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.
Another week, another series of Facebook fuss and controversies. The Cambridge Analytica fallout keeps hitting strong. This week, the public learned about Facebook storing draft videos users thought they had deleted, analysing Messenger conversations, retracting Zuckerberg’s messages from recipients’ inboxes for so-called security reasons —new measures to offer similar privileges to users quickly followed— or talks to share user data for medical research.
Meanwhile, another round of PR from the company ran in full swing. Mark Zuckerbeg took part in long-form interviews with Vox and the press using the podcast format, which is eminently more confortable as he avoided non-verbal communication.
Nevertherless, Facebook CEO will still have to come testify before the US congress next week. A first of its kind. Media outlet The Atlantic gathered a whole bunch of questions which might be worth asking. For a company which supposedly cares about data, « why did eight months pass between the news reports about Cambridge Analytica [in 2015] and the letter Facebook sent asking them to certify they’d deleted the data? » is one of those questions. The company’s chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg answered some of these tricky questions in a video interview ealier this week.
On its part, the company is actively implementing radical new features to thwart the situation and rebuild trust. It has detailed nine important changes that they are making while revising the 50-million figure upwards stating that up to 87 million people (whose about 61,000 from Belgium) may potentially be involved in the Cambridge Analytica data breach. This estimation is the highest and will likely be lower. However, the company acknowledges that given the rules Facebook had at the time, it it likely that most Facebook users may have had some of their data breached by an app at some point before 2014.
Other measures were announced from shutting down accounts controlled by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) to identity verification for successful pages or new transparency features for political advertising.
As data is at the heart of all this and with GDPR ahead, the new « Leveraging GDPR to Become a Trusted Data Steward » survey by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and law firm DLA Piper may help your business better understand consumer views on the topics of data protection a privacy.
Facebook aside and talking artificial intelligence, tech media Wired had an extensive interview with French president Emmanuel Macron to discuss France’s AI strategy and his vision on the technology. An interview worth reading. On its part AI-wise, Microsoft announced that it made breakthrough in natural conversation with its Chinese social chatbot XiaoIce.
• Fully driverless car testing now allowed in California.
• Waymo plans to launch a new driverless vehicle with Honda.
• Portability of online content services is now reality since 1 April.
• Apple is reportedly planning to ditch Intel processors inside its Mac computers by 2020.
• Apple hires Google’s AI chief.
• Spotify’s stock market debut.
• « Luis Fonsi – Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee » is the first YouTube video to have 5 billion views.
• Twitter introduced Timestamps for better live video sharing.
• Experience the power of a nuclear blast in your area.
As a final note for this week’s review, let’s ask a question: would you consider (or think possible) to communicate sharing thoughts? Mark Zuckerberg famously said back in 2015: « One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology ». Facebook’s secret lab Building 8 is also known to research and work on mind-reading technology and this week, MIT reported that researchers developed a device called AlterEgo that can translate thoughts to actions. See below.
Fancy tech as those mentioned in QUANTech #6 or real future technology to go mainstream? Time will tell…