Areas like virtual reality, self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence matured from seemingly distant concepts into tangible products that will eventually upend the ways people live and work. Amid all of this excitement, shares of artificial intelligence companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook each outperformed the Nasdaq Composite benchmark in 2016. Not all AI stocks performed as swimmingly, though. And more importantly, what does this mean for each of these artificial intelligence stocks heading in 2017? Baidu is in the midst of conforming to new, tougher standards for its search results that the Chinese government mandated earlier this year after the death of a Chinese student sparked a national uproar surrounding shady online advertising practices among pseudo-healthcare companies.
In global terms, Europe's information and communications technology (ICT) industry is small, overshadowed by the massive software industry and the extensive electronics industry in East Asia. But it does have some world-class companies, such as telecom equipment providers Nokia and Ericsson, online music platform Spotify, e-commerce company Zalando, enterprise software provider SAP, games developer Supercell (now owned by Tencent), embedded processor designer ARM (now owned by Softbank) and Skype (now owned by Microsoft). Moreover, some of the region's telecom groups, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Orange, and Telefónica, are major multinationals with operations spanning several continents. Although it has only one of the top 10 artificial intelligence (AI) research institutionsa (CNRS in France) and no major cloud service providers or Internet platforms on the scale of Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, Europe does innovate in ICT. Whereas Europe's tech industry is cash-strapped, non-tech companies in Europe have more cash holdings than their counterparts in the U.S. or China.b
The coming Internet of Things revolution will see billions of devices, from fridges to traffic lights, connected and controllable from afar. For Kevin Ashton, the tech entrepreneur and visionary who coined the term'Internet of Things', the risk of devices being hijacked is exponentially greater than any cybersecurity threat we've encountered before. "You can change the real world using the Internet of Things," explains Ashton, who was in New Zealand last week to address the GS1 eCommerce Innovation Summit. "If you are malicious, it isn't just about taking all the money out of someone's bank account. You can flip cars, you can shut down power stations, you can potentially make things explode.
Cybersecurity was the virtual elephant in the showroom at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Attendees of the annual tech trade show, organized by the Consumer Technology Association, relished the opportunity to experience a future filled with delivery drones, autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality and a plethora of "Internet of things" devices, including fridges, wearables, televisions, routers, speakers, washing machines and even robot home assistants. Given the proliferation of connected devices--already, there are estimated to be at least 6.4 billion--there remains the critical question of how to ensure their security. The cybersecurity challenge posed by the internet of things is unique. The scale of connected devices magnifies the consequences of insecurity.
Salesforce has announced a series of new updates to its Commerce Cloud platform which aims to encourage organisations to'go beyond eCommerce sites and modernise every shopping experience.' The move includes adding artificial intelligence and visual search capability into APIs and developer services with the goal of giving an insightful experience across various customer touchpoints. The company quoted research from Deloitte which argued that retailers use almost 40 disparate systems on average to manage customer engagement. This naturally includes the usual suspects of call centre, mobile, email and social. Yet the need to catch a potential sale on one channel may mean it all goes pear-shaped on another.