DATAx returned this week for its latest installment in the tech hub of San Francisco. The event attracted hundreds of data, machine learning and AI experts from the Bay Area and beyond, who shared and discussed the latest trends and developments from across the global tech industry.
The coverage from DATAx San Francisco has been coming in thick and fast from the onsite Innovation Enterprise team. Strava data director Cathy Tanimura shared with delegates her methods for success when using data to build a product. During her presentation, Tanimura argued that "data is not a silver bullet". On the Gaming Analytic Summit stage, Ubisoft data scientist Florent Blachot called on individuals on gaming teams to come together and make up for each other's weakness by drawing from each other's skills.
In news away from the event, NASA announced it was awarded a total of $106m to small businesses across the US to develop autonomous technologies as it plots a return to the moon by 2024, while back on terra firma the world watched on as Uber's IPO didn't quite go to plan.
With 2019's edition of DATAx San Francisco over, make sure to stay tuned to Innovation Enterprise Channels for even more news and analysis from the two-day carnival of data. Next up for the DATAx team is DATAx New York, which returns for its second outing in The Big Apple this November. To find out more, visit the festival website, or book early bird tickets here.
Below, we present some of the best stories and features from our Channels from the last seven days.
Police banned from using facial recognition tech in San Francisco
Legislators in San Francisco this week took the drastic step to ban the use of facial recognition tech by the city's law enforcement agencies.
The measure will be officially passed into city law next week, following a second vote. The first vote on the ban was passed by San Francisco's supervisors 8-1, with two absentees.
"This is really about saying 'we can have security without being a security state'," remarked jubilant city supervisor Aaron Peskin. "We can have good policing without being a police state – and part of that is building trust with the community based on good community information, not on Big Brother technology."
Google scientist warns of medical data pitfalls
Speaking on the AI in Healthcare stage at DATAx San Francisco, Google research scientist Kathryn Rough said: "Electronic health record (EHR) data has its limitations and more data does not necessarily help."
Among the factors Rough cited as impacting the validity of medical data were patient loss to follow up, overemphasizing statistical significance and confounding. Stressing the importance of reporting, Rough noted that data scientists needed to make "data work for patients".
"It's messy and complex – and it was not intended for research purposes – and as much potential as there is there, we have to be careful in how we use it," she said.
How big data is improving inventory management across industries
Regular Innovation Enterprise contributor and technology journalist Kayla Matthews wrote this week about how big data has been helping businesses improve their inventory management practices.
Offering her six ways that big data has helped companies excel in the all-important task of inventory management, Matthews wrote: "Many big data solutions allow companies to decide precisely how much inventory they need to keep customers happy and avoid having too much stuff on hand. Some even have automated features that enable quick reorders.
"Some brands use big data to mine through customer feedback received on social media channels or through a company's customer service email address. For example, a flurry of comments from people who became ill after eating a particular kind of peanut butter might trigger a data analysis tool to recommend brand representatives investigate the complaints more thoroughly."
Tencent Music Entertainment Group to move more content behind paywall
Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TEM) announced its intention to charge users for more of its content as the service, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, saw pay-for-streaming accounts climb to 28.4 million.
Tencent Holdings share price fell recently, thanks primarily to the ongoing trade war between China and the US, with the news that its music streaming service has been performing well bringing some welcome relief to the company's leadership.
Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based tech analyst, remarked that as Chinese consumers become more used to paying models, TME represented the largest company within the wider Tencent business that offered "very positive" long-term prospects.
Why asset managers need to adapt to avoid extinction
Asset managers, much like the rest of us, would love to avoid extinction. That sentiment led Nick Ayton, an Innovation Enterprise contributor, digital disruptor and BOOMer, to write about how and why asset managers are being disintermediated at an alarming rate.
"While it has been no Hollywood blockbuster, the sands have indeed shifted under [the asset management] industry," Ayton wrote.
"Many old guards and industry stalwarts believe to this day they are protected from new entrants by a mix of regulatory protection and scale," he noted. " Believing themselves to be too big to fail, being the 600lbs dominant gorilla in the room, they fail to realize these metrics are now meaningless and underestimate the threat of digital revolution."
Facebook sues South Korean social media analytics company
Facebook, it would seem, is always in the news for one thing or another – more often than not, for failing to act on data privacy. This week, however, the shoe was somewhat on the other foot as the company announced its intention to sue South Korean social media analytics firm Rankwave for breaking Facebook's rules… on data privacy.
Rankware, which analyzes social media users' data for marketing purposes, has been accused by Facebook of failing to cooperate with the social media giant's efforts to verify it compliance with its policies, which Facebook director of platform enforcement and litigation Jessica Romero said was required of all developers using its platform.
Facebook, now a purveyor of social good, has since suspended apps and accounts tied to Rankwave, but yet to specify what type or how much user data Rankwave has gathered.