Let's start with the most popular articles of the week:
TikTok will reportedly become an independent, U.S.-based company, with a majority stake held by its current parent company ByteDance. ByteDance will retain control of TikTok’s AI algorithm, in accordance with the Chinese government’s new restrictions on AI and other technology exports. Oracle will be given a minority stake in the new company and will be responsible for processing U.S. users’ data, which will be stored in the U.S. Last week, TikTok revealed details about the algorithm and data practices that have been key assets at making the company viable. The algorithm helps recommend the next videos based on machine learning techniques that decide what content users are most likely to click on.
As Nvidia prepares its $40B takeover of semiconductor company Arm Holding from SoftBank, the Chinese government is concerned that the company’s technology could be politically weaponized against Chinese firms, and may try to block the deal. 95% of chips designed in China use Arm’s technology. The deal - considered one of the largest tech acquisitions ever - faces heightened scrutiny due to its magnitude and significance. The $40b purchase will require regulatory approval from the U.S., U.K., EU, and China.
An autonomous ship is about to begin trials before it sails across the Atlantic Ocean using only AI and solar energy. The Mayflower is scheduled to make an appearance on Wednesday before it officially makes the voyage in April 2021, following the same path that the Pilgrims did in 1620. It will use cameras, radars, IBM Watson, and computer vision technology to navigate. Crews will begin trialing the ship off England's south coast over the next several months. The actual 3,000-mile voyage will take 12 days rather than the two months it took the Pilgrims.