Elon Musk’s brain-machine start-up plans human trials in 2020

Elon Musk’s ambitious brain-computer start-up Neuralink is looking to start trials on humans next year. “It will take a long time, and you’ll see it coming,” Musk said at Tuesday’s event. Musk believes the technology could eventually assist in cognitive capabilities like speech and sight, according to the New York Times. The New York Times reported that it saw a demonstration of a computer receiving information from a rat in a company lab. At Tuesday’s event Musk also talked about work with monk


Elon Musk’s ambitious brain-computer start-up Neuralink is looking to start trials on humans next year. “It will take a long time, and you’ll see it coming,” Musk said at Tuesday’s event. Musk believes the technology could eventually assist in cognitive capabilities like speech and sight, according to the New York Times. The New York Times reported that it saw a demonstration of a computer receiving information from a rat in a company lab. At Tuesday’s event Musk also talked about work with monk
Elon Musk’s brain-machine start-up plans human trials in 2020 Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-17  Authors: jordan novet
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, times, event, elon, neuralink, musks, 2020, musk, startup, brainmachine, trials, brain, tuesdays, talked, human, york, plans, technology


Elon Musk's brain-machine start-up plans human trials in 2020

Elon Musk’s ambitious brain-computer start-up Neuralink is looking to start trials on humans next year. Musk talked about the project at an event in San Francisco that was streamed live — with an eye toward recruiting more talent — late on Tuesday.

Neuralink aligns with a broader trend of technology minds seeking to merge their approaches with the world of in healthcare. Facebook has previously devoted resources to exploring computer systems that people could communicate with simply by thinking.

The start-up envisions drilling holes into the brain with a custom machine to embed thin threads that connect to a tiny processor, which can then be connected to a smartphone over Bluetooth. Over time it would like to make the installation process as simple as laser-eye surgery.

The company is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to begin clinical trials as soon as next year, Bloomberg said, and Musk said the start-up wants to have its first human patient equipped with the technology before the end of 2020.

“It will take a long time, and you’ll see it coming,” Musk said at Tuesday’s event. He said in the future there could be an “app store” for different programs that could tap the technology.

Neuralink has operated in relative secrecy ever since Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a co-founder of PayPal, laid out the ideas for the start-up in an lengthy article on Tim Urban’s blog “Wait But Why” in 2017.

“We are aiming to bring something to market that helps with certain severe brain injuries (stroke, cancer lesion, congenital) in about four years,” Musk told Urban.

Musk believes the technology could eventually assist in cognitive capabilities like speech and sight, according to the New York Times. Applications include helping people control computers with their brain activity or restoring the ability to speak, Philip Sabes, senior scientist at Neuralink, said at Tuesday’s event.

Musk said people could communicate with one another using the technology through a kind of telepathy.

He has a larger ambition, though. He said on Tuesday that he hopes to “help secure humanity’s future as a civilization relative to AI,” or artificial intelligence.

Last year, one media outlet reported that Neuralink had been looking to conduct tests on animals. The New York Times reported that it saw a demonstration of a computer receiving information from a rat in a company lab. And a new paper attributed to Neuralink and Musk describes some of the rat research.

“All animal procedures were performed in accordance with the National Research Council’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Neuralink Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee,” the paper states.

At Tuesday’s event Musk also talked about work with monkeys.

“A monkey has been able to control the computer with his brain,” he said.

Last year he talked up the project during an appearance on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “I think we’ll have something interesting to announce in a few months … that’s better than anyone thinks is possible,” he said.

Musk, a co-founder of Neuralink, has invested $100 million in the company, the New York Times said.

WATCH: Mind-reading technology will allow us to control devices with our thoughts


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-17  Authors: jordan novet
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, times, event, elon, neuralink, musks, 2020, musk, startup, brainmachine, trials, brain, tuesdays, talked, human, york, plans, technology


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A lack of innovation could be why investments in China’s tech firms are plunging

China has spawned some of the world’s largest private technology companies like TikTok parent, Bytedance and Alibaba affiliate, Ant Financial. Foo has invested in large Chinese technology companies such as ride-hailing service DiDi, and electric car start-up Xpeng Motors. The concern over the public market performance of Chinese tech firms has had an effect on early stage venture investors. Some public companies also continue to lose money as they sink money into growing the company. They come o


China has spawned some of the world’s largest private technology companies like TikTok parent, Bytedance and Alibaba affiliate, Ant Financial. Foo has invested in large Chinese technology companies such as ride-hailing service DiDi, and electric car start-up Xpeng Motors. The concern over the public market performance of Chinese tech firms has had an effect on early stage venture investors. Some public companies also continue to lose money as they sink money into growing the company. They come o
A lack of innovation could be why investments in China’s tech firms are plunging Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, capital, public, technology, investments, lack, firms, plunging, companies, chinese, investors, market, liu, tech, chinas, innovation, money


