Quick Bytes – March 23rd: The Facebook Furore
A look at the most interesting startup and business-related news stories of the week.
The Facebook Furore
50 million people’s data was used without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, the analytics firm that helped Trump to presidency. Whether it was a legal breach or a ‘breach of trust’ – the party line Zuckerberg is spinning, it has caused a lot of noise. A widely shared tweetstorm by Google AI Researcher, Francois Chollet, implies that Facebook not only knows everything about us, but can control our minds in a ‘perception to action’ loop mimicking that of an AI loop. An interesting read to get a feel for the slightly more extreme end of the noise that’s been created from an AI expert.
The Full Story
Google Responds To Blockchain Startups
A handful of startups are using blockchain to operate in the search/browser space in new ways. Instead of running targeted ads, web browser, Brave uses blockchain technology to pay websites when people spend time there. BitClave lets people perform searches online, and get rewarded for seeing ads. And Presearch, is also using blockchain to try to compete with Google’s search engine, according to a white paper by the startup. Unsurprisingly, Google has responded with some serious R&D and it’s highly likely they will continue to put a huge amount of resource in this area.
The Full Story
Google is working on blockchain-related technology to support its cloud business and head off competition from emerging startups that use the heavily-hyped technology to operate online in new ways, according to people familiar with the situation.
Companies use blockchain and other so-called digital ledgers to securely record transactions and process other data over the internet — a service Google could use, for example, to reassure customers that their information is protected when stored on the giant network of computer servers that power its cloud services.
The Alphabet Inc. unit is developing its own distributed digital ledger that third parties can use to post and verify transactions, one of the people said. Although the timing of any product release is unclear, the company plans to offer this to differentiate its cloud service from rivals. It will also provide a white-label version that other companies can run on their own servers, the person added. Read the Full Article Here
The Future Bezos Has In Store
An invitation-only Amazon conference has revealed a glimpse into the expansive future according to an enthusiastic Jeff Bezos. An AI firm that can diagnose mental and physical health problems from voice recordings confirmed the healthcare push. But it was the inclusion of planetary scientists and their research on gravitational waves that’s interesting. Time will tell what role a deeper understanding of this science will play for the future innovations Bezos is clearly planning with this research.
The Full Story
You can see the future of Amazon from MARS.
In this case, MARS stands for “machine learning, home automation, robotics, and space exploration”—an invitation-only conference in Palm Springs, California, hosted by Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos. This year’s conference, the third annual, wrapped up on Wednesday.
It wasn’t a normal conference. No deals were made. No products were announced. In fact, there wasn’t even any Amazon branding anywhere. During the two days in the desert, the 200 guests—including a Nobel Prize winner, astronauts, designers, and the actor and Parkinson’s research advocate Michael J. Fox—explored their adventurous side with activities like knife making and biplane rides. Ostensibly, the focus of the conference was on the presentations the guests could make to each other about their work or passions. But the event’s real power was a glimpse into Amazon’s future. Read the Full Article Here
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