The tech news that you need to know about this week

The tech news that you need to know about this week

What’s been your favourite news story this week? As always in the world of tech news and business innovation, it’s been a fairly hectic week. Many intriguing stories have come out, and many interesting developments have taken place in the media. As per norm, we will be taking a look at the most crucial technology news stories in this blog today.

If you’re unfamiliar with this blog series, it’s a weekly piece that we put together to help keep business and tech innovators at the top of their game. Here at InnovationScouts, we think it’s vital to always be aware of the latest news, developments and emerging technologies in your industry- how else can you expect to become a game changer? So, we gather up our favourite technology news stories each week to keep you and your team up to date on the essentials.

If you’re a fan of this style of content, you’re going to love the new series we’ve started too- if you’re interested in keeping up with the latest and greatest in your sector, you need to check it out. We’d love to know what you think about it, too. Feel free to let us know your opinion on our social media pages so we can keep making our content even better for you to enjoy.

Alexa’s got a personal trainer (sort of)

Chances are, a good portion of people reading this blog will have an Amazon Alexa around in the building they’re in right now. They’re just so convenient, and voice assistants have become widely accepted as a natural thing to have about the house or in the office. However, it’s fair to say that this sort of technology has had it’s fair share of problems in the past with being able to understand and answer complex questions.

This is all changing now, though. Amazon’s engineers have developed a great way to help Alexa learn how to understand and break down complicated questions, in order to provide a better quality of service. The new method of training is amazingly simple – involving a web crawl and a sentence analysis – but it’s been returning incredible results so far. This shows the great innovation that’s taking place in the AI industry right now, and we can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

Freaky, futuristic Facebook

Facebook’s back at it again. If you were wondering what Facebook is up to at the moment, they’re funding AI based mind-reading experiments. As futuristic as it might sound, it does seem to be coming along nicely. This study is working on machine learning algorithms that should be able to turn brain activity into speech. This study is being led by the University of California San Francisco, and has goals of helping people who have lost their ability to speak regain that power. It’s intriguing to read about, and we’re all following this story with great interest here at InnovationScouts.

The profits and sales rollercoaster

Some of the industry giants experienced huge dips and rises in profits and sales this week. Samsung is one of these companies, and they experienced an enormous profit drop of over 50%. It’s been said in the media that the three main causes of this are a general industry slow-down, the trade war between the US and China, and a trade row between Seoul and Tokyo in relation to Samsung’s chip business.

Another story that you should be aware of here is Apple’s sales increase. Apple experienced a rise in sales for the third quarter of this year- but interestingly, the iPhone profits have decreased dramatically. It’s raised some debate online over whether Apple has produced ‘anything interesting since the iPhone’, which is intriguing. It’s worth considering the great number of fascinating products that Apple has bought out as of late when you’re considering this debate, of course.

Yet another data breach?

It seems to have been a big year for data breaches and hacks already, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Capital One is the latest giant to announce a huge data breach. This particular breach exposed the personal data of 100 million people in America, which is a staggering number. The company has informed it’s investors that it expects this breach to cost them between 100 and 150 million dollars this year.

The frequency of hacks and data breaches this year have been drawing attention to the further need for innovation and development in the security sector. Security can often be passed off as the responsibility for just one team or one person in the company, but this simply isn’t true. We’ve actually got a blog post where we looked at this in more detail, check it out here.

Google’s creative $5 plan

In a unique measure to ensure that their Pixel 4 product’s facial recognition really works, Google has been sending field representatives out into the streets. Field researchers have been offering strangers $5 to let them scan their face, in order to help improve the state of their current facial recognition technology and make sure that it works for all face types. It’s undoubtedly creeped out a few people on their way to work, but when you think about it, it’s a pretty great way to make use of the resources and people that are naturally around Google’s headquarters anyway.

Other technology news stories that you need to know

Of course, there’s been an abundance of stories this week- and if we put them all in this blog, you’d be reading it until next week. We like to finish up these posts with a quick fire round of other intriguing stories that you should be aware of in your working week. These are the stories we picked out for you this week;

– France wants to arm their satellites with lasers and guns, and they’re aiming to do this by 2030.

– Social media platform TikTok’s owner ByteDance is going to be making a smart phone.

– Apple is rumoured to be releasing three 5G iPhones next year.

– Congress is having another go at sorting out legislation for automated cars.

– Duolingo and Twitch have formed an interesting partnership that combines pop culture, language learning and innovative social media usage.

Scott Stonham

Scott is Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at He has been at the forefront of many technologies we take for granted today, including mobile internet and smartphone navigation. Today he helps clients navigate innovative emerging technologies and is available for speaking opportunities.

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