You’re reading The Brazilian Report‘s weekly tech roundup, a digest of the most important news about technology and innovation in Brazil. This week’s topics: Brazil’s future job market. Huawei’s new factory in Brazil. The boom of voice recognition usage.


Industry 4.0 and Brazil’s future job market

While Brazilians are more connected than ever,

they are also scared of the <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2018/09/17/brazilian-youth-artificial-intelligence/">effects the future of automation could have</a> on an already tough job market. Eight in ten Brazilians believe that jobs will be harder to find and inequality will increase, as robots are able to do much of the work currently performed by humans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Indeed, their fears may be grounded in reality.</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://noticias.portaldaindustria.com.br/noticias/educacao/profissoes-ligadas-a-tecnologia-terao-alto-crescimento-ate-2023-aponta-senai/">study</a> by Senai, an institution focused on professional qualification for industries, shows that the job market will see a jump in careers linked to technology (22 percent more positions than today) that is much higher than the expected numbers for the overall industrial sector (8.5 percent). Companies&#8217; interest in better-qualified professionals will also concern the services sector, especially in areas such as <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2019/07/12/health-tech-continues-grow-brazil/">healthcare</a> and insurance.</p> <p>The number of jobs in tech will remain small compared to the entire Brazilian job market by 2023, but it reveals a clear trend. &#8220;The world is living in the fourth industrial revolution and Brazil, despite all economic struggles, is inserting itself, bit by bit, into the <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2018/08/17/industry-4-0-brazil-ready-change/">Industry 4.0</a> world,&#8221; says Rafael Lucchesi, Senai&#8217;s general director. On the challenges ahead, he says that &#8220;Brazil needs to train more engineers and increase the number of technical schools.&#8221;</p> <p>The adaptation curve could be harsh on older professionals, as Mr. Lucchesi believes that the demand for more qualifications will affect new professionals, but also those already employed. Those who fail to adapt are likely to end up unemployed.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the study, the industries which will demand increased know-how are: cross-sectoral (1.7 million by 2023), metal-mechanics (1.6 million), construction (1.3 million), logistics and transportation (1.2 million), food production (754,000), IT (528,000), electric-electronics (405,000), and energy and telecommunications (359,000).</p> <div class="flourish-embed" data-src="visualisation/600683"></div><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Huawei positions itself in Brazil, eyeing 5G auction</h2> <figure class="wp-block-image"><img src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/shutterstock_1218626011.jpg" alt="5g brazil" class="wp-image-14414" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/shutterstock_1218626011.jpg 1000w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/shutterstock_1218626011-300x167.jpg 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/shutterstock_1218626011-768x428.jpg 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/shutterstock_1218626011-610x340.jpg 610w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /></figure> <p>Last week, upon <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/weekly-report/2019/08/10/sao-paulo-governor-joao-doria-china/">São Paulo Governor João Doria&#8217;s visit to China</a>, telecommunications giant Huawei announced USD 800 million in investments for a new factory in the state of São Paulo. The plant is set to build cell phones and expand Huawei&#8217;s presence in Brazil (the company already has another factory, which produces equipment for telecoms infrastructure, with 2,000 employees).</p> <p>Mr. Doria said Huawei is preparing to fight for the right to operate 5G technology in Brazil as of next year—the government is set to auction off 5G frequencies in March 2020. This new generation of the internet is expected to be 50 to 100 times faster than current connections.</p> <p>Meanwhile, however, U.S. authorities have tried to persuade Brazil into joining the American boycott of Huawei. <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/trump-says-us-wont-do-business-with-huawei/">Donald Trump&#8217;s administration has banned</a> all government contractors from dealing with the Chinese firm, due to (still unproven) fears of the presence of backdoors that would allow China&#8217;s government to access countries&#8217; sensitive information.</p> <p>In June, Vice President Hamilton Mourão said the country has no plans to make a move on Huawei. According to the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), the <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2019/06/27/huawei-controls-telecom-infrastructure-brazil/">Chinese giant has built roughly 70,000</a> of the country’s 86,000 operational radio antennas. These devices are responsible for transmitting 3G, 4G, and LTE frequencies to smartphones, modems, credit card machines … basically any device connected to a mobile network.