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Morning Bulletin: Self-driving car arrives, facial recognition breakthrough & Dognapping dispute

Morning Bulletin: Self-driving car arrives, facial recognition breakthrough & Dognapping dispute

This morning’s bulletin carries something of a technological flavour as we look at deployment of the UK’s first driverless car on public roads and a facial recognition breakthrough in Moscow which can accurately pick out revellers at a concert. Elsewhere we look at the fuss surrounding a Dognapping plotline in ITV’s Emmerdale.

A driverless passenger vehicle is to be tested on UK streets for the first time today according to Reuters, which says a small two-seater ‘pod’ will be sent out to navigate the streets of Milton Keynes by Oxbotica – an Oxford University spin-off.

Hundreds of Emmerdale viewers have lost the plot over a recent dognapping storyline states the Guardian, which tells us that Ofcom will not investigate after 550 complaints were made to ITV that the story could encourage ‘copycat crimes’.

A Russian start-up has developed facial recognition technology capable of correctly identifying 73 per cent of festival-goers from a large selfie database. NTech Lab’s breakthrough came to light at a Moscow music festival where it deployed the technology to pick out individual revellers and send their picture direct to their phone - sparking fears of a brave new world.

Retail Week has unsurprisingly crowned Amazon chief Jeff Bezos as the most influential person in online retail for its latest Etail Power List, elevating the ecommerce pioneer to the top of the tree for another year.

Ad Exchanger meanwhile claims Facebook is ‘killing it’ in local advertising, reporting that the social media platform has expanded from 2m to 4.5m businesses over the past 18 months with local advertisers now accounting for 25 per cent of revenues.

Business Insider claims that employee morale at Twitter is ‘tanking’ as uncertainty swirls around the proposed sell-off of the micro-blogging service. A situation which has not been helped after Salesforce, lead contender for the business, went lukewarm on the idea.

Doubts have been cast over a mammoth £6bn merger between British bookmaker William Hill and Canadian online gaming group PokerStars after a $870m fine was levied against the North American business amidst an investigation of its former chief executive for insider trading.

Facebook is set to challenge Slack as a go-to workplace communication platform with a formal unveil of Facebook Workplace, to which it claims to have signed up 1,000 businesses already – including brands such as Starbucks, Danone and Booking.com.

Samsung has been engulfed in fresh woe this morning after the smartphone veteran was forced to issue an unprecedented request for all Galaxy Note 7 owners to switch off their devices whilst it assesses the veracity of claims the gadgets can combust – potentially sparking the death knell for the former flagship.

Havas has purchased entertainment specialists Target Media and Communication Group Campaign reports, as the creative group adds clients such as Disney and Universal to its roster.

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