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Medium is making audio versions of its best blog posts

Minimalist blogging platform Medium is expanding into audio. Readers who have a $5 per month subscription can now listen to stories published by fellow members, as well as those hand-picked by Medium staff. As TechCrunch notes, more than 50 stories have an audio version at launch, and more will be added over time. It’s a small number, however each one has been recorded by a professional voice artist, rather than a robotic text-to-speech service. You’ll find them at the top of articles, both on the web and in Medium’s mobile apps, with some basic playback controls.

Audio stories join exclusive articles, ad-free reading and offline access as Medium membership perks. It’s an unusual offering because you’re supporting a platform and many different writers and publishers, rather than a single entity like The New York Times. Back in January, Medium chief executive Ev Williams called ad-driven media a “broken system” that “doesn’t serve people.” The comments were made in a post confirming 50 job cuts and a move away from its own ad products. Its future now depends on subscribers, however earning them will be no simple task.

Via: TechCrunch

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About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Microsoft’s Seeing AI app for the blind now reads handwriting

Artificial intelligence took center stage at Microsoft's AI Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday. Aside from announcing AI smarts for a range of software -- from Bing to Office 365 -- the tech titan is also ramping up its Seeing AI app for iOS, which uses computer vision to audibly help blind and visually impaired people to see the world around them. According to Microsoft, it's nabbed 100,000 downloads since its launch in the US earlier this year, which convinced the tech titan to bring it to 35 countries in total, including the EU.

It's also getting a bunch of new features. The app now boasts more currency recognition, adding British pounds, US dollars, Canadian dollars, and Euros to its tally. Going beyond the color in a scene, it can also spot the color of specific objects, like clothes. Plus, it's no longer restricted to just short printed text, with handwriting recognition now part of its skill set. You can also customize the voice that it uses to speak its observations out loud, and set how fast it talks.

Finally, a musical light detector alerts you to the light in an environment with an audible tone -- Microsoft claims the tool will save users from having to touch a hot bulb or LED battery to check if it's on. Despite the big update, there's still no word on an Android launch.

Source: Microsoft

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