The Technology Practice at Cambre Associates, which is full of voracious readers, is happy to share #TechAways.
#TechAways is our very own selection of the top stories we’ve read in the week to be delivered to you every Friday, helping you keep up with the hottest developments in the tech world.
Share #TechAways with your friends and colleagues.
Ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Send them our way!
Angel money does not create unicorns [Financial Times]
Where’s all the entrepreneurship in Europe? The FT’s Cornelius McGrath points to three problems: 1. a disproportionate focus on start-ups, 2. inadequate access to capital to scale up and, consequently, 3. a brain drain to the US where sufficient scale-up funds are available. While it is impossible to compare the US single market with the “complex beast of many nations” that is Europe, one thing is clear: if we want to foster European entrepreneurship, we need to do more to keep our talent. This will only happen if we provide more possibilities to scale up far beyond the start-up phase.
Net neutrality: not as boring as it sounds [New York Times]
Net neutrality touches upon a number of hotly debated topics in the Brussels policy bubble, including platform regulation and competition. If it has you confused, this comprehensive and refreshing read from Farhad Manjoo explains (in simple terms) how net neutrality concerns are changing along with the internet and app industry. Or, as Professor Tim Wu who developed the “net neutrality” concept states in the article, rules that were conceived to save companies like YouTube are now as much about “trying to save the net from YouTube as it is about saving YouTube”.
Facebook is watching you (and political parties are using it) [The Telegraph]
Facebook knows your address, your personal interests, your job and hobbies. This data enables political parties to target you during elections. Remember how companies like Cambridge Analytica shot into the spotlight after the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election? A new Google Chrome extension claims “it’s time to throw some light on dark ads”. Who targets me? analyses targeted ads from political parties, compares this to the public information of a user’s profile, and lets users know which political parties have been targeting them. We’re keeping an eye on this new tool as it comes at a time when both data privacy concerns and the use of big data in politics are on the rise.
There are three big challenges in the quest to monetise big data – confronting complexity, creating consumerisation and constructing continuity. The bottom line is this: you must be smarter than your data. The purpose of data is to keep a business ahead of the curve. So if data is moving faster than predictions, insights about the future may not prove realistic. Recognising the role data will continue to play in the EU’s economy, the European Commission released the final results of a study measuring the size and trends of the EU data economy. Not surprisingly, it found that the overall value of the data economy grew from €247 billion in 2013 to almost €300 billion in 2016.
Trash in, trash out, as the saying goes in AI and machine learning circles. The quality of material that computers learn from is key to the future success of AI. One of the biggest problems out there at the moment is training driverless car systems. A start-up from Sweden is tackling the problem of training computers to drive head on. Mapillary has built a database of 130 million crowd-sourced images from streets around the world and has released 25,000 of those for free. These images can be used to train automotive AI systems to react to street and traffic scenarios. Could a shift towards crowd-sourcing learning material for machines drive the AI revolution?