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Tech Team

Climate change: AI to the rescue! [The Verge] 

We all know that artificial intelligence is THE future – right? From curing cancer to making our daily life easier, it could now also help fight against climate change. A recent study highlights 13 fields where machine learning could be used and become “invaluable” in preventing and reducing the damaging effects of climate change. However, technology isn’t the absolute savior but only a means to save the planet. The research also states that AI is indeed not the magic solution that will appease our conscience. Environmental and sustainability issues will have to become the priority of every single government in the world if we want to truly halt or at least curb climate change. 

G20 data sorrows [The Atlantic] 

As the G20 just started, you might want to keep an eye out during your weekend reading to see if anything on data flows pops up. It is becoming a bigger issue at each summit, as free flow of data and access to data are becoming more and more essential in every aspect of our lives and of governments. Japan is trying to ease the obvious gaps in policies with a strategy of ‘data free flow with trust’ but with tensions already high between China and the US on pretty much anything, trust will be hard to find.  

Foreign money for European startups [Sifted] 

Europe’s tech scene is getting more and more attractive: investment from American and Asian investors in Europe’s tech startups should reach 14 billion euros in 2019, up from 8 billion euros last year. Ideas for new products and services, investment opportunities and diversification, and talent in fundamental research are the main reasons why foreign investors do believe in European tech startups’ potential. This investment boom could also be triggered by the trade war between the US and China. Will the tensions between the two tech superpowers help to create a third one? We are far from getting there but still, Europe is attractive and that’s good news. 

Google times 108 million [Bloomberg] 

When this blurb was originally written earlier this week it was about how Yandex, Russia’s mammoth tech company that’s basically Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Spotify, Deliveroo and Apple all in one, reportedly has 108 million users – which is about 75% of Russia’s population and is raising some serious privacy issues. But today, Reuters broke the news that the Five Eyes allegedly hacked Yandex in late 2018 to deploy a rare malware to spy on user accounts. Yandex claims the threat was detected and neutralised and no user data was compromised. But with one company controlling nearly every aspect of Russian citizens’ lives – it’s clear that the privacy issues Yandex faces aren’t disappearing any time soon.  

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In case you haven’t had enough… 

Architecture Firm Tests AI for Office-Space Design [Wall Street Journal]  

Lightyear unveils its ‘solar’ electric car with 450 miles of range [Electrek]

Why cryptocurrencies cannot fix financial exclusion [Financial Times] 

China’s Big Brother Casinos Can Spot Who’s Most Likely to Lose Big [Bloomberg] 

The challenge of helping blind people navigate indoors [Wired]  

AI Can’t Scrub All Online Misinformation, Tech Executives Say [Wall Street Journal]