A lack of innovation could be why investments in China's tech firms are plunging

An investor observes the stock market at a stock exchange hall on June 29, 2018 in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province of China. VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

A lull in innovation is one of the major forces behind a recent plunge in venture capital (VC) investment in Chinese technology companies, according to investors who spoke to CNBC. The value of VC investment in China was $9.7 billion in the second quarter of 2019, according to financial data company Prequin. This was down by nearly 77% from the $41.3 billion invested in the same period last year. China has spawned some of the world’s largest private technology companies like TikTok parent, Bytedance and Alibaba affiliate, Ant Financial. But investors say the country’s tech sector lacks innovation. “If you look at the past decade, there is a lot of low hanging fruit when there is the first mobile boom. And then after mobile, there hasn’t been a new … platform to host and spawn out of the new innovations coming out of the platform,” Yuan Liu, managing director of China-based VC fund Zhenfund, told CNBC in an interview. “So people were thinking whether VR (virtual reality) will be the next big thing, whether crypto will be the next big platform that would … do this. They didn’t turn out to be,” Liu said. “And AI (artificial intelligence), there is a lot of hope for that. And then after AI … investors started to think, is AI a bubble?” For now, he said, “there hasn’t been many innovations in the market so investors haven’t seen anything that excites them.”

That sentiment was echoed by Jixun Foo, managing partner at GGV Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs in the U.S., Asia and other emerging economies. Foo has invested in large Chinese technology companies such as ride-hailing service DiDi, and electric car start-up Xpeng Motors. During a CNBC-hosted panel at the RISE conference in Hong Kong, Foo said the “innovation wave” has “slowed down.” “Things always goes in cycles,” Foo said. “If you were to project forward where 5G comes up, there will be a new innovation wave. From 3G to 4G we see short form video. What will come with 5G, with AR (augmented reality), with VR, there may be new innovation waves that will propel new investment.”

5G refers to next-generation mobile networks that promise super-fast data speeds with the ability to support new technologies like driverless cars. “There is no lack of capital. It’s just where money is being put, there needs to be innovation that drives this new capital requirement,” Foo added.

Trade war worries

Other investors cited the ongoing U.S.-China trade war as well as poor performance of some Chinese technology companies in the public markets, as factors for the fall in investment. “It has a lot to do with the confidence level with the China-U.S. trade war definitely part of it,” Edith Yeung, managing partner at Proof of Capital, told CNBC. “And then I think also a lot of the IPOs (initial public offering) that happened in 2018 haven’t really performed … so it sends not-so-good of a signal for the early VCs.” Chinese tech companies have been caught in the middle of tensions between the U.S. and China. Huawei, for example, has been put on a U.S. blacklist that restricts American companies from selling to the Chinese firm. Some of those restrictions have since been eased. While Huawei is not publicly listed, negative sentiment toward Chinese technology firms have played out in the public markets, particularly with some of the companies that have listed in the past year. Smartphone maker Xiaomi, which went public in July 2018, is down over 26% this year. Shares of electric carmaker NIO, which is listed in the U.S., are down more than 46% this year. The concern over the public market performance of Chinese tech firms has had an effect on early stage venture investors. “When you see the public markets not performing well, the pre-IPO or the growth equity guys will be more cautious when they look at their valuation metrics and dynamics … which will then trickle down to the series B guys, ” Liu said. Series B refers to a relatively early stage funding round for businesses.

‘Cash burn’ concerns

Many start-ups looking to grow quickly burn through cash to gain market share and scale with the aim of trying to achieve profitability later on. Some public companies also continue to lose money as they sink money into growing the company. Liu of Zhenfund, which is an early stage investor, said companies are now discussing “unit economics” earlier in their fund-raising, something that didn’t happen five years ago. Unit economics refers to the revenue and costs associated with a company’s business model. In the case of many internet companies, a single user is the unit. Working out unit economics can be a way of projecting how profitable a company will be and if their business model is viable. Liu said he is advising companies to act like they won’t be able raise money for the next 6-12 months. Some start-ups are also looking to raise funds so they have some money in case things turn sour. “Some of them raise money, come out to market proactively before they actually need (it), when they have say 12 months’ capital to go. They come out now just so they have more buffer because people are uncertain about the future capital market,” Liu told CNBC.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, capital, public, technology, investments, lack, firms, plunging, companies, chinese, investors, market, liu, tech, chinas, innovation, money


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These are the best places to launch a small business in America

They got hooked on doing business in the state after moving the start-up to Houston to participate in an accelerator there. Alec Manfre co-founded Bractlet and moved the start-up to Texas to tap the state’s talent pool. It’s not surprising that Manfre has found a lot to love about doing business in Texas — which finished second in CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business ranking. Abundant talentStates with a strong university system have an edge in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. 1


