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LinkedIn, eBay Bosses Ante Up to Keep AI Ethical
The founders of LinkedIn and eBay have contributed a combined $20 million to a newly established fund created to spur the development of artificial intelligence in ways that "make the most of AI's potential to benefit society—and minimize its potential harm." The fund will support ethics and governance projects and activities in the United States and internationally.
$385 Million on 2017 Super Bowl Ad Spending
Ad Age estimates that a total of $385 million will be spent on in-game advertising for the 2017 Super Bowl. The average cost of a 30-second TV spot will be $5 million.
Social Cash Drives WeChat Adoption
Fast Company outlines how WeChat leveraged the use of digital red envelopes, traditionally used to give cash gifts during holidays, to drive adoption of its digital wallet payment service.
Thailand Ad Spending Drops 12% in 2016
According to Nielsen Thailand, total media ad spending in the country fell by 12% year over year in 2016 as a result of lower consumption and an overall weakening economy. The estimate diverges from eMarketer's number: We estimate that spending inched up a bit more than 2% last year. (eMarketer PRO subscribers can see the data here.)
US Venture Capital Funding Declined in 2016
A new report from CB Insights and PwC found that US venture capital funding declined to $58.6 billion in 2016, down 20% from the previous year, and the number of deals fell 16% to 4,520.
Amazon and Chase Set Prime Card
Amazon and Chase announced the launch of a new credit card just for Prime members. The card will give members 5% back on all Amazon purchases without any rewards cap and it will have no transaction fees when shopping in foreign countries, among other features. As an incentive to join Prime, cardmembers without a membership receive 3% back on Amazon purchases.
Mumbai Adds 500 State-Run Wi-Fi Hotspots
An official from the Maharashtra state government announced via Twitter on Monday that 500 new public Wi-Fi hotspots had gone live in Mumbai. That brought the total number of state-run Wi-Fi hotspots in the city closer to the state government's goal of 1,200 by May 1. The hotspots will be free for a trial period, after which users will be charged for data.
Singapore-Based VC East Ventures Raises $27.5 Million
Singapore's Southeast Asia-focused venture capital firm East Ventures closed its fifth fund having raised $27.5 million. East Venture's portfolio includes 80 active companies across Southeast Asia.
—Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Cliff Annicelli
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