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Posted inNews

Dua Lipa #DuaMoods chatbot analyses faces to create playlists

The first time Facebook automatically tagged friends in our photos, we boggled (before muttering suspiciously about privacy settings). Now we’re resigned to a future of ubiquitous facial-recognition technology. Does that include music-streaming?

Dua Lipa is getting in early on that action with the launch of her #DuaMoods website, which is billed as “the ultimate mood playlist generator”. Developed by agency Modern English, the site involves nattering to a Dua Lipa chatbot and uploading a selfie, which is then used as the basis for a “perfect playlist based on facial recognition”.

Posted inNews

Stashimi releases figures for G-Eazy and Zedd messaging bots

Startup Stashimi has built a platform for artist messaging bots, working with artists including G-Eazy, Zedd, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. The company says it has more than 100 artists using its tool to create bots for Facebook Messenger, and this week it’s published some figures for two of them: G-Eazy and Zedd.

Stashimi worked with G-Eazy’s social team as well as label RCA’s marketing team to launch his bot for his ‘The Beautiful & Damned’ album, with a mixture of messages about the album’s recording process, lyrics quizzes, photo filters and other news.

Posted inNews

Messenger bot makers reveal ‘pause’ in new bot launches

Want to launch a new Facebook Messenger bot in the next few weeks? Good luck with that.

As part of the fallout from the ongoing Cambridge Analytica revelations, the social network has “paused” app reviews while it implements changes to its platform. It has now emerged that this also applies to the approval of all new bots launched for its Messenger app.

Startup Botsify alerted its customers to the news yesterday. “Basically, all the pages and chatbots that are connected to Botsify will be working fine, but you cannot connect new pages until Facebook updates their policies or resume the app-review process,” it explained in an email. “We expect this process should not take more than 1-2 weeks.”

Posted inNews

Palo Santo Messenger bot kicks off Years & Years album campaign

What is Palo Santo? It’s a fictional city where androids and humans live side-by-side, of course. But don’t worry if you didn’t know that: this is only just being revealed, bit-by-bit, to fans of British band Years & Years.

Or perhaps we should say bit-by-bot, since one of the initial planks in the campaign for the band’s upcoming second album is a Messenger bot launched by label Polydor Records UK.

Called the Palo Santo Entertainment Network Server (PSEN for short) it promises “a range of civic services for androids and the non-organic” – a mixture of cryptic clues and video clips, which signed up more than 5,000 subscribers in two days after its launch.

Posted inAnalysis

Will I Am gets $117m to take on Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant

News that Will I Am’s tech startup I.am+ is making a voice assistant to rival Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant may not have investors running to sell shares in the three tech-giants.

After all, the company’s foto.sosho iPhone camera case, Puls and Dial smartwatches, and Buttons Bluetooth headphones haven’t been commercial hits – and in some cases, have been the subject of critical derision.