Tech This Week: Turkey Cracks Down on Social Media, Facebook Uses AI to Predict COVID Patients Health Status

Published January 20th, 2021 - 08:30 GMT
Tech This Week: Turkey Cracks Down on Social Media, Facebook Uses AI to Predict COVID Patients Health Status
Are countries trying to limit the Big Tech powers out of caring about their citizens' rights or out of fear of losing their power and authority to the tech giants? (AlBawaba)
Highlights
Here is our round-up of the biggest latest tech stories of the week:

It seems that no matter how many "good deeds" the tech giants do, they will still face backlashes from authorities and countries. And one can't help but wonder; are countries trying to limit the Big Tech powers out of caring about their citizens' rights or out of fear of losing their power and authority to the tech giants?

Without any further ado, Here is our round-up of the latest tech stories of the week:

CES 2021 Event
Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade show never fails to surprise tech enthusiasts. Held virtually this year, CES is considered the global stage for the world’s latest innovations. Click here to check out our list of some interesting gadgets and technologies revealed in CES 2021.
Instagram Head not happy with Reels
Reels is Instagram’s latest attempt in imitating TikTok. It is available only in 50 countries including the US so far.
Launched in August last year, Reels allows users to fun record videos with music. 

Despite the feature's modest success, Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, is not very content with Reels' performance. In a Podcast with Verge’s Decoder, Mosseri said: “We’re growing both in terms of how much people are sharing and how much people are consuming, but we have a long way to go. And we have to be honest that TikTok is ahead.”

Turkey Slaps Twitter, Pinterest with Advertising Ban

Last October, Ankara issued a law in which social media platforms must hire a local representative if they want to still operate in the country.

On Tuesday, Turkey announced the ad ban on any social media giants who failed to hire a local representative plus a fine of $5.43 million. Twitter, Pinterest and Periscope were affected by this ban.

After being fined, Facebook announced that they’re in the process of appointing a legal representative. 

Other platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, VK, and DailyMotion have also agreed to hire representatives in Turkey.

Italy Demands TikTok to Block Accounts after Girl's Death Linked to Challenge

According to Albawaba, Italy has ordered TikTok to block users' accounts that didn't verify their age following the accidental death of a 10-year-old girl while performing one of TikTok's challenges.

The Italian authority started a comprehensive investigation of the shocking accident as there might be possible incitement to suicide.

Google Play Store Rolls out New Icons That Show Trending Apps

Thanks to this new feature, people now can check out the apps that are trending and most downloaded on the app store.

Source: Android Police

Although users won’t be able to know how many slots have the app moved up or down or the download rates, it would help developers, publishers, and others who might be interested to check out the ranks of the apps on the Play store.

Facebook to Use AI to predict if a COVID Patient needs further healthcare

The tech giant Facebook announced the utilizing of AI in predicting whether a COVID-19 patient may need intensive medical attention.

Teaming up with NYU Langone Health’s Predictive Analytics Unit and Department of Radiology, Facebook developed 3 machine learning models in which the AI can help hospitals and health professionals make sure that ‘they have sufficient resources to care for patients’. According to the blog post by Facebook, the first model can predict patient deterioration based on a single X-ray, the second can predict patient deterioration status based on a sequence of X-rays, and the third model can predict how much supplemental oxygen (if any) a patient might need based on a single X-ray.

Steam Year in Review Indicates that Gaming time doubled in 2020

Famous video game digital distribution service, Steam, published its yearly review in which they include major events and updates comparing the data with the previous years. In last year’s review, Steam noted that the total playtime in 2020 has doubled compared to 2019. 

Source: Steam

This is mainly due to the global lockdowns due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The report says: ‘At the start of March, there was a 30-40% increase in total traffic-related to game downloads; this is less than the bump we usually see during a sale, so it was fairly easily handled”.

Events to Keep An Eye On:
Jan. 25: IBM CIO Leadership Summit [online only]

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