bars misrepresentations by Facebook about user privacy controls, third-party access to user data and how information is collected, used and disclosed."Absent some other disclosure to users regarding the human listening, I do believe it is likely this is a violation of the order in the case," said Mark McCreary, chief privacy officer at law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.(Updates with comments from privacy lawyer in final paragraphs.)To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Tech Stocks for Dividend Investors to Buy Amid Yield Curve & Trade Fears
    Zacks

    3 Tech Stocks for Dividend Investors to Buy Amid Yield Curve & Trade Fears

    Check out these 3 dividend paying tech stocks to buy as yield curve and trade war fears heat up...

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