Amazon does away with checkout line, cashiers in concept ‘Go’ grocery store

Skip the checkout line, forever

Amazon is giving us what may be a peek at the future of retail. And no, we don’t mean barking at your Amazon Echo to re-order those carmel-apple oreos that you just ran out of. We mean the future of physically going shopping, where you go to a store to an actual store and actually buy things in real life.

Well that’s the idea behind the Go retail concept by Amazon, which looks to be a regular grocery store with a very high tech twist. There are no cashiers, and no checkout lines. When you go into the Go store, you activate the Amazon Go shopping app, pick out your stuff, and then head for the exit. Amazon says they are using a combination of sensors, A.I. deep learning and even some tech lifted from autonomous cars to keep track of what you buy while in the store.

Done shopping? Amazon will total up your purchases, charge your account and email your receipt for easy tracking, all before you even get to your self-driving car. Amazon says the first Go store opens in Seattle next year, and if things go well, expect at least 2,000 more Go stores to pop up in the very near future.

Makes Whack-A-Mole look easy

Following an enormously contentious election cycle in the United States and a refugee crisis in Europe, the influence of social media on popular opinion is becoming an ever-more powerful influence, and the EU is saying social media providers are failing to curb hate speech on their platforms. In response, some EU officials say they are eying legislation that would force companies to monitor and remove posts that violate hate speech protocols.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft all signed onto a voluntary “Code of conduct” to stamp out hate speech earlier this year, but the EU is saying that, basically, it’s not working. The biggest complaint is the amount of time it takes to review complaints and remove posts, with YouTube garnering praise for their speed, but… that’s about it.

EU ministers will meet this Thursday to review progress – or the lack thereof – and ponder the next steps to stopping online hate-mongering. One spokesman said that if the major players can’t show a lot more progress in the coming months, new rules could be introduced that will force quicker action.

Maybe the Egyptians had it right all along

When you see emojis and know exactly what they say, then congratulations, you’re fluent in a new kind of language. You may think of emojis as just something fun to tack onto your text messages, but in reality, they’re a language all their own, and they’re part of the way we are changing the way we read, write and communicate.

Technology has enabled us to communicate with just about anyone, anywhere in seconds, and emojis, emoticons, phrase bits, chat, hashtags, texting, leet, netspeak, acronyms, and, heck, even the caps lock key are all changing – and speeding up – how we talk to each other.

Digital Trends editor Jeff Van Camp has put together a comprehensive look at the rapidly shifting topic of language and communication, in a piece that’s part of our DT-10 series on the recent past – and quickly approaching future of communication and technology. Many people say the art of correspondence is gone, but is it really? Or has it just changed with the times, as communication systems have always done?

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