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UK ranked third in the world for AI after the US and China –

A new report has placed the UK third in the world for the development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI).

The Global AI Index report published by British media company Tortoise ranked the UK behind the US and China on investment and innovation in AI.

The UK was ranked first among 54 countries for the creation of an operating environment for AI development.

However, the report found that the US and China are both leading on research and development.

The UK was followed by Canada, Germany and France in the ranking.

Tortoises report was compiled with the assistance of experts including Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, investor Saul Klein and Nigel Toon, the chief executive of AI chip...

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Of course Facebook and Google want to solve social problems. Theyre hungry for our data – The Guardian

We hear it said all the time, most recently in a national campaign for BT: Technology will save us. The slogan was plastered on billboards across the country as part of BTs new advertising campaign, linked to a UK-wide digital skills movement developed partly with Google. The sentiment is so ubiquitous that it even led to a dispute with a startup of a similar name. But in an era dominated by the big four (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) the idea that tech will save us rings hollow, an example of utopian messaging being used to conceal the simple pursuit of profit.

Having proposed solutions to everything from food shortages to suicide prevention to climate breakdown, companies such as Google and Facebook two of the leading western companies in the artificial intelligence arms race claim theres almost nothing that cannot be tackled through tech. But there are reasons to be sceptical. These companies business models depend on the development of ever more complex algorithms, sustained by enormous quantities of data. This data is used to improve the algorithms but access to it is also sold to advertisers and third-party businesses.

Labours plans to part-nationalise BT opens up a new front in this battle especially with the proposed tax on big tech

Conquering new sources of data has therefore become their primary mission. And thats why theyre eyeing our public commons: telecommunications, energy and even urban space, which continuously generate enormous quantities of real-time data. In 2017, it was reported that Googles AI outfit DeepMind was in talks with the National Grid. DeepMinds founder, Demis Hassabis, expressed an interest in expanding technology similar to that used to minimise energy wastage at Google data centres where electricity usage had been cut by 15% across the energy grid. This is an improvement, of course, but as one of the main examples of how AI systems might be used to tackle climate change it is hardly inspiring.

It also neglects to mention that unprecedented access to our critical infrastructure and publicly generated data would be given to a US tech giant. The collaboration between DeepMind and the (privatised, shareholder-paying) National Grid has for now been abandoned for reasons that are unclear. A recent article in Forbes speculates that the two companies couldnt reach an agreement on costs and intellectual property rights, in perhaps the most telling example of big techs ambitions to boost revenues through the commandeering of national infrastructure. Could Googles recent engagement with BT be built on a similar ambition?

Giving tech giants the power to solve social problems would mean granting them an immense stake in almost everything that our society requires in order to function. Google is currently signing contracts with the NHS to process patient records, despite there being legal question marks over a similar arrangement with a London hospital a few years ago. Whats more, the climate crisis is a political, not a technological problem. Whatever improvements Google or Facebook could make to our infrastructure would still fall far short of solving it. And when environmental collapse stands to affect poorest communities the hardest, the question remains as to how an industry that drives extreme wealth inequality can really be said to help build a greener, more humane, world.

These companies are able to make it seem as though their sole ambition is to optimise and improve their systems for the greater good. But this rhetoric distracts us from the fact that they are ushering in a new kind of surveillance capitalism, whereby a small number of entities extract enormous amounts of wealth through their access to data that is generated by us, the public.

To ensure that we retain the control to manage these systems, and to avoid an unprecedented level of power and wealth being concentrated in the hands of a very small elite, our infrastructure urgently needs to be brought under state control. This is why the Green New Deal, backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the US and taken up in the UK by the Labour party, is so important. Not only will the UK version pursue efforts to keep global average temperature rises below 1.5C, but by encompassing public ownership of energy companies it provides a democratic line of defence against the predations of Silicon Valley. Labours proposal to part-nationalise BT opens up a new front in this battle especially since the party is planning to help pay for it with a tax on big tech.

In the years to come, this will give the state a far stronger negotiating position on resources, both digital and physical, as well as on the practical applications of this potentially world-altering technology. It is absolutely essential that publicly powered technology is answerable to public power.

