Tech Digest daily roundup: Spotify rolls out AI DJ


’m listening to Radiohead’s Creep on the radio. “You may not know this,” the DJ coos patronizingly, “but this song turns 30 this year.” So far, so titbit of trivia on FM drivetime. The only difference is this DJ is not a real person. AI DJ is the next move in Spotify’s never-ending goal to “personalize” our listening experiences. Like its Discover Weekly new music playlist, or its end-of-year Wrapped recap, the AI DJ curates a stream of songs it thinks I’ll like based on my listening history. Along with the tunes, I get segues of “commentary” from a male AI voice, which bursts with the forced friendliness of an over-invested high school guidance counselor. The Guardian

Microsoft’s $68.7bn Activision Blizzard deal looks set to pass EU regulators, news agency Reuters has now reported. Citing sources familiar with the deal, the report claims that Microsoft has won over the European Commission with its show of concessions last week, when it announced deals to ensure Call of Duty would be made available on Nintendo platforms and Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service. The EU is set to publicly state its final judgement on the case before 25th April. In a press conference held in Brussels and attended by Eurogamer last week, Microsoft president Brad Smith ruled out any suggestion that it would consider buying only part of Activision Blizzard. Eurogamer

Video conferencing platform Zoom has sacked its president, Greg Tomb, a former Google executive. Mr Tomb’s contract was abruptly terminated “without cause”, according to the company in a regulatory filing. The businessman had taken up the role in June 2022 and had been active on earnings calls and overseeing the company’s sales. A spokesperson for Zoom said the tech firm isn’t looking for a replacement. Mr Tomb reported directly to chief executive officer Eric Yuan, who started Zoom in 2011 and was at the helm as the company became one of the pandemic’s biggest winners. BBC 

One of the biggest surprises of Sony’s newly announced 2023 TV range (pictured above) is that it doesn’t include any new OLED models smaller than 55 inches. When I asked at the launch event why that might be, I was told that the company has decided to keep the 42-inch and 48-inch A90K in the lineup for an extra year. In some ways, that isn’t entirely surprising – 2020’s A9 model (the A9S in the US) had a two-year shelf life as well – but it is rather disappointing. What HiFi

Wednesday’s four-hour Tesla PR marathon, rather than exciting investors as it was supposed to, ended up a snoozefest. For an indicator of how poorly it went, just look at Tesla’s stock prices after the market closed. It started falling as Musk and company took to the stage and hasn’t really looked back – TSLA dropped nearly 8 percent in pre-market trading. There’s a multitude of reasons why investors may not have been impressed with Tesla’s “Master Plan 3” or any of the other tidbits of news inserted between hyperbole. It also could have been Musk’s unusually low energy level that made it look like his Twitter troubles and all those other lawsuits were beginning to catch up with the 51-year-old. The Register

The upcoming Android 14 platform will allow third-party apps to handle passkeys when it releases later this year, one of the top business password managers has revealed. Dashlane already supports passkeys, but only within its web browser extension. In the company’s blog post, Dashlane noted that “mobile platforms such as Android and iOS will require changes to enable third-party applications such as Dashlane to manage passkeys. These are the very changes that have been included in [the] developer preview of Android 14”. Tech Radar

Chris Price
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