ProjectBlog: Tech & Telecom news — May 3, 2019

Blog: Tech & Telecom news — May 3, 2019



Facebook held its annual F8 developers event this week, and here’s a summary of what they announced. Focus was (of course) on the company’s repositioning as a privacy-focused platform, with interesting developments like removing the number of Instagram likes from public view, or a big redesign of core Facebook app (Story)

Verizon keeps moving out of the digital media space, with a full restructuring under way for Verizon Media Group (the unit that used to be called Oath). Now they would be planning to sell the Tumblr blogging site, which they had acquired as a part of Yahoo, and that has been struggling to survive since a few years ago (Story)


Microsoft is holding its Build developer conference next week, and obviously Azure will be a central theme. They’ve already made some pre-announcements, focused on strengthening Azure’s portfolio, e.g. in tools to simplify the development of AI models, an area where Google Cloud has been trying to differentiate (Story)

Financial services

Just after the F8 event, the WSJ has published this piece on Facebook’s semi-secret project to build a blockchain-based payments system, to give their more than 1.5bn daily users the option to pay with “Facebook money” at e-commerce sites, and potentially to also enable Facebook to reward these users for viewing ads (Story)


The political pressure on Huawei’s core business is not affecting their ambitious plans so much, and for instance the company keeps working to surpass Samsung in the global high-end device market, as shown by their announcement of a new 5G TV set, which would use 5G connectivity to download data-heavy content (Story)



A Pai, the Chairman of the US telecom regulator, has again discarded a direct involvement of the government in the deployment of 5G networks, that had been suggested by some White House leaks. He claims that their focus should be on facilitating innovation by market agents, while preserving national security (Story)

Meanwhile, China keeps giving signs of their strength in 5G technology. As an example, they’re clearly leading the industry in key 5G patents, with Chinese companies responsible for 34% of them as of March 2019, ahead of South Korea (25%), Finland and the US (14% each). China’s share is +50% higher than for 4G (Story)


Artificial Intelligence

At one of the first events at Stanford’s new “Human-Centered AI Institute”, philosopher and successful writer Y Harari talked about the risk that AI algorithms might now be starting to know “too much” about humans (even more than they know themselves) and claimed that addressing this should be a research priority (Story)

Meanwhile, the public discussion goes on about ethical issues related to AI. This week an opinion piece at Nature (a scientific journal) discussed the need for public administrations to take their responsibility and lead the AI regulation debate, and not to “outsource” this on companies like Amazon, Google or Microsoft (Story)


After triggering significant regulatory actions, blockchain-based “Initial Coin Offerings” are looking to reinvent themselves in Asia, with a new name (“Security Token Offerings”) and the aim to be fully compliant with regulations, e.g. with more transparency on the legally binding rights transferred to investors in the sales (Story)

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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