Nathalie Olah is the author of Steal As Much As You Can

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Of course Facebook and Google want to solve social problems. Theyre hungry for our data - The Guardian

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‘Curing death’ and other semi-secret projects that Pichai will oversee as Alphabets CEO – Business Insider India

X develops internet beaming balloons (Source: X)

X is Alphabet's 'semi-secret' research and development arm, and its main objective is to develop 'moonshot' technologies. According to the company, a moonshot is something that solves big problems, is a radical solution and delivers breakthrough technology.

X has been the incubator for a lot of projects that now aligned with Google including but not limited to Google Glass, Google Contact Lenses, Google Brain, Google Watch and Chronicle.

Other projects matured to become companies of their own under Alphabet like Verily, Waymo, Loon, Makani, and Wing among others.

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'Curing death' and other semi-secret projects that Pichai will oversee as Alphabets CEO - Business Insider India

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AI Hardware Summit Europe launches in Munich, Germany on 10-11 March 2020, the ecosystem event for AI hardware acceleration in Europe – Yahoo Finance


Google, Microsoft, BMW, Continental Ag, Volvos Zenuity, Xilinx, Arm and BASF among AI pioneers to join the first AI Hardware Summit Europe in Munich, March 10-11, 2020.

Following three successful events, including two sell-out shows in the US, the AI Hardware Summit is coming to Munich, Germany. The AI Hardware Summit series has previously included luminary keynotes from Dr. John L. Hennessey, Chairman of Alphabet, Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence Systems and Naveen Rao, CVP & GM of Intels AIPG.

Marchs event will feature an opening keynote from Olivier Temam, Hardware Engineer at DeepMind tasked with building DeepMinds hardware infrastructure for Artificial General Intelligence, titled Past Chip Childhood and System Teenage: Why We Need to Build a Mature Ecosystem.

Given Europes strength in automation across industrial, robotics and autonomous vehicles manufacturing, this summit will focus on inference systems in edge computing, connecting these industries through common challenges in systems architecture/engineering.

Between 200-250 attendees are expected to attend, with topics focusing on deploying machine learning at the edge, whole stack optimisation of AI, and the design of autonomous systems.

Key speakers include:

- Olivier Temam Hardware Engineer, DeepMind - Cyra Richardson General Manager, AI & Robotics Incubation, Microsoft - Uri Weiser Professor Emeritus, Technion - Michaela Blott Distinguished Engineer, Xilinx - Muralikrishna Sridhar Head, AI Services for Autonomous Vehicles, Continental Ag - Geoff Tate Co-Founder & CEO, Flex Logix - Luca Benini Professor of Digital Circuits and Systems, ETH Zurich - Mike Henry Co-Founder & CEO, Mythic - Matthew Mattina Head of Arm's Machine Learning Research Lab, Arm - Albert Cohen Research Scientist, Google - Orr Danon CEO, Hailo Technologies - Eric Flamand Co-Founder & CTO, GreenWaves Technologies

Similar to other events hosted by Kisaco Research, such as the AI Hardware Summit US, the event is expecting announcements of new AI systems solutions on both the hardware and software side.

You can register for the event at, and apply for press/media passes with the details below.

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AI Hardware Summit Europe launches in Munich, Germany on 10-11 March 2020, the ecosystem event for AI hardware acceleration in Europe - Yahoo Finance

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Bitcoin Trades Range-Bound As Investors Wait And See – Forbes

Bitcoin markets have been suffering a certain malaise lately, showing little volatility.

Bitcoin prices have been trading within a relatively tight range lately, experiencing minimal volatility as market observers wait for the next major catalyst to drive the cryptocurrency higher or lower.

The digital asset started moving primarily between $7,200 and $7,800 late last month, narrowing to a smaller range of roughly $7,200 to $7,400 on November 30th, CoinDesk price data shows.

The cryptocurrency has been experiencing this relative calm as it follows a broader, downward trend, during which it has repeatedly notched lower highs, additional CoinDesk figures reveal.

[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]

Bitcoin is in a general downward trend with temporary technical bounces from oversold price points, said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency hedge fund managerBitBull Capital.

The upcoming holiday season may also result in thinning volumes, adding further pressure on the price, he added.

Meanwhile, investors have adopted a wait and watch approach to see if any market catalysts help conclusively drive the market in a particular direction, concluded DiPasquale.

Bullish Technicals

While bitcoin has managed to stay within a reasonably defined range over the last several days, it has also been displaying some bullish technical signals, giving market observers hope that it may experience a positive breakout soon.

