It’s that time of the year when global leaders (well, some of them) head to the mountains of Switzerland for some backdoor wheeling and dealing, or to engage “the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas” as the WEF team would have you believe.

Tech Team

With Trump grounded in D.C. dealing with the government shutdown, Macron stuck at home dealing with the Gilets Jaunes, Theresa May dealing with the fallout of her Brexit vote, who’s left schlepping to the small town in the Alps? Not to worry – plenty of HoS, Commissioners, CEOs, and academics will be on hand to discuss this year’s theme Globalization 4.0.

Most of the programme is livestreamed, so check it out and tune in for the latest on a range of tech topics. I’ll be tweeting and sharing thoughts on LinkedIn – so stay tuned for more next week.



The Tech sector is dead… [The Atlantic]

Ok, we aren’t on board with all the tech doom and gloom in many articles out there right now, but here’s some food for thought on the idea that it’s the ‘end of the beginning for tech’. Over the past decade, tech companies pushed the boundaries in their own sector, creating vital tools and markets that are now an essential part of our lives. But when tech companies hit their ceiling, where do they go? Other sectors, like retail, healthcare, entertainment. As more companies branch out, it will take more time, more investments and a longer period to enter established sectors. The notion of a separate ‘tech sector’ is already fading into the sunset.

Best way to train your facial recognition AI? Facebook fads [Wired]

Is the newest Facebook fad, the ’10-year challenge’, a harmless way to see how much we’ve changed in the past ten years or is it Facebook training its AI to learn how to use facial recognition? Does it really matter? The chances of this challenge having started out as something sinister are slim – but even if it was, AI facial progression could be a useful tool to develop. It could help find missing children, or just be used to help advertisers target products. If there were sinister motives, it begs the question of consent – which Facebook has a dodgy track record with.

Who’s the real wizard behind the AI curtain? [Fast Company]

If billionaire Masayoshi Son’s vision comes true, it will be computers, not humans, which will run our planet intelligently. It’s Son, the chairman of SoftBank, not Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg, who has this audacious vision for an AI utopia and is pouring limitless cash into making it a reality. The Vision Fun is his $100 billion bet on this vision, backing startups that he believes are leading this new digital disruption. He reckons that through such investments, singularity could arrive by 2040. This long read is worth a peek behind the curtain of Son’s AI thinking and work.

Sorry bot, you’re fired! [The Verge]

This is the story of an epic fail. Almost four years after it opened, Japan’s first ever automated hotel had to sack half of its employees. Aimed at tackling the lack of hotel rooms and work force, the management had to dismiss the robots because of the multiple glitches that created more work for humans. It’s clear a completely automated hotel won’t pop-up tomorrow. But it forces us to question how we think about automated work: to err is human but robot errors might still be worse, for now.

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In case you haven’t had enough…

Google faces third EU antitrust fine within weeks [Bloomberg]

What Miley Cyrus’ birthday tweet to her hubby has to do with EU’s upcoming Copyright Reform [The Next Web]

Facebook discussed cashing in on user data, emails suggest [Guardian]

The super secure quantum cable hiding in the Holland tunnel [Bloomberg]

Regulating the disrupters [Project Syndicate]

Sorry I forgot your birthday, I’ve stopped checking Facebook [The Wall Street Journal]