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IBM's Q4 revenue down 6%, eyes growth in 2021

ZDNet

Here's a look at how the cloud leaders stack up, the hybrid market, and the SaaS players that run your company as well as their latest strategic moves. IBM's fourth quarter revenue fell 6% from a year ago, but the company said it expects to return to growth in 2021. The company's earnings report was a mixed bag. IBM reported non-GAAP earnings of $2.07 a share and $1.41 a share under generally accepted accounting practices. However, IBM's fourth quarter revenue was down 6% to $20.4 billion.


Trump made a mess of tech policy. Here's what Biden is inheriting.

Mashable

It's hard to focus on the nitty gritty of tech policy when the world is on fire. Take, for example, his fight against Big Tech in the name of "anti-conservative bias" (no, it doesn't exist), which resulted in an assault on Section 230. Experts say the true aim of those efforts was to undermine content moderation, and normalize the white supremacist attitudes that helped put people like Trump in power. Unfortunately, those allegations will have life for years to come as a form of "zombie Trumpism," as Berin Szoka, a senior fellow at the technology policy organization TechFreedom, put it. Trump may be gone from office and Twitter.


New study finds tech elites view the world with more meritocracy

ZDNet

A new study has revealed that while the top 100 richest people in tech share similar views to other wealthy people, they are also more focused on meritocracy. The research, published in PLOS One, used data sets based on tweets by these individuals who were named by Forbes as the top 100 richest people in the tech world, plus their statements on websites about their philanthropic endeavours. As part of the study, the researchers analysed 49,790 tweets from 30 verified Twitter account holders within the tech elite subject group and 60 mission statements from tech elite-run philanthropic websites, plus 17 statements from tech elites and other wealthy individuals not associated with the tech world for comparison purposes. The Twitter text analyses, according to the research, revealed tech elites used Twitter to tweet about subjects that placed emphasis on disruption, positivity, and temporality compared with the average user. Their most frequently used words were'new' and'great', and referred mostly to their peers and other tech firms. At the same time, the authors found that while tweets showed the tech elites did not see a significant difference between power and money or power and democracy, they did note the tech elites denied a connection between democracy and money, a view that was not shared by ordinary Twitter users.


Facebook improves AI photo descriptions for the visually impaired

Engadget

Facebook has long been using AI to describe photos for the visually impaired, but it's stepping up its efforts in 2021. The social media giant has detailed a new version of automatic alternative text (AAT) that promises much more information. Instead of relying on heavily supervised AI learning, Facebook is now using weak supervision based on "billions" of Instagram photos and hashtags. The method lets Facebook expand beyond just 100 concept descriptions to include over 1,200, such as different kinds of food and national monuments. It's also more culturally inclusive -- it can recognize weddings that don't involve white wedding dresses, for example. A new object detection system can also recognize where people are in the frame as well as the number of people in the scene.


The Morning After: LG might get out of the smartphone business

Engadget

In the US, today is Inauguration Day, and as Joe Biden prepares to take the oath as our 46th president, it's worth taking a look back at the discussions four years ago. Back then, the "most tech-savvy" president exited as all eyes turned to Donald Trump trading in his Android Twitter machine for a secure device. We know how things went after that. Donald Trump isn't tweeting anymore (at least not from his main accounts), and the country is struggling through a pandemic. The outgoing president just saw his temporary YouTube ban extended and, in one of his last official acts, pardoned Anthony Levandowski for stealing self-driving car secrets from Google's subsidiary Waymo.


Interpol warns of romance scam artists using dating apps to promote fake investments

ZDNet

Interpol has warned of a new investment scam targeting users of mobile dating apps. As COVID-19 continues to severely restrict our daily lives and in many places, makes social interaction and meeting new people in person impossible, dating apps have experienced a surge in users. As the only possible method of anything akin to dating at the current time, scam artists have decided to capitalize on this trend in order to push an investment-based scam that deprives victims of their cash. According to Arkose Labs research, four million online dating fraud & abuse-related attacks were recorded in 2020, with many taking place through fake account registrations. On Tuesday, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) said the agency had issued a "purple notice" -- the provision of data on criminal groups' methods, objects, devices, and concealment methods -- to 194 member countries.


Save 69% on a lifetime subscription to this AI copywriting tool

Mashable

TL;DR: A lifetime subscription to Copysmith is on sale for £51.45 as of Jan. 20, saving you 69% on list price. Turn to Copysmith to write your product descriptions, ads, taglines, and other marketing copy for you. Copysmith uses deep learning and artificial intelligence to produce human-like text word by word. You can use Copysmith on ads for Google, Facebook, or Instagram, for product descriptions, or taglines. The interface is incredibly simple, even if you have limited marketing experience under your belt.


Facebook enhances AI used to describe photos for visually impaired users

ZDNet

Facebook has announced new improvements to its artificial intelligence (AI) technology that is used to generate descriptions of photos posted on the social network for visually impaired users. The technology, called automatic alternative text (AAT), was first introduced by Facebook in 2016 to improve the experience of visually impaired users. Up until then, visually impaired users who checked their Facebook newsfeed and came across an image would only hear the word "photo" and the name of the person who shared it. With AAT, visually impaired users have been able to hear things like "image may contain: three people, smiling, outdoors". Facebook said, with the latest iteration of AAT, the company has been able to expand the number of concepts that the AI technology can detect and identify in a photo, as well as provide more detailed descriptions to include activities, landmarks, food types, and types of animals, like "a selfie of two people, outdoors, the Leaning Tower of Pisa" instead of "an image of two people".


Radical AI podcast: featuring Moses Namara

AIHub

Hosted by Dylan Doyle-Burke and Jessie J Smith, Radical AI is a podcast featuring the voices of the future in the field of artificial intelligence ethics. In this episode Jess and Dylan chat to Moses Namara about the new Black in AI academic program. In this episode, we interview Moses Namara of Black in AI about the new Black in AI academic program, a program that serves as a resource to support black junior researchers as they apply to graduate programs, navigate graduate school, and enter the postgraduate job market. Moses Namara is a Facebook Research Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) at Clemson University. He uses interdisciplinary research methods from computer science, psychology, and the social sciences to understand the principles behind users' adoption and use of technology, decision-making, and privacy attitudes and behaviors.


Apple's 2021 iPhone could feature Touch ID after face masks 'ruin' Face ID

Daily Mail - Science & tech

While face masks were once rare sightings, they're now compulsory in a range of settings across the UK. The face coverings play a key role in stopping the spread of Covid-19, yet many iPhone users have been frustrated that their masks have prevented them from unlocking their iPhones using Apple's facial recognition technology, Face ID. Now, a report indicates that Apple could be bringing back its Touch ID technology in its 2021 iPhone, in the form of an in-screen fingerprint reader, to help users unlock their smartphones without having to remove their masks. Rather than being a replacement for Face ID, Touch ID would be an additional method of unlocking the iPhone, according to the report. Many iPhone users have been frustrated that their masks have prevented them from unlocking their iPhone using Apple's facial recognition technology, Face ID (stock image) The report, by Bloomberg, indicates that changes to this year's iPhone will be minor.