Weekend update: Johnson & Johnson, Porsche and ML lessons

Ahead of Santa's arrival next week, Innovation Enterprise presents a weekly roundup of news from the world of data, AI and ML


With just one week left before Christmas, our little editorial elves have continued to explore the tech world, as they prepare to pack up their quills for the festive period.

Sadly, it's not all good news this week, as founder of Vine and HQ Trivia was found unresponsive at his New York home and age-old pharma company Johnson & Johnson's baby powder was found to have asbestos leading to vast number of cancer cases leading to loses of $40bn in one day.

In other news, UK residents can expect a new wave of electric bikes from ride-hailing company Uber, while Google shut down its development of its Chinese search engine Project Dragonfly.

Keep reading to find out more about our reporting this week across our Channels.

Amnesty study finds women of color more likely to be targets for online abuse

Human rights organization Amnesty International, in collaboration with AI firm Element AI, released a report this week that revealed that women of color are more likely to be targets for online abuse on Twitter.

"Black women were disproportionately targeted, being 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets," the report found. "One in 10 tweets mentioning black women were abusive or problematic, compared to one in 15 for white women."

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Johnson & Johnson lose $40bn in one day

Johnson & Johnson recorded losses of almost $40bn in one day following a report by Reuters claiming that the company knew for decades that its baby powder contained asbestos which led a number of cancer cases.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson responded to the allegations claiming that the story was "one-sided, false and inflammatory" and added that "the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy".

Attorney Peter Bicks told Reuters in an email that "the scientific consensus is that the talc used in talc-based body powders does not cause cancer, regardless of what is in that talc".

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Porsche closes $170m loan on blockchain platform

Porsche completed its first blockchain-based transaction with Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA).

The loan was completed on BBVA's distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform.

Dominik Paschinger, branch manager of Porsche Corporate finance in Belgium, commented: "With digitalization being an integral part of Porsche Holding's Strategy 2025, the goal is to advance in all fields of activity."

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DATAx New York: Five lessons about ML in finance

At DATAx New York last week Meninder Purewal, data scientist at the Bank of America, discussed five machine learning lessons that he learnt within his first year as an adjunct ML professor at NYU.

Purewal outlined three qualities employers should look for when hiring someone to create ML models. "If you find someone who has two out three of those skills, you're way ahead," claimed Purewal. "And it is almost impossible to find someone with three out of three of those qualities."

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AI: 2019's top marketer

Also at DATAx, we spoke to Kyle Lelli, general manager of The Tylt, the largest and fastest growing social polling and opinion platform among millennials.

Lelli offered insights into how marketers can optimize their marketing strategy with AI technology to enhance current strategies such as user experiences and increase accuracy of predicting customer behaviors.

"Facebook will continue to be a dominating and important channel for marketers, but platforms like VSCO, Discord and Twitch will continue to gain traction with younger audiences," he suggested. "Reddit should also be a part of many more marketing plans to capture the elusive attention of Gen Z."

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Washington DC sues Facebook over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook was sued by Washington DC for the scandal which saw 50 million users' data used without their consent.

Washington DC's attorney general Karl Racine said: "Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used."

Meanwhile, it was found that Instagram had been the most effective platform for Russian trolls during the 2016 election.

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