Twitter addresses questions of bias in its image-cropping algorithms, we take a look at Mario Kart Live and the stock market takes a hit after President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. This is your Daily Crunch for October 2, 2020.
The big story: Twitter confronts image-cropping concerns
Last month, (white) PhD student Colin Madland highlighted potential algorithmic bias on Twitter and Zoom — in Twitter’s case, because its automatic image cropping seemed to consistently highlight Madland’s face over that of a Black colleague.
Today, Twitter said it has been looking into the issue: “While our analyses to date haven’t shown racial or gender bias, we recognize that the way we automatically crop photos means there is a potential for harm.”
Does that mean it will stop automatically cropping images? The company said it’s “exploring different options” and added, “We hope that giving people more choices for image cropping and previewing what they’ll look like in the tweet composer may help reduce the risk of harm.”
The tech giants
Nintendo’s new RC Mario Kart looks terrific — Mario Kart Live (with a real-world race car) makes for one hell of an impressive demo.
Tesla delivers 139,300 vehicles in Q3, beating expectations — Tesla’s numbers in the third quarter marked a 43% improvement from the same period last year.
Zynga completes its acquisition of hyper-casual game maker Rollic — CEO Frank Gibeau told me that this represents Zynga’s first move into the world of hyper-casual games.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Elon Musk says an update for SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft development program is coming in 3 weeks — Starship is a next-generation, fully reusable spacecraft that the company is developing with the aim of replacing all of its launch vehicles.
Paired picks up $1M funding and launches its relationship app for couples — Paired combines audio tips from experts with “fun daily questions and quizzes” that partners answer together.
With $2.7M in fresh funding, Sora hopes to bring virtual high school to the mainstream — Long before the coronavirus, Sora was toying with the idea of live, virtual high school.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Spain’s startup ecosystem: 9 investors on remote work, green shoots and 2020 trends — While main hubs Madrid and Barcelona bump heads politically, tech ecosystems in each city have been developing with local support.
Which neobanks will rise or fall? — Neobanks have led the $3.6 billion in venture capital funding for consumer fintech startups this year.
Asana’s strong direct listing lights alternative path to public market for SaaS startups — Despite rising cash burn and losses, Wall Street welcomed the productivity company.
American stocks drop in wake of president’s COVID-19 diagnosis — The news is weighing heavily on all major American indices, but heaviest on tech shares.
Digital vote-by-mail applications in most states are inaccessible to people with disabilities — According to an audit by Deque, most states don’t actually have an accessible digital application.
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Daily Crunch: Twitter confronts image-cropping concerns