Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology.

Bike-sharing bikes in Shanghai

Cycling around cities may have been pioneered by the Dutch, but a new high-tech way of hiring bicycles is bidding to bring a pedal power revolution to cities around the world.

The key innovation is the dockless hire bike. Found and unlocked with a few taps on a smartphone, they can be hired for an hour, day, or week – then locked up and left wherever the journey ends, rather than a special docking area.

These now make up the majority of the 18 million self-serve, public-use bikes around the world, in 1,608 cities.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 16th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-44066083

Discussion

1) Is this something you could introduced at your university, and what considerations would you need to make it happen?

2) What other things could be loaned using this system?

Posted by & filed under telecomunications.

Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for cellphone plans, but a new report argues there are good reasons for it.

Published by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), a pro-free-market think-tank, the report takes aim at a 2017 wireless price-comparison study, commissioned by the federal government and completed by consulting firm Nordicity.

The annual study found that — once again — Canada’s cellphone rates rank among the highest out of eight countries surveyed.

MEI claims the study is “simplistic and misleading” because it ignores factors that can inflate prices, such as Canada’s geographical barriers and the investments that Canadian telco have made to provide superior wireless services.

Source: CBC News

Date: May 9th,

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/wireless-prices-cell-phone-plan-canada-1.4652550s2018

Discussion

1) Does it make sense that telecommunications in Canada is more affected by geography than Australia is?

2) Why might Canadian telecoms companies lag behind places like Australia when it comes to investing in infrastructure?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Civil Liberties, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues, microsoft.

Microsoft is launching a $25 million initiative to use artificial intelligence to build better technology for people with disabilities.

CEO Satya Nadella announced the new “AI for Accessibility” effort as he kicked off Microsoft’s annual conference for software developers. The Build conference in Seattle is meant to foster enthusiasm for the company’s latest ventures in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet-connected devices and virtual reality.

Source: The Associated Press

Date: May 9th, 2018

Link: https://apnews.com/73e45d8e5bc544248ff39fac89cd8fce

Discussion

1) The CEO of Microsoft says here  “privacy is a human right.”  What does this mean for people involved with information systems and technology?

2) The CEO of Microsoft also “warned of the dangers of building new technology without ethical principles in mind”.  What does this mean?

Posted by & filed under Drones.

A who’s who of technology and aviation companies won U.S. approval to push the edge of the envelope in drone flights, from testing people’s tolerance for delivery devices hovering over their rooftops to ensuring farmers’ drones won’t hit crop dusters.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: May 9th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-09/drone-tests-from-deliveries-to-farming-unveiled-by-government

Discussion

1) What sort of company could you start that uses drones as the main way to deliver the service or product?

2) How might you run a test and what sorts of questions might you ask to see how people feel about having drones delivering goods and services in a residential neighborhood?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Google.

 

 

Google has unveiled artificial intelligence software that books appointments over the phone on behalf of users by conducting voice-based conversations on their behalf.

Chief executive Sundar Pichai said that Google Duplex would launch as an “experiment” over the coming weeks.

The facility was unveiled at the firm’s annual IO developers conference.

Experts have said that if it works it could give the firm a major advantage over rival virtual assistants.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 9th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44045424

Discussion

1) What sort of company could you build using just this technology?

2) In what ways could you expand the use of this technology?

Posted by & filed under marketing, Research, Twitter.

The data available online is staggering. More than 20% of Americans were using Twitter at the time of the study – and each Tweet is timestamped and geocoded, offering precise information on the time and place that particular terms entered conversations.

The researcher behind the study, Jack Grieve at the University of Birmingham, UK, analysed more than 980 million Tweets in total – consisting of 8.9 billion words – posted between October 2013 and November 2014, and spanning 3,075 of the 3,108 US counties.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 7th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180504-feeling-litt-the-five-hotspots-driving-english-forward

Discussion

1) What sorts of research might you be able to conduct using Twitter feeds?

2) What might be some issues or drawbacks of using Twitter feeds for research?

Posted by & filed under Careers, IT and Politics.

Vikram Rangnekar

For decades, Canada has tried to stop top graduates in the so-called STEM fields of science, tech, engineering and math from heading elsewhere for work, mainly to the US. Have the country’s immigration policies and emerging tech scene – with some help from US politics – managed to compensate for the “brain drain”?

In 2016, after six years in California working as a software engineer at LinkedIn, Vikram Rangnekar was itching to launch a startup.

India-born Rangnekar was eyeing a move to Singapore – where he founded his first startup – or trying somewhere new like Berlin. He couldn’t see himself launching his project in San Francisco with his H-1B visa.

Source: BBC Canada

Date: May 7th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43930491

Discussion

1) “Getting permanent residency, public-funded healthcare and living in the middle of Canada’s tech capital gave me the freedom and courage to explore that option.”  What is it about these things that give someone “courage”?

2) “even as policy makers made moves to attract highly skilled immigrants, there still aren’t enough people to fill the demand.”  It seems clear that there are not enough skilled workers in the tech field.  What are you doing to become “in demand”?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence.

WestJet CEO Ed Sims said he’d like to create a “virtual concierge service” similar to Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Canada’s two largest airlines say artificial intelligence can be a game-changer for aviation by helping to boost revenues, pare costs and provide passengers with a more personalized travel experience.

Air Canada and WestJet are joining airlines around the world by spending undisclosed amounts of money on AI in an effort to harness technology that promises revolutionary advantages for both carriers and passengers.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: May 3rd, 2018

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2018/04/30/canadian-airlines-get-on-board-with-artificial-intelligence-quest.html

Discussion

1) What sorts of things in the airline industry might benefit from the use of AI?

2) Are there any industries where AI is just not going to add value?

Posted by & filed under addiction, Ethical Issues, Google.

When you feel unwell, could Googling your symptoms make you feel sicker? According to a new study, it might.

You have probably heard of the placebo effect: a patient or test subject is given a pill with no medicinal effect, but they end up feeling better because they believed, or were told, that it was a real treatment.

Well, it turns out the placebo effect has an evil twin. Researchers call it the nocebo effect.

“Nocebo is kind of the opposite” of placebo, Dr. Baiju Shah, a senior scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, told The Current‘s Anna Maria Tremonti.

Source: CBC News

Date: May 3rd, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may-2-2018-1.4644450/the-nocebo-effect-is-googling-your-symptoms-making-them-worse-1.4644451

Discussion

1) Are there ways a company could usefully use this “nocebo” effect to influence or change the behaviour of customers?

2) In what other ways can Googling impact how you feel?

Posted by & filed under Women in Tech.

Over the last few decades, Melinda Gates’ philanthropy has taken her to all corners of the globe. But recently she’s come to focus on an issue much closer to home: a dearth of women in tech.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: May 3rd, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-03/how-melinda-gates-is-tackling-tech-s-gender-problem

Discussion

1) What is your program and business school doing to encourage women in tech?

2) What can you do to encourage and support women in tech?