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Innovation Blog


What’s New In Corporate Innovation April 2018


Tech Giants Brace for Europe’s New Data Privacy Rules (NY Times)

23 years is an eternity in the world of tech, even more so when waiting for best practices in handling confidential data. That’s how long it has been since legislation surrounding the handling of the personal data of EU residents has been reviewed. But with May 25th and the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, set to unify regulation across the continent, Tech giants across the globe have been working tirelessly to introduce new measures and adapt products to protect their customers and comply with regulations that are changing the way the internet works for everyone.

Google users are now able to choose what data they wish to share; Amazon has upgraded the data encryption on its cloud storage services and given their customers a choice of where they want their data stored. Facebook has created an all-new privacy setting center. Early signs that the internet’s latest morph may finally put the end user in control of their data and social destiny.

How Brains And Machines Can Be Made To Work Together (Economist)

It’s been said that the human brain is so complex that it can never fully understand itself.

Assuming that to be so, fully grasping the workings of the brain would take the scientific community many lifetimes. To physically see the power of brain matter and how it responds when cultured is another phenomenon altogether. Yet it is this ground-breaking research that scientists are using as the first stage in coupling the infinite power of the brain with machines – a move that will literally open up a whole universe of possibilities.

We are currently only scratching the surface with BCIs (Brain-Computer Interfaces). Breakthroughs such as enabling a paraplegic man to kick a football, as witnessed at the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup, and other scientific miracles such as empowering paralysed individuals to feed themselves and even type at an impressive rate are real life demonstrations that the possibilities are substantial. But are we ultimately making life more tricky?

While this represents impressive progress, it hasn’t come without a price or obstacles. Success breeds expectations, and with it the thirst for more. The reality is that current BCI technologies require a Masters Degrees in Neurological Engineering just to operate them. Ultimately a case of 2 neuron generated clicks forward, and 1 back.

DeepMind’s CEO tells Prince Harry his AI Lab is the biggest collection of brain power anywhere in the world on this topic (Business Insider UK)

A fantastic human-interest story of how one visionary has grown his AI laboratory from a head count of 100 to 700 in just three years following a £400m acquisition by Google. Despite fierce opposition, former chess prodigy and proud, London born CEO Demis Hassabis was adamant that his home city should be the home of his business. Far from being an obstacle to attracting the world’s best technical minds, Hassabis felt that the country and its excellent universities would – and could – provide the necessary world class talent to drive the company forwards. In a recent Radio 4 interview with Prince Harry, the former Cambridge, Harvard and MIT graduate explained the company’s mission statement, and answered a range of deeper, ethical questions concerning the future of AI posed by his royal host.

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