Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this week.
AI robots revolutionise the pizzeria
Restaurant and takeaway pizza making is about to see one of the biggest changes in centuries. While it’s not yet mastered the art of making the pizza base, there is now a robot that can automate the process of adding the ingredients of up to 300 different types of pizza before they are taken to the oven for cooking.
By digitising what has previously been a manual process, the machine gathers data that improves ingredient ordering and cuts down on food waste. It also improves how the pizzas look, a process undertaken by taking photos after every ingredient has been added and which are then analysed by artificial intelligence to continually improve presentation.
Ideal for businesses that want to reduce staffing costs, keep wastage low, limit the risk of contamination and ensure social distancing in the kitchen, these AI robots also have customer-friendly features to boot. Pizza lovers will be able to order the pizza from an app and the system will be able to inform them exactly when it’s ready to collect.
Microsoft causing issues with GDPR compliance
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has advised public organisations to put a hold on the purchase of new Microsoft products because of potential problems with GDPR. The crux of the issue lies with the licencing agreements which state that Microsoft can unilaterally define and change parameters of data processing done on behalf of customers. In essence, this means data can be moved out of the EU and processed in countries such as the US where EU data controllers no longer have the authority to control the data.
According to the EDPS, Microsoft’s terms and conditions potentially undermine EU citizens data rights and give data controllers little capacity to ensure GDPR compliance. This is because they have minimal oversight over how, where and by whom the data is processed.
The problem was first highlighted last year when the state of Hesse in Germany banned the use of Office 356 in schools because it potentially exposed student and teacher data to access by American officials.
Thanks to the development of a robotic researcher, scientists at the University of Liverpool have been able to continue their research when working at home during the lockdown. Similar to the robots seen in car factories, the new robot has the added advantage of having artificial intelligence that can exploit previous results to come up with new experiments.
Able to work in the laboratory 24/7, the automated research colleague could speed up research by a thousand times. Costing only £100,000, the machine uses a combination of AI, robotics and advanced computing to carry out its operations. Not only is it able to carry out the physical activities involved in research; it can also make decisions about what activities need to be done. This frees up scientists to focus on innovation rather than having to carry out the experiments which sometimes need repeating thousands of times.
Cambridgeshire UK’s cybercrime hotspot
New data released by the Office for National Statistics shows that between 2016-2018, Cambridgeshire saw the biggest increase in cybercrime, with criminal cases rising 49% from 2,789 to 4,155. North Wales was not far behind with an increase of 47% to 3,133 cases.
When it came to the volume of criminal cyberattacks, Thames Valley topped the table with over 13,000 cases just in 2018, followed by Greater Manchester and West Midlands, both with over 11,000 cases.
Every UK region saw cybercrime rise during this period. Indeed, a report by cybersecurity firm, Norton, showed that over 16 million people in the UK were victims of cybercrime in 2019.
Fujitsu joins remote work revolution
Japanese technology giant, Fujitsu, has become the latest company to embrace remote working. This week it has revealed plans to make 80,000 of its Japanese employees work from home permanently. The move will enable the company to shrink its substantial office footprint by 50% and help it refocus as it plans to rebuild after the pandemic.
Calling the move the ‘Work Life Shift’ campaign, it is part of a wider plan to speed up the company’s digital transformation by offering smarter working, borderless offices and cultural change. The aim is that the flexibility will offer workers a better work-life balance (they can work anywhere, including specially created hubs and satellite offices) and enable the company to downsize its offices within two years.
Going forward, the company will continue to optimise working patterns by listening to workers and deploying digital platforms which monitor, visualise and analyse working conditions.
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