Microsoft’s latest acquisition; YouTube’s human moderators; Google Chromebooks get Intel chips
Microsoft buys Bethesda’s parent ZeniMax Media
Microsoft has acquired Bethesday’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, for US$7.5 billion.
Bethesda is responsible for game blockbuster titles including Fallout, Skyrim and Doom.
Microsoft’s Xbox has said that the games will be added to its Game Pass subscription packages, just as the company launches the latest model of the console.
The move comes just as both Xbox and PlayStation launch their new models, and it could make Xbox look more attractive to consumers than the PlayStation 5.
According to Xbox chief Phil Spencer, the two companies “shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways”.
“We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us,” Pete Hynes, senior vice president at Bethesda Softworks, said in a statement online.
YouTube brings back human moderators
YouTube says it will bring back human moderators who had been replaced by AI during the pandemic, as AI filters over-censored videos and could not match the accuracy of humans.
YouTube replaced humans with AI moderators after announcing, back in March, the change would hopefully speed up the process of flagging and removing content that violated the website’s policies.
However, YouTube has now said that AI over-censored videos and led to a spike in incorrect video removals.
Between the months of April and June, about 11 million videos were removed from YouTube – that number is double the usual rate.
Of the 320,000 contested takedowns, about half were found to be incorrect removals and had to be reinstated, the Financial Times reports.
Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors coming to Chromebooks
Intel will bring its 11th Gen Intel Core processors to Google Chromebooks, the company has announced.
The processors, dubbed Tiger Lake, launched earlier this month and Intel describes them as “the world’s best processor for thin and light laptops”.
“At Intel, we engineer our silicon to excel in performance across the widest variety of use cases, workloads and form factors. Chrome OS devices are no exception, and this is a key segment we focus on,” Marcus Yam, Intel technology evangelist, wrote in a blog post.
“Chromebooks have never been more important with the accelerated shift to working and learning from home.”
Intel says Tiger Lake chips allow users to load pages up to 28 percent faster. For games, the chip means 2.7x faster graphics.
The manufacturer also claims the chip will make Chromebooks more responsive and allow for faster Chrome tab launching.
“As Chrome OS enters its second decade, we remain steadfast in delivering real-world performance that is more critical than ever with users demanding more from their machines in the rapidly evolving telework and virtual learning environments today,” Yam added.