The full story: Despite Singapore’s global reputation in digital competitiveness and how the COVID-19 pandemic increased its dependence on digital technology and social media, Singaporeans are highly sceptical towards how social media giants use their data, reporting a tolerance lowest across the Southeast Asia region, according to latest research.

Conducted by leading decision science research agency Blackbox, the white paper Taming the Tech Tigers: Can Global Big Tech Be Trusted With Our Future? analyses the perceptions and expectations of over 25,000 social media users across 20 countries, including Singapore.

Although they are one of the highest digital penetration rates in the region, Singaporeans emerge as least tolerant when it comes to data use. Less than one in five (22 per cent) are actually comfortable sharing different types of data, compared to the global average of 29 per cent.

Also Read: Using social media to grow your startup: What companies can do to avoid disappointment

This places Singaporeans as least open to data sharing in the region, falling behind countries like Malaysia (28 per cent), Vietnam (32 per cent), the Philippines (39 per cent), Thailand (45 per cent), and Indonesia (50 per cent).

Least open with data use in the region: Specifically, Singaporeans are the least comfortable with sharing their personal and attitudinal data, but are more open to sharing their behavioural data.

Social media falls off Singaporeans’ news diets: This scepticism also cuts across news consumption, with Singaporeans more likely to get their news from traditional media rather than looking to social media platforms – a stark contrast from the rest of the world. Only 13 per cent of Singaporeans get all or most of their news from social media, less than half of the global average of 28 per cent. 38 per cent of Singaporeans do not look to social media for news at all.

The study attributes a number of factors, including the digital divide stemming from Singapore’s aging population, as well as the country’s strong stance against “fake news” or misinformation, and how social media has been recognised as part of the problem, especially during the pandemic.

Social media’s role in politics: More watchdog than influencer

When it comes to social media’s role in local politics, Singaporeans are more likely to view it as a tool to hold leaders accountable, as opposed to impacting the landscape through expressing diverse opinions. 3 in 4 Singaporeans (75 per cent) believe social media is important for holding people in power like politicians accountable for their actions, and can be seen in the pivotal role it has played in recent General Elections.

Singapore’s Alice Labs raises US$500K led by Anchorless Bangladesh

The full story: Alice Labs, the company behind MyAlice — an AI-driven multi-channel customer service platform for e-commerce and online businesses—today announced the completion of a US$500,000 seed round of financing.

Investors: Led by Anchorless Bangladesh, the round also saw participation from HOF Capital.

Plans with the money: To invest in its core product offerings and fuel expansion into Southeast Asia and MENA markets.

What is Alice Labs: Founded in November 2018, Alice Labs develops smart tools and conversational AI solutions that manage and automate customer service for e-commerce and online businesses.

Also Read: Why Bangladesh is the next frontier for tech investment

Incorporated in Singapore with operations in Bangladesh, Alice Labs is currently active across markets in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Through its subscription-based customer service plans, Alice Labs works with over 50 e-commerce stores and enterprises throughout the region, including major brands and retailers like Unilever, Coca-Cola, Giordano, and Maybelline, among others.

Through machine learning, MyAlice strives to decode the complex behavior of shoppers across different regions and help businesses better communicate with them in their native languages, allowing clients to offer highly targeted localized support and better cater to diverse consumer habits.

Singapore’s SESTO Robotics expands to Europe

The full story: Singapore’s autonomous mobile robot company SESTO Robotics has expanded to Europe. It has partnered with the Germany-based automation specialist Baumüller, to bring its flagship AMR SESTO Magnus (Magnus) to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

SESTO claims it is the first Singapore-based robotics company to offer autonomous mobile robot solutions focused on smart manufacturing in Europe.

What is Magnus: Designed and made in Singapore, Magnus is specially built for navigation in space-scarce facilities and can travel autonomously through spaces as narrow as 0.9 metres wide while avoiding obstacles in its path. Its bi-directional, same-speed capability allows the AMR to reverse out of dead ends without the need to perform a spot turn.

Also Read: Otsaw Digital launches home delivery robots in Singapore

Magnus is powered by SESTO’s proprietary user-friendly interface and can be easily deployed for material transportation using a tablet or laptop. The robot provides high uptime of up to ten hours on a single charge and fast battery charging in three hours.

OmniFoods brings its plant-based Luncheon Meat to Thailand

The full story: OmniFoods, the creator of all-purpose plant-based meat analogue under Hong Kong-based social venture Green Monday, today announced the arrival of OmniMeat Luncheon in leading supermarkets and restaurants across Thailand.

A unique blend of plant-based protein that bears a striking resemblance to traditional meat in both flavour and appearance, OmniMeat Luncheon offers a sustainable and healthier alternative to its processed meat counterpart without compromising on taste and texture.

The OmniMeat Luncheon formula is a blend of non-GMO soy and wheat, containing dietary fibre, high protein content and zero cholesterol.

Compared with traditional canned luncheon meat, OmniMeat Luncheon’s calories and total fat content are 46 per cent and 64 per cent lower respectively. The sodium content is also 64 per cent lower than traditional luncheon meat, and contains no added hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and MSG.

People can enjoy a healthy quick-fix meal during breakfast, snack or tea time simply by pan-frying the OmniMeat Luncheon on both sides for 1-2 minutes.

KoineArth launches enterprise-grade NFT platform marketsN

The full story:KoineArth’s marketsN platform is designed to enable enterprises to digitise and attach immutable metadata to key documents and products in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

What are it used for: The enterprise-grade NFTs are used to ensure proof-of-ownership, transparency and a full-record of any transaction history, to provide greater traceability, visibility and authentication, ultimately facilitating more seamless and trustless trade between parties.

Also Read: Tokens 101: How they work and where they provide value

Enterprises can also issue publicly verifiable “product passports”, which act as a digital record of any product, from cradle to grave including information such as invoices, current ownership, warranty claims, and service records.

MarketN’s enterprise-grade NFTs can also be used to establish greater compliance across Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, by allowing for greater accountability and traceability across the supply chain and inventory management, and invoicing.

More on KoinEarth: Founded in 2018 by Dr. Praphul Chandra, KoineArth aims to bring the power of blockchain to enterprises. With its marketsN solution, KoineArth offers enterprises a ready-to-use Digital Supply Chain platform. With a few clicks enterprises can create a digital twin of their supply chain.

This enables enterprises to create secure, private B2B groups (blockchains) on-demand to coordinate B2B transactions in their supply chain, share data across enterprises, and secure capital from financiers, as needed. Enterprises can also issue NFTs related to their products, documents & other assets.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

The post In brief: S’poreans highly sceptical of social media; Alice Labs raises US$500K appeared first on e27.

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