They got hooked on doing business in the state after moving the start-up to Houston to participate in an accelerator there. Alec Manfre co-founded Bractlet and moved the start-up to Texas to tap the state’s talent pool. It’s not surprising that Manfre has found a lot to love about doing business in Texas — which finished second in CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business ranking. Abundant talentStates with a strong university system have an edge in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. 1
These are the best places to launch a small business in America Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: elaine pofeldt, susan caminiti
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, texas, strong, tech, business, states, florida, capital, technology, places, america, talent, university, launch, small, best


These are the best places to launch a small business in America

Richard Cummins | Getty Images

Alec Manfre co-founded the tech start-up Bractlet as a student in Atlanta where he went to college, then ran it from an incubator in Santiago, Chile. But it was Texas where he and his two co-founders ultimately put down roots. They got hooked on doing business in the state after moving the start-up to Houston to participate in an accelerator there. Bractlet makes a technology that helps commercial real estate owners evaluate their buildings’ energy infrastructure. The entrepreneurs were excited about the deep expertise in energy that existed in the city. Twenty-person Bractlet has since moved to Austin, where its lead investor, a venture capital firm, is located. Thanks to the presence of schools such as University of Texas, the company has been able to find plentiful skilled talent, both within Austin and from cities such as Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, says Manfre. Adding to the lure of doing business in Austin, he says, is the active start-up crowd; community groups centered on energy efficiency; and events like the movie, music and tech festival SXSW.

Alec Manfre co-founded Bractlet and moved the start-up to Texas to tap the state’s talent pool. Shlomo Morgulis

“There are always connections to be made and communities being built — and there’s a strong emphasis on technology and investment,” says Manfre. “That’s a really powerful combination for us.” Oh, and the active outdoor culture doesn’t hurt, either. “Yesterday we were doing wakeboarding on a recreational lake 15 minutes away,” he says. It’s not surprising that Manfre has found a lot to love about doing business in Texas — which finished second in CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business ranking. Known for its low-tax environment — there’s no personal income tax or corporate income tax — business-friendly regulatory climate and innovation-focused economy, Texas has many champions in the business community. “It’s simply easier to do business in Texas than any other state,” says Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, an economic development organization. But it’s not solely a low-tax, low-regulation environment that makes a state great for business. Some states have a completely different playbook for success that works for them. High-tax, highly regulated environments haven’t kept California’s Silicon Valley, the Rte. 128 Tech Corridor in Massachusetts or New York’s Silicon Alley from spawning innovation or attracting venture capital. These states owe their economic health to other factors, like excellent access to capital for their start-ups and dominance in particular industries. California, for instance, has its thriving film and aerospace industries. “California gets away with a horrible business climate because it’s got such strong industries,” says Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research, which studies small business trends out of Lafayette, California. Recognizing there’s no magic formula for building a thriving business community, CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business scores the states on 64 metrics across 10 main categories: their economy, workforce, infrastructure, cost of doing business, quality of life, education, technology and innovation, business friendliness, access to capital and cost of living. Here is a look at some of the qualities that are helping states foster entrepreneurial business growth.

Abundant talent

States with a strong university system have an edge in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. Florida (No. 12 on the list), for instance, has more than 60 universities around the state churning out well-educated graduates, among them the University of Florida, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida. The strong talent bench is fueling the growth of sectors such as cybersecurity, technology and finance and attracting venture capital, according to Craig Richard, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. “They are cranking out a lot of innovation and patents around cybersecurity,” says Richard. “That’s one of our fastest-growing tech sectors.” It’s not the only technology niche where Florida’s economy is percolating, thanks to the state’s deep pool of STEM-educated talent. Luminar Technologies, a fast-growing Silicon Valley-based start-up backed by Peter Thiel makes lidar-based sensors for vehicles. It established its R&D and manufacturing base in Orlando last year — and now about 265 of its roughly 370 employees work out of Orlando, according to the company’s chief business officer, Scott Faris.

Luminar’s co-founder Jason Eichenholz knew there was a concentration of specialized engineering talent in the area as an alum of the University of Central Florida’s Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers. Many engineers in the state’s aerospace industry had already worked on similar technology for laser-guided missiles. The company wanted to take advantage of that knowledge base. “There is no place in the universe where you have the density of talent in the lidar and sensing space that you do in Orlando,” says Faris. “It’s got a rich history and density of people who understand all aspects of this. We’re able to attract those folks into the organization.”

Quality of life

With unemployment at record lows and the talent wars accelerating, many business leaders realize it’s easier to recruit if they open their offices in places where workers want to live because of fantastic schools, a great arts scene, hot restaurants or easy access to parks and outdoor activities. “More companies are looking at the quality of life and eco-friendliness,” says attorney Andrew Sherman, a partner in Seyfarth Shaw in Washington, D.C., who advises both entrepreneurs and corporate businesses and is author of many books on entrepreneurship. “The state of Washington, for instance, has done a nice job of marketing their assets to small and midsize businesses, saying, ‘Not only do we have good universities and human capital but we have beautiful cities with access to the Pacific. ” Similarly, employers in Colorado have found that it’s not hard to entice recruits from other states to move to up-and-coming outdoor-oriented cities such as Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder, known for its thriving tech and natural-foods industries.

