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10 Things in Tech You Need To Know Today [01– 05 May]

As the first week of May comes to an end, we at IndianWeb2 give you a quick rundown about the top 10 things that happened in the tech world this week.

1) AI To Give More Pain Than Happiness, Says Alibaba Founder

While everyone is gushing about Artificial intelligence and the promise it holds for the future, Chinese millionaire and founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma has attempted to pull the world’s focus towards one of the most severe impacts that technologies like AI are going to have on the mankind. While addressing an entrepreneurship conference in China about the job disruptions that would be created as a result of automation and the internet, Ma shared that he believes that three decades down the line Artificial intelligence and other technologies will be causing people “more pain than happiness.”

According to Jack Ma, social conflicts in the next thirty years will result on having an impact on all sorts of industries and walks of life. He added that a key social conflict will be the rise of artificial intelligence and longer life expectancy, which will further result in an ageing workforce fighting it out with each other for fewer jobs.

2) Facebook Silently Launches Express Wi-Fi in India

Social networking giant Facebook has finally launched its ambitious Express Wi-Fi project in the Indian subcontinent. The service that lets users to avail internet by logging on to Wi-Fi networks being hosted by local partners, for a small fee can drastically help improve India’s internet situation. According to the most recent statistics available, India currently has just about 450-465 million internet users in a huge population of over 1.311 billion (2015).

The launch comes just months after it was revealed that the Mark Zuckerberg led company had been secretly testing the service in over a 100 rural villages all across India since 2015, where the users had to come to a particular community area in order to access the internet.

The project is currently live across nearly 700 hotspots in four Indian states of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Gujarat. In order to avail the service, all that the users have to do is purchase physical or online vouchers that will cost them anywhere between Rs. 10-20 for a day or Rs. 200-300 for a month, and are easily available in about 500 brick-and-mortar stores in the aforementioned states.

3) 2 ex-Google Employees Are Launching Humu, A Machine Learning Company That Wants To ‘Make Work Better’

Laszlo Bock, who was until a year ago head of human resources at Google announced to the world on Monday that he has decided to take the entrepreneurship plunge and has already started working on his company, Humu, a startup that plans on using science and machine learning to improve our jobs. He’s joined in the cause by Google’s ex-director of engineering Wayne Crosby.

While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it has been highly speculated that Bock has named Humu most likely after the Hawaii state fish Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. The startup could be seen as an extension of Bock’s book Work Rules! and his experience from contributing towards shaping the work culture at tech giant Google.

Though not much information has been provided yet about how Humu is exactly going to work or when will it launch, but in a recent LinkedIn post Bock gave the world a little hint of what he’s trying to achieve. He wrote that there should be a way to ensure that employees always have good days at work, and not one where people see it just as a job: “We should be constantly learning and growing, and surrounded by people who are doing the same. We all have good days and bad days, but what would work be like if every day were like our best days? Imagine what we could achieve.”

4) India Jokes To Have All-Electric Car Fleet by 2030 By Going in Line with LED Bulb Scheme

In what would appear as a really far-fetched dream, India’s power minister Piyush Goyal recently announced that the government is aiming to have an all electric-car fleet on Indian roads by the year 2030.

Discussing his plan of action for making the 2030 aim possible, Goyal said that the government could initially handhold the electric vehicle industry for 2-3 years and help it stabilise and after that the industry can take it from there and build on the success trajectory. He also gave the example of Indian automobile major, Maruti, which netted a whopping 30 per cent profit this time, and explained how the government had initially supported the car maker in the country, which eventually led to the birth of the big Indian automotive industry.

While we all are wondering how Goyal is planning to make this possible, he seems to have everything figured. “We are going to introduce electric vehicles in a very big way. We are going to make electric vehicles self- sufficient like Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA). The idea is that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country,” said Goyal at the CII Annual Session 2017 in New Delhi recently.

5) You Can Now Use Google’s AI to Add Voice Commands To Your Raspberry Pi

Tech giant Google has joined hands with the famous Raspberry Pi creators as a part of its ongoing initiative to make its AI tools accessible to digital enthusiasts all around. Voice HAT is a new hardware accessory that adds stereo microphones to the credit card-sized computer, and gives anyone the power to make use of Google’s Assistant to control all the Pi-powered projects.

With a Raspberry Pi and a Voice HAT, Google Assistant has the capability of answering all the general queries, including weather Updates and cricket scores. But, it can also be used to add natural voice commands to other DIY projects.

6) India’s Wipro Joins Microsoft, Intel in Blockchain based Alliance

Bangalore-based Indian IT giant Wipro recently announced that it has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) as a founding member. With this, the Indian IT services and consulting powerhouse has joined an esteemed list of companies such as PMorgan Chase & Co, Microsoft, Intel Corp and more than two dozen other companies/banks that had came together late February earlier this year to form the Alliance to develop standards and technology that will make it easier for enterprises to use blockchain code Ethereum in the light of growing interest by large firms all around the world to move toward distributed ledger systems.

7) Microsoft HoloLens Could Help Surgeons Operate On Your Spine

Scopis, a surgical tech company recently launched a Microsoft HoloLens program for spine surgery. The program is one of the many examples of how mixed and augmented reality is being used for industrial, military, and medical work for decades now. The Scopis program provides a hands-free display and an overlay that indicates exactly where the surgeon needs to operate.

8) SpaceX Plans To Launch First Internet-providing Satellites In 2019

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is planning to put a network of internet-providing satellites around planet Earth by the end of year 2019. The company is aiming to get a prototype satellite into space this year, before launching another in the early months of 2018. These prototypes will be used to demonstrate that the custom-built craft are capable of providing internet for Earth dwellers, but assuming the tests go successfully, SpaceX plans to start building the network properly in 2019. The company will launch additional satellites in phases until 2024.

9) Facebook Is Working To Debut Premium TV Shows Next Month

According to a recent article from Business Insider, social networking giant Facebook is reportedly planning to make its television debut next month. According to the report, the company is currently in the midst of developing around 24 shows and plans to premiere the same in mid-June this year. The report said the the Mark Zuckerberg led company is working on two tiers of show: a small number of longer, prestige shows on the order of House of Cards, and more digestible 5- to 10-minute shows that can be added to the Facebook app’s video tab daily.

In February this year, Zuckerberg revealed that he wants users to come to the service for “episodic content.” The whole television initiative is a part of the company's initiative to take a large bite out of the billions of dollars that are spent on television advertising ever year.

10) Microsoft's Bing bots Will Let You Chat With Your Search Results

According to a report in The Verge, software giant Microsoft is working towards allowing developers to add bots to the company's Bing search results. The report revealed that the giant has been testing this functionality for at least a month now, and the testing was mainly limited to Seattle, US. The company is considering to expand this further at its Build developer event slated to take place next week.

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