How AI and the internet are shaking up industry in this week’s staff picks

 In News, Staff Picks

Happy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories we read this week.

Suck at cooking? Pinterest’s computer vision can help (Read by Alexandria H.)

Pinterest is rolling out some new features to get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen. Similar to what Google Lens does with artificial intelligence and augmented reality, Pinterest is incorporating a camera-search tool to find related pins based on what your phone’s camera is pointed at, and it’s starting with the platform’s biggest search topic–food and drink. In other words, if you take a picture of a particular ingredient, Pinterest can suggest relevant recipes. Down the road, “the world’s catalog of ideas” also hopes to expand this functionality into the realm of fashion and home furnishings.

The rise of the fat start-up (Read by Heidi B.)

I used to think startups only focused on products and services within niche markets (smart devices and meal kit delivery services come to mind). I was wrong. Fat startups, or those flush with capital, are emerging and disrupting large industries, like real estate. One example is Opendoor, a web-based startup that purchases homes, sight unseen, and closes the deal within just days. The benefit? Homeowners experience a quick sale, can move faster into a new place, and avoid the hassle of real estate paperwork. It’s certainly interesting to hear about how startups are creating waves in traditional markets, and it makes me wonder what these markets will look like in a decade or two.

Browse around a physical Amazon bookstore (Read by Heidi B.)

Curious about what the new brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstores look like? This video takes you on a tour and spotlights one store’s features: areas to demo Amazon devices, special tables that highlight books with high ratings, and cards that feature each product’s rating and a review from an customer. All in all, the store doesn’t look too different from traditional bookstores, but I think it’s what this store represents that’s interesting: Online shops and brick-and-mortar stores are becoming one. Watch out traditional business models, the internet is coming for you.

Tomorrow’s medical breakthrough? You’re already wearing it (Read by Camillia S.)

What if the Apple Watch could do more than just deliver notifications from your iPhone to your wrist? What if it could save lives by becoming a diagnostic device? That could very soon become a reality thanks to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Using an app called Cardiogram, these researchers applied machine learning to the heart rate data obtained by the Watch and were able to detect, with 97 percent accuracy, one of the leading causes of stroke. I am all for early detection technological advances, and this app makes the $269+ price tag of the Apple Watch worth it.

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