Denver’s economy is solid, and it has a strong, educated workforce. It also has the nation’s fourth-largest concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) employees. photoquest7 | iStock | Getty Images

“I think our quality of life is an important contributor,” says Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC. “Entrepreneurs and innovators may be working on their own or in small groups where they can make a decision more on a quality of life factor that adds spice to our community mix. They come here for the lifestyle.”

Taxes

A favorable regulatory environment

As technology upends many industries, a regulatory climate that allows for innovation is essential, say many business leaders. Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership, points to the bill Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in June on autonomous vehicles. It allows the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to fund, construct and operate test facilities to advance autonomous and connected transportation technology. That will be a big advantage for businesses in this field, he believes. “It sends a signal that Florida is willing to continue to change its regulatory environment to adapt to new technologies,” says Giuliani.

TriggerPhoto | iStock Unreleased | Getty Images

That’s not to say that the business community wants a zero-regulation environment. “Sometimes government regulation can be a positive — but if it’s done too much, I’d be concerned,” says Elie Rieder, founder and CEO of Castle Lanterra Properties, a firm in Suffern, New York, that invests in multifamily real estate around the country and is affected by regulations such as rent stabilization laws.

Infrastructure


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: elaine pofeldt, susan caminiti
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, texas, strong, tech, business, states, florida, capital, technology, places, america, talent, university, launch, small, best


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NBA and NFL commissioners tell how they’re turning to technology to draw in fans

We spoke to the commissioners of the NBA and NFL to discuss what they’re doing to keep fans engaged and add new ones. Providing statistics during the games, providing more information about the players, providing new camera angles, new ways to predict to produce them, augmented reality. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says technology can be crucial for getting fans into stadiums — starting with managing ticket sales — and ensuring they like the experience. Some of that technology is as simple as


We spoke to the commissioners of the NBA and NFL to discuss what they’re doing to keep fans engaged and add new ones. Providing statistics during the games, providing more information about the players, providing new camera angles, new ways to predict to produce them, augmented reality. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says technology can be crucial for getting fans into stadiums — starting with managing ticket sales — and ensuring they like the experience. Some of that technology is as simple as
NBA and NFL commissioners tell how they’re turning to technology to draw in fans Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-14  Authors: julia boorstin
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, commissioners, nfl, technology, fans, doing, experience, theyre, goodell, draw, providing, stadium, nba, turning, tell, games


NBA and NFL commissioners tell how they're turning to technology to draw in fans

As more video-streaming services flood the market, professional sports leagues are finding themselves in an increasingly precarious situations, because they’re not included in the packages. At this week’s Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, some of the top sports executives gathered to discuss the future of sports.

We spoke to the commissioners of the NBA and NFL to discuss what they’re doing to keep fans engaged and add new ones.

“We recognize that we’re competing against every other possible form of entertainment and nice weather or anything else we could be doing and watching our games,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told CNBC. “What can we do to make those games more of a lean-in experience? Providing statistics during the games, providing more information about the players, providing new camera angles, new ways to predict to produce them, augmented reality. And we’re experimenting in virtual reality.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says technology can be crucial for getting fans into stadiums — starting with managing ticket sales — and ensuring they like the experience. Some of that technology is as simple as giving fans the same access to media as they’d have at home.

“Simply having Wi-Fi so that they can access their own devices when they come into the stadium,” is key, Goodell said. “They can use that technology to buy a jersey, to buy concessions, to find out the best way to enter into the stadium, or exit the stadium, what the traffic patterns are, what’s going on around the league.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-14  Authors: julia boorstin
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, commissioners, nfl, technology, fans, doing, experience, theyre, goodell, draw, providing, stadium, nba, turning, tell, games


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Fake news is real — AI is going to make it much worse

President Donald Trump has been warning about “fake news” throughout his entire political career putting a dark cloud over the journalism professional. “What the last couple years has shown is basically fake news is quite compelling even in [the] absence of actual proof. How to detect a deepfakeTo make one of these fake videos, computers digest thousands of still images of a subject to help researchers build a 3-D model of the person. Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’


President Donald Trump has been warning about “fake news” throughout his entire political career putting a dark cloud over the journalism professional. “What the last couple years has shown is basically fake news is quite compelling even in [the] absence of actual proof. How to detect a deepfakeTo make one of these fake videos, computers digest thousands of still images of a subject to help researchers build a 3-D model of the person. Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’
Fake news is real — AI is going to make it much worse Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: joe andrews, brandon duffy, magdalena petrova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, going, technology, trump, zhao, ai, threat, real, fake, videos, farid, media, sort, worse, video


