Digital information technology is increasingly becoming entrenched into the fabric of our society, and it will not be long before we all permanently connect via the Internet. As the extensive digitisation of society is set to radically change practically all aspects of our lives, QUANTech (#QTech) aims at helping you stay in the know about the rapidly changing landscape of both organisations and society alike in the digital age.
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Falcon Heavy, drone record, tech for good, EU blockchain and John Perry Barlow’s decease
This week’s big buzz in tech was indisputably the mind-blowing Falcon Heavy launch. On a scale on geniusness, Elon Musk reached a new height combining both a technological feat and one of the biggest stunts in advertising history on Tuesday. Chit-chat at QUANT on Wednesday: « Have you watched?! Meg Whitman is definitely right: 99 problems, but still the greatest time to be alive! ».
Bigger, better. The Falcon Heavy was not enough for a week: Intel beat a new record using 1,208 drones at the opening ceremony of the Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games yesterday.
Spotted this week, too: the launch of the Center For Humane Technology, a new organization which seeks to reverse the digital attention crisis and realign technology with humanity’s best interests. Formerly known as Time Well Spent and led by ex-Googler Tristan Harris, the organization gathers a collective of former employees from Google and Facebook to address the issue of tech addiction.
Are you digging blockchain? Earlier this month, the European Commission launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel sees blockchain as a game changer. She wants Europe « to be at the forefront of its development ». Blockchain-wise, a new company caught my attention this week: Nebula Genomics. Emily Mullin published an interesting article about it in the MIT Technology Review.
We will also remember this week as the one of John Perry Barlow’s decease. The Internet pioneer died aged 70. He was, among other things, known for the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace he penned 22 years ago, championing certain ideals of a free and open internet.
IN SHORT (reading time)
• Johnny Matheny has recently become the first person to live with an advanced mind-controlled robotic arm. (3-4m)
• Intel is building a pair of smart glasses called Vaunt that seek to succeed where Google Glass failed. The verge published an in-depth analysis of the product and what applications it may have.
• Police officers across China start to be equipped with 720-degree body cameras and facial recognition glasses.
• Facebook’s VP of Messaging David Marcus don’t expect bitcoin payments to come to messenger anytime soon, but truly believes in the potential of cryptocurrency.
• Twitter, PornHub and eventually Reddit are banning AI-generated celebrity porn produced by ‘Deepfake’, a face-swapping AI tool that raised concerns.