#1 | Anyone can now answer Alexa questions

Amazon has launched Alexa Answers, a program that lets other users in the US answer questions for which the voice assistant doesn’t have a response. When people ask questions like “What states are surrounding Nebraska”, the system will provide information noting that it’s “according to an Amazon customer.” The company has turned to crowdsource as a way to deal with unusual questions and expand its knowledge base for Alexa queries. Users submit responses through a special website and human reviewers, algorithms, and an upvote and downvote system to determine which pieces of information are eventually provided to end-users. Amazon is also looking beyond this functionality and hopes that the initiative will build Alexa community and increase the number of loyal customers. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2kKBE1R



#2 | IBM to deploy a quantum computer in Germany

A German government plans to invest more than $700 million in the field of quantum computing and catch up with the US and China in a technology race. One of the very first beneficiaries of this program has been IBM and Fraunhofer Society, an applied research institute, which signed an agreement that’ll result in the US tech giant installing its Q System One quantum computer in Germany. These machines operate millions of times faster than any of today’s supercomputers and can deal with tasks in various fields such as molecular structures, artificial intelligence, financial risk, and portfolio analysis. Companies hope that the deployment of a quantum computer will promote innovation and create a vibrant research community. Read more here: https://reut.rs/2mllnAB



#3 | Unconcerned by lawsuits, investors flock to 10X Genomics IPO debut

10X Genomics went public and this event has been met by strong investor demand. The biotech firm sold 10 million shares for $39 a piece, raising $390 million and increasing its market value to about $4.9 billion. Investors were unconcerned by the news that Bio-Rad Laboratories filed a patent infringement lawsuit on Wednesday, having already won two other similar legal actions. The IPO was a success and VC backers such as Foresite Capital Management, Venrock, and Paladin Capital Group made massive returns on their investments. And 10X Genomics has reported $146.3 million in revenue during 2018, with the figure set to rise in 2019. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2kqixd1



#4 | Facebook will use police bodycam footage to train video detection algorithms

Facebook will use bodycam footage of firearms training exercises to train its algorithms to better detect and prevent live-streaming of mass shooting incidents. The social media giant will use visual data of the UK’s Metropolitan Police Service taken during training drills of terrorist attacks and hostage situations. The company announced new measures after the video of the attack in Christchurch slipped through its automated detection systems and spread on the internet. Improved video detection AI will also be deployed on Instagram. The Metropolitan Police has announced that training footage will be made available to other technology firms. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2kTowY9



#5 |Salesforce to launch an app that measures sustainability progress

Salesforce is building a software tool, called the Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, to help companies measure their sustainability efforts, carbon emissions, and renewable energy usage. The program will integrate with internal and third-party data and is subject to various audits to ensure that Salesforce and customers meet their goals. This scrutiny will become ever more important as investors look for verifiable sustainability programs. The tech giant already uses this product internally while the official release is planned for 2020. It’s unclear how much this service will cost. Read more here: https://tcrn.ch/2ktOKAn


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