Today’s top tech news: TikTok’s new phone, Xiaomi’s Black Shark and Samsung’s ‘deepfake’

ByteDance, TikTok's parent company is looking to rumoured to be working on a smartphone of its ownGoogle Play Store/TikTok
  • The company behind TikTok, Bytedance, is making the switch from software to hardware with rumours of a new smartphone in the making.
  • Xiaomi-backed tech company, Black Shark, just launched their gaming phone starting at ₹39,999 undercutting the only other gaming phone in the market, the ASUS ROG phone.
  • Samsung's AI Center in Moscow's come up with a way to produce 'deepfakes' with using just one image.
  • Microsoft and IDC's new report shows that business leaders and employees differ in opinion when it comes to how AI will impact jobs.
  • Lenskart, the eyewear startup, could be joining the league of India's unicorn startups with new funding coming in at $350 million.

This Tech Insider’s daily dose of tech news — everything that’s happening in tech that you need to know about today:
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After mobile apps, ByteDance wants to launch its own mobile phone

After mobile apps, ByteDance wants to launch its own mobile phone

The Chinese mobile app publisher, ByteDance, is already the world’s most valuable unicorn thanks to the popularity of apps like Helo, TikTok and the newly launched Feiliao. And now, there are rumours that the company is thinking of launching its own smartphone.

Why you should care:

ByteDance maybe doing this to draw in more revenue, but for users — it’s good news. The company’s already had a standing in India thanks to TikTok topping the charts on iOS and Android. And if its predecessors, like Meitu, are anything to go by then ByteDance’s new phone should be preloaded with apps and editors aimed to make the TikTok and other ByteDance mobile app experiences better.

Samsung’s new ‘deepfake’ tech can make Einstein and Mona Lisa come back to life

Samsung’s new ‘deepfake’ tech can make Einstein and Mona Lisa come back to life

Deepfake tech doesn’t have the best reputation having been used to create revenge porn and satire political videos. But, Samsung AI Centre’s taken a leap to create deepfakes that can function with information from just one photograph.

Why you should care:

Deepfakes can be applied to virtual reality, video conferencing or even gaming. But they can also be misused to create fake news or false videos with ulterior motives. As the technology behind it improves, it’s going to become harder and harder to discern fake videos from real ones.

AI is threatening small jobs but Indian workers are oblivious

AI is threatening small jobs but Indian workers are oblivious

Business leaders and workers have a difference of opinion on how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact employment in India. Workers hold an optimistic notion that AI won’t be taking over any jobs while managers believe that a lot of jobs might be replaced.

Why you should care:

India is already starting at grave unemployment numbers. Even if AI is able to create new jobs, it’s uncertain whether or not they will make up for the jobs that have been cut in the process. Also, since application of AI will cut down on a lot of ‘repetitive’ day-to-day tasks, the first workers to be affected will be ones with limited education qualifications.

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark threatens to break ASUS’ monopoly over gaming phones in India

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark threatens to break ASUS’ monopoly over gaming phones in India

Black Shark, a company backed by Xiaomi's CEO, just launched their gaming smartphone in India (Source: Black Shark)

So far, the only gaming smartphone in the Indian market was Asus’ ROG smartphone. That monopoly is now going to be undercut by Black Shark’s gaming phone. Black Shark is backed by Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun, from when he invested in the company in 2018.

ASUS won’t only have to share the market, but it will be competing against a device that’s half the price.

Why you should care:

Gaming mobile apps like Fortnite, PUBG and League of Legends requires a good phone back the graphics in order to have a satisfying gaming experience. Since these games are growing more popular, there’s also a growing demand for phones that are optimised for gaming. And, Black Shark’s phone is cheaper than most flagship devices in the market right now bringing in a new category of competition.

Lenskart tees up to join the unicorn club

Lenskart tees up to join the unicorn club

Peyush Bansal, co-founder, Lenskart (Source: BCCL)

Lenskart, a startup based out of Delhi, is aiming to be the latest entrant to the unicorn club. The eyewear retailers is reportedly in talks with SoftBank Vision Fund to draw in another $350million, which will bump up its total valuation to $1.3 billion.

Why you should care:

You shouldn’t — unless you buy your eyewear online. Lenskart does most of its customer acquisition online and is reportedly looking to attract even more people to its platform. This could mean fresh bargains and sales in the future.

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