Welcome, all again to – 5-For-Friday – your weekly, tech news roundup.
1. International Monetary Fund Suggest Governments Should Consider Own Cryptocurrency.
Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund has suggested that governments should consider offering their own cryptocurrencies to prevent the systems from becoming havens for fraudsters and money launderers.
Lagarde said central banks had to work quickly to establish digital cash for burgeoning networks of private financial transactions or risk their mushrooming into trading networks that were inherently unstable.
2. Trade Unions Hold Talks to Implant UK Employees with Microchips.
Britain’s biggest employer organisation and main trade union body have sounded the alarm over the prospect of British companies implanting staff with microchips to improve security.
UK firm BioTeq, which offers implants to businesses and individuals, puts the chip in the flesh between the thumb and forefinger, and can be used to store medical data, open doors, access offices or start their car.
The CBI, which represents 190,000 UK businesses, voiced concerns about the prospect.
While technology is changing the way we work, this makes for distinctly uncomfortable reading. Firms should be concentrating on rather more immediate priorities and focusing on engaging their employees.
The worry is that staff could be microchipped, micromanaged, and unknowingly wave away their right to privacy.
3. EE Names First 5G Launch Cities.
EE has announced the first UK cities that will get its faster 5G mobile network.
Building on existing trials, EE will turn on 5G in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester.
The aim is to launch in these major cities by mid-2019, and add a further 10 cities by the end of 2019.
EE networks could transmit data at speeds faster than 10 gigabits per second, with other UK networks also trialling 5G to accelerate their rollout next year.
4. Health App DeepMind’s Moves Closer To Google Control
News has raised fresh concerns over patient privacy data after Google announced plans to bring the health division of its DeepMind artificial intelligence company more firmly under its control.
Google will now manage the Streams app, which processes NHS patient data to alert doctors if a person is at risk of developing kidney disease.
While the app intention is to help detect illness quicker, DeepMind has been in the spotlight recently after the Information Commissioners Office ruled that the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust illegally provide the data of around 1.6 million patients as part of a trial.
5. UK Funding Development of Fully-Autonomous Drones
The British government are reported to be funding research programs to develop fully-autonomous and armed military drones, with AI functionality to control its decision-making.
Having previously denied development of this type of drone, Drone Wars UK, a small London-based company published in their report the UK’s Ministry of Defence policy opposes the development of autonomous weapon systems and has no intention of developing them.
Current British military drones are remotely-controlled by humans, yet this new report claims that the British government is funding research into drones that could fly, identify targets, and attack without direct human supervision or control.
Until next week. We hope you have a great weekend!