Hashtag Trending, May 27, 2021 – Amazon buys MGM; FICO report reveals ethical AI not top of mind among companies; Amazon under criticism for poor working conditions

Amazon buys MGM film studios, a new report reveals companies are not prioritizing inclusive AI, and Amazon is under global criticism for poor working conditions. 

It’s all the tech news that’s got people buzzing right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending!  It’s Thursday, May 27 and I’m your host Alex Coop.


Amazon bought MGM studios yesterday for $8.45 billion. This makes it the company’s second largest acquisition since Amazon’s deal with Whole Foods in 2017. MGM studios produced the James Bond series along with 4,000 other films and 17,000 TV shows. With this purchase, Amazon looks to expand its content for its streaming service, Prime Video. The deal is expected to help Amazon entertain its 200 million subscribers and compete with other streaming services like Disney +, HBO Max and Netflix. [Twitter]

A recent report from data analytics firm FICO has found that many companies are incorporating AI into their businesses. However, only 6 per cent of companies are ensuring AI is ethical and inclusive for everyone by creating diverse teams. In the last few years there have been several instances of AI excluding people. For example, companies using facial recognition systems that cannot identify darker-skinned people or healthcare apps that discriminate against African Americans. Even with these examples, the FICO survey shows that most businesses are putting minimal effort into making AI systems more inclusive. Only 22 per cent of companies said they have an AI ethics board that makes decisions about developing technology and its inclusivity. The other 78 per cent said they were not equipped to make those decisions.

Amazon is making headlines again but not for good reasons. Amazon workers around the world are speaking up about the poor warehouse working conditions. Protests in Italy, India, Spain, the United States and more have sprung up in the past year. According to The Guardian, working conditions are especially bad in the factories where products are sorted, packaged, and shipped. Around the world, workers in factories have barely any break time, work long extended night shifts and are severely underpaid. For example, COVID-19 breakouts in Amazon factories were very common this year, resulting in the closure of facilities in Ontario’s peel region. 

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. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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