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Jul 18, 2017 | 2 min read


This Week in GAFAnomics, July 18th

“This Week in GAFAnomics” features top articles from FABERNOVEL’s internal Slack discussions. Read here your weekly dose of curated news about the Network Economy.

Joachim Renaudin

Senior Project Analyst

GAFAnomics [ga-fɑː-nom-iks], noun: A modern, networked, economic system spurred by the eponymic GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) but also encompassing Unicorns, Chinese tech giants and all other companies changing our lives through computer technology.

#The week of July 18th

So what happened this week in GAFAnomics ?!


Facebook is building its own city for its employees

source: Facebook

The rise of the digital economy and the growth of VC-backed startups in Silicon Valley have put the housing market under pressure, and housing prices have skyrocketed. Last week, Facebook announced that it planned to turn its Menlo Park, California property into a « mixed use village » operated by Facebook. The Facebook campus will have a grocery store, a pharmacy, office space for work and subsidized housing for its employees.

In the 19th century, French industry leaders like Charles Fourier and Godin built enormous complex (Phalanstère) dedicated to improve the wellbeing of their employees and build a society around the corporation. Is the social giant building the 21st century version of the Phalanstère?


You can now teach a driverless car how to drive


source: Uber

All large automakers are investing billions to be the first to build driverless technology. Google or Apple have hundreds of software developers trying to build the brain of your future autonomous cars. Yet, what these companies really need is your help! Mighty AI, an american startup has built a platform to help companies working on autonomous driving train their algorithms and their datasets. Anyone can download the app and start to identify pedestrians, cars, animals on videos. Each time a user finishes a video, he gets paid, and the artificial intelligence gets smarter!

Today, 200 000 users are teaching AI how to drive on the mighty AI platform. Just like Waze or Wikipedia before it, Mighty AI unleashed the power of crowd creation to build the best service.


Google released 20 million infected mosquitos

source: Google

Google has started to release 20 million bacteria infected mosquitoes in California. Yes, you read well. Google has spread to many businesses, including businesses that are not related to the internet or mobile. Among them is Verily, the life science arm of Alphabet (Google’s parent company). Verily made millions of mosquitos in its labs and purposely infected them with the Wolbachia bacteria, which is harmless to humans, to stop the spread of the Zika virus, carried by mosquitos.  

Among its many « moonshot businesses » which aim at diversification Google’s revenues, Verily is one of the most advanced. The Search engine giant uses its powerful machine learning algorithms to create new health discoveries. In the age of AI, machine learning has become a competitive advantage.


Why will Apple beat Google in augmented reality


In early July, Apple released its ARkit, a set of tools for developers to build augmented reality features into their iPhone apps. Apple got a lot of media attention, and most people think Apple has a good chance to become the reference AR platform. Yet Google beat Apple by 3 years when it unveiled a similar platform, Tango AR, back in 2014. Why does Apple has such an advantage over Google? The problem for Google is the fragmentation of its Android Operating System, which works on many types of devices (Samsung, Huawei) resulting in a low adoption of the latest OS (11% against 86% for Apple). Apple has over a billion installed base of iPhones, all of them compatible with ARkit because Apple designed the hardware. The winning platform will be the one controlling distribution, enable developers to sell their apps to hundreds of millions of customers.


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