Tech Shows Signs of Strength as Markets Grapple with Global Disruption and Continuing Uncertainty
Tech is showing its strength in the face of global fears and continuing uncertainty fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Nasdaq Composite jumped on Thursday, erasing steep losses from earlier in the day as sharp gains in big-tech shares led to a sharp turnaround,” write Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck of CNBC. “The tech-heavy index traded 1.2% higher. Shares of Netflix and Facebook rose 7.6% and 5.8%, respectively. Amazon gained 3.2%. Alphabet and Apple both traded more than 1% higher.”
While I realize that some of these gains may be temporary, I believe they are valid data points in the narrative. From my perspective, I firmly believe that tech will provide the leadership and stability we’ll need to fight our way back to a strong economy. It won’t be easy, and it will take a while, but we will help turn the tide.
Europeans Grapple with Use of Mobile Phone Data; Major Tech Firms Join to Fight Misinformation
Austria and Italy are using location data from mobile phones to measure the effectiveness of their lockdowns, notwithstanding the European Union’s strong commitment to digital privacy.
“The countries are the latest on a growing list of nations using mobile phones to help contain the pandemic. Companies in China, Israel and Vietnam are also using data and applications to keep track of the disease. In the U.S., Alphabet Inc.’s Google is developing a platform that includes user location,” write Jonathan Tirone, Thomas Seal and Natalia Drozdiak of Bloomberg. “Operators have to tread carefully as European countries have some of the world’s strictest rules around the use and sharing of mobile phone location data. The data yielded by these initiatives won’t be as granular as that provided by Israel’s NSO Group Ltd.”
I predict that we will be confronting similar issues when entities in the U.S. are faced with making choices between public safety and individual privacy.
Meantime, major tech firms – Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Reddit – are “teaming up to provide accurate information about the coronavirus and the Covid-19 illness it causes,” writes Mark Gurman of Bloomberg. “The technology giants and social networks said other companies are welcome to join their efforts.”
AI Helping the Fight Against Coronavirus
Not surprisingly, artificial intelligence has become an important tool in the worldwide effort to contain the coronavirus.
“The global health community is relying on new tools and technologies to stay ahead. Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven especially valuable every step of the way, from detecting the first coronavirus outbreak to measuring the disease’s economic impact,” writes Ashley Johnson of the Center for Data Innovation.
This is exactly the right time for the tech industry to show its amazing capabilities for providing leadership and practical solutions to extremely complicated problems. As a technology leader, I am confident in our abilities to overcome this truly global challenge.
“New technologies are constantly enabling doctors and scientists to improve the ways they prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. AI is one such technology, and though it has its limits, it plays a vital role in allowing health experts to take full advantage of the vast amounts of data at their disposal, making accurate predictions and saving precious time in a crisis. Investments in AI and data science create important tools these experts need when faced with unexpected situations like the coronavirus pandemic,” she writes in the article.
Shifting Your Mindset to Risk-Based Decision Making
We’re all experiencing a shift in mindset, and one key aspect of this shift is embracing risk-based decision-making processes. The shift might feel subtle, but it’s significant, especially at this moment.
I recommend this article from Kaiser Health News, which focuses on the theme of using risk-based decision-making in your practice of social distancing. The article centers on family issues, but the general ideas can be extrapolated into the business sphere. I expect that we’ll see more articles and reports of this type in the days and weeks ahead.