Weekend update: UK greenlights Huawei's 5G plan, trucking firm becomes latest San Francisco unicorn and Facebook narrowly beats revenue forecast

Innovation Enterprise's weekly update returns with the latest developments from the world of tech, including AI virtual beings, big data and the gig economy, Tesla's new self-driving chip and the latest news ahead of DATAx San Francisco

26Apr

At Innovation Enterprise this week we've been recovering from the chocolate binge of the Easter weekend, while rejoicing at the news that Microsoft Paint will remain a part of the Windows operation system "for now", as we covered the latest developments from the tech and AI world.

The week saw Elon Musk, a man known for braggadocio, call Tesla's new full self-driving chip "the best chip in the world", while the CIA warned us all that Huawei has been receiving funding from Chinese state security – news which the UK appears to have ignored (which you can find out more about below). Meanwhile, across the English Channel, Amazon extended its partnership with French retailer Casino, fueling speculation that an larger deal could be on its way between the two companies.

DATAx San Francisco edges ever closer and with tickets in high demand, be sure to snap them up before it's too late. And if you still need convincing to join us on May 14–15, why not check out the five must-see speakers taking the stage at DATAx San Francisco.

Below, we present our pick of the best articles and stories from our Channels from over the past seven days.

UK greenlights Huawei's 5G plan despite security risks

The latest twist in the long-running Huawei 5G security saga saw the UK split with the "Five Eyes", the so-called electronic-spying pact between the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as Prime Minister Theresa May's government gave the Chinese tech giant approval in its bid to help build the country's 5G network using "non-core" infrastructure such as antennas.

Huawei, which has denied any involvement in Chinese espionage, said it was "pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work".

The decision could lead to a diplomatic falling out between the UK and the US, where the government has banned all federal employees from using Huawei's network equipment – and encouraged its allies to do the same.

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Trucking startup is San Francisco's latest unicorn

The 88 privately-held startups worth more than $1bn each in the San Francisco Bay Area had a new member join their ranks this week, as KeepTruckin, a startup that develops hardware and software to help truck firms manage vehicles and cargo, became the tech hub's latest unicorn.

KeepTruckin raised $149m in a Series D funding round, revealing that the business was valued $1.25bn. The company was founded in 2013 with a mission to help digitize the US's outdated trucking industry with its electronic logging system.

"Trucking is really the foundation of the American economy," declared Shoaib Makani, co-founder and CEO of KeepTruckin. "More than 70% of all freight is moved over the road in a truck. This is how we eat, consume and produce; without it, our economy wouldn't thrive."

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Virtual beings pioneer Edward Saatchi to headline DATAx San Francisco

Edward Saatchi, CEO and co-founder of Fable, an innovative company pioneering AI virtual beings, has been announced as the keynote speaker at DATAx San Francisco.

Set to speak on the first morning of the data festival on May 14, 2019, Saatchi's will discuss the recent work of Fable, a former VR studio which relaunched as an AI-based virtual beings company earlier this year. Fable's impressive work has seen it move to the forefront of work on the development of believable human characters governed by AI, also known as "virtual beings" or digital humans.

Further details on Saatchi's forthcoming keynote presentation will be released next week and delegates can register for tickets to DATAx San Francisco here (but be quick, as there are only a few tickets remaining!)

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Big data and AI are surging the growth of the gig economy

Copywatts CEO Dianna Labrien, a regular Innovation Enterprise contributor, this week examined the gig economy and how big data, AI and machine learning can help businesses and their employees through access to new tools.

"Among US-based gig workers, 38.4% of non-seasonal gig workers secure their gigs through digital marketplaces," writes Labrien. "Most find this route convenient and more secure than setting up direct arrangements with clients.

"However, the competition is getting tougher each day. By 2020, 43% of the US workforce is expected to go freelance and work remotely, according to Nasdaq. As a result, securing good jobs may become challenging for those working exclusively through marketplaces."

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Facebook posts $15bn revenue and sets aside $3bn to fight FTC

" We had a good quarter and our business and community continued to grow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as the social media giant narrowly beat market expectations revealing revenue of $15.08bn for the first three months of 2019.

It wasn't all good news for Facebook, however, as it also announced plans to set aside $3bn to cover the legal costs of an investigation from the US Federal Trading Commission (FTC).

While advertising revenue proved to be strong, hitting $14.9bn in the quarter, Facebook admitted that it expected to pay between $3bn–$5bn as a result of an upcoming enquiry by the FTC into its – suspicious at best – data practices.

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AI and the IoT: A perfect match

Rounding off our selection of must-read content this week is Mufeedah Abdulsalam's report on how AI and the IoT will help to simplify our lives, and drive growth and success across a range of industries.

Highlighting the "incredible potential" of both technologies, the B2B technology and business writer notes: "Despite the multiple advantages that come from both burgeoning technologies, AI and IoT are often treated as distinct entities, thus do not get to work together often. But the only way to unleash their full potential, and really reap AI and IoT's benefits, is by making them partners.

"The IoT is a data generation machine and, given the increasing availability of connected devices, the amount of data connected devices gather is set to escalate beyond imagination."

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Five must-see speakers taking the stage at DATAx San Francisco

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