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Connected newsletter: AI dominates in Davos as Samsung touts it as the future of mobile

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After a few relatively quiet weeks, things have really heated up over the past days in terms of tech news.

With the World Economic Forum, the annual shindig for the rich and famous, getting underway in Davos, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was out flying the flag for Ireland. He dined with a number of top tech entrepreneurs including OpenAI’s Sam Altman, Stripe’s John Collison, and Michael Dell. Here’s hoping he talked a few of them into upping their investments locally.

Artificial intelligence was unsurprisingly firmly at the top of the agenda in discussions held in Davos. A study conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of the forum, forecast that AI will affect almost 40 per cent of global jobs, with advanced economies facing greater exposure than emerging markets and low-income countries.

Closer to home, representatives of Open AI, Amazon Web Services, along with a number of legal professionals were confirmed as members of the government’s new artificial intelligence (AI) body. Chaired by Ireland’s AI ambassador Patricia Scanlon, the council has been set up to provide expert advice to the government on emerging AI policy and the development of trustworthy artificial intelligence.

Staying with artificial intelligence and Samsung on Wednesday unveiled is latest flagship smartphone. the Galaxy S24, which comes packed with AI tools. I’ve been lucky enough to have a trial one to play around with these past few days and am suitably impressed.

The S24 launch came on the same day it was revealed that Apple’s iPhone dethroned Samsung devices to become the best-selling smartphone series over the course of 2023, the first time South Korea’s largest company has lost the top spot since 2010.

In worrying news, Google chief executive Sundar Pichal warned staff that the search giant will be implementing more layoffs during 2024, having already imposed well over 1,000 job cuts globally since the start of the year.

The company also announced a series of broad changes to some of its core search, browser and data products in Europe, in order to keep in line with the European Union’s new rules to rein in Big Tech’s market dominance.

Eir has taken advantage of a more stable interest rate environment to increase its debt facility as it warned of lower full-year earnings.

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Talking of regulation, Intel won another boost in its ongoing legal fight with European Union regulators on Thursday over a one-time record antitrust fine of €1.06 billion.

Shares in Aussie fintech EML Payments surged this week as investors reacted positively to news the company has liquidated its troubled Irish subsidiary, PFS Card Services (Ireland) Limited.

In other fintech news, Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by twin entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is planning to build on its European operation as it enters the French market, just weeks after threatening to move its EU HQ out of Dublin.

In case you missed it, we revealed last weekend that a controversial tender for a €60 million public sector cloud computing procurement process has been cancelled after too few applications were submitted for it.

It was a good week for Andrew Trimble, the former Ireland rugby international, and his co-founder Gareth Quinn, after they confirmed that Kairos, the sports technology company they lead, has been acquired by a US company.

Also celebrating was Ufurnish, the Irish co-founded search and comparison website, which gained a new investor this week. In further funding news, Coindrum raised a further $800,000 from existing investors, while Lative secured $3 million.

All the best,



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