Friday Tech Round Up – Episode 73

Louise Fenn 25th June 2021

For anyone unfamiliar with the Friday Tech Round Up, each week we say lights, camera action and give you the inside scoop on five standout pieces of tech news from the past week. Each piece has a focus on the technology space, covering stories about end of software support to new feature releases, global digital initiatives all the way to the biggest hacks of the century.

You can watch the most recent episode on YouTube, by clicking the image below.

Friday Tech Round Up

So, what news pieces did we want to shout about this week? Take a look below…

 

NHS gets a serious investment into AI diagnostics

Here we are, chatting about AI again…but for good reason! The UK government has just announced a £36 million investment in AI diagnostics within the national health service. The aim of this investment is to help revolutionise diagnostics and care in the NHS.

Projects picked include a tool to diagnose heart attacks, algorithms to fast-track detection of lung cancer, AI powered mental health app and tech to spot spinal fractures.

It’s no secret that our NHS needs some serious TLC and innovation, so we’re excited to see how projects like these help our NHS to deliver high quality care.

 

Calls to ban facial recognition to ‘preserve our freedom’

EU privacy watchdogs, EDPS and EDPB, have called for a facial recognition ban in public spaces. The argument is that a ban is needed if we want to preserve our freedoms and create a human-centric legal framework for AI.

The watchdog also urged the prohibition of artificial intelligence (AI) to “infer emotions” or for “any type of social scoring”.

Would it bother you to know that your face may be being scanned in public?

 

Google for Startups’ London campus not to reopen

Google has just announced that it will not reopen its London campus for start-ups, saying it will offer services online instead.

Whilst the increase in remote working is likely to be behind this decision, Google for Startups has confidence they can still provide support for startups right across the country without a physical space.

This decision has been met with a lot of sadness from the startup community. The question is, is this just the beginning? We are already seeing companies start to pull their office space from cities, how many more will follow?

 

Big Oil adopts more environmentally friendly tech

Number four, the impact of the pandemic has been felt everywhere – even in the remote and isolated locations of oil rigs.

In response, Big Oil is deploying artificial intelligence digitalisation through edge and cloud computing, and increasingly digital twin technology.

This tech is designed to optimise and protect the physical environment through real-time analytics and the use of simulations and visualisations.

Some great innovation from the O&G industry in an effort to offset its effects on the environment.

 

Amazon and other tech giants race to buy up renewable energy

The race to secure electricity deals for power-hungry data centres has tech companies reshaping the renewable-energy market and grappling with a new challenge: how to ensure their investments actually reduce emissions.

Amazon said it planned to announce commitments to buy 1.5 gigawatts of production capacity from 14 new solar and wind plants around the world. This is part of its push to purchase enough renewable energy to cover all the company’s activities by 2025.

A great goal to have, but is it achievable? We sure are eager to find out!

 

Pieces of news that came in after recording:

 

Microsoft unveils Windows 11 operating system

Microsoft has unveiled its ‘next generation’ Windows 11 operating system – promising smaller, faster security updates and the ability for Android apps to run on the Windows desktop.

Windows 11 will be available as a free update for those currently on Windows 10 – approximately 1.3 billion users, with an early preview version being made available for app developers next week.

 

John McAfee found dead in a prison cell

Whilst a controversial figure in the tech world, McAfee was also an influential one – sparking a multi-billion dollar industry in the computer world with the launch of the first commercial anti-virus software.

Named after himself, McAfee VirusScan was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6bn (£4.7bn).

 

ECS shoutouts

Make sure to check out our latest blog, where we discuss LGBTQ+ leaders driving positive change, how technology has helped us break down boundaries but also, how technology in the wrong hands can become platforms used to spread harmful messages.

That’s all the news we have this week, make sure to come back next Friday for even more tech news!

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