Hashtag Trending – Pleas to big tech, AI predicts when you’ll quit, a robotic exosuit

Companies ask tech giants Apple and Amazon to think about the planet, Harvard says it can use machine learning to predict who is going to quit their job next, and a robotic exosuit that can boost your ability to walk and run.

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Planet before profits! That’s the message the bosses of some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon and Apple, have been told through a full-page ad in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times. The ad, paid for by more than 30 American business leaders from companies such as clothing brand Patagonia, The Body Shop, Ben & Jerry’s, stresses the need for big tech to move towards a more ethical way of doing business. These business leaders are part of a community called the B Corp. movement, which describes itself as a “global movement of people using business as a force for good”. According to the Guardian, more than 3,000 companies globally have become members of B Corp after completing a certification process. The story is gaining a lot of attention on Reddit, and while some Redditors are optimistic of the B Corp movement, many remain unsure about the sincerity behind some companies’ claims that they’re indeed thinking about the planet over profits.

Trending on LinkedIn is a study from Harvard that says machine learning algorithms that weigh a person’s past jobs and skills, among other data sets, is helping them determine when a person is on the verge of jumping ship. The study was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of exit interviews and employee surveys – neither of which give managers a real-time picture of who might be considering leaving. While some on LinkedIn are applauding the unique use machine learning algorithms, there are many on the other side of the fence saying they would actually be turned off by an employer integrating such an algorithm.

And lastly, also trending on LinkedIn, a story about how researchers have developed a robotic exosuit that can boost a person’s ability to both walk and run. Made of soft textile materials, the suit weighs 11 pounds and is equipped with sensors that can detect whether a person is walking or running and with the help of electric motors and cables, respond with the appropriate boost. According to a research paper published in Science Mag, the suit makes people feel roughly 16 pounds lighter when walking and 12 and a half pounds lighter when running. Some of the obvious use cases of the exosuits include assisting soldiers, rescue workers and those with disabilities. Let’s hope the suit never gets hacked while being worn.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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