Mati Greenspan, founder of the newsletterQuantum Economics, weighed in on these developments, helping shed some light on the situation.

Over the last week, technical indicators have shown signs that a reversal may be in the cards soon, he stated.

At the moment, sentiment and volumes are at the lows. A strong push past the $8,000 [level] could very easily open the way back to the recent highs of $14,000, said Greenspan.

At the same time, Greenspan emphasized the limited nature of relying on technical analysis, noting that past performance is not always an indication of future results.

Adam Vettese, an investment analyst for eToro, also weighed in, stating that the technical picture is encouraging but not conclusive.

The price action still has a little bit further to go to reverse the long-standing downtrend, he added, so I would want to see a bit of a stronger reversal first.

Sentiment Data

Crypto investors have been particularly bullish or bearish, according to sentiment figures provided by cryptocurrency analytics

From a short-term point of view Bitcoin sentiment is very flat, Joshua Frank, cofounder of, said yesterday.

Tweet volumes today are below average and daily Bitcoin sentiment is sitting right around 54% (neutral), he added.

The chart below depicts the relationship between price, daily sentiment and tweet volume:

Bitcoin prices, sentiment data and tweet volume.

There is nothing to suggest a strong upwards movement is coming from a purely sentiment point of view, said Frank.

Waiting For Whats Next

Considering the widespread malaise affecting the bitcoin markets, Marouane Garcon, managing director of crypto-to-crypto derivatives platformAmulet, summed up the mindset of many traders, investors and analysts.

I think that were all waiting for whats next, he stated.

I think the market needs more utility, added Garcon.

He mentioned decentralized finance, describing it as an exciting sector thats experiencing great growth and it has a great use case.

There needs to be a reason or several reasons for people to get excited about crypto again, said Garcon.

Disclosure: I own some bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether and EOS.

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Bitcoin Trades Range-Bound As Investors Wait And See - Forbes

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Why a massive $9 billion of bitcoin moved in one hour – Decrypt

A total of 1.3 million bitcoin (BTC) worth almost $9 billion was moved on-chain in a single hour yesterday. Despite this, the price of bitcoin is currently holding steady at around $7,300, after briefly spiking to more than $7,500 yesterday.

According to Rafael Schultze-Kraft, cofounder of on-chain market intelligence firm Glassnode, this is the highest hourly USD transaction volume in bitcoin's history. But who was moving so much bitcoin around? And why?

Glassnode said that this recent spike was largely caused by crypto exchange Bittrex, which moved around 1.18 million bitcoin ($8.7 billion) across a series of 21 transactions, each comprised of around 56,000 bitcoin. The move comes during Bittrex's scheduled maintenance, which will see the exchange upgraded throughout December 05, 2019.

Each of these transactions had a fee of around 0.00008 BTC, or around $0.60, this means Bittrex was able to move almost $9 billion for under $12.50.

As it stands, it remains unclear why Bittrex moved almost $9 billion in bitcoin, but some have speculated that the exchange may be upgrading its cold storage. Such significant movements have been associated with cold storage transfers in the past, with Binance moving around $1 billion in bitcoin into cold storage back in July.

Normally such a large transfer to an exchange would be considered a bearish signal, since this could lead to increased sell pressure. Conversely, large troves of bitcoin moving away from exchanges is typically seen as bullish, since this indicates a reduced supply. (The price of a coin is largely influenced by supply and demand). However, since this is simply an internal transfer, it is unlikely to significantly affect the bitcoin price action.

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Why a massive $9 billion of bitcoin moved in one hour - Decrypt

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Prominent Investor Says Halving Won’t Have a Big Impact on Bitcoin Price, Here’s Why – Forbes

Fuse switches sit inside an electrical supply cabinet inside the BitRiver Rus LLC cryptocurrency... [+] mining farm in Bratsk, Russia, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Bitriver, the largest data center in the former Soviet Union, was opened just a year ago, but has already won clients from all over the world, including the U.S., Japan and China. Most of them mine bitcoins. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

The highly anticipated block reward halving of bitcoin is set to occur in May 2020. Despite popular belief, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder and partner Jason Williams said that it would have a minimal impact on the bitcoin price.

Halving unlikely to have immediate impact on bitcoin price (source: Jason Williams Twitter)

A block reward halving is a mechanism that is activated once every four years on the Bitcoin network that reduces the rate in which new BTC is mined.

