Tech Stocks Are Mired in Their Longest Weekly Losing Streak Since Dot-com Bust

Tech companies haven’t seen a selloff like since 2001 and the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

The Nasdaq declined 3.8% this week, falling for a seventh straight week. It’s the longest losing streak for the tech-heavy index in 21 years.

Inflation, rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine and pandemic lockdowns in China are adding up to a disastrous market in general and a particularly brutal stretch for investors in technology and growth stocks, after historic rallies in recent years.

The Federal Reserve has signaled it will continue to increase rates to fight inflation, leading to concern that higher costs of capital will combine with deteriorating consumer confidence to eat away at profit margins.

The Nasdaq has lost over 29% since its peak on Nov. 19, closing on Friday at 11,354.62. The S&P 500 hasn’t fared as badly, but it still touched bear market territory on Friday, meaning a 20% drop from its high.

Cisco was among the biggest tech losers for the week, falling 13%, after the computer networking giant projected an unexpected revenue drop in the current quarter. Once seen as a bellwether for the economy given its prevalence in enterprises, Cisco said its guidance reflects the company’s decision to cease operations in Russia and Belarus coupled with supply shortages due to Covid-19 lockdowns in China and uncertainty about when things will improve.

“Given this uncertainty, we are being practical about the current environment and erring on the side of caution in terms of our outlook, taking it one quarter at a time,” the company said on its earnings call.

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Source: CNBC

Deepfakes Can Fool Biometric Checks Used by Banks

A team of researchers has found that biometric tests used by banks and cryptocurrency exchanges to verify users’ identities can be fooled by deepfake technology.

In a report published on Wednesday, researchers with Sensity, a security firm focused on deepfake detection, demonstrated how it was able to bypass an automated “liveness test” by using AI-generated faces.

Commonly known as “know your customer” or KYC tests, such verification processes often ask users to provide photographs of their identification as well as their face. A “liveness test” is then used to capture the users’ face in real-time in order to match it to their selfie and identification photo with facial recognition.

KYC verification is utilized in a wide array of industries including banking, fintech, insurance, crypto, and gambling. Sensity tweeted out footage of its demonstration a week before it released its report, detailing how 9 of the top 10 KYC vendors were highly vulnerable to deepfake attacks.

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Source: DailyDot

Google’s DeepMind Says It Is Close to Achieving ‘Human-level’ Artificial Intelligence

DeepMind, a British company owned by Google, may be on the verge of achieving human-level artificial intelligence (AI).

Nando de Freitas, a research scientist at DeepMind and machine learning professor at Oxford University, has said ‘the game is over’ in regards to solving the hardest challenges in the race to achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI).

AGI refers to a machine or program that has the ability to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can, and do so without training.

According to De Freitas, the quest for scientists is now scaling up AI programs, such as with more data and computing power, to create an AGI.

Earlier this week, DeepMind unveiled a new AI ‘agent’ called Gato that can complete 604 different tasks ‘across a wide range of environments’.

Gato uses a single neural network – a computing system with interconnected nodes that works like nerve cells in the human brain.

It can chat, caption images, stack blocks with a real robot arm and even play the 1980s home video game console Atari, DeepMind claims.

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Source: Daily Mail

U.S. Transportation Safety Agency Opens Investigation Into Fatal Tesla Crash that Killed Three People

A Tesla logo on a Model S is photographed inside of a Tesla dealership in New York, U.S., April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A special crash investigation has been opened into a fatal Tesla crash this month in California that resulted in three deaths, the U.S. transportation safety agency said on Wednesday. Continue reading “U.S. Transportation Safety Agency Opens Investigation Into Fatal Tesla Crash that Killed Three People”

Will Social Media Companies Crack Down on Racist Conspiracy Theory Behind Buffalo Massacre?

The Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting that claimed 10 lives Saturday was an event shaped by, and for, internet platforms, including message boards and streaming and social media sites.

Now, as the predominantly Black neighborhood that suspected killer Payton Gendron targeted is left reeling, whether those platforms allow their users to promulgate the racist “great replacement theory” that appears to have motivated him has become a matter of public safety.

In the past, the major social media companies have cited a clear connection to real-world violence as an impetus for cracking down on specific categories of extremist speech. After having long allowed Holocaust denial under the banner of free speech, Facebook ultimately banned such posts in 2020 in response to rising rates of antisemitic violence. It also banned the QAnon conspiracy movement for similar reasons, saying that even QAnon content which didn’t itself call for violence could still be “tied to different forms of real world harm.”

In theory, the massacre in Buffalo could mark a similar moment of truth for the great replacement theory, which claims that white people are being “replaced” by non-white groups, and which Gendron referred to repeatedly in a 180-page manifesto posted online before the spree.

But it’s not clear that that’s how things will actually play out, given the political pressure weighing on social media companies and the embrace of similar rhetoric by some of the right’s most prominent figures.

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Source: Yahoo

New Social Media Platform Created by Isaac Hayes III Hopes to Help Black Content Creators Get Paid

Isaac Hayes III, CEO Fanbase (Photo: Isaac Hayes III)

Black content creators have been outspoken about the disparities they face on various social media platforms. At The Root, we’ve reported on Black TikTok creators who have grown increasingly frustrated with white creators’ ability to earn more money and receive more sponsorship deals. These issues have led to Black creators striking and looking for alternative platforms where their voices will be heard and valued. But Isaac Hayes III believes he has developed a solution that will help folks who create viral social content get the credit they are due. Hayes III spoke with The Root about his idea and why he thinks it will change the game. Continue reading “New Social Media Platform Created by Isaac Hayes III Hopes to Help Black Content Creators Get Paid”

The Bubble Is Bursting: Tech Giants Lost More Than $1 Trillion in Value in the Last Three Trading Days

The world’s largest technology companies have shed over $1 trillion in value in just three trading sessions.

Stocks at large have sold off since the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, but technology has endured more pain than other sectors of the economy.

Investors now have less interest in what drove business during a strong bull market in recent years, including during the pandemic, and are now pushing more money toward safer pockets of the market, including staples like Campbell Soup, General Mills and J.M. Smucker.

Apple, the world’s most valuable public company, has shed $220 billion in value since the close of trading on Wednesday, the day Fed Chair Jerome Powell declared that inflation was running too high and that there were no plans for a rate hike more than half of a percentage point.

Markets first moved up on Powell’s comments, but the optimism sputtered out in the following days. Stocks went lower on Thursday, fell again on Friday and then still lower on Monday. The S&P 500 U.S. stock index fell below the 4,000 mark on Monday, having declined by 7% since Wednesday’s close, while the Invesco Nasdaq 100 ETF is off by nearly 10% during the same period.

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Source: CNBC