Alphabet's Rough Week
Not exactly a great week to be Alphabet, at least in Europe. The technology giant was still reeling from last week’s European Union mammoth €2.4 billion fine (£2.1 bn) —punishing the company for favouring Google Shopping on its search engine— when Reuters reported that a further blow could be coming its way.

This time, the EU’s antitrust authority is taking aim at mobile operating system Android. 
Alphabet is accused of exploiting Android’s dominant position to take out competitors— for instance, by demanding that phone manufacturers install Google Search and Chrome on their handsets if they want to get access to other Android apps. An EU expert panel is deliberating whether to proceed with the case. 
But Alphabet got a meh week in soon-to-leave-the-EU Britain too: the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) deemed the data-sharing agreement between the Royal Free Hospital and Alphabet-owned DeepMind to be illegal. DeepMind had partnered with the London hospital to develop its disease-detecting app Streams, which was trained with 1.6 million patient data. Turns out, ICO says, patients had not been properly informed about the handover of their information. No hefty fine here, just the demand that future arrangements comply with the law.

All the same, this was a fairly interesting week in London, especially when it came to eating. Munch-delivery service
Just Eat got a new CEO, snapping up data-savvy chief executive Peter Plumb from price comparison website Moneysupermarket; its direct rival Deliveroo, instead, was over the moon as £72 billion fund Softbank Vision was rumoured to be willing to invest in it, which would catapult the data-driven food startup to unicorn land (£1.1 billion). 

Oh, and self-driving cars are taking to London’s streets: Ocado has started trialling Oxbotica-made driverless delivery vans in the southern borough of Woolwich, while the UK’s first autonomous taxi initiative is poised to begin soon in Greenwich. 
Peter Clifton on adopting Google technology to automate the creation of up to 30,000 news stories a month. 
Four things we learnt at the Research and Applied AI Summit
Last week, yours truly went to RAAIS, the invite-only event organised by’s Nathan Benaich. While the talks were all amazing, here four things that were essentially seared on our brains.

- Orbital Insight is using satellite images and machine vision to understand how much oil reserves each countries has. That’s because storage tanks cast differently shaped shadows depending on how much oil they contain. China has a lot of undeclared oil. (See more in this WaPo story.)

- German AI startup TwentyBN is developing machine learning that understands videos. Instead of labelling existing—i.e. YouTube—videos, they ask people to shoot short clips showing certain actions. So far, they have crowdsourced 350,000 videos.
- Swarm robotics professor Sabine Hauert hinted that tiny, swarm-like automatons could help sow seeds in a more efficient way: we only need to make biodegradable micro-robots to move each seed around. 

- Immune system-like cybersecurity firm DarkTrace revealed that a European bank's server had been hacked and reprogrammed to mine Bitcoin.
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Outside Insight: The Meltwater Data Science Platform

Meltwater senior researcher Giorgio Orsi was at the Alan Turing institue. He explained how Meltwater is increasingly relying on data science to complement its media intelligence unit.
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