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Animal Dynamics is looking to the natural world for drone inspiration

When you picture an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or a drone, most would imagine a small, helicopter-like structure with a series of propellers. However, several organisations are reimagining conventional drone design. Models such at the Bat Bot, an autonomous drone with wings like a bat, developed by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a drone with artificial feathers designed to mimic bird flight by NCCR Robotics drone design are taking their inspiration from the natural world.

Studio Graphene becomes latest company to ‘Brexit-proof’ with Lisbon office launch

App and software developer Studio Graphene has become the latest company to Brexit-proof itself by launching a strategic office in mainland Europe. The technology company says it has launched the office not only to enable it to take on more projects in continental Europe, but to ensure that the company continues to have a presence in the European Union, should Brexit go ahead.

ICO AI guidelines: Ensuring transparency may be a difficult task

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has opened consultation on its first draft of artificial intelligence (AI) guidance, urging organisations deploying the technology to be transparent and accountable. In a blog post, the organisation, in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, explains that the complex nature of AI means that it is often implemented without those affected properly understanding how it works, and says that “the decisions made using AI need to be properly understood by the people they impact” in order to avoid creating “doubt, uncertainty and mistrust”.

NATO leaders issue 5G security declaration, indicating Huawei ban

An official declaration issued today by world leaders attending the NATO meeting in London has highlighted the need for 5G security, in what the US government will likely interpret as a ban on Huawei. While the London Declaration issued by NATO leaders did not explicitly mention Huawei, section six did make reference to both the security of 5G and the threat posed by China.

How Volkswagen is preparing for the future of the automotive industry

With improvements in artificial intelligence, combined with changing consumer demands for greener and shared mobility, car makers face a pressure to innovate in order to stay relevant, competing against a growing number of startups disrupting the industry. To keep up with this, the Volkswagen Group, which includes brands such as Audi, SEAT and Porshe, launched its Data:Lab in 2013 to explore the role data insights can play in the businesses within the group.

How could “unclear and unrealistic” Brexit plans impact the tech industry?

In the run-up to the UK general election, academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe has criticised party manifestos as setting out “vague and potentially unrealistic” Brexit plans. The think tank believes that both the Conservatives and Labour party have failed to address how their Brexit plans would impact their “wider economic strategies and ambitions” such as economic growth and the public finances.

Cryptocurrency may replace cash within a decade, says Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading financial services companies has predicted that cryptocurrency could replace cash entirely by 2030 due to the fragility of the current system. Writing in its research report Imagine 2030, Deutsche Bank said that the structure that keeps fiat currency in place could crumble, allowing cryptocurrency to rise to replace it.

China facial recognition: enhancing protection or privacy invasion?

It was recently reported that mobile phone users in China must now have their faces scanned when registering for new mobile phone services. The government argues that the requirement, which came into force on 1 December, will limit fraud and protect citizens’ rights online but critics believe the move marks an erosion of personal privacy and a further step towards state surveillance.

Obstacles on the road to ‘cleantech’ growth in the UAE

As regional governments become increasingly aware of the social and economic threat posed by climate change, population growth and resource over-consumption, there is growing appreciation that improved energy efficiency, reduced use of non-renewable resources and environmental sustainability can only be achieved by successfully developing and harnessing new environmental technology – clean technology, or ‘cleantech’. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is already setting the pace for cleantech development in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

Amnesty finds clear appetite for regulating Big Tech

A survey carried out by Amnesty International has found a clear appetite for greater regulation of Big Tech. The human rights charity found 73% of people across nine countries want governments to do more to regulate firms such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. Dominant tech firms have been the subject of a so-called ‘techlash’ following a range of scandals, many of which relate to the misuse of personal data.

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