UK, France sign five-year digital services collaboration agreement
The UK and French governments have signed a new agreement designed to deepen technology collaboration between the two countries and strengthen ties between their respective digital industries.
UK Digital Secretary Matt Hancock is visiting Paris to announce the deal, the overriding aim of which is to boost both countries’ digital economies by forging new links between leading enterprises and research centres.
The agreement will centre around key transformational technologies such as data analytics and AI, working together to share expertise and enhance new and existing developments.
“Over the past year, world leaders have begun to sit up and realise that data is one of their most valuable assets, and intelligently acting upon and using this data is now fundamental - this is where artificial intelligence comes in,” said Melissa Di Donato, Chief Revenue Officer, SAP Cloud ERP.
“The real value of AI is in its power to help us understand information and make decisions in a fraction of the time it took before, empowering business processes and adding value. But for this to happen we must put the necessary foundations in place to ensure AI works for all.”
It has been revealed that the Alan Turing Institute will be signing an agreement with France’s DATAIA organisation as part of the wider deal.
“The Institute and DATAIA both share a vision for building research in data science and AI which crosses disciplinary boundaries and recognises the societal implications of data and algorithms,” said Alan Wilson, CEO of The Alan Turing Institute.
Further, during the UK-France Digital Colloque, a summit comprised of 350 businesses, researchers and officials, Hancock and his French counterpart Mounir Mahjoubi will sign an accord on digital government, committing to cooperation across AI, innovation, data and digital administration.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.