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. 

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