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Medietrenderna that dominated the festival SXSW

Jättefestivalen SXSW is a chaotic and creative mixture of talks on digital health to the mainstream of the crowd of robots, drones and 3D printers that produce expensive sushi. There are some policies of sustainability, a part of lavish mixed reality experiences in order to promote the Games of Thrones. All framed by a river of scooters that will get pedestrians to flee for their lives.

From a medieperspektiv there were five topics that dominated the – all of the familiar, but with some new inputs:

No, it is not just about political rhetoric, even if it was unusually noisy in Austin, but about concrete legislative proposals on both the right to personal data pro-competitive measures - but also on the stricter implementation of monopollagstiftningen. The EU's commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager highlighted as a model for how to attack IT-the giant's market dominance. As well as a very topical case, which examines the legal basis of the external companies have access to user data we Facebook.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU's commissioner of competition. Photo: Chris Maluszynski

California, where the case is pending, has already introduced its version, albeit milder, of Europe's data protection laws GDPR. Now, expect a number of hearings from the competition authority, the FTC, among other things, should be about the dominance of the e-commerce market, from Amazon's side.

on how companies can be governed, was presented on Wednesday in a report from a british konkurrenspanel, appointed by the government. Its investigators, Jason Furman, do not want to break up companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook, but well give them a special status as strategic actors, and, among other things, impose requirements on how they handle user data.

the Regulations will thus, how the IT giants than holds his own. Even if they are still showing high profitability it is also clear that the increasing debate had an effect: a new study from Edison Research released this week showed, for example, that Facebook, in two years, lost 15 million users in the US alone.

In several years, it has voice control and smart speakers has been one of the main topics at SXSW, in pace with more and more people acquired Alexa, Google Home or other speakers. According to the Edison Research report, it is now 23 % of americans who have access to a smart speakers in the home – and the question of voice activated search and what the effects, not the least of the potential for manipulation and false news, continued to be lively.

However, there is no longer the same enthusiasm about what they are voice-activated services and assistants pose for the benefit of the user. As framtidsforskaren Rohit Bhargava, who is behind the book series, Non-Obvious Trends, expressed it: ”We are now quite confident that the consumers really do not want to talk to his toaster or microwave”.

, professor of datajournalism at New York Unversity and author of the book ”Artificial Unintelligence”, stressed also the problem of språkfunktionerna in the smart speakers themselves works discriminatory.

– They are based on the language in the Oxford/Cambridge or Wall Street Journal. They can't handle dialects or other språkbakgrunder. They are a reflection of the elite languages.

But if the fever surrounding the smart speaker subsided rises the the more on podcasts, and various smart services for listening.

Visitors at the festival, SXSW, try sunglasses with speakers in. Photo: Chris Maluszynski

conference innovationsvinnare for their ”self-learning” headphones, which adapts to each individual's listening skills. Another company that took place in the spotlight was the headphone and högtalartillverkaren Bose, who launched the Bose Frames: sunglasses with built-in speakers, even for the so-called spatial sound, which gives a stronger rumsupplevelse.

the TV then? Well, the rumor on the traditional tv medium's death are exaggerated. Among others, featured the New York Times his new television venture, The Weekly program, a program that will ride on the success of the pod The Daily, but that doesn't have anything directly in common. It is a lavish dokumentärsatsning, backed by tv services, Hulu and FX, will premiere in the summer.

A significantly larger bet makes the company Quibi, started by former Disney and Dreamworkschefen Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Ebay ceo Meg Whitman.

”quick bites” and is a miljardsatsning that Katzenberg/Whitman do together with large parts of the film industry, with the aim to produce video content of the highest film - and tv-quality in sections that are up to five-six minutes long. The goal is to use all the time that the media consumers are put in the mobile phone, in the first instance on Youtube, Snapchat and Stories.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the founder of the company Quibi, with the visitors at the festival SXSW. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP

– The time will only increase, and then also increases the need of a better content. But it will never go to distribute on Youtube, with the limited annonsintäktsmöjligheter that are there. It needed a new platform, " said Whitman.

the level of Ambition is at least set high set:

– In the future, media consumers are to have five-six subscriptions. One on one music service, one corporate and consumer, any newspaper – and so Quibi, promised Katzenberg.

Spotify notified Apple to the EU's competition authority put a new focus on the company's upcoming subscription-based services. Now is the tip stall that Apple will launch both its new video service, and their paid version of the news Apple News the 25 march. The big innehållsbolagen still stands and staggers: participate and lose profitability per customer, or set outside and running the risk of losing a larger audience

To manipulate images and videos is becoming increasingly easier and the demands on the editorial staff to verify or disclose the contents will be all the greater. So-called ”deep fakes”, fully manipulated videos, is about to become commonplace. The development has a major impact for the trust, noted Kelly McBride on journalistikinstitutet Poynter:

– We are approaching the time when democracy stops working because of a critical mass of people no long trust any of the information, if it doesn't reinforce their own worldview.

Matthew Stamm, a professor at Drexel Unversity:, summed up the discussion.

”We can today prove that something is fake, but we can not with 100% certainty prove that something is true.”

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