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October 25, 2018updated 24 Oct 2018 4:29pm

European Parliament decides Facebook’s fate / AI-generated artwork up for auction / Google announces Q3 results

By Luke Christou

Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

European Parliament decides on Facebook punishment

Members of European Parliament will today vote on resolutions relating to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, including a full audit of Facebook, which could force the social network to adapt its platform in order to avoid similar issues in the future.

Facebook came under fire earlier this year after it came to light that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had used user data collected through a third-party Facebook app to profile and target voters in the lead up to key political votes, such as the 2016 United States presidential election.

The European Commission has called for EU governments to establish a joint network to monitor online electoral campaigning and establish regulations similar to those imposed on offline campaigning.

The plenary session will take place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, today, beginning at 11am London time.

AI-generated artwork goes under the hammer

Portrait of Edmond Belamy, a portrait created by French art collective Obvious and its Generative Adversarial Network, will become the first piece of artificially intelligence generated artwork to go under the hammer today.

Created using a data set of more than 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th century, the AI, a two-part algorithm first creates an image, which it then compares against human-created paintings until it is unable to distinguish between the two.

The piece will go up for sale at Christie’s in New York as part of its Prints & Multiples auction. The auction house has predicted a sale price of between $7,000 and $10,000.

Google announces Q3 results

After brushing off a $5bn fine imposed by the European Union in July for breach of antitrust laws relating to its Android operating system, Google was hit with another tough quarter. The US tech giant was forced to close down its Google+ social network earlier this month after failing to disclose a data-exposing bug that allowed third-party developers to access user data.

Regardless, Google is expected to post strong financial results once again in the third quarter of its 2018 fiscal year.

Analysts are expecting revenues of $27.3bn and profits of $8.3bn, equating to around $10.42 a share. If correct, that would be a 9% increase on earnings year-over-year.

Google will announce its results following the closing of the NASDAQ exchange this evening. A conference call will take place at 9:30pm London time.


Yesterday’s highlights

Was Russia responsible for attempts to cripple a Saudi Arabian energy plant in 2017?

Bitcoin value to fall despite predictions of 5000% crypto market boom

Davos in the Desert: SAGIA governor insists Saudi Arabia is “open for business”

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