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Tech Team

Our first #BrusselsCalling media debate of 2019 focused on the challenges of covering EU competition in times of “killer” mergers and tech giants. The discussion on one of the hottest policy spaces in Brussels coincided with DG COMP’s blocking of the Alstom-Siemens merger to the outrage in France and Germany. We heard from Lewis Croft (MLex) , Thibault Larger (POLITICO)Rochelle Toplensky (FT) and Khushita Vasant (PaRR), with competition practitioner Claire Harris as moderator, how they wade through the technicality of competition and deal with media-savvy Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to cover highly politicised cases. Check out our 10 takeaways and video!

Recognising the predominance of cybercrimes [Wired] 

Cybercrime is now the most common form of crime, but is it getting the attention it deserves from criminologists, policymakers and law enforcement? Traditional crimes – governed by existing laws – haven’t just moved online. Humans have been criminally innovative and bred new types of crimes like hacking, troll bots and cyber ransom. Traditional criminological theories fall short in addressing these issues. One core psychological issue tied to the spread of cybercrimes is that in the online world, we can much more readily dehumanise victims. Check out this piece for an interdisciplinary approach to understand and tackle cybercrime. 

A warning shot for AI [The Verge] 

There is always something new with AI. For the first time, Alphabet and Microsoft have warned investors that AI is a possible financial risk. While AI developments are usually seen through their revenues’ growth potential, they can also raise “ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges” and create “competitive harm, legal liability, and brand or reputational harm”. For big tech companies hurt by a growing number of data-related scandals, reputation increasingly matters – and they are well placed to understand and anticipate possible AI flaws. From the private sector to policy-makers, AI ethics is clearly high on everybody’s agenda. 

The next wave of unicorns [New York Times] 

A tech unicorn is a startup valued at more than $1 billion. The first wave of unicorns is quite familiar to us because they focused on digitizing consumer services and goods (think of Uber and Airbnb). But you probably haven’t heard of the next wave of unicorns like Benchling or Checkr because they come from very different and less consumer-facing sectors. Some create software solutions to help digitize industries like agriculture, while others cater to the previous wave of unicorns. Check out this list to plan your next investment and to explore how tech is bursting out of its own bubble. 

Invisible women [Financial Times 

Digital data is important for the functioning – and analysis – of our modern economies. However, in developing countries many women are underrepresented in official data, often due to their lack of a digital footprint. This lack of a digital footprint can make it harder to do everything things like get immunised when you’re missing digital health records. It’s also difficult to have a full overview of a country’s development if half the population isn’t being tracked. As women are increasingly digitally connected in developing countries, researchers can use this data to help track health, human trafficking and more.

In case you haven’t had enough… 

The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI [Financial Times 

The Tinder algorithm, explained [Vox] 

Ready or not, here comes the micromobility revolution [CityLab] 

Google and Facebook worsen media bias [WSJ] 

We should treat algorithms like prescription drugs [Quartz] 

How to stop computers being biased [Financial Times] 

Cows get own Tinder-style app for breeding [Bloomberg]