The world of tech had another stupendous run this week. If your busy schedule kept you away from it, here’s IndianWeb2 giving you a quick lowdown on the top ten things that happened in the tech world these past seven days.

1) Nestlé, Unilever, Walmart and Other Food Giants Partner with IBM Blockchain To Tackle Food Contamination

IBM, which has acquired a unique status in the world of technology and innovation, has brought together a group of companies from across the global food supply chain. The consortium is considering adopting the tech giant’s blockchain technology as a measure to put a much required end to contaminated food making its way to consumers.

While food is something that each human being requires for energy, maintaining life, or stimulating growth, when the same food is consumed in a contaminated condition, it can lead to severe health conditions, even death.


In a shocking piece of stats, World Health Organization has revealed, that the world sees one in 10 people falling ill due to contaminated food and about one in 400,000 dying due to the same. IBM is certain that these number can be curtailed with proper data availability and traceability of contaminated food.

Esteemed names in the global food industry like Nestlé, Unilever, Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Tyson Foods and Walmart have all come together to go on an exciting journey with IBM to search for new areas within the supply chain that can take advantage of the perks that Blockchain technology has to offer.

IBM Blockchain, the enterprise offering by the global software giant which debuted earlier this year in March, will help the consortium in tracing contaminated food products to its source in just a short interval of time.

2) Google, Walmart Launch New E-Commerce Venture

Global tech biggie Google and American multinational retailing corporation Walmart have decided to combine their expertise together and launch a new e-commerce venture that will make the retailer’s products available on the internet giant’s online shopping mall, Google Express.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the partnership includes enabling voice-ordered purchases from Walmart on Google’s virtual assistant. The partnership also give Walmart an opportunity to challenge rival Amazon.com Inc.’s growing dominance in the global e-commerce space.

The partnership, which is expected to go live in late September, will add hundreds of thousands of WalMart items to Google Express.

3) The World’s Top AI Companies are Pleading For A Ban on Killer Robots

It’s happening and it’s happening sooner than anyone of us would have ever predicted. The era of killer robots taking frontier in battlefields is looming upon mankind and this has got many people in the tech world extremely worried. In order to get their concern across people who have some authority to push the timeline of this event as far as possible, some of the most popular names in the world’s top artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics world have come together and drafted an open letter seeking a ban on killer robots or lethal autonomous weapons.

In a recent development, the world’s top AI and robotics companies have utilised the platform of International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) in Melbourne to collectively urge the United Nations to ban killer robots, or autonomous weapons systems in battlefields.

The world’s biggest artificial intelligence conference saw the unveiling of an open letter signed by 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries around the globe. The letter was written in the light of the UN recently delaying meeting until later this year to discuss the topic of robots in warfare.

4) Amazon Has Developed An AI Fashion Designer

At Amazon’s San Francisco-based research lab, Lab126, a team has been successful in developing an algorithm that is capable of learning about a particular style of fashion simply from images, and then create new items in similar styles right from the beginning. One can say that the algorithm acts as a simple AI fashion designer. They use a cutting-edge tool called a generative adversarial network, or GAN, which were developed by a researcher on the Google Brain team. The GAN consists of two deep neural networks operating in tandem to learn efficiently from raw data. It internalises the properties of a particular style simply by looking at lots of examples, and it can then apply that style to an existing item of clothing. The system might not be as much sophisticated as the fashion industry wants it to be, but it definitely hints towards a revolution in the making.

5) Artificial Intelligence Will Not Eliminate Jobs in Asia: MIT Review

While people all around the world are counting days to when they will lose their job to automation, a recent report in MIT Review has a different point of view to offer. According to the report, when it comes to Asia, AI will not results in any job cuts in the region, in fact it will help economise Asia’s human talent.

In one of its most recent reports, Asia’s AI agenda: the Deep Dive Editions, MIT Technology Review re-examined the latest technology, venture capital, government and enterprise strategy trends that are coming together in the continent to spearhead the wave of innovation and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It also highlighted that how some specific Asian markets are cashing on the aforementioned trends and racing their way to success.

MIT based their report on a survey they had conducted specifically of Asia-based senior executives (including human capital professionals) to understand the impact AI and robotics is having on Asia’s bursting business landscape.