Theoretically, halvings should eventually lead to an increase in the price of bitcoin, as less BTC flows into the market approaching its 21 million cap.

However, because halvings are anticipated years in advance by both investors and miners, whether bitcoin prices in halvings prior to the events occur remains unclear.

In an interview, Williams said that the cryptocurrency community is well aware of the date of the next halving and that miners tend to prepare before a halving occurs.

As such, he noted that the upcoming halving will not have any major effect on the price trend of bitcoin.

He said:

"For the community that are living this day to day they know the event is there. They even know the date (within a few days). Large miners that are holding BTC will have to sell to cover operational expenses or use cash as revenue halves.

New buyers have to come in to move this market up. So other than a new headline, the halving is being dealt with now by those who are operationally effected by it. Those that dont will be priced out of the mining business."

In previous halvings that occured in November 2012 and July 2016, it took well over a year for the market to start surging in both instances. In 2016, as anexample, after the halving occured, the bitcoin price slumped from $707 to $570.

It wasn't until December 2016 that the bitcoin market started to engage in an extended rally.

While halvings could havea long-termimpact on the price of bitcoin, they are unlikely to have an immediate effect on the short to medium-term price trend of BTC upon activation.

Still, some reports indicate that new investors are generally unaware of bitcoin halvings, which could be a variable as halving nears.

Grayscale, an investment firm under Digital Currency Group that operates the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), said in a report that many of the market participants it interviewed had no knowledge of halvings.

"The halving is close enough that its time to start talking about it more seriously, but far enough out in the future that its unclear whether its priced into the market efficiently. In fact, based on anecdotal conversations with market participants, we were surprised to learn that many of them were not even aware of this event," the report read.

As a scarce asset with a fixed supply at 21 million BTC, a block reward halving that affects the supply of bitcoin is likely to influence the price. But, based on previous halvings, it may be far-fetched to claim that halvings trigger immediate price reactions and strong rallies in the short-term.

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Prominent Investor Says Halving Won't Have a Big Impact on Bitcoin Price, Here's Why - Forbes

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Crypto Is UnstoppableIs Bitcoin Really On The Cusp Of A Huge Santa Rally? – Forbes

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets have been trapped in a downward trend for months, but with just a few weeks until Christmas and bitcoin bulls still upbeat, could we be in for (another) Santa rally?

The bitcoin price is around half its year-to-date highs, with most altcoins (but not all) struggling to keep pace with bitcoin and having a worse time of it.

Now, bitcoin and crypto heavyweights are predicting a sudden price surge, technical data is looking positive, and recent developments suggest 2020 could be a big year for bitcoin.

A so-called Santa rally is when markets get a boost in the run up to Christmas and bitcoin has ... [+] historically seen some of its biggest bull runs through December.

"We will see $10,000 bitcoin again and welcome $100,000," ethereum cofounder and creator of bitcoin rival cardano, Charles Hoskinson, said last week, brushing off suggestions bitcoin could be in terminal decline as so-called FUDfear, uncertainty and doubt. "Crypto is unstoppable. Crypto is the future."

If bitcoin does stage a late in the year rally, it wouldn't be the first time crypto markets have soared in December. Towards the end of 2013 bitcoin rocketed to what was an all-time high of over $1,000 per bitcoin.

A few years later, December 2017 saw bitcoin's epic bull run peak at almost $20,000. But a lot has changed since then.

"I think bitcoin's weakness since July is understandable," Tom Lee, head of research at bitcoin and crypto strategy boutique Fundstrat Global Advisors, told CNBC in a recent interview, blaming the decline on increased regulatory scrutiny on crypto in the wake of Facebook's troubled libra project and U.S. president Donald Trump's criticism of bitcoin.

"I don't think adoption has really grown since July and if you can't grow adoption, network effects don't take place and so bitcoin drifts lower. But does this change the 10-year, five-year, or even two-year outlook for bitcoin? I don't think so."

Lee is upbeat about the year ahead, pointing to new money flowing into crypto markets as equity reaches new highs, the eagerly-anticipated bitcoin halvening, scheduled for May, and China's growing interest in bitcoin's underlying blockchain technology.

Meanwhile, technical data remains surprisingly positive for bitcoin.

Bitcoin chart watchers are eyeing the so-called Trading Envelope Indicator, which could be "a crucial inflection point," according to analysis by financial newswire Bloomberg.

A break below the indicator's lower band could mean a sudden sell-off, though a bounce could herald a rally of around 15%.

Elsewhere, bitcoin's "bullish three-day chart pattern is still intact," bitcoin, crypto and blockchain news outlet Coindesk has found.

Bitcoin's two biggest bull runs have both happened in the run up to Christmas, with many in the ... [+] bitcoin and crypto industry hoping history will repeat itself this year.

However, a bitcoin mini-rally over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which saw the bitcoin price add over 10% in less than 48-hours, has been almost erasedand some are beginning to doubt a fresh breakout could be imminent.

"My conviction level has come down quite a bit. Particularly, as the continuation and strong breakout has yet to develop," Mati Greenspan, the founder of research outfit Quantum Economics and formerly of brokerage eToro, wrote in a note yesterday.

"It's also worth noting that neither sentiment nor volumes have seen any drastic improvement over the weekend and are once again at the lows. Still, nothing changes sentiment like price and a strong push above $8,000 at this point could very easily pave the way to the recent highs near $14,000."

The bitcoin price is now trading at around $7,300 per bitcoin, up from around $3,500 at the beginning of the year.

Despite insistence from bitcoin bulls that a return to all-time highs is just around the corner, bitcoin holders might have to be happy with a mere doubling of prices in 2019.

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Crypto Is UnstoppableIs Bitcoin Really On The Cusp Of A Huge Santa Rally? - Forbes

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How the bitcoin market always overreacts – Decrypt

Anybody who has ever traded the bitcoin market is likely well aware of one thingit is notoriously volatile. Events that would barely move other markets can have a dramatic, but typically short-lived effect on bitcoin.

Here, we examine some of the most recent cases of volatility, and posit the possible rationale behind the madness that is bitcoin trading.

The most prominent overreaction in recent months was caused by comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping last month. During a speech made to the 18th collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, President Xi praised Bitcoin's underlying technology, blockchain, hailing it is an important breakthrough.

Almost immediately after President Xi's remarks were made public, bitcoin spiked from under $7,500, up to almost $10,000rising by a third in less than a dayending more than a month of decline. However, once the hysteria died down, the price of bitcoin again resumed its downtrend, falling back below $7,500, to its lowest value in over six months.

This isn't the first time a president's remarks have significantly influenced bitcoin's price action either. Back in July, US President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets slamming bitcoin, calling it "highly volatile and based on thin air," while remarking that unregulated crypto assets facilitate illegal activities.

That day the price of bitcoin fell from $12,000 to $11,200. But by the next day, the panic was over and the price rose back up towards $12,000.

Other events have similarly caused mass hysteria in the bitcoin market. In June, a flash crash on the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange saw bitcoin briefly fall to $100potentially as a result of a single large compromised account. This resulted in one of bitcoins largest-ever single-day dumps.

And yet again, once people realized the damage was limited, the price bounced back.

Since many cryptocurrencies, bitcoin included, derive much of their value as speculative investment vehicles, it stands to reason that any event that can significantly affect investor sentiment could alter its price action.

But in the bitcoin market, this is taken to the extreme, largely spearheaded by factors described as Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)people jumping on positive price actionand Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)a term used for negative news.

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With the unpredictability of future trends, the crypto market reacts highly emotionally to positive as well as negative news or events, said Gregor Krambs, cofounder of, which builds the Crypto Fear & Greed Index tool used to track sentiment in the crypto market.

The outcome of these mostly irrational decisions are driven by emotions of fear and greed, which get amplified by the vast amount of participants acting in the market, he added.

Prominent trader known as CryptoVince argues that institutions make the most of this, exaggerating the price swings. He told Decrypt, Retailers usually FOMO in upon good news causing a quick increase in price. Institutions countertrade the FOMO and sell/short bitcoin which will dramatically drop in the mid-term.

The exact opposite can also occur when bad news appears, which can explain bitcoin's price action in late October," he said.

As a result, significant good or bad news can cause a sudden rally or drop, as first responders emotionally react to the news, CryptoVince argued. This is then followed by algorithmic responses from higher volume traders, and lastly casual traders catching the back end of the price action.

As the initial hysteria dies down, the price then begins to stabilize, with a trend reversal often following shortly after.

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