This week in the world of Tech and Telecoms

World of Tech and Telecoms
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, stepped down from their day-to-day duties at the company. It’s the end of an era for both Google and the tech industry as a whole.
  • Facebook’s New Product Experimentation Team (NPE Team, for short) is up to. It’s experimenting with podcasts, travel services, and newsletter tools. That is the future of Facebook, apparently.
  • Instagram now requires birth dates from all users as it tries to protect young people from the dark side of the internet.
  • The autonomous vehicle start-up supported by the Chinese tech giant Alibaba has applied to test self-driving cars without real human backup drivers in California. That means we could have real self-driving cars within the next 100 years.
  • Facebook has built a chatbot that teaches employees what to say if friends and family ask difficult questions about the company over the holidays. It’s called Liam.
  • The Lotus Evija will be the first all-British electric hypercar.
    • The company says it will be the most powerful production car in existence with the capability of accelerating from 0-186mph (0-300km/h) in “significantly” less than nine seconds, and with a maximum speed of more than 200mph. The car will go in to production next year but only 130 will be manufactured.
  • Transport police in Australia have rolled out artificial intelligence cameras to identify drivers using their phones on the road.
  • South Korean Telecommunications giant KT Corporation, in partnership with China Mobile announced their development of a blockchain system that would allow the two companies to compute roaming charges for user more conveniently. The system is designed to self-analyse the roaming data from the two companies and process the charges on a real-time basis.  The Korea Herald reported on the 5th December 2019 that KT is planning to debut 5g roaming capabilities in China later this month. 

This is amazing news for the telecoms industry who stand to make $1 billion of added value in blockchain services alone by 2023. This week also saw France announcing that it would launch a CBDC (central bank digital currency) in the first quarter of 2020. The governor of Banque de France revealed that the CBDC would be limited to institutional use initially. He also revealed just how crucial it is for France to launch its CBDC quickly, believing that this could make it the global digital currency hub. With China in advanced stages in its CBDC journey, France hopes to beat the Asian giant to the launch and become the global benchmark for other countries which intend to launch CBDCs.