According to the report, as against the common presumption that AI will lead to humans becoming jobless, AI might actually help in enhancing and redefining far more capabilities, and increase the productivity of all companies and workers.

6) Facebook, Amazon and Google Are Bigger Threat To Banks Than Fintech Startups, Says WEF

A recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report has taken everyone in the financial services sector by surprise. According to the report, ‘Beyond Fintech: A Pragmatic Assessment of Disruptive Potential in Financial Services‘, as against the common belief that the Fintech sector is going to be the endgame for banks, it is the technology giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google that pose a bigger threat to the longevity of banks and their services.

The report claims that these technology big weights are slowly but steadily hollowing out the value proposition of the financial institutions by carrying out more and more of their core functions, even as banks and insurers are really working hard to outdo them.

Experts believe that the coming together of technology firms and banks is definitely good for innovation, but the banks are taking a huge risk tempting technology firms into the sector as if they decide to enter the financial services market directly, the banks will find it tragically hard to compete with them.

7) India Sets Up A Task Force On Artificial Intelligence

Indian government seems to have finally woken up to realise the potential Artificial Intelligence can serve in the development of the Indian subcontinent. In a recent development, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has set up Task Force with a mission of exploring possibilities to leverage the opportunities that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has to offer for development across various fields.

Called the ‘task force on AI for India’s Economic Transformation,’ the group will be working on coming up with concrete and implementable recommendations for industry, research and government institutions.

The setting up of the task force comes in at a time when the Modi government is working on reviewing some of the major ages-old manufacturing and industrial policies in the country.

8) India, China and US Are Far Ahead With Anyone Else In AI and Robot Revolution

In what could be considered as a moment of immense pride for the Indian subcontinent, a top tech industry executive has said that when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI) the country is in the same league as United States and China.

In a recent interview to CNNMoney, Malcolm Frank, head of strategy of Cognizant, a world- leading professional services firm, shared that in his professional opinion, United States, China and India are way ahead of everyone else in the AI game and are currently the top three contenders for the numero uno throne. He said, “I think it’s three horses in the race, and that’s probably the wrong metaphor because they are all going to win,” he said. “They are just going to win differently.”

He further added that not only are these three countries making AI progress, but there are other nations too who are making substantial contributions in the field. He named London, Stockholm and Estonia as some of the AI hotspots who have great potential and where AI progress is taking place at a good pace.

9) Entire Database of India’s Aadhaar Is In Hands of America’s CIA Spies, Reveals Wikileaks

Whistle-blower site WikiLeaks published reports on Thursday that claimed to “expose” that US-based Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is using tools devised by US-based technology provider Cross Match Technologies for cyber spying that may have comprised entire database of India’s Aadhaar. The claim was dismissed by official sources in India, which IndianWeb2 believes is run and managed by corrupt officials already.

WikiLeaks’ documents say that the US spy agency used ExpressLane, a tool devised by an agency called Cross Match Technologies — for the practice of spying.

Wikileaks further states that — under Aadhaar system Indian government is using “Cross Match” bio-metric system for storing data of its citizens and CIA had been using the same technology to access the unique identification data of Indian citizens that have enrolled for Aadhaar. And, the company (Cross Match) received certification for India’s massive UID national identity card biometric system now called as Aadhaar.

10) 18-Year-Old Launches India’s First Print Newspaper Aggregator ‘Paperboy’

Bangalore based Jonna Venkata Karthik Raja the 18 year old Founder of Paperboy is ecstatic as his 15 months of toil has finally come to fruition. Paperboy is a mobile app that features the widest range of Indian newspapers and magazines that is uploaded on real time on to its platform. Paperboy is a language agnostic platform and will hence feature vernacular publications which is a crucial part of Indian news consumption habits. Paperboy aims to appeal to the global readership base of newspapers and envisions to becoming the ultimate platform to browse, buy and read each one’s local news on the go.

Paperboy is an online news discovery and distribution application that aggregates newspapers and magazines accessible on any platform. It is a marketplace for consumers who prefer print media over digital media. Paperboy was launched with vision to provide readers with first-hand information on the current happenings in their city/town, on their favourite local daily, in any part of the world. The idea was born from a simple idea of the importance of newspapers in all our lives.

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