Bitcoin, security, workplace sexism top tech’s biggest stories

Global Business

In this May 15, 2017, file photo, employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul, South Korea. A North Korean ambassador to the United Nations says the U.S. claim that Pyongyang was behind the Wannacry ransomware attack earlier this year is a baseless provocation and demanded Washington back up its accusations with evidence. Pak Song Il told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from New York late Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, : “If they are so sure, show us the evidence.”(Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap via AP, File)

2017 has been a big year for technology. Tech stocks have outperformed the market and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin hit all-time highs. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing with some major cyber breaches striking fear in both companies and consumers.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

A massive launch of “The Spaceship” – Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters. But the star of the show was the feature product – iPhone X.

Apple literally raised the bar with an iPhone price tag that hit $1,000. Apple is the first major handset maker to introduce Face ID to unlock the phone and authorize payments in hopes of providing more personalized security.

This year, security became tech’s biggest nightmare in the form of the WannaCry ransom virus, which the U.S. accused the DPRK of launching. Hundreds of thousands of users around the world had their files locked down and were then asked to pay money to get them back.

Even the mightiest of tech giants displayed weaknesses in their monitoring capabilities.

In addition to ongoing battles with fake news, Facebook found itself grappling with how to better police their pages – like when a Cleveland man shot and killed an elderly man and posted the video online.

Facebook is working with artificial intelligence to help solve the problem by instantly recognizing what’s being posted. AI is extending its reach in new areas. This year, we saw the AI programs ALYSIA and MABLE combined to write the melody and lyrics for this song.

Project Pai is using AI to create intelligent avatars to be your very own online personality. Project Pai’s platform is also fueled by blockchain technology, which is the driving force behind the hottest and most volatile cryptocurrency ever created.

Bitcoin started the year at $980, hit a peak of $19,176 in December, but then went into a tailspin as the year drew to a close.

Some startups had just as a wild of a ride. Widespread complaints of a sexist culture led to the resignation of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who was presiding over a company valued at nearly $70 billion.

This year, a Google engineer was also fired after writing a paper arguing biological differences are why there’s such a disparity between the number of men and women employed as engineers.

That led to more calls for diversity while sparking a debate – should tech companies be more open to ideas it doesn’t agree with- In an ecosystem that thrives on disrupting traditional ideas, the tech world is trying to come to terms with how different is too different.