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AP

Google is launching new features within its free Cloud Natural Languages API (shared software technology) that will help newsrooms and other businesses sort information so that it's easier to find later.

Why it matters: Google is seen as a mixed bag for publishers, offering a lot of traffic, but also sucking up a lot of the industry's ad revenue. Still, the features could be game-changers for newsrooms faced with the daunting task of classifying and taxonomizing hundreds of articles per day and thousands of articles in their archives. It will also make translating text from different languages much easier so that publishers can enter new markets more easily.

Publications like Hearst and Vice have already been testing the new features that will be open to all newsrooms and businesses moving forward.

The company will announce two updates today.

  1. Automatically classify content: The new features will automatically sort content by 700 different categories, including Arts & Entertainment, Hobbies & Leisure, Law & Government, News, Health, and more.
  2. Analyze sentiment in content: Sentiment analysis, one of the most widely-used features within Google's Cloud Natural Language API, will now offer more granularity with entity sentiment analysis. Users can now understand and separate the sentiment of places or things rather than analyze the sentiment of a sentence or block of text.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 mins ago - Economy & Business

Merger Monday has been overrun by SPACs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Five companies this morning announced plans to go public via reverse mergers with SPACs, at an aggregate market value of more than $15 billion. And there might be even more by the time you read this.

The bottom line: SPAC merger activity hasn't peaked. If anything, it's just getting started.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.