Inside CTO/CIO - September 10th, 2019 |

Inside CTO/CIO (Sep 10th, 2019)

Alibaba leader leaves/ Companies fight disinformation/ Apple labor violations

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1. Alibaba Group chairman and founder Jack Ma will step down from the Chinese firm today. Alibaba is Asia's most valuable listed company, with a current market cap of $460 billion. It employs over 100,000 people. The market for its core e-commerce business has slowed sharply. But Alibaba still handles more business than any other e-commerce company, and under Ma's leadership, the company has expanded into other sectors including financial services, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Last week the company also invested in luxury goods retail platform Kaola and music streaming company NetEase. Ma says he is retiring to dedicate himself to philanthropic efforts. He started the Jack Ma Foundation in 2014 to develop education leaders in rural China. CEO Daniel Zhang, Ma's handpicked successor, will run the company. - REUTERS

2. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) debuted HPE ML Ops, a container-based software service that provides a DevOps-like process to standardize machine learning workflows and accelerate AI deployments. ML Ops extends the capabilities of BlueData's EPIC software platform, which allows enterprises to create Hadoop and Spark clusters in virtual environments. HPE acquired BlueData a year ago. ML Ops works with a range of open-source machine learning and deep learning frameworks, including Keras, MXNet, PyTorch, and TensorFlow, along with commercial machine learning applications from Dataiku and The service is generally available now as a software subscription. - ZDNET

3. New York City-based advocacy group China Labor Watch (CDW) accused Apple of violating Chinese labor law. Apple denies most of the allegations in CDW's report, which charges that more than half of the workforce employed in August at the largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, were temporary hires -- more than China’s laws allow. CDW also alleged that the factory does not provide workers with adequate personal protective equipment and workers do not receive any occupational health and safety training. The factory does not report work injuries, the report also claims. Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn confirmed that a review of its operations in Zhengzhou “did identify some workforce compliance issues.” - THE WASHINGTON POST

4. Microsoft has partnered with UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on a new program for healthcare tech startups. The three-month program, called the AI Factory for Health, will help these companies develop AI-based tools. The incubator will be headquartered in Paris and Inria, the French national research institute for digital sciences, is part of the partnership. AstraZeneca will provide clinical expertise and its links to healthcare establishments and data, and the startups will have access to the Azure platform. Microsoft announced it is shuttering its personal health record system, dubbed HealthVault, this November, marking an ongoing pivot toward honing an enterprise healthcare strategy.- THE RECORD

5. Companies that embrace a multi-cloud approach are more likely to suffer a large number of breaches than hybrid and single-cloud users, a new study finds. Using a multi-cloud approach increases the number of points through which a company can be hacked. The study from security specialist Nominet finds that 52 percent of survey respondents who adopted a multi-cloud approach suffered a data breach over the past 12 months. Only 24 percent of hybrid cloud users and 24 percent of single-cloud users surveyed experienced breaches in that timeframe. Sixty-nine percent of multi-cloud users had between 11 and 30 breaches, compared to 19 percent of single-cloud users and 13 percent of hybrid-cloud users surveyed. - TECH NEWS WORLD

6. Amazon has plans to hire 30,000 permanent workers in the U.S. The company will start the process at its Career Day on Sept. 17. Amazon is looking for workers to take on roles in locations ranging from the company's headquarters and tech hubs to data centers and fulfillment centers. It's looking to hire entry-level software development engineers and computer vision scientists, among other positions. - FAST COMPANY

7. HackerOne, which connects companies with hackers to help them find online vulnerabilities, has raised $36.4 million in Series D funding. The company’s total funding to date is $110 million. HackerOne customers include Google, Intel, Airbnb, Alibaba, General Motors, and the U.S. Department of Defense. The company also is developing a bug bounty program for applications built on the Libra cryptocurrency blockchain. - TECHCRUNCH

8. Future advancements in quantum computing may rely on a new miniaturized chip-based superconducting circuit developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. The circuit marries magnetism and superconductivity for manipulating quantum information. The physical and material underpinnings of this "on-chip” approach allows for precise coupling and decoupling of the magnon and photon, presenting opportunities for manipulating quantum information. - SCITECH DAILY

9. Business process automation and customer support are among the top motivations for companies to acquire AI vendors. A new survey from software vendors Leverton says that these are the most mature use cases for AI. Data extraction and contract analytics are also among the top five reasons but they are meant to solve more complex problems, such as dealing with unstructured documents, voice, video and image processing, - ZDNET

10. Joanna Munro was named global CIO at HSBC Global Asset Management, which has $503 billion in assets under management. Munro is currently global head of stewardship and fiduciary governance and chairwoman of HSBC Global Asset Management U.K. She replaces Chris Cheetham who is retiring from his full-time executive role. - PENSIONS AND INVESTMENTS

Jennifer Zaino is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business, technology, healthcare and education. 

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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