Newsletter #29: Tesla's AI Day unveiled why they are more than just an electric car company. Plus President Biden calls in BigTech to fight Cybercrime. And TikTok make another move into eComm, and much much more
Here's what you'll find in this week's issue of Wiser!
- Elon Musk and Tesla's AI Day
- President Biden calls BigTech together to fight cybercrime
- TikTok, Shopify and social commerce
- Who's Who in Fintech? (you'll never guess who!)
- Google's AI search engine tool
- Facebook and YouTube tackle fake news
- The drone capital of the world (is in Australia)
- And more...
Tesla's AI Day
Tesla's AI Day didn't fail to surprise!
Love him or not, but the real-world Tony Stark, aka Elon Musk, has a way of getting the world to pay attention, even if he does say things that are often quite bonkers.
Our cars are "semi-sentient robots on wheels".
Elon Musk, AI Day
The latest event was Tesla's AI Day on August 19th (in 2019 we had Autonomy Day and last year it was Battery Day). The event was live-streamed on YouTube in front of a small group of invited guests.
AI Day was a 3-hour demonstration of the Tesla roadmap in which Musk and Team Tesla explained how they were going to make Tesla "much more than just an electric car company".
A key theme was talent and there's no doubt that Musk used this as a recruiting event for the best and the very brightest AI talent (which I can attest to because they just hired Alberto Chierici, a friend of mine and a super-smart fellow who is about to release a book any day now on AI. I've seen it and it's a must-read.)
The attention-grabbing moment of the day was the announcement of the Tesla Bot. This is a humanoid robot that Musk called "the next generation of automation". Which he said as he stood next to a real person dressed head to foot in white lycra with a black crash helmet on pretending to be a Bot!
But there was a very serious point to this part of AI day because the Tesla Bot will leverage the software and technology used to control a Tesla self-driving car.
Tesla also unveiled details of Dojo, the world's fastest AI supercomputer; their verticalisation strategy and the making of their own chips; and insights into how they are using video imaging tech to take control of the wheel in Tesla's self-driving cars.
To read more about Tesla's AI Day, go to the long-form report here.
This Premium Content analysis includes videos, charts and images, and numerous links to related material.
President Biden calls BigTech together to fight cybercrime
Cybersecurity is a global and growing problem. It is estimated to be a $153 billion market growing at a CAGR of 12%. Insurer AIG says that ransomware claims have increased 150% since 2018. Cyber Security Ventures predict it could cost the global economy over $10 trillion a year by 2025.
To tackle the increasing threat and disruption resulting from it, President Biden called a meeting this week at the White House. He invited more than 20 bosses from BigTech, including Microsoft, IBM, Alphabet, and Apple as well as Travellers Insurance, energy company Southern Co and banking giant JP Morgan.
The focus of the meeting was to discuss cybersecurity, ransomware and critical infrastructure... and how to protect the US from it.
President Biden opened the meeting by saying, "the reality is, most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can't meet this challenge alone," as he called for help from BigTech to tackle the growing issue.
The President went on, "I've invited you here today because you have the power and the capacity and the responsibility to raise the bar on cybersecurity."
BigTech also has the motivation given that cybersecurity is big business for them. $10 billion a year in annual revenue for Microsoft, for example. (According to Statista, the US Government budget for cybersecurity is $18.78 billion.)
Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise and they are affecting all corners of the economy, from consumers and companies to government operations and critical infrastructure.
Notable cyberattacks include:
- The SolarWinds attack last year undoubtedly shook Washington after it was exposed that agents working on behalf of the Russian government had undetected access to the inner workings of the U.S. government for months. (SolarWinds is a software company that used the password "solarwinds123" to apply software updates. Hardly surprising that someone managed to figure that one out!)
- In March, Microsoft reported that Chinese hackers had gained access to email accounts through vulnerabilities in its Exchange Server email software. The hackers obtained information from defence contractors, schools, retailers. The European Banking Authority also said it had been hit.
- Earlier this year the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline saw the company shutting down the east coast pipeline. The hacking group DarkSide claimed responsibility, which the FBI confirmed. DarkSide took nearly 100GB of data from Colonial before the pipeline was shut down and threatened to publish it online and lock up Colonial's machines unless the company paid up.
- A couple of weeks ago The Washington Post broke the story of the Pegasus Project, which I covered in the Wiser! Newsletter. This was a plot by authoritarian governments to install spyware on the mobile devices of targetted individuals to spy on them.
In this 2021 data breaches report by Verizon, they found;
- 85% of data breaches involved a human element,
- 36% of breaches involved phishing, up 11% from 2020,
- 10% of breaches involved ransomware, doubling last year's frequency.
Cyber research firm Coveware report that the "average downtime for a company during a ransomware attack is 19 days." And even if they pay up, there's no guarantee that that's the end of the matter! Read this report from Coveware. It's fascinating reading as they detail the behaviour of hackers after they've stolen a firm's data.
