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Tech Team

Did tech companies manage to stop attempts to manipulate the Midterm election? [The Telegraph]

There has been no particular sign of a spike in misinformation in the run-up to the midterm elections, researchers from the University of Michigan say. The reason behind this? Social media has been much more proactive in removing suspicious content: Thanks to its “election war room” Facebook was able to block more than 100 accounts that were allegedly linked to a Russian troll factory, and Twitter deleted more than 10,000 bot accounts last weekend which were trying to persuade people not to vote. The result: Voter turnout smashed the previous number set in 2014. Social media seems to have learn from their mistakes and now their efforts are paying off. Hopefully this will serve as example for the coming European elections.

Insuring your phone has never been easier [TechCrunch]

Lydia, one of the most popular peer-to-peer payment apps in Europe, is launching an insurance product for mobile phones. For €4.29 per month, you can insure your phone through the app. The French startup covers you instantly against cracked screens, liquid damage or accidental damage, with a one-claim-per-year limit and €500 limit per claim. For €9.99 per month, you can also insure your laptop, tablet, Nintendo Switch, Kindle, camera and more, and be covered against theft. Finally, you can cancel your subscription whenever you want in the app. Definitely a great app for extreme Instagramers.

What do the US midterms results mean for tech? [The Verge]

Well, in case you weren’t aware – Republicans are big fans of deregulation (of certain things) like the internet. With Democrats back in power in the House we can expect to see data privacy becoming a hot topic around Capitol Hill. In terms of transport tech, one bill on autonomous driving has been passed while one is currently stuck in the Senate. With the recent shake ups we could see a bipartisan compromise bill on AV regulation move through the Senate, so as to avoid going back through the House. And while Democrats controlling the House is generally better for…everyone, it probably means that we won’t be seeing a ‘Space Force’ anytime soon.

Ready for AI news anchor? [The Guardian]

This is a first and certainly not the end of striking AI developments: the world’s first AI news anchor has been introduced by China’s state news agency Xinhua. It has been created through machine learning to mimic real-life broadcasters’ voice, facial movements and gestures. He (by the way, should we say “he” or “it”?) looks quite human, has a name, Qiu Hao, wears a red tie and pin-striped suit, and can speak 24/7 from anywhere. Impressive, alarming or both at the same time?

In case you haven’t had enough

 Bitcoin will burn the planet down. The question: How fast? [Wired]

Facebook is facing an EU data probe over fake ads [TechCrunch]

Google employees push back after mishandled sexual harassment revelations [The Verge]

Three ways to avoid bias in machine learning [TechCrunch]