With another working week coming to an end, we at IndianWeb2.com bring to you the top 10 things that happened in the tech world this week.
Software giant Infosys made headlines this week when it confirmed that the company has “released” 8,000-9,000 employees in the past one year because of automation of lower-end jobs. The released employees are now working on more advanced projects, so it’s not that automation or AI has stolen their jobs but the scenario is surely transforming.
Infosys is currently releasing about 2,000 people every quarter as a part of its Automation, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning adaptation drive. Though it is training the released employees in special courses in order to help them in their new assignments.
According to a research report released by Infosys itself, as much as 85 per cent companies plan to train employees about the benefits and use of AI, and 80 percent of companies replacing roles with AI technologies will retrain or redeploy displaced employees.
A recent report named “Virtual Experiences Can Replace Reality”published by global computer company Oracle has put forth some interesting research about the upcoming marketing trends we could see in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) startups. The report, which involved taking a survey of approximately 800 companies in total, states that 78 per cent of companies interviewed are considering to offer virtual reality experiences to their customers by the end of year 2020.
According to Oracle’s report, about 40 per cent of the companies surveyed stated that a vast majority of their customers prefer gathering the information for themselves rather than contacting the company directly. The only time they contact the company’s customer service is when they’re considering purchasing the product.
Apart from VR, the other comparatively newer technology that is talked about in the report is chatbots. According to statistics revealed by the report, about 80 per cent of the companies surveyed are interested in making use of chatbots within a period of next 4 years so as to take their customer service to another level.
In order to provide the Indian youth a platform to ideate, create and make the best use of the Internet and connected devices, Invest India, an investment promotion and facilitation agency of the Government of India has joined hands with Reliance Group’s IOT venture UNLIMIT to launch the country’s first-ever Internet of Things (IoT) contest — interThrone.
The contest will feature five categories in three stages (Ideation, Concept & Research and Prototype) and will run over a period of six months.
interThrone will be playing the role of an incubator for young turks and technocrats participating in the contest and help them in building their IoT businesses by providing guidance of several industry experts and stalwarts. The contest will also involve institutional and individual investors, who will evaluate the submitted ideas and invest in the winning projects.
IT industry analyst firm CompTI in its IT Industry Outlook 2017 says that though the emergent technologies are going to have a good run in coming years, but they will be facing a strong opposition/resistance from some of the most oldest and pervasive problems of the industry: less inclination towards security issues, lack of qualified people, and whether or not they represent solutions still looking out for a good problem.
A big hurdle being faced by emergent technologies is the lack of good expertise. The CompTIA analysis finds out that all the emergent technologies have a hard time in finding the right people with the right skills. “Finding workers with expertise in emerging tech fields” acquired the top place on the firm’s report on list of “factors contributing to a more challenging hiring landscape in 2017.” The second and third rank were acquired by “insufficient pool of talent in locale” and “competing with other tech firms.”
The week saw Google rolling out an update for its Android app which makes it drastically easier to search the world wide web with a spotty internet connection. The update enable the Google app to provide users whose search fail midway due to a spotty network to get their results as soon as a connection is available, meaning they can resume the search when the connection is available once again with just a single click/tap.
With the new update, the search results get saved as soon as they are retrieved, even in the scenarios when the user loses the connection instantly after pressing the search button or goes into an airplane mode.
For people concerned if the update will lead to increasing data charges and decreasing battery life, don’t worry at all. According to Sharad, Product Manager, Google, the feature will most definitely not be draining out the user’s battery as by getting streamlined search results pages, Google had made sure that the feature has minimal impacts on the user’s data usage.
Tata Elxsi, which is a design company part of the Tata group, has applied for permission from Bengaluru authorities to test an autonomous car on the roads of the city.
Tata Elxsi isn’t an autonomous car built from the scratch. In fact, the design firm has repurposed two sedans, including one manufactured by Tata Motors itself, and assembled and adjusted them with a range of sensors and cameras to make them into autonomous cars. The repurposed cars have already had a successful spin around a facility on the outskirts of Bengaluru city.
According to Tata Elxsi’s head of marketing Nitin Pai’s statement to the Business Standard, the company’s main objective is to come up with an autonomous car framework that combines sensors, cameras and communications between vehicles and infrastructure, which could then be made available to the automotive industry all around the world
The week saw social-networking giant Twitter selling Fabric, a division it conceived in the year 2014 with an aim of enabling developers to create better mobile apps, to tech giant Google. Though the financials of the deal haven’t been disclosed yet, the Fabric team and technology will be soon joining Google’s Developer Products Group to work with the Firebase team.
According to details unveiled so far, Fabric, Crashlytics, Answers, and all the other related products will continue to operate as normal — the only difference being who will be maintaining them with Twitter in the short-term and Google thereafter.
A team of researchers have been successful in using mobile phone ‘case’ to detect cancer-related mutations in DNA for the first time. By making use of a microscope attached to a mobile phone it was possible for the molecular scientists to diagnose problems with tumours. The team of international biologists behind the discovery said that it involved “next-generation” DNA sequencing and called it a “new milestone for mobile-phone-based biomolecular analysis and diagnostics”.
According to the research paper, the device can be used to genotype cancer patient biopsies directly in situ. The camera was used to analyse cells and tissues that had been removed from the human body and preserved for study. Tests were conducted in secured chambers in a lab.
The week saw tech giant Google doing some major changes in its open-source release of Tilt Brush Toolkit, which includes Python scripts and a Unity SDK for exporting Tilt Brush projects. By allowing the users to use Tilt Brush sketches in Unity itself with the same materials, shaders, and even the audio responses from the Tilt Brush app, the tech giant is specifically highlighting the Unity integration.
Amazon recently earned itself a patent for a highway network that manages self-driving experience and explains how can autonomous cars navigate reversible lanes. Since reversible lanes lead to a change in direction of traffic with an overhead signal, they often prove to be a potential disaster zone for self-driving cars that haven’t yet been programmed to understand those signals.
In the patent, Amazon highlights a highway network that can communicate with self-driving vehicles so they can adjust to the change in traffic flow, which is specifically very important for self-driving vehicles traveling across state lines onto new roads with unfamiliar traffic laws.