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Meet the People Who Train the Robots (to Do Their Own Jobs)

At an employee meeting late last year, the agents debated what it meant to be human, and what a human travel agent could do that a machine couldn’t. While Harrison could comb through dozens of hotel options in a blink, it couldn’t match the expertise of, for example, a human agent with years of experience booking family vacations to Disney World. The human can be more nimble — knowing, for instance, to advise a family that hopes to score an unobstructed photo with the children in front of the Cinderella…

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Secretive and apparently delayed, Southeast Asia's first Apple Store to open in May: Sources

It’s news that will have Apple fans in the region rejoicing: The tech giant’s first store in Southeast Asia is expected to open in May, according to CNBC sources. The launch of the Singapore store has been shrouded in the company’s usual veil of secrecy. Nearly two years ago, word of the addition to the company’s beloved retail empire leaked in an email sent by the gym Pure Fitness to its clients, announcing it was leaving its sprawling space in a mall on Orchard Road. Since then, the project has…

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Media companies hunt for the key to a $120 billion chest

“I think you’ve got to get to that point, the right tipping point, where enough consumers are consuming their television service and are used to switching onto an app rather than switching into a linear stream. Once that consumer behaviour reaches a tipping point then you know the gates swing wide open,” said Mike Sneesby, CEO of Australian streaming service Stan. The Asia Pacific is a difficult area for the global players, largely because of fragmentation, cultural divides and language barriers. The Chinese market, in particular, has also been notoriously…

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Cloud Produces Sunny Earnings at Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet

The worry, however, is that this cannot last forever, not with Microsoft and Google making big investments in their own cloud businesses while trying to undercut Amazon with lower prices. Continue reading the main story That has not happened — at least not yet. While A.W.S. revenue grew at a slower pace than in the past, it still rose a healthy 43 percent to $3.66 billion. The company’s shares rose 1 percent in after-hours trading. “There’s always this moment when people think, ‘Is the magic going to run out?’” said…

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Uber Executive Steps Back From Self-Driving Cars During Waymo Legal Fight

Mr. Levandowski’s shift in role appears designed to shield Uber from any perception of impropriety during the litigation. But legal scholars question whether the change will be effective. Photo Mr. Levandowski, right, with Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, at the company headquarters last year. Credit Tony Avelar/Associated Press “Assuming a successful suit, Waymo could get damages for the period AL was involved,” Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School, said in an email, referring to Mr. Levandowski. “If the purloined documents are still accessible to, and can be implemented…

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Microsoft's cloud business is growing almost twice as fast as Amazon's, with Google far behind

Matthew Staver | Bloomberg | Getty Images Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin LLC, speaks at a space symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 12, 2016. Amazon still owns the cloud. But earnings reports on Thursday from the e-retailer as well as rivals Microsoft and Alphabet show that the battle is in its early days and competition is fierce. In a rare confluence of events, all three companies reported quarterly results on the same day, giving investors an abundance of data on the state of cloud computing: Amazon…

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After-hours buzz: SBUX, AMZN, INTC & more

Lucas Jackson | Reuters A trader looks at screens while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 27, 2017. Check out which companies are making headlines after the bell on Thursday: Shares of Starbucks dropped more than 4 percent in extended trade on Thursday after the coffee company reported a revenue miss. In addition, same-stores sales failed to meet Street expectations, up 3 percent versus estimates of up 3.7 percent. Starbucks met second-quarter earnings of 45 cents per share. The company…

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Big market day tomorrow: Nasdaq futures jump after hours on Amazon, Alphabet earnings

Nasdaq 100 futures surged after hours Thursday after encouraging earnings from and Google parent Alphabet. Shares of briefly climbed more than 4 percent in extended trade after reporting earnings per share and revenue well above expectations. Alphabet shares rose more than 4.5 percent in after-hours trade after posting earnings that also topped expectations on both the top and bottom line. The Nasdaq composite closed at a record Thursday. The Nasdaq 100 hit a fresh intraday record, but failed to end the day above its record close set on…

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