Britain to protect tech firms after Arm and DeepMind sold overseas

first_imgBritain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in Downing Street in central London on April 27, 2020 after returning to work following more than three weeks off after being hospitalized with the Covid-19 illness.DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS While Arm sold for £24 billion ($31.6 billion), DeepMind only sold for a reported £400 million. Given DeepMind is widely perceived as one of the world leaders in AI today, the Google deal is viewed by experts as a bit of a bargain.Ian Hogarth, an entrepreneur turned tech investor, believes that DeepMind should have been nationalized by the U.K government so that it didn’t have to sell itself to an overseas tech giant.“I find it hard to believe that the U.K. would not be better off were DeepMind still an independent company,” he wrote in an essay in June 2018. “How much would Google sell DeepMind for today? $5 billion? $10 billion? $50 billion? It’s hard to imagine Google selling DeepMind to Amazon, or Tencent or Facebook at almost any price.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – LONDON – The U.K. government introduced new rules this week that are designed to protect Britain’s best and brightest companies from being gobbled up by other, potentially hostile, nations.But some are asking if the rules, which have been in the works for several years and apply from this Wednesday this week, are too little and too late given two of Britain’s most innovative companies have already been sold overseas. Cambridge-based chipmaker Arm was sold to Japanese tech giant SoftBank in 2016 and London-based artificial intelligence lab DeepMind was sold to Google in 2014.Matt Clifford, the chief executive of start-up factory Entrepreneur First, told CNBC that the government should have “probably” intervened in these deals. “Tech is a big and growing national security issue,” he said, adding that “technological sovereignty is very important.”- Advertisement –center_img Hogarth added: “With hindsight, would it have been better for the U.K. government to block this acquisition and help keep it independent? Even now, is there a case to be made for the U.K. to reverse this acquisition and buy DeepMind out of Google and reinstate it as independent entity?”While DeepMind is a leader in AI, Arm is a leader in semiconductors, or chips. Its energy-efficient chip architectures are used in 95% of the world’s smartphones and it is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the British tech industry.“In Arm’s case, I can’t see why some investors here didn’t outbid the foreign folks,” said Jon Crowcroft, a computer science professor at the University of Cambridge. “Arm are a massive success and long term super viable too.”SoftBank is now in the process of trying to sell Arm to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia for $40 billion but there are a number of hurdles to overcome before the deal goes through, including regulators in China.Even though DeepMind and Arm are no longer British in some people’s eyes, there are a number of other fast-growing tech companies that very much are — and could be worth protecting. Security firm Darktrace and AI chipmaker Graphcore, for example.Beyond AI and chips, Crowcroft said that Britain has aerospace and biotech companies that are worth protecting, such as BAE Systems.Some have pointed out that the new rules could potentially make it harder for founders and their investors to sell companies. But Chris Smith, a venture capitalist at Playfair Capital in London, told CNBC he doesn’t think it will have a material impact.“The scope is likely to be fairly limited, both in terms of the number of countries on the ‘no deal’ list and the number that would meet the strategic test,” he said. “In reality, it reflects what we already know, that we have two tech universes — one in the West and one in the East.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

Give your backing to current marriage laws 27 July 2012OPINION: Despite the often-heard, throwaway comment that marriage is “just a piece of paper”, the overwhelming evidence would suggest that this is not so. According to the Statistics Department, in the past five years there were 106,131 marriages in New Zealand – 8000 per cent more than the number of civil unions. Marriage between men and women is still by far the most preferred relationship in society. It is with this evidence and historical and sociological background in mind that we, the undersigned Marlborough church leaders, write in support of marriage. Not only is marriage between men and women a treasured relationship in society, it is guarded by law as such. Monogamy is rightly preferred above all other sorts of relationship because of the emotional, psychological and social benefits it brings to families and society. The complementary nature of men and women is the foundation for security and well-being in relationships, and by extension the family and society. Marriage is an inter-generational, social institution that shapes social order. Some would argue that other forms of relationship are equally valid because they constitute loving and committed relationships. This is an incidental argument. The crux of the matter is not only that relationships be loving and committed, but that marriage between men and women benefits children, communities and society in ways that other forms of relationship do not. If New Zealand wants to be a strong and healthy society for future generations then our civil laws must continue to protect marriage between men and women as a preferred relationship with special status over and above other relationships that are tolerated and/or prohibited. This is what New Zealand civil law must continue to do. read more

O’Trafford PSA Squash Tourney Opens On-line Registration

first_imgThe Nigerian squash scene will come alive with exciting masterstrokes as top ranking players warm up for the year-ending O’Trafford PSA National Closed Satellite Squash Tournament scheduled to stroke off from December 19 – 22 at the 81 Division Army Officers Mess, Outer in Marina, Lagos.Already, on-line registration of players by the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF), has commenced on its website – The registration will close on December 12, barely a week to the start of the tournament.The President of the NSF, Boye Oyerinde is optimistic that tournament will boost the morale of players in the local circuit, who have been craving for quality competition in the domestic squash calendar. Boye Oyerinde “This tournament will surely be a befitting end to a very vibrant season for squash in 2018,” an elated Oyerinde said.On the part of the host, Chairman of O’Trafford Club, Remi Adeseun, said the only squash club in the country is fully ready for the tournament with well refurbished squash courts that will bring out the best of squash action from enterprising players.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more