Fake news is real — AI is going to make it much worse

President Donald Trump points at CNN’s Jim Acosta and accuses him of “fake news” while taking questions during a news conference following Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” has long been a staple on nursery room shelves for a reason: It teaches kids that joking too much about a possible threat may turn people ignorant when the threat becomes an actual danger. President Donald Trump has been warning about “fake news” throughout his entire political career putting a dark cloud over the journalism professional. And now the real wolf might be just around the corner that industry experts should be alarmed about. The threat is called “deepfaking,” a product of AI and machine learning advancements that allows high-tech computers to produce completely false yet remarkably realistic videos depicting events that never happened or people saying things they never said. A viral video starring Jordan Peele and “Barack Obama” warned against this technology in 2018, but the message was not enough to keep Jim Carrey from starring in “The Shining” earlier this week. The danger goes far beyond manipulating 1980s thrillers. Deepfake technology is allowing organizations that produce fake news to augment their “reporting” with seemingly legitimate videos, blurring the line between reality and fiction like never before — and placing the reputation of journalists and the media at greater risk. For more on tech, transformation and the future of work, join CNBC at @ Work: Human Capital + Finance Summit in Chicago on July 16. Ben Zhao, a computer science professor at the University of Chicago, thinks the age of getting news on social media makes consumers very susceptible to this sort of manipulation. “What the last couple years has shown is basically fake news is quite compelling even in [the] absence of actual proof. … So the bar is low,” Zhao said. The bar to produce a convincing doctored video is lower than people might assume. Earlier this year a clip purporting to show Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi slurring her words when speaking to the press was shared widely on social media, including at one point by Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. However, closer inspection revealed that the video had been slowed to 75% of its normal speed to achieve this slurring effect, according to the Washington Post. Even with the real video now widely accessible, Hany Farid, a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information and a digital forensics expert, said he still regularly receives emails from people insisting the slowed video is the legitimate one. “Even in these relatively simple cases, we are struggling to sort of set the record straight,” Farid said.

It would take a significant amount of expertise for a fake news outlet to produce a completely fabricated video of Oprah Winfrey endorsing Trump, but researchers say the technology is improving every day. At the University of Washington, computer vision researchers are developing this technology for positive, or at least benign, uses like making video conferencing more realistic and letting students talk to famous historical figures. But this research also leads to questions about potential dangers, as the attempts made by attackers are expected to continually improve.

How to detect a deepfake

To make one of these fake videos, computers digest thousands of still images of a subject to help researchers build a 3-D model of the person. This method has some limitations, according to Zhao, who noted the subjects in many deepfake videos today never blink, since almost all photographs are taken with a person’s eyes open. However, Farid said these holes in the technology are being filled incredibly rapidly. “If you asked me this question six months ago, I would’ve said, ‘Yeah, [the technology] is super cool, but there’s a lot of artifacts, and if you’re paying attention, you can probably tell that there’s something wrong,'” Farid said. “But I would say we are … quickly but surely getting to the point where the average person is going to have trouble distinguishing.” In fact, Zhao said researchers believe the shortcomings that make deepfake videos look slightly off to the eye can readily be fixed with better technology and better hardware. “The minute that someone says, ‘Here’s a research paper telling you about how to detect this kind of fake video,’ that is when the attackers look at the paper and say, ‘Thank you for pointing out my flaw. I will take that into account in my next-generation video, and I will go find enough input … so that the next generation of my video will not have the same problem,'” Zhao said.

Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’t be trusted … well, then everything can be fake. Hany Farid professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information

One of the more recent developments in this field is in generating speech for a video. To replicate a figure such as Trump’s voice, computers can now simply analyze hundreds of hours of him speaking. Then researchers can type out what they want Trump to say, and the computer will make it sound as if he actually said it. Facebook, Google and Microsoft have all more or less perfected this technology, according to Farid. Manipulated videos of this sort aren’t exactly new — Forest Gump didn’t actually meet JFK, after all. However, Farid says this technology is hitting its stride, and that makes the danger new. “To me the threat is not so much ‘Oh, there’s this new phenomenon called deepfakes,'” Farid said. “It’s the injection of that technology into an existing environment of mistrust, misinformation, social media, a highly polarized electorate, and now I think there’s a real sort of amplification factor because when you hear people say things, it raises the level of belief to a whole new level.” The prospect of widespread availability of this technology is raising eyebrows, too. Tech-savvy hobbyists have long been using deepfakes to manufacture pornography, a consistent and comically predictable trend for new technology. But Zhao believes it is only a matter of time before the research-caliber technology gets packaged and released for mass-video manipulation in much broader contexts. “At some point someone will basically take all these technologies and integrate and do the legwork to build a sort of fairly sophisticated single model, one-stop shop … and when that thing hits and becomes easily accessible to many, then I think you’ll see this becoming much more prevalent,” Zhao said. “And there’s nothing really stopping that right now.”

