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Digital Insights - 15 September 2023

Need to know

  • Apple hires Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer to front corporate sustainability video

  • FGS Global decodes the impact of AI on communications in its latest podcast episode

  • US Justice Department accuses Google of spending billions to block rivals


Generative AI

FGS Global decodes the impact of AI on communications in Episode 5 of its podcast, Insight to Impact

  • Episode 5 of FGS Global’s Insight to Impact podcast features Di Mayze, Global Head of Data and AI at WPP and FGS Global Partner Theo Hildebrand. Theo and Di decode the quickly evolving topic of Artificial Intelligence, discussing how can new AI tools be utilized and deployed to define a company’s reputation in unpredictable ways.

  • Theo was joined by Oles Danylovych, Associate Director at FGS Global, to delve into the challenges, risks and advances in AI, and what this means from a business culture perspective. Listen here.

Major AI companies pledge to White House for responsible AI development

  • Adobe, IBM, Nvidia, Cohere, Palantir, Salesforce, Scale AI, and Stability AI have committed to the White House to develop Artificial Intelligence that is safe, secure, and trustworthy. This is the second such agreement the Biden administration has secured with AI developers.

  • These commitments mirror earlier ones made by Meta, Google, and OpenAI. Notably, these agreements are voluntary, meaning there are no penalties if companies do not adhere to them.

  • As part of the agreement, the companies will:

    • Conduct internal and external testing of AI systems before commercial release

    • Invest in safeguards to protect model weights

    • Share risk management information with governments, civil society, and academia

    • Allow third-party reporting of AI vulnerabilities

    • Watermark AI-generated content

    • Publicly report risks linked to their AI systems

    • Research societal risks and develop AI to address significant societal challenges

LinkedIn study reveals UK workers’ optimism towards AI

  • LinkedIn data shows a rising demand for AI skills, with a 21-fold increase in English language job listings mentioning AI technologies like ChatGPT, and most UK workers view AI as beneficial for their careers, according to a LinkedIn survey of 2,037 professionals.

  • 40% of the study participants anticipate AI will alter their jobs within a year, with 38% expecting significant role changes.

  • A training gap exists: 45% want to learn about AI, but 66% say their employers haven't offered AI training.

  • Workers are proactive: 22% have tried AI tools like ChatGPT, and 16% seek AI advice from peers.

  • Respondents noted that AI's potential uses include eliminating mundane tasks (51% of workers) and answering awkward questions (42%).

To learn more about Artificial Intelligence, how to embed it in your day-to-day work life and understand its upsides and pitfalls, please contact Theo.Hildebrand@fgsglobal.com or email ContentDigitalData@fgsglobal.com.

Executive leadership on social media

AI Tim Cook meets Mother Nature in new take on its sustainability report

  • This week, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to X to share the company’s fresh new take on the sustainability report: a fun, short video featuring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as ‘Mother Nature’, visiting Apple HQ to grill the company on its environmental impact.

  • In the video, Tim and his team of nervous employees gradually win over Mother Nature as they explain the company’s environmental commitments and achievements, including making all Apple products with a net zero climate impact by 2030.

  • Whilst the video was a refreshing departure from the usual sustainability messaging, its initial showing – for 5 minutes during the iPhone 15 unveiling – left many cringing.

  • As pointed in The Verge, Apple’s environmental bona fides aren’t all what they seem either: the new ‘carbon neutral’ watches are only carbon neutral based on a specific order combination of watches and bands and if they end up selling more products than before, ultimately their carbon footprint is greater than before.

Campaigns

Viral Chinese video series call for British Museum to return artefacts

  • Escape from the British Museum, a three-part short video series which has gone viral in China, tells the story of a jade teapot coming alive and taking a human form as it tries to escape the confines of its exhibition case.

  • Chinese public attention towards the Museum’s collection of priceless artefacts is growing. Recent reports that 2,000 items were "missing, stolen or damaged" last month have prompted demands from China and other countries for treasured antiquities to be returned.

  • First released on China's version of TikTok, Douyin, the series has been played 270 million times, showing how social media platforms are used in China to galvanize public opinion on key diplomatic issues.

Apple unveils iPhone 15

  • This week, Apple unveiled its iPhone 15 and latest series of Apple Watches with a more advanced chip, with the story trending midweek on X and other online news sources.

