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This week on TechRepublic’s Business Technology Weekly podcast, hosts Dan Patterson and Ant Pruitt discuss innovations in augmented reality, best practices for legacy companies to become more digital, and how artificial intelligence might help humans behave more ethically.


  • With Cheetah Robotics launch, software giant wants to create China’s first global tech brand | Jason Hiner Most of the Chinese tech giants–Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent–have focused on China and been happy with that so far because it’s such a huge and lucrative market. App maker Cheetah Mobile, however, has over 70% of its customers outside of China. And this week it announced that it sees AI, deep learning, and robotics as a big part of its future. As a result, it’s spinning up a new subsidiary called Cheetah Robotics that’s going to make consumer-facing robots aimed at automating mundane tasks and jobs that humans don’t like doing. The company is also launching a second headquarters in Silicon Valley and its CEO and other C-level executives will split time between both headquarters. All of this is aimed at turning Cheetah into a multinational company and the first global tech brand to come out of China.
  • Can a robot affect whether humans behave ethically? | Hope Reese Researchers at Cornell have conducted a series of experiments to address whether–and how–the presence of a robot can influence human behavior. One interesting discovery was that participants were more likely to obey rules when a robot was present during a lab experiment. But outside of the lab, specifically in a hallway with a table full of food marked “don’t touch,” people were just as likely to take food whether a robot was there or not.
  • What HoloLens means for Microsoft and for the future of augmented reality | Erin Carson Many industries are as excited about augmented reality as they are about virtual reality. Microsoft’s HoloLens is one of the leading AR devices on the market and recently opened for developers. In spite of the $3,000 sticker price, limited availability of the development kit, and marketplace challenges, HoloLens has become a symbol for the untapped potential of augmented reality.
  • Report: IT’s top tech challenges | Conner Forrest In a recent survey sponsored by Kensington, 35% of respondents said that most of their day is spent on administrative duties, help desk, and troubleshooting. This could mean that organizations aren’t getting the most out of their IT people, since they’re stuck just trying to keep things running. The top priority among IT workers is security. And it looks like they’ll be spending a lot of time keeping co-workers safe from themselves, since they ranked human error as the number 1 threat to security.
  • Build your own VM in the cloud with Microsoft Azure | Ed Bott Setting up a Virtual Machine in the cloud can seem complex and intimidating, but it might actually be a lot easier than you think. Ed Bott reports for Tech Pro Research that he was able to get Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure up and running on two machines in 30 minutes. Not only was the process speedy, it also required very little configuration. Setting up the virtual servers didn’t require network cables, installation media, or even a product key.

Cover Story:

  • The world’s smartest cities: What IoT and smart governments will mean for you | Teena Maddox Remember how fast the mobile market grew? The Internet of Things is growing even faster. Smart devices will soon occupy all facets of life, from your refrigerator to your watch to the parking meter on the street. Some major cities– Dubai, Singapore, Hamburg, San Diego, New York–are quickly becoming “smart cities.” In her cover story, TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox explained how cities are changing and profiled some of the most innovative urban areas in the United States.

Special Report:

  • Jason Hiner dials in with a report on the top tech takeaways from the “CES of China.”

Listener Feedback:

  • David wrote: “I appreciate a business-directed tech podcast. I am personally the entire IT department at our small company; a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. I don’t get to specialize in just one area of tech, but need to keep up on everything at once. So being able to avoid tech-as-fashion and tech-as-lifestyle shows and come to TechRepublic to get information I really need and will actually use is invaluable.”

Produced by Jason Hinner, Amy Talbot, and Dan Patterson.

We appreciate your feedback and support! Please continue to share show ideas and critiques at: podcast [at] techrepublic [dot] com, and (646) 389-5404.

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