Mar 14, 2017

Uber creates chief scientist post to plot its AI future

Ina Fried, author of Login

AP File

Uber just notified workers it is naming Zoubin Ghahramani as chief scientist, a new role overseeing the company's artificial intelligence and machine learning efforts.

His appointment follows last week's departure of AI labs head Gary Marcus, a move first reported by Axios. Ghahramani, like Marcus, joined Uber as part of December acquisition of machine learning company Geometric Intelligence.

Until now, Ghahramani had been based in Cambridge but will move to Uber's San Francisco HQ to take up the new post.

Why it matters: Uber needs to retain key talent, especially in its most future-leaning endeavors like driverless cars and machine learning, both areas that have seen recent defections.

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DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

Barr and Trump. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

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Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.