I suppose things have changed even more from last week and this article finds you in your homes today, self isolating. Times are darker now and it is easy to feel guilty if you are healthy but unable to go about your activities and life as usual.
Being excited about tech also seems strange. But if we as humans stopped being excited, what even would be the point of living? Yes we are at home, alone or with our families, we can’t go out and tech events cannot happen, but look at the Italians! The European spirit of living has never been appreciated more!
Google’s Cloud Next event, that had moved online, has now been canceled indefinitely. This event is generally important to businesses that use Google cloud platform. Now it remains to see if other online events also get canceled. March, April, May, and June are months when developer conferences and other such tech events generally happen. This year, nothing is sure.
Tech companies have really come to the virtual front lines by donating funds in their communities, continuing to pay their hourly workers and encouraging flexible working options. Facebook is limiting the spread of misinformation on both Facebook and Instagram. They removed AR filters on Instagram that were about coronavirus.
Additionally, Google is also taking measures regarding the search results for coronavirus. Google’s sister company, Verily has made a website that helps direct people to testing areas, albeit in California’s Bay Area only. But it might scale up eventually.
Amazon will be hiring about 100000 employees for warehouses and delivery to deal with the increase in online shopping. They have more to deliver.
Salesforce and Apple, amongst others, are helping the community by donating financially.
It is interesting to note that last year, in February, The Verge’s Casey Newton broke the story of Facebook content moderation and that led to stories about content moderation at YouTube as well. In light of coronavirus, YouTube and Facebook are moderating content via AI and not humans because humans have been sent home for self isolation.
In certain areas like moderation, taking care of employees, dealing with such a massive crisis, tech companies seem to be doing well. But what will happen with their move to hand more over to the AI before it’s ready, is something to see in the coming months.