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Podcast: The Computer Weekly Downtime Upload – Episode 5

In this week’s episode of The Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, the team discuss Greenpeace’s latest datacentre sustainability research, the work the government is doing to support the growth of the UK’s AI talent pool, and covers how Kellogg's is embracing virtual reality tech

In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Brian McKenna, Caroline Donnelly and Clare McDonald dig a little deeper into some of the week’s biggest tech stories and trends. These include Greenpeace’s renewable energy report, a government and industry-funded artificial intelligence (AI) graduate education programme and research from Accenture and Kellogg’s into the role virtual reality (VR) can play in retail merchandising.

Caroline talks about the war of words that has broken out between Greenpeace and Amazon Web Services (AWS) about how clean the energy powering its cloud is. While AWS claims it is doing enough to reduce fossil fuels and fulfilling its renewable energy pledge, Greenpeace said the firm needs to be more transparent about how much power its datacentres consume.

Brian discusses the potential “brain drain” faced by the UK, whereby those trained in specialisms such as artificial intelligence choose to cross the pond for higher salaries offered by silicon valley companies. Though the government’s launch of a jointly funded graduate education programme will give people AI-focused masters degrees and PhD’s, the team argues whether or not this will keep this trained talent in the UK once they have taken part.

Clare tells of a collaborative trail between Kellogg’s and Accenture which uses virtual reality technology to learn more about how people shop. Eye-tracking technology in the VR headsets helped Kellogg’s ascertain which product placement location in stores was likely to lead to more sales ahead of the launch of its Poptart Bites product.

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