Facing a massive consumer trust issue

When this happens, the journalism industry is going to face a massive consumer trust issue, according to Zhao. He fears it will be hard for top-tier media outlets to distinguish a real video from a doctored one, let alone news consumers who haphazardly stumble across the video on Twitter. “Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’t be trusted … well, then everything can be fake,” Farid said. “We can have different opinions, but we can’t have different facts. And I think that’s sort of the world we’re entering into when we can’t believe anything that we see.” Zhao has spent a great deal of time speaking with prosecutors, judges — the legal profession is another sector where the implications are huge — reporters and other professors to get a sense for every nuance of the issue. However, despite his clear understanding of the danger deepfakes pose, he is still unsure of how news outlets will go about reacting to the threat. “Certainly, I think what can happen is … there will be even less trust in sort of mainstream media, the main news outlets, legitimate journalists [that] sort of react and report real-time stories because there is a sense that anything that they have seen … could be in fact made up,” Zhao said. Then it becomes a question of how the press deal with the disputes over reality. “And if it’s someone’s word, an actual eyewitness’ word versus a video, which do you believe, and how do you as an organization go about verifying the authenticity or the illegitimacy of a particularly audio or video?” Zhao asked.

Defeating the deepfakes

Part of this solution may be found in the ledger technology that provides the digital infrastructure to support cryptocurrencies like bitcoin — the blockchain. Many industries are touting blockchain as a sort of technological Tylenol. Though few understand exactly how it works, many swear it will solve their problems. Farid said companies like photo and video verification platform Truepic, to which he serves as an advisor, are using the blockchain to create and store digital signatures for authentically shot videos as they are being recorded, which makes them much easier to verify later. Both Zhao and Farid are hoping social platforms like Facebook and Twitter will then promote these videos that are verified as authentic over non-verified videos, helping to halt the spread of deepfakes. “The person creating the fake always has the upper hand,” Farid said. “Playing defense is really, really hard. So I think in the end our goal is not to eliminate these things, but it’s to manage the threat.” Until this happens, Zhao said the fight against genuinely fake news may not start on a ledger, but in stronger consumer awareness and journalists banding together to better verify sources through third parties. “One of the hopes that I have for defeating this type of content is that people are just so inundated with news coverage and information about these types of videos that they become fundamentally much more skeptical about what a video means and they will look closer,” Zhao said. “There has to be that level of scrutiny by the consumer for us to have any chance of fighting back against this type of fake content.”

A woman in Washington, D.C., views a manipulated video that changes what is said by President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama, illustrating how deepfake technology can deceive viewers. ROB LEVER | AFP | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: joe andrews, brandon duffy, magdalena petrova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, going, technology, trump, zhao, ai, threat, real, fake, videos, farid, media, sort, worse, video


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Politicians may come together against Big Tech, says expert

Politicians may come together against Big Tech, says expert1:34 PM ET Fri, 12 July 2019Tony Romm, tech policy reporter at the Washington Post, Ina Fried, Axios’ chief technology correspondent, and Doug Clinton, managing partner of Loup Ventures, discuss the growing battle against Big Tech on “The Exchange.”


Politicians may come together against Big Tech, says expert1:34 PM ET Fri, 12 July 2019Tony Romm, tech policy reporter at the Washington Post, Ina Fried, Axios’ chief technology correspondent, and Doug Clinton, managing partner of Loup Ventures, discuss the growing battle against Big Tech on “The Exchange.”
Politicians may come together against Big Tech, says expert Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, washington, romm, post, tech, policy, technology, big, ventures, expert, politicians, come, reporter


Politicians may come together against Big Tech, says expert

Politicians may come together against Big Tech, says expert

1:34 PM ET Fri, 12 July 2019

Tony Romm, tech policy reporter at the Washington Post, Ina Fried, Axios’ chief technology correspondent, and Doug Clinton, managing partner of Loup Ventures, discuss the growing battle against Big Tech on “The Exchange.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, washington, romm, post, tech, policy, technology, big, ventures, expert, politicians, come, reporter


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US to probe proposed French tech tax, concerned it ‘unfairly targets American companies’

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on technology companies, a probe that could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions. “The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the investigation. The move gives Lighthizer up to a ye


U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on technology companies, a probe that could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions. “The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the investigation. The move gives Lighthizer up to a ye
US to probe proposed French tech tax, concerned it ‘unfairly targets American companies’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-11
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, companies, tech, targets, probe, tax, technology, concerned, frances, united, french, lighthizer, digital, unfairly, states, american, investigation, proposed, trade


US to probe proposed French tech tax, concerned it 'unfairly targets American companies'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on technology companies, a probe that could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions.

“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the investigation.

The move gives Lighthizer up to a year to investigate if France’s digital tax plan would hurt U.S. technology companies.

