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Recode Daily: Google CEO Sundar Pichai is rewarded for two years of growth with a seat on the Alphabet board

Plus, WebMD is acquired by buyout firm KKR, your Roomba may be sucking up the dirt on you, and the funniest podcast ever.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Google parent Alphabets stock has risen 50 percent since Sundar Pichai became Google CEO; yesterday, he was appointed to the Alphabet board as its 13th member. For Q2, Alphabet reported revenue growth of 21 percent to $26 billion. It's also nearly doubled its headcount since 2013. Google still dominates digital and mobile ads revenue, but its cloud business is growing much faster.
[Tess Townsend / Recode]

President Trump blasted Amazon and the Washington Post last night in a series of tweets that spread more misinformation. He was responding to a blockbuster Post story on Trump’s move to close a CIA covert program that armed Syrian rebels. For the record, Amazon does pay taxes; the Post is not owned by Amazon, but privately by CEO Jeff Bezos. And as Recode senior editor Tony Romm noted, Amazon’s lobbyist was one of Trump’s top fundraisers.

WebMD is being acquired by private equity firm KKR in an all-cash deal valued at about $2.8 billion. WebMD, which is used by 75 million consumers each month, makes money from software subscriptions and marketing services.

iRobot, the maker of Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, also wants to suck up the floor-plan data of its users’ homes and offices — and Amazon, Apple and Alphabet are interested in buying that “rich map” of spatial and environmental information.
[Jan Wolfe / Reuters]

Artificial intelligence is the most important (certainly the most talked-about) general-purpose technology of our era, and it’s already at use in thousands of companies around the world. Here’s a clear-eyed look at the business of AI, and what it can — and cannot — do for your organization. For instance, here’s why AI can’t write an article like that (yet).
[Harvard Business Review]

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Top stories from Recode

Facebook has acquired a content rights startup called Source3 to help fight video pirates.
Facebook wants to make sure video creators can’t get ripped off.

Rob Fishman used to connect young stars with advertisers. Now he’s making videos with them at his new startup, Brat.
Brat has $2.5 million in seed funding.

We’re moving toward a cashless society, and lots of people are going to be left behind. The tech industry has offered partial solutions to this inequity, but mostly in self-serving ways.

This is cool

An oral history of the funniest podcast ever
That would be Scott Aukerman’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!” And here’s the story, as told by more than two dozen comedians who helped the freewheeling show get to 500 episodes.
[Matt Wilstein / Daily Beast]

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