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Harnessing the power of Big Data



In today’s digital economy, data is king of the hill.

Data has transformed into valuable capital that fuels the production of digital goods and services. Just as automakers can’t manufacture new vehicle models without the necessary financial capital, it can’t make its cars autonomous if it lacks the data to feed the onboard algorithms.

Data management systems are built on data management platforms and can include databases, data lakes, and warehouses, big data management systems, data analytics, and more.

From there, data and analytics combined with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technologies will prove to be vital in efforts to predict, prepare, and respond in a proactive and accelerated manner to a global crisis and its aftermath, all while keeping up with the worldwide digital-first attitude.

A report by Gartner predicts that by the end of 2024, 75 percent of enterprises will shift from piloting to operationalizing AI, driving a 5X increase in streaming data and analytics infrastructures.

In parallel, the rise of data management also carries with it the rise of data governance.

According to Gartner analysts, while data governance is a core component of an overall data management strategy, organizations should focus on the desired business outcomes of a governance program instead of the data itself.

“This is top of mind for many organizations given the growing availability of data and desire to find new business insights. In my opinion, data governance is becoming a boardroom conversation regarding data privacy and security,” Cindy Maike, VP of Industry Solutions, at U.S.-based Cloudera, told Inside Telecom.

Maike added that with cloud computing usage on the rise, companies will require more robust data governance programs to ensure the “data sprawl” does not happen and, if it does, that data is properly managed and governed. 

In turn, AI will have a major role to play in how companies approach their data.

According to Maike, AI goes hand-in-hand with data governance and how and when data can and should be used.

“More companies are using data de-identification and anonymization techniques, but they also need to make sure processes and practices are established to ensure that when they combine data they do not ‘undo’ the anonymization routine,” Cloudera’s VP of Industry Solutions highlighted.

These corporate trends have allowed organizations such as ForHumanity – a U.S.-based nonprofit that examines risks related to AI and automation – to begin developing industry frameworks which companies can leverage when developing AI-based models.

A recent report by Research & Markets predicts that the global market for AI in big data and IoT as a whole will exceed $26B by 2025, as AI makes IoT data 25 percent more efficient and analytics 42 percent more effective for various industries.

This data-fueled shift will be heavily impacted by other emerging technologies, especially by the rollout of the fifth generation of mobile networks.

Maike considers that 5G will be one of the foundations of the ecosystem of connected devices, be it phones or the plethora of sensors which exist and continue to grow in businesses, and our individual lives.

“The data will need to flow securely and with the speed to support real-time analytics and decisions to be made at the edge. Thus, making 5G a critical enabler as it delivers the high reliability and low latency this connectivity requires,” she added.

This places the telecoms industry center stage for enabling “connected ecosystems” which is about connecting the digital world and its various participants.

“We see this in Smart City initiatives, connected cars and other areas of connected healthcare.  The telecom industry is at the heart of this, with 5G enabling the capability to connect different devices with the flow of data,” Maike told Inside Telecom.

Cloudera has helped telecom organizations with understanding where and how to optimize their networks and bandwidth, as well as supporting the vast amounts of new subscribers that telecom companies are serving, while improving customer care as a key focus area.

The company is also driving innovation in terms of aiding companies assess the data needed to support their business strategy, they will also look to leverage different infrastructures from cloud, and on-prem, to hybrid models, to support their data strategy in a secure and cost-effective manner.

A study by Gartner forecasts that by 2022, public cloud services will be essential for 90 percent of data and analytics innovation.

“As data and analytics moves to the cloud, data and analytics leaders still struggle to align the right services to the right use cases, which leads to unnecessary increased governance and integration overhead,” the study highlighted.

The ability to harness real-time, highly granular data across a wide range of operations and services will change the way both urban and business environments are managed and experienced. They will unlock a multitude of opportunities for both businesses and government organizations to better serve societies and to help keep up with the technological advancements edging closer over the horizon.

Yehia is an investigative journalist and editor with extensive experience in the news industry as well as digital content creation across the board. He strives to bring the human element to his writing.


UK to block Facebook parent Meta’s $315M acquisition of Giphy



It is expected that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will reverse Facebook parent company Meta’s purchase of Giphy in the coming days, according to the Financial Times.

 If that happens, it will mark the first time that the country’s competition regulator has unraveled a major tech acquisition.

Meta (Facebook previously) announced in May 2020 that it bought the GIF platform with the goal of rolling it into Instagram. Reports set the price of the deal at $400 million.

As such, Meta has previously argued that because Giphy doesn’t have any operations in the UK, the CMA has no jurisdiction in this case. In addition, it claimed Giphy’s paid services couldn’t be classed as display advertising according to the CMA’s market definition.

“After failing to compete with new innovators, Facebook illegally bought or buried them when their popularity became an existential threat,” Holly Vedova, acting head of the U.S.’ Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) competition bureau, said in a statement.

