DIGIT Tech News Roundup – 12th of October 2018

DIGIT Tech News Roundup

In this first edition of the DIGIT Weekly Roundup, we highlight some of the top-trending tech and business news stories permeating the airwaves in the week beginning 8th of October.

DIGIT’s Top Trending

Robot to Appear at Parliament (11th October)

Pepper the RobotRepresentatives from Middlesex University will take a robot to appear as a witness before the UK parliament for the first time next week.

The Commons Education Select Committee is due to hold an evidence session regarding roboticsartificial intelligence (AI) and the fourth industrial revolution on 16th October.

Pepper the robot, a semi-humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics, will be one of many witnesses set to be questioned by MPs.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Record Female Tech Influx (9th October)

Scottish Women in Tech

New research has highlighted a 30% increase in the number of women pursuing careers in Scotland’s digital technology sector.

The number of women working in Scotland’s tech industry has risen from 18% to 23.4% over the past two years, according to the ONS Annual Population Survey.

Skills Development Scotland announced these promising findings on Ada Lovelace Day, a day of recognition for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Report Highlights Pentagon Cybersecurity Failings (10th October)

Pentagon Cybersecurity USAThe US Department of Defense (DoD) is underprepared and at great risk of cybersecurity threats, a new report suggests.

The DoD currently plans to spend more than $1.66 trillion to develop a series of new weapons systems, however, the Government Accountability Office report highlights shocking cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity, the office says, is not a main priority for the DoD despite repeated warnings for a number of years. The GAO has raised concerns over weapon systems security and suggests that US military weapons, including missile systems and drones, are vulnerable to attacks aimed at seizing control

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

In Case You Missed It…

Uber Workers Strike (9th October)

For more than 24-hours on Tuesday, Uber drivers went on strike in the UK. Employees of the multinational ride-hailing firm have complained that statutory workers rights have still not been implemented – despite a court ruling two years ago.

Drivers gained the support of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) throughout the strike, with union members refusing to use the app throughout the action.

Uber has not yet implemented the two-year-old ruling as it has launched an appeal. Another hearing is scheduled to take place this month.

The case was brought forward by Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, both members of the IWGB.

Climate Change Catastrophe (8th October)

Earth Climate Change ReportTime could be running out for mankind unless an “unprecedented” response to climate change is made, according to a groundbreaking report.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that climate change goals set in Paris during 2015 discussions are more or less obsolete and that warming must be capped at 1.5C. Based on current estimates, the world could pass this mark as early as the year 2030 and, at the very least, will surpass this tipping point by the early 2050s.

The report was worked on by more than 90 scientists and editors from 40 countries worldwide. Its findings consist of a myriad of scientific references (over 6,000), as well as 133 contributing authors and more than 42,000 expert and government reviews.

In order to stop a climate change catastrophe, the world will need to be carbon neutral by 2050. Carbon dioxide emissions will have to consistently decline from as early as 2020, the report warned.

To begin work on reaching this goal, nations around the world will need to implement “rapid and far-reaching” changes in how we consume energy and use land. City designs and transport infrastructure will need an unprecedented overhaul, it added.

Amazon’s ‘Sexist’ AI Tool Scrapped (10th October)

Amazon Sexist AI

A Reuters investigation found that e-commerce giant Amazon has scrapped an algorithm in the test phase due to its sexist tendencies.

The AI system was in the training process, which was based on data submitted by applicants over a 10-year period. A significant portion of these applications were from men, the report claimed.

Staff members working on the project told reports that the system had essentially taught itself that male candidates were a preferable option when identifying candidates.

Due to the high volume of male CV data, the systems started to penalise CVs, which included the word “women”, Reuters claimed. The programme was edited in order to make it neutral to this term, however, over time the system proved it was extremely unreliable and biased.

The project was eventually abandoned.

Chinese ‘Spy’ Captured by US Agents

Chinese Spy US An alleged Chinese spy has been charged by US authorities for attempting to steal secrets from aviation and aerospace firms.

Yanjun Xu, reported to be a senior-ranking officer at the Chinese Ministry of State Security, was tracked down and detained in Belgium. He has since been extradited to the US to face a number of accusations, which include targeting US-based engine suppliers.

The Washington Post reported that Xu was lured to Belgium by US agents and has been operating for nearly five years.

John Demers, Assistant US Attorney General for National Security, said this is is not an isolated incident, and that Xu’s actions are part of a larger Chinese espionage policy.

“It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense,” Demers commented. “We cannot tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower.”


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