Hashtag Trending – #Elections2020; Wal-Mart says no to robots; Eye-tracking tools for exams

The U.S. elections dominate the news cycle, Wal-Mart says no to robots, and students rebel against eye-tracking exam tools.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, November 4, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

Let’s get it out of the way quickly, as of this recording, we don’t know what the U.S. presidential election results are, but that hasn’t stopped the election chatter from dominating our news feeds. But since the election is trending, we decided to highlight how some solution providers in U.S. swing states might be voting this year. CRN.com conducted a poll that shows 50 per cent of 288 respondents are planning to vote for former vice-president Biden, while 34.7 per cent said Trump will get their vote for re-election to a second term. Just over 9 per cent of respondents said they had not yet decided how to vote when CRN’s survey was conducted at the end of October, while 3 percent said they did not plan to vote. We hope the world is in one piece when you listen to this episode.


Walmart ends contract with robotics company, opts for human workers instead, report says from technology

Walmart has ended its contract with Bossa Nova Robotics. The robotics company made robots that scanned shelves for inventory, according to The Wall Street Journal, but now the retailer giant has more cost-effective ways to manage products with humans rather than robots. Since the pandemic began, more people are buying products like toilet paper and canned goods. Online sales have nearly doubled in the second quarter and all the growth is presenting new challenges for Walmart as it scrambles to restock shelves. Walmart says it will go ahead with other tech experimentation. Just last week the retailer said it would turn four stores into e-commerce laboratories to test digital tools for restocking shelves and speeding online orders.


Students Are Rebelling Against Eye-Tracking Exam Surveillance Technology from technology

Students are rebelling against eye-tracking exam surveillance tools. The use of algorithmic proctoring software has exploded since Covid-19 as remote-learning has become the new norm. Reports have shown that nearly 70 to 90 per cent of students would cheat especially when left unmonitored at home. However, students are concerned about their privacy concerns and being watched and listened in their bedrooms. Vice recently quoted critics who say the tools will hurt low-income students, students with disabilities, students with children and those who face barriers to higher education. One faculty member from the University of California Santa Barbara says, “We must do better than allowing algorithmic policing through biometric surveillance as the new normal for education.” Well said.

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. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening

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