As the sound of Christmas songs begins to plague the radios and towns and cities across the UK are left decimated by work parties and Black Friday rampages, we take a look at who’s who on our naughty and nice list.
Naughty: Apple and the Hong Kong fiasco
We have saved a special first place position on our 2019 naughty list for Apple and their involvement in the ongoing riots in Hong Kong. Apple’s decision to take down the HKMap, an app designed to locate riots and police activity throughout Hong Kong, saw them berated and condemned in the global press circuit. It was Apple’s CEO, Tim Cooke, who made the decision to take the app down, and in doing so sparked international outcry, with thousands across the globe accusing Apple of risking the safety of thousands of Hong Kong nationals and siding with the Chinese Government.
Nice: Making the impossible possible with heme
Earlier this year, we took a look at how a company in California was creating totally meat free meat that could have a huge impact in the battle against climate change. Food Inc specialises in creating plant-based alternatives to meat, but what makes their product special is the way they recreate the basic DNA of protein. According to them, Heme is the molecule that makes meat taste like meat. Impossible extract that molecule from plants such as soy plants and restructure its DNA to produce lab grown meat. Agriculture and farming are now been recognised as THE biggest threats to our planet, with ingenious solutions like this we could secure a better future for generations to come.
Naughty: Apple and Goldman Sachs release the world’s first sexist AI algorithm
Apple really have been naughty this year, but they can’t be solely blamed for their second appearance on the list. Earlier this year Apple released their brand-new banking product, aptly named Apple Card. The banking system used an algorithm created by Goldman Sachs that determined credit lending limits to individual users. Despite a large majority of female users having better credit histories and scores than male users, Apple’s lending services offered higher credit lending to male users, in what has been described as a discriminatory algorithmic error. Read more about that here…
Nice: Saving lives with Axiel3D
A tech start-up company specialising in medical 3D printing is revolutionising the way doctors diagnose illnesses and treat patients. Their technology takes a typical 2D image of a patient’s anatomy and creates a 3D model based on that. The model provides doctors with a 360° view of a patient’s anatomy which saves crucial time and resources scanning and x-raying different parts of the body. Axiel3D have recently won several awards for their innovative and potentially life saving technology.
Naughty: Facebook gets political, again
Just last month Mark Zuckerberg defended his company’s decision to keep political ads on the social media platform. Facebook had been accused of allowing the distribution of false political news to millions of people across the world. Political parties from the UK, US, Russia, China and more have been accused of using Facebook as a platform to mislead the public through false and sensationalised ads. Zuckerberg responded to these claims with, “what I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments.” Basically, a big F-U to the critics.
Nice: NASA makes spacewalks inclusive
For years NASA and other space agencies across the world have only allowed male astronauts to conduct spacewalks. In more recent years this unofficial policy has been met with huge opposition from people campaigning for equal rights. NASA claimed that the design of the spacesuits made it difficult for female astronauts to perform the manoeuvres required to carry out a spacewalk. However, earlier this year NASA revealed a brand-new spacesuit design that catered for female and male astronauts, and in October the first spacewalk performed by two females successfully took place.