Weekly Tech Round-Up | #2

2021 has kicked off with lots of updates for the tech industry. Read on for this week’s round-up of exciting tech news, and innovations.

We also produce a fortnightly South West tech news round-up, which you can find here.

tech news
Apple plans a self driving car in 2024 with next level battery technology

The Guardian writes about how Apple’s automotive efforts, known as Project Titan have proceeded unevenly since 2014 when it first began designing its own vehicle from scratch. Since then, Apple has progressed enough that it now aims to build a vehicle for consumers that could include its own battery technology.

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Google workers form the tech giant’s first labour union

Read the BBC article that discusses how more than 200 workers at Google-parent Alphabet, have taken steps to form a labour union. The organisation will give staff more power to raise concerns about discriminatory work practices at the firm. The announcement comes weeks after an uproar about Google’s firing of a high profile black artificial intelligence and ethics researcher.

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Are technological advances made during the pandemic an opportunity as well as a threat?

BBC talks about how the use of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) has grown by 30% since March 2020, according to industry body Technology Connected. However, one report found that this could harm the work prospects of lower-paid staff, women and young people, and minority groups.

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Green-tech firm creates ‘smart greenhouses’ which allows gardeners to water their plants using an app

Business Live highlights Harvst, a new green-tech company that is giving amateur gardeners a range of smart, self-watering, climate-controlled mini-greenhouses. The Harvst kit was designed and manufactured by hand from their Cardigan HQ. The kit is intended for gardeners who want the self-sufficient benefits of growing their own produce and plants year-round but aren’t available to tend to their plants every day of the week.

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The UK tech sector shows resilience in 2020

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK tech sector demonstrated its resilience in 2020, by continuing to create jobs, investment deals and a record number of industry visa applications. Tech Nation revealed that tech job vacancies increased by 50% since the year’s lowest point in July, and since then job opportunities also rose at a rate of 2.6% a month.

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