Daily Crunch: IBM is getting out of facial recognition

·3-min read

IBM's CEO takes a stand on mass surveillance, Apple may soon make a big chip announcement and Google Maps gets new features to help users navigate transit safely.

Here's your Daily Crunch for June 9, 2020.

1. IBM ends all facial recognition business as CEO calls out bias and inequality

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna announced that the company would no longer sell facial recognition services, calling for a “national dialogue” on whether it should be used at all. He also voiced support for a new bill aiming to reduce police violence and increase accountability.

In a letter written in support of the Justice in Policing Act introduced, Krishna said, "IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency."

2. Apple could reportedly announce Mac shift to its own ARM-based chips this month

For years now, analysts and unconfirmed reports have suggested Apple was working on transitioning its Mac line of computers away from Intel-based chips and to its own, ARM-based processors. Now, Bloomberg reports that the company could make those plans official as early as later this month.

3. Google Maps updated with COVID-19 info and related transit alerts

Google Maps is introducing a series of new features to better inform travelers and commuters about how their trip may be impacted by COVID-19 — including travel restrictions, COVID-19 checkpoints or even just the crowdedness of public transport.

4. DNAnexus raises $100M for a cloud-based analytics platform aimed at genomics and other clinical big data

The idea is to use the funding to continue building out the company's research platform, particularly as research has boomed around the current coronavirus global health pandemic.

5. Enterprise investors remain flexible as they navigate COVID-19

We asked a number of enterprise investors if they have changed their approach in light of the pandemic and its knock-on economic impacts, how the current environment has changed their relationship with existing portfolio clients and how well those clients are coping with the new reality. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Walmart’s Flipkart rolls out voice assistant to make shopping easier

The AI-powered voice assistant currently supports the grocery category, called Supermart, but a company spokesperson told TechCrunch that Flipkart will soon be extending it to other verticals. The feature began rolling out to Android users today, and the company says it is working on bringing these capabilities to its iOS app.

7. The future ain’t what it used to be in first Bill & Ted Face the Music trailer

Finally, something to look forward to.

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