Bond needs more Q in the age of AI


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As Covid continues to cast a dark cloud over our lives and our health, there are equally frightening storms ahead of digital threats, according to Nicole Perlroth’s business book This is how they tell me the end of the world.

On Wednesday night, her thought-provoking account of the cyber arms race won the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2021. Judges said it was an “alarming book” that “features convincing, granular and concrete arguments on the vulnerability of global computer systems, even if it is also accompanied by an urgent plea for specific and systematic action “.

There are many examples of this, from Russian hacker cyber attacks aimed at destroying Ukraine’s power grid, to the Chinese state-sponsored Hafnium group that carries out espionage activities by exploiting Microsoft’s Exchange messaging software. .

Beyond state-sponsored hacking, the injection of artificial intelligence into military hardware represents the biggest technological leap since the advent of nuclear weapons, according to the Financial Times editorial board. Computer scientist Stuart Russell recently met with British defense officials to warn them that the incorporation of AI into weapons could wipe out humanity.

Richard Moore, head of Britain’s secret service, said this week that adapting to China’s rise to power is now MI6’s “top priority”, with Beijing posing “a serious challenge to global peace and stability “.

In a speech, he cited the technological threat posed by Chinese surveillance systems exported around the world and acknowledged that “there is no longer an analog intelligence operation in this digital world.”

“Our adversaries are investing money and ambition in mastering artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology, because they know that mastering these technologies will give them leverage”, did he declare.

Looks like an analog James Bond needs more powerful weapons from gadget supplier Q, but Moore said the way forward is to “pursue partnerships with the tech community to help develop world-class technology for solve our biggest mission problems “.

“Unlike Q in the Bond films, we can’t do everything in-house,” he admitted.

The Internet of (five) things

1. The world’s first AI casino delayed
Chinese surveillance skills may not be all they are meant to be. The flagship project of SenseTime, one of the leading AI companies in China, was a casino with robot dealers and cameras capable of detecting bad behavior. But the ambitious transformation plan of Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore’s leading casino, has run into technical difficulties, we can point out.

2. Grab makes his Nasdaq debut
Shares of Singapore-based Grab debuted on the Nasdaq on Thursday after the Southeast Asian super app struck a record $ 40 billion merger deal with a blank check company. The shares opened at $ 13.06 on Thursday, up from the previous day’s close of $ 11.01 when still trading as Altimeter Growth Corp, but then fell below 9 $ at the start of the session.

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3. Land grabbing by helicopter
Blade Air Mobility, the helicopter shuttle company, has struck a $ 12 million deal with a Canadian helicopter operator, betting a wider network will give it a head start if electric air taxis become a reality . The deal is part of a land grab for helipads, roads and customers, convinced that existing infrastructure for new services will initially be limited.

4. The price of gas limits concerts
Back in the field, the recent surge in fuel prices in the United States has hit the engines of the country’s concert economy, reports Amanda Chu. “Drivers seem to drive less,” said Melissa Berry, editor of industry blog The Rideshare Guy. This change in the way they work “has undoubtedly exacerbated the shortage of drivers in which Uber and Lyft periodically find themselves.”

5. Jack Dorsey and the Idiots
We discussed Jack Dorsey’s bitcoin ambitions on Wednesday, and hours later his payments company Square renamed itself Block to reflect his dedication to crypto and blockchain. This led to the unflattering new portraits below of the management team.

Forwarded from Sifted – European start-up week

The Nordic region has long been known for its game companies: some of Europe’s early technological successes, including Supercell and Rovio, came from Finland.

Now a new generation has emerged, including Finnish-Icelandic game studio Mainframe, which this week raised € 20.3 million in a funding round led by US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. .

Although Andreessen Horowitz has previously backed metaverse start-up Improbable, Mainframe, founded in 2019, is Europe’s first true game studio and the first company-backed Nordic start-up.

Mainframe’s goal is to launch the first fully cloud-native massively multiplayer online game (MMO). For people unfamiliar with the lingo, this means that you can access the game from any device: PC, MacBook, mobile, or console.

Tech Tools – Apple’s Best Apps

Apple on Thursday announced the winners of the 2021 App Store awards, a list of what it deemed to be the 15 best games and apps this year. They include Carrot Weather for Apple Watch, LumaFusion video editing app for iPad, and Craft notebook for Mac. IPhone Game of the Year was League of Legends: Savage Rift. There were also “trending” winners on the topic of connecting people. They include the Bumble dating app and EatOkra, a user-guided guide to over 11,000 black-owned restaurants.

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