Top Atlanta Tech News: Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

by | Dec 31, 2019 | Blog

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2019 was an amazing year for tech in Atlanta. Check out this roundup of the leading stories: “Top Atlanta Tech News: Cheers to 2019”  #TechCONNECT Social Media Icons - Twitter

Atlanta Tech News from 2019

Miss out on any top Atlanta tech stories in 2019? No worries. We’ve got you covered.

Top Atlanta Tech News [February 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [March 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [ April 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [May 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [June 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [July 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [August 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [September 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [October 2019]
Top Atlanta Tech News [November 2019]

Top Tech Stories from December

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch: Cyberattack Alert!
eCommerce sites will lose $10 Billion to Bots in 2019, according to cybersecurity firm Cheq and University of Baltimore researchers. These sites may experience two forms of cyberattacks. The first, “Grinch Bots,” buy out popular holiday gifts and concert tickets and resell them at a markup elsewhere. The second occurs when a site gets flooded with traffic by competitors, resulting in the website crashing during peak holiday shopping times. Fortunately, Congress recently rolled out a bill to make shopping bots a criminal offense and are continuing to crack down on ticket scalpers.

Robotics Engineers and Data Scientists In High Demand
According to a report from LinkedIn, AI Specialists have seen an annual increase of 74% in job growth in the last five years. Robotics Engineers and Data Scientists jobs follow close behind. Robotics Engineers have seen an increase of 40% a year, and Data Scientists have increased by 37% annually. This data comes from the number of LinkedIn member’s full-time job titles over the past five years, as well as the compound annual growth rate for each occupation. The job growth among these positions doesn’t come as a surprise when spending on global AI systems should hit $97.9 Billion in 2023, significantly higher than the $37.5 Billion expected to be spent in 2019.

It’s Time to Dust Off Your Old Flip Phone
Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal has a challenge for readers—try living with a piece of technology from 2010. In her recent article titled, “First, the Smartphone Changed. Then, Over a Decade, It Changed Us,” Stern reflects on how much technology has changed over the decade. As we head into 2020, it is difficult to remember a time when we had to take photos on a digital camera or print out directions in case TomTom died. Stern’s essay puts a spotlight on apps like Uber and Airbnb and how they revolutionized their respective industries. She also talks about how social media has changed the way we share moments and how it has changed what it means to be human.

The World’s First 3D-Printed Neighborhood Is Here
The home building industry is experiencing the beginning of a paradigm shift. New Story is the nonprofit behind it. In an effort to provide affordable housing to some of the poorest communities in the world, New Story developed a 3D printer that has now contributed two homes to the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood. This one-of-a-kind project began last week in a rural village in Mexico. Upon completion, 50 families in this neighborhood will be upgraded from a simple shack to these 500 square foot houses complete with plumbing and sanitation. Be sure to check out the video here.

Safety-Proofing Your Next Amazon Order
The Wall Street Journal has uncovered an alarming number of unsafe products for sale on Amazon, including gifts and products for children. You can prevent these items from ending up on your doorstep. In order to avoid counterfeit products typically sold by third-party vendors, aim to primarily purchase items that are shipped from and sold from Amazon. You also might want to do a little extra recon on any items intended for children or babies. 

Companies and People on the Move

Pssst—Microsoft Is Coming to Town
All signs point to Microsoft expanding their footprint in Atlanta. Several sources are reporting that the company will soon occupy all 40,000 square feet of WeWork’s Midtown location. According to the AJC, Microsoft has been seeking enough space to house 1,000 new team members. In addition to this new real estate, Microsoft occupies areas of both Tech Square in Midtown and Tower Place in Buckhead. Read the full story about Microsoft moving to Atlanta here.

Cardlytics Hires First Chief Product and Strategy Officer
Cardlytics, a native ad platform, announced it has brought on former Pinterest executive Michael Akkerman as the company’s first Chief Product and Strategy Officer. As Global Head of Strategic Partnerships for Pinterest, Akkerman was responsible for designing the ecosystem of the social media company’s third-party technology partners. In his new role, Akkerman will be charged with overseeing the delivery of all product enhancers for marketers, financial institutions, and consumers. Cardlytics, which is one of Atlanta’s fastest-growing fintech companies, went public in February of last year.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and More

Private Jets Coming to Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines Inc. is set to merge its private jet subsidiary with Wheels Up by early next year. The New York-based startup brings the luxury of a private jet to consumers through a membership-based aviation service that guarantees plane availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The goal of the agreement is to make private flying more accessible to both individuals and businesses. When the deal is complete, Delta will become the company’s largest shareholder. This news comes just months after Wheels Up raised $128 Million in venture capital. Get the full story here.

Atlanta Is Ready for Exponential AI
Exponential Machines and Purple Logic Inc. announced that the two companies have merged and rebranded as Exponential AI. The combined entities will also be relocating their headquarters from San Francisco to Atlanta. Exponential AI will offer intelligent automations, custom AI solutions development, and access to its AI platform products across the health care, life sciences, retail and financial services industry. Exponential AI also announced three hires to their Senior Leadership team. Get the full story here.

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