[TL;DR] Tech news that you shouldn’t miss this 06/08
Every evening, the best of Tech news is in the TL; DR of FrenchWeb.
TL; DR (invariable acronym) (21st century): initials of “too long; didn’t read“,
either literally “too long ; not read“
1. (Internet) To express that the message that was sent was not read because it was too long.
2. (Internet) To express that the following is a summary of the text too long.
A record fundraising of 14 billion dollars for the Chinese unicorn Ant Financial. Alibaba’s financial subsidiary claims 870 million annual active users worldwide, mainly in China.
Why this is important: With this funding round, Ant Financial plans to accelerate the development of its international activities. The Chinese unicorn hopes to reach 2 billion consumers around the world in the next few years. At the same time, Alibaba’s financial subsidiary wants to focus on B2B financial services to boost its revenues despite the tightening of legislation on mobile payment systems, micro-credit and wealth management by the Chinese authorities. In full expansion, Ant Financial could go public in 2019, listing in both China and Hong Kong, but the Chinese company has not delivered any details on this IPO yet.
Facebook made the posts of 14 million users public by default. The bug affected the network from May 18 to 27. Facebook is in the process of contacting those affected.
Why this is important: Normally when you share a post, Facebook suggests the same audience as the last post. During the bug, this suggestion was automatically set to “public” for some users. Of the 14 million people affected, we do not know the proportion of those who were deceived by the bug and who shared a post without realizing that it was public. Some users may also have noticed that the settings had changed before posting their message. In any case, this is once again proof of the sensitivity of the information shared with Facebook. Many users feel protected by this possibility that they have to choose the audience with which they share their posts.
Google publishes a list of seven ethical principles in artificial intelligence. A post that follows the Maven scandal, a military contract between Google and the Pentagon which had caused more than a dozen resignations.
Why this is important: Even if they are paved with good intentions, these principles remain in the end rather vague. Moreover, in the same post, Sundar Pichai explains that Google intends to continue working with the government and the military in cybersecurity, training, recruitment, search and rescue. He specifies, “we want to be clear that we are not developing AI for weapons“. But finally, the Maven program which concerned unarmed aircraft, did it not respect the principles enumerated above? With this list, Google does not seem to have closed many doors after all. The deal between the Pentagon and Google for the Maven Project was worth $ 9 million.
$ 25 million for Starship Technologies’ autonomous delivery robots. The American company wants to deploy its robots in neighborhoods, businesses and college campuses in the United States and Europe.
Why this is important: Starship Technologies is developing a six-wheeled robot capable of moving autonomously in an urban environment. Its capabilities allow it to deliver small packages and items within a radius of less than 5 kilometers around its home base. As for the delivery time, it is between 5 and 30 minutes. To date, Starship Technologies claims that its robots have traveled more than 160,000 kilometers in around 100 cities in 20 countries around the world. The company works in particular with delivery companies like DoorDash and Postmates to test its delivery robots. In the market for autonomous delivery solutions, the Californian start-up has to face several players, like Nuro and Boxbot.