Here are some of the biggest news stories in July about the tech industry in Nashville and across the country:
Nashville tech leading pandemic mitigation innovation
Tech startup Decode Health has developed a predictive artificial intelligence platform that identifies emerging trends in the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Nashville Post. The company’s data depository has shown so far a 90 percent accuracy rate in predicting future outbreaks.
Charity-tech companies offer support to COVID-19 nonprofits
Four Greater Nashville Technology Council charity-tech members are playing their part in assisting response efforts. Check out how Volunteer State companies GeekCause, Generous, Givful and Kindful continue to help nonprofits by offering free products and services, as well as hosting campaigns that have already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Middle Tennessee Top 10 tech firm moves to larger digs in Brentwood
Brentwood Tech firm Trinisys has been helping health care providers for more than 15 years capture and integrate patient data from electronic health systems that don’t match or are no longer the provider’s primary system. Despite pandemic hurdles, the Nashville Business Journal reports the 86-employee company is showing a strong commitment to the company and community by moving to bigger digs close by. The new, 16,000 square foot, leased office space will allow for space for up to 125 employees.
Big brands pause social media advertising
Boycotts on social media digital ad spending were an especially hot topic during the month of July as large companies including The North Face, Unilever and Coca-Cola demanded Facebook change its management of hate speech and misinformation. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was initially nonplussed, saying that advertisers will be “back on the platform soon enough.” Boycott organizers presented a list of 10 changes, from how to determine allowable ads and leadership team makeup, to policies for content moderation.
Although Facebook responded with policies aimed at better labeling of content and protecting people from hateful ad targeting, Stop Hate for Profit leadership was overall disappointed.
As for the advertisers, some are still paused, while others were satisfied with Facebook’s response and have already restarted. And Facebook’s bottom line weathered the boycott just fine. Digiday says it best, “Despite the slew of advertisers that made a fuss about pulling their ads, Facebook’s ad business will continue to thrive — even as some of its biggest advertisers keep away.”
U.S. lawmakers host antitrust hearings with Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon
Facebook leadership was on the hot seat again in July, joining fellow tech behemoths Apple, Amazon and Google for a virtual antitrust hearing. The CEOs defended their companies against accusations that they are too powerful and should be broken up. The hearing itself also showed a rare glimpse at Congressional bipartisanship, with the Big Tech committee’s pending final report hoping to bring closure to the tech giant competition debate.
Pandemic causes widespread economic damage to tech sector
A July 30 report confirms there are fewer U.S. tech jobs available and more people searching for work in the field. Competition is also stiffer due to many tech companies allowing workers to permanently work from home, making moving for a new position unnecessary. Job titles most affected include data science, IT management, security and quality assurance, software development, system engineering, IT operations and help desk. Read more here.