After the President's meeting this week, the BigTech CEOs made a host of commitments;
- Microsoft: $20 billion over 5 years to advance cybersecurity solutions, with $150 million to help US Government agencies upgrade protections.
- Google: $10 billion over the next five years to strengthen cybersecurity, including a promise to help 100,000 people in the U.S. earn Google certificates in "in-demand skills including data privacy and security."
- IBM: Training 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years as well as other commitments, such as continuing its research into how to preserve encryption that may become threatened by quantum computing.
- Apple: Work with suppliers "to drive the mass adoption of multi-factor authentication, security training, vulnerability remediation, event logging, and incident response."
To read the article on a standalone page GO HERE.
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TikTok's strategic push into e-commerce
TikTok is supper addictive, as the 1.3 billion monthly active users (and I) can testify.
Its strength is in the algorithms that use the 15-30 second videos to figure you out really quickly, and then feed you a never-ending diet of video shorts that tickle your fancy. TikTok captures more "signals" about you than any other social media platform, and in double-quick time.
Think of it this way. If you have a Netflix or Spotify account, you'll be familiar with the way that the platforms work out what you like and make recommendations of what to watch or listen to next. Personally, I love my Discover weekly playlist on Spotify and the way that they find music I love but have never heard before!
But, you need to watch a whole show or series on Netflix or listen to hours of music on Spotify before the streaming platforms will know if you would like more of the same. They collect the signals that tell them what you like/don't like...but slowly.
Whereas on TikTok, they will figure you out in about 15 minutes, or less. TikTok is an order of magnitude quicker and smarter at knowing what you will and won't like.
Which makes TikTok a perfect place for e-commerce.
Especially when you can exploit influencers like 16-year-old Charli d'Amelio and her 123m followers. Her videos have been Liked 9.8 billion times, which means they've been watched many more times than that.
TikTok is moving big time into the e-commerce space and they are building a feature so that its users can buy direct from within the app. The latest to take advantage of TikTok's attention-grabbing addiction is the Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify.
Shopify has partnered with TikTok so that merchants can add a shopping tab to their TikTok business profiles. This is the latest example of the Social Commerce segment of e-commerce which is forecast to record $36 billion in sales this year. And account for 5% of retail sales by 2025! Source: Reuters
To read this article on a standalone page, go here.
Who's Who in Fintech?
Influencer relationship management software provider Onalytica has published the latest issue of the Who's Who in Fintech report...and I'm in it!
Here are the Top 10 by follower numbers;
1- Evan Kirstel (360k followers)
2- Lex Sokolin (320k followers)
3- Jim Marous (245k followers)
4- Efi Pylarinou (201k followers)
5- Linas Beliunas (182k followers)
6 -Sally Eaves (152k followers)
7- Spiros Margaris (122k followers)
8- Rick Huckstep (110k followers) 👈 ME! 👈
9- Brett King (96k followers)
10- Chris Skinner (88k followers)
Here's a tweet thread I posted that lists the Top 50 with links to their Twitter and Linkedin profiles.
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Snippets of Insight and Information
Snippets of Insight and Information
Google's new powerful Search tool has drawn criticism from the AI community
Google wants your search queries to look less like a Jeopardy! answer and more like a chat with your friend, filled with the kind of slang and shorthand only a human would understand. To get there, they're using a powerful AI tool called MUM (multitask unified model). It's all to do with learned biases. Read more here. Source: Emerging Tech Brew
Facebook reveal what American users look at
Facebook has published a report showing the most widely viewed content in the US. The headline is that material that creates emotion rather than engagement gets viewed the most. Facebook claims that 57% of material is from family and friends. However, Facebook also points out that "most of what people see on Facebook is uniquely personalized to them.", which could be interpreted cynically as a reflection of its targeted ad based business model. This is Facebook's latest PR attempt to distance itself from the flake it is getting as a messenger of conspiracy theories and fake news. Source: Facebook,
YouTube removes 1 million videos for COVID-19 misinformation
Meanwhile, YouTube has revealed the scale of Covid-19 misinformation on the platform. YouTube take down about 10 million videos a quarter for violating its policies and have just shared that they have taken down a million videos for Covid misinformation since Febrary 2020. Source: TechCrunch
Logan, Australia: The drone delivery capital of the world
Google's parent company Alphabet has a drone delivery business called Wing. They have just announced that Wing has delivered 10,000 cups of coffee, 1,700 snack packs, and 1,200 roasted chickens to customers in Logan, Australia. Wing, which has been operating in Australia since 2019, said it expects to make its 100,000th delivery in the next few days. Source: Wing
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Just the Headlines
Messenger celebrates its 10th anniversary with new features: poll games, word effects, contact sharing and birthday gifting via Facebook Pay.
11% of American adults now buy or trade cryptocurrencies.
ApplePay accounted for 92% of US mobile wallet debit transactions in 2020.
UK to diverge from GDPR in a post-Brexit overhaul of privacy rules.
T-Mobile wins the annual Fastest Mobile Network test.
Source: PC Mag
The history of Google's messaging apps.
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