Global investors believe the tech industry has not done enough to combat fake news

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Global investors believe the tech industry has not done enough to combat fake news or tackle sexism; one in three do not believe the industry is ‘a force for good’


Exclusive poll of global technology investors that took place at Venture, the premier VC event at Web Summit in Lisbon

LISBON, PORTUGAL

When it comes to fake news, sexism or the challenges of AI, leading investors don’t trust either the tech companies nor western governments to resolve the significant challenges emerging, according to a poll of the world’s top technology investors.

A survey of investors at Venture, the premier VC event taking place during Web Summit in Lisbon, found that a majority (82%) disagreed with the statement that “The tech industry has done enough to combat the increase of fake news.”

A majority (60%) also agreed that: “Silicon Valley is guilty of a shameful inability to tackle sexism in the industry.”

Although a minority it was notable that one in three investors agreed with the statement: “Internet companies are not a force for good and must be regulated.”

6 November 2017; Paddy Cosgrave, CEO, Web Summit, at Venture Summit Content during Web Summit 2017 at Convento De Beato in Lisbon. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Sportsfile
6 November 2017; Paddy Cosgrave, CEO, Web Summit, at Venture Summit Content during Web Summit 2017 at Convento De Beato in Lisbon. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Sportsfile

Venture, Web Summit’s premier conference for VCs, was opened by the Portuguese Prime Minister. The one-day event saw more than 600 attendees from over 78 countries from all the top global VCs, PE funds, angels and LPs gather for the most significant global gathering of VCs in the world, with over $500 Billion worth of investable capital in the room.

Governments were deemed as ineffective with sharp warnings to London and Washington. A majority (53%) agreed that:”Governments are fatally underprepared for the impact of AI and the resulting loss of millions of jobs”. This question was also asked in 2016 and has shown only a meager 5% improvement (fall).

39% agreed with the statement that “The US will lose its dominant position in the tech world to China in the next 5 years”.

Finally, a small majority of investors agreed that: “Brexit is killing the British startup ecosystem.”  

Methodology: Web Summit polled 286 global investors in face-to-face interviews on November 6. All figures reported excluding those that ‘Don’t know’. Respondents were given a series of statements and asked whether they ‘Agree’, ‘Disagree’ or ‘Don’t Know’.

6 November 2017; Ronan Cunningham, Managing Director, Spectrum Equity, at Venture Summit Content during Web Summit 2017 at Convento De Beato in Lisbon. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Sportsfile
6 November 2017; Ronan Cunningham, Managing Director, Spectrum Equity, at Venture Summit Content during Web Summit 2017 at Convento De Beato in Lisbon. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Sportsfile

Web Summit

Web Summit is a global technology conference hosted annually in Lisbon. In 2017, 60,000 attendees from over 170 countries will fly to Lisbon for Web Summit, including over 20,000 companies, 7,000 CEOs and 2,600 international journalists. Speakers will include the founders and CEOs of the world’s largest tech companies as well as political leaders and major sports, fashion, and music personalities.

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