Share your voice Smart Speakers & Displays Tech Industry Now playing: Watch this: 0 Facebook Portal aims to take Messenger video chat up… Facebook is working on its own voice assistant. CNET Facebook is working on a voice assistant that could be used in its Portal video chat device.”We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. The social network would face stiff competition from tech giants that already have voice assistants, like Amazon, Google and Apple. CNBC, citing several people familiar with the matter, said Facebook has been working on the new voice assistant since early 2018 but it’s “unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant.” Facebook’s Portal currently taps into Amazon’s Alexa. Facebook employees in Redmond, Washington, led by Ira Snyder, director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant, are reportedly leading the effort to build a new AI assistant.This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to build a virtual assistant. Last year, the company shut down a chat assistant called M that was used in Facebook’s messaging app. 2:54 Post a comment Tags Facebook Originally published April 17, 11:54 a.m. PT.Update, 12:49 p.m. PT: Adds Facebook comment.
Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajiv Shukla and current BCCI president Anurag Thakur during a press conference in New DelhiIANSWhich of the companies will bag the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights for the 2018 edition of the cricket league? That remains the major question as of now. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as many as 18 companies have bought the ITT (Invitation To Tender) document made available for purchase by the cricket board from September 19 to October 18.The deadline for the submission of the bids is October 25.Facebook, Twitter, Reliance Jio, Sony Pictures Network India and Star India are some of the major companies who have picked up the tender document. While the broadcast rights for the Indian subcontinent is for 10 seasons (from 2018 to 2027), the IPL digital rights are valid for five seasons (from 2018 to 2022). The international media rights too are valid for five seasons.”This is going to be a historical moment for Indian cricket. I am pleased to see the overwhelming response from the media and technology companies for IPL Media Rights,” said BCCI president Anurag Thakur in a statement. “With the global trends of showcasing content on multiple platforms becoming increasingly important – TV, Internet and Mobile rights are up for grabs together this time.”To have as many as 18 prospective bidders in the fray reinstates the faith of market forces in Indian Premier League.”According to various reports, the two frontrunners to bag the IPL broadcast rights are Star India and Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI). It could also turn out that the one of these two major companies could pick up all the three media rights as the BCCI, according to sources, is willing to accept a “consolidated bid” from the TV broadcasters, where they need to put forward a one-bid figure for all three rights packages.Full list of companies who have bought the tender documentStar India Pvt. Ltd.Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd.Followon Interactive Media Pvt. Ltd.Taj TV India Pvt. Ltd.Sony Pictures Networks Pvt. Ltd.Times Internet Ltd.Supersport International (Pty) Ltd.Reliance Jio Digital Services Pvt. Ltd.Gulf DTH FZ LLCGroupM Media India Pvt. Ltd.beIN IP Ltd.Econet Media Ltd.SKY UK Ltd.ESPN Digital Media (India) Pvt. LtdBTG Legal ServicesBT PLCTwitter Inc.Facebook Inc.
An aircraft of India’s Jet Airways lands during rain showers in Mumbai on September 20, 2017PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty ImagesTroubled carrier Jet Airways seems to be doing everything it can to come up with a plan that will avert its much-speculated collapse. And on Thursday, February 14, the airline approved a bailout plan, which will see its lenders becoming the largest shareholders in the company.Jet Airways said that its board has approved a rescue plan, through which a consortium of banks — led by the State Bank of India — will convert a part of their debt into equity. As per the plan, the banks will convert the debt at a price of Re 1, mandated by a circular of the Reserve Bank of India. In order to meet a funding gap of about Rs 8,500 crore, the airline said that it would allot 114 million shares to the banks, but did not reveal how much debt would be converted to equity or how fresh amounts would be raised.The bank-led resolution plan (BLRP) is “to meet a funding gap of nearly Rs 8,500 crore which is to be met by an appropriate mix of equity infusion, debt restructuring, sale/sale and leaseback/ refinancing,” Jet Airways said in a statement.The proposal seems to have brought a new ray to hope to many and an independent consultant told the Economic Times that this would be a good step for the airline. “Jet is saved. The government is really working to ensure the airline survives and 23,000 jobs are protected.”However, this plan will now have to receive the final seal of approval at the shareholders’ meet scheduled for February 21. The proposal will also require a nod from the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.Meanwhile, experts in the know have said that the debt to equity conversion is one of the few steps that Jet is taking as part of its rescue plans. Later, it is likely that Etihad, which already owns a 24 percent stake in the carrier, will subscribe to new shares issued and increase its stake to about 45 percent, reported ET.Drop in Naresh Goyal’s stake in the airline With this, founder and promoter Naresh Goyal is set to lose control of Jet Airways as his stake is likely to drop from the current 51 percent to about 25 percent.Speaking of this drop, Santosh Hiredesai of SBI Caps said in a note thus: “Naresh Goyal’s share will come down to 25.5%, Etihad to 12% and lenders will have a majority stake of 50.1%. While this will effectively transfer control of the airline to lenders, the press release is silent on how much of the debt will be converted under the exercise, which remains a key unknown for now, and also who is to bring in potential equity funding that is required to sustain operations and deliver a turnaround.”Earlier, it was said that Goyal was not very keen on giving up his stake and had reportedly even turned to Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata for help. the Tata Group has shown an interest in bailing out Jet Airways, but it depended on Goyal and his willingness in giving up his controlling stake. ReutersJet’s fourth quarterly consecutive loss On February 14, the beleaguered airline also reported its fourth consecutive quarterly loss. The loss was recorded at Rs 588 crore for the quarter ended December 31. The carrier has been reeling under the pressures of high fuel cost and cutthroat competition and is also known to have delayed the salaries of its employees. And on Thursday, chief executive officer Vinay Dube thanked the employees for their work.”We are indebted to our employees who, despite our interim challenges, have worked tirelessly to ensure the highest levels of operational reliability and customer services for our guests, in line with our core values,” he said in a statement.