</p> <h4>6G on the way?</h4> <p>While Brazil hasn&#8217;t even auctioned off its 5G frequencies yet, Huawei has already launched (in partnership with 13 universities and research institutes) projects to develop 6G technology. That new generation, however, is not expected to be ready for use before 2030—and nobody at this moment knows what to expect in terms of connection speeds. It is worth mentioning that Huawei began its 5G research back in 2009, a decade before its publication.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Brazilians crazy for voice assistants</h2> <figure class="wp-block-image"><img src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/shutterstock_682558534.jpg" alt="voice assistant apps" class="wp-image-22337" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/shutterstock_682558534.jpg 1000w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/shutterstock_682558534-300x200.jpg 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/shutterstock_682558534-768x512.jpg 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/shutterstock_682558534-610x407.jpg 610w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /></figure> <p>A study by digital marketing agency iProspect shows that 49 percent of Brazilian smartphone owners use voice assistants—despite the feature being relatively new for Portuguese speakers. Apple&#8217;s Siri, for instance, was only available in the local language after 2015, with the release of iOS 8.3.</p> <p>For 86 percent, the move towards telling their phones what to do instead of using their fingers to perform commands is a matter of speed. Half of respondents mentioned that using voice assistants is &#8220;much easier than typing.&#8221; Not a huge surprise, considering that Brazilians have a penchant for sending audio messages on WhatsApp—a feature that is increasingly <a href="https://exame.abril.com.br/tecnologia/brasileiros-amam-ligar-e-mandar-audios-diz-fundador-do-whatsapp/">replacing</a> typed messages or even phone calls.</p> <p>These numbers will only continue to grow, as more voice assistant platforms become available in Portuguese. According to consultancy firm Gartner, half of the world&#8217;s searches on smartphones will be made through these assistants by 2020.</p> <h4>Privacy concerns still an issue</h4> <p>The massive use of voice assistant apps has raised concerns about exactly how often users are being listened to. As the platforms are invisible, we tend to believe they work like magic. But, boy, we have been proven wrong time and time again.</p> <p>This week, <em>Bloomberg </em>revealed that Facebook hired hundreds of contractors to listen to and transcribe voice clips from messages sent through the Messenger app. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” Facebook told <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/08/facebook-paid-contractors-listen-messenger-audio/596143/"><em>The Atlantic</em></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>One day later, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice opened an investigation into whether Brazilian users were affected. If so, the tech giant could be fined.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Cashierless stores</h2> <p>San Francisco-based company <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90220566/zippin-is-first-amazon-go-rival-to-open-an-automated-checkout-store">Zippin</a> (an Amazon Go competitor) signed an 18-month deal with Lojas Americanas (one of Brazil&#8217;s largest retailers), to provide checkout-free technology to stores across the country. Cashierless Ame Go Stores (as the project is named) will vary in size from 18 to 300 square meters and will be installed in high-density urban areas. A store with Zippin-powered technology has already opened in Rio de Janeiro, and another is planned for São Paulo next month.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Edtech in Brazil</h2> <p>Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the launch of the AWS EdStart program in Brazil, which will incubate startups focused on education services. After being launched in 33 programs, AWS EdStart debuts in Latin America, and is aimed at helping entrepreneurs develop the next generation of online learning, data analysis, and campus management solutions.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Chinese technology</h2> <p>Roughly 800 Chinese companies are taking part in China HomeLife 2019 and China Machinex Brazil 2019—two of the biggest trade events ever to take place in São Paulo. According to the organizers, the events aim at displaying top-notch technology developed in China and stimulating exchange with Brazilian companies.</p> <p>The events take place between September 17 and 19, at <a href="https://goo.gl/maps/S91uv2iu7aVx7L7v5">São Paulo Expo</a>.

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TechAug 16, 2019

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BY Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist with experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets.