August 27 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By August 26, 2019 Insight

1. ‘Dota 2’ champions won more money than top Wimbledon players

  • OG has won Valve’s The International Dota 2 tournament…pulling in a record-setting $15,603,133 out of an even larger $34,292,599 prize pool…largest top prize in esports history
  • equal split of the $15.6 million prize would give each OG player about $3.1 million. Tiger Woods, for context, ‘only’ pulled in $2.07 million at the 2019 Masters…Wimbledon singles champs Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep took home $2.9 million each
  • important to remember the caveats…International may be huge, but it’s only one major event — top-level tennis has three other Grand Slams besides Wimbledon…Nonetheless, it’s hard to look at these figures without at least raising an eyebrow.

2. Investors are betting $85 million that hungry students will normalize these robot food delivery workers of the future

  • Starship hopes to have the edge on gig-economy food delivery apps like Uber Eats by tapping into the underused infrastructure of sidewalks
  • Founded in 2014, it took the company four years to get to 10,000 robot deliveries. Eight months later it was at 50,000. Four months after that, it hit 100,000.
  • whole generation of students will grow up in the world where they expect things to be delivered to them with robots and they think that is normal and the way the world works…as they leave university they will expect this in neighborhoods and cities around the world as well

3.  Big raise for AI-powered construction tech bringing “Street View” to builders

  • Office workers have had the ability to create, edit, share, and revisit their work for a long time, but that has never truly existed in the construction industry…because creating, storing, searching, localizing, and indexing visual data from the real world has never really been possible until now
  • uses artificial intelligence to automatically create navigable, 360 degree photo representations of any physical space…cameras passively capture imagery in the background as workers walk the site…algorithms map the photos to project plans and stitch them together
  • OpenSpace’s imaging and AI analytics platform is seeing rapid adoption by some of the largest infrastructure and real estate development firms

4. Baidu overtakes Google in global smart speaker market

  • research firm says Baidu overtook Google to capture 17.3 percent of the global market with 4.5 million shipments in the second quarter of 2019, representing staggering year-on-year growth of 3,700 percent
  • Amazon remains the overall leader with more than 25 percent share of the market and 6.6 million shipments
  • Baidu’s explosive growth over the past year demonstrates the size and the dynamics of the Chinese AI ecosystem…Google has the advantage of being able to address other countries, however, and an example of that is today’s launch of the Nest Hub (previously Google Home Hub) in India, another potentially huge market

5. Pony.ai and Toyota partner to build self-driving cars and services

  • collaborate on a pilot program in September on public Beijing and Shanghai roads to “accelerate the development and deployment” of autonomous vehicles, using Lexus RX vehicles and Pony.ai’s driving system
  • for Toyota, the partnership is one of several ongoing driverless car forays…invested $500 million in Uber to jointly develop self-driving cars
  • According to a McKinsey report, self-driving vehicles and mobility services in the region are expected to be worth more than $500 billion by 2030, when the number of autonomous cars on public roads is expected to reach 8 million