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AI Chatbot Helps DBS Hire Wealth Managers, WeRide Remote Tech for Self-driving Cars & More News

This week in tech news: Singapore’s largest bank is getting help from a chatbot named Jim in its drive to select good candidates. WeRide is hoping to eventually put driverless cars on the road by creating multisensor systems. Microsoft aims to extend Internet access to 40 million underserved people globally by July 2022.

Tech news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

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‘Jim’ the chatbot helps Singapore bank hire for its wealth business

SINGAPORE’S largest bank is getting help from a chatbot named Jim in its drive to select good candidates for its growing business advising customers on managing their wealth. DBS Group Holdings Ltd. says the artificial intelligence program introduced last year has sped up and improved the quality of initial screening for so-called wealth planners, entry-level staff in its consumer banking operation.

About one-third of the candidates who passed Jim’s vetting went on to get jobs with DBS, compared with only one-seventh under the previous system which relied solely on human recruiters, according to Susan Cheong, the bank’s head of talent acquisition. The chatbot is better at screening candidates because it has less bias than a human recruiter in assessing resumes based on age, gender or educational background, Ms Cheong said in a recent interview. The DBS chatbot uses cognitive and personality tests to assess candidates, as well as answering questions on issues such as how soon the candidate will hear back from DBS, the length of any probation period, and career progression prospects at the bank.

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Remote control tech could be key to advance autonomous driving, WeRide CEO says

Following close to a decade of research in computer vision and deep learning, coupled with a stint as Baidu’s chief scientist for autonomous driving at a time when investors were chasing the industry, Han decided it was time to strike out on his own to build WeRide, a start-up specialising in autonomous driving technology. Today, WeRide is part of a group of Chinese start-ups, including and AutoX, hoping to eventually put driverless cars on the road for passengers by creating multi-sensor systems aimed at helping the cars drive themselves.

For Chinese companies like WeRide and, as well as US firms like Waymo, the holy grail is to reach Level 5 in autonomous driving – whereby a driverless car would be able to perform driving tasks in all environmental and road conditions the same way (or even better than) a human can. What sets WeRide apart from its competitors in China is that it is among the pioneers of teleoperations technology in the country. With teleoperations technology, a human operator will be able to oversee a fleet of autonomous cars remotely, stepping in when any of those cars encounter a situation in which they cannot navigate safely, said Han.

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Microsoft plans to bring internet access to 40 million people by 2022

In a bid to connect billions of people that do not have access to Internet connectivity, tech giant Microsoft, through its Airband Initiative, now aims to extend Internet access to 40 million underserved people globally by July 2022. Started in 2017, Microsoft’s Airband initiative streamlined efforts to set up Internet access across the US.

“Extending Internet access to 40 million people around the world in the span of three years is a big task — but it’s informed by our ongoing work in connectivity, experience with partners and engagement from development finance institutions,” Shelley McKinley – Head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. The company adds that it plans to employ a four-part approach that will focus on working with local ISPs and communities to build out affordable and reliable internet access. Microsoft is pushing regulators for access to TV White Space (TVWS), which are wireless frequencies that can be repurposed to deliver internet access across a wide area.

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