ITU Newsletter

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As ITU and XPrize prepare to host next week's AI for Good Global Summit, here are your key ICT trends this week: New research finds healthcare organizations are doing little to prevent cyberattacks on medical devices, SoftBank invests in Brazil's app economy and Singapore's 'Lab on Wheels' makes learning tech fun for children.


ITU Newsletter
AI for Health: ArtificiaI Intelligence (AI) can help provide new treatments for diseases, paving a path to the future of medicine. AI can also unlock health-promoting benefits of food at the molecular level. [Next week's AI for Good Global Summit will explore a range of use cases to improve lives globally.]

ICT Trends

Secure medical devices? New research claims that most healthcare manufacturers and organizations are doing little to prevent cyberattacks on medical devices, even though they expect attacks to occur in the near future. Another researcher recently found over 8,000 known vulnerabilities in pacemakers’ code.

Space: A game-changing development for commercial spaceflight? Rocket Lab's recent launch of an orbital-class rocket to space from a private launch facility could pave the way for Rocket Lab to launch commercial clients with much-improved efficiency. Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific rocket startup, Gilmour Space, raised USD 3.7 million in series A funding, as an accessible and affordable alternative for smaller companies to launch microsatellites into orbit.


SoftBank invests in Brazil's app economy, extending its international ride-hailing app portfolio with a USD 100 million investment in Brazil-based on-demand private car and taxi-hailing service, 99. May has been a month of active investment for the Japanese company, with new stakes in Guardant Health, Improbable, Paytm, Nvidia and 99. Will they soon become the biggest investor in tech?

Connectivity: CSquared -- Google’s project to build open-access fibre networks in Africa, which is currently deployed in Uganda and Ghana -- received USD100 million in funding to extend the network across sub-Saharan Africa with fresh backing from IFC, Convergence Partners and Mitsui. It is estimated that Africa needs 500,000km of additional fibre-optic cable, and CSquared’s business model can help lower expensive installation and consumer costs. [Facebook is also partnering to build a fiber-optic backhaul network in Uganda.]


  • Cybersecurity: The EU Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has joined forces with the semiconductor industry to standardize and improve IoT cybersecurity across the continent.
  • Regulation: Amendments to the proposed Electronic Communications Code (ECC) and ePrivacy Regulation could put future network investment at risk, European telcos warn. But the European Parliament highlighted competition concerns.
  • AI: Google’s AlphaGo is ‘retiring’ from competitive sport after beating Go world champion Ke Jie. The team will now focus on global issues such as health and energy consumption.
  • Smart Nation: How can a tech training programme for school children boost  Singapore's Smart Nation vision? ITU News recently met the people behind ‘Lab on Wheels’ to find out.


Old-school advice for future tech The famous gadget columnist Walt Mossberg sees a world-changing new era of tech on the horizon. But, in his last-ever weekly column, he cautioned that stronger privacy and security regulation is needed as ambient technology becomes the norm.

AI, 20 years older Steven Levy recalls the historic 1997 Kasparov-Deep Blue chess match in which the world champion was beaten by IBM’s machine learning computer, and reflects on what it means for the growing AI sector today. [ITU’s AI for Good Global Summit will be held from 7 - 9 June in Geneva, Switzerland. Sign up today!]

Keep up to date with ITU


AI for Good Global Summit; Geneva, Switzerland, 7-9 June 2017  

- WSIS Forum 2017; Geneva, Switzerland​, ​​​12-16 June 2017

- Global Symposium for Regulators 2017 (GSR-17); Nassau, Bahamas, 11 - 14 July 2017


- New blogs! Read interviews with industry leaders, insights into the latest tech news and other ICT stories from around the world on the ITU Blog

- New videos! On ITU’s YouTube channel

- Read the latest ITU News Magazine here

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