Humans no longer required: Google tests robot to chat with friends for you

With its new Reply system the firm is taking the art of conversion one step forwards – or should that be backwards? We aren’t the robots … but is one of these girls talking to one? Photograph: Richard Baker/Corbis via Getty Images Are you tired of the constant need to tap on that glass keyboard …

Funding for troubled families is vital. Councils won't cope if it's withdrawn

My council receives £800,000 a year and funds the work of 30 people. We need to know what the future holds Over the years, many council’s have relied on Troubled Families funding to support a range of children’s services. Photograph: Alamy Paying for a pair of walking boots so a young person can go on …

#fintech: Chinese P2Ps plagued by flaky guarantees

Martin Arnold August 3, 2016 By Gabriel Wildau Sign up here to receive our daily #techFT email including a fintech focus every Monday. China’s peer-to-peer lending industry is experiencing breakneck growth. Yet the industryis yet to deal with the “rigid repayment” problem – the perception afflicting the Chinese fixed-income universe that default is impossible. A …

Why face scanning is going to dominate the future of smartphones and laptops (AAPL, MSFT, GOOG)

Apple’s iPhone X uses its special “TrueDepth” camera system to scan a user’s face and securely log them in. Apple/YouTube The introduction of fingerprint scanners in the iPhone popularised secure biometric systems in consumer electronics. But as technology has evolved, the industry has started to call for face scanners instead as they are smarter, more …