The “Section 301” investigation will determine if the levy poses an unfair trade practice. Prior investigations have covered Chinese trade practices and European Union subsidies on large commercial aircraft.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-11
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, companies, tech, targets, probe, tax, technology, concerned, frances, united, french, lighthizer, digital, unfairly, states, american, investigation, proposed, trade


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A.I. can improve health care in China, says Ping An Technology CEO

Artificial intelligence is still a relatively new technology but one business leader said its applications are already generating real value. For AI to become more mainstream, start-ups and tech giants have to understand the bottlenecks that businesses face, which can be solved by that technology, according to Ericson Chan, CEO of China’s Ping An Technology. “But that 8% of the hospitals are taking care of more than 50% of the patients of the whole nation.” As a result, resources are unevenly di


Artificial intelligence is still a relatively new technology but one business leader said its applications are already generating real value. For AI to become more mainstream, start-ups and tech giants have to understand the bottlenecks that businesses face, which can be solved by that technology, according to Ericson Chan, CEO of China’s Ping An Technology. “But that 8% of the hospitals are taking care of more than 50% of the patients of the whole nation.” As a result, resources are unevenly di
A.I. can improve health care in China, says Ping An Technology CEO Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-09  Authors: saheli roy choudhury
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, patients, ai, chan, improve, hospitals, wait, china, ping, technology, ceo, care, hours, health, need, valuefor, work


A.I. can improve health care in China, says Ping An Technology CEO

Artificial intelligence is still a relatively new technology but one business leader said its applications are already generating real value.

For AI to become more mainstream, start-ups and tech giants have to understand the bottlenecks that businesses face, which can be solved by that technology, according to Ericson Chan, CEO of China’s Ping An Technology.

“Look at China, for example — only 8% of the hospitals are triple-A grade,” he told CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal on Tuesday at the RISE Conference in Hong Kong. “But that 8% of the hospitals are taking care of more than 50% of the patients of the whole nation.”

As a result, resources are unevenly distributed, which, in turn, sours the patients’ experiences at those hospitals, he said.

“You need to wait for more than three hours before you can see a doctor, and the consultations are no more than 7 or 8 minutes,” Chan said, adding that the doctors, meanwhile, “need to work for more than 12 hours a day.”

That’s where AI can help ease the friction experienced by patients and health-care providers.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-09  Authors: saheli roy choudhury
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, patients, ai, chan, improve, hospitals, wait, china, ping, technology, ceo, care, hours, health, need, valuefor, work


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Health insurer Anthem has hired a bunch of Apple employees to help it modernize

In the past few months, Anthem has hired Warris Bokhari from Apple Health, as well as Toni Trujillo Vian (a 24-year Apple vet), and senior machine learning researcher Stefanos Giampanis, according to LinkedIn and two people familiar with the matter. As Anthem scoops up talent from Apple and other tech companies, Apple has been recruiting heavily from the medical sector. It’s currently focusing on aggregating clinical information via Health Records, developing biosensors for the Apple Watch, and


In the past few months, Anthem has hired Warris Bokhari from Apple Health, as well as Toni Trujillo Vian (a 24-year Apple vet), and senior machine learning researcher Stefanos Giampanis, according to LinkedIn and two people familiar with the matter. As Anthem scoops up talent from Apple and other tech companies, Apple has been recruiting heavily from the medical sector. It’s currently focusing on aggregating clinical information via Health Records, developing biosensors for the Apple Watch, and
Health insurer Anthem has hired a bunch of Apple employees to help it modernize Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-09  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, health, modernize, help, apple, hired, anthem, medical, technology, digital, tech, product, bunch, efforts, insurer, employees, previously


Health insurer Anthem has hired a bunch of Apple employees to help it modernize

Gail Koziara Boudreaux attends The Women’s Sports Foundation’s 39th Annual Salute To Women In Sports And The Girls They Inspire Awards Gala on October 17, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Women’s Sports Foundation)

Health insurance isn’t exactly known for its consumer-friendliness. But Anthem, one of the largest insurers, is looking to change that with a slew of recent hires from the company best known for its commitment to user-friendly design: Apple.

In Silicon Valley, technology companies like Apple and Alphabet are increasingly trying to bring their technology to the health sector and are building out dedicated teams of medical experts. They’re chasing a $3.5 trillion market that’s been slow to adapt and change, believing that their expertise in user-friendly design can help improve the experience for consumers. Traditional health companies, like insurers and hospitals, are reacting by partnering with tech giants but are also adapting their own offerings and touting their digital friendliness.

In the past few months, Anthem has hired Warris Bokhari from Apple Health, as well as Toni Trujillo Vian (a 24-year Apple vet), and senior machine learning researcher Stefanos Giampanis, according to LinkedIn and two people familiar with the matter.

The health insurer also hired Ted Goldstein, a former Apple vice president from 2002 to 2007, to run its AI and health data efforts, about six months ago, and some lower-level folks like Berick Bacani, a former Apple operations specialist, as a UX designer on the digital team.

