Tech Bytes: 05.03.2017
Patrick Wheeler, Assistant Director On May 3rd, 2017
AI and Automation Are Coming for White Collar Workers, Too – The traditional focus on technology eating jobs has been one of blue collar workers losing out to automation on the factory floor. That is changing as AI and new waves of automation begin to creep into white collar sectors, such as financial services, medical, legal, and even media sectors. White collar workers are increasingly exposed to the threat of technology replacing them. That’s due in large part to how AI systems and automation are capable of not only physical labor, but mental labor as well. How businesses, workers, and elected officials react to the new reality of an economy that could shed as much as 40% of its jobs in the next decade (according to PwC) will determine what the future holds for the global economy.
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Airbnb Gets the Green Light in SF After Lawsuit Settlement – Airbnb has come to agreement with the city of San Francisco on a process that would require renters to register with the city in order to comply with regulations limiting short-term rentals. By creating a new system (already live in Chicago, New Orleans, and Denver) to link accounts to a system of record with municipalities, airbnb has moved past the legality argument and onto one of how best to operate and grow in these markets. It might seem like a burden to comply with these regulations, but it legitimizes the platform and clears a regulatory hurdle that still plagues other sharing economy platforms, such as Uber and Lyft. Airbnb has created a template for sharing economy companies to use that allows them to operate outside the traditional regulatory channels, but in harmony with regulators. In other words, expect more sharing economy firms to follow suit.
Read More: Airbnb’s Battle with San Francisco Shows the Payoff to Going Up Against Regulators
Read More: Airbnb Settles Lawsuit with San Francisco
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ESPN Layoffs Show Impact of Over-the-Top Business Models on Traditional Powers – ESPN has long been the most powerful cable network, commanding fees-per-customer that are 3-4x the standard rate for other top networks. They have spent lavishly to own rights to a wide range of leagues and events, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, and college football playoffs. They could pay billions for those rights because cable and satellite providers included ESPN in all of their base packages. Flash forward to 2017 where the combination of changing consumer expectations and cord cutters are having significant impact on ESPN and the larger industry. Customers now expect to pay for what they want, not things they do not want. They have also seen an introduction of alternative providers, including Sling, YouTube, Amazon and Netflix – all of which offer much greater flexibility and/or cost savings over traditional cable television bundles. This new digital world has been challenging for many media companies, and few have adapted to the changes in the market. How well ESPN and other networks adapt to the new digital world will determine their future success (or failure).
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T-Mobile Plans Nationwide Rollout of 5G by 2020 – 5G has a lot of noise associated with it right now, with carriers all pushing their plans to make 5G a priority for growth in the coming years. T-Mobile made public its plan to roll out a nationwide 5G mobile network starting in 2019, completed by 2020. It’s a bold move for a wireless provider that isn’t afraid of swimming against the current and making bold statements and business decisions. 5G has a wide range of applications (and limitations) and is expected to be a much faster network for data than current 3G and 4G networks, with longer battery life. It does have a harder time penetrating walls and other physical barriers, so it will take engineering and significant investments to make the network reliable.
Read More: Setting the 5G Record Straight: Announcing Plans for Nationwide 5G from T-Mobile
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Featured CXOTalk Video of the Week: Building AI: A Software Maker’s Perspective
Artificial Intelligence is surrounded by marketing hype, making it difficult to assess what’s real and useful. In this episode, Michael Krigsman talks with a venture capital investor and two software entrepreneurs to learn what’s involved with creating products that rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
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