ProjectBlog: Tech & Telecom news — May 23, 2019

Blog: Tech & Telecom news — May 23, 2019



In a very nice example of how emerging digital platforms create new socio-economic behaviors that have to be addressed, this article describes how (freelance) Lyft and Uber drivers in US cities “game” the system by simultaneously switching off their apps to reduce the car offer and provoke a surge in the price of rides (Story)



Qualcomm has suffered a defeat in an antitrust case promoted by US trade regulators, as a judge ruled yesterday that the company is abusing its dominant position in smartphone modems, where they control key intellectual property. This is seen as a major blow to them, and shares reacted falling -11% (Story)

The US ban on American firms’ trade with Huawei is expanding now to US allies like UK and Japan. In the UK, chip designer Arm announced yesterday that they were cutting their ties with Huawei, and BT and Vodafone are cancelling orders of new Huawei 5G phones. In Japan, SoftBank and KDDI are doing the same (Story)

The move by Arm in particular is seen as a very serious one, and more of a threat for Huawei than even Google’s decisions about Android. Some analysts say “it is hard to see how Huawei survives” (without Arm), as the company’s designs are ubiquitous in smartphones. Even Huawei’s own chips (HiSilicon) are Arm-based (Story)

Networks — 5G

Wall St is starting to worry about the potential impact that increasing concerns about the health risks of cellular technologies could have on 5G deployments. An HSBC analyst claims that this could delay deployments, and supports that view with data on recent regulatory initiatives banning the rollout of 5G networks (Story)


Artificial Intelligence & Ethics

The OECD just announced a new set of principles for “trustworthy AI”, which aim to ensure that AI benefits people, drives sustainable economic growth and respects human rights and democracy. They also ask for transparency on how AI systems work, and for continuous monitoring of their safety and security (Story)

After the news this week of unrest at Google’s workforce, a new example of the emerging collision between capital and employees on the ethics of technology, as Amazon’s shareholders rejected 2 proposals yesterday: one to stop selling facial recognition systems to governments, and another one to reduce carbon footprint (Story)


Meanwhile, facial recognition in particular is getting increasing attention from US politicians as well, with a bipartisan group at Congress currently planning to draft legislation addressing issues of privacy and algorithmic bias that this technology could create. This could go so far as to impose a national moratorium (Story)

The London underground will start tracking passengers through their smartphones’ WiFi signals, to collect data to optimize the city’s transport network, and (potentially) also learn how people react to ads in stations. Experts are raising concerns on potential privacy issues, and stressing the need to anonymize the data (Story)

Virtual Assistants

The Google Duplex demos at Google events, with AI-powered virtual assistants making ultra-realistic phone calls to restaurants, may have been impressive. But now that the technology has started to be deployed, it seems that Google is using actual humans to make some of the calls or to intervene (partially) in others (Story)

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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