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The Sundar-ing

12 December Subscribe


Tech news with a HAT perspective

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Tech News This Week 

My house is infested with Google Bots! AI was front and centre at Google's onslaught of 'AI First' product launches last week, feat. two new Pixel phones, Google Speakers in parent and baby size, and wireless headphones rigged up to Google Translate. AI is built on troves and troves of data – seems more than just the words we write into search will be stored up in the Google hoard now – it's our spoken words too.

Viva la digital government? Catalonia are taking matters into their own hands… by setting up a digital government! With the Spanish prime minister threatening to suspend Catalan authority, which could include banning political parties, Catalan activists responded with the possibility of forming a government in exile, taking governing functions online. Modelling on Estonia? Maybe?

Google's turn for Russia issues… As if we weren't bored of this word already. Google joins Facebook and Twitter in the ranks of the implicated in election swaying by Russian-linked accounts *shock*. Tens of thousands of dollars were reportedly spent on ads spreading disinformation in the run up to the 2016 election, across YouTube, DoubleClick, Google Search and Gmail. Well that's just brilliant. 

Be Cautious...

Knock knock… who's there? Phishing. That's what. A recent slew of attacks is targeting corporate Office 365 accounts in order to steal data and personal information. They're called KnockKnock attacks because they 'knock' on the backdoor systems to gain access to corporate Office environments, targeting the infrequently used accounts which often have weak passwords, and no two-factor authentication. Time to get your two-factor on. 

Impress Your Friends... 

How to train your dragon… I mean, AI. Google (don't worry it's good this time) has made a cute little in-browser demo called 'Teachable Machine' that shows you how to train an AI, with visual and interactive representations of how a simple AI program works – using your webcam! 

Geek Out On...

Lucas Film just dropped the first trailer for The Last Jedi, revealing footage from the upcoming film for the first time. If The Force Awakens was just A New Hope again, fans can hope that this film moves the Star Wars universe and plot lines on a bit… 

And Finally...

What would ethics standards for AI take? It's a hefty, hefty question for a Tuesday afternoon, but Deeply AI's interview with John Havens, author of Heartfelt Intelligence: Embracing our Humanity to Maximize Machines takes it apart in an imaginative and thought provoking way... Looks like there's an inadvertent AI theme this week!

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-Chief 

HAT News

All of the events. We’re laying them on thick and fast, starting with October's Innovation Hangout at the end of the month. We'll be talking all about that all-important funding. Aaaand, we're giving Meetup a whirl, so come find us over on there.

HATs on Tour. There are plans afoot to be in Boston in November, and Boston AND New York in December, with visits from two of our lauded founders, Irene Ng and Xiao Ma. Holla to all of our US MadHATTERs 👋🇺🇸

HAT Christmas Party! That time of year is here again, and we'd love it if our MadHATTERs could join us to celebrate on Saturday 9th December for a Christmas Lunch on a cruise down the Thames. Just email Jonathan if you have any questions. 

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager
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