The FTC filed a revised complaint against the firm just weeks after a judge threw out its original case in June. The judge had accused federal regulators of failing to provide enough evidence that Facebook created a monopoly in the social networking space.

The CMA opened an investigation into the deal the following month after it raised concerns about the acquisition. The regulator declared in August that the deal could prevent rivals such as TikTok and Snapchat from accessing Giphy’s library of GIFs, as well as removing a potential competitor to Meta in the UK advertising sector.

Meta ended Giphy’s paid ad partnerships, which the CMA said ceased the company’s ad expansion, including to other countries. Also, the watchdog suggested Meta could be forced to sell the service, having until December 1st to publish its final decision.

The UK regulator fined Meta, in October, more than $67.2 million for a “major breach” of an order to remain separate from Giphy during its investigation. The fine was the largest ever handed down by the agency. This step was taken after the regulator accused Meta of “consciously refusing to report” information about the merger.

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Australia plans laws to make social networks identify trolls



In a step meant to set restrictions on social media platforms, the Australian government is planning to introduce laws that force social media platforms to “unmask” online trolls despite experts saying it will do little to reduce online abuse.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed plans for legislation that could force social networks to reveal the identities of trolls and others making defamatory comments. A complaint mechanism would require online platforms to take these hostile posts down, and if they don’t, the court system could order a given site to provide details of the offending poster.

“Digital platforms, these online companies, must have proper processes to enable the takedown of this content. There needs to be an easy and quick and fast way for people to raise these issues with these platforms and get it taken down,” Morrison said on Sunday afternoon.

The PM’s announcement of the anti-troll social media legislation comes two months after he said social media platforms were a “coward’s palace” and declared that they would be viewed as publishers if they are unwilling to identify users that post foul and offensive content.

In addition, the proposed laws would also make it mandatory for social media platforms to have a standardised complaints system that allows defamatory remarks to be removed and trolls identified with their consent.

As such, Digital Rights Watch executive director Lucie Krahulcova, made some remarks regarding these laws, saying they are not focused on pursuing people who libel, malign, harass, or commit similar crimes online.

“They’re not actually very excited about enforcing [existing laws] on behalf of women, people of colour, and historically I think there’s plenty of evidence of that in Australia,” Krahulcova said.

The laws, if passed, would also redirect the liability for potential defamation from organisations running a social media page to social media platforms instead.

Federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash explained the attempt to shift defamation liability is in response to the recent Voller High Court case, which set a legal precedent where Australians who maintain social media pages could be publishers of defamatory comments made by others on social media even if they did not know about the comments. Since the ruling, media outlet CNN disabled its Facebook page in Australia.

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Nissan investing in electric vehicles, battery development



Nissan investing in electric vehicles, battery development

Nissan said Monday it is investing 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) over the next five years and developing a cheaper, more powerful battery to boost its electric vehicle lineup.

The Japanese automaker’s chief executive, Makoto Uchida, said 15 new electric vehicles will be available by fiscal 2030. Nissan Motor Co. is aiming for a 50% “electrification” of the company’s model lineup, under what Uchida called the “Nissan Ambition 2030” long-term plan. Electrified vehicles include hybrids and other kinds of environmentally friendly models other than just electric vehicles.

The effort is focused mainly on electric vehicles to cut emissions and meet various customers’ needs, said Uchida. Nissan also will reduce carbon emissions at its factories, he added.

The company has been struggling to put the scandal of its former Chairman Carlos Ghosn behind it. Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, after he was sent to Japan by French alliance partner Renault, was arrested in Tokyo in 2018 on various financial misconduct charges.

Uchida made no mention of the scandal but referred to “past mistakes” he promised won’t be repeated at Nissan.

Nissan’s “electrification” rests on developing a new ASSB, or all solid state battery, that it categorized as “a breakthrough” for being cheaper and generating more power than batteries now in use.

That means electric powertrains can be more easily used in trucks, vans and other heavier vehicles because the batteries can be smaller. The ASSB will be in mass production by 2028, according to Nissan.

The costs of electric vehicles will also fall thanks to the battery innovation to levels comparable with regular gasoline cars, Uchida said.

“Nissan has emerged from a crisis and is ready to make a new start,” he said.

All top automakers, including Nissan’s Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp., are working on electric vehicles, amid growing concern over climate change and sustainability. Global consumers are also demanding more safety features.

Uchida said Nissan was hiring 3,000 engineers to strengthen its research, including digital technology for vehicles.

Nissan, based in Yokohama, Japan, has suffered recently from the computer chips shortage that’s slammed all automakers because of lockdowns and other measures at chip factories to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The maker of the Infiniti luxury models, Leaf electric vehicle and Z sportscar is projecting a return to profitability for the fiscal year through March 2022 after racking up two straight years of losses.


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