Weekend update: Huawei fears grow, New York tops index, marketing in the #MeToo era and robot chefs

Innovation Enterprise's weekly update returns with our highlights from the world of tech over the past seven days

8Feb

In a week where Apple was heavily encouraged to purchase Netflix, Spotify enhanced its influence over the podcasting industry and Slack made its first move toward becoming a public company, the Innovation Enterprise editorial team has been hard at work, attempting to stay ahead of the curve within the tech industry delivering the latest tech news and analysis to our readers.

DATAx Singapore is less than a month away and its incredible lineup will feature speakers from Google Play, Netflix, Amazon, Oracle, Visa and Dyson, along with dozens of other top brands from across the world of tech and innovation. Delegates can register here for tickets, but make sure not to delay for too much longer, otherwise you may have to wait until 2020. We've got a great roster of festivals and summits scheduled for 2019, including DATAx San Francisco in May, and more information about registering for upcoming events can be found on our Summits page.

It's Friday, so look no further than our choice of tech news from the past seven days from across our Channels.

UK's Huawei fears may take five years to address

It's been another week where news about Huawei has come thick and fast, as concerns continue to grow over the company's alleged use of its equipment to spy for the Chinese government.

On Wednesday, we reported that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had become the latest in a long list of global leaders to voice her concerns about the company, as the country places yet more pressure on the Chinese tech giant to guarantee it will keep data secure. On Thursday, we followed this story up with news from the UK, when it became public knowledge that Huawei last week delivered a letter to MPs that stated that the company had earmarked $2bn (£1.5bn) to address allegations against it.

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The Rockefeller Foundation launches Atlas AI

This week marked the official launch of an exciting project which will generate insights on poverty and economic trends across sub-Saharan Africa.

Established by the Rockefeller Foundation and a group of Stanford University professors, social enterprise Atlas AI will use ML algorithms and ground truth data to estimate economic activity and crop yield from satellite imagery.

The social enterprise will be led by former Wikimedia Foundation chief technology officer, Victoria Coleman, who was this week named as the organization's first CEO.

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IBM invests $2bn in New York center to give AI 1,000x boost

IBM has claimed an investment it is making in New York will aim to increase the performance efficiency of AI technology by 1,000x.

IBM will invest $2bn in a New York AI research hub as part of its "master plan" to encourage innovation and growth in the emerging technology.

On the deal, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo commented: "AI has the potential to transform how we live and how businesses operate, and this partnership with IBM will help ensure New York continues to be on the cutting-edge developing innovative technologies."

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Digital marketing in the #MeToo era

"We are leveraging the incredible power of digital for large-scale social change," Molly Heffernan, director of marketing and digital at the Tory Burch Foundation, told us this week in an exclusive interview ahead of her participation as a panelist during "Women leaders in the #MeToo era" on Day One of the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in New York on March 26–27, 2019.

"Prioritizing gender diversity and equality needs to be woven into a company's DNA," she explained to us in a wide-ranging interview that touched on cultural issues, women entrepreneurship, social media backlashes and company culture transformation.

"If equality hasn't previously been part of a company's culture, an entire identity shift is required for the organization," she notes.

Be sure to check out this great interview which highlights one of the key social issues of our time.

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New York edges San Francisco to top tech cities index

New York City beat out competition from San Francisco and London to be named as the leading tech city in Savills Tech Cities 2019 index.

The index compiled by property experts Savills focused on cities it viewed as being important centers for tech within their region and VC investment hotspots, and cited New York's "deep talent pool" and its "reputation as a global center of commerce" as what made it stand out from the competition.

Among the other global centers joining New York, San Francisco and London in the index's top 10, were Amsterdam (4th), Singapore (6th) and Swedish capital Stockholm (9th).

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IBM and McCormick to use AI for flavor creation

IBM has teamed up with McCormick to develop an AI-enabled platform that will create a range of seasoning blends, thereby ensuring that chefs join the rest of use in fearing that our jobs may one day be replaced by machines.

Named "One", the platform will learn and predict new flavor combinations, and is expected to deliver its first range of seasoning blends for proteins and vegetables as soon as late-1Q19.

"This is one of several projects in our pipeline where we've embraced new and emerging technologies," remarked McCormick CEO Lawrence Kurzius, leaving us to wonder whether or not to expect robots will be mixing our drinks for us as we unwind over weekend, and if so, will we still be expected to tip our new machine overlords…

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