The focus on hiring from Apple dates back a few years: Anthem’s vice president of commercial Aneesh Kumar, who has been at the company for a few years started his career in the 1990s as a product manager at Apple. And Rajeev Ronanki, the company’s chief digital officer, previously worked at the consulting firm Deloitte on health innovation-related projects.

It’s not just Apple employees migrating over to Anthem. Another high-profile recruit from the technology world is Udi Manber, who previously headed up Google’s search efforts and is now a technical advisor at Anthem.

As Anthem scoops up talent from Apple and other tech companies, Apple has been recruiting heavily from the medical sector.

Scattered across its health teams, Apple has installed dozens of doctors to offer advice and steer product decisions. It’s currently focusing on aggregating clinical information via Health Records, developing biosensors for the Apple Watch, and health apps for things like reproductive health and sleep monitoring.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that he believes the company’s “greatest contribution to mankind” will be its efforts in health. The health team currently reports to Apple COO Jeff Williams, who has a strong personal interest in the sector.

Meanwhile, Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux has emphasized the company’s continued investment in its digital offerings, including putting budget behind its consumer tech and artificial intelligence teams.

The company is working on a number of different tech projects, such as a partnership with the health-tech start-up Doc.ai to detect allergy patterns, and Act Wise, a website for health plans to better manage their employees’ medical benefits.

Anthem competitor UnitedHealth has also touted its commitment to digital technology. It has a “consumer digital health platform ” called Rally, and one team there focuses on providing rewards for people who meet their health goals. Aetna, another health insurer owned by CVS, is working with Apple on an effort to reward members for meeting health-related milestones via their Apple Watch.

Anthem and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

WATCH: Apple pushes further in to health care by selling diabetes product in its stores


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-09  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, health, modernize, help, apple, hired, anthem, medical, technology, digital, tech, product, bunch, efforts, insurer, employees, previously


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A top tech analyst is getting worried, citing poor earnings and highest valuations in 15 years

The tech sector is now trading at 21.4 times forward earnings, the highest level in 15 years, according to Toni Sacconaghi, AB Bernstein’s senior technology research analyst. Source: AB Bernstein”Risk is increasing in tech, especially with high priced stocks,” Sacconaghi said in a note Monday. Tech’s earnings lagged the broader market last year, as tax reform more favorably impacted other sectors and expectations for 2020 don’t improve dramatically.” In particular, overall earnings growth is exp


The tech sector is now trading at 21.4 times forward earnings, the highest level in 15 years, according to Toni Sacconaghi, AB Bernstein’s senior technology research analyst. Source: AB Bernstein”Risk is increasing in tech, especially with high priced stocks,” Sacconaghi said in a note Monday. Tech’s earnings lagged the broader market last year, as tax reform more favorably impacted other sectors and expectations for 2020 don’t improve dramatically.” In particular, overall earnings growth is exp
A top tech analyst is getting worried, citing poor earnings and highest valuations in 15 years Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-08  Authors: yun li
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sacconaghi, valuations, citing, earnings, getting, poor, analyst, 15, expected, techs, technology, stocks, tech, according, basis, highest, worried


A top tech analyst is getting worried, citing poor earnings and highest valuations in 15 years

Soaring values of technology companies have dominated the market’s bull run, but now they are getting way too expensive as the earnings picture continues to deteriorate, a top tech analyst warned.

The tech sector is now trading at 21.4 times forward earnings, the highest level in 15 years, according to Toni Sacconaghi, AB Bernstein’s senior technology research analyst. This rapid multiple expansion, which is the most pronounced this year, has reached a worrisome degree given earnings are expected to have a “startling” decline over the next 12 months, the analyst said.

Source: AB Bernstein

“Risk is increasing in tech, especially with high priced stocks,” Sacconaghi said in a note Monday. “Part of tech’s challenge is that it is comping against a tough 2018. Tech’s earnings lagged the broader market last year, as tax reform more favorably impacted other sectors and expectations for 2020 don’t improve dramatically.”

Earnings for the tech sector are expected to drop by 990 basis points on an equal-weighted basis in the next 12 months, compared with the broad market’s 130 basis points decline, according to Bernstein. The revenue picture is also not uplifting with the group expected to grow just 0.5% while the overall market is set to gain 4.7% in sales, Sacconaghi said.

“The largest stocks are emblematic of current year tech struggles: among the 17 largest cap tech companies, seven have flat to negative forward earnings growth. In particular, overall earnings growth is expected to be double digit negative for Semiconductors and Tech Services,” the analyst said.

Sacconaghi is frequently the top tech analyst in the annual rankings from Institutional Investor magazine. His picks in the space have an average one-year return of 21%, according to TipRanks, which places him among the best on Wall Street.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-08  Authors: yun li
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sacconaghi, valuations, citing, earnings, getting, poor, analyst, 15, expected, techs, technology, stocks, tech, according, basis, highest, worried


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