Before we jump into copyright – and thankfully more – let us start with some exciting news of our own.
Tom Parker has been promoted to a global role at the SEC Group, and is now Chairman of Cambre. Victoria Main, currently head of technology and media, is taking over as CEO. We’re looking forward to the direction her leadership will take us in, especially as the tech practice expands further. For sure, policy comms will continue to feature large.
And no need to fret! She’ll still oversee all things tech at Cambre, but Zachery will be taking the reins of #TechAways.
Now back to it… This week’s big news in Brussels happened in Strasbourg. After months (years?) of intense lobbying by tech giants on one side and creative industries on the other, the European Parliament’s plenary has rejected the mandate for the negotiations with the Member States on the revised copyright Directive. As a result and whether we like the European Commission’s proposal and the JURI text or not, rules drafted during the last century may well keep on longer governing copyright regime in Europe, including in the digital sphere. As another result, the summer break will be short for those working on the revamped copyright rules since the Parliament will likely vote again in September. For the others, words of wisdom are “let it be” – we’ll keep you posted.
Register for #TechAways here.
Could the US knock itself out of the AI race? [Financial Times]
A tech race between the US and China has been brewing for some time. But now that a trade war between the two is imminent, tech outlets in the US which are backed by Chinese investors are facing increased scrutiny. While many view Chinese investment in US start-ups and tech companies as positive in that it often brings increased funding, others see it as encroachment from a world power determined to win the AI race. Generally, collaboration breeds innovation, but with the US turning inwards, it could mean losing the tech race.
There’s endless speculation about potential job loss caused by automation, but an exact number seems elusive. Current research on the issue focuses on unemployment, but neglects other consequences. A recent study showed that technology will also foster the stagnation of wages and the polarisation of the labour market. In practical terms, the results show the number of low-paid jobs without benefits like paid vacation, health insurance, or pensions will increase, while job security will soon become a concept of the past. On the other hand, much is also said about the benefits that AI will bring, including in terms of more interesting jobs. What’s certain is that nothing’s certain.
Taxing robots could prove taxing [Financial Times]
In the often-alarmist debate about the pros and cons of AI, the possibility of a tax on robots often crops up. The argument goes something like this: if robots are taking our jobs, there should be a levy on the output they generate. Makes sense. Or does it? This piece turns that argument on its head, saying that specific tasks rather than human jobs are automated. With the category of robot difficult to define, it would therefore be difficult to tax. Yet more uncertainty about AI!
Imagine being stranded on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean without the power to get you home. Well, that happened to French sailor Victorien Erussand – and it inspired him to develop a ship that uses various sources of energy to keep it sailing. But, not just any energy, the totally renewable type. He’s now circumnavigating the world aboard the Energy Observer, a catamaran that runs on renewables – a mix of seawater, wind and sun. To access all that energy, some weird but cool looking engineering was required. Could multi-source renewable energy vehicles be the key to a greener – and more reliable – transport future?
#TechAways is brought to you by Cambre’s Technology Practice led by Victoria Main and featuring Fernando Anton, François Barry, Zachery Bishop, Lauren Clark, Nicolas Gyss, Anne-Claude Martin and Simos Piperidis.
Questions, comments or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.