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The Big Battle Over Big Data

The Big Battle Over Big Data

Last week we told you why many world leaders think global power increasingly depends on harnessing the promise of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. So this week, in-house tech guru Kevin Allison takes a look at the key contenders for the crown. They are, mainly…


The United States: With the biggest tech companies, the best talent, and the most innovative economy — this is the tech power to beat. But the state’s hands-off approach to the sector means most of that power (and data) is accruing to private companies whose primary loyalty is to their own shareholders. With tech companies facing a bi-partisan backlash in Washington, the government will likely seek more control. Whether that stifles innovation or strengthens the US position vis-à-vis rival powers remains to be seen.

China: The challenger. China can’t match US talent yet, but it’s catching up fast, for three reasons: its private sector tech giants are closely aligned with the state and the Party; China’s billion strong population can produce vastly more raw data than the US; and President Xi Jinping has consolidated power in a way that enables him to credibly make long-term financial and political promises to support the aim of making China an “AI Superpower” in the next ten years.

How does all this affect you? The competition here isn’t necessarily zero-sum — advances in one place can fuel innovation in others. But as big data grows bigger and artificial intelligence gets more, well, intelligent — a host of political and ethical issues will arise. So it will matter a great deal which governments, or companies, are in pole position to determine the new norms of privacy, oversight, and accountability.

President and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc Morial, comes to 'That Made All the Difference' podcast to discuss his time as mayor of New Orleans, today's challenges, and what it will take to build a more just, equitable and inclusive society.

Listen now.

Though celebrations will surely be more subdued this year, many Germans will still gather (virtually) on October 3 to celebrate thirty years since reunification.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall — and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union — Germany reunited in a process whereby the much wealthier West absorbed the East, with the aim of expanding individual freedoms and economic equality to all Germans.

But thirty years later, this project has — to a large extent — been difficult to pull off. The economic and quality of life gap is shrinking, but lingering inequality continues to impact both German society and politics.

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

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Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

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Watch: Tolu Olubunmi in conversation with Dr. Samira Asma from the World Health Organization on how they are advancing health data innovation in the age of COVID-19.

This content is brought to you by our 2020 UN General Assembly partner, Microsoft.

Watch UN Innovation Room conversations weekly on Thursdays at 9 am EDT: https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream/

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