TL;DR: the week in tech, for you

Rhiannon Jones
the latest technology news

1) Google is teaching AI to the world

‘Learn with Google AI’ is a set of resources created by Google’s experts to help people… that’s right, learn more about AI! It does more than just teach concepts, too – you can develop skills and apply artificial intelligence to real problems. The courses are tailored to your level of experience and area of interest, and – best of all – they’re free.

Zuri Kemp, who leads Google’s machine learning education, says it was introduced, “in the hope of making AI and its benefits accessible to everyone”. More than 18,000 Google employees have enrolled on the crash course option so far – you can join them here.

2) The net neutrality repeal gets its first challenge

Last week, the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality regulations finally came into effect. This week, Washington State passed the most ambitious piece of legislation yet in the US to protect net neutrality for its residents, in opposition to the federal repeal.

A little background: In December 2017, the US Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal regulations that prevented internet providers from discriminating against certain content, such as slowing rival streaming services or speeding up access to higher payers. Most major providers have promised not to alter the speeds of any content but critics are concerned that, if they do, innovation could see a significant impact – especially for new companies competing with established providers.

The Washington State legislation is the clearest challenge yet to a ruling that could fundamentally change how we use the internet. This is one that’s worth keeping an eye on.

Want to know more? Vox has a great explainer here and the Washington Post has some more analysis here.

3) Dropbox is going public

After 10 years, Dropbox is finally going public. Dropbox was founded in 2007, launched in 2008, and is now one of the most popular cloud storage apps in the world. The NASDAQ registered company is looking to raise $500 million through the IPO and will be seen under DBX symbol.

Dropbox’s revenue has been climbing these past three years and was reportedly earning $1.1 billion last year. 90% of Dropbox’s revenue comes from their 11 million individual subscribers. So, Dropbox is likely to cash in on business subscriptions after the IPO.  

4) Nokia is bringing back the banana phone

Keanu Reeves can look forward to a remake of his all-time favorite movie prop because Nokia is bringing back the spring-loaded keyboard cover banana phone, Nokia 8110 – in a fitting yellow color too. As if the addictive movement of sliding open the phone isn’t enough, the phone will have a battery life that lasts for weeks even with the significant upgrade from the original 8110, says the Independent. Its 4G connectivity means you can make calls over data or browse through Facebook – but, let’s be honest, all you’re going to need is the revamped snake game.

5) What we’ve been listening to

Opinion has swung in recent years: people are now looking at the big players in tech with a more critical and pessimistic eye. The latest episode of ‘Chips with Everything’, a podcast from the Guardian, ponders the role of ethical thinking in the tech industry and asks what we should make of DeepMind’s recent investment in an ‘Ethics & Society‘ research group. Ethics and tech seem to be fraternizing more than ever on university campuses. Could greater transparency be on the horizon?

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