Newsletter #9: Tech Trends Report 2021 • Two banks, two approaches • AI for privacy • Free book: Token economy

Topics: How to use AI for privacy, the 2021 Tech Trends Report and more.

March 19, 2021

Thank You!

Today at 17:00 (on March 19, 2021) is the deadline for the TruBlo open call #1.

The consortium wants to express gratitude for:

  • Strong support by the other European NGI (Next generation internet) projects
  • The F6S platform for helping to manage the open call
  • Great participation by many smart people from all over Europe.

What will happen now? A group of independent reviewers will start to evaluate. A total of ten projects will receive funding. We will keep you updated with this newsletter and on our website.

Updates this week:


Tech Trends 2021

The Future Today Institute published its annual “Tech Trends Report”. For the 2021 edition the team analyzed over 500 technology and science trends. There is hardly a better, bias-free source to understand where technology is heading. The report is entirely free. To make it easier to digest this year’s edition it is published in 12 separate, smaller reports.

Direct links:

2021 Tech Trends Summary: A quick overview. Good pointers to decide whether to go deeper into any of the topical reports.

2021 Tech Trends Report: Blockchain and Fintech – Covering the future of blockchain, cryptocurrencies + fintech. Plus use cases and applications.

2021 Tech Trends Report: New Realities – Synthetic content and media, deepfakes, algorithmic content generation, streaming, AR/DR/VR/MR and journalism.

2021 Tech Trends Report: Privacy and Security – Covering privacy and security. Plus a list of major breaches and a glossary for execs.

2021 FTI Tech Trends: Overview and all reports On this page you will find all twelve reports with download links.

Opinion: Why linking to news articles is not the problem

Written by Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, co-editor of “Boing Boing” and an influential voice on the internet.

He thinks publishers fighting search engines over snippets and trying to get paid for this are missing the larger point. The big pot of gold is elsewhere.

As summarized by TechMeme:

Publishers should focus on how Google and Facebook steal via ad fraud and price-rigging rather than on the nonsense idea that snippets and referrals are crimes”.


Two banks, two approaches

What is the future of digital services, specifically for banking, money transfers, savings?

Firstly: “TechCrunch” about Kuda.

  • Kuda is a start-up, a “neo-bank” currently operating in Nigeria, with strongly growing number of users. In the future, the company aims to bring reliable mobile banking to people across the whole African continent.
  • Why it matters: The article is interesting, as it describes how Kuda operates and what it offers specifically. In short: Kuda is focused on making things easier for people when handling money. It is a reminder that in large parts of the access to banking is not a given. Note that the word “blockchain” is not even mentioned. LINK
  • In contrast, follow the link to another banking article, this time about the strategy of Goldman Sachs and how they try to connect to the world of crypto. There is a striking contrast here.LINK

If you find the time, read both texts and compare.

Contents, a marketing technology company from Milan, raises €5 million

As an indicator how automatic, AI-driven analysis advances.

Contents uses AI tech to analyse data, with a particular focus on trend discovery and creates multilingual content aimed at end-users as well as search engines. A SaaS platform (Software as a Service, sic), Contents provides content creation and distribution tools including the aforementioned trend analysis, along with automatic content generation without human intervention via natural language generation (NLG). To date, Contents counts 100,000 users around the globe, and processes over 3 billion data points per month, with 3 million e-commerce outlets monitored per hour. LINK

Opinion: Why and how artificial intelligence (AI) could be a strong weapon to protect privacy

Surprising, but interesting: Using AI to create a “silhouette” of a person to secure privacy.

“Instead of using someone’s personal data, companies can train AI models to anonymize the information and create what’s called differential privacy datasets,” said Francesco DiCerbo, research lead for AI privacy at SAP Security Research. “We can add random noise to the details about single individuals while preserving the overall statistical properties of the population. Think of it as seeing the silhouette of a person you can’t identify.”



Book: Token Economy

This links to a great book to learn why about tokens are important.

“Tokens are for the Web3 what websites were for the WWW in the 1990s. While it has become easy to create a token with just a few lines of code, the understanding of how to apply these tokens is still vague.”

This work by Shermin Voshmgir has evolved over several years. She provides not simply a write-up of recent trends, but a much deeper view of what tokens are and how we can use them in the future.

“Token Economy: How the Web3 reinvents the internet” is available in print or as a free to use wiki on GitHub. LINK

Five skills that you need to become a blockchain developer

The short version:

  • Cryptography
  • Smart Contracts
  • Data Structures
  • Blockchain Architecture
  • Web Development


Related: 7 free courses to learn blockchain in 2021

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19. March 2021

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