  • Apple’s priciest model – the iPhone 15 Pro Max – will sell for $1,199 (an increase of $100 from the last model) and will include improved cameras and use universal USB-C charging cables following pressure from the EU. The move is expected to reduce waste and save money for consumers, and comes as Apple faces declining sales of iPhones and diplomatic turbulence between the US and China.

  • The unveiling comes at a challenging time for Apple, who recently reported decreasing revenue for the third straight quarter.

  • Apple is hoping that by increasing the price of the smartphones people want to buy, they can counter the fact that people are keeping their phones for longer and sales are remaining flat.

Outgoing Alibaba CEO to set up new tech investment fund after surprise exit

  • Daniel Zhang, the outgoing CEO of Alibaba, has also quit as chairman and CEO of its cloud business, according to widespread reports.

  • Alibaba said only in June that Zhang was stepping down as group chairman and CEO to focus on the firm’s cloud intelligence unit. Under a major company restructuring, Alibaba has been split into six separate units, including cloud, e-commerce, logistics, media, and entertainment.

  • Eddie Wu, Zhang’s replacement as group CEO, will now also be interim cloud chairman and CEO.

  • According to an internal letter seen by CNN, Zhang will establish a $1 billion Alibaba investment fund, supporting future growth and developing the company’s tech ecosystem.

  • Media also speculate the announcement will weigh on Alibaba's share price until a new successor is named.

Bot presence on X at its highest level ever

  • Despite Elon Musk's ownership and promises of a crackdown on bots, bot activity on the platform formerly known as Twitter has surged.

  • Timothy Graham, an associate professor, along with PhD candidate Kate FitzGerald, analyzed 1 million tweets related to the first Republican primary debate and a Donald Trump interview on X.

  • In the past, researchers could examine 10 million tweets each month without incurring any costs but following Musk's limitations on access to the company's API, they had to pay more than US$5,000 for the study.

  • Researchers identified over 1,200 accounts falsely stating that Donald Trump had emerged victorious in the 2020 election during the debate and interview while uncovering an additional bot network of 1,305 accounts, attracting more than 3 million views.

  • FitzGerald observes that the accounts continued to stay active long after their initial discovery, expressing concerns about X's lack of content moderation and strategy for addressing disinformation.

China’s digital currency pilot programme expands to new regions

  • China is expanding its sovereign digital yuan pilot to six more regions including Shanghai, according to media reports, as the country moves closer to launching the first central bank digital currency among major economies.

  • By expanding testing of the digital currency electronic payment (DCEP), China is positioning itself as a global leader in developing a central bank digital currency.

  • The potential cross-border application of the digital yuan has also been touted as a way to help China challenge the dominance of the US dollar in international payments.

Car companies’ data-sharing practices under scrutiny

  • Findings from a Mozilla Foundation report include the extensive sale of data, shedding light on a widespread issue across the automotive industry.

  • Car companies' privacy policies and data-sharing practices are under scrutiny as the report highlights the need for proper regulation of the digital economy.

  • Car companies allegedly collect personal data, including sensitive information such as race, national origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, and sexual orientation, sharing anonymized data with third-party service providers as well as using it for their own marketing and operational purposes.

  • In an FT Opinion piece, John Thornhill (Innovation Editor) highlights the poor records of car companies for cybersecurity and the need to “clean up” the digital economy and ensure transparency and control of consumers over their private data, which is particularly technical and difficult when it comes to modern cars.

  • The article ends with a call for more regulation and careful attention to be given to data-sharing consent terms.

US Justice Department accuses Google of spending billions to block rivals

  • The US Department of Justice is suing Google for maintaining an internet search monopoly and engaging in anticompetitive behavior.

  • The lawsuit claims Google has a stranglehold on the search market, accounting for 80% of all search queries in the US.

  • In opening statements on Tuesday, the tech giant cited its product superiority to justify its search dominance.

  • The trial, expected to take place over the next 10 weeks, will review allegations that Google illegally preserved its monopoly by paying rivals billions (including Apple and Samsung) billions to maintain and expand its dominance, which Google denies.

  • If the case is successful, Google could be forced to change its business practices and pay significant fines.

September 15, 2023
By Content Digital Data team
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