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Tag: Tech

Apple, Google and Amazon decide to ‘play nice’ over smart home tech

Apple, Google and Amazon decide to ‘play nice’ over smart home tech

Technology
The highly competitive tech giants Apple, Google and Amazon have announced they are teaming up in an effort to make smart home tech easier to use.The firms, along with the Zigbee Alliance, will work together so that smart home products are compatible with many different smartphones and voice assistants.Ikea is among other companies involved.One analyst said the move was a "surprise" and showed the companies were willing to "play nice".In recent years, the tech giants have been fiercely vying for dominance over smart home tech - with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant often considered to have carved up the lion's share of products.Manufacturers have often had to choose a particular voice assistant with which to make their device compatible - a smart speak...

Why some cities and states balk at face recognition tech

Technology
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Police departments around the U.S. are asking citizens to trust them to use facial recognition software as another handy tool in their crime-fighting toolbox. But some lawmakers — and even some technology giants — are hitting the brakes. Are fears of an all-seeing, artificially intelligent security apparatus overblown? Not if you look at China, where advancements in computer vision applied to vast networks of street cameras have enabled authorities to track members of ethnic minority groups for signs of subversive behavior. American police officials and their video surveillance industry partners contend that won’t happen here. They are pushing back against a movement by cities, states and federal legislators to ban or curtail the technology’s use. And the ef
Emotion-detecting tech should be restricted by law – AI Now

Emotion-detecting tech should be restricted by law – AI Now

Technology
A leading research centre has called for new laws to restrict the use of emotion-detecting tech.The AI Now Institute says the field is "built on markedly shaky foundations".Despite this, systems are on sale to help vet job seekers, test criminal suspects for signs of deception, and set insurance prices. It wants such software to be banned from use in important decisions that affect people's lives and/or determine their access to opportunities.The US-based body has found support in the UK from the founder of a company developing its own emotional-response technologies - but it cautioned that any restrictions would need to be nuanced enough not to hamper all work being done in the area.Ever-changingAI Now refers to the technology b...
San Francisco aims to rein in tests of tech ideas on streets

San Francisco aims to rein in tests of tech ideas on streets

Technology
Tired of San Francisco streets being used as a testing ground for the latest delivery technology and transportation apps, city leaders are considering requiring businesses to get permits before trying out new high-tech ideas in public. Supporters of the legislation, which the Board of Supervisors will take up Tuesday, say it would be the first of its kind in the U.S. They say it's long overdue in a city that's a hub for major tech companies but is more accustomed to reacting to the sudden arrival of new technology — such as when hundreds of dockless electric scooters appeared overnight last year. The e-scooter trend has led to complaints from people in cities across the country. The tech industry has showered San Francisco with high-paying jobs and cemented its reputation as a place for
Johnson backs tech tax despite Trump’s threats

Johnson backs tech tax despite Trump’s threats

Business
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he would press ahead with a digital sales tax even after the US threatened to punish France for a similar move.In a proposal first outlined last year, large online companies face a tax of 2% of UK sales from April 2020.Mr Johnson said digital companies needed to make a "fairer contribution".Donald Trump has threatened to impose taxes on French goods in retaliation for a digital services tax that would affect Google, Amazon and Facebook. Ahead of Wednesday's Nato meeting in Watford, the US President said: "We've taxed wine and we have other taxes scheduled."We'd rather not do that, but that's the way it would work. So it's either going to work out, or we'll work out some mutually beneficial tax."The US said it would ap...