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👉 Issue #60 of QX Snapshots is out!

Welcome to QX Snapshots - a weekly recap of the key news on emerging technologies. In this newsletter, you will get a "digest" of the latest info on Enterprise Blockchain, AI, Quantum Technology, and Metaverse. Hope it brings you value :)

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Every Friday we share key snapshot news on AI, Quantum Technologies, Metaverse, and Enterprise Blockchain/DLT.

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 Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest, and Rightmove have jointly invested £10 million in Coadjute, a prop-tech firm aiming to streamline the UK home buying process. Coadjute's network securely connects estate agents, conveyancers, mortgage lenders, buyers, and sellers, allowing for quick and secure data exchange. It is built on R3 Corda. The funding will support Coadjute's national rollout and expand its network to include mortgage brokers and lenders. Meanwhile, the BIS has announced Project Agorá, a collaboration between the BIS, seven central banks, and private financial firms, which aims to explore tokenization's potential in enhancing cross-border payments and the monetary system. By integrating tokenized commercial bank deposits with tokenized wholesale central bank money on a programmable platform, the project seeks to overcome structural inefficiencies and challenges in current payment processes. Smart contracts could enable new settlement methods and transaction types, benefiting businesses and individuals. The BIS will invite private financial institutions to join the project, with the IIF acting as the intermediary and convener of private sector participants. Also, Ripple Labs has announced its plan to launch a U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin later this year, entering the $150 billion market - in the U.S. first, with potential expansion to Europe and Asia in the future. The token will distributed on Ethereum and the XRP networks. Rising bond yields have made launching stablecoins more attractive, despite fierce competition. Ripple plans to publish monthly attestations on its reserves conducted by a third-party accounting firm. And, the Bank of England and the FCA launched a consultation on the Digital Securities Sandbox, a 5-year regime allowing firms to use DLT for issuing, trading, and settling securities. The sandbox aims to facilitate innovation while protecting financial stability and market integrity, with staged activity limits and a potential permanent regime. The closing date for responses is 29 May 2024.

[AI] Princeton NLP's SWE-agent, Tech Giants Shift AI Manufacturing to Mexico, Apple Innovates with Efficient AI System ReALM, and Global Tech Leaders on AI Workforce Development. Researchers from Princeton NLP have developed SWE-agent, an open-source system that turns GPT-4 into an AI software engineering agent capable of autonomously resolving bugs and issues in GitHub repositories. The agent achieves accuracy similar to that of the recently viral AI agent Devin on the SWE-bench benchmark, resolving 12.29% of issues autonomously with an average task completion time of 93 seconds. As autonomous coding agents like Devin and SWE-agent reach disruptive levels, they have the potential to unlock massive productivity gains for developers who integrate the technology. In a strategic shift, U.S. tech giants, including Intel, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, are moving their manufacturing of AI gear from China to Mexico to reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturing and supply chains. This move aims to diversify their supply chain and mitigate geopolitical risks associated with manufacturing in China, reflecting broader concerns about supply chain vulnerabilities and geopolitical tensions. Meanwhile, Apple researchers have introduced ReALM, a new AI system that can understand on-screen tasks, conversational context, and background processes. ReALM uses a novel approach to converting screen information to text, allowing it to bypass bulky image recognition parameters for more efficient on-device AI. According to the research paper, Apple's larger ReALM models substantially outperformed GPT-4 despite having fewer parameters. This development could lead to a more seamless and hands-free user experience in the next Siri update. Lastly, leading tech companies, including Cisco, IBM, Accenture, Microsoft, Google, and others, have formed the AI-Enabled Information and Communication Technology Workforce Consortium to address the impact of AI on the workforce. The consortium aims to evaluate the impact of AI on 56 ICT job roles and provide training recommendations for impacted jobs, with the goal of helping 95 million individuals worldwide with skills development and training programs within the next 10 years.

