WELCOME TO THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF SALIENCE
This week includes a look at the new face of Gen Z banking, the supercomputers battling COVID-19, IBM’s cancellation of their facial recognition program, the development of flying taxis, and the new global initiative to turn wine into hand sanitizer.
As always, you can let us know your thoughts on other topics you would like covered by emailing email@example.com.
The new face of Gen Z banking?
There’s a new type of bank in town: the ‘messenger bank’. The premise is that if digital banking apps helped do away with bricks and mortar branches, then messenger banks might go one step further and do away with the apps. Sifted has this interesting look at why young people love the idea. Read about it here.
Meet the supercomputers combating COVID-19
We may not have superpowers, but we do have supercomputers. In the face of a global pandemic, big tech firms like Google, Microsoft and IBM are providing scientists with AI, cloud storage, quantum computing and the very best in computing power to help in the fight against COVID-19. This article from VentureBeat explains just how all this technological firepower is being put to use. Read more here.
IBM cancels facial recognition research
The impact of Black Lives Matter protests have continued this week, with an interesting announcement from IBM. The firm has decided to no longer offer, develop or research facial recognition software after the technology came under criticism for racial bias. The Verge has this interesting read on how IBM came to the decision. Read more here.
‘Fly me to the… theatre?’
In uplifting news, flying taxi developer Lilium has raised $35 million from one of Tesla’s largest investors to accelerate development of its prototype all-electric jets that take off and land vertically. The cash injection edges the firm ever closer to their goal of bringing flying taxis to the skies by 2025. Venture Beat has this closer look at the strides Lilium and others are taking to revolutionise private-hire travel. Read more here.
And finally…You’ve heard of turning water into wine, but what about wine into hand sanitizer?
With the recent pandemic leaving 3 million hectolitres (1 hectolitre = 100 litres) of wine unsold, 33 wine distilleries have been given the all clear to collect 2 million hectolitres of vino and convert it into ethanol for hand sanitizer production. This article from Forbes explains how the process will work, whilst also looking at the wider pressures faced by the wine industry at the moment. Sapience of course approves of good wine not going to waste (and we are ever ready to help in that regard…). Find out more here.