Technology News for the week (3/15/2020) – Legendshub Blog

Hello Guys, Welcome to Legends hub Blog. Top technology news for the week are as follows.

1.) Bangladesh, a Forefront of Technology for Women

Afsara Benzair, a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), says she always had the knack for Mathematics and Physics and my interest in these subjects pushed me to choose engineering. And while the interest was always there, the social cues which mark women unfit for the job, coupled with the lack of empowering and networking platforms proved to be a barrier for many who wanted to pursue a career in this sector.

Bangladesh Flag

However, all of this has drastically changed in the past couple of years. Emerging organizations have helped women all across Bangladesh in order to reach their goal. Some of the examples are as follows:

The Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT) has a dedicated platform aimed at promoting women in the technology industry through training and a wide range of networking opportunities who are ICT entrepreneurs and professionals in the ICT, computer science, EEE, robotics and mechatronics sector.

BASIS Women’s Forum (BWF), an initiative by the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), empowers women regardless of educational background to help them pursue a career in ICT and TechBeez connects aspiring female students in STEM with female leads in the industry, enables enhanced career opportunities while inspiring many.

Moreover, there are countless government initiatives, aided further by the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ agenda which empowers women throughout. Institutes such as Bangladesh Korea Institute of Information and Communication Technology (BKIICT) and Bangladesh Computer Council have taken initiatives to provide opportunities and support for women in the country.

Despite all the empowering platforms available, a certain degree of obstacles still persists. Mitrasree Deb, an IT consultant at Fujitsu Research Institute, Tokyo adds, “Even in this era, people are full of judgement and even though we ignore it most times, it lingers as an underlying reason for being overly self-conscious as an individual. These can greatly affect mental health and overall personal and career growth in the long run if you let it get to you. Criticism and judgements entail common questions like “Won’t this job be tough for you as a woman?” from people all around. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming, regardless of how much you ignore the noise. Furthermore, male dominance still persists to a certain degree as the addition of women professionals in IT is still a newly circulated phenomenon. The issue of the gender pay gap is an unfortunate reality in certain places with employment often being influenced by your gender”.

To over come all this, confidence and patience is the key. As per the Principal Officer at the IT Division of Dhaka Bank Limited, Supriya Imon Swati, “As soon as I started to believe in myself, I started to enjoy my job. There were instances of lingering criticism. However, the support from my family and environment at the office helped me greatly”.

The ones who are new should know that curiosity goes along way and during this long path learning new things every day aid in their career advancement greatly. Moreover, there are hundreds of real-life success stories around us and taking inspiration from these female role models act as effective motivators in the long run.

So in conclusion, the emergence of women empowerment organizations and the right kind of shift towards a more open, equal and inclusive work environment in general, the future shows promise & with the right kind of guidance and suitable environment, women can continue to change history through increased participation in IT and other fields with their hard work and determination, thereby becoming invaluable gems of the impending Fourth Industrial Revolution ahead.

2.) Help from Silicon Valley by White House for COVID-19

On Wednesday the White House sought help from big tech giants to augment the government efforts to track the outbreak, disseminate accurate information and assist Americans who are out of work or school.

This meeting was conducted between top Trump administration aides, leading federal health authorities and representatives from companies including Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Twitter.Three participants described the phone-and-video conversation on the condition of anonymity because the session was private. Most tech companies in attendance either did not respond or declined to comment.

The meeting was to get leverage to tech industries powerful tools to connect workers and analyze data to combat an outbreak that has already infected more than 1,000 in the United States.

According to White House’s chief technology officer, Michael Kratsios said, “Cutting edge technology companies and major online platforms will play a critical role in this all-hands-on-deck effort and today’s meeting outlined an initial path forward and we intend to continue this important conversation”. Tons of collegial brain storming the White House officials have urged the tech industry to coordinate its efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus conspiracy theories on major social media sites, urging the companies to swap intelligence about harmful hoaxes before they go viral, the three participants said.

Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy said in a statement, “With a critical mass of expert organizations, official government accounts, health professionals, and epidemiologists on Twitter, our goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information on our service”.

Some tech giants already have explored ways to put their sky-high profits and powerful technologies to use in helping global health authorities battle a virus that the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday. Also, IBM supercomputers have aided government scientists studying potential drug compounds that can combat the coronavirus, the company has said. Others, including Microsoft and Amazon, are behind multimillion-dollar relief funds in their home state of Washington, which has been hit hardest domestically.

3.) India also in the Rat Race for Facial Recognition Technology

In India Law enforcement agencies used facial recognition to identify more than 1,100 individuals who allegedly took part in communal violence in the national capital last month.

The first admission of its kind in the country, Amit Shah, India’s home minister, said the law enforcement agencies deployed a facial recognition system, and fed it with images from government-issued identity cards, driving licenses, and “other databases,” to identify alleged culprits in the communal violence in northeast Delhi on February 25 and 26. “This is a software. It does not see faith. It does not see clothes. It only sees the face and through the face the person is caught,” said Shah, responding to an individual who had urged New Delhi to not drag innocent people into the facial surveillance.

The admission further demonstrates how the Indian government has rushed to deploy facial recognition technology in the absence of regulation overseeing its usage. Critics have urged the government to hold consultations and formulate a law before deploying the technology because the facial recognition system that the government used in Delhi was first acquired by the Delhi Police to identify missing children. In 2019, the system had an accuracy rate of 1% and it even failed to distinguish between boys and girls.

Apar Gupta, executive director at IFF said, “All of this is being done without any clear underlying legal authority and is in clear violation of the Right to Privacy judgment and facial recognition technology is still evolving and the risks of such evolutionary tech being used in policing are significant”.

Ishleen Mankatala

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