[Quantum Technology] Microsoft and Quantinuum Unveil Groundbreaking Low-Error Logical Qubits, Danish Researchers Set Quantum Key Distribution Record, and Yale Launches Its First Quantum Computing Hackathon.  Microsoft and Quantinuum seem to have demonstrated the most reliable logical qubits on record, with an error rate 800 times better than physical qubits. By applying Microsoft's qubit visualization system to Quantinuum's ion-trap hardware, they ran over 14,000 experiments without a single error and performed error diagnostics and corrections on logical qubits without destroying them. This milestone moves quantum computing from the noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) level to Level 2 Resilient quantum computing. Advanced capabilities based on these logical qubits will be available in a private preview for Azure Quantum Elements customers in the coming months, laying the foundation for useful, reliable, and scalable quantum simulations. Meanwhile, researchers at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have successfully distributed a quantum-secure key using continuous-variable quantum key distribution (CV QKD) over a record distance of 100 km. This method ensures secure data transfer by exploiting the quantum properties of photons, making it impossible for hackers to copy the key without introducing errors. The technology can be integrated into existing internet infrastructure, making implementation cheaper and operable at room temperature. The researchers plan to establish secure communication networks between Danish governmental ministries. Also, Yale has announced its inaugural quantum computing hackathon, YQuantum 2024, which aims to advance quantum computation and design novel quantum solutions. The event features two challenge tracks: Advancement, focusing on programming and improving quantum hardware and software, and Application, using quantum algorithms to solve diverse problems in healthcare, finance, and more. It will take place on April 13-14, 2024. And, an initiative funded by the South Carolina Quantum Association has seen success by leveraging quantum computing to enhance retirement investment strategies for a local bank. The project, from the University of South Carolina, showcases the potential of the technology in practical business solutions.

[Metaverse] Mitsubishi Electric and Extend Robotics Advance VR in Robotics, Apple Debuts Spatial Personas for Vision Pro Collaboration, and NASEM Unveils Digital Twin Technology Research Gaps. Mitsubishi Electric has partnered with Extend Robotics to support the rollout of virtual reality (VR) technology for non-uniform industrial robotic applications. Extend Robotics' Advanced Mechanics Assistance System (AMAS) combines real-time volumetric telepresence with interactive digital twin technology, enabling non-robotic experts to operate robots safely and effectively from remote locations using off-the-shelf VR hardware. The partnership aims to help manufacturers upskill employees faster and enable robots to complete non-uniform tasks in real time. Meanwhile, Apple has introduced "spatial Personas" for Vision Pro, allowing users to work and collaborate, play games, or watch media together in SharePlay-enabled apps. This feature aims to create a sense of shared physical space between users, with each person able to control their view and positioning of objects without affecting others' experiences. Spatial audio enhances the illusion of presence. To use spatial Personas, users must be on VisionOS 1.1 or later and select the option during a FaceTime call, with a maximum of five participants per session. The effectiveness of this feature will depend on the availability of compatible apps in the Vision Pro store. Also, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has published a new report revealing foundational gaps that need to be bridged through research and the essential groundwork and assets required to facilitate the advancement of digital twin technologies. It highlights crucial research areas that should be prioritized in the future and proposes a multidisciplinary approach to investigating digital twins. Additionally, the report guides how government organizations and scientists from various fields can effectively work together to achieve these goals.

[General technology] AT&T Faces Class Action Over Data Breach Affecting 73 Million, Open Source Foundations Tackle EU Cybersecurity Standards, AWS Announces Layoffs in Strategic Shift. AT&T is facing a class action lawsuit after disclosing a data breach affecting up to 73 million current and former customers. The suit, filed by former AT&T customer Alex Petroski, alleges that AT&T failed to implement adequate cybersecurity measures to protect customer data. The compromised data may include names, email addresses, Social Security numbers, and account information. The suit seeks damages and claims that AT&T could have prevented the breach by properly encrypting and protecting customer data. AT&T has stated that it will offer credit monitoring services to affected customers and that the incident has not had a material impact on its operations so far.  Meanwhile, seven open source foundations are collaborating to create common standards and specifications for the EU's Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), which aims to improve cybersecurity practices for internet-connected products. The legislation, coming into force in 2027, recognizes the role of open source stewards and addresses concerns about potential liability for open source developers. The foundations aim to align and document best practices in open-source software development, ensuring compliance with the CRA and other proposed regulations. The collaboration, led by the Eclipse Foundation in Brussels, seeks to establish cybersecurity process standards for the open-source community and the broader software industry. Also, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is laying off several hundred employees in its sales, marketing, and global services group, as well as its physical stores technology team, as part of a broader strategic shift and streamlining effort. The majority of the roles being cut are from the training and certification group, which has become largely redundant due to self-serve digital training and the outsourcing of instructor-led training to partners.

👉 QualitaX - March 2024 - Monthly Recap #3

Our monthly recap offers a regular cadence of updates regarding our contributions to the Enterprise Blockchain community. These updates showcase QualitaX's dedication to advancing blockchain adoption in financial services. Whether collaborating on open standards, releasing open-source tools, or educating through ecosystem partnerships, we are committed to supporting the digital transformation of traditional finance.


FEATURED:  Blackrock's $10T Bet on Ethereum | BUIDL Fund

By: Bankless with Carlos Domingo, Founder and CEO at Securitize


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