What is QUANTech? An easy-to-digest selection of what’s hot in tech and the impact on society to help you keep ahead in this rapidly changing digital world.
The World Cup is on! Whether you like football or not, you can hardly ignore this massive sporting event that gather audiences around the world.
From a technological point of view, and in a world that produces more and more data every day, it is interesting to observe what the one and the other predict using big data. Goldman Sachs used artificial intelligence to simulate a million possible outcomes for this World Cup, naming Brazil as the big winner. EA SPORTS, which uses much data to design its famous FIFA game, sees France as the winner. As for the BBC, it is more favourable to us. Based on the statistics of past competitions, the English media outlet points the finger at Belgium as world champion. Hopefully they’re right!
Prediction games aside, this World Cup is also an opportunity to promote 5G in Russia. Thus, the host country has decided to take advantage of the World Cup to kick off its 5G efforts, offering fans the chance to watch the match between Morocco and Iran in real time through VR glasses thanks to a 5G connection. Russia’s capital Moscow also wants to use 5G to file traffic reports and remotely park cars.
5G is and remains a major technological challenge of the moment and as the standard is now in place, the technology seems ready for installation and deployment. On the topic, the Ericsson Mobility Report published this week is worth looking at.
• Google invests $550 million in JD.com strategic partnership with overseas focus.
• The US may soon have the world’s first space force.
• Toyota invests $1 billion in one of Asia’s biggest ride-sharing companies.
• Spanish soccer league app spied on fans to catch pirate broadcasts.
• China wants to track citizens’ cars with mandatory RFID chips.
• Google’s Translate app now works offline for 59 languages.
• Google’s AI can predict when a patient will die.
• Survey finds wide interest in Facebook dating service.
• 8 Lessons from the rise of Douyin / Tik Tok.
In this week’s news Reuters reported that « Microsoft is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores », competing directly with Amazon,which is known for its cashierless store Amazon Go. And this is not only an American thing: Chinese equivalents exist as reported in last week’s focus.
In the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2017, cashiers represented the second largest occupation in the US with 3.6 million workers nationwide, impacting millions of households. With Amazon Go set to open two new stores and Microsoft involving itself into it, we have serious indication about what kind of threat millions of cashiers might face in a not-so-distant future. The need to address automation and its impact is backed by facts and figures that no one can ignore as the challenges at stake are immense.
Another example worth mentioning is truck driving as self-driving technology is developing significantly. There were approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the US in 2016, according to estimates by the American Trucking Association, which involves millions of other households.
What we observe overseas should catch attention in Europe as, albeit different, similar issues are to be faced on the continent: the same year (2016), the EU truck platooning challenge has seriously shown the potential of (partially) automating truck driving in the future.