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Tech Team



I always feel like somebody’s watching me. [Fast Company]

The ad industry has been rapidly evolving over the last decade. Micro-targeting derived from your likes, text and location data has been all the rage – until now. A Toronto-based company called Cluep is taking brands like Nike and Coca-Cola beyond text and location mining, making a hard push into analysing visuals. Cluep Pics scans photos that people publicly post on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook then has their image recognition software identify brands, products and scenarios to target people based on their personal interests and lifestyle. Posted a selfie with a Big Mac recently? You might be a target for ads from MacDonald’s (or a gym) very soon.


Rights for robots are no more than an intellectual game [Financial Times]

Every day robots are taking over more of our tasks. They act exactly in the way that we train them and get smarter through copying our behaviour (the good and the bad!). A big difference – they do not make emotional decisions. Robots do not get upset or happy and they have no feeling of success or defeat (yet). Until then, do we really need a robot law that gives them a special legal status? With self-driving cars and other automated tasks, regulation will have to change and accommodate the risks of “robot behaviour”. However, considering the current status of AI, a special legal status for robots seems exaggerated. At least for now.


This is how drones will take over the planet! [Cosmos]

A sci-fi-like future populated by drones is becoming a reality, as they take on a variety of tasks from delivering mail or pizzas to hunting down law-breakers. In this Cosmos (not to be confused with Cosmo) article, you can find a selection of the latest and greatest in flying (and swimming) drone technology. While the market is rushing forward, Europe is getting ready to regulate. Interested in the future of unmanned aircraft systems? You can have your say by taking part in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) consultation on regulatory rules for drones.


European tech companies allied against online platforms [Les Echos]

European tech champions went on the offensive this week. Deezer, Spotify, Rocket Internet, LeKiosk, Qobuz and other tech darlings sent a letter to the European Commission complaining about the practices of the big US online platforms. According to Les Echos and others, the letter’s signatories consider that platforms such as Apple and Google abuse their privileged position, harming innovation and competition. They also accuse app stores and search engines of having evolved from “gateways” into “gatekeepers”. By seeking support from the Commission on this issue, they are determined to take further ground from the US giants.


Cracking down on fakes. [TechCrunch]

It’s election season in Europe and time to crack down on fakes. News and accounts that is. Facebook is ramping up efforts to tackle fake news as the UK gears up for next month’s election. Building on lessons learned during the French and US campaign seasons, the company is taking a multi-faceted approached to tackle the issue. Facebook is now purging of “tens of thousands” of fake accounts with suspicious activity (e.g. posting the same content repeatedly or a sharp increase in messaging) to reduce the spread of material it deems inauthentic. Determining a bot from a troll might not be easy.