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Singapore unveils rules for digital banks, Jack Ma vs Elon Musk on AI & More News

This week in tech news: Singapore unveils guidelines for digital banks, Elon vs. Ma AI debate and Apple stops eavesdropping.

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

image courtesy of

Singapore sets guidelines for digital banks, move could shake up lending

Singapore’s central bank has kicked off the application process for up to five new digital bank licences and issued detailed guidelines for potential contenders.

The entry of new players could lead to the biggest shake-up in two decades in a market dominated by local banks DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank Ltd.

Applicants for Singapore's new digital bank licences will have to hit the mark on a range of criteria, ranging from innovation to having a track record in the e-commerce or technology field. Other criteria include being able to reach under-served market segments. Analysts say this could mean young millennials and start-ups. The requirements suggest that regulators are seeking players who will add value to the current system rather than eat into other segments, say experts.

Photo courtesy of SCMP

Elon Musk and Jack Ma Debate AI at China Summit

Jack Ma believes artificial intelligence poses no threat to humanity, but Elon Musk called that "famous last words" as the billionaire tech tycoons faced off in an occasionally animated debate on futurism in Shanghai.

The Chinese co-founder of Alibaba and the maverick industrialist behind Tesla and SpaceX frequently pulled pained expressions and raised eyebrows as they kicked off an AI conference with a dialogue that challenged attendees to keep up, veering from technology to Mars, death, and jobs. Musk noted that humans have an opportunity today because this is the first time in history that it’s “possible to extend life beyond Earth.” Ma, for his part, argued that he has no interest in multi-planetary initiatives. “I’m not a fan of going to Mars,” he noted.

image courtesy of CNet

Apple will no longer keep Siri audio recordings by default, makes feature opt-in

Your conversations with Siri won't be going directly to Apple anymore. The tech giant said Wednesday that it will stop retaining voice recordings by default. Besides making the feature opt-in in a future software update, Apple also announced it was making Siri audio recording reviews an internal process only.

Apple announced the Siri privacy changes after The Guardian reported in July that this was standard Siri behavior. When a user would issue a voice command, Siri would record the interaction as an audio file and upload it to an Apple server where contractors would review the recordings as part of a Siri quality evaluation process named "call grading." While the data is anonymized, those conversations included identifiable details like a person's name, medical records, drug